Will Filing a Claim Raise My Insurance Rates?
How many times have you filed an insurance claim?
You come home from work to find water everywhere because one of your pipes burst while you were gone. Obviously, you're going to call a plumber or water damage specialist in Indian Hill, OH, right away, but should you also file an insurance claim? If you're concerned about making that call might cause your rates to go up, here are the factors you should consider:
The Cause of Your Water Damage and Who's at Fault
Floods — water that flows over the ground into your house — are not covered by homeowner's insurance unless you have a specific policy for it. Homeowner's will cover water damage from rain if it came through a damaged roof or window, or damage from toilets, sinks, showers, burst pipes, or lawn sprinklers, provided the cause isn't due to neglect or fault of your own.
The Size of Your Deductible
Will the cost of repairing the damage exceed your deductible? If not, is it worth filing a claim?
How Many Times You've Filed
If this is not your first insurance claim, how many times have you filed? The number of claims will most certainly impact your rates.
Your Credit Rating
Surprisingly, a low credit score can cause your insurance rates to go up, even if your home flood was out of your control.
The Type of Damage
Unfortunately, water damage is among the issues that insurance companies see as a red flag, and are therefore more likely to raise rates.
The Extent of Damage
If you are at all able to afford the repairs and restoration outright, it is best to handle things on your own. On the other hand, if the damage is catastrophic, you shouldn't think twice about making a claim.
Though dealing with water damage can be a big headache, dealing with your insurance company doesn't have to be. Understanding your policy and the factors that contribute to rate hikes before you make the call can help you make the right decision about whether to file an insurance claim.
Understanding Fire Insurance
Fire insurance protects business owners in the event of a fire
Every year, fires cause over $10 billion in property damage. While residential homes make up the majority of damage, fires still cause trouble for many businesses. In 2019, more than $1 billion of the total national damage came from one commercial property alone. Given these costs, it makes sense fire insurance exists. If you are a business owner in Mariemount, OH, it can be useful to understand how this kind of insurance works.
What Is It?
Fire insurance is a kind of property insurance that protects business owners in the event of a fire. Typically, it covers:
- Property damages
- Profit and wage losses
- Fire restoration
When a fire occurs in a commercial property, there can be extensive costs involved. In addition to facing damages to your build and equipment, you will also have to deal with a loss of profits and wages because of the inability to work. Other ongoing costs to consider include rent and utilities. When your business insurance policy includes fire protection, it typically addresses all of these expenses.
Why Is It Important?
If you own a business, this kind of insurance is important because it provides fire protection for one of your biggest investments and likely the source of income which supports your livelihood. After a fire, you will need to contact a fire restoration expert to assess and address the damage, and the costs of repairs and smoke cleanup can quickly add up. If your insurance policy includes fire protection, you will be able to handle the inevitably difficult situation with less stress. This kind of security can make a big difference. Insurance can offer you a peace of mind so you can focus on running your business.
Owning a business and having fire insurance go hand-in-hand. If your company runs out of a commercial property, there are many safety factors you need to think about. Fires should be a top concern. Investing in fire protection can reduce worries by giving you options if something does goes wrong.
Water Damage Restoration Steps
Water damage restoration in an Amberly Village, OH home
Water Damage Restoration Steps
The restoration of a home that has been damaged by water is a multi-step process that may involve the tear out of some damaged areas of the property. This guide will help you understand what to expect from the restoration process.
1. Remove Water
The first goal of the storm restoration process is to remove standing water from the home. This process should begin as soon as possible to reduce the chances of warping, structural damage and mold growth. If your home has a significant amount of standing water, you will probably need professional equipment to remove it. A water damage restoration company in Amberly Village, OH, can assist you with the water removal process.
2. Dry Out Property
Once the standing water has been removed, the property needs to be thoroughly dried to eliminate the remaining moisture. Fans and dehumidifiers may be used to remove moisture from the air and aid in drying out surfaces. Wet contents should be removed from the home and discarded or dried out before returning them. You may need to tear out sections of damaged drywall and replace them. Wet carpets should be disposed of if possible. If you can not immediately discard carpets, use an extractor or wet/dry vacuum to remove as much water as you can.
3. Clean and Sanitize
Once everything is dry, contents and surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized before repairs begin. This step will help remove mold spores and contaminants.
4. Repair and Restore
The final step of the process is repairing and restoring structural and cosmetic damage to the home. Ceilings, floors, walls and other areas may need to be repaired, painted or replaced.
Whether you need to tear out damaged drywall or completely restore large areas of your home, it is important to understand what to expect from the water damage restoration process. The earlier you begin the process, the more successful you will be at mitigating your damages.
How To Remove Mildew and Mold From Your Office Bathroom
Mold and mildew damage in Madeira, OH
Mold and mildew can develop in any office bathroom. When it does, a mildew clean session becomes immediately necessary. Knowing where to find pernicious fungal growth and how to eliminate it may mean the difference between a sparkling restroom and complex structural damage.
Where To Look
When examining your building’s facilities for signs of fungal invaders, be sure to inspect:
- Under sinks
- Around exhaust fans
- Surrounding toilet bases
- Between tiles
With its nasty odor and off-putting appearance, untreated bathroom mold and mildew in these spots can spread. Once it gets onto and inside walls, the devastation potentially requires building reconstruction. Should you detect advanced growth, move quickly to consult a commercial mold remediation service that works on buildings in Madeira, OH.
What To Do
Stop growth in its tracks by performing a thorough mildew clean. Start by stripping out caulking and sealant that has become compromised. Next, purchase chlorine bleach specifically made for fighting spores. Spray the bleach onto tiled walls and wait half an hour or more. Using a stiff brush, scrub away the offenders and then rinse the vertical surfaces with warm water.
Using vinegar is a more natural option. Spray the affected area, let it sit and scrub as you would with bleach. Repeat this process until the mold and mildew are gone before performing your finishing rinse.
Mold and mildew can be removed from painted or wallpapered walls by mixing two tablespoons of borax with a quarter cup of white vinegar. For safety's sake, do this in a disposable bowl or bucket. Dilute the solution with two cups of hot water and then pour the combination into a spray bottle. Apply the concoction to the affected surfaces and scrub thoroughly. Wipe everything down and then re-spray. Wait 10 minutes before repeating the drying process.
If your restroom at work suffers a mold or mildew infection, promptly handle the issue by performing a mildew clean. Quick action can prevent destruction from worsening.
3 Ways To Prevent Clogged Toilets
Avoid a clogged toilet by taking necessary precautions
3 Ways To Prevent Clogged Toilets
If you own a commercial building in Mariemount, OH, dealing with toilet overflow can be a tedious and time-consuming task, not to mention the cost of a plumber. Preventing commercial toilets from clogging in the first place can make things easier for your business. Although it's never a guarantee since commercial restrooms cannot always be monitored, there are precautions you can take to lessen the chances of a clogged toilet.
1. Opt for Thinner Toilet Paper
Thinner toilet paper is cost-effective and can prevent toilets from clogging. In the event that customers or guests in your building flush large wads of toilet paper, thicker toilet paper may get stuck in the pipes and end up clogging the toilet. Choose a thinner toilet paper for your commercial bathