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Understanding Commercial Insurance and Mold Damage

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold on wall Black mold damage on wall in West Glenn Estates, AZ

You don't want to think about it, but eventually, chances are good that some type of incident will affect part of your office building. Disasters such as floods, fires and high winds can inflict severe damage in the workplace. Mold is another common culprit that people in West Glenn Estates, AZ, encounter. You're glad you have commercial insurance; however, your policy may or may not cover the cost to clean up the mold and replace ruined materials.

When You Should Have Coverage

You purchased commercial insurance for situations such as mold growth and the issues it can cause. You can expect your provider to accept and pay on your claim where the appearance of mold comes due to the following:

  • Unexpected events such as a burst pipe under a sink or in the ceiling or walls
  • Sudden appliance failure such as a ruptured water heater or a defective dishwasher
  • Water left behind in the office after firefighters put out a fire

Payment Limitations

Be aware that even if your insurance provider accepts your claim, it may not pay the full amount to cover the mold damage. Many policies have coverage limits that don't add up to the full cleanup amount. Paying a professional mold removal company to eliminate mold and replace building materials can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Check with your insurance agent and ask about your policy maximum.

Don't Expect Help

Routine inspections and maintenance of your building's HVAC and plumbing systems are vital. You should also regularly assess the integrity of the roof, foundation and other areas where water could infiltrate the facility. If mold growth starts because you neglected these duties, your insurance agent will deny your claim. You could, however, purchase mold insurance to help you with the repair and cleanup costs.
Commercial insurance can give you peace of mind after a disaster. If you do your part to prevent mold, you shouldn't have to wonder whether your plan will cover any future cleanup and remediation needs.

Category 1 Water Does Not Mean Category 1 Water Damage

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Picture that says WATER CATEGORIES with a blue water background Water categories

Any broken pipe or supply line in commercial buildings in Peoria, AZ can lead to severe water damage. Experts in commercial restoration know that no two water damages are alike; a lot depends on the category of water involved. If you’re dealing with water damage due to category 1 water, you are exposed to sanitary water. Clean water does not pose a substantial risk to your health. What is category 1 water exactly, and what damage can it cause?

1. What Is Category 1 Water?

Category 1 water starts from a sanitary source. Examples for sanitary sources are faucets, toilet tanks, and drinking fountains. Water that falls into this category poses minimal risk of exposure through inhalation, skin, or oral consumption. Nevertheless, be advised that this water can turn into unsanitary water based on time and temperature. Just because it’s category 1 water doesn’t mean that it cannot cause extensive damage. Clean water can cause four types of water damage.

2. What Are the Main Types of Water Damage?

Class 1 is the easiest to deal with as only small amounts of water are involved. Absorption and evaporation are minimal issues. The damage is limited to one room or one specific area. Carpet is only slightly or not affected at all, and only materials with low porosity have absorbed water.

Class 2 damage is characterized by larger amounts of water and a higher evaporation rate. At least all the carpet in a room is affected and walls are soaked in water up to 24 inches. The structure and substructure have absorbed moisture.

Class 3 water damage means that enough water has filled the area to be evaporated into or absorbed by everything in the room. It’s not uncommon that the water comes from overhead. Walls, insulation, ceilings, carpets, and sub-floors are saturated.

Specialty drying situations fall into class 4. Enough time has passed for water to affect materials with low porosity, including brick and concrete.

Clean water might be sanitary but it can be responsible for extensive damage. As soon as you notice a broken pipe or supply line, it’s important to take action.

3 Essential Elements of Business Fire Preparedness

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke detector in the smoke of a fire Working smoke alarms are your best defense against a business fire

3 Essential Elements of Business Fire Preparedness

A fire can cause serious damage to business property. It’s hard to imagine having a fire in your Grand Manor, AZ, business, but it’s important to be prepared. Creating a fire prevention plan or bolstering an existing one can significantly reduce your risk of serious fire damage. This discussion may help you formulate the best plan for your situation.

1. Smoke Alarms

Working smoke alarms are your best defense against a business fire. They will detect the problem and loudly notify you. If your alarms are malfunctioning, they may fail to protect you. Consider the following seasonal maintenance practices for your smoke alarms:

  • Testing each alarm monthly to confirm proper warning siren operation
  • Replacing the batteries every 6-9 months or obtaining a unit with a permanent 10-year battery
  • Carefully vacuuming the alarm openings to remove any dust or cobwebs

It’s important to stay current with alarm inspection and maintenance. Only a working alarm can alert you to call emergency services before you incur extensive damage.

