Flood Insurance and Your Basement FAQ
Call your agent in Carrollton,TX to find out if you are covered
If you live in Carrollton, TX, then you may be familiar with the worries cause by the possibility of a basement flood. There are a number of ways water can get into a basement but when it does many homeowners’ first question is “will my insurance cover this?” Insurance varies by plan and carrier, but here are some of the answers to many of the most common questions.
1. What is in Standard Coverage?
Most homeowners insurance coverage plans will cover the damage in a flooded area, but may not cover the source unless it was accidental damage that occurred suddenly. For example, they may help you replace your flooring if a washing machine hose breaks, but will not cover the replacement hose.
2. What is Not in My Coverage?
In some cases damage caused by a basement flood may not fall under your homeowners policy. This may occur when the water is from an outside source where the damage falls under a separate insurance plan, or in cases of negligence.
3. Will I Need a Separate Plan?
In some cases you may want additional insurance coverage in addition to your homeowners policy. These maybe include flood insurance to deal with water from acts of nature such as storms, and water backup coverage from water that comes from an outside water or sewage main.
4. What Can Be Done for My Flooded Basement?
In most cases your insurance agent will be able to put you in contact with a professional service that deals with water damage and remediation. These professionals can help identify the source of the problem, and arrange proper cleanup procedures.
When dealing with a basement flood it’s important to know what is in your plan when contacting your insurance so you won’t be surprised. If you have questions your agent will be happy to help. They may also recommend a service to help with cleanup and remediation.
Your Most Pressing Questions Regarding Mold, Answered
Mold can be prevented. Make sure to educated yourself on how to prevent mold growth in your home.
There is a lot of mixed information out there regarding mold growth, and it would require a lot of research to set all of the misconceptions to rights. While you could become an expert and read up on all the research, save yourself time and seek answers from your Carrollton, Texas, mold remediation specialists. For your convenience, here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
Can You Eat Bread With Mold On It?
It is not uncommon for individuals to cut out the green areas on a piece of bread and eat the rest of it. Doing this does not remove the mold from the slice, as it is likely inside the bread as well. Though most food molds are harmless, because there are a variety of types, it's recommended to steer clear of moldy food entirely. If your immune system is weak, it may respond poorly to foods with mold growth.
Where Is It Found?
Typically, mold is found in warm environments with high humidity. If you suspect that your home has it, look in areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms, the laundry room and the basement.
How Do You Test for It?
Which mold test your water damage remediation team will use on your home depends on a number of factors. Some such factors include the location, the cause and the extent of the damage.
Can It Be Prevented?
You can absolutely prevent mold and the damage it causes by taking a few simple measures, such as fixing any moisture issues as they arise, drying wet areas as quickly as possible and ensuring your home is properly ventilated.
Mold growth can be a huge pain, but when you better understand it, you're better equipped to deal with it. For more answers to your mold-related questions, reach out to your Carrollton, Texas, mold cleanup experts today.
Steps for Cleaning Your Crawlspace
Water damage in this small space let to mold. Don't let this happen to you.
A home flood in Carrollton, Texas, can affect every inch of your home. Most of the storm damage is easy to see. Some areas, however, such as your crawlspace, may be flooded without your knowledge. After a thorough inspection, if you discover flood damage in your crawlspace, here are some tips for dealing with it.
How to deal with a flooded crawlspace
While the name indicates a certain need for openness, in most homes, a crawlspace is not just an open space. Sometimes insulation is added, particularly in colder climates. They may also house parts of your HVAC unit, plumbing or wiring. Some homeowners may even use it as storage for keepsakes or seasonal items. When it is flooded, however, the restoration company you hire to remediate the water damage will need to remove all the items to determine if they can be salvaged.
After the space is cleared of items and debris, the next step of home flood remediation is removing the standing water in the space. An industrial sump pump or trash pump is typically used to complete this process. It siphons the water out of the crawlspace into a tank in the technicians' truck. From there they can safely dispose of it in another location.
