What Is and Is Not Covered by Renters Insurance After a Fire?
Fire restoration in a East Ridge, TN home
If a fire occurs in your home in East Ridge, TN, it’s common to feel overwhelmed and not know what to do next. Not understanding what your renters insurance covers can add to your stress. However, once you know what is covered, it can be easier to start restoring your home.
1. Items in Your Home
Even smaller fires can destroy valuable personal items within your home. Regardless of the cause of the fire, the majority of the items in your home should be covered. Make sure to check your policy and speak with someone at your insurance company to find out if you can receive compensation to replace the items you lost. This differs from receiving the actual cash value of your items, which may include decades-old furniture whose value has depreciated.
2. Temporary Housing
The process of fire restoration can often be time-consuming, and it’s important not to put yourself at risk by staying in an unsafe home. The cost of temporary housing can quickly become expensive as you stay somewhere that is safe and clean. Luckily, your renters insurance should cover the cost of your temporary housing. Wherever you stay while your home is being inspected and restored, keep any receipts or other pieces of documentation to show the cost of your housing.
3. Home’s Structure
Regardless of the cause of the fire, if the structure of your rental home has sustained fire damage, this is not covered by insurance. Insurance may cover what was inside the home, but you as the renter will likely be responsible for the cost of the home’s structure. Speaking with your insurance company may help you understand steps you can take to insure the cost of the home itself.
Knowing what costs your renters insurance will cover can allow you to begin the restoration process sooner. When you are repairing your home, it can be smart to work with restoration professionals who have experience with homes that have been damaged by fires.
Should You Invest in Flood Insurance?
Commercial flood damage in Radmoor,TN
Natural disasters often happen without much advance notice, and the damage can be devastating. Fortunately, many types of damage caused by events, such as heavy winds or lightning strikes, are covered by your commercial property insurance, but what about problems such as:
- Blocked drainage systems
- Broken dams
- Overflowing rivers
- Heavy rains
Some types of disasters require special coverage. For example, you need a special insurance policy is you want protection from this type of water damage. Consider the following questions and answers to determine whether your business needs flood protection.
Q: Doesn't my existing policy cover floods?
A: No. Most commercial insurance policies do not coverage floods, even those caused by hurricanes and similar storms. You'll probably have to turn to a national flood insurance program to get the protection you need to recover after suffering extensive water damage. In many cases, you'll need to work closely with remediation specialists who understand the true depth and scope of flood damages.
Q: How can I determine whether I'm at risk for flooding?
A: There are many areas of the country that aren't at the same level of risk for flooding as others. Location is the top factor in determining whether your business is at high risk. Use an online flood map tool to measure the risk at your location. Consider other factors, such as which floor your business is on and where your inventory is stored.
Q: What does flood insurance cover?
A: It's important to understand that this type of coverage often doesn't protect you from all flood damages. This special insurance does typically cover damage to your building and the contents of your structure. The property outside of your building such as landscaping and business vehicles, may not be covered by this insurance. This insurance probably won't cover your losses due to business interruption.
If you live in a flood zone in Radmoor, TN, you may need the added protection of a flood insurance policy. Don't skimp when it comes to protecting your livelihood.
3 Factors That Affect the Cost of Water Damage in Your Home
Air movers on a water damage in a Ooltewah,TN nursing home
3 Factors That Affect the Cost of Water Damage in Your Home
Water damage is a common issue that many homeowners experience in Ooltewah, TN, and not knowing the cost of cleanup can make the experience more stressful. If your home is damaged by water, there are three factors that may impact the cost of the damage repair.
1. Size of Impacted Area
An average flood can affect many different areas in your home. Smaller spaces that have been affected by water damage are easier to clean, meaning you will likely pay less for the time and labor it takes to restore the area. However, if an entire area of your house is covered in several inches of water, it will take much longer to remove the water and clean the space.
2. Type of Water
The type of water in your home can drastically affect the cost of repairs. For example, if your basement water appears murky in color, this could indicate that the water is contaminated. Contaminated water is more difficult to clean due to the potentially hazardous materials within the water, whereas water that is clear can be cleaned with fewer safety precautions.
3. Structure of Home
The age of your home and the materials with which your house was built can affect the overall cost of cleanup. Older homes are more likely to experience a rapid breakdown of materials and therefore more structural damage, meaning that the cost of damage repair may be greater. Alternatively, homes that have been built more recently can better withstand water damage.
