How To Prepare for Increased Flood Risk After a Wildfire
You should always have a disaster kit
Be Prepared For a Flood Before It Happens
Any time there's a wildfire near Riverton, UT, your home is at an increased risk of flooding. The fire scorches the earth and all the vegetation that usually slows the flow of heavy rain, making flash floods and mudslides a greater possibility than usual. By having a plan that includes the FEMA NFIP and a clear evacuation route, you can be better prepared for a flood before it happens.
Make a Disaster Kit
You should always have a disaster kit, but it's especially important during storm season. The kit includes supplies you may need if your home has significant flooding damage:
- Three-day supply of food and water for each family member
- Sanitation supplies such as sanitizer, moist towelettes, and trash bags
- Flashlight and batteries
- First-aid supplies
You also want to take the weather into account and have the appropriate clothing. Rain gear and extra sweatshirts may be necessary. If you have an infant, make sure you have extra diapers and formula packed and ready to go. Make copies of all your important documents, such as the deed to the house, social security cards, and birth certificates, and place them in a waterproof pouch.
Get Flood Insurance
The FEMA NFIP provides coverage for homeowners whose houses are damaged by flooding from natural disasters. Take an inventory of your home, listing and photographing all the items you would need to replace if they were damaged in a flood. Policy premiums can vary based on where your home is located, but they're very low compared to the out-of-pocket costs of flood restoration services or replacing your home if it's destroyed.
Know Where To Go
It's essential to have an evacuation plan before your area is in danger of wildfire damage. Discuss with your family where you are going to meet and where you will go from there. Coordinate with your city's plan if possible.
A wildfire increases flood risk. You need a flood policy through FEMA NFIP and have an emergency plan for your family so that you are ready to face the risk.
Does a Residential Mold Assessment Require a Professional?
Mold damage in a Draper, UT home
If you experience a flood or a burst pipe in your home, you’ll probably know about it. But what about a pipe with a slow leak or a roof that isn’t water-tight? Unfortunately, mold can grow without you ever knowing about it in Draper, UT. Tracking it down often requires an expert for a valid mold assessment.
Is Black Mold Always Visible?
Not always, but it can be. Colonies like dark places to grow, but it’s not unusual to find mold peeking out from behind a washing machine or hot water tank. It’ll often be either growing right around an edge or, if well established, be in large, shiny fan-shaped patches in at least one of three colors:
Will a DIY Mold Detection Kit Work?
Unfortunately, a mold test kit that isn’t designed and certified to be handled by an expert will never be considered valid. Many off-the-shelf kits don’t even meet insurance company specifications.
Yet, the test kits aren’t the main issue with DIY. Studies show that most DIY test results are positive for mold because mold spores are everywhere. It takes training by a professional organization such as Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification to learn how to perform a mold assessment for the bad types.
What Happens if Mold Is Found?
Simple areas of mildew, such as what’s often found around water tanks on a toilet, can be easily cleaned off non-porous surfaces. However, black mold growth is serious and requires a certified mold restoration company with both the experience and access to resources needed for removal.
That’s another reason a professional mold assessment is so essential: they can decide what can be repaired and what must be replaced. It’s why insurance companies have a list of Preferred Vendors: they’re guaranteed to work within a budget to keep costs down.
The restoration will locate the cause of the water damage and hunt down any hidden mold. They use custom disinfectants that are hospital-approved to strip away mold spores and viruses. They’ll replace moldy drywall and can often sanitize carpets and fabrics in your home.
Necessary Tools for Fire Prevention
The key to prevention is inspection
Keep Your Business Safe
When you think of fire prevention, what comes to mind? Can you imagine your business thriving in the aftermath? Prevention comes down to preparation, as any fire restoration company in South Jordan, UT, will tell you. Therefore, to keep your business safe and thriving make sure you have the necessary tools.
