How Flood Insurance Helps Keep Your Business Afloat
No matter where your business is based, flooding is always a risk.
Three Reasons To Invest In Flood Insurance
Owning a business in Carthage, MO can feel like exploring uncharted waters at times. One thing you don’t want to complicate the experience is damage from actual water, which can add up fast. When the dust settles (and dries), you could be looking at a bill for over $50,000 from just one inch of water. Here are three reasons why investing in a flood insurance policy for your business is important.
1. It's Usually the Only Insurance That Covers Flood Damage
Most commercial property insurance policies do not cover damage from flooding, a fact that, unfortunately, many business owners learn too late. Insurance can be purchased anytime from the National Flood Insurance Program. It offers coverage for up to half a million dollars for both building and personal property.
2. There’s No Such Thing as "No Risk"
You may be wondering why you need a flood policy if your business is not in a high-risk area. Flooding can be caused by blocked sewers and melting snow; even wildfires can increase flood chances in your neighborhood. According to statistics from FEMA, insurance claims from low-risk areas make up over 20% of all flood claims.
3. Other Assistance Options May Be Limited
While there are federal aid programs available to business owners affected by flooding, the president must declare a state of emergency to activate those benefits. What's more, these loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration must be paid back with interest. Because of this, having commercial insurance that also includes flood protection is like a lifeboat that can keep you from drowning in water damage or debt. Your insurance company will work in tandem with your local water damage restoration specialists to help get your business back on track in no time.
No matter where your business is based, flooding is always a risk. Having a flood insurance policy and knowing it inside and out can be the difference between treading water and smooth sailing.
Ways To Keep Water out of Your Crawl Space
Check your rain gutter.
How Do I Keep Water Out Of My Crawl Space?
When it comes to flooding at home, basements, cellars and crawl spaces are among the most common places to find water. While you may not worry too much about a little water in this tiny part of your home, if you neglect the problem, it could lead to more serious issues in your Joplin, MO, home like mold growth. Make sure you take the proper action to help ensure you don’t end up with a wet crawl space.
How it Happens
As a homeowner, you have a host of matters you must deal with to keep your home safe. A flood can frustrate you because of the cleanup and repair costs, not to mention potential health and safety hazards. Here are some signs your crawl space may be at risk for water buildup:
- Broken underground lines
- Poorly graded property
- Broken or incorrectly installed downspouts and rain gutters
Pay Attention to Landscaping
One of the biggest culprits for a wet crawl space is when your property doesn’t have the right slope. Your lawn and other landscaping should slope away from your home so when heavy rain comes, it won’t build up on your property and find its way into your basement. Make sure water is draining away from your house.
Don’t Water too Much
If you’ve got a garden or flower bed close to your home, be careful about how much you water it. Overwatering can easily cause water to leak into your crawl space and cause flooding.
Check Your Rain Gutters
If a storm hits, you count on rain gutters and downspouts to guide water away from your home toward the street. Check these on your house to ensure they are collecting water near your foundation or window wells.
If you’re worried about a wet crawl space, get in touch with a professional to inspect your property. These technicians can also help you clean up after a flood.
Do I Have Mold in My Home? – Warning Signs You May Have a Problem
Don’t let a small problem in your Carthage, MO, MO home grow out of control.
Do I Have Mold in My Home?
The first thing we need to understand about mold is: yes, you do have mold in your home. Mold is ubiquitous, meaning it is found everywhere. Mold in normal amount is not necessarily unhealthy or destructive. When you have increased level of mold is when you have a problem.
What causes an increased level of mold? Molds thrive in areas with high moisture levels. In fact, all mold needs to survive is a food source which is anything cellulose and water. Typically, your home or business is kept well below the 60% relative humidity needed for elevated mold growth. But if you have any sort of water intrusion from a flood, roof leak, or seeping basement the moisture level in the air could increase to a level that is prime for mold growth. What do you need to look for?
Water Spots: Water spots on sheetrock, ceiling tiles, or basement walls typically indicate a water intrusion of some kind. As mentioned above a water intrusion can elevate moisture levels in the air to promote mold growth. You need to find the source of the water. SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin can safely assist you in this area.
