Are You At Risk for Flood Damage? Here's How To Prepare
It's a good idea to take out a flood insurance policy.
Steps To Prevent Flood Damage In Your Home
As a homeowner in Loveland, CO, you have a crucial role to play in preventing flood risk. Many people are not aware that most homeowners' insurance policies do not cover damage from floods. Because of this, you must take preventative steps to prevent flood damage in your home and ensure you have adequate insurance coverage, such as a FEMA NFIP policy.
What Does a Homeowners' Insurance Policy Cover?
A typical home insurance policy covers water damage if it is sudden and accidental. Examples include:
- A pipe bursts, soaking and warping your wood floor.
- Your water heater breaks and sprays the surrounding drywall with water.
- During a thunderstorm, a limb falls on your roof, tearing a hole and letting rain in the house.
However, you need separate insurance for flooding damage. Home insurance does not cover an overflowing sewer drain on your property, a swollen riverbank, and poorly maintained pipes that corrode and leak.
Should You Get FEMA NFIP Flood Insurance?
You can check a flood map on FEMA's website to determine if you live in an area at high risk of flooding. If you do, it's a good idea to take out a flood insurance policy.
The FEMA National Flood Insurance Program is a federally-backed flood insurance program. It is available through private insurers to communities and states that enforce and adopt flood-plain management regulations. Call your agent to learn more or visit the FEMA website.
How Can You Prevent Flood Damage?
Some steps FEMA recommends to protect your home include:
- Raising it above the base flood elevation
- Installing a sump pump
- Sealing your basement walls
- Using flood-resistant drywall and insulation
- Installing flood vents in enclosed places, such as garages and foundation walls
Sometimes, even the best preparation doesn't prevent damage. If you experience a flood, you can call a professional restoration company to help with remediation.
Flooding can do a lot of damage, but fortunately, you have ways to deal with it. Consult your insurance agent about obtaining a FEMA NFIP policy to protect your home.
What It Takes To Become a Preferred Vendor for Insurance
Highly-trained specialists arrive Faster to Any Size Disaster.
When disaster strikes, you have a number of trusted people and companies you can depend upon for help. Your insurance agent is one person who will provide you with information and assistance in a time of need. The agent will inform you on what your coverages are for fire, storm, water, and other types of damage to your commercial building in Loveland, CO. One way to make things easier for you is to choose a professional restoration company that works closely with your insurance company. This saves you the hassle of having to coordinate paperwork and claims between the two entities.
The Preferred Vendor Program
It is not surprising that your insurance company prefers working with certain remediation franchises. This makes things easier on everyone, and also is likely to result in fast and accurate claim payments. An insurance agent looks for a company that has the following characteristics:
Your agent knows that a SERVPRO franchise has all of the above. Highly-trained specialists arrive Faster to Any Size disaster and they work quickly and safely. These experts have the capability to limit damages and expenses through their actions. Whether the disaster is large or small, a crew will arrive at your facility to improve the situation.
The Importance of High Standards
Working with a company that has extensive performance guidelines benefits you and your insurance company. These include such best practices as background checks for employees and work certifications. Restoration workers also follow validation from industry organizations in such areas as proper equipment utilization and cleanup techniques. Finally, the company will record and track the entire process of restoring your company to its original state.
All of this makes things easy for your insurance agent. A Claims Information Center is devoted to keeping track of all aspects of a job. This results in a complete and comprehensive restoration as well as a seamless claims process.
Storm Damage Is Far More Than Flooding
Storm damage in Loveland, CO
Flooding Isn't the Only Problem Storms Cause
Major storm systems pose a serious flood damage threat to commercial buildings in Loveland, CO. Rising waters can devastate the foundation, valuables and overall structure, leaving proprietors with a great deal of sogginess. Owners, though, should be aware that storms have other hazardous impacts that demand attention. To minimize concerns, know the answers to the following three questions.
1. What Other Factors Should Owners Prepare For?
Storm damage is a broader category than flood trouble. A hurricane or thunderstorm can have intense wind speeds, capable of harming the roof and turning minor objects into projectiles. Roof shingles may be ruined, exposing the roofing to moisture. This isn't considered flood but water damage. Hail can also occur, creating bumps and holes in the roof.
