4 Essential Things All Business Owners Should Protect From Flooding
Flooding can have a deep economic impact on businesses in Lacey, WA
4 Steps You Can Take To Minimize Flood Damage.
Flooding can have a deep economic impact on businesses in Lacey, WA both from lost information and time spent recovering from the aftermath of storms. The good news is that there are steps you can take to minimize damage. Here are four areas to focus on:
1. Your Employees
One of the most important considerations when preparing for floods is safeguarding the people behind your business. Take good care of employees before, during and after disasters:
- Before: Establish a clear emergency plan that indicates where employees should go in case of flooding. Additionally, prepare designated shelters and emergency provisions.
- During: In the case of flash floods, immediately turn off building power and do not allow workers to attempt to swim, drive or walk through the rushing floodwaters.
- After: Do not require employees to return to work immediately. Contact specialists to ensure your property is clean and secure first.
2. Vital Information
While insurance may cover inventory losses, economic effects due to lost data can be far more difficult to recover from. Take these steps in advance to keep essential information safe:
- Regularly back up financial data to a cloud-based platform.
- Keep tax data safe in more than one location.
- Safely secure client contact data and unfulfilled purchase orders.
3. Building Surfaces
In Lacey, WA it’s imperative to keep your building’s insurance policy up-to-date, including flood damage provisions. If building elevation increases water damage risks, structural changes, such as fitting water pipes with non-return valves, may help.
4. Yourself and Your Family Members
Don’t rush back to your business as soon as floodwaters have subsided. This may expose you to health dangers from black water or weakened structures. To stay safe, contact a trustworthy storm damage restoration company that can clean up any harmful residuals completely.
By taking steps ahead of time to prevent damage from flooding, and by calling cleanup experts immediately afterwards, you can adapt to disasters and resume business operations as quickly as possible.
A Homeowner’s Policy Does Not Cover All Fires
Ask your agent if you are covered
When it comes to a home fire, the fine print in your policy is your insurer’s friend. It describes the items and circumstances excluded from your fire coverage. They may use fine print to save paper. They may hope it’s too small for you to read. Look at your policy and decide for yourself. One fact you can be sure of is that the fine print is in policies everywhere, not just those in Yelm, WA.
Imagine having a fire where your insurer denied your claim. It would be a financial disaster that could drive you into bankruptcy. Imagine being in this situation:
- There would be no money for home repairs or replacement.
- There would be no money to replace the contents and personal items.
- There would be no money for relocation expenses.
- Mortgage payments would still be due.
- You would be homeless.
Naturally, you would appeal the decision and take them to court if necessary. There are two common reasons for denial of the claim.
Insurers Don’t Cover Fires Started by Arsonists
Many people find themselves upside down on their home mortgages. They can’t afford to keep their home, and they can’t afford to sell it. They are stuck. They fantasize about a home fire solving their problem. They would be happy to let the insurance company deal with it.
Sometimes, people will take that fantasy a step further and cause the fire. That is arson and is illegal. It gives the insurer a reason to deny the claim.
A Standard Policy Will Not Cover a Vacant Home Fire
Insurers typically consider a home vacant if unoccupied for 30 days or more. If someone regularly checks on it, is it vacant? If renovations are underway during the daytime, is it vacant? Could an insurer consider your home vacant? If so, be safe and buy a policy endorsement that covers this situation.
After a home fire, you want to recover as quickly as possible. There are fire restoration professionals nearby, ready to come to the rescue. They are here to help.
Is Mold Testing Really Necessary?
Mold in a Olympia, WA home
When mold gets discussed in the media, it is often dramatic and involves a worst-case scenario of some poor homeowner who had a life-changing event occur because of the mold problem reported. However, when most people run into a colony of the fungi in their Olympia, WA , home, their first instinct is to grab some bleach water and wipe the spots away. When the spots return, it is probably time for a professional mold assessment to determine what type of fungus is attacking the building.
What Does a Mold Test Look For?
