How To Make a Water Damage Claim
Water cleanup process in Ft. Meyers Beach, FL.
How To Make a Water Damage Claim
Bursting pipes and other mishaps that flood your home can add a lot of tasks to your to-do list. You must find the source of the water so you can minimize overall damage. You need to arrange for repairs from a certified water restoration company. You will also probably want to file an insurance claim. Filing a claim can be daunting if you don’t understand whether your policy covers the accident or what you are entitled to receive. The following information may help demystify the process.
Factors Affecting Claim Acceptance
Standard homeowners’ policies cover a myriad of sudden accidents that may lead to water damage. Whether your policy covers the damage to your home in Ft. Meyers Beach, FL, depends on several factors:
- Type and scope of policy
- Source of flooding
- Timing of damage onset
Some policies cover more than just bursting pipes. Coverage can vary by state or region and the amount of extended coverage you purchase. If floodwaters come from outside your home, particularly if you are in a flood plain, you may need an extra flood policy to cover the loss. If the damage was brought on by an ongoing problem rather than a sudden issue, your claim is more likely to be denied.
Tips for Minimizing Denials
The best way to avoid a claim denial is to understand your coverage and make sure it is adequate to protect you against the specific risks to your home. Your agent can explain your policy and suggest extended coverage when necessary. It is also important to keep up with a regular maintenance schedule for your home. Most gradual damage claims are denied because they indicate a lack of vigilance on the part of the homeowner. If you fix a broken pipe in a timely manner, for example, it is less likely to cause significant damage.
Hiring a restoration company that is Faster to Any Size Disaster can improve the chances of claim acceptance. Knowing your rights, as well as your responsibilities makes filing after a bursting pipes incident easier.
Dealing With Smoke Damage
Fire damaged building in Sanibel, FL.
How To Prevent Smoke Damage
A fire at your place of business in Sanibel, FL, can lead to costly downtime and other disruptions if not dealt with effectively. Learn how to prevent smoke damage from derailing your workflow with a few dry-cleaning tips.
1. Repair Versus Replacement
The most critical element of smoke damage restoration is a procedure that allows you to discern which items should be restored and which should be replaced entirely. While many of these decisions may be obvious, some are best left to a qualified fire damage restoration service. These professionals are typically IICRC-compliant, ensuring a set of content cleaning standards that your business can rely on.
2. What To Restore
Many items suffering from smoke or soot damage in a commercial fire can be brought back to functional condition through conventional means. Clothing, upholstery, and other fabric components can usually be cleared of any smoke discoloration or odors by simply dry-cleaning the affected materials. Most dry cleaners have specialty detergents and deodorizers for dealing with fire-soiled materials. Documents and other paper materials can also be restored through a vacuum freeze drying process if they were damaged by water-based fire suppression.
3. The Building
Fixed components of your place of business, such as the ventilation system, the floors, and the walls may also suffer from smoke damage. In these cases, there are also a number of processes that can avoid costly replacements. A restoration service will ensure adequate air circulation by changing out air filters. Drywall and other porous materials can frequently be cleaned depending on the type of paint used and the extent of the soot accumulation. Your chosen restoration service can assist you with content storage during the smoke cleaning process.
Don’t assume that your commercial fire means a total restart for your valued assets. Through a careful inspection process and a little professional help, you can repair and retain many of the items your business uses through dry-cleaning and other sound restoration practices.
After the Flood: Make the Most of Your Insurance Claim
Flood damage in Estero Island, FL.
Now that the flood waters have receded, it’s time to survey the damage and take steps to restore your property. As the holder of a flood insurance policy, you are already ahead of the curve—but there still may be significant work to be done before you can collect on a flood claim. Here are some steps that can help guide you through the process in Estero Island, FL.
1. Stay safe. Take every precaution to be certain your home is safe to enter and that there is no threat of further flooding, electrical mishap or collapsing infrastructure. Assume that water is unsafe for human consumption.
2. Contact your insurance company. Contact your insurance claims adjuster as soon as possible. Provide him or her with cell phone and/or email contact information so you will be readily available for an onsite visit.