Furthermore, external items such as furniture, branches or trees can slam into the walls, windows and doors, breaking glass and exposing the room.
2. What Exactly Falls Into Flood Damage?
As the rain pounds down, waters rise, possibly overflowing external bodies of water. Rivers, oceans and the sewer system all dangerous, pouring category three fluid into the premises. Floodwaters such as these can ruin property. The source of the exposure must come from the rise in the water and not the storm itself. Insurance companies examine these case-by-case. Storm complications leading to saturation would not fall under this category.
3. How Should Owners Handle These Events?
When flooding happens (whether it's storm-related or not), commercial owners should turn to professionals at a water and storm restoration company. These certified experts examine the space, test the walls and air and initiate mitigation efforts immediately. This phase is essential to ensure that excess fluid doesn't spawn mold and mildew growth and prepare an appropriate sanitation plan.
What may seem like flood damage might not be. If the water comes from the roof or a structural breach, it's likely to fall into the storm zone. Either way, it's important to act quickly to reduce secondary complications.
4 Things You Need To Know About Mold
Mold damage in Loveland, CO.
Mold: Four Things You Should Know
If you spot suspicious green or black dots on the walls or ceilings of your building, do not ignore them. There is a good chance those fuzzy spots are evidence of mold growth. If left untreated, the fungus can spread quickly and cause serious damage to your business in Loveland, CO. Mold should always be treated and removed immediately to avoid costly damage and repairs.
Here are four things you should know about mold.
1. Mold Can Spread Quickly
Mold is a fungus and can grow on many surfaces, including wood, drywall, and carpet. Once its microscopic spores enter your building and land on a damp surface, the mold will begin to grow and colonize. Depending on your building's moisture level, type of surface and temperature, the infestation can begin to develop within 24-48 hours and can cause problems throughout the entire building within a matter of days.
2. Mold Loves Moisture
High humidity and warm temperatures create a perfect environment for growth, making basements and bathrooms common areas for the fungus to form. Keep these areas well ventilated with plenty of air flow and use a dehumidifier to lower the moisture content in the air.
3. Mold is Common After Leaks and Floods
Flood and water damage can lead to mold growth when water seeps into porous and organic materials, often causing structural damage. In addition, broken pipes can leak behind a wall and provide an excellent home for growth. Performing routine maintenance on your plumbing can reduce your risk in these situations. If the fungus does appear, calling a professional mold removal service is your best bet for removing it and replacing the damaged materials.
4. Mold Can Carry an Odor
In addition to being unsightly, mold often carries a strong musty odor. In some cases, you may smell the odor before even seeing the infestation if it is growing behind a wall or in other hidden areas of the office.
Never ignore mold growth if you suspect it. It can take over your building quickly and cause severe damage. Keeping the humidity low and routinely inspecting your building’s plumbing can help reduce your chances of developing a mold problem, and swift action can save you from costly repairs to find any growth.
3 Simple Ways to Prevent Flooding While You Are Gone on Vacation
Keep your gutters clean.
Three Easy Ways to Keep Your Home from Flooding While You're Away
When you go on vacation, you should not have to worry about a thing. While many people will wonder periodically whether they forgot to turn off the stove, there is a much bigger problem to be concerned about: flooding. A broken pipe in Loveland, CO necessitates immediate water pipe repair, but if you will be gone for weeks, then water will continue to stand and accumulate more bacteria. Here are three easy things to take care of before you depart.
1. Empty Gutters
The purpose of gutters is to direct rainwater away from your actual home so that it does not flood the foundation. When the gutters accumulate too much debris, they can burst from the pressure. This causes water to go directly down the siding, which can peel paint and cause other problems. Before leaving, spend 30 minutes clearing out the gutters and downspouts.
2. Unplug Appliances
You do not want to risk dealing with a flooded dishwasher or washing machine when you are gone that requires immediate water pipe repair. Unplug and turn off these machines before you leave. If you will have someone coming over to check on your house while you are on vacation, then make sure to inform this guest about which appliances cannot be used.
3. Inspect the Outside of Your Property
If rain is on the forecast in your area, then you want to inspect the exterior of your home to see if there are any weak points rainwater could enter through. In the event you do find something, then you will want to hire a professional service to come out before you leave to address any problem spots. You also want to take the overall temperature into consideration while you are away. If it is going to get exceedingly cold in Loveland, CO, then you want to prevent the need for water pipe repair to fix frozen pipes.
