Business Insurance: Your Saving Grace When Water Damage Sneaks Up
Commercial water loss in Conroe, TX
Water is a lot more damaging than most people give it credit for, and even a minor leak can turn into a costly and time-consuming property issue. When it affects a business, water can destroy important documents, expensive equipment and office furniture, not to mention the building itself. For this reason, business owners should invest in a sound business policy that covers perils such as water damage.
What To Look for in Your Commercial Insurance Policy
Most commercial insurance policies for water loss cover damages caused by burst or broken pipes and gradual leaks. Unfortunately, many policies contain exclusions, which you want to be aware of so that you can ensure you are covered for the appropriate risks. Some exclusions to look out for include the following:
- Concurrent causation
- Backup of sewer or drains
- Water damage from storms
Unfortunately, many business insurance policies require business owners to carry a ride-on policy for each of the four aforementioned perils.
Why It's Worth Your Money To Add Ride-On Policies
While ride-on policies may cost a bit more to purchase, they are well worth the extra cost. Water damage is not limited to the pipes or surrounding areas. If left untreated, water can result in damage to the carpets, inventory and the overall structure of the building. Moreover, water can result in mold and corrosion, two issues in and of themselves that are costly to remediate. Then there is the cost of water cleanup. Depending on which Conroe,TX, water remediation team you hire and the extent of damage, the cost of cleanup can cost anywhere from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars.
It is true that commercial disaster insurance can be costly, but the truth is that the cost of coverage is far less than that of remediation. If your building does happen to be subject to water damage, you will discover that your monthly premiums more than pay for themselves.
When You Need More Than a Sump Pump
Flooded business after storm in The Woodlands, TX
Your basement’s sump pump is perfect to keep out excess water in most situations, but it is not a heavy lifter. It can handle a burst pipe or a little rainwater, but it is no match for the problems that come with storm related flooding in The Woodlands,TX .
Here are the top four reasons this equipment fails:
- Mechanical or design failure. This can include poor installation of the pump and drainage system, or just the wrong size pump for your space. Clogs and freezing can also cause mechanical failures.
- No electricity. When the whole neighborhood loses electricity in a storm, your pump isn’t going to be removing anything until power is restored.
- Too much water. Water over your knees is too much volume for the average basement pump and drainage system.
- Debris in the water. A sump pump is easily clogged by the heavy debris and soil that come with storm flooding.
So what do you do when you have a flood and need to remove more than 2 feet of contaminated water from your basement? You really need multiple types of reliable machines to help you remove water fast. Fortunately, that’s one of the many benefits of using a professional restoration company after a storm. They have all the necessary water removing equipment, including:
- Heavy vacuums and pumps for when you need to move a large amount of water. The most powerful of these are mounted on trucks, using long hoses to reach challenging places.
- An industrial-strength trash pump that can handle all the mud, sticks and rubbish that are hiding in flood water. Without the interruption of clogs, these play a critical role in speedy water removal.
With truck mounted equipment and alternative power sources, professional flood mitigators can drive to your home and start the job right away. Quick water removal will help prevent further damage and increase your chances of salvage and restoration.
Water Damage In Basement
Water damage can happen in any area of your home
Water damage can happen in any area of your home. However, the basement offers its own unique challenges when it comes to water in bacement. The most common type of water damage in the basement results from broken water pipes. The first step is to turn off the water at the main valve. You'll need to start cleaning up right away to prevent mold, mildew and bacteria from forming.
It is important that you remove rugs, furniture and other items that have gotten wet. Take them outdoors where they can completely dry in the sun. Use a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner that is made especially for water cleanup. A submersible pump is a good tool to use if you can rent one. Use a powerful fan to finish drying the room.
Choose a professional water restoration company if you don't have the time to tackle the job on your own. These types of companies have both the experience and the equipment to remove the water in basement. Call your insurance agent to see if your policy will cover water or flood damage. Water can seem behind walls and other places where major damage can occur.
A professional restoration company will likely be available 24 hours a day. Water damage in the basement can also cause structural damage. If this is the case, it will cost a lot more money than simply hiring a restoration expert. Underground water seepage can cause the surrounding ground to shift. Evidence of this type of damage is found with cracks along the walls and ceilings.