3. Document the damage. Take photos of the damage to document your loss. If you have pictures of the areas prior to the flood, it would be useful to have them on hand for comparison.
4. Start the cleanup. Begin the cleanup process and call a restoration specialist in Estero Island, FL, if needed. If the adjuster has not yet made his or her assessment, be sure to note everything you intend to include on the flood claim. Make a list of lost and damaged items and include dates of purchase, estimated values and receipts, if possible.
5. Retain evidence. Keep any damaged materials you may remove from the house as the adjuster may need to see them for proof of loss purposes. If possible, store these damaged materials outside on your property.
6. Work with your insurance company. Once the adjuster arrives and finishes the assessment, you will likely be asked to sign a proof of loss statement that will follow specifications as set forth in the insurance policy.
Be sure to file your flood claim within 60 days of the actual flood event. By following these steps, you can be assured of the greatest possible chance for a successful insurance settlement.
You, the Bath and Shower Leak Detective, Solve the Case!
Learning to discover a shower or bathtub leak is an important skill for a homeowner.
You, the Bath and Shower Leak Detective, Solve the Case!
Homeowners wear many hats. Today, you'll be wearing your inspector hat, like that famous inquisitor from Baker Street, learning how to find the source of that most elusive bathtub leak or mysterious shower puddle so you can put a stop to it. A good detective knows to look in the hidden places for clues: adjacent rooms, a crawl space, or the ceiling underneath your bathroom. To help you interpret your findings, here are a list of clues and corresponding deductions:
• Splash leaks. Water stains on the ceiling below, loose tiles or warped vinyl, water on the floor or baseboards, or mold spots on the floor or wall nearest your bath might indicate splash leaks. Splashing some water on your shower door will help you find the gaps.
• Drain leaks. Clues such as water stains on the ceiling below your bathroom or damp floors in a neighboring room are good indicators of a shower pan leak. Plastic or fiberglass materials used in tubs and shower pans are susceptible to cracking from normal use. The flexing caused by standing often leads to breaking the seal around the drain. To test for a bathtub leak of this kind, buy a test plug from your local hardware store (don't use the tub's regular plug), fill the tub or shower with some water and mark the water level. Let it stand for an hour and check the water level again. If the water level is lower, you definitely have a drain leak.
• Tile leaks. Loose tiles, staining of the ceiling below, and moldy or crumbly grout all point to a tile leak. Inspect the area for gaps in the caulk or grout.
Learning to discover a shower or bathtub leak is an important skill for a homeowner in Ft. Meyers Beach, FL. Water damage clean-up requires some special restoration procedures. Homeowners definitely assume the role of daily inspector, but thankfully there is help available from professionals that can restore your home back to normal.
How to Streamline the Repair Process After a Fire
Commercial fire damage in Estero Island, FL.
When dealing with fire damage in Estero Island, FL, you may be wondering how best to get your business up and running again. Streamlining your repair process can help the restoration process stay on schedule. There are a few things you may need to know to help the repairs proceed efficiently.
Understand the Steps Needed for Repair
After a fire occurs there are several steps to the restoration process. Knowing these may help you estimate repair time. The steps include:
• A damage assessment
• Protecting the area from further damage
• Removing water from the area
• Drying the area
• Removal of smoke damage
• Sanitizing the area
• Restoring the area
Understand the Damage that Can Occur After a Fire
In many cases, you may have water damage as well as smoke or fire damage after a fire. Water damage can occur from several sources. Many fire suppression systems may use water to slow or extinguish the flames. The heat from a fire can cause a pipe to weaken and burst. The suppression solution from a fire hose can leave an area flooded. In many cases, your insurance adjuster may be able to recommend a professional restoration service with the training and tools necessary to deal with multiple types of damage.
Understand What You Can Do
There are fire mitigation techniques that can be put in place before a fire occurs. These may help slow the spread of the flames leading to less damage after the event. In some cases your insurance adjuster may recommend a mitigation expert who can offer advice on what you can do. Options may include installing a fire suppression system, keeping extinguishers in key locations, or safety training for certain types of equipment.
