An Insurance Claim for Flood Damage May Increase Your Premiums
Flooded home in Warwick,RI
Everyone likes insurance when they need it. No one likes paying for it, especially when the premium goes up due to a claim. Welcome to the world of homeowner’s insurance.
Your insurance company bases your homeowner’s premium on several factors, including:
- The value of what is insured.
- The risk factors that affect the likelihood and severity of potential claims in West Warwick,RI.
- Your history as a customer, including the number, value and type of claims you have filed.
- The deductible or amount for which you are responsible before insurance starts paying.
Insurance Companies Calculate Premiums
The best time to learn about how companies handle customers and calculate premiums is while shopping for insurance. Speak to the person who would be your agent. Ask questions. Learn how they process an insurance claim. Should you file small claims with this company or should you file only catastrophic claims? Know ahead of time what you will do if you experience damage from a home flood.
Notify Your Insurance Company Only If You Intend To Submit an Insurance Claim
You would like to think that your insurance company doesn’t care about damage to your home unless they pay for the repairs. That is not necessarily true. For example, if you call your agent about the possibility of submitting a claim and decide not to, that agent may be required to report that information back to the company. This report could cause your experience rating with the insurance company to suffer.
Homeowner’s Insurance Is There When You Need It
Water damage can easily cause an insurance claim of many thousands of dollars. It also needs to be addressed right away. If your insurance company approves the claim, but you delay the cleanup, mold may take over. Your insurance company may not cover mold remediation because your delay invited it. Your best option is to immediately bring in local water damage remediation specialists to eliminate the damage and bring life back to normal.
Why Smelling Mold but Not Seeing It Is Still Cause for Alarm
Moldy wall in Washington,RI
While you might consider yourself to be fairly vigilant when it comes to maintaining your Washington,RI, commercial property, there are certain signals in the building that may prove otherwise. A common indicator is the arrival of a mold smell. Though this is no reason to panic immediately, taking quick action in the following ways is important for clearing the building of any unwanted mold growth that creates the persistent fungus smell.
Follow the Mildew Smell To Its Closest Source
Although the lingering scent of mold can appear almost anywhere, it’s best to try and follow your nose to the nearest possible location of the growth. This can be easier said than done. It’s important to realize that mold creates its odor as it feeds and reproduces over time, creating the chemical reaction that causes the mold smell. Therefore, the worse the smell is in any given location, the closer you presumably are to the original growth source. Common areas of mold growth in commercial buildings are:
- Rooms with high humidity, such as laundry rooms and kitchens
- Dark spaces that receive little daylight like cellars, basements or attics
- Walls, flooring or ceiling spaces affected by water damage
- Faulty air ducts or HVAC units that emit too much condensation
Searching in these specific areas of your property first is your best bet for locating any troublesome spots.
Once Your Possible Source Is Located, Use a Thermal Camera for Added Efficiency
If you find yourself close to a potential hotspot but you still can’t seem to visibly see any mold growth, it’s time to use a thermal camera. Infrared thermography can be used to create images that display heat radiation in any given space, pinpointing areas of high moisture that might otherwise go undetected by the human eye. Experienced mold remediation technicians are trained to use such equipment and they can help alleviate any mold problems with accuracy and efficiency.
When an unpleasant mold smell emanates in your Washington,RI, commercial property, taking measures like these to eliminate any sources of mold growth is crucial to maintaining the health and cleanliness of the building.
The Benefits of Fencing Your Business After a Fire
You work hard to meet customer demands and maximize profit for your company. Unfortunately, in just a few seconds, a fire can destroy your time, money and effort investment. Fortunately, after many Coventry,RI, fires, businesses are not a total loss. On the contrary, following a comprehensive restoration process, companies often thrive again. It is important, however, to limit further damage. A security fence is an integral part of your company’s mitigation strategy.