Don't hire a carpet cleaning service to restore your basement. They may not have the experience, education or skill to complete the job right. Instead, look in your local yellow pages for an actual fire and water restoration company. Pay careful attention to the contract before you sign it. Most restoration companies will guarantee their work.
Floods and water emergencies can happen to any homeowner. Be prepared for this type of emergency by choosing experts before you need them. A water emergency can occur in your utility room where your washer and dryer is found. Other common places include the dishwasher, refrigerator with ice maker and pipes underneath the house.
Know where your water main cutoff is located before an emergency. Turning off the water will prevent further damage while you wait for a professional restoration company to come to your home. SERVPRO of The Woodlands/Conroe Professionals provide fire and water damage restoration services. We are available 24 hours/7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure caused by
3 Ways To Say Goodbye To Shower Mold
Mold damage in a Rayford, TX home
Mold and mildew love warm, damp locations like your bathtub in Rayford,TX . However, you do not share the same loving feelings for shower mold as it does for your tub. Bid farewell to your moldy foe with these three tips below.
1. Use common household supplies to clean mildew.
Mildew is an early stage of mold growth that typically grows on smooth surfaces like your shower walls. If you notice a small amount of flat yellow, brown or black growth in your tub there are steps you can take to eradicate it with supplies you have on hand. Try using a cleaning paste made with baking soda and liquid soap. If that does not work, spray the section with a water and bleach combination. Once dry, scrub and rinse. Alternatively, apply full strength vinegar and allow to sit for an hour, rinse and dry.
2. Prevent future shower mold from growing.
The best solution is often prevention. Use a vinegar spray after a shower to stop mold from growing. Since mold and mildew love humid conditions, use a household dehumidifier. Turn on a fan or open a window in the bathroom to increase ventilation during and after showers. Clean the shower walls more frequently especially if you notice some mildew starting to form.
3. Know when to hire a professional.
You should not attempt to remove moldy areas greater than ten square feet, or if the mold from the shower walls extends to ceilings, drywall or flooring. Mold spreads very rapidly and portions may be hidden from sight. A rotting, musty smell may indicate the presence of black mold as well. For these instances, a mold restoration specialist is trained on the proper steps to take to safely and effectively remediate the mold.
When shower mold wants to move into your home in Rayford,TX , send it packing by following the three steps above.
You’ve Had a Fire: Now What?
Fire damage in Shenandoah, TX
Despite your best efforts and preparation, sometimes disaster strikes. Even minor incidents can interrupt your business and daily affairs. If you’ve experienced significant damage at your office, you’re facing a lot of stress and uncertainty. Luckily, if you hire the right fire restoration professionals, you can have peace of mind and confidence.
Call a Specialist
Cleaning up after a fire in your Shenandoah, TX, office is a job you don’t want to trust to just anyone. You certainly don’t want to tackle it on your own. A qualified restoration professional has the skills and tools to thoroughly clean and restore your office. Look for these qualities:
- Experience. You want a team that has been in business for several years.
- Responsiveness. Time is of the essence, so you want a company that will act quickly.
- Comprehensive. The best companies have a top-to-bottom comprehensive process.
Call Your Insurance Company
If you have fire insurance coverage, you should get in touch with your agent immediately. Document the extent of the damage to your office. Take photos and make any notes about where the fire started (if you know) and what areas were affected.
Once the fire restoration team arrives at your office, the specialists will inspect what areas were damaged and how severe it was. The team will make a plan to determine what tools and resources it will need to efficiently complete the job.
Smoke cleaning and removing smoke odors is a major part of the restoration process. The cleanup team will bring heavy-duty equipment to get rid of these odors and to ensure you can safely return to work.
The team will next tear out carpet, drywall and other damaged materials. Specialists will then rebuild where necessary so your office space looks as good as new.
When you take the right steps and hire the best professionals, the fire restoration process can help you get back to work in a timely manner. You can also breathe a sigh of relief knowing you once again have a safe environment where you and your employees can work.
