How To Make a Successful Water Damage Insurance Claim
Water damage in a bedroom.
Water Losses Can Cause Major Damage To Your Home
Approximately one out of every 50 homeowners make a water damage insurance claim each year. This makes water losses the second most common cause of insurance claims, behind only hail and wind disasters. There are several different types of water losses, including:
- Bursting pipes
- Sewer backup
- Storm damage
Making a Claim
After a water loss, you should hire emergency restoration professionals who can fix broken pipes or appliances. This type of cleanup is often covered by insurance. However, insurance providers may deny your claim.
There are several things you can do to ensure your claim is accepted. First, you should read your policy carefully and make sure you understand what is and is not included. If certain losses are not covered under your policy, you may want to purchase excess insurance. For instance, those who live in areas with heavy rain should buy separate flood coverage.
You should also regularly check your appliances and plumbing systems for potential problems. While insurers usually cover sudden emergencies such as bursting pipes, they do not cover losses that result from longstanding leaks or corrosion.
Challenging a Denial
If your insurance claim is denied, you do not have to just accept the insurer's ruling. Find out exactly why your loss was exempted from coverage. You should also ask whether it was the insurance adjuster or the agent who made the final call on the matter. You can even ask your representative for a second opinion.
If you believe coverage was wrongly denied, contact a consumer advocacy group in your area. You can also file a complaint through your state's insurance commissioner.
Bursting pipes and other water losses can cause incredible damage to your Topeka, KS, home. While insurance can help you pay for the repairs, insurers are not afraid to deny homeowners' claims. To stop this from happening, you should buy the correct insurance for your needs and perform as much preventative maintenance as you can.
Smoke Alarms and Batteries
House damaged by fire in Salina, KS.
In the old days, a smoke alarm needed to be watched to make sure the batteries were operating. In some cases, there was no indication the batteries were no longer functioning; in other cases, the alarm started beeping when the battery was dead. Unfortunately, this technology resulted in many homes having non-operational alarm systems, a dangerous situation. Many damaging fires were made worse because a family had neglected to replace the battery on time. Fortunately, modern alarm systems have batteries that last as long as the unit. In most cases, the smoke detector lasts for 10 years and the battery never needs to be changed.
The Benefits of a Working Smoke Alarm
Fires spin out of control in just a few minutes. In little more than three minutes, a fire can reach a searing temperature of 1100 degrees Fahrenheit. Homes with an operational alarm system experience fewer deaths and injuries as a result of a fire. They offer additional benefits, too:
- Peace of mind for all occupants
- Lower insurance premiums
- Reduced property damages
Since fire damage results in millions of dollars of property damage every year, it is important for quick notification of a fire. This enables fire crews to get to a home before it is completely engulfed.
The Advantages of Profesional Fire Restoration
The aftermath of a fire in Salina, KS, presents a major challenge to clean up. Not only does a fire remediation company need to remove water and chemicals from the fire crews, but it must also contend with soot and smoke damage. For these reasons, restoration technicians are highly trained in advanced methods to efficiently and safely clean a home. They also use specialized equipment to detect damages and deodorize a house. Specialized cleaning techniques remove soot from upholstery, clothing, curtains and other surfaces. A smoke alarm is the first line of defense against a house fire; a professional restoration is another valuable tool if needed.
How To Stock Your Workplace First Aid Kit
It is important to have an emergency kit in your property.
Emergency Supplies For A First Aid Kit
Whether we can predict them or not, accidents at the workplace do happen. An employee could injure oneself on the job, or a major storm or another natural disaster could strike during work hours. Having a first aid kit can prevent small injuries from becoming bigger issues that require serious medical attention in Hutchinson, KS. In addition, being equipped with the right emergency supplies can also be the difference between life and death.
At a minimum, your first aid supplies should include:
- Instructions for calling for help
- Adhesive bandages
- Gauze pads and roller bandages
- Adhesive tape
- Elastic wraps
- Latex gloves
- Cleaning wipes
- Resuscitation equipment
Make Your Kit Accessible
While it is imperative to have emergency supplies on-site, it is equally important to keep the kit in an area that employees have access to. Make sure the first aid kit is clearly marked and your employees are informed of its location. Check the contents regularly and reorder supplies as needed to ensure the kit is always well-stocked with items that meet ANSI standards.