Damage Does Not Stop When Flames Die
Fires can be extraordinarily destructive. You should know, though, that damage does not necessarily end when the smoke clears. Instead, businesses may sustain further damage from the following sources:
https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/smoke_alarms.html Fencing Provides a Protective Barrier
If your company has sustained fire damage, a security fence probably can’t keep weather from causing additional harm. It can, however, likely limit damage from criminal activity, squatting and wildlife. With a good fence, you don’t have to worry about unwanted guests taking up residence inside the ruins of your fire-damaged facility. You also make vandalism and looting more difficult. Tarps, boards and other barriers help limit weather-related damage.
Security Fencing May Simplify Restoration
When fires fail to completely destroy a facility, business owners often decide to undergo a complete restoration process. During restoration, professional crews conduct an assessment and analyze damage. They also use specialized tools to remediate smoke damage, clean affected areas and return your building to its original condition. With a good fence, you isolate damaged areas, allowing fire-remediation specialists to do their job.
As a motivated business owner, you work tirelessly to grow your company. While a fire in Coventry,RI, is heartbreaking, it does not necessarily mean the end of business. By taking a few post-fire steps, you may increase the chances of returning your organization to its pre-fire condition. Constructing a solid security fence is an integral part of any successful plan.
What Are the Flood Cleaning Requirements?
Air mover after a flood damage in a Lippitt,RI home
Four Cleaning Requirements
Flood water can be highly contaminated. A thorough flood clean, disinfection, and drying are necessary to restore safe conditions. Find out more about the four general cleaning requirements for dealing with the aftermath of flooding in Lippitt,RI.
1. Eliminating Standing Water
Getting rid of all standing water is the first step toward cleaning up after a flood. The water left behind by flooding is considered black water or Category Three water, as it may contain chemicals, microbes, solid waste. Cleanup professionals often use specialized pumps to extract water and residue in a timely manner to limit damage.
2. Cleaning the Area
Thoroughly cleaning the affected area is the next flood mitigation requirement. In addition to removing all debris and residue, this stage may also involve tearing out porous building materials and contents such as drywall or carpet. Porous materials can absorb contaminated water, and it may be impossible to completely clean these materials in such a way that there is no risk of recontamination or mold growth.
3. Disinfecting the Area
Disinfection is one of the most critical cleaning requirements because flood water may contain infectious microbes or solid waste. A water damage mitigation service may start the treatment by using a specialized pre-treatment during the cleaning process and follow up with a heavy-duty flood disinfectant.
4. Drying the Area
Once the affected area has been cleaned and disinfected, it must be thoroughly dried. Any remaining moisture may increase the risk that mold will develop. An air mover can promote drying and a dehumidifier can lower moisture levels in the air and draw residual moisture out of semi-porous surfaces.
These are the basic cleaning requirements for dealing with Category Three water originating from flooding in Lippitt,RI. Residential storm and water damage professionals can perform a complete flood clean to limit primary damage and the risk of secondary damage.
How To Choose a Smoke Detector
Select the best smoke alarm for a residence in Edgewood,RI
There are many types of smoke detectors. This guide will help you select the best smoke alarm for a residence in Edgewood,RI.
Decide On Detection Technology
Various types of alarms rely on different detection methods.
- Ionization generates an electric current that gets disrupted by smoke particles. These alarms are best for detecting small particles from quick-igniting fires.
- Photoelectric detectors contain a strobe light. Large particles from slow, smoldering fires diffract the light. Use this type of detector in the kitchen to prevent false alarms while cooking.
- Dual-sensor models rely on ionization and photoelectric components
- Air-sampling models circulate air through pipes and contain a sensitive sensor to detect smoke
- Combination alarms monitor smoke and carbon monoxide
You can also choose between standard and smart alarms that connect to Wi-Fi to send push notifications to smartphones in the event of an alarm.
Pick a Power Source
A smoke alarm is only effective when a power source is available. Detectors can draw power from
- Replaceable batteries
- 10-year long-life lithium batteries
- Hardwired electricity
Switch out replaceable batteries once or twice a year. Some building codes require that detectors be hardwired.
Provide Complete Protection
Install standard fire alarms in every bedroom, outside of every sleeping area, and on each floor of a home – including the basement. Smart alarms may detect the presence of smoke in a larger area. You can also hardwire alarms together or use a smart listening device to detect the sound of any smoke detector and send a notification.