Knowing what will impact the final cost of water damage repair can help you be better prepared if your house is negatively affected by water. If your house has experienced flooding, it’s essential to seek out help from a company that specializes in water damage cleanup in order to get an accurate estimate of the cost and to identify long-term solutions.
Mold Damage Remediation Procedures In East Ridge
There are specific guidelines that professionals need to follow to properly clean it and prevent more molds from growing.
When you have a problem with mold in your home, you want a professional remediation company to take care of the issue, and you certainly don’t want to attempt to clean it yourself. There are specific guidelines that you need to follow to properly clean it and prevent more molds from growing again which only trained professionals would know.
At SERVPRO, our staff is fully trained and follows EPA guidelines for handling mold damage in East Ridge. The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, has guidelines on mold remediation. These guidelines were designed for schools and commercial buildings, but the recommendations they offer can also be followed for a residential mold contamination as well.
These EPA guidelines give a flowchart of key steps in mold remediation.
For procedures of remediation, EPA suggests:
- Clean and dry materials which are moldy
- Throw away moldy items which cannot be cleaned
- Dry items that are not moldy within 48 hours
Mold Remediation Standard
There are five principles of restoring mold-contaminated buildings which SERVPRO follows:
1. Provide for Health and Safety – Remediators need to protect the health of the workers and occupants. Some safety work practices stop workers from exposure as they disturb the mold while cleaning up. Other practices stop mold from spreading to clean areas.
2. Document Conditions and Processes – Remediators record conditions in the building like the extent of the damage and how much moisture saturation there is. After the remediation is complete, an independent indoor environmental professional could record that mold in the building is back to normal conditions.
3. Control the Mold Contaminant at Its Source – The goal is to keep mold contamination from becoming airborne and then spreading to clean areas. Putting negative air machines near drywall demolition, for example, lowers the amount of airborne mold which workers are exposed to and makes the process of getting rid of the mold more efficient.
4. Remove Contamination – After the mold has grown beyond normal levels, the best solution is to get rid of the excess mold. This could be done by physically removing damaged materials, by vacuuming excessive mold spores into HEPA filters, and by wiping surfaces that are soiled with detergents.
5. Fix the Moisture Problem – This is the key to handling mold. Stopping the source of moisture which started the mold growth in the first place is the goal. Even the best efforts of cleaning up the mold will not keep it from coming back if the building is still having moisture problems.
By following the above procedures, SERVPRO of South Chattanooga ensures they are doing a thorough job of mold remediation in your home. If you find mold in your house, give our staff a call right away at (423) 785-3200, so we can begin a plan for remediation as soon as possible.
Fire Damage: How to Maximize Recovery
Fire Damage in Chattanooga building.
A fire in a home or a fire in a business can cause devastating fire damage to property and personal belongings. In order to maximize the amount of value that can be recovered after such a disaster, a professional restoration company is usually called to take certain preventative steps to start the process of returning functionality to the property. Fire damage is fast and needs an equally fast response. In order to facilitate the most efficient fire cleanup, a restoration company is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week and should be contacted immediately.
Fire damage restoration begins with preventing any further damage to the property.
The foundation of a building after a fire in a home or a fire in a business can be compromised. Certain entry points like windows and doors must be boarded up. Weakened walls and roofs can also be boarded up for reinforcement. Sometimes, temporary walls and roofs are necessary while the restoration process is still under way. Commercial fire damage can often cause a normally busy business to be boarded up completely in order to prevent intruders from entering and causing further damage.
Because water is often necessary in firefighting, water damage is ironically quite common after extensive fire damage. It is important to dry out the property once it has been secured. A technician who specializes in using industrial equipment like water extractors and dehumidifiers will be instrumental in recovering the contents of a property that has undergone extensive fire damage. Fire damage restoration can only occur once all items in the building are dry.
Fire damage restoration of the contents of the property varies depending on the extent of the smoke damage and soot damage. Smoke smells permeate all fabrics and household textiles including curtains and carpets. These can be nearly impossible to remove without professional help due to how quickly soot settles into these textiles during a fire. Chemical counteractants used by technicians aid in removing smoke damage and soot damage from textiles. A heavy duty vacuum cleaner may also be employed in removing oily soot from carpet. Property owners will be given a quote by the restoration company, and they will work together to decide whether or not items are worth restoring.
Commercial fire damage can leave an undesirable smoke smell in the building, which requires thermal fogging to remove. This is the flooding of the property with a safe chemical that pushes out the smoke smell and reduces further smoke damage. A licensed technician can decide whether or not this is an appropriate technique to employ. An ozone treatment may also be employed if necessary.