Once the crawlspace is emptied, the remaining surfaces may still be wet. They cannot be left this way or the space may develop a mold problem. Mold can start to grow in as little as 24 hours, so the faster the area can be dried, the better. Technicians may use dehumidifiers to leach the moisture out of the air. High-powered fans can be used to increase air flow across the surfaces and evaporate moisture as the air moves outside.
Once the area is dry, it still has to be disinfected, as water from storm damage often contains bacteria that you wouldn't want in your home. Drying your crawlspace is an important factor in avoiding further water damage during a home flood.
Why a Business Continuity Plan Is Essential
Creating a disaster plan is not just for your the safety of your personnel, but also to save your business time and money when disaster does strike.
Every business in Carrollton, Texas, is potentially vulnerable to a variety of threats including natural disasters, fires and computer system malfunctions. When disaster strikes, you need to quickly resume normal business operations, or you may face costly business loses. Because disasters can occur unexpectedly, your best protection is a well-devised business continuity plan.
Continuity Plan Benefits
A business continuity plan helps you prepare in advance for potentially destructive events. Businesses that develop emergency response plans often experience improved coordination and quicker recovery times, which provide several important benefits:
- Ensures the safety of personnel during and after the crisis
- Helps contain hazards quickly and efficiently, reducing the risk of additional damage
- Enhances ability to salvage equipment
- Minimizes financial loses
- Allows essential business operations to continue with minimal interruption
There are three common misconceptions that cause some businesses to discount the importance of disaster planning.
Believing Personnel Will Know How To React
Fires, floods and other disasters are frightening situations that can cause disorder and confusion. Without proper guidance and training, your staff may not know how to efficiently respond to a crisis, which may result in detrimental consequences.
Relying Exclusively on Insurance Coverage
Your insurance policy is a vital financial safety net that enables you to replace damaged equipment and successfully complete the cleanup and restoration process. However, it may not help you financially recover from losses such as delayed product release dates or diminished customer interest.
Deeming the Process Excessively Time-Consuming
Emergency response planning does require significant time and effort. However, if you do not have a plan in place and disaster strikes, you may jeopardize the welfare of your staff and waste critical time trying to devise a timely response that may be uncoordinated and ineffective.
Devise a Plan for Peace of Mind
Taking the time to develop a strong business continuity plan today can provide peace of mind in the long run. To complete the process, take the following steps:
- Conduct a risk assessment
- Analyze potential business impacts
- Brainstorm and implement prevention and mitigation strategies
- Test the plan and train staff
- Update the plan as needed
How To Make an Office Evacuation Plan
Make sure your fire escape plan is ready so that everyone can get out quickly during a fire.
October is fire prevention month, so now is the perfect time to get your office ready. One important step for fire safety is an emergency escape plan for your building in Carrollton, TX. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides for some guidance on the matter of evacuation for businesses. Here are the key components to include in your plan:
1. Designate a means of alerting employees to evacuation, such as a fire detection and alarm system.
2. Make sure fire alarms are located where they can be seen and heard by everyone on the property.
3. Have a fire escape plan, with routes and exits, for every room in the building.
4. Designate and train employees for critical evacuation roles, such as assisting guests and the disabled, machine shut down, first aid location, extinguisher use, and communication.
5. Establish a gathering place to verify that everyone is present.
6. Have accessible emergency contact information for everyone in your building as well as a post-evacuation communication plan.
Be sure all items in the fire escape plan are clearly communicated to employees and that maps are posted in multiple locations where employees can see them. Maps should be made for each area of the building and include all exits, fire extinguisher locations and first aid stations. Keep exit routes clear of obstacles and hold fire drills to practice the plan.
Make sure employees in upper floors do not use elevators and know where all stairways are. Clearly include a plan for action if a person should become trapped, including to block smoke by covering vents and gaps around the doors. Employees should also know how to communicate their exact location with 911, as well as signaling with a flashlight or other visual contact at the window so firefighters can more easily locate them.
Make sure your fire escape plan is ready so that everyone can get out quickly during a fire. A professional fire mitigation company can manage all your recovery needs from the time the fire department leaves until the final restoration of the building is complete. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcarrolltontx.com/.
Why Do I Need Commercial Flood Insurance?