Repairing your business after fire damage can be a big project. Understanding these things may help the restoration process proceed according to schedule. Choose a company that can deal with multiple types of damage and restoration, as water damage often occurs along with a fire. Understanding the steps of the restoration process may also help you estimate the time needed for repairs. Mitigation beforehand may help prevent issues before a fire happens.
Tips for Maintaining a Clean Office Fridge
Fridge mold is a common problem in office buildings.
Tips For Maintaining a Clean Office Fridge
It's the problem that everyone knows about but no one wants to mention. As neglected mystery lunches from days gone by and forgotten leftovers start to pile up, the office fridge takes on a life of its own. It does not take long for the break room in your building in Sanibel, FL, to start to smell like fridge mold. Mold remediation experts say that it only take 24-48 hours for mold to start to develop in an area that has excessive moisture and organic matter to feed it. It is essential, therefore, to follow these tips for maintaining a clean office fridge.
1. Put Dates on Everything
Everything that goes into a communal refrigerator should be marked with the date that it entered the fridge. Keep a pile of sticky notes and a pen in a prominent place near the fridge to encourage everyone to do this. Set a limit to the amount of days an item will be allowed to remain in the fridge. If you stick to the time limit, you should never have to worry about that dreaded mold smell.
2. Post the Rules
No one sets out to be the creator of fridge mold, but without clear rules, it's difficult to know what the office expectations are. This can lead to passive aggressive hints being passed around the water cooler and the poor morale that often follows such statements. By posting the rules right on the fridge, everyone knows what is expected.
3. Put Someone in Charge
You can have the most detailed set of rules, but without anyone to enforce them, they will soon be ignored. Designating someone with the responsibility of disinfecting the fridge on occasion and throwing away outdated items is crucial to its ongoing cleanliness.
Fridge mold is a common problem in office buildings, but it doesn't inevitably have to be your problem. If you set rules and have someone who is willing to hold the office accountable to them, everyone should be able to use the fridge without fear of mold.
5 Steps to Make a Fire Escape Plan
It is good to have a fire escape plan for your home.
5 Steps to Creating a Fire Exit Plan
A well-thought-out fire escape plan can help you get away from a home fire as safely as possible. Developing a plan is one of the most important fire preparation measures. Proceed through these five steps to develop a potentially lifesaving plan.
1. Study a Floorplan
Look over an accurate floor plan. You should test every escape route you come up with to ensure it will be practical in the event of an emergency.
2. Identify Primary and Secondary Escape Paths
A fire escape plan should have primary and secondary paths leading out of every room in your home. You may want to obtain a fireproof escape ladder to make secondary paths more viable.
3. Display Pet Decals
Don't forget to factor pets into your fire safety plan. You may be able to evacuate animals with other occupants, but it is also a good idea to post a window decal near entrances to help firefighters rescue any remaining animals.
4. Practice Sealing In
If you cannot take any escape route, seal into a room with a window that opens, access to a phone, and one that is equipped with duct tape and towels. Close the door and seal the cracks and any air vents to keep out smoke. Open the window to admit fresh air and be sure to notify firefighters of your precise location in the residence.
5. Do a Fire Drill
Test the plan you have made at least twice a year and demonstrate how to move low to the ground, feel doors with the back of your hand, and assemble at a safe location outside.
These steps will help you create an effective fire escape plan for a residence in Sanibel, FL. Practice fire safety and make sure you have a sufficient number of functional smoke detectors. If a home fire causes damage, contact a mitigation and restoration service.
What to do When Sewer Backup Threatens Your Business Property
Sewage cleanup in Ft. Myers Beach, FL.
If your business is located in Ft. Myers Beach, FL, it may be at risk for flooding and sewer backup during the next storm. Knowing what preventive measures to take, and what to do if your business does flood, can help you in the event flooding does occur.
Reasons Backup Occurs
There are a number of factors that can play into sewer backup. These may include:
- Excessive storm and rain water which can cause overflow
- Recent construction that changes the landscape and redirects water into the sewer
- Fresh pavement with a new drainage grade can change the runoff flow
- Failure to regularly clean a septic system can cause a backup
If you think there’s a chance your business might face sewer back up with the next storm, it’s best to take preventative measures.