Understanding “Black Water” From Storm Flooding
Flooded business by backed up sewer and drain in Conroe, TX
Storms in Conroe, TX can quickly overwhelm local bodies of water and cause severe, unexpected flooding. What does it mean when someone uses the term “black water” to describe a flood? Is this just plumber lingo or a casual description? In fact, it is a commonly used term in the insurance industry. It doesn’t have anything to do with the color of water and is used to describe one of three categories of flood water:
- Category 1- “clean water”
- Category 2- “gray water”
- Category 3- “black water”
As the names indicate, the categories are defined by progressively more contaminated states. Some water, like that from sewage spills, starts as Category 3 but may be recategorized due to exposure of time, temperature or direct contamination from additional elements.
Why Are Storm Floods Considered “Black Water?”
As you probably concluded already, Category 3 floods are unsafe for human exposure and may include the following contaminants:
- Chemical hazards
Local flood water is considered Category 3 water because rivers, lakes and seas naturally contain some of these contaminants and may also be exposed to these elements during the storm event.
What Can You Do About Category 3 Water?
Category 3 water should be mitigated as quickly as possible to reduce damage of your building and materials, and to prevent subsequent problems such as the development of mold. It’s important to remove flood water as quickly as possible because the wet environment is a breeding ground for mold, which can begin to reproduce in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
After storm damage, it’s important to find the right company to help get your building back to normal. A good remediation and restoration company will respond quickly to begin water removal and drying, and be able to handle the entire restoration process. When Category 3 water is involved, it is critical to have knowledgeable and experienced professionals that know what must be disposed of and how to clean what may be saved.
Four Steps to Determining Whether You Can Save Your Carpet
Air remover after water damage on basement in The Woodlands, TX
One of the most common questions asked after flooding in The Woodlands, TX, is, "Does my carpet have to be replaced?" After your home has been affected by a pipe break, you'll need to handle some repairs and assessments before you can determine whether the carpet can stay.
Step One: Contact a Professional
There are many reasons to work with a restoration professional immediately. These experts have the equipment best suited to facilitating a quick and comprehensive recovery from flooding. In many cases, your insurance company may prefer that you work with professionals and may not provide coverage if you didn't respond to the pipe break appropriately. Water damage restoration professionals can provide you with expert advice concerning water exposure to your home and furnishings.
Step Two: Consider the Length of Exposure
If the materials and furnishings in your home have been wet for more than 72 hours, it is probably best to replace porous items. For example, any padding under your flooring could be harboring mold spores. It is very difficult to thoroughly dry and clean padding, so it will also need to be replaced.
Step Three: Identify the Type of Flood Water
Did the water come from an interior pipe or did it back up from the sewage system? If the water came from a clean water source, such as a kitchen sink, there's much less risk than if contaminated water affected your home. If you aren't certain in your assessment of the type of water, ask a qualified professional for testing.
Step Four: Carefully Weigh Your Options
As restoration options are presented to you, consider time, inconvenience, cost, and safety. For example, if you have to replace the padding, you may need to spend a lot of time carefully removing the carpet so that you don't damage it. Before you handle either, you'll need to be sure you aren't exposing your home or family to mold and contaminants.
Experts in The Woodlands, TX, are available to provide answers and advice. It's generally best to call them immediately after discovering your home has been affected by a pipe break.
The Three Ds of Flood Cleaning
What are the cleaning requirements after a flood? You hear that flood water is contaminated, full of pathogens that are harmful to your family. How do you know what you must throw away and what you can sanitize? Look to the three D's of flood cleaning: dispose, disinfect and dry. Here is a brief guide for each.
Follow local guidelines in The Woodlands, TX for waste disposal. If garbage service is not yet running, you can bury contaminated food about four feet deep to keep the odor away. You should dispose of the following items:
• Throw away any food, even canned or sealed, that has been in contact with flood water.
• Throw away food from your fridge if power has been off for more than 2 hours.
• Don't use any garden produce that remains after a flood.
• Discard dishes with cracks, as well as any plastic or wooden kitchen items.
• Submerged drywall may need to be replaced.
• Dispose of carpet padding.
Cleaning requirements to properly disinfect your personal items vary depending on what materials are being cleaned. For most disinfecting, use one cup of bleach to one gallon of water to make items from the flood clean again.
• Use bleach mixture to spray structural materials and personal items that were contaminated, rinse with clean water and dry.