Discoloration: Not all discoloration is mold growth but many times it is a tell-tail sign of elevated mold growth. When you discover the discoloration ask yourself if there is a reason to believe the conditions are right for mold growth? Did you suffer a water intrusion lately? Is the discoloration near a water source like nearby plumbing that could have a small leak? Again, a professional is best suited to further investigate.
Foul Odor: Plain and simple, mold stinks! Literally stinks. Based on the type of mold, the amount of mold, and how good of a sniffer you have it could be a very faint odor or it could be quite pungent. If you believe the odor is mold related you should bring in a professional.
Mold is nothing to ignored. It also can deteriorate you home value as it eats away at the structure and finishes costing you money to repair. Mold is a topic that many time makes people uncomfortable because they have seen extreme examples of how harmful mold can be when out of control. Remember every story of extreme mold clean up usually started small with one or more of the above listed signs. Don’t let a small problem in your Carthage, MO, MO home grow out of control. If you see the signs call SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin for an evaluation.
Let's Get Prepared for Possible Severe Weather
Have a kit ready.
Severe Weather Reminders
In Joplin, MO, we have had an active spring weather wise but fortunately, we have not encountered much in the way of severe weather here in the four states. But as we all know we are no where near being out of the woods for possible severe storms. We try to help our neighbors be as prepared as possible for any disaster. Here are our annual spring severe weather reminders.
Be vigilant and aware.
There are a lot of ways to receive notice of the threat of severe weather these days. Weather radios (with properly charged batteries) are probably the most reliable but are sometimes impractical. Most people do not carry a weather radio around with them. Weather radios are also limited in accuracy for specific locations. The information released on weather radios covers entire counties. Cell phones are a better way to receive information about specific locations but they rely on a network of towers that can be damaged by strong storms. Television and radio are also great ways to receive updated information but they too can be interrupted by damage to their infrastructure.
Have an Emergency Kit ready.
We all have been reminded many times to have a kit ready. Standard items include food and water for two days. A first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, blankets, etc. The National Weather Service, the Red Cross, and FEMA all have detailed lists you can easily find online. Just don’t procrastinate! Get a kit ready and have it accessible.
Have a rendezvous plan.
Don’t assume if a disaster strikes your family will all be together and accounted for. We all have busy lives and are going in different directions. Have a plan to meet up with loved ones. Start with meeting back at your home, but if that is not possible have a back up plan to meet. Many families use a family member or other contact out of the area to coordinate the rendezvous.
As severe weather season rolls on, please be safe!
3 Places Mold Can Hide in Your Commercial Building
If you own a building with wallpaper, fungi may be lurking behind it.
Places Where Mold Can Hide
Mold can damage your Sarcoxie, MO, commercial building and cause long-term issues, including an unpleasant mold smell. This odor can make your employees and customers uncomfortable, and in some cases, the mold itself may not be visible. There are several places fungi can hide, and calling in a professional mitigation and removal team can help you pinpoint the source of the odor.
1. HVAC Ducts
If your heating, ventilation and air conditioning ducts have leaks or do not operate correctly due to age, this can cause moisture to enter the ductwork, where mold can take hold and grow unchecked. Most types of fungi do not require sunlight to grow and spread, and as the mold eats, it releases a waste product called mycotoxins, which creates the fungus smell. Having your ductwork checked can uncover the source of the odor.
2. Under Carpet Padding
Even a minor flood can cause mold to grow, and if your building experienced a flood, incomplete cleanup may cause mold to grow under carpeting and beneath the padding. Dining room carpeting in a restaurant or in an office may be hiding mold, which can cause a musty mildew smell that is both persistent and unpleasant. Your mitigation technicians may have to remove the carpeting and padding to resolve the issue.
3. Behind Wallpaper
If you own a building with wallpaper, fungi may be lurking behind it and causing a mold smell you cannot pinpoint by sight. Your technicians may use thermal imaging equipment, such as cameras, to find sources of moisture and mold growth. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may have to replace the wallpaper in the affected areas.
