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Does Your Homeowner's Insurance Cover Mold? What Every Buyer Needs To Know

7/29/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth in a residential home Mold growth found in a St James City, FL home.

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or looking for your forever home in St James City, FL, finding insurance with mold coverage probably isn't your top priority. However, fungus growth can damage surfaces like drywall and carpet. Mold remediation can be difficult and expensive. That’s why all buyers need to know if their homeowner's policy includes mold insurance.

What Do Insurers Cover?

Most insurers only cover mold cleanup when some other covered incident caused the mold to grow. The issue might be covered in some of the following cases:

  • Water from a busted pipe soaks your floor, drywall and insulation, causing mold to grow.
  • An extreme snowstorm damages your newly installed roof and the melting snow seeps into your attic and soaks the insulation.
  • A new heat pump leaks suddenly and fungus growth happens before you can make a claim.

What Isn’t Covered?
Mold caused by poor maintenance of your home and appliances is not covered. What about floods? Homeowner's policies typically do not cover flood damage, including mold. If you live in an area prone to flooding, you should explore flood insurance in addition to your homeowner's policy.

Can You Find Insurance That Covers Mold?
Before you buy homeowner's insurance, ask if the policy offers mold coverage. Some policies may offer limited coverage and some insurers may add coverage for an additional fee. If your insurance agency does not offer mold insurance as part of a regular policy, you should be able to add extra coverage for a fee on top of your basic homeowner's policy.

Sometimes extra coverage for mold can be expensive, especially when your home has a history of mold damage. If your insurance company's quote is high, do your homework to see if the additional coverage is worth it. Paying for mold remediation out of pocket may be the cheaper alternative in some cases.

When black and green fungus growth threatens your home, you want to know you have options to pay for the cleanup. If your current homeowner's policy doesn't have mold coverage, you can look into additional insurance to bring you peace of mind in your new home.

5 Reasons Pipes May Make Noise

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Man covering his ears Take note of any noises your plumbing may be making and contact a professional for repairs

Here are Five Common Sounds

A local water damage restoration service can help with water clean-up if your Cape Coral, FL, home suffers a pipe break. However, there are a number of sounds you may hear before large-scale issues arise. It’s important to know what these sounds mean so that you can avoid a potential pipe burst Here are five common sounds.

1. Water Pressure

If the water pressure is too high it can cause a vibration in the pipes resulting in a humming sound. The recommended pressure level is usually around 55 psi. It’s best to contact a professional for help in order to avoid a pipe burst from incorrect water pressure.

2. Air Bubbles

If there’s a problem with your water line there is a chance that air bubbles can be trapped inside. This can result in a banging sound or sputtering right when a faucet is turned on.

3. Loose Fastenings

If a pipe is incorrectly fasted to the wall it can vibrate as water moves through it resulting in a rattling sound. If left unfixed this could result in a pipe break as well.

4. Worn Components

It’s also possible for washers and other plumbing components to wear down over time. This is usually seen in older plumbing systems or areas of high use. Most often the sound that results from this is a squeal or whistle.

5. Drainage

If there is an issue with water draining you may hear a gurgling sound coming from the pipes. This could indicate that there is debris or some other sort of obstruction. A professional can help remedy this problem before a blocked drain results in water overflow.

To help avoid a pipe break take note of any noises your plumbing may be making and contact a professional for repairs. If it becomes necessary to fix broken pipe flooding, a local water damage restoration service can help.

4 Essential Things To Put in Your Building's First Aid Kit

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

First Aid Kit Important items to put in your kit.

4 Essential Things To Put in Your Building's First Aid Kit

If your Bokeelia, FL, building ever experiences a hurricane or any other storm, you'll want to be ready. Other than preparing for the storm damage restoration process, this entails making a fully equipped kit for first aid. If you're unsure about how to do this, here are four essential things to put in your building's first aid kit.

1. Tools and Equipment
Some of the most important items to put in your kit are tools and equipment. These allow you, or, preferably, a nearby medical professional, to perform more intense forms of first aid. Here are some things to gather:

  • Tweezers
  • Resuscitation equipment
  • Scissors
  • A splint
  • Two elastic wraps
  • Medical tape

If no one in your building has training for using these tools, you may want to get it yourself. In case of cold or shock, you'll also want to get a blanket or two for the emergency kit.

