Why Waiting For an Adjuster Has Risks
Flooded basement caused by heavy rains in Smiths, KY
You are relieved that you bought flood insurance, but when there has been widespread flood damage in Smiths, KY, it may take a long time before the adjuster makes it to your house. You are probably getting mixed advice. Some people say it is unwise to make repairs before the adjuster comes, but others say it’s your responsibility to prevent subsequent damage. It sounds risky either way, so what should you do? You don’t want to do work that the adjuster denies, but you also have a responsibility and a need to protect your property from further damage.
Here are some initial actions you can take and why:
- Document now. Take videos and photos of all property damage to share with your flood insurance company.
- Tarp exposed areas. If there was damage to your home’s exterior, allowing wind and rain to continue entering, then you should try to prevent this exposure.
- Remove water as quickly as you can. Your flood problem can quickly become a mold problem in as little as 24 – 48 hours. Mold spores are abundant in the air, and colonies multiply rapidly.
- Move belongings out of the water. If you have larger furniture items, they can be blocked or separated from the wet floor with foil to prevent further damage. Remove smaller items from the water.
- Begin the drying process. To prevent mold damage, continue ventilating and drying your property after water is removed. If your electricity is on and safe to operate, you should use fans and air conditioning to aid this process.
These actions are all in the category of preventing additional damage, which reduces costs for everyone. What’s great about working with a reputable flood recovery company is that they likely already have established relationships with flood insurance adjusters, paving a smooth path for the claims process and for getting your home back to normal as quickly as possible.
The Residential Rainbow of Mold
Mold growth on laundry room in a Bowling Green, KY home
Surprisingly, mold comes in an array of colors and hues. When you find green, blue or black mold at your home in Bowling Green, KY, an image of a rainbow, however, is the furthest thought from your mind. What do the colors mean? Why is it growing in your home?
Colors of Mold
There are a variety of colors, but any mold that is visible to the eye (or noticed by the nose) is in need of mold remediation. Common household colors include:
- Frequently known as black mold, the color of this sort may appear more greenish-black. Paper, dust, lint and drywall are popular breeding grounds for this type of mold.
- Green, brown and gray molds are usually found on walls, carpeting or insulation.
- White, green and blue molds regularly live on walls and food.
Causes of Mold Growth
Regardless of the color, all molds flourish in the same environment:
- Microscopic mold spores are always present in the air, but it takes certain environmental conditions for them to grow and spread.
- Areas that are constantly warm and damp are perfect for spores to attach and cultivate.
- In your home, persistent moisture from water damage, flooding or extreme humidity can cause mold to reproduce.
When a spore lands on a moist surface in Bowling Green, KY, mold grows and spreads. Outside, this helps to break down organic materials. Inside, it destroys your walls, ceilings and insulation. Irrespective of the color or surface, if mold is present in your house it must be remediated. Mold remediation specialists are trained to handle all varieties including black mold. Mold cleanup typically includes assessment, containment, air filtration and content restoration. After the air is filtered, it is normal for some spores to remain as mold is a naturally occurring element. However once the source of the continued moisture is resolved, the spores no longer have the proper environment to grow.
Floods Can Cause Unexpected Damage
Flood damage in Plano, KY
Flooding in Plano, KY is a serious business risk. Some businesses, especially those that maintain a lot of inventory, might be more susceptible to losses than others. The fact remains that flood damage could cause a host of problems:
- Data loss
- Rendering your facility uninhabitable
Most companies have business interruption insurance. It's most popular in industries that need to keep working constantly in order to keep up with client orders to fulfill customer expectations. However, business Interruption insurance is not a blank check. Providers will often want to know that their policyholders are doing everything they can to get back to normal operations, such as hiring professional recovery companies.
Keeping Information Safe
Mini companies also rely on detailed records in order to track processes and finances from year to year. This can end up piling up on office computers or in filing cabinets. Smart managers make sure that there are practice is in place, whether they are automated or manual, to maintain off-site copies of a business's most vital records. If client confidentiality is a primary concern, businesses often use flood-proof storage solutions for their information.