A mold test is typically done to locate the species of mold and contamination levels within a particular area inside the home. These tests can include, but are not limited to the following:
- Stachybotrys, or toxic black mold
- Aspergillus, or a group of 200 dangerous molds
- Contamination, or the levels of spores in the air
- Mildew, or an innocuous type of fungus
What Happens After a Mold Test?
Since the majority of mold lurks inside walls, it can be important to know where the mold is, what type it is and how large the contaminated area really is. A professional assessment team can do just that; in fact, the certified mold assessment professionals at SERVPRO of Olympia, WA , are Here to Help anytime mold is found. The team can locate the source, remove the polluting fungi and repair the area impacted by the mold.
Attacking the surface mold with a cleaning solution can do little more than stall the problem because mold colonies hide inside and under the surface. Letting a professional mold removal team locate the problem and remove it can save time and money. Why not defend your home and alleviate the situation with a mold assessment test before and after repairs to assure there is no longer a mold issue in your home?
Water Dripping From Your Ceiling Fixtures - What You Should Do First
Water dripping from ceiling in Lacey, WA
Water dripping from a ceiling fixture is one of those things you never expect to happen, but is important to know how to handle if it does. Water should drip from your roof if it rains or snow is melting, but dripping into your home water in light fixtures is not normal and needs to be addressed immediately. Do you know how to handle this kind of emergency? Here are some things that need to be done immediately.
First Steps To Take if Water is Dripping From the Lighting
- Turn off all electrical breakers to the area
- Try to locate source of water in light fixtures. If from pipes, shut off water
- Call an electrician and a plumber Lacey, WA, right away for help to stop the leak and check the extent of the electrical damage
The first order of business should be to shut off the electricity. Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. You need to buy some time to discover and remedy the source of the leaking and shutting off the electricity may help buy that time. If the source is a leak in your roof, you will need to have someone repair it as soon as possible to prevent further damage. If the source is a bathtub overflowing or a broken pipe in the ceiling, you may possibly incur ceiling damage if it is not stopped immediately.
If the ceiling is bulging, that could mean there is a good deal of water building up and the weight is becoming too much for the structure to bear. It might be wise to move your belongings out of the area until things are resolved. You may want to call a professional restoration company in Lacey, WA, to assess ceiling damage and help with any restoration that is needed.
Water in light fixtures can be difficult to deal with but knowing what to do is important. Taking a few specific steps can have things back to normal quickly, giving you peace of mind.
Festive Candle Substitutes
Candle alternatives can provide familiar holiday scents as well to your Olympia, WA home
Candle Alternatives During the Holidays
Candles are a staple of the holiday season, bringing warm lighting tones and delicate scents. However, the early winter period also brings an increased risk of house fires due to these unattended flames. Consider the following candle alternatives when decorating and entertaining during the holidays in Olympia, WA.
1. Flameless Candles
A flameless candle is an artificial candle in which the flame is replaced by an electrical lighting element. These can be incandescent bulbs in the style of a candelabra or a more modern LED solution. In either case, the exterior resembles a candle and the bulb is tinted toward the warmer end of the light spectrum. These recreate the atmosphere of conventional candles without the accompanying fire hazards.
2. Sights and Smells
Some consumers may desire candle alternatives that provide familiar holiday scents as well. Many artificial candle models are available that emit a fragrant odor similar to that of a wall outlet air freshener, but also light your living space with a warm glow. These are available in a wide range of scents and model sizes.
3. Heat Lamps
Stylish heat lamps are another novel solution for the prevention of candle fire disasters. These products are incandescent bulbs that shine directly downward onto a jar of scented wax, illuminating the room with a diffuse glow. Because the warmth from the lamp melts the wax, they have all of the scent properties of a normal candle. Some models are even designed to work with wick candles, allowing you to use either mode of operation at your leisure.
Many candle alternatives are available for the homeowner who cannot attend a flame for an extended period of time. Because such fire hazards can necessitate relocation and costly fire restoration services, it is prudent to explore the full range of substitutes as you begin your holiday season.