An unpleasant mold smell inside your Sarcoxie, MO, commercial building can make your employees and customers uncomfortable. Because fungi can hide in a variety of places, calling in a professional removal team can ensure that the mold and its accompanying odor are completely eradicated.
How To Stay Safe and Minimize Loss During a Flood
Install a sump pump in your basement.
Stay Safe During a Flood
Flood damage is something that many business owners have experienced. You can follow a few steps when faced with a flood to stay safe and minimize the amount of loss you experience.
What To Do Ahead of Time
There are steps that you can take before flooding occurs to protect yourself and your business. The most effective way to get proper protection is to purchase a flood insurance policy. Here are some other things you can do to protect your business:
- Find a storm restoration company
- Know your risk of floods
- Create an inventory of all your items
- Store important documents somewhere safe
Steps To Minimize Your Loss
Aside from these crucial things, there are several steps you can take to minimize your property damage from flooding. For instance, you can elevate and anchor all of your critical utilities, such as electrical panels, propane tanks, sockets, wiring, appliances, and HVAC systems. Another permanent thing you can do is waterproof the basement level of your building and install a sump pump. These pumps can greatly reduce the amount of damage to your building.
You may also need to do some things when rising water levels are predicted, such as clearing out your gutters. When you do this, it may also be wise to put your furniture and valuable equipment in a higher location.
Don’t Forget About Physical Safety
When flooding is imminent in Duquesne, MO, you must put yourself and your employees' safety first. You can do this by staying up to date with the local weather reports and news releases. You can also create an evacuation plan that shows your employees how to get to safety if necessary.
Floods and storm damage is something is a common threat to business owners. To protect yourself, your employees, and your business, you need to know how to prepare for the situation and minimize your loss.
Characteristics of Category 2 Water Damage
Commercial water damage in Sarcoxie, MO.
Category 2 Water Damage
In Sarcoxie, MO, a water loss in your business is nobody’s idea of a good time. Besides the revenue lost from a water pipe repair, there could be permanent property damage and maybe even worse. See below to find out more about Category 2 water and how it affects the severity of the situation.
Second Floor, Broken Pipe
You find out your business needs a water pipe repair when you return from Christmas vacation. A broken line in the second-floor restroom caused Category 1 water to accumulate in the walls and ceiling undetected for the holiday week. By the time everybody returned to work, the Category 1 water had become Category 2 due to the length of time and warm temperatures from a heated building. Not to mention contamination from the bathroom and dust, debris, and insulation between floors.
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification says that Category 2 water can potentially cause illness in humans. This type of water, also known as grey water, might contain hazardous levels of microbes and microbe fuel, along with other things found in a restroom.
Here are some examples of Category 2 water:
- Overflowing toilets containing urine only
- Discharge from a washing machine or dishwasher
- Leaky water beds and aquariums
First Floor, Flooded
The Category 2 water stewing between the first and second floors broke through the ceiling on the first floor, causing a mess in the lobby. Heat in the building kept the water at the right temperature to encourage further microbial growth. If given a little more time, the Category 2 water could have become Category 3 water with vast numbers of microorganisms. Not a very welcome sight for visitors.
If given enough time and the right temperature and contamination, Category 1 water can become Category 2 or 3.
Take These Steps When Your Toilet Floods
A flooded toilet in Granby, MO.
When Your Toilet Floods, Follow These Steps
One of the main reasons for sewer damage in Granby, MO, commercial properties is the flooded toilet. Unfortunately, there are quite a few possible causes of an overflowing toilet:
- Inappropriate items or too much of something is flushed and clogs the pipes.
- The valve, float bobber, or other components in the tank are damaged or malfunctioning.
- The seal around the fill valve has become loose.
- There may be a clog (or clogs) along the sewer line.
The resulting damage can be pretty bad, no matter where the overflowing toilet is located, but when that toilet is on the second or third floor of a building, there may be damage on multiple levels.
The first step you should take is to contact a plumbing professional or the local sewage company because the damage will continue to occur until the main cause of the problem has been corrected. This is especially important if there's a clog deep within the sewer system or if your building has an older plumbing system that could suffer further damage during repairs.