How To Use a Fire Extinguisher Effectively
The PASS technique (pull, aim, squeeze, sweep) for proper use of an extinguisher.
The PASS Technique
Are you familiar with proper fire extinguisher use in the event of a fire at your business in Loveland, CO? It may appear straightforward, but every second counts in an emergency and quick action may help stop the spread of the fire. By correctly using an extinguisher, you may also be able to prevent the need for a significant fire damage assessment after the event. The following steps illustrate the PASS technique (pull, aim, squeeze, sweep) for proper use of an extinguisher.
The first step is to pull the ring pin on the extinguisher, located near the lever. Removing the pin will break the seal and prepare the device for use. Look at an extinguisher in your building to see where the pin is located.
While holding the lever in one hand, point the fire extinguisher nozzle in the direction of the fire. Aiming towards the base of the fire, and not at the flames, will help cut off the fire from its source.
When you are ready to discharge the extinguisher contents, squeeze the lever. Hold on tight, as the contents may be expelled forcefully. Be sure to keep aiming at the fire’s source.
Sweep the extinguisher from side to side while still pointing it at the source of the fire. Continue this motion until all of the extinguishing media is released or until the fire is completely out. Be sure to watch the area closely to ensure the fire does not re-ignite.
Keep in mind that a fire extinguisher should be used on small fires only. If the fire is large or if you feel incapable or uncomfortable handling it on your own, evacuate the building and call for help. Whether you are dealing with a small kitchen fire, utility room fire or a fire in a cigarette receptacle, being prepared to use an extinguisher may prevent serious property damage from occurring.
Business Insurance Is a Lifesaver When Recovering From Water Damage
Water restoration services in Loveland, CO.
Three Reasons To Invest In Business Insurance
When saturation impacts commercial property, an owner may feel lost and exasperated trying to pick up the pieces. The premises are in danger of developing mold, rot and structural deterioration; thus, the exposure and lingering water damage demand prompt and methodical care to ensure the establishment in Loveland, CO, can reopen, free of hazards. Business insurance may be the lifeline needed to stay in operation and survive the repairs.
1. Receive Necessary Financial Support
Proprietors may face complete building overhauls. Remediation includes tearing out walls and flooring, purifying the air and vent system and tending to the source of trouble. The entire space must be disinfected and dried. These tasks add up to thousands of dollars, which owners may not have immediate access to. Many insurance policies cover the harm broken pipes caused. Owners pay a deductible amount; insurance, then, fronts the cost for everything else (within the coverage range). Also, merchandise and electronics may be harmed. Personal loss coverage allows for a check to replace or salvage these items.
2. Secure Authorized, Certified Assistance
Water damage treatment isn't easy, and inadequate cleanup could lead to future complications and additional bills. The insurer insists on proper methods, including the hiring of a reputable, certified water remediation company. The experts hold IICRC credentials, national professional standards, which layout a framework for meticulous care. In addition, Commercial Drying Specialists investigate the impacted sections. These workers have taken additional classes to understand the best processes to dry and sanitize the space. They can organize an effective plan and determine which technology to use to air out the area.
3. Enjoy Backup Reviews
Water cleanup errors or missteps could permit mold to grow or structures to fail. The insurer looks over the bills, damages and estimates to see that all necessary steps occur. An extra set of eyes is supported to avoid more issues.
Business insurance policies alleviate tension from financial costs and massive restoration projects. Having it to help with water damage is an absolute must.
SERVPRO: Helping Your Clients Rebuild
Storm damage in Loveland, CO.
SERVPRO: Assisting Your Customers in Rebuilding
If you have clients in the Loveland, CO, area who are dealing with storm or flood damage, a storm restoration specialist can help, especially one as qualified as SERVPRO. Many of your clients may require restoration services following a disaster, and it is important to deal with a company that delivers not only quick response times but also corporate assistance with the claims process. However, response time and claims assistance are only a fraction of the services provided.
Fundamental storm response must include mitigation practices to ensure that your client’s claim is not hung up on a technicality. Through board up, fencing and tarping services, your client’s property is protected from worsening existing damage as well as trespassers, animals and weather, ensuring a successful claim.