Fire cleanup requires lots of disposal of debris. A true professional fire cleanup team will inventory and discuss all items that can possibly be restored. The sooner this is decided upon, the greater the chance the items can be restored fully to their pre-fire status. Soot damage settles in within minutes and worsens with time, so discussing options immediately is a good idea. Commercial fire damage can ruin carpets permanently if soot damage is allowed to settle in for longer than a day. A fire in a home or a fire in a business should be evaluated for damage immediately after firefighters have succeeded in putting it out.
Fire damage restoration following a fire in a home or a fire in a business is a good idea if a restoration company is contacted immediately. The assessment of the fire as well as an evaluation of the chances of recovery from smoke damage can greatly increase the amount of value that can be recovered. Once the property has been properly boarded up, fire cleanup can begin immediately to reduce further commercial fire damage and maximize recovery of the contents of the property. The process continues until the last of the smoke smell is gone, and the property is once again fully usable.
Old Property, New Tricks: Plumbing Maintenance
Water damage to drywall in an East Ridgeside, TN home
Consistent, timely maintenance is important in any rental property to keep tenants happy and keep your building structurally sound. Older buildings tend to have more plumbing problems than new buildings, particularly if they were outfitted with polybutylene pipes. Therefore, you must be even more vigilant if you own a building in East Ridgeside, TN, that was not just constructed. Here are some helpful maintenance tips.
Most clogs are caused by an individual blockage in a particular unit. Maintenance is generally not difficult on these clogs. You should keep a few things on hand to help you fix the problem:
- Drain auger (also known as a snake)
- Enzyme treatment
Most clogs can be loosened with an auger or plunger. The auger grabs the material clogging the drain and pulls it out while the plunger uses air pressure to force the clog through the pipe. If you notice recurring problems in the same unit, a monthly enzyme treatment may be helpful. If the clog causes the unit to flood, you may also need professional remediation services.
Old pipes made of polybutylene tend to flake and deteriorate the more they are exposed to the chemicals used to make water clean. This is partially why builders stopped using them in the late 1990s. If your rental property has these kinds of pipes, you may need to replace them at some point so that you don't keep having leaks that could cause severe water damage to your building. Other problems to look for are the roots of established trees. They tend to break pipes as they grow. A root killer flushed down a toilet twice a year can kill the roots that are encroaching upon your pipes without harming the tree itself.
Whether you are dealing with issues resulting from faulty polybutylene pipes or the third instance of a clogged sink from the same unit, it's important to acknowledge that older properties come with their quirks. Most of the quirks are manageable, however, if you stay on top of your maintenance routine.
Honey, the Sewer’s Backing up Again: The Three Main Reasons for Sewage Backups
A flooded basement would be a nightmare for most homeowners, and not just because of the damaged belongings and lost memories. A flood brings about many concerns, primarily when the cause is a sewer backing up. The beautiful thing is that a backup is preventable, especially when you know the leading reasons for them developing in the first place.
The number one cause of a sewer line backup is a blockage stemming from household items. These items can be anything from feminine products, non-flushable paper products, and even grease. Grease is a biggie. Many people assume that because oil is a liquid after cooking that it remains a liquid, but it doesn’t. Oil and fat solidify when cooled and even expand, causing buildup and eventual blockage in your pipes.
Tree roots have caused many a flooded basement because roots expand where the most moisture is, and if there happens to be any flaw in your waistline pipes, roots will take advantage of it, growing into and eventually blocking the flow and causing a backup. Many people think that roots are not dense enough to break through pipes, but old clay pipes often have disparities that make it easier for dense root systems to take advantage.
The third most likely reason for a sewage backup is a collapse in the line. A line collapse most often occurs in old, decaying clay pipes, and is usually exacerbated by other external elements like tree roots. While there are things you can do to prevent and resolve blockages, a line collapse will typically require a restoration or plumbing professional from Chattanooga, TN.
A flooded basement, especially one caused by a sewage backup, is never any fun, creating both a financial burden as well as a sentimental nightmare. Fortunately, this type of issue is preventable when you know the most common causes because you can change your habits and perform the necessary inspections to ensure that your basement stays as dry as it should.
How To Clean Mold Odor in a Washing Machine
Mold damage in Ridgeside, TN
Having a washing machine in your Ridgeside, TN, home can be a major convenience, especially if you have a large family. However, after all those loads of laundry, you might notice that your washed clothes and your utility or washroom has a strange, musty odor. This smell is usually due to mold that has built up on the drum of your washer and if it has become quite noticeable, there are a few ways to eliminate it.