Train Your People
Provide training for your staff and show them how to access and use the contents inside your first aid box. These supplies are effective if medical attention cannot wait, and help is not immediately available. Make sure your staff knows who to contact in the event of an emergency, including a disaster recovery service to mitigate loss.
Know Your Responsibility
Keeping an emergency kit is not just practical; it is also the law. You have a responsibility to protect your employees and keep safe working conditions for them. If you do not have one, you could risk being held liable for accidents, injuries and the inability to prevent additional harm.
Hopefully, you will never have to use your first aid kit, but having one and being prepared will bring peace of mind that you are ready to handle accidents and disasters if they come your way.
Tips on Flood Readiness for Your Business
Emergency resource box with water, flashlights, batteries and a first aid kit.
Unpredictable weather conditions can cause rising floodwaters and threaten your business with physical damage and loss of revenue. With preparation, your risk of significant damage lessens. Taking a few precautionary measures can save you from having to clean up major water damage and lose valuable time. Consider implementing the following:
Emergency Preparedness Plan
Whatever your existing risk level, you may experience less damage to your business if you prepare by:
- Compiling an emergency resource box or closet that includes water, flashlights, batteries and a first aid kit
- Signing up for emergency notification services in your area
- Finding phone numbers for a local water restoration company
- Keeping up with preventive maintenance practices, such as cleaning gutters and storm drains
- Posting building evacuation routes in a central location
The type of plan you require depends on your level of risk for severe weather and water damage.
Consult with your city planning department, local weather agencies and nearby property owners to determine the history of flooding in your area. Knowing your risk level helps you plan for any vulnerable elements related to your structure or location. Your business insurance agent may also be able to help you determine your risk, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides risk maps and other resources.
If you discover that you bear a flood risk, it is important to involve your workforce in emergency preparedness. From broken pipes to threatening floodwaters, your staff can be helpful in helping prevent serious water damage. A little preparation can teach them what to do and how to work together effectively in an emergency. Your local emergency response personnel or water remediation specialist may generally be willing to help you design a plan for your unique situation.
If your Winfield, KS, business endures a flood event, you will likely be glad you spent time preparing. Water cleanup and restoration can be disruptive, but adequate preparation can reduce the impact of severe weather on your property and your bottom line.
Minimize Water Damage Problems With These 3 Steps
Shut off the main water supply line.
Three Things To Do Right Away
When faced with a soggy mess, commercial property owners encounter a daunting and costly situation. The primary cause of water damage may be easy to fix. However, those busted pipes or sewer overflows created severe secondary conditions, leaving proprietors with multiple issues to contain and remediate. Commercial owners in Haysville, KS, must prioritize mitigating moisture saturation to safeguard the building and reduces. The following are three things to do right away.
1. Shut Off the Water Supply
Above all, minimize the amount of fluid exposure from broken pipes or a toilet overflow. Turn the valves to the utility to the off position, cutting the flow. If the problem continues, move to the mainline, stopping all water from entering the premises.
2. Remove Soaked Items
Water damage impacts not just the building, but the materials inside. Protect belongings that are unharmed by taking them elsewhere. Then, further cut down on space’s dampness by moving saturated objects to areas where they may dry out. Heavily saturated pieces should be disposed of in the trash.
These categories are hard to decipher. Owners working with a reputable water restoration company receive help identifying what may be salvaged through content cleaning practices versus what necessitates disposal. Businesses such as SERVPRO work hard to meet national standards and provide continuing education for certified employees, ensuring they have up-to-date knowledge and equipment to get the job done well. Expert assistance is pivotal in securing the area properly.
3. Eliminate Excess Moisture
During the water cleanup phase, specialists measure the wall’s wetness using a moisture reading tool. This information allows them to know what areas of the property require additional drying. They then work to place air movers and industrial dehumidifiers in those sections. Further readings will enable them to know when the location is dry and ready to move into a cleanup phase.