Make a Resolution To Protect Your Business
Water damage restoration in a Yelm, WA commercial building
With the coming of a new year, it’s time to review the previous year, taking stock and making plans for change. When you are going through this process, remember to reevaluate your business insurance. It’s a good time to make sure your policy fits your needs, especially when it comes to water damage, which is one of the most common reasons businesses file insurance claims.
Evaluate Water and Flood Risks
Most business insurance policies will provide adequate financial protection from water damage, but here are some questions to ask yourself when reevaluating your risk:
- Could I have a sewer backup?
- Is my building in a location that is exposed to below freezing temperatures?
- How old are my sewer pipes?
- Is my roof maintained to reduce ice and water buildup?
- Have I noticed any persistent bad odors?
- Have I seen any signs of small leaks (drips, mold, etc.) that could indicate broken pipes?
- Is my building in Yelm, WA, in a flood zone?
These are important questions to ask yourself before contacting your insurance agent to review your policy.
Review Common Exclusions
When talking with your agent, ask about exclusions in your insurance policy. Most of the exceptions for water damage are based on the source of the damage: such as a natural flood or a failed pipe that was not properly maintained. Ask about purchasing additional coverage if you think your building is at risk for damage that isn’t part of your standard coverage.
Make a Resolution
You work hard to manage a business. By spending a short amount of time to ask yourself key questions, you will accomplish much to assess your risk for water related damages. Your insurance agent will gain a better understanding of your needs and how to help protect your business financially.
If you do have a need for water cleanup, you can work with a single source: a commercial building restoration specialist is not like other contractors that work only on certain parts such as pipes or drywall repair. These specialists have experience helping businesses with restoration from physical damages of things like floods.
Ensuring Security: Steps To Take After a Fire
Secure your property after a fire in Tenino, WA
Steps To Take After a Fire
A fire in your commercial building in Tenino, WA, will likely leave you with a long task list. One of the first things on that list should be security. Fire damage can make your property vulnerable to inclement weather, vandalism and theft. There are three main steps to ensure your building is secure after a blaze.
1. Make Necessary Calls
One of the first contacts you should make after you call your insurance agent is to a fire restoration company. Not only does this get the fire cleanup process started quickly before secondary damage can occur, it also enlists experts who can advise you on how to best secure your building. While you may have thought to lock the doors and board up the windows, you may not be thinking about the damage a rainstorm could cause through the new hole in the roof. Certified specialists are trained to identify every step needed to protect your property well.
2. Enact Protection Plan
The safety plan for your building should include securing it after fire damage occurs. Know who is in charge of completing the walkthrough with emergency personnel and preparing the subsequent report. Delegate a specific person to make sure the structure is boarded up. It’s also a good idea to have a watch team that acts as a guard against would-be intruders until experts can secure the area properly.
3. Remove Valuables
Some people look at buildings in vulnerable states as targets for their next crime. Looting is a real possibility after a fire. Fortunately, there is an easy way to prevent this problem. The best way to protect your valuables is simply to remove them from the compromised structure. Thieves can’t steal something that isn’t there.
Fire damage is enough of a problem itself. You don’t need to add to your worries by leaving your building open to other issues. Securing your property while it is being restored may protect it from further risk.
The Office Fridge: Tips for Preventing Fridge Mold
3 Ways to Prevent Fridge Mold
Mold needs oxygen, moisture and organic matter to thrive, and since people need those same elements, it seems there could be potential for mold growth in your building in Lacey, WA. One place where you will find these mold-friendly elements is in a refrigerator. The shared fridge is a scary place, often a source of contention over cleanliness and food property rights. Here are three ways to prevent fridge mold and ensure that your office fridge is a friendly harbor of food storage:
- Monitor the environment. Don’t rely on mold smell to monitor the fridge. Keep a thermometer in the fridge to ensure the temperature stays below 40° F, discouraging mold growth.
- Communicate procedures. Create a procedure for removing food and disinfecting fridge shelves and drawers weekly. Communicate the procedure with email and signage. Include information on proper food storage, such as using sealed containers. If compliance is a problem, consider paying the janitorial staff an additional fee to ensure the weekly purge.