Avoiding a Move
Floods have the potential to make a business vacate premises temporarily. However, flooding could also lead to more serious problems, such as black water and structural degradation. There's one main difference between businesses that have to leave for a few days and those that have to move permanently: response time. Forming a partnership ahead of time with a repair company could speed up the process.
There is no way for business owners in Plano, KY, to predict when and where floods might happen. However, keeping cost-effective systems and practices in place to address known risks is always a good idea. While proactive measures are important, acting quickly when flooding strikes is also a key factor in a company's ability to remain in business after a disaster.
Where There's Fire, There's Smoke: How To Eliminate Odors
Fire damage in a Richardsville, KY home
When you walk through your building in Richardsville, KY, after a fire, you may be overwhelmed by the smell of smoke. Fire does more than burn your structure and the things inside it. It also permeates the air with an intense smoke odor, and getting rid of this odor is part of the mitigation process. There are three main methods professional remediation experts use for smoke cleaning.
1. Thermal Fogger
A thermal fogger uses a vaporized solution to neutralize odors in your building. By heating the solvent, the machine produces a fog that it releases into the room. The deodorizing particles find their way into carpet, walls, cracks, crevices and vents to trap smoke particles and absorb them, leaving behind a fresh scent without the use of water.
2. Ozone Machine
An ozone machine creates the same atmosphere that occurs in nature after a thunderstorm. It is effective in smoke cleaning because it purifies the air by traveling the same path that the smoke took through the building and oxidizing its fumes. Technicians seal off the affected area and set up the industrial ozone machines. They vacate the area, letting the machines work their magic, and return later to a room that no longer reeks of smoke.
3. Air Purifier
An air purifier pulls malodorous air into it and releases purified air. The best air purifier to use for the remediation of smoke damage is a HEPA purifier with an activated carbon filter. The HEPA filter can trap extremely small particles. The pores in the activated carbon filter hold smoke particles and neutralize them, ridding the area of odor.
There are many smoke cleaning devices and techniques. After assessing the damage to your building during the walk-through, experts can recommend the method they think would be the most effective in neutralizing the smoke odor in your building so that you can get back to business.
Are Broken Pipes Covered by Insurance?
Drying mats on a hardwood floor in a Smith Grove, KY home
Whenever a disaster strikes your Smith Grove, KY, home, your mind may stray straight to the finances. After all, a flood can cost you a lot of money in repairs and restoration costs and that's a scary prospect. If a broken pipe caused your home to fill with water, will your insurance help pay for the damages? Your residential water cleanup crew may not be able to give you a straight answer because it all depends on the policies you have.
Normal Wear and Tear
Plumbing can take a beating in any home. If you have multiple people living in your house, the plumbing has to deal with even more use. Because of the normal wear and tear that affects the piping, many companies offer an insurance coverage that can help protect you against flooding caused by broken pipes. A regular homeowner's policy, however, may not cut it. You may need to add extra policies, including the following:
With one of these extra policies, you may be able to breathe a sigh of relief even if your home is filled with waters from a plumbing accident. Be sure to talk with your insurance provider to find out what type of coverage you need.
Sometimes there are plenty of warnings that you need to fix a broken pipe. If you have a perpetual leak you ignore, for example, your insurance company may be able to cite this negligence as a reason for denying your claim. Other carelessness that could leave you completely liable for the damages regardless of the policies you hold include lack of heat in cold climates or purposefully putting foreign objects in the pipes.
Every homeowner's policy may be slightly different when it comes to flood protection. Some policies may cover the subsequent damage, such as destroyed flooring, ruined walls and damaged furnishings, of a broken pipe while others may not provide this protection.
Answers to Common Questions About Mold
If you see signs of mold growth, smell a musty odor, find evidence of water leaks, or know of any past flooding, you should take immediate action.
What does mold look like?
