Steps to Take when Making a Flood Damage Claim
If you have flood insurance, there are steps that you should take as soon as possible to file a flood claim.
Procedures To Follow When Filing A Flood Damage Claim
Dealing with flood damage in Dixieland, FL, is stressful. Whether you had inches or feet of flooding, not only are you dealing with ruined items, but you may also have to find a place to live for a while. If you have flood insurance, there are steps that you should take as soon as possible to file a flood claim.
1. Report the Flooding to Your Insurance Company
The first part of filing an insurance claim is to report the loss to your insurance company in writing, although you should also call them right away to let them know you will be filing. The faster you do this, the quicker you will receive compensation to replace what is lost.
2. Get Ready for the Flood Claim Inspection
Document the damage with as much detail as possible. Take pictures and videos of everything that will need to be fixed or replaced. Some things, like perishable food, you will need to throw away, but make sure you document the damage with pictures first.
3. Discuss Details with the Adjuster
When the adjuster comes by to conduct the inspection, show them the evidence of the damage and losses. More than likely, you will need cleanup help from a professional restoration service. Before signing a contract, consult with the adjuster or insurance company. Give the adjuster your current contact information if you are staying someplace else while work is being done on your home. After inspection of the home, pictures and videos, the adjuster will be able to give you a more accurate estimate of your flood loss.
Experiencing flooding of your residence is never fun, and it can result in major damage, not only to the home's structure, flooring and furnishing, but also to the electrical and HVAC systems. When filing your flood claim, make sure the estimate includes the repair of everything as well as clean up.
3 Ways FEMA Can Help You After a Storm
While repairing and rebuilding your home after a storm is your number one priority, you'll find that you need help with other areas, too.
FEMA Can Assist You In 3 Ways After A Storm
Dealing with the aftermath of a devastating storm can be overwhelming. The wind likely broke your windows, and the flooding destroyed your home and belongings, and you might be unsure how to proceed. FEMA is a government-funded organization that helps people in your situation. Here are three ways they can help you after a storm.
1. Help Pay Repair Costs Not Covered by Flood Insurance
Experts advise that the first thing you do after your home in South Lakeland, FL, floods, is to file an insurance claim and then file for emergency assistance. Depending on your insurance policy, you might find that all of your storm damage restoration costs aren't covered, and the emergency agency helps cover your additional costs. The FEMA representative handling your case will need to see the declaration page from your insurance and proof of your claim, so you'll want to have those items ready when you contact them.
2. Help Pay for Personal Expenses
While repairing and rebuilding your home after a storm is your number one priority, you'll find that you need help with other areas, too. Whether you lost your wheelchair in the storm or need assistance with child care or moving expenses, ask for help paying those expenses when you file your emergency assistance claim. Your representative will go over a checklist of expenses with you to ensure that nothing is missed. The agency will also help you get reimbursed for equipment you purchased to clean up your property after the squall, such as chain saws and generators.
3. Help Pay for Living Expenses
If your house is unlivable after a storm, you'll need somewhere to go. FEMA will work with you to reimburse the costs of staying in a hotel or short-term rental and any associated taxes. Because they don't pay the expenses upfront, you will want to remember to keep track of all receipts and bills that you pay for your living situation.
Even though your life might be temporarily thrown into upheaval after a major storm, relying on government assistance can help you easily sail through the aftermath.
How Fast Mold Can Grow After a Leak or Flood
Often mold problems occur when moisture accumulates from very high indoor air humidity. Call SERVPRO when you need it.
How Quickly Mold Can Grow Following A Leak Or Flood
Mold spores are microscopic organisms in the air. They can be found almost anywhere. Mold growth is very common after water damage as it is difficult to clean and dry things fast enough. Mold can occur in as little as 24 to 48 hours when mold spores find the right environment. If you suspect your building in Griffin, FL, has become infected with mold, you should conduct a mold inspection.
Where Mold Can Grow
All mold needs to thrive is warm, moist air and some sort of organic material for the spores to digest. Mold can grow on almost any damp porous or pulpy surface:
- Ceiling tiles
Mold is often discovered after leaks and floods. It is left behind by water damage that is not cleaned quickly and efficiently enough.