When water damage occurs, it’s time to run rather than walk, seeking assistance from a company with the right equipment and experience staff to defend the structure. The faster owners get dampness under control, the better off the property is.
4 Things To Know About Mold Caused by Roof Leaks
Black mold is a disturbing thing to find in your ceiling.
Mold Caused By Roof Leaks
Developing black mold can be worrisome, especially if you're unsure where it came from. One possible cause is a leaking roof, which could create mold all over your Mcpherson, KS, building. If you want to learn more, here are four things to know about mold caused by roof leaks.
1. Causes of Roof Leaks
There are several different ways a roof leak can occur. It's most likely to happen if your building is in a temperate climate. There are a few potential causes:
- Lack of maintenance
- High winds
If you suspect any roof damage has occurred, be sure to get it fixed as soon as possible.
2. Timeline of Growth
After a leak develops, you could find mold soon after. These spores are practically everywhere, so locating water is fairly easy. In fact, it may only take 24 to 48 hours for black mold to develop after moisture is accumulated.
3. Types of Mold Growth
When it comes to fungus that originates from roof holes, there are generally two kinds of accumulation. One is limited. This form will occur if your ventilation system is fully outfitted and working properly. The mold can be contained to the area surrounding the leak. The other kind is systematic, which causes accumulation in numerous areas. If your leak is left unattended for a while, the buildup of moisture could spread mold all over the ceiling or attic.
4. Next Steps
The first step you'll want to take is turning off your HVAC system. You don't want to spread the moisture even further than before. Next, look for a ceiling leak and other ways the fungus may have spread. You should also call a mold remediation company to get everything cleaned up. Try to dry any wet property, but stay away from developed mold. Lastly, look into your insurance policy. Commercial insurance usually provides little for mold remediation, but your policy may cover your specific cause.
Black mold is a disturbing thing to find in your ceiling. In order to avoid this, keep an eye out for roof leaks or other causes of water damage.
3 Steps To Take in Case of Black Water Damage From a Flood
Storm cleanup in a Newtown, KS home
3 Steps To Take in Case of Black Water Damage From a Flood
Water damage repairs are a common expense for homeowners in Newton, KS, especially due to broken pipes, natural disasters, or clogged drains. There are three categories to the type of water that damages a home ranging from sanitary water to contaminated water. Damage from category three water, known as black water, is the most devastating for homeowners. It results from:
- Sewer backflow
- Broken toilets
If you have experienced this type of damage in your home, take these steps immediately.
1. Clean Up the Water
Before cleaning, you need to make sure it is safe to enter your home. It typically takes 24-48 hours for a flooded home to be safe to enter. If the flood has been cleared and you are able to safely make your way inside, begin the cleaning process immediately. Wear protective gear, such as gloves and bodysuits, to keep any harmful bacteria or pathogens from entering your body.
2. Dry and Dehumidify Your Home
Once you have sopped up the water and disposed of any debris, it is important to dehumidify your home. If there is a power outage in your area, you may have to wait for the electricity to be restored. Otherwise, your air conditioner can dehumidify your home if turned on to the proper settings. You may also use dehumidifiers and floor fans. This part will be especially important if you live in a humid area.
3. Restore Your Property
In many instances, black water will leave some construction materials of a home irreparable. Once your home is dried, begin to replace any drywall, flooring, and broken items affected by water damage. If your home is a construction site, you may want to consider different living arrangements until the home is fully restored.
A flood of category three water can cause severe damage to a home. If the cleanup is too extensive for one person or family to complete, consider hiring a water damage restoration service to help fix your home.
3 Steps for Basement Flood Repair
Flooded basement damage
3 Steps for Basement Flood Repair
Is your home in Emporia, KS, prone to flooding? A basement flood is one of a homeowner's worst nightmares; it can seem like an impossible task to clean up, and many worry about saving as many belongings as possible. However, it is a doable task if you are informed about the right steps.
1. Shut Off the Power
Entering flooded areas is dangerous, especially with the power still flowing. If your circuit breaker isn't located in your basement or any flooded area, go ahead and shut off the power. This way, it will be a little safer to wade into the water and retrieve what you can. Still exercise caution as waterlogged walls and ceilings are usually prone to collapse, and there are still many other dangers of a flooded area.