Maintain Fire Safety
Test each detector once a month. Switch out replaceable batteries every six months or at least once a year. You can also clean detector vents with compressed air while a unit is disconnected.
It is important to use the right smoke alarm for your residence in Edgewood,RI. If your home sustains damage, hire fire mitigation and restoration specialists.
3 Leadership Tips for Inclement Weather
Be prepared for any type of storm, water or fire damage
When a snow storm hits West Warwick,RI, your business is likely to be affected. Worsening road conditions can cause traffic delays or even accidents. As the leader of the company, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your employees and your building stay as safe as possible.
1. Be Informed
You should always keep track of weather forecasts, particularly during storm season. You cannot plan for something you don't know is coming. Having a general idea of when to expect harsh conditions to arise can help you prepare. You can download a weather app on your phone so that this information is always at your fingertips.
2. Be Prepared
Have emergency supplies at the office just in case the snow storm arrives while people are still at work. Flashlights and extra batteries can be useful if the power goes out. Have a backup generator to tide you over until emergency crews can restore power to your building, and have the generator tested regularly so that you know it works. It's also a good idea to stockpile non-perishable food and water just in case people get stranded in the building.
3. Be Flexible
Have an alternative business plan ready for days when it's too treacherous outside to drive to work. If your employees are fortunate enough to make it home before the worst of the storm arrives, let them stay there and telecommute until dangerous conditions subside. Just because there are no people in the building, though, that doesn't mean you need to turn off the heat. Keeping the heater on low throughout the building can help you avoid having to hire remediation specialists to clean up after a pipe burst when the plumbing freezes. This protection is well worth the extra utility costs.
A snow storm doesn't have to disrupt your business too much. Plan ahead and have flexible, alternative ways to keep employees both safe and productive.
Flooded Crawl Space: The 4 Most Common Causes
Broken water supply line caused water damage to this Cranston,RI home
Several factors can cause a flooded or wet crawl space, and not all the potential issues are expensive to fix. Before going to the expense of calling in specialists, you may want to review the most common causes of crawl space flooding.
1. Incorrect or Inadequate Grading
Incorrect or inadequate grading of landscaping is one of the leading causes of crawlspace floods. If the ground is not appropriately sloped, then groundwater, sinking to the lowest point, may collect under your home. Ideally, you should have a 5 percent grade away from your home.
2. Clogged Downspouts and/or Gutters
Another common cause of a wet crawl space is a clogged downspout or gutter. When either of these items is clogged, they do not adequately direct rainwater away from your home. Instead, the water overflows and runs down walls, collecting in the crawl space. The general rule is that people living near trees should clean their gutters at least five times per year, with the focus on spring, summer and Fall.
3. Overwatered Landscaping
Overwatering your landscaping can be another cause of a crawl space flood, primarily if the lawn is not graded properly. While bushes, shrubs and flowers can be beautiful, they can lead to issues if not properly planted and maintained. Some plants, like certain trees and bushes, can even cause foundational problems, like cracks, which can also lead to the buildup of moisture in the crawlspace.
4. Broken or Leaking Water Lines
Water line damage is not always apparent, especially if there is only a small leak, but one leak can produce thousands of lost gallons in a single year. If you are experiencing persistent flooding in your crawl space, and if grading and routine maintenance are not resolving the issue, then it may be time to call professionals from the Cranston,RI, area.
A wet crawl space can be a frustrating problem, especially if you don’t know the cause. Typically, the cause can trace back to simple issues with grading or gutter maintenance, but if these common causes are not the culprit, seek professional assistance to inspect your water lines.
Water on the Brain: Troubleshooting Your Company’s Irrigation System Water Pressure
Water loss in Edgewood, RI
An irrigation system, especially a large one, can come with a fair share of irrigation problems, water pressure being the most common. If you are looking to troubleshoot typical water pressure issues, then look no further than the list below.
1. Check Backflow Device
While it may seem obvious to some, most water pressure issues stem from a valve that is not entirely in the on position. As valves are located above ground and near the exterior of the building, they can be accidentally or purposefully manipulated. The valve handle on the backflow device should be completely parallel with the pipe.