What You Can Do
Addressing any leaks and floods as soon as possible can help mitigate the damage from mold. Invest in a good filtration system to lessen the amount of mold spores in the air. A quality ventilation system could help to expel excess moisture. You could also take proactive steps in mold prevention by using mold-resistant building products. Both mold-resistant drywall and moisture-resistant drywall are excellent options to consider for areas that will frequently be exposed to high humidity such as bathrooms and laundry rooms.
There are different types of paints that contain mold inhibitors.
Either during initial construction or during any process of rebuilding, look into what building products currently exist on the market to help in the prevention of mold. After a water loss like a leak or flood, the focus is often on cleaning and drying what you can immediately see.
Water damage often leads to mold just below the surface of many organic materials. If you suspect mold growth but have not been able to locate it through a self-inspection, consider consulting mold remediation specialists who can use professional equipment to conduct a more intensive search.
What To Know About Water Damage and Homeowners' Insurance
Call SERVPRO, we are located close by and ready to respond to your water damage emergency, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Water Damage and Homeowners' Insurance: What You Should Know
You may expect that your homeowners' insurance will cover any water damage claim you make. However, that is not the case. Insurance does pay for professional restoration services following a sudden emergency such as bursting pipes. However, other types of losses may be excluded from coverage. Before you make a claim with your insurance provider, you should know which emergencies are included in a typical policy.
As its name implies, gradual damage occurs over time. Water losses typically fall into these categories. That is because much of your plumbing system is hidden behind walls and floors. It could take weeks or months for the problem to become visible. Some examples of gradual damage include:
- Rot and corrosion
- Consistently leaking pipes or faucets
- Foundation cracks that allow water to enter your home
Homeowners' insurance usually excludes losses that result from gradual damage. However, you should check your policy or talk to your adjuster to find out the specifics of your coverage.
There are some exceptions to the gradual damage exclusion, as well. Insurance does not pay for the cost to fix broken pipe. Yet the coverage should include any harm caused by bursting pipes. This is called resulting damage. The same is true for malfunctioning washing machines or water heaters.
Sudden damage, meanwhile, occurs when there is an unexpected discharge of water into your Polk County, FL, home. This could result from cracks in your hot water heater or excessive snow and sleet crushing your roof. If this accident was not caused by your negligence, it should be covered under your insurance policy.
Insurance usually does not pay for costs related to gradual damage. It thus will not help you replace broken pipes that have been leaking for a long time. Your policy may cover the harm caused by bursting pipes, however. Any sudden and accidental discharges of water should also be included.
How To Keep Your Gas Grill Clean
A grill cleaning also reduces the chance that you will start a fire at your home.
How To Maintain The Cleanliness Of Your Gas Grill
Keeping your gas grill clean will extend its life and keep it working well. A grill cleaning also reduces the chance that you will start a fire at your home in North Lakeland, FL. Call a fire restoration service if you need help with repairs after a fire.
Steps To Keep Your Grill Clean After Each Use
There are a few steps you should follow every time you use your grill.
Burn the food off by keeping the grill on high for 15 minutes after you have cooked your food. This turns any food residue into ash, which is easier to clean. Turn off the grill and allow it to cool until it is moderately warm.
While still warm, scrub the grates with a steel brush. If you have difficulty removing the ash particles, remove the grates and soak them in warm, sudsy water for a few minutes. Make sure to rinse and dry them thoroughly before putting them back in place.
Lightly spray the grates with vegetable oil to prevent them from rusting.
Maintenance Procedures To Perform Periodically
Set up a grill maintenance schedule for a few additional steps. This grill cleaning frequency depends on how often you use your grill.
The burner protectors keep grease and dirt away from the burners. To avoid a grease fire, the protectors should be cleaned every few times you use the grill. Remove them and soak in warm, soapy water. Rinse and dry before putting them back in place.
The burners are located under the burner protectors. Take a soapy sponge and clean off the burners. Then rinse them with a wet rag. The plates, located under the burners, can be pulled out between the burners and cleaned with the grill brush. Below the burners and plates is the bottom tray. Clean this with the grill brush every month or so during grilling season.
