Will Insurance Cover a Home Fire?
Fire damage in a Smiths, KY home
If a fire ever occurs in your home in Smiths, KY, you’ll be relieved to learn that almost all house fires are covered by a homeowners insurance plan. However, there are two specific circumstances that your plan will not cover. Here is come useful information on how homeowners insurance can help you cover the costs of fire damage and what home fire situations are not covered.
What Insurance Covers
In most cases, your homeowners insurance will pay for many of the costs associated with a house fire including:
- The actual structure of your home
- Detached structures such as sheds, fences, etc.
- Landscaping elements including trees, shrubs, and grass
- The replacement cost of personal belongings
- The cost of fire restoration services
- Additional living expenses if you cannot stay in your home
It is important to note that if you lose personal belongings such as furniture, clothing, or anything else that is considered your property, insurance often pays the replacement cost of the lost property. Replacement cost is the amount of money it would cost to replace something, opposed to its actual cash value. You will need to check with your insurance to find out what your policy pays.
What Insurance Doesn’t Cover
Whether the home fire was caused by something outside of your control, such as lightening striking your home or a wildfire in your area, or an accidental cause, for instance, leaving the stove on or forgetting to blow out a candle, your insurance will provide coverage. The only cases your insurance won’t cover is arson committed purposely by the homeowner or a vacant home fire. Vacancy is often defined as a home that hasn’t been occupied for 30 days or more.
You should always check with your insurance company to find out the specifics on what your policy covers in a home fire. Unless the fire was caused by attempted arson insurance fraud or vacancy, you can typically expect insurance to cover you.
Your Guide to the Nooks, Crannies and Crevices in Which Mold Likes To Hide
Mold damage in a Plano, KY bathroom
Mold. It's a word that sends a shiver up just about any homeowner's back. However, mold growth is much more common than most people like to think, and there's a good chance your home is hiding a few patches or two of the pesky fungus. The best way to find out is to look in all the spots where mold likes to hide.
Where To Check for Mold
Despite popular belief, mold does not confine itself to the walls of basements or beneath bathroom sinks. So, where do you want to check for the growth? To be safe, complete a thorough assessment of each of the following rooms:
- Living room
- Basement, attic and garage
- Laundry room
It's not enough to perform a quick sweep of each room though. You want to check every nook and cranny just to be sure mold growth hasn't sprouted in an unexpected location.
Dig Deep To Uncover Mold
You may be surprised just where you discover mold patches. From mold on wood to moldy drywall, you may uncover it all in your home. For this reason, you should really have a Plano, KY, mold remediation professional assess your home for possible signs of the fungi.
When checking your bathroom for mold, check in the shower stall, beneath the sink, around the toilet, in the walls and on the floor. Also, check your bathroom rugs and shower curtain, as both are known to harbor mold.
In your kitchen, you want to check on, in and under your sink. Check your fridge, both inside and outside of it. Evaluate the pantry, inside the microwave and in and on the stove.
In the bedrooms, check your mattresses. In your living room and bedrooms, check the windowsills, heating and air conditioning vents, curtains, plants and other pieces of furniture. In areas where there is pipes or ductwork, check around those. If you discover mold growth anywhere in your home, contact your Plano, KY, mold cleanup team.
Design and implement an emergency action plan for your entire building
If you own or operate a business in Bowling Green, KY, you may be interested in improving your building's resilience to inclement weather such as a spring storm. Don't delay implementing the simple tips below to improve the quality of your working environment and the well-being of your employees.
1. Awareness of Conditions
The most basic step you can take as a responsible administrator is to stay aware of the local weather. Someone on staff should have as part of their job responsibilities a daily review of the weather forecast. If severe storms are projected, stay tuned to a NOAA radio broadcast or website for further information. Design and implement an emergency action plan for your entire building, including shutdown and evacuation procedures.
2. Preventative Maintenance
Even if you can't change the weather in your area, you can keep your building from suffering undue storm damage when the worst conditions strike. Maintain your buildings water and air barrier through yearly inspections of the plastic sheets, basement pumps, and roofing materials. Any moisture that has accumulated in the insulation or flooring should be deferred to a qualified flood cleanup professional. Make sure that all pipes and piping joints are in good condition and have sufficient sealant. If a pipe break occurs, shut off all water at the mains and locate a replacement part immediately.
Flooding during a spring storm can also be the result of poor landscaping. Ensure that the grade of the soil and roads near your property slopes away from doorways and crawlspace entry points. Check for blockages or overgrowth near drainage ditches. In flowerbeds, use heavy mulches or gravel to allow for drainage and to prevent erosion.
The checklist for flood readiness doesn't have to be miles long. By adding a few common sense steps to your monthly routine, you can be prepared for any spring storm.
3 Tips To Stop Sewage Backup
Sewer backup can cause extensive damage.
Preventative Measures To Prevent Sewage Backup
A sewer backup can cause extensive damage at a residence in Plum Springs, KY. There are several measures homeowners can take to reduce the likelihood of blockages in lines, and it may also be possible to install specialized equipment to prevent flooding caused by an overflowing municipal main. Follow these three preventative tips to reduce the risk of sewer damage.