2. Evacuation Plan

It’s important to prepare your staff for a business fire by having a fire safety meeting. The goal is an emergency escape plan that will facilitate evacuation from your building. Your local fire restoration specialist will generally be glad to visit your business and help you formulate the best plan for your unique situation.
Start with walking the building with your staff, identifying the best evacuation route for each office and room. Storing escape ladders in upper-floor offices will facilitate window evacuation, and having fire drills once or twice a year will keep your staff familiarized with the plan.

3. Fire Extinguishers

You will undoubtedly be grateful for a few well-placed fire extinguishers if you have a business fire. If your building is very large, your local fire specialist can recommend the best number and placement for your situation. Make sure your staff is familiar with fire extinguisher operation.
Proper fire preparation is easy to neglect, considering the demands of everyday business operations. Taking the time to implement a good plan can save lives and property. It could be the difference between a little smoke damage and complete property destruction.

4 Facts About Black Water

12/24/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding cars in a parking lot The most serious situation is Category 3 or black water

4 Facts About Black Water

If your business in Peoria, AZ, has experienced any flooding, you will need to assess the type of water damage that has occurred. Water that comes from a safe source such as an overflowing faucet is considered clean and is labeled Category 1. Water that may contain bacteria and comes from a known source such as a dishwasher or washing machine is considered Category 2. The most serious situation is Category 3 or black water.

1. It Can Potentially Cause Harm

Category 3 water contains certain chemicals, sewage, or microbes. If accidentally consumed this type of water can cause extreme harm or even death. Illnesses such as E-coli or campylobacteriosis can be spread through human waste. People may even experience respiratory effects if exposed to airborne endotoxins released by the bacteria.

2. It Can Come From Outside Your Business

While many people know that overflowing toilet water with feces is unsafe to come in contact with, water damage caused by outside sources such as an overflowing river or seawater is also considered Category 3. This is because there is a wide variety of harmful substances or chemicals from outdoors that can have dirtied the water.

3. Clean Water Can Turn Into Black Water

If your business experiences a flood but the water is only Category 1 or 2 water, you still need to act as quickly as possible. Depending on the situation, it can degrade into Category 3 in three days or less.

4. It Needs To Be Professionally Cleaned

You should never attempt to clean Category 3 water on your own. To ensure the area is completely sanitized and that no harm comes to anyone in the building, you should immediately get in contact with a water damage restoration company.
If your business is ever flooded due to a sewage backup or outside source, it is imperative that you act quickly. Never try to clean the black water yourself. Instead, evacuate the area and get professional assistance right away.

What’s Causing the Noise in My Pipes?

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

Leakage Of Water From Stainless Steel Pipe On Gray Background More water damages are caused by broken pipes

Reasons for Your Noisy Pipes

Hearing noisy water pipes after you flush your toilet or turn on a faucet can get annoying very quickly. It’ll also make you wonder what’s going on. Is it a serious problem? Is there a risk of a pipe break? It might not be a problem, but it’s an issue that’s definitely worth getting checked out. After all, if you have a pipe burst things can get really bad really fast. A few reasons for your noisy pipes could be:

1. Water Hammer

You might not realize just how fast water moves through the pipes when a faucet is opened. There’s actually a lot of force behind it. When the faucet is turned off the water is forced to stop abruptly, hitting the shut-off valve. This banging sound is called water hammer. Fortunately, there’s an air chamber (an air-filled pipe) located close to the faucet. This chamber absorbs the impact of the water hitting the valve. Over time air chambers can lose their effectiveness, causing the noisy pipe. Water hammer can damage pipe connections and joints.

2. High Water Pressure

Noisy pipes can be caused by excessively high water pressure. This pressure can result in damage to a pipe such as a pipe break. Professionals recommend that your home’s water pressure remains between 40 and 80 psi. Most homes these days have pressure regulators installed, but if your home doesn’t have one, you can have one installed.

3. Rattling Drain Pipes

Due to the amount of fast-moving running through drain pipes, if the pipes are loose they can create a rattling sound. These pipes can be stabilized, but aren’t likely to cause any damage if left as they are.
Noisy pipes in your Weedville, AZ, home can be an annoyance, but they could also signal a future problem. It’s best to be proactive and also to fix a broken pipe immediately should breakage occur. If your home sustains damage from a pipe break, you can count on water damage cleanup experts to help.