A grill cleaning will keep your grill working well for many years.
The Secret To Speedy Disaster Response
SERVPRO is dedicated to responding quickly to disasters of any size, we have the training, equipment and experience to meet your restoration needs.
The Key To Quick Disaster Response
The disaster response capabilities of a national company with a network of over 1,700 franchises surpass those of any independent restoration company. Independent firms lack the personnel and equipment necessary to respond to large losses in Lakeland, FL. Property owners and insurers can benefit from the resources of a restoration company that is Faster to Any Size Disaster.
Contact Skilled Professionals Located Nearby
It is important to act quickly after a disaster, but hiring the wrong firm can set back restoration efforts from the start. A property owner who plans to make an insurance claim should hire a service that has the following credentials:
- Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and
- Restoration Certification
- Preferred Vendor status
- Response rates under 24 hours
A restoration company connected to many other franchises across North America offers the best experts and equipment. Insurers are also more likely to cover claims based on estimates from a trusted service.
Depend On Restoration Network Resources
In the event of a large-scale loss that affects many properties, it is imperative to rely on a service that is Faster to Any Size Disaster. Independent companies may not have sufficient trained employees or specialized equipment to deal with time-sensitive damage affecting many locations.
Rely On a Single Service From Start To Finish
Hiring separate independent services to mitigate, clean and restore damage is another mistake some property owners make. These services lack the clear lines of communication that are present in a franchise that provides all of these services and has the ability to rely on other franchises that are located in the same region.
When a property owner realizes all of the advantages a large company offers to a franchise located in Lakeland, FL, it makes sense to rely on a service that is Faster to Any Size Disaster. This corporate structure empowers franchises to provide service that meets industry-leading standards.
What Is Business Interruption Insurance?
Unlike property insurance, which covers undetermined costs like hiring a storm remediation company, interruption coverage is easier to calculate.
What Exactly Is Business Interruption Coverage?
Running a business is tough when you don't have the right insurance. A coverage option that business owners must have is interruption insurance. This is designed to help cover income loss while you rebuild your livelihood.
What Does It Cover?
Unlike property insurance, this will not cover costs associated with your rebuild in Griffin, FL. Instead, it will cover operating expenses, such as:
- Mortgage, rent, or lease payments
- Loan payments
- Relocation costs
- Extra expenses
- Training costs
What Is a Restoration Period?
Your restoration period is the time that you can receive benefits from your interruption policy. Generally, it takes two or three days for your period to start. Typically, it lasts long enough for you to rebuild your business.
How Much Coverage Do You Need?
Every policy has a specified coverage limit. The limit is the maximum amount of money you can receive from filing a claim. Unlike property insurance, which covers undetermined costs like hiring a storm remediation company, interruption coverage is easier to calculate. You can calculate appropriate coverage based on your regular gross earnings. Keep in mind that any costs going over your policy limit will need to be paid for by you, so it is better to estimate growth rather than be left without funds.
What Does It Cost?
Each policy has a unique cost. Typically, it depends on your industry, employee numbers, and the coverage you need.
What Are the Exclusions?
This type of insurance is designed to support the income of a closed business. It does not cover damaged items, flood damage, undocumented income, utilities, and communicable disease-related shutdowns.
If a disaster happens, business interruption insurance can protect you and your company. It is a good way for small businesses to protect themself financially. It does this by offering a source of income when a business is shut down. However, it does not cover any damage directly related to a disaster.
3 Tips for Troubleshooting Your Building's Irrigation System
Troubleshooting an irrigation system is simple if you have some knowledge and the assurance that a professional is nearby if any water damage occurs.
3 Troubleshooting Tips For Your Building's Irrigation System
Is your building in Dixieland, FL, having troubles with the irrigation system? Whether it's a leaking sprinkler head or one that won't turn on at all, a sprinkler system is a hassle at times. Luckily, there are a few steps to take to troubleshoot your system.