• Disinfect kitchenware and appliances by using hot soapy water, scrubbing to remove solids, then rinsing with disinfected water. Make sure appliances are unplugged and taken apart.
A flood disinfectant effort isn't complete without proper drying. Professional flood remediators have powerful equipment to help accelerate the drying process and ensure that it is thorough. You should start the drying process right away to help prevent permanent damage or the development of mold.
• If power is back on, turn on fans and air conditioner to assist with drying until help arrives.
• Hang rugs and remove cushions to put them in a better area for drying.
• Remove carpet and dry outside after cleaning.
Trained restoration professionals can recognize what can be saved and what must be disposed of. They are trained in the proper cleaning requirements for each kind of material. Visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com/ for more information on storm damage.
When Should I Clean My Dryer Vent?
When you clean the lint trap of your dryer after a load of laundry, you are removing pieces of the fabric that was just dried. As the clothing tosses to-and-fro within the drum, small bits of fabric often rub off because of the friction created when the materials brush against one another. Some of the bits of fabric often slip through the lint trap and can collect in the dryer exhaust tubing. Over time, the fluff can build up and become a hazard because a lint fire can start using the highly-combustible fabric bits and the tiniest of sparks.
To prevent lint fire damage caused by overheated combustible lint, the dryer venting system should be regularly inspected. Although it is often difficult to know when to clean the vent, here are some helpful hints that can act as red flags:
Airflow does not move easily through the tubing.
Vent hoses have kinks or holes.
An abnormal amount of lint begins to accumulate in the lint trap.
Dryer vent has not been cleaned in over a year.
Another sign that your vent may need cleaning is if the time it takes to dry your clothing changes significantly or if the body of the dryer becomes excessively hot. When the heat becomes extreme, the chances of a fire can grow. That is why dryer obstructions, even minor issues, can cause serious problems and possibly lead to a dryer fire.
If a fire does break out in your laundry room, contact a fire damage restoration team. Not only can the professionals inspect the fire-damaged area, but they can also remove the water, smoke, and soot within the room. Once cleaning has been completed, the team can also help remove the smoke odor that can linger long after the fire-damaged area has been restored. A lint fire does not have to leave your home in The Woodlands, TX in shambles; a team of experts can quickly restore the area. Visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com/ for more information on fire damage.
Why Does Mold Keep Coming Back?
The quick, and accurate, answer to repeated mold growth is water trouble. Knowing this, however, doesn't always help you prevent further growth and contamination, especially after repeated growth in the area. You shouldn't be too hard on yourself; mold is well-known for cropping up again in the same spot. This is especially true when you've had water damage on your The Woodlands, TX property.
The Reasons for the Return
Certain properties of mold can help you understand why it keeps coming back:
• Most molds aren't harmful. These organisms exist everywhere, inside and outside. Most of the time, molds aren't dangerous and are often helpful. However, certain types, such as black mold, can be unsightly and costly.
• Molds are fungi. They reproduce by spreading spores. To facilitate colony growth and the spread of spores, thread-like hyphae (branching filaments of mold) release enzymes and spores. If a hypha is detached from the rest of the colony, it can begin to take root and establish a new colony on a new surface.
• Mold is microscopic. This means it can get into places that you may not think possible. It also makes it very hard for you to clean mold completely with a spray solution and scrubbing. For example, you probably can't access both sides of the drywall, but when there's high humidity, this is an ideal location for mold growth.
• Mold grows quickly. Whether spores are carried into an area through the ductwork or hyphae have broken off and transferred to a new surface, it only takes 24 to 48 hours for a new colony to take hold.
Prevention and Remediation
The best route for water damage restoration is to work with a professional and prevent water damage. Inspect your property for any leaking pipes or faucets, install a dehumidifier, and keep the property well-ventilated. Any fabrics that get wet often, such as towels, washrags, and coats, should be hung where they can dry completely.
When you don't know what else to try, contact a professional. These The Woodlands, TX experts can handle problems in inaccessible areas, locate areas of moisture you couldn't find, and provide education for further prevention of mold. Visit http://www.SERVPROthewoodlandsconroe.com/ for more information on mold.