Fire escape plan
Business interruption plan
Sprinkler System and Extinguishers
Fire Escape Plan
Depending on the industry, a business fire can be fast and aggressive, enveloping office spaces in minutes. Keeping employees, customers, and managers safe should always be the primary concern for any owner. Design a fire escape plan that has multiple exits from every area and practice the plan several times throughout the year.
Business Interruption Plan
Another critical aspect of fire prevention is knowing that not every fire can be prevented. Therefore, it is vital to have a plan for the aftermath, especially as it relates to business operations. While there is no getting around some level of interruption, with a proper plan, you may limit the amount of financial loss.
Sprinkler System and Extinguishers
The best way to limit fire damage in your building is by installing and using fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems. Most sprinkler systems are automatic, but extinguisher use is a skill that may need practice. Consider contacting the local fire department to ask for instructions and a possible demonstration.
The key to prevention is inspection. Make sure that all electrical, inventory, appliances, HVAC, and other elements of your facility receive the proper inspections. Faulty wiring or a malfunctioning appliance can lead to a significant commercial loss.
Fire prevention is only part of protecting your property and the people that make your business a success. Keep in mind that you cannot prevent every disaster, so preparation through planning is necessary. Contact your local fire department or a restoration service to discuss other prevention tips specific to your building.
Key Things To Remember About the Insurance Claims Process
Like any business owner, you can't bear to think about a disaster affecting your workplace. A fire or flood could be catastrophic. Such an incident could damage building materials, personal belongings, business supplies, or the structure itself. Luckily, you can rely on a professional disaster response team to restore your property. Also, by filing an insurance claim, you can get the financial help and coverage you need.
In the wake of an emergency at work, you have some initial responsibilities. Make sure you do the following:
- Evacuate the building in an orderly manner.
- Contact emergency services personnel.
- Stay out of the building until it is safe to go in.
- Call your insurance agent to discuss the claims process.
When you make an insurance claim, you should provide details about the incident and how it is affecting your business in West Jordan, UT. Describe how the incident started and how extensive the damage is. It is helpful to provide photos, if possible. Also, make a list of your losses, along with an estimate of their monetary value.
Work With the Cleanup Company
It's critical to choose the right repair and restoration company. SERVPRO knows how to communicate and coordinate efforts with the insurance company. The cleanup team will give a price quote to the agent to help with the claims process.
Gone are the days when you had to mail in the documentation for an insurance claim. Thanks to electronic processes, you can upload all relevant information to the insurance company's website. This makes things easier for you and speeds up the process. By doing this, you can have a faster resolution to your claim and receive payment more promptly.
You don't want to be in a position where you need to file an insurance claim. However, if you need help rebuilding your property, choose the professionals at SERVPRO, and follow these steps.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover After a Fire?
Your renter's insurance policy can help you replace your belongings after an apartment fire
What Does Renters Insurance Cover After a Fire?
If you lease an apartment in Daybreak, UT, you probably have a renters insurance policy. Yet it is sometimes confusing exactly what the policy covers.
In general, your landlord's coverage will pay for any fire damage to the apartment building itself. Meanwhile, a renters policy pays for harm to the items within the apartment. The policy may also cover:
- Medical payments
- Loss of use
Fire is considered a covered peril in nearly all circumstances. Your insurance claim should thus be accepted even if the fire resulted from your negligence.
As long as you did not purposely start the fire, your policy will help you pay for any personal property damaged by the blaze. You can also use the insurance money to help pay for fire restoration services.
Double-check your renter's insurance policy to make sure it pays the replacement cost rather than the actual value of destroyed items. After all, your furniture likely depreciated since you bought it.
Liability and Medical Payments
A fire may not just destroy your home. It could affect neighboring apartments, as well. Your renter's policy should have liability coverage for any third parties who suffer property damage as a result of the blaze.
Similarly, your insurance can cover the costs of some medical bills your neighbors or guests experience due to the fire. This medical payments coverage is typically small, but it could help if someone suffers a minor sprain or strain while escaping the apartment.
Loss of Use
After the fire, you may have to temporarily move out of your apartment and into a hotel. Your insurance should cover this additional expense, as well.