Primarily depending on the location of your business in Carrollton, TX, you may be federally mandated to buy flood insurance.
Expenditures are plentiful when you are a business owner in Carrollton, TX. However, you feel confident that the commercial insurance plan you have will cover your property and contents in a disaster. What about flood insurance? Is it mandatory? What are the benefits?
Mandatory Flood Insurance
There are times when you must purchase insurance coverage for potential flooding at your place of business:
• If your commercial property is located in a high-risk flood area, your mortgage company may require you to obtain this insurance.
• Flood zone maps designate which areas are low or high risk. When maps are rezoned, your business designation may change. The mortgage lender may notify you if your property is now in a high-risk flood zone, which requires purchasing of additional insurance.
• At times, mortgage companies require insurance against flooding regardless of the flood zone.
Benefits of Insurance for Flooding
Flooding happens in areas regardless of risk level. Even if you are not mandated to insure your commercial property from floods, it is still a good idea:
• A basic commercial insurance policy does not typically cover floodwater. If water damage is not covered, you will probably have to pay a significant amount out of pocket.
• Even though there are federal programs in place to assist you in the event of a declared disaster, the money is not designed to fully cover complete restoration. Insurance can provide funds to restore your property to preflood condition.
• The water restoration specialist and your insurance agent can partner with you to seamlessly and efficiently get your business up and running after a flood.
Primarily depending on the location of your business in Carrollton, TX, you may be federally mandated to buy flood insurance. If you are not required to, it still makes good business sense to include it as a component of your commercial insurance policy. That way, you can be confident that your property is covered in the unfortunate event of flooding and water damage. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcarrolltontx.com/.
The Right Way To Unclog a Pipe With a Snake Tool
It’s hard to imagine anyone not dealing with a clogged drain at some point in his or her life. Whether it’s a kitchen sink, a toilet, a shower or a drain in the laundry room, you’ve probably fussed with this issue at your Carrollton, TX, home. You can always try cleaning the drain or trap, and plungers certainly can work. However, for your toughest jobs, a snake may be the way to go.
What It Does
A snake is a coiled, spiral tool you can use to unclog stopped drains. Normally, it’s about one-quarter of an inch thick and has a handle on the other end. It works differently than a plunger:
• You push the snake farther into the drain to meet the object causing the blockage.
• It breaks up the obstruction.
• It helps you pull out the obstruction.
• A snake is long and usually reaches far into the pipe.
• This device can help with a pipe break or a major clog.
Step One: Push It Into the Drain
Your first task is to take the snake by the handle and push the opposite end into the drain. At the same time, turn the handle. The auger will then start traveling deeper into the clogged drain.
Step Two: Keep Going
Some stopped drains have blockage far into the drain, so it’s important to continue pushing with high pressure and force. This will get your snake farther into the drain. If you continue to crank the handle, it should bend around the trap under the sink. You shouldn’t have much trouble at this point reaching the culprit.
Step Three: Rotate the Tool Until You Know You’ve Freed the Object
It may take some effort, but as you continue turning the snake, you should feel the object being released and moving freely in the pipe. You’ll either break up the object or pull it right out.
A clogged drain can be a pain to repair, but a snake could do the trick. You can also get in touch with a sewage cleanup specialist to give you a hand. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROcarrolltontx.com/.
How To Choose a Smoke Detector For Your Home
With well-chosen devices and regular maintenance, The National Fire Protection Association claims the presence of a smoke detector can double your chances of surviving a house fire. Taking special care in selecting the devices that will protect your home is crucial for giving you the time you need should that smoke alarm go off.
Consider the Size of Your Home.
Unless your Carrollton, TX, home could be considered a hallmark of the tiny house movement, you’re probably going to need more than one smoke alarm. The NFPA recommends a smoke detector be installed in multiple locations:
• On every level, including basement and attic
• In every hallway that leads to a sleeping area
• Within every bedroom
• At either end of a stairway
With a minimum of three detectors necessary for a two-bedroom home, it is important to consider the variety of options available for fire safety.
Choose Your Preference.