Next, clean up as much water as you can. The longer that water is left to sit around the toilet, the further it will seep into building materials. After mopping up as much water as you can, open windows, add fans and take other steps to further dry the area. Remember that it doesn't take long for wet building materials to create an environment where mold spreads quickly.
Schedule Restoration Services
As soon as possible, get water damage cleanup and restoration professionals to assess the damage and determine the best method of restoring your property. Restoration technicians may locate areas between the floors of the building that need attention, so you can avoid more expensive repairs down the road. These technicians will also take care of immediate needs, such as disinfecting any areas that were exposed to bacteria and waste carried in by sewer water.
Your commercial property requires high-quality results following sewer damage. Contact professionals, such as plumbers, sewage company representatives, and restoration experts right away.
Where Do I Install My New Smoke Alarms?
Choosing a good smoke alarm and knowing where to install it is necessary.
Types of Smoke Detectors
Whether you're building a new home or need to revamp your current home-safety system, choosing a good smoke alarm and knowing where to install it is necessary. There are two basic types of detectors: ionization and photoelectric. They not only detect smoke differently but also detect some types of fires more quickly than others. Understanding how they work and where they work best will help you protect your family, home and possessions from harm.
How They Work
An ionization smoke detector uses a small amount of radioactive material to cause ions to be released, creating a current between the metal plates on either side of the material. Flaming, aggressive fires send up thick smoke that quickly disrupts the current and trips the alarm. Though ionization models also detect finer smoke particles, a photoelectric detector senses smoke from smoldering flames earlier. It uses light to detect smoke; when smoke particles block the interior light, an alarm goes off. If you want to create the best fire safety plan possible, use both types of alarms in your home.
Where They Should Go
At a minimum, you should have one smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every floor including the basement. Since many house fires start in the kitchen, it is good to have a detector there, and if you have a fireplace anywhere in your home, install one in that room as well. Finally, if you use gas or oil to heat your home, make sure to have a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector near the furnace and on every level. You can purchase wired-in or battery-operated smoke detectors; both are effective, though battery-operated ones require regular battery changes to ensure they're working properly.
Sadly, almost every home in the United States has had some kind of fire or smoke-related damage at one time or another. If there is evidence of damage in your home, a fire remediation service in Seneca, MO can inspect every smoke alarm, repair damages, clean the area and remove any residual odors that are present.
3 Common Questions About Ice Dams
An ice dam is a frozen barricade at the edge of your roof.
Ice Dams: Three Common Questions
An ice dam is a frozen barricade at the edge of your roof. It forms when the snow on top of your home starts to melt and slowly slide off the roof, only to refreeze at its edge, causing a big, icy pile-up.
1. How Do Ice Dams Form?
Over time, the warm air inside your house heats the underside of your roof, causing accumulated snow to melt and slide off. In most cases, it does this very slowly — so slowly that when that slush hits the edge of your roof under the right conditions, it refreezes.
This is because there's no cozy interior air rising up and keeping things warm beneath your gutter and your roof's overhang. Instead, the snowmelt gets zapped with frigid air and turns back to ice.
2. Can They Cause Damage?
Ice dams often prevent future snowmelt from running off the roof. Eventually, that accumulated water will try to find a way into your home via cracks, holes and shingles.
3. How Do You Prevent an Ice Dam From Forming?
Early detection is key. There are certain preventative measures you can take, such as heated gutters and downspouts, but being able to spot the signs of a nascent dam is the best way to avoid placing a call to your local storm damage restoration company. They include:
- Ice on siding
- Ice on top of gutters
- Icicles on the edge of the roof or gutters
- Ice or water around a window frame or door
- Ice or water inside a window frame or door
If you live in an area with frequent snowfall or own a vacation home away from Sarcoxie, MO, that does, talk with your insurance agent about ice dam coverage. It's often included as part of a homeowners insurance policy's dwelling coverage.
An ice dam doesn't have to end in disaster. When a winter storm hits, step away from that roaring fire (or YouTube video of a roaring fire) and check in on your roof every once in a while.