Your renter's insurance policy can help you replace your belongings after an apartment fire. It may even pay for fire cleanup services. You should thus be sure to make your insurance payments on time and keep your coverage up to date.
3 Tips for Toilet Replacement
Toilet being removed in a Bluffdale, UT home
3 Tips for Toilet Replacement
If you have a leaking toilet in your Bluffdale, UT, home, then you may be considering replacing the unit. Doing so correctly can help you prevent water damage to your home. Here are a few tips you may want to know.
1. Ensure the Water Line is Off
Before you remove the old toilet, it’s important to ensure that all water has been turned off and that the unit has been drained. Most bathrooms include water shut off valve behind the toilet. These can be used to close the water supply to the unit. Next, hold the flush lever until all the water has drained from the tank. The toilet can now be uninstalled.
2. Check For Damage Before Installing the New Unit
After your leaking toilet has been removed from the bathroom, it’s best to inspect for any water damage that may have occurred in the space. A local water damage restoration service can help. These professionals can also may any necessary cleanup or repairs, as well as offer tips on future mitigation steps you can take to protect your home.
3. Ensure all fittings are Secure
After your toilet repair is complete it’s important to ensure that all the fittings are secure. This includes the bolts at the toilet’s base that secure its position over the wax gasket, as well as the connection to the water supply line. Making sure these connections are secure can help prevent future water damage from leaks.
When removing a leaking toilet from your home it’s important to remember to turn off all the water before disconnecting the unit. Once the toilet is removed it’s a good idea to check for any water damage to the area. A restoration service can help with this task. After any repairs are complete you can install the new unit, ensuring that all connections are secure.
Keep Your Candles Without Causing a Fire
Although candles are a bit of a fire hazard, you don’t necessarily have to stop using them
Although you probably know candles are a potential fire hazard, you may not be willing to stop using them in your home. There is something therapeutic and genuinely enjoyable about lighting a candle and breathing in that amazing scent of choice. The good news is that there are ways to use these products without causing a candle fire in West Jordan, UT.
Consider following these three steps in your home.
- Don’t put your candle too close to the curtains. The worst decision to make when using candles of any size is to put them next to curtains in your home. Even if you think there is enough space between the two items, a quick draft of air could easily cause the flame to spread over to the curtain, causing a candle fire that could’ve been avoided.
- Don’t sleep without blowing them out. Even if you’re only planning to take a nap, make sure you blow the candle out and cover it with a lid if it came with one. You could end up sleeping for much longer than you anticipated, and something could happen during that time that ultimately leads to a serious candle fire.
- Keep your pets away from the candles. You may think you can trust your pets to steer clear from anything with a flame attached to it, but that isn’t always the case. A curious cat or dog could sneak over to the candle and end up knocking it over unintentionally. If that were to happen, you could end up dealing with the fire and smoke cleanup as well as the possibility of losing some of your valuable possessions.
Although candles are a bit of a fire hazard, you don’t necessarily have to stop using them. However, many people have made minor mistakes with candles in their homes that caused them to require the services of fire restoration experts. You can avoid those mistakes by following these important safety tips in West Jordan, UT.
Tips on Cleaning Water-Damaged Wood Flooring
Floor damaged after a water loss in Herriman, UT
If the wood flooring in your commercial building in Herriman, UT has sustained water damage due to such issues as a pipe burst, don’t assume it’s ruined. Nothing is guaranteed, but there are some treatment suggestions you can try that may restore the wood. It is important to realize that if the water damage covers an extensive area where furnishings and equipment are also affected, you should call a water restoration service as soon as possible to assess the situation. A pipe burst will usually require a professional assessment. If the area is small enough and no electrical outlets are compromised, however, you can attempt to clean the wood yourself.
Mild detergent and disinfectant
Stiff brush and squeegee
Absorbent towels and gloves
Steps to Follow
It’s critical to roll up your sleeves, put on your gloves, and get started cleaning as soon as possible. Water can seep between the seams and ruin the underfloor quickly, where mold will start to grow.