What smoke alarm you choose largely depends on your personal preference, but it is important to know the pros and cons of each option:
• Ionization alarms create an electric current within the smoke detector by ionizing the air with minimal amounts of the radioactive element americium 241. If smoke particles enter the chamber, the current will be disrupted and trigger the alarm. They are highly susceptible to flaming fires, such as from paper or grease.
• Photoelectric alarms incorporate a small strobe light which when diffracted by smoke particles, will trigger a sensor that sounds the alarm. Smoldering fires, often started in bedding or clothing, are better detected by this device.
• Combination devices will have a dual-sensor to incorporate both ionization and photoelectric components. The NFPA recommends having a mix of both styles of smoke alarms within your home, making this a single choice for cohesive protection.
Other considerations to include: power source, a convenient way to regularly test, ease of maintenance and other personal needs such as visual assistance or carbon monoxide testing.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROcarrolltontx.com/.
Maintaining Employee Safety during Mold Remediation
Mold spores are everywhere; when those spores find contact with humidity on your Carrollton, TX, property, it doesn't take much for mold growth to become a problem. As an employer, it is vital you take the right steps to keep your employees safe during mold removal. You should almost immediately contact an expert to assist you in providing a safe, healthy working environment. You'll work closely with those professionals as you complete the next steps. Of course, one of your first steps should be to control growth and prevent the occurrence of black mold. You can do this by:
• Identifying trouble spots, such as leaky windows and dripping HVAC systems.
• Controlling moisture, watching for signs of condensation, wet spots, broken pipes, and leaks.
• Regularly maintaining your HVAC equipment, including inspections and repairs.
• Providing enough drainage around the foundation of your building.
The next step to take is to understand the nature of mold. For example, mold spores are easily distributed throughout buildings through air conditioning or on people's clothing. It can hang in the air or be carried from one room to another on an insect. While mold removal professionals are handling remediation efforts, it is vital that the contamination area is contained properly.
OSHA has several recommendations regarding how to keep your employees safe. The remediation professionals will probably handle some of those steps, such as misting materials to contain dust, spores, and debris; sealing affected materials in plastic bags; and ensuring proper ventilation. According to OSHA, you should ensure the following:
• No one eats, drinks, or smokes in affected areas.
• Employees don't breathe the dust.
• A work area for remediation experts is established.
• The area is kept clean and dry.
• All employees are moved away from the work area and any space directly adjacent to the work area.
Mold removal experts can guide you through this process and help you ensure the safety of your Carrollton, TX, employees. Work closely with them before disturbing any areas of mold growth.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROcarrolltontx.com/.
Coping in the Immediate Aftermath of a Storm
People who live in Carrollton, TX, are not strangers to the destructive power of storms, whether it is high wind, precipitation or flooding. However, a few storm tips about what to do while waiting for help to arrive can be helpful to even the most seasoned storm veteran.
Safety Is the First Priority.
• Summon help for any medical emergencies.
• Stay calm. Determine if anyone needs assistance and help if you can.
• Be sure the storm event has abated before checking surroundings for storm damage.
• Listen for official instructions on local radio, television, or internet news sources.
• Avoid driving so that roads remain clear for rescue personnel.
• Keep track of children; flooding, in particular, can remain treacherous for some time.
• Keep clear of moving water, downed power lines and compromised trees and structures; effective storm tips include perils of the aftermath.
• Follow official directions regarding evacuation or travel.
• Understand that a response for services will take time. Avoid repeated phone calls as others may also be seeking help.
• Contact your home insurance company to report damage and schedule an appointment for an adjuster’s inspection.
Securing Your Home Comes Next.
Wait for an insurance adjuster to arrive to accurately record the extent of storm damage to your home and belongings. It may be necessary to secure your home from further loss or damage. Tarps or plywood can be put in place to prevent water damage, for instance. However, don’t begin repairs until your insurance company gets a full report from the adjuster.
There is a certain level of excitement and adrenaline rush attached to storm activity, and emotions can run high. However, a healthy amount of respect for the power and unpredictability of nature is in order. Heed storm tips and share them with your family, friends, and neighbors. Repairing the damage will happen soon enough, and help will be available.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROcarrolltontx.com/.