Mold can appear in many colors and could appear as a dark spot on the wall or as black specks around the window. Mold in the crawlspace may look like chalky white growth or could be dark spots behind the sink. Many people in Bowling Green, KY, recognize black mold, but it could appear in several colors, beginning with the most common.
Any sign of mold should prompt you to contact a mold remediation expert, even if the growth spot only looks like hard water stains running below the knobs in the sink.
How can you tell if it's bad mold?
Not all types of mold are dangerous, but black mold and other forms of mold in large amounts could lead to expensive repairs and mold cleanup efforts. The best way to prevent extensive damage and repairs is to treat any appearance of mold as if it were bad mold. The only effective and reliable way to tell what type of mold is in a building is to contact an indoor environmental professional.
Who can safely remove mold?
An IEP uses specialized equipment and testing methods to determine which types of mold are on the property, how widespread growth is, how high levels of contamination are, and where mold growth began. DIY tests tend to be inaccurate and could lead to ineffective mold remediation efforts.
When should you take action?
If you see signs of mold growth, smell a musty odor, find evidence of water leaks, or know of any past flooding, you should take immediate action to prevent further growth and to begin mold cleanup. Mold remediation experts in Bowling Green, KY, can get you started. Any time you suspect the presence of mold in your building, you need to act quickly for the protection of your property and those people who live or work in the building.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwarrencounty.com/.
Natural Gas Safety and Fire Prevention Tips
It is always important to remember that the smallest spark can ignite a gas fire
Natural gas is a simple carbon-hydrogen, an air-like compound that has no unpleasant odor. In order to keep people safe, a rotten egg smell is added by the businesses that distribute the gas to home suppliers. The sulfuric odor is meant to alert homeowners to a dangerous situation because as the smell becomes noticeable, the presence of the highly combustible gas can pose a great threat to homes, animals, and human life. A natural type gas fire is one of the most explosive situations a property owner can experience, and one of the most devastating as well.
Because of the explosive nature of natural gas, there are some expert-backed safety tips regarding steps to take the moment you notice the unpleasant odor of rotten egg-infused gas. So, if you notice the tell-tale smell, take care to do the following:
Extinguish all open flames including cigarettes and candles.
Turn off any flames powering appliances such as water heaters or gas stoves.
Refrain from flipping any electrical switches on or off.
Leave the area and contact authorities as soon as possible – but not from a phone inside your home.
Furthermore, it is important to take all pets out of the house to prevent potential harm or injury.
Natural gas is a huge part of many people’s lives in Bowling Green, KY. From ovens to barbeques, there are many ways people heat and cook with the explosive gas in daily life. To keep homeowners safe from a gas explosion, fire recovery and restoration experts recommend proactive maintenance on every gas appliances at least once a year. The same maintenance should also be done on gas lines into the house and all appliance supply gas joints. Installing a carbon monoxide detector and refusing to sleep in a room heated by gas can also prevent serious injury from a gas fire.
If you do happen to smell a leak, don’t attempt to locate the source of the natural gas. It is always important to remember that the smallest spark can ignite a gas fire. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwarrencounty.com/.
Roof Damage and Hard To Find Water Problems
If you have wet areas in the attic or home, you must repair and dry the areas as quickly as you can.
Wind damage from a storm in Bowling Green, KY, can blow roof tiles, leaving weaknesses for water to get into your home. When you can see signs of roof damage from a recent storm, it is time to have a full inspection to find additional damage. Roof repair will be critical to prevent interior and structural damages from water that can get in through the damaged areas in the roof.
Outside Wind Damage Clues
You probably suspect that roof damage has allowed water into your home. You may see signs of storm damage on the outside of your home, such as:
• Bent, broken or discolored shingles
• Rusting, sagging, or buckling gutters
If you see signs like these, it's time to call an experienced roof contractor to do a full inspection of your roof and begin repairs as quickly as possible to prevent future water problems.
Inside Water Damage
While the roof repair is underway, you may want to look for water damage inside. Where should you look?