- Provide tools. You can encourage weekly fridge cleanings if you make cleaning materials accessible. Keep a fridge-care basket that includes detergent, baking soda, disinfecting wipes, paper towels, plastic bags, plastic wrap, and a permanent marker.
Company gatherings create the need for additional fridge care. Be sure to store food in sealable containers soon after the event is over. Help maintain a cool temperature by storing larger amounts of food in shallower containers and by keeping the doors closed while packing.
Another special situation is a power outage. If your fridge sat at temperatures of 40° F or above for longer than 2 hours, you need to throw everything out to avoid fridge mold problems.
When All Else Fails
If you have fridge mold, you are not alone. Many companies have had to call professional mold remediators to help return their food storage environment back to a healthy state. When you call a professional, make sure they are experienced with proper mold removal procedures to ensure containment and prevention of additional problems.
What Is Considered Fire Damage for Commercial Buildings?
Commercial fire in Yelm,WA
What Costs Insurance Will Cover if a Fire Affects Your Business
If a fire affects your business in Yelm, WA, you may be unsure of what costs insurance will cover. When you know what is included under the category of fire damage, you can have a better idea of what to do next.
1. Structural Damage Is Covered
Whether a fire is widespread or more contained, fires often cause a building to sustain structural damage. The damage that occurs to a building after a fire is covered by insurance. In order to receive an accurate estimate of the damage, it is often useful to provide your insurance company with any photos that show what the damaged structure looked like prior to the fire.
2. Loss of Goods or Equipment Is Covered
Any products or pieces of equipment that were damaged in a fire are generally covered. An insurance adjuster will often help determine the exact cost of the fire damage, but it’s often helpful to provide information to the adjuster as well. If you know how many products were damaged and can provide the wholesale price of such products, this can sometimes be helpful information for your adjuster.
3. Business Interruption Is Not Covered
Once your business has been damaged by a fire, the process of restoration can often be time-consuming. A building must be made structurally sound, but before this can occur, the building must be sanitized, and items must be removed from the building. As a result of the restoration process, your business will probably need to close its doors for a period of time. The financial cost of not having your business open for the time it takes to restore the business is not covered by insurance.
Knowing what your insurance will and will not cover in the event your business experiences fire damage can help you better prepare yourself for the financial costs for which you’re responsible. If your business has already sustained damage and you are beginning to make repairs, it can help to work with fire mitigation and restoration experts.
How To Access Assistance Through FEMA
Repairing a flood damaged structure in Yelm,WA
Around 85 percent of flood damage is not covered under homeowners’ insurance policies. If a storm were to damage your home in Yelm, WA, would you be in that majority? If so, learning about the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may save your bank account.
What Is Covered?
This federal government agency coordinates financial and other supports for those impacted by a declared natural disaster. Annually, flooding is the most common calamity that damages homes, vehicles and personal property. FEMA offers the following:
- Grants are available to restore homes to a livable condition. Although this money does not need to be paid back, it frequently covers only the minimum repairs to ensure your home’s safety.
- Grants are also available for other related costs, such as temporary housing, medical costs or funeral expenses.
- Disaster loans need to be paid back. This funding often covers expenses accrued by working with a storm restoration specialist to return your property and belongings to preloss condition.
What Is the Application Process?
In order to apply for assistance, homeowners must meet set criteria. This includes evidence that damage was caused by a federally declared disaster, citizenship (including non-citizen nationals and qualified aliens) of a household member and non-duplication of insurance benefits when applicable. If these requirements are met, take the following steps:
- Initiate the process online on the appropriate government website.
- Schedule an appointment with an inspector contracted with the federal agency to visit your home. The role of these inspectors is to survey the damage caused by flooding or other declared disaster. They verify eligibility and document that you are the owner of the impacted structure or property. They also take pictures of extent of the damage.
- Following the inspection, wait for an adjustor to review the specifics of the damage and assign a monetary value for the cost of repair.
In the aftermath of a flood or other catastrophe in Yelm, WA, homeowners may be eligible to receive funding for disaster related expenses. FEMA provides both grants and loans to help you get back on your feet when devastation strikes.