1. Only Flush Sewer-Safe Materials
Only toilet paper should be flushed down toilets. If a toilet is prone to developing clogs, a homeowner may want to select thinner single- or double-ply toilet paper. No other materials should be flushed down toilets or put down drains. Even moist towelettes described as being sewer-safe may result in blockages.
2. Use Root Killer To Prevent Blockages
Old sewer lines may be more prone to blockages formed by invasive tree roots. Homeowners can treat lines with a foaming herbicide once a year to eliminate growth and prevent a common backup cause. Avoid solutions that contain copper sulfate, an ingredient that may damage pipe materials.
3. Consider Installing Specialized Components
Homeowners may want to consider installing plumbing components designed to decrease the likelihood of backups. Consult with a plumber to determine whether a backflow valve, overhead sewer or standpipe could significantly limit the risk of sewer damage at a residence. A backflow valve or standpipe can be relatively affordable, whereas an overhead sewer is a more costly solution.
These tips may help to reduce the likelihood of a sewer backup. Homeowners can take preventative measures to prevent blockages or clogs from forming in residential lines. Depending on the condition of these lines, a homeowner may want to invest in a sewer cleaning. Specialized modifications can prevent flooding resulting from an overflowing municipal main. If a property sustains any sewer or storm damage, homeowners should rely on a residential mitigation and restoration company located in Plum Springs, KY.
How To Remediate Water Problems at Your Commercial Property: 3 Tips
SERVPRO, professional and dedicated to being fast on site to prevent further damage.
Tips To Keep In Mind When Water Damage Arises In Your Commercial Property
When your Plano, KY, commercial property is damaged by water, you may not know where to begin when it comes to cleanup efforts. Depending on the type of water damage your building experiences, recovering and making repairs can be challenging. However, there are a few tips you can keep in mind so you can take action right away when such problems arise.
1. Turn Off the Main Water Line
If your problem is stemming from frozen or broken pipes, you may be able to reduce the amount of damage that occurs by turning off the main water line. It is important to remember to take this step only if the shutoff is in an area that is safe, not flooded or does not contain electrical paneling. If you rent the building and do not know where the shutoff valve is, call your landlord as soon as you discover the line break so he or she can come to assist you.
2. Close Off Affected Areas
Water cleanup may be simpler if you can keep flooding contained. For example, in the case of flooding from a broken sink pipe in the bedroom, You can attempt to seal off the area by closing the door and stuffing the base with towels. Once the area is secure, place caution signs around the area to alert employees to the possible danger and do not allow anyone inside until professionals arrive to drain away the water.
3. Call in Professional Remediation Services
Calling your local water damage and cleanup company can be instrumental in the remediation process, especially when it comes to preventing problems that are caused by standing water. A company that specializes in water removal and restoration may help reduce the risk of mold growth and other issues that can be caused by flooding.
When water damage threatens your Plano, KY, business, knowing how to reduce the risk of long-term problems can help you lower repair costs and protect your greatest investment.
Answering a Few Common Question About Mold
When disaster strikes call SERVPRO
Four Common Questions About Mold
When commercial property owners notice mold growth in their buildings, it is reasonable to panic, but it is not always necessary. However, if you are currently experiencing a mold problem, you likely have a few questions. Therefore, to help ease your mind, the below list is a compilation of the four most common questions about mold.
1. Is Mold Toxic?
There are variations of mold, and some of them are toxic while others aren't. Most common funguses are not poisonous and will not negatively impact health unless you are exposed to high levels for prolonged periods of time. Therefore, quick remediation is always best.
2. How Fast Does Mold Spread?
Mold growth can begin within 24 to 48 hours of water damage, and it will continue to spread rapidly after that if not remediated. Also, mold is not limited to only water damaged areas. Spores can spread throughout your property through ventilation systems, contaminating multiple areas at a time.
3. What Are the Primary Causes of Mold?
High humidity and moisture or water damage are the primary causes of mold development. Spores exist everywhere, and there is no way around that, but to grow fungus needs water and moisture.
4. How Does the Remediation Process Work?
When hiring a mold remediation specialist in the Smiths, KY, area, keep in mind that it is a five-level process: (1) protection, (2) containment, (3) tear out, (4) cleaning and disinfecting and (5) salvage and restoration. While containment and tear out are the most significant parts of the remediation process due to actual mold removal, each level builds on the next to ensure the safety of your building, tenants and yourself.
Mold growth is a real concern for many property owners. However, the fears can be minimized if you take action when you encounter a problem and call in a specialist. The number of mold varieties and the possibility of spread means that calling in professionals may be the only responsible action to take.
Grease Fire in Bowling Green, KY
Kitchen Fire in Bowling Green, KY
This Bowling Green, KY kitchen was damaged when a pan caught fire and ignited the stove and cabinetry above. Smoke and soot affected most of the home and the resident had to move out until work could be completed. We heard about the fire on Twitter and arrived on the scene while it was still smoldering.