Use Natural Products
While you might want to reach for your gallon of household bleach to get rid of the mold smell in your washer, this may not be the best solution. Not only is bleach water-based, which might feed the mold instead of killing it, bleach may be too harsh on the inside of your washer. Instead, you can use a variety of natural products that fight mold without damaging the inside of the machine, such as:
- Baking soda
- Distilled water
Foregoing bleach-based products can also help prevent their harsh odors from transferring onto your clothing after you clean the washer.
Prepare the Solution
Use an empty detergent container or other clean bottle to create a solution with the baking soda and distilled water. Use equal parts of each ingredient, up to half a cup of each, then swirl gently to mix. Then, add a few cups of white vinegar before you run a cycle of hot water through the washing machine. This should help kill any mold left behind by dirty laundry and moisture.
Follow Up With a Professional
Calling a mold damage and removal service to check your washer and laundry room is a wise choice once you know fungi is present. Cleanup techs can check the area for additional mold growth and offer you tips on how to prevent future problems.
The washing machine in your Ridgeside, TN, home can be a major asset to your family. Keeping it free of mold and musty odors may extend its life and leave your laundry smelling fresh and clean.
3 Types of Damage Your Business Can Suffer During a Fire
Air scrubber on a fire damage in an East Ridge, TN home
When you think of fire damage, you may picture flames, charred wood and warped furniture. While all of these are possible, a fire can cause other types of problems as well, especially those that occur at your East Ridge, TN, business. If you are facing the aftermath of a fire at your commercial building, there are several issues you might want to watch out for after the flames are doused.
Your building’s electrical system, including the fuse box and wireless components, can be badly damaged during a fire. Intense heat can warp or melt fuse relays, and the protective coating on wires and cables can melt away, leaving the insides exposed. Since these conditions can cause a secondary fire, it is wise to have an electrician inspect the building so repairs can be made.
You may not think of flooding in connection with a fire, but the water that comes from a fire hose is under pressure and sprays out in great amounts as firefighters battle the blaze. Afterward, damaged areas may be flooded with this water. Consider calling in a fire damage and restoration service to have any water drained away before it causes other problems, such as mold growth.
After a fire, smoke smells and soot usually permeate the walls and furniture inside your building. This can be especially problematic for any inventory you had stored in an area affected by the fire. Rooms suffering from both water damage and smoke odors may smell especially strong because of high humidity levels. You can ask your cleanup and restoration technicians about different cleaning techniques they have available and if any structures will have to be replaced.
Assessing fire damage at your East Ridge, TN, business after a blaze can be difficult. However, when you know what to look for, you may feel more confident about the restoration process and the eventual recovery of your company.
Tips for Successful Commercial Roof Maintenance
Storm damage in a Chattanooga, TN home
Roofing on your commercial property in Chattanooga, TN, has different maintenance needs than the typical residential roof. The flat, or low-slope, roof common to businesses are susceptible to specific types of roof damage during a storm or other weather event.
Common Types of Roof Damage
What type of damage is common on a flat roof?
- Ponding refers to an indent in the roof that can be caused by water accumulating due to compressed insulation or clogged drains. Signs of ponding include leaks, drooping ceilings, excessive debris in gutters, or foliage growing on the roof. In the worst-case scenario, your roof can collapse.
- Rainfall, continuous heat from the sun and buildup of pressure can cause a flat roof to crack or break.
• Age can cause the roof membrane to buckle, flashing to peel, or the asphalt to lose its elasticity.
Preventative Maintenance Steps
What maintenance steps help prevent significant storm or wind damage and extend the life of your roof?
- Twice a year, have a qualified professional inspect your roof for possible problems. This includes keeping an eye out for peeling edges, cracking roofing materials, or open flashing. Any problems should be repaired immediately. A storm restoration company can repair any water damage that has already occurred and may tarp the roof during the repairs to prevent further damage inside your property.
- Waterproof the roof. Sealing the roof can prevent cracking.
- Check and clean out the gutters or drainage system, especially after storms. A backup of debris can cause ponding on the roof.
- Prune trees around, or hanging over, the roof. During a storm, wind damage to the trees can cause them to fall on the roof.
Wind damage and roof damage do not have to put you out of business. Potentially avoid a full roof rebuild in Chattanooga, TN, by keeping an eye out for fixable problems and adhering to proper maintenance procedures throughout the life of your commercial roof.