Remove all surface water using the shop vacuum on the wet setting. The squeegee can help to pool the water as it is sucked into the vacuum.
Mix mild detergent, disinfectant and fresh water in a clean bucket, making sure the cleaning agents are compatible with wood flooring. Using a stiff brush, scrub the entire area thoroughly to remove all dirt and debris. Make sure to scrub the baseboards as well. Dip the brush into the bucket frequently so it stays clean.
Use absorbent towels to soak up residual water on the wet floor. Then, slowly dry the entire area with fans and open windows, if possible, to create cross-ventilation. Never apply a heat source to a wood floor, however. Heat can cause the wood to crack or split.
Water damage from a pipe burst should always be handled professionally as soon as possible. Your wood flooring can hopefully be saved with some quick action on your part.
When Are Property Owners Liable for Mold?
Mold growth on Bluffdale, UT
Residential rentals must be habitable, but standards for mold in commercial buildings are less clear. The terms of a lease agreement should identify conditions in which either an owner or tenant is responsible for restoring water damage, scheduling mold testing, or remediating black mold or other fungal infestations at a building in Bluffdale, UT.
Failure to Remediate Damage
Structural water damage is likely to be the responsibility of a property owner. A tenant should notify the owner about any of the following incidents:
- Construction defects
- Plumbing problems
- Roof leaks
Depending on the terms of a lease, the tenant’s responsibility may only extend to a timely report of damage. A property owner will need to arrange for water damage restoration if this is the case. He or she may be liable for mold that results if preventative measures do not take place within a reasonable amount of time.
Refusal to Respond to Complaints
A property owner should always respond when a tenant reports water damage or the possible presence of black mold. Even if it is the tenant’s responsibility to restore damage or remediate mold according to the terms of the lease, maintaining clear lines of communication and documenting reports is essential for limiting liability and building a case.
Violation of Lease Terms
Liability for damage is more clear-cut if either party violates the terms of a lease. When an owner refuses to restore water damage or arrange for mold remediation necessitated by issues for which he or she is responsible, this could be grounds for a lawsuit. The same applies to tenants who do not adhere to the terms of a lease.
Legal liability for black mold or other fungi in a commercial building varies depending on the lease. Commercial property owners should carefully review any sections of this document that pertain to responsibility for water damage restoration, mold testing, and remediation.
Preparing a Flood Damage Claim
Blocked storm drain caused water to go into this Riverton, UT room
Preparing a Flood Damage Claim
After a major storm moves through Riverton, UT, leaving flood waters and damages in its wake, there's a lot of work to do for cleaning up and rebuilding. It's important to involve skilled water damage repair professionals because there's a potential for further damages, such as
inappropriately handling wet wood
hidden moisture and mold growth
deterioration of property
Floodwater isn't clean and may carry dangerous chemicals or hazardous waste. Anyone doing work in and near these waters must understand safety procedures and best practices. Before you dive into any repair work, reach out to your insurance agent and begin the work on your flood claim.
Working With the Adjuster
As a homeowner, there are specific details for you to consider as you file your insurance claim. An adjuster must come to your home to complete an assessment of damages. However, you can take photographs of damages and of the property in your home to share with the insurance agent. It is also okay to sort through your belongings, moving wet and damaged items outside before the adjuster arrives; just don't throw anything away before the assessment is completed.
Make sure your insurance agent, the adjuster, and the reconstruction professionals have your contact information, so you can be reached at any time for updates to your flood claim. The adjuster will provide you with a proof of loss statement, and it's important that you get that signed and turned in within 60 of receiving the document. If additional damages are discovered after that paperwork is complete, it is still possible to add new damages.
Handling Insurance Claims
If you don't have flood insurance, all is not lost. Your homeowner's insurance may not provide coverage without the appropriate policies, but you may qualify for assistance from the federal government if the area has been declared a natural disaster. As you work through the details of your flood claim, work closely with authorities and professionals. It is possible to recover from a major storm.