• Check interior areas around clogged gutters. They are heavy and pull on fasteners, where water can get in. Clogs also cause pooling around your roof.
• Look for stains on the ceilings. Stay out of rooms until repairs are made, if the ceiling is bulging.
• Get in the attic. Look for damaged wood or drywall, and check for wet or moldy insulation.
If you have wet areas in the attic or home, you must repair and dry the areas as quickly as you can. Mold can develop very fast in moist areas and where water damage has occurred. Once the roof repair is complete, the leak is stopped and you can focus on interior cleanup. Mold cleanup should be handled very carefully to prevent further spread of mold spores in your home. A professional restoration company knows how to set up containment areas while they work to clean mold and water damaged areas. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwarrencounty.com/.
Little Known Facts About Disaster Insurance Adjusters
A smile may be worth a few extra dollars. You just never know.
After a disaster, your insurance company may request you meet with a home adjuster as part of your insurance claim. Although this is a common practice, realizing the adjuster has the power to deny your claim can bring about its own type of stress. Here are a few things you probably did not know about insurance adjusters in Bowling Green, KY.
1. You have the right to hire an independent or public adjuster. Working as an intermediary, the consultant can give independent opinions, help you reach a settlement, and deal with the insurance company’s adjuster.
2. You have the right to disagree with the adjuster’s settlement suggestion. This is especially true if your claim is denied. Check your insurance policy for steps to take in disputing the claim.
3. The home adjuster works for the insurance company – not you. The adjuster will work to save his or her company as much money as possible.
4. You have the right to ask the adjuster questions. You may want to ask questions about how long the process will take or which water damage specialist to work with.
5. The adjuster has the right to ask you questions. To prepare for his or her visit and save time, gather as much documentation as you can about the circumstances of the loss.
6. The adjuster will almost always ask for records about even the smallest lost or damaged items. In the past, dishonest people have tried to inflate their insurance claims by faking lost or damaged personal possessions. For that reason, verification may be necessary. Be prepared to justify each and every claim.
Depending on the type of policy you have, the home adjuster may visit your house several times during the claim process to review the damage and restoration. Being courteous during each visit can go a long way with a weary adjuster that has listened to complaints all day. A smile may be worth a few extra dollars. You just never know.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwarrencounty.com/.
Commercial Fire Sprinkler Floods: 3 Ways To Protect Your Business
Flooding from a broken fire sprinkler system can be unexpected for you as a business owner.
There are many different sources of flooding that can affect your Bowling Green, KY, commercial building. Some causes are common; however, even those that happen less often can be just as damaging. For example, you may not anticipate malfunctioning ceiling sprinklers to cause a flood, but being prepared can help you protect your business in case the worst should happen. As you create a plan of action, there are a few strategies to consider that may reduce flood damage and allow your business to recover faster.
1. Know Where the Water Shutoff Valve Is
Trying to find your building’s water shutoff valve while the fire sprinklers are spraying water everywhere might prolong flooding and make matters worse. Locate your building’s main water valve ahead of time and map the fastest way to get to it. Give your managers a copy of the map so they can turn off the water if you are not there. The quicker you can cut off the water supply, the less serious the damage may be.
2. Have a Flood Damage Service On Call
Being able to call for help when your building suffers water damage can give you peace of mind, even during the worst of floods. Having a flood damage and restoration company on call that can perform mitigation services may reduce widespread problems that stem from a sprinkler malfunction. Experienced technicians can drain water from vulnerable areas and prevent water from spreading to adjacent rooms.
3. Be Aware of Your Insurance Coverage
If you have business interruption insurance, take the time to fully understand what your policy covers so there are no unpleasant financial surprises after a fire sprinkler flood. Have your agent’s number posted in several different locations and call him or her right away after an incident so the claim can be filed as soon as possible.
Flooding from a broken fire sprinkler system can be unexpected for you as a Bowling Green, KY, business owner. Being prepared for this or any type of water damage may help reduce the cost of mitigation and repair services so you can recover quickly. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwarrencounty.com/.