1. Monitor the Symptoms
The best way to begin to diagnose your issue is to observe what is happening in your system. Determine if only a few sprinkler heads aren't working or if it affects a large number of them. Monitor for low water pressure or sputtering heads. Also, keep an eye out for leaks and figure out if the leaks are close or far from the main valve. Having this information ready for when a technician comes helps to expedite the repair process and therefore save you money.
2. Inspect the Area
Some issues might be obvious enough that it's not worth hiring an irrigation system technician. Take time to inspect the heads of your sprinklers and look for any damages or issues. Often, the plastic on the heads is damaged by lawncare or foot traffic. Keep an eye out for any mud or other debris on the heads, too. Both of these issues cause an uneven flow of water.
3. Call a Professional
While irrigation problems are frustrating, a water leak or flood in your lawn or building is a much bigger issue. If you are experiencing any leaks or possible damages, it's best to call in a water damage cleanup and restoration specialist to assess and take care of any issues. A pro uses specialized equipment to detect any hidden moisture, mold, or other issues.
Most experts also have tools designed to dry your property while minimizing any further damages.Troubleshooting an irrigation system is easy with some knowledge under your belt and the reassurance that a professional is near if any water damages occur.
3 Reasons To Buy Flood Insurance
Flooding is a common problem that can cause serious damage. Therefore, flood insurance is a good idea for any business owner.
Three Reasons To Purchase Flood Insurance
Even though it is not required, a flood policy is a good idea for business owners in Lakeland, FL. You can get good policies through both the government and private companies. If you're on the fence about this type of coverage, here are some reasons you should purchase it.
1. It Is Affordable
Floods can do serious damage to any business. When you tally up the damage done and the cost of hiring a storm restoration company to fix it, floods are very costly. Unfortunately, this is not covered by standard commercial insurance. Considering the amount you would have to pay to fix flood damage, the cost of having a special policy doesn't seem too expensive. Plus, most businesses can get a policy for less than they expect. This is especially true when you can add flood coverage to your standard property insurance.
2. Every Property Is at Risk
The property maps created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency are an estimate of where flooding will occur based on past conditions. However, even low-risk zones still have a decent chance of flooding. Instead of marking you as safe from a flood, placing your business in a low-risk zone lets you add flood coverage to your commercial insurance for less.
3. Flood Damage Is Catastrophic
Flooding is a common side effect of many natural disasters and storms. In fact, it results in billions of dollars of damage each year. Your business alone could end up with thousands of dollars in repairs that are not covered under a standard commercial insurance policy.
Flooding is a common issue that can do serious damage. The results of this disaster are costly to repair. Even though the FEMA maps mark some areas as low-risk, this does not mean businesses in these regions are clear of flooding. Therefore, flood insurance is a good idea for any business owner.
The 4 Types of Water Damage and Why Pretesting Is Necessary
Does your home have water damage? This is no problem for our team! Our technicians are well versed in their areas of expertise. Call us!
The 4 Types Of Water Damage And The Importance Of Pre-Testing
Water damage presents an interesting problem because there are different levels of severity not only to the damage inflicted but also the type of water that caused the problem. There are three basic water types and four levels of classifications to those types. The kind of water can drastically reduce or increase the costs of restoration and the claim filed. For that reason, pretesting is essential to the water mitigation process as it provides an appropriate category and classification.
Clean water, or category one, is the least concerning. This water comes from a clean source and poses no real threat to your health. This level of water damage is the least costly type of insurance claim. However, it is important to note that failure to act fast may result in the water becoming contaminated by other sources or items, thereby escalating classification and possibly category.
If pretesting concludes that the water is gray, or category two, that means there is significant contamination. There are elements of both chemical and biological matter found in this category, meaning that the water has the potential to make you ill if touched or consumed.
3. Category three
An insurance agent and company will likely instruct you to hire a disaster restoration specialist in the Lakeland, FL, area to remove and repair category three, water. This water is considered dangerous.
Water categorization and classification is an interesting and necessary process, especially in regards to insurance claims. Without having an accurate understanding of the level of contamination, it can be challenging to make an appropriate claim.
Pretesting helps identify the category and level of damage to your home. This early identification means that the claim you make to your insurer is accurate, accounting for the level of loss and restoration that is expected.