2. Bandages and Pads
No matter what happened, it's likely that bandages and pads will be needed. When getting these items, remember that you'll need more than one kind. Get large gauze pads, regular gauze pads, a gauze roller bandage and band-aids.

3. Sanitary Supplies
Finally (in terms of supplies), you'll need to get sanitary items for your first aid kit. Start by getting an agent or two for cleaning wounds. Possible options are moistened towelettes and hydrogen peroxide. You should also procure some latex gloves.

4. Directions

Even if you had first aid training, you may not be available to help. Therefore, it's important to get detailed instructions to put in each kit. In order to ensure accuracy, try to find instructions from reputable sources. If you got any extra items for your kit, make sure to find instructions for those as well.

When making a first aid kit, it's vital to procure every necessary item. Do your research and make the best kits possible.

Understanding the Main Causes of Basement Flooding and Sewer Backups

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

the old dirty cellar flooded from a pipe break A flooded basement is no fun. However, understanding the common causes and preventative measures can help reduce the likelihood of the experience.

Understanding The Primary Sources Of Basement Flooding And Sewer Backups

No homeowner wants to deal with a flooded basement. Unfortunately, sometimes floods are unavoidable. Still, according to water mitigation services in North Fort Myers, FL, there are some preventative measures you can take to prevent the top four causes of basement floods and backups.

1. Sewer Overflow

A severe storm can lead to an onslaught of water rushing to public plumbing systems. Unfortunately, when these systems are overloaded, it can result in sewers backing up. You can install sump pumps and backflow valves to prevent backups from occurring.

2. Clogged Pipes

One of the leading causes of a flooded basement is a clogged drainage pipe. Depending on where the blockage is located, there are several potential causes for the clog. For instance, when inside the home, the clog might stem from wadded-up paper products, grease, or other substances. When the block is outside the house, the cause could be an infiltration of roots or a collapse. The best way to prevent such issues is through routine and professional inspection and maintenance.

3. Blocked Gutters

While you might not think gutters could somehow cause a basement flood, you would be wrong. Blocked gutters do not allow for the free transportation of water from the roof to the ground. The blockage will typically result in flooded gutters. The water overflow then clings to the house and seeps into the soil at the foundation. If there are cracks in the foundation, the water can find its way inside. The best way to prevent gutter blockages is to clean them at the change of every season.

4. Landscape or Pavement Slope

Finally, if your landscape or driveway slopes back towards the house, you will likely experience basement flooding. Unfortunately, the only way to fix the problem is to re-slope the affected zones, which can be costly.

A flooded basement is no fun. However, knowing the common causes and preventative measures can help reduce the likelihood of the experience.

How To Handle Puffback Soot

5/11/2022 (Permalink)

A truck from a restoration company At SERVPRO, we have the professionals and the necessary equipment to help you deal with the damage caused by puffback soot in your business, call us!

How To Deal With Puffback Soot

The furnace in your building in Cape Coral, FL, is an essential part of keeping warm air moving throughout the space. When the furnace malfunctions, that warm air can carry soot with it, coating everything in its path. Don't ignore this problem. There are a few steps you need to take when you discover your building has puffback damage. 

Inspect Your Whole Building for Puffback Damage

An oil furnace can produce a lot of sticky soot. It gets in every crevice it comes into contact with, and it can spread quickly. When you inspect your building, be sure you look in areas where puffback soot could be hiding:

  • Inside storage closets
  • Behind doors
  • Inside file cabinets and drawers
  • Under sinks

Call the Professionals

There are several people you need to call when you have puffback damage in your building. First, contact a certified HVAC professional who can fix the furnace and prevent further problems. Then, call fire damage restoration specialists to clean up the soot throughout your building, as this oily mess is too big a problem to leave to your regular custodial staff. Finally, make sure you alert your insurance provider, as your policy may cover the cost of cleanup.

Get an Estimate for Total Restoration

To file a proper claim for issues caused by furnace puffback, you need to get a complete estimate. Take into account all the costs associated with restoration, not just the soot cleaning. For example, if parts of a wall or closet are so damaged they need to be replaced, you should figure that into the overall expenses you report.

Any time you have puffback damage in your building, professional intervention is necessary. Technicians can clean thoroughly and get rid of soot and all the subsequent issues it may cause. Professional repair and restoration get your building back to normal as soon as possible.