Why Does Mold Keep Coming Back?

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

Stachybotrys chartarum mould, a toxic mould, a common fungi found in indoor air and causing mycotoxicosis, chronic fatigue, a Mold is actually a living organism called stachybotrys chartarum

Why Does Mold Keep Coming Back?

Like most homeowners, you know mold is no joke and immediately swing into action when you see it. And chances are, you’ve experienced the frustration when the mold disappeared for a while only to return. What gives? There are many reasons why black mold can return again and again. Here are a few common mistakes that can make mold keep thriving in your Glendale, AZ, home.

Understanding Mold

Mold is actually a living organism called stachybotrys chartarum. This fungus does best in dark, moist areas of your home. That makes it common in:

  • Basements
  • Bathrooms
  • Laundry rooms
  • Beneath sinks

And just about anywhere moisture is common. You can attack it with bleach or other household cleaners but black mold is likely to return. Why?

You’re Not Killing the Spores

Mold replicates and spreads via spores. Lightweight and airborne, these invisible seeds can easily land on a wet surface and start growing. Unfortunately, the average homeowner’s mold cleanup efforts just don’t take care of the spores.

You’re Using the Wrong Chemicals

There are countless online recipes for mold removal solutions, and most are useless. That’s because they’re bleach-based. This clever organism can sometimes adapt and begin to thrive on bleach. That means the solution you use on mold can worsen the infestation.

You’re Not Attacking the Roots

The brown or black furry patches of mold your eye can see are rarely the full extent of the problem. Like any fungus, mold has roots that penetrate deep into the surfaces it covers. As a result, what you wipe may disappear but the roots can thrive, and mold can regrow.
Black mold is an unsightly pain that nobody wants to deal with. Don’t keep fighting a losing battle. Contact a qualified mold remediation specialist at the first sight of fungus and you can rest assured that your mold problem will disappear for good.

Will Insurance Pay for Your Fire Damage?

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

Businessman present insurance concept with house on fire Will insurance pay for your fire damage?

When a home fire occurs, it could leave homeowners in Weedville, AZ, facing massive property loss as well as expensive repairs. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association estimates that in 2018, such blazes created approximately 8 billion dollars in damages, leaving people hoping that property insurance may foot the restoration bills. That isn't always the case, though. At times, the insurance company is not responsible and instead, those holding the mortgage papers need to find the resources to salvage the house.

What Does a Typical Insurance Policy Cover?

Usually your homeowner's policy pays out on fire damage, if it meets the company's policy. It's important that you spend some time reviewing that documentation thoroughly, understanding the expectations and exclusions. For example, for conflagrations occurring by accident agencies usually provide coverage for the following:

  • A fire restoration company's assessment
  • Replacement of lost personal items
  • Cleanup procedures
  • Household repairs

Should review of the incident appear suspicious (such as arson), your agent may deny the claim, refusing any form of payout. In addition, if the home is unattended for more than 30 days, your insurance may declare the fire out of their hands, believing that you left the property unattended and open to vandalism.

Can I Avoid Denial?

The thought of losing coverage can be emotionally devastating and frustrating as it puts the onus on the owners to foot some very large bills. The home fire may seem suspicious, but you can take steps to demonstrate your lack of involvement and help show it was unintentional. If the fire department could not find the cause, you can request an outside investigation, hoping to locate the initial accidental event. This might encourage the agent to reevaluate your request for payment. What about cases involving a vacant home fire? If you leave town frequently, try to purchase a policy ahead of time to cover this absence or keep contact with your agent, notifying them of extended travel.
Repairs from a home fire often require time and money; fortunately, an insurance policy may aid with that cost. To receive compensation, stay on top of your policy and keep in contact with your insurance company.

Steps for Easy Sump Pump Maintenance

11/16/2019 (Permalink)

Few homeowners think much about their sump pump before a storm. But that’s exactly when this handy piece of equipment should be top of mind. Neglecting pump maintenance can result in a pump that doesn’t work when needed. The good news is that there are just a few key steps to ensure your West Glenn Estates, AZ, home’s pump is always ready for action.