2. Check for Leaks
If the valve on the backflow device is in the fully on position, then check the zone that is ineffectively watering for signs of leaks. Several signs of a leak, aside from low pressure, are water coming up from the soil, divots or depressions, or saturated areas. Once you locate the approximate area of the leak, you can begin digging down to expose the pipe and repair the damage.
3. Check for Choked or Crushed Pipes
If you cannot locate any visible signs of leaking in your irrigation system, then you may have a choked or crushed pipe. A choked or crushed pipe can occur when roots grow around a line, or heavy machinery has compressed the soil. Search for the last fully functional sprinkler head and begin digging along the line because the damage likely occurred between this head and the malfunctioning head.
4. Call for Help
If you are having difficulty locating the damaged area of your system, or if numerous areas around your property are not working correctly, it may be time to call in an expert from the Edgewood, RI, area, as they may be able to resolve the issue a little faster.
A business depends on an irrigation system to maintain an attractive appearance, but low water pressure can be the difference between a green exterior or an arid one. Luckily, the steps above may be able to help restore your irrigation needs.
Your Options When You Don't Have a Flood Policy
Flooded warehouse in Warwick, RI
If you don't have flood insurance, and if your home was flooded recently, you be at a loss as to what to do. Flood restoration is costly, not to mention the cost of damage with which you're forced to deal. That said, you may not be entirely without options. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get a government grant or, if not, qualify for a loan. Talk to your Warwick, RI, flood damage restoration team regarding your options. Some viable options may include the following:
- FEMA Grant
- SBA Loan
- Private Loan
The government offers up to $33,000 dollars per household for temporary housing, construction and repair costs for those who live in flood plane areas. These grants are designed to supplement what a flood insurance policy provides, though those without insurance still qualify. Most homeowners use these grants to replace uninsured belongings, make essential repairs and rent temporary housing.
If you do not qualify for a FEMA grant, or if you need more money than what the grant offers, you can always apply for a small business loan. The money is only for uninsured losses and if damage occurred to your primary place of residence. That said, the amount of the loan is pretty significant and can be as much as $200,000 for your primary place of residency.
If you do not qualify for a government grant and if you cannot obtain an SBA loan, your only option may be to turn to a friend or family member for help. If you have close connections, it is not unthinkable that the people in your life would be willing to help you in your time of need.
If you do not have flood insurance, you are not without options. Talk to your Warwick, RI, flood restoration team regarding additional financing options today.
Don't Wait To Mitigate
Mold damage on a bedroom wall in a Cranston, RI home
A home can flood for many reasons. Perhaps a weak spot in a pipe causes it to leak or burst. Maybe a toilet gets clogged and overflows. Excess rain can seep through cracks in the foundation and cause water damage in the basement. In every one of these instances, swift water mitigation is necessary for mold prevention. Mold occurs when stale air and organic matter and dampness combine to form the perfect environment for its growth. Robbing it of one of these elements significantly reduces the risk of it growing.
The tricky thing about having a busted pipe in your home in Cranston, RI, is that the problem is likely hidden from plain view. If a pipe bursts behind a wall, it can cause a lot of damage before you ever know there's an issue:
- Soggy insulation
- Compromised drywall
- Ruined ceiling tiles (if the busted pipe is upstairs)
- Flooded light fixtures
Look for the signs of leaks that occur behind walls and between the different levels of the house. Mold prevention may still be possible if you call in the experts as soon as you see dark spots on the ceiling or feel weak or mushy spots in the walls.
If your toilet gets clogged, a single flush can bury your bathroom floor in an inch or two of water. This water wastes no time seeping into the floor. If you simply wipe up the water you can see with a towel, you may be missing all the water that is beneath the surface. Mold growth in the grout on your bathroom floors means the grout will have to be replaced.
There's nothing you can do to prevent a lot of rain from falling, and there may not be much you can do to keep it out of your basement. If your basement does flood, call mitigation experts at once to keep mold at bay.
Mold prevention is more likely if you call technicians at the first sign of trouble. Don’t make a problem worse by dragging your feet.