3 Things You Should Know About Water Damage and Mold Growth

5/1/2022 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold. SERVPRO has a team certified to handle mold of all colors. We have the right equipment to clean it up, call us.

Three Things To Know About Water Damage And Mold Growth

If you have experienced water damage in your commercial building in Cape Coral, FL, then you may have additional secondary damage as well. This can come in many forms, including the growth of mold. The following are some questions you may have if you find yourself in this situation.

1. How Soon Does Mold Begin to Grow After Damage Occurs?

Unfortunately, the time between when the water damage occurs and when the mold begins to grow is not very long. This fungus can grow quickly when given the right conditions. You could have the beginning of an infestation in as little as 24 hours. After two days, the mold will begin to spread even more.

2. Can You Prevent Mold From Growing?

Depending on how severe the damage is, mold prevention can be difficult. However, even if you are unable to stop the growth completely, there are steps you can take to slow it down and limit the spread. Excess water should be removed from the building and everything should be allowed to dry thoroughly. Insulation, carpeting and other absorbent materials may need to be removed. A dehumidifier can be used to reduce moisture in the environment.

3. What Should You Do if You Find Mold?

If you do find mold growth in the building, you should contact a mold remediation company to have it removed. Attempting to clean the mold on your own could make things worse. If the area is not properly contained, mold can spread throughout the building and affect a larger area. You could also end up with a recurring mold problem if the fungus is not removed completely.

Mold is a common problem that affects many commercial buildings that have suffered water damage. While it can be a frustrating and stressful experience, acting quickly can reduce the severity of the growth. A professional service can help remove the fungus and prevent it from coming back.

What To Know About Claims Management Software

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

computer laptop with blue files in a blue background Most insurance claim management software comes with a set of standard features that helps agents perform their jobs.

Claims Management Software: What You Should Know

Providers need an efficient way to handle an insurance claim they receive. When you notify your provider about a disaster in your business in Flamingo Bay, FL, it kicks the process off. During this process, agents need a way to track costs, work with a disaster remediation company, such as SERVPRO, avoid fraud, and streamline their communication. The way they do this is with claims management software. Here is some basic information about this software.

What Are Common Features?

Most insurance claim management software comes with a set of standard features that helps agents perform their jobs. This includes:

  • Claims tracking
  • Electronic claims
  • Data exchange
  • Fraud management
  • Inventory management
  • Customer portals
  • Customer relationship management
  • Reporting

What To Consider When Purchasing It?

As with any software purchase, companies need to think about certain aspects of the insurance claim management software they buy. For instance, the type of software they buy is a big factor. Both on-premises and cloud-based software are available. On-premises is traditional software installed at an office location, while cloud-based is run through the internet. On-premises software tends to be used because it is more customizable. On the other hand, cloud-based systems don't cost as much. Each vendor will evaluate these factors when choosing the right software.

Additionally, insurance companies need to think about what additional features they need. Some may want incorporated accounting or business intelligence systems. Items such as these can enhance the claims management system. Therefore, these are common add ons. Furthermore, an agency will need to think about the type of insurance they offer. Then, they can choose an appropriate system for their offering. For instance, those that offer property coverage are going to have different requirements than business interruption companies.

Your insurance company uses claims management software to streamline the filing process. This makes it easier for an insurance agent and business owner to file a claim and get it processed quickly.

5 Creative Flood Control Techniques for Urban Areas

4/11/2022 (Permalink)

Driving on a flooded street Flooding is a major event that happens almost everywhere in the world, affecting areas near waterways and wherever it rains.

5 Ingenious Flood Control Techniques For Cities

Flooding is a major event that happens almost everywhere in the world, affecting areas near waterways and wherever it rains. Cities, in particular, are vulnerable when heavy rains hit because their urban infrastructures have disrupted the natural drainage capacity of the land. This means that even in St James City, FL, communities can experience high water and flooding during heavy storms.

Experts around the world have come up with several creative and clever ways to stop flooding from shutting down businesses and daily activities:

Water Gates

These were seen in Japan first, and have been around for almost 100 years. Water gates are powered by hydraulic motors, powered by water pressure and not electricity, so they are very effective at minimizing flood water damage.

Modular Flood Containers

These portable crates are hollow until flood water fills them. They are simple to use and can be stacked and interlocked, so they can be placed where they are needed. When not in use, the crates stack inside each other, so they don't take up valuable storage space.