How Your Sump Pump Works

Your pump is a critical tool in the war against home flooding. Common among homes in low-lying areas, these pumps work by:

  • Collecting water in a special pit
  • Pumping water out of the pit
  • Redirecting water away from your home’s basement and crawlspaces

Keeping your pump in good working order isn’t hard or expensive. Maintenance comes down to periodic maintenance - quarterly and annually.

Quarterly Maintenance

You’ll want to check on your pump every three to four months. Start with cleaning the inlet screen and checking the power cord. If you see fraying or other signs of wear, replace it. Fill a bucket with water and pour it into the pump until the float raises. Ensure that the pump comes on and you’ve finished your quarterly check.

Annual Maintenance

Once a year, you’ll need to take a few extra steps. Clean out the sump for starters, removing and checking the pump for signs of damage. This includes looking at the bearings for signs they need lubrication. Check the power source again for proper connection and finish up by once again pouring water into the pump to ensure it responds the way it should during a flood.
A sump pump can seem unimportant until a flooding emergency. Make sure your pump will be ready to keep your home dry when an emergency arrives. Use these tips to ensure your pump is in working order and contact your local water remediation company for further tips on handling water emergencies.

Tips for Preparing Your Business for a Hurricane

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial power generator Backup generators can provide emergency power if it's safe enough to stay through the storm

If you live in an area that experiences hurricanes, such as Grand Manor, AZ, you already know how devastating they can be. Because of this, you likely realize the importance of preparation when one of these superstorms is headed your way. The flood water can be the main threat along with high winds. It can take months to repair a flooded building, and restorations can cost a lot of money. If you are prepared, you may be able to minimize long-term damage to your business.

Protect Your Business

There are a few things that may help minimize the destruction your organization incurs:

  • Boarding up windows can often prevent breakage from flying debris due to high winds.
    Sandbags can help deflect water to another location.
  • Backup generators can provide emergency power if it's safe enough to stay through the storm.

Devise a Plan

Part of being prepared is having a plan. It's important to have this strategy written out in advance since it's less likely you will forget something when you aren't as stressed. Be sure to practice your emergency plan so that you can work out any kinks that may happen.

Back Up Your Data

Since electronics typically don't fare well in flood water, it is imperative that you back up all of your data regularly. Set a reminder so that you don't forget to do it on a scheduled basis. Have all of your employees back up their data as well. That way, if you experience water damage and lose your computers, it will be much easier to get up and running again.

Work From Home

If at all possible, set things up so you can work from home or another office location during the time your building is being repaired. This can keep your operations functioning smoothly, which will help prevent a substantial financial loss.
No one wants to experience flood water or wind damage from a hurricane, but these tips can help you prepare just in case. After a hurricane, let your cleanup and restoration services get your business back to normal.

When To Worry About Noise From Your Water Heater

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water heater If your water heater is making loud noises, there is no need to panic

Common Noises From Water Heaters

A noisy water heater in your Peoria, AZ, home is not just an annoying inconvenience. It may also be the source of a larger problem. Common heater noises include:

  • Tapping or Ticking
  • Hammering or Knocking
  • Humming
  • Screeching or Screaming

Some of these sounds are indeed harmless. Others, however, could require immediate intervention to prevent the need for emergency restoration services in your home.

Normal Heater Noises

Your heater contains a heat trap that keeps the water flowing in the right direction. The trap may make a ticking or tapping sound. This is nothing to worry about, though it can be irritating at times. If you are sick of the noise, you can replace the trap with a dielectric nipple.
Hammering and knocking occur when the water going through the heater abruptly turns off. This can happen when you flush a toilet or use the dishwasher. While this doesn’t cause any harm to the water heater itself, the knocking could damage your walls. A water hammer arrester can eliminate the noise and protect the walls.
A humming or screeching heater is similarly easy to fix. Humming occurs when the element of the heater vibrates. Just tightening the element should reduce the noise.
Meanwhile, a heater screeches or screams when a valve is not opened all the way. Adjusting the valve in question should correct the issue.

Signs of Problems

A popping or cracking sound, however, may be a sign that sediment is collecting within the heater's tubes. Similarly, rumbling is evidence of the water stirring sediments stuck inside the tank.
Excess sediment buildup within the heater can lead to larger problems. You should thus regularly perform a water heater flush to keep the unit working properly.
You may also want to install a water softener within your pipes. This will reduce the minerals in your water that can create sediment.
If your water heater is making loud noises, there is no need to panic. Some of the sounds are fairly normal. Others can be fixed with some simple maintenance.