Take Preventive Measures
Flood water is classified as black water because some of it can come from contaminated sources such as a sewer. This means clean-up can require extra sanitation steps. Taking preventive measures beforehand may help mitigate the damage. Ensure than trap plugs are clean, snug, and secure as these can filter debris that may back up in your pips. Some buildings may also qualify for a backwater check valve.
Conduct Cleanup as Quickly as Possible
In the event you do find flooding it’s best to take care of the cleanup process as quickly as possible. Remember to turn off the electricity to the flooded area before entering. Remove items from the flooded area and be sure to clean and dry them. Because flood water is classified as black water, everything should be sanitized as well. You will also need to clean, dry and sanitize the flooded area after the water has been removed. A professional service may also be able to help.
Flooding from sewer backup can cause a number of problems for your business. This is why it’s important to take preventive measures beforehand. If excessive rain water does lead to sewer flooding at your business, knowing what to do beforehand can help save valuable time.
3 Steps to Snake a Clogged Pipe
A snake may clear a stopped pipe without the need for a plumber.
Steps To Snake Out a Drain
A drain auger or snake is a coiled metal spiral about a quarter-inch thick with a handle that has a hand-crank or drill attachment. If plunging does not clear a clogged pipe, you may want to try this tool. A snake is not difficult to use and may clear a stopped pipe without the need for a plumber. Here are three simple steps to snake out a drain.
1. Insert the Snake
Put the auger down the sink drain and continue to push more of the length in until you encounter resistance. The sharp curve of the sink trap may pose an early challenge. Apply pressure while cranking to make the snake bend and proceed down the pipe toward the blockage.
2. Push Until You Encounter Resistance
Continue feeding the snake down the sink drain until you encounter more resistance. This should be the cause of the clogged drain. Now it is time to crank or drill the snake.
3. Drive the Snake Through the Clog
Some augers require cranking by hand to rotate the tip. Other designs have an attachment for a power drill. Soft clogs tend to get broken up by the snake and go down the drain. Solid clogs may get caught in the auger's head. If twisting does not gradually become easier, try pulling up the snake. The head may have captured a solid clog.
Run water down the affected drain for several minutes to make sure the clog is completely clear, and then clean off the snake. Homeowners may want to purchase an auger or snake, but you can also rent this equipment from home improvement retailers.
Contact a plumber if you cannot clear a clogged drain yourself or experience a pipe break. If a sewer backup causes damage to your home in Estero Island, FL, you should also hire a residential water damage restoration service.
How Can Fire Damage Cause Water Damage?
Fire in a commercial building in Sanibel, FL.
How Does Fire Damage Lead to Water Damage?
In the event of a fire, your Sanibel, FL property may need a good deal of fire cleanup work, even if there was only damage from smoke. Yet did you know you may need to handle water cleanup, as well? After a fire, water damage is just as likely as smoke or fire damage.
So How Does It Happen?
Water damage usually happens in one of three ways:
• Pressure and high-volume water saturation from fire hoses used by firefighters to douse the blaze.
• Burst water mains and pipes damaged during the fire.
• Sprinklers activated by smoke.
Each of these instances can saturate your belongings in water, which can be highly damaging for electronics and inventory. Water cleanup is imperative as you recover your property from catastrophe, and to prevent additional health and safety issues caused by standing or stagnant water.
How Can I Prevent Water Damage?
It may not be possible to wholly prevent water damage when much of it happens during times when you should either be in the process of evacuating the building or should have already evacuated. However, you can make it a practice to cover your inventory with waterproof materials, and cover your electronics once you leave for the day.
How Do I Clean Up After Water Damage?
The first step of water cleanup is safety. Water conducts electricity, and after a fire, you may have exposed wiring or other safety hazards. Do not enter the building until a fire professional has cleared it as safe. Once you are able, dry the building as much as possible. Mop water from the floors and wipe down any surfaces. Open windows and doors to air everything out, and tear out waterlogged carpet and drywall. Haul anything wet out into the sun to dry. Take inventory of everything water-damaged and keep accurate records for your insurance company.