Water Inflated Property Barriers

These vinyl and polyester tubs are inflated with water to provide a barrier between the increasingly high water and businesses. The tubs are quick and convenient to inflate and don't require much room for storage.

Rock Pools

In San Diego, groups of concrete blocks have been installed to mimic rock pools. Although this type of flood defense has been used in California coastal areas, the new blocks provide habitats for the marine life in the area.

Sandless Sandbags

Water barrier "socks" are one of the most popular flood damage prevention tools in North America. The bags are simply unfolded and placed to form a protective barrier around properties. When floodwater reaches the line of bags, it is absorbed. The water-filled bags now act the same as traditional sandbags would.

Maybe you've seen some of these flood prevention tools at work. What other ways have you seen high water contained? Have you learned any other techniques from flood and water damage experts?

How To Progress From Mitigation to Restoration

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

Reception Area Flooded If you need a flood cleanup after a storm, don't try to tackle the problem yourself. calling SERVPRO is the best solution.

How To Make the Transition from Mitigation To Restoration

Mitigation is the first step to take after a storm causes damage at a commercial building in Cape Coral, FL. In addition to limiting the severity of damage, mitigation may shorten the duration of restoration. Find out when to call a service that specializes in mitigation or a flood cleanup company.

Take Damage Management Measures

The primary goal of mitigation is to lessen the severity of damage in the hours after an incident. Depending on the cause of damage, any of the following measures may be helpful:

  • Boarding up structural breaches
  • Removing standing water
  • Tarping over roof damage

Storm damage may introduce contaminated water into a structure. Once water has been removed, a restoration company can tear out ruined materials, clean, disinfect and dry the affected area.

Tear Out Ruined Materials

Flooding or a severe leak can destroy drywall and insulation. These substances are difficult to disinfect and pose an elevated mold risk. If a building manager or owner is not sure whether to attempt to clean or dispose of any materials, it is a good idea to consult a flood cleanup company.

Clean and Dry the Affected Area

Damage restoration professionals will use EPA-rated cleaning solutions and disinfectants to reduce the risk of mold in a structure damaged by a storm. Air movers, dehumidifiers or fans may be used to accelerate drying times.

Rebuild a Damaged Structure

Once a structure is clean and dry, restoration professionals can start to rebuild damage. Whereas mitigation takes place within hours or days, this part of the recovery process may take days or weeks.

A property owner may be able to take some preliminary steps toward mitigation, but professionals can act quickly to lessen the severity of damage. A flood cleanup company can pump out standing water, which is one of the most important mitigation measures after flooding or severe weather in Cape Coral, FL.

3 Key Steps to Take After a Fire

3/23/2022 (Permalink)

Employee sweeping up debris from a fire. This office space was ravaged by a fire. SERVPRO does the heavy lifting for you, removing debris and restoring the affected area!

Businesses in Cape Coral, FL suffer a wide range of consequences after a fire: lost assets and equipment, damaged buildings and environmental hazards, just to name a few. Dealing with details and the interruption to your operations can feel overwhelming, but there are a few key steps you can take. Your insurance company, along with skilled fire restoration technicians, will play key roles in the aftermath of a blaze.

1. Contact Your Insurance Provider

Once you and your employees are safely accounted for and the flames are put out, your next phone call should be to your insurance company. The commercial property portion of your business policy provides the fire insurance coverage to handle your recent loss. Try to get as many details as possible ready before you get on the phone, but keep in mind that you’ll probably be in contact with an adjuster who’ll assess the destruction.

2. Hands Off Everything

For both safety and practical reasons, you should not touch any damaged or destroyed areas of your premises after a fire. Although it might be tempting to “rescue” equipment, furniture or even filing cabinets, keep in mind that your insurance adjuster needs to document the post-blaze state of your property.

3. Contact Cleanup and Restoration Services

After the flames have been put out, your premises likely suffer from smoke and fire damage as well as flooding and water damage from fire suppression efforts. An expert fire restoration company will assess what work must be done and then perform clean up to bring it back to its former condition. Typical services include board-up services for missing walls and windows, tarp-up on impacted roofs, water removal, smoke cleaning, and final cleaning and sanitizing.

Fire’s natural properties make it a destructive force that not only consumes but leaves lasting effects behind in its wake. Thankfully, a fire restoration professional in Cape Coral, FL can help your business on the path to recovery.