Before storm restoration and loss assessments can begin, it is necessary to clean out the home, ensuring that all damage is visible and known. It is not enough to remove excess water from flooding; debris must be removed and separated into actual rubbish and damaged insured items so that loss can be documented properly.
Once proof of loss has been documented and all assessments and estimates approved, then it is time to move forward with the restoration work. This work may be extensive, requiring demolition and reconstruction, but in the end, your clients can return to their repaired home.
4. Claims Information Center
Beyond the services offered to your client, it is essential that you have access to the progress of the work and the claim. For you to understand fully the work being proposed, you can access the Claims Information Center and review similar claims as well as the progress on your own.
Storm restoration is a necessary solution to the misfortune severe weather can bring, and while it is your job as an insurance agent to help your clients rebuild through funding, it is the job of restoration companies, like SERVPRO, to restore the physical structure and help make the claims process as speedy as possible.
Don’t Ignore Your Noisy Pipes
A bursting pipe can cause serious damage in your property.
Your Noisy Pipes Shouldn't Be Ignored
If your home has noisy pipes, it’s more than a simple annoyance. Whistling or banging sounds can be an indication of issues that will need to be addressed before a pipe break occurs. In the event that a rupture does occur, what should you do? When your lines are making strange sounds in Loveland, CO, it’s important to understand the possible cause and correct any problems as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
Investigate the Source of the Noise
Different sounds are an indication of various maladies that could cause a pipe burst:
• Whistling, or squealing, is an indication that the water in the line is being forced through an obstacle or restricted opening. This could be caused by a loose screw, degraded washer or other component that needs to be repaired or replaced.
• Banging noises, also known as hammering, are caused by a sudden stoppage in water flow within the line. If your home has loose pipes, this may cause them to vibrate or bang against things, causing pipe break.
If you’re still unsure what could be causing the sounds you may be hearing, reach out to a licensed plumber for assistance.
What to Do When a Pipe Fails
Unfortunately, breakages occur from time to time. If you experience a ruptured pipe in your home, it’s important to contact a trusted professional to fix the broken pipe immediately in order to stop leakage. You’ll also need the services of reliable cleanup and restoration specialists who can address standing water before further structural damage can occur. Luckily, there are plenty of professional resources in Loveland, CO, that are just a phone call away.
Regardless of the age of your home, it’s important to investigate any noises that may be originating from your water lines so you can avoid potentially catastrophic pipe break and subsequent flooding. A little diligence and regular maintenance can help to save you stress, and cash, down the road.
You Fire Cleanup Should Include Electronics – Here’s Why
Be sure to talk to your fire cleanup specialist about electronics cleanup.
You and your family made it through the fire and most of your belongings look untouched. But unbeknownst to many homeowners in Loveland, CO, even materials that look undamaged can be impacted. This is especially true of electronics, which can be penetrated and permanently ruined. Still not convinced your fire cleanup efforts should include cleaning electronics? Learn exactly how smoke can impact your electronics.
How Smoke Causes Damage
Electronics are remarkably delicate and lots of things can impact how well they work. There are two main elements of fire that can impact electronics.
• Smoke damage - smoke penetrates deep crevices in electronics, making them prone to overheating and failure
• Soot - Pushed in by smoke, soot can form a layer in delicate electronics, interrupting circuits and causing malfunction
You know what about smoke causes the problems, but how do these things wreak havoc?
Soot is acidic, and acid and electronics never mix. When soot gets into wires and circuitry, it can corrode these delicate surfaces. The result is degraded components and a device that may soon fail.
Soot can also leave a film that coats the inside of electronics, forming a sort of insulation. This can result in overheating once you turn these devices back on after fire cleanup. Overheating leads to failure in the best case and can trigger a fire in the worst case.
Believe it or not, smoke has a magnetic charge. Magnets can short circuit electronics - something you might not realize until you’ve used your device a few times and find it stops working.
High heat and soot can be devastating to sensitive electronic devices, causing malfunction and even triggering new fires. The good news is that there are ways to salvage your electronics safely. Be sure to talk to your fire cleanup specialist about electronics cleanup to ensure you’ve covered all your bases after a fire.