2. Drain the Water
If you own a shop vac or similar vacuum that is capable of sucking water, consider vacuuming the majority of the water out of the basement. If you still have an active source of flooding, this is a great time to deal with it. Issues like pipe repair are still best left to a professional since it can be dangerous to wade into flooded water.
3. Call a Professional
Once you've done what you can by making the area safer, removing water, and stopping the source of the leak, it's time to call a professional water damage cleanup service. Here's where the magic happens. The experts employ several tools to make your basement look new again. They use specially designed machines to dry furniture, walls, and ceilings. While some parts of your home or some items may not be salvageable, most are saved with this advanced equipment. Most pros also have tools to detect hidden moisture pockets, thus, your home can avoid needing mold tests or cleanup performed in the future.
With the right steps and a well-equipped professional, the flooding is "Like it never even happened."
3 First Aid Tips for Workplace Burns
These three first aid tips can help you treat minor burns
What To Do When a Workplace Burn Occurs
Burns that occur due to fire damage in the workplace can range from minor injuries that can be treated on-site to medical emergencies that require immediate transportation to an emergency medical facility. These three tips will help you determine what to do when a workplace burn occurs.
1. Assess the Severity of the Burn
If the burn is deep, appears charred, or has white, brown, or black patches, causes the skin to be dry and leathery, is bigger than three inches, or covers a large area of the feet, face, hands, buttocks, groin, or a large joint, you should call 911. If the burn is minor, involving only mild to moderate pain, superficial redness, mild blistering and covers less than three inches of the body, you can probably treat it with burn first aid or transport the victim to an urgent care facility in Derby, KS, for treatment.
2. Treat Major Burns While You Wait for Help
Until emergency services arrive to assist with fire damage or a major burn injury, take steps to ensure the burn victim is not still in contact with the source of their injury, such as turning off the power source to electrical equipment. Cover the burned area with a moist, cool bandage or sterile cloth, but do not submerge in water. Raise the burned area and remove restrictive clothing to reduce swelling.
3. Treat Minor Burns on Site
First aid steps for minor burns include cooling the burn with cool running water or a wet compress to ease the pain. Apply antibiotic ointment to the area, but avoid breaking blisters. Cover the burned area with a sterile gauze bandage. Once you have addressed any injury issues, you can proceed with the fire restoration process.
If fire damage has caused burn injuries in your workplace, these three first aid tips can help you treat minor burns and assist more severely injured people until help arrives. All employees should be trained on proper burn treatment protocols.
How Mold Remediation Specialists Prevent Cross-Contamination
Mold remediation services in Topeka, SA
Steps To Limit Cross-Contamination
One of the most important parts of mold cleanup is avoiding cross-contamination. Since mold spores spread through the air, they can easily move from one room to another. This could cause additional damage to your Topeka, KS, property.
You thus need to hire mold remediation specialists who have the tools necessary to contain the fungus in one location. Look for professionals who follow the below steps to limit the spread of mold in your building.
First, the pros need to find the exact source of the mold. The spores can often be hidden from plain sight, so the experts may utilize special technology to locate the fungus behind walls and under floors.
Next, the experts should use negative air pressure and chambers to limit mold contamination. They may also turn off any fans or HVAC systems to prevent the mold from spreading around the room.
Filtration is also a key step in mold cleanup. Experts can utilize HEPA vacuums to eliminate mold from the air.
The pros will likely remove any porous contaminated materials from the premises. They will then use antifungal treatments that both eliminate mold colonies and prevent them from coming back.
Not every mold-infested item has to be discarded. Things like furniture and curtains can be sanitized using various techniques. Some remediation companies can even use fogging equipment to reduce musty odors.
Once the mold has been eliminated, the restoration can commence. This may involve extensive reconstruction or minor repairs, depending on the extent of the damage.
Mold cleanup professionals should inspect your property and then take steps to limit cross-contamination. They can then utilize air filtration systems and antimicrobial treatments to remove the mold from the premises. They should also salvage as much equipment as possible and restore your property to the way it was before the mold arrived. This process can be quite technical, so be sure to hire trained experts to perform the remediation.