SERVPRO of Warren County was there to help
It takes several days of scrubbing down walls and ceilings as well as setting negative air machines to help with the odor in the home. SERVPRO of Warren County uses special chemicals in order to cut through the grime caused by a grease fire. Our crew works dilligently to get this work done in order to get the resident back in their own bed where they belong.
Our customer was very happy that we were there in a timely manner to get the process started as smoothly as possible.
Solar Panels vs. Nature: What Could Crack the Cells
Solar Panels on the roof of a suburban house in Bowling Green, KY.
Solar panel damage is rare, but when it does happen, it’s usually as a result of a hard-hitting storm. There are a few things you can do to prepare if you know a storm is on the way to Bowling Green, KY.
The examples below of instances where panels stayed intact may give you peace of mind that yours could also stay safe.
When Nature Strikes
Solar panels are usually built to hold up even in the most extreme of circumstances. However, there are some common causes to damaged panels.
• Hail (especially when it hits the same spot repeatedly)
• High winds (uplift can happen when wind blows between your roof and panels)
• Roof damage (if your roof wasn’t built well to begin with, the panels can fly off with it)
Where Solar Panels Stayed Intact
Storms have tested panels with much success in recent years:
• Hurricane Maria: 180 mph winds didn’t even leave a scratch on a 645 kW solar array on a VA hospital in San Juan. It operated well after the storm, even though nearly all of the island was without power.
• Hurricane Sandy: panel damage was few and far between in New Jersey when this hurricane hit in 2012, days after the state installed dozens of panels.
• Severe hail in Denver: only one out of more than 3,000 panels on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory campus was damaged in this rare storm.
What To Do Before and After the Storm
Prepare for a storm the same way you would without solar panels. Don’t try to remove them, as the racks are built to handle the storm. You may want to take pictures of the system just in case. If the storm does cause an issue, you can show those pictures to your insurance agent. Most providers cover panels, but you may want to double check before it’s too late.
When you do experience panel damage, don’t try to fix it yourself. Always call a professional in Bowling Green, KY, first.
SERVPRO of Warren County is ready to respond immediately to water and storm damage emergencies.
Why Is IICRC Certification Important?
SERVPRO is certified with the IICRC for water, fire and mold damage
The standards for the restoration industry are set by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration. A professional who holds this certification is prepared to use cutting-edge techniques and offer the highest standard of service. There are several reasons that the Preferred Vendors of insurance companies maintain IICRC credentials.
The standards of this certifying agency are developed and maintained by leading restoration professionals. This organization collaborates with the American National Standards Institute and establishes its own standards:
ANSI and BSR standards apply to particular types of restoration, whereas Institute certification is earned by restoration professionals. In order to become certified, a service provider must demonstrate their knowledge of and ability to adhere to best practices for mitigation and restoration.
The Institute regularly updates standards and offers new certifications. Even after a professional earns a certification, he or she must still obtain 14 credit hours of continuing education every four years. This requirement ensures that the certifications issued by this agency remain current based on industry standards. Any professional who holds a restoration or mitigation certificate should be capable of meeting or exceeding the expectations of clients and insurers.
Preferred By Insurers
Most mitigation and restoration companies that insurance companies consider Preferred Vendors maintain certification. In order to be considered certified, a company or franchise must employ at least one credentialed technician. SERVPRO is an approved training school, and new franchise owners and employees are encouraged to obtain and maintain certification. Insurers can trust that certified restoration professionals will recommend the best methods for damage mitigation and restoration.
Clients and insurers should make sure that the service they hire to restore damage is certified by the IICRC. This certification indicates that professionals are trained in the most effective methods. Inquire about the certification status of a damage mitigation and restoration company in Richardsville, KY.
What To Do if Your Light Floods
Leaking water from light fixture in a Plano, KY home
How to Repair Water Damage to Your Ceiling
A broken pipe or overflowing bathtub can cause leaks in the oddest places. If there is a light fixture on the ceiling directly below the leak, you could find water in the light. Water and electricity don't mix well, so it's important to take a few preliminary steps before water restoration experts arrive to repair the water damage to your ceiling.
1. Cut Electricity
The first thing to do is to stop the electrical current that is flowing to the light. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity, so a light fixture with water poses a risk of shock to anyone who comes into contact with it. If you want to make sure that the electricity is off, you can test nearby dry surfaces with a voltage tester that doesn't make actual contact with the surface.
2. Stop Water Flow
After you have eliminated the electrical risk, it's a good idea to shut off the source of the leak. If a toilet overflow is the culprit, turn the water off at the wall to stop water from running into the tank. If you have a broken pipe, you will likely need to turn the water off at the water main to keep from getting more water in the light below.
3. Call Professionals
Ceiling damage from a water leak is not the sort of thing you want to handle on your own. Certified technicians in Plano, KY, have the knowledge and tools to fix the problem safely and efficiently. By leaving it up to them, you can likely avoid secondary damage such as mold or further leaking and be confident that the damage is remediated completely.
A leak on the second floor may result in water in the light below it. Your best course of action in this situation is to stop the flow of electricity and water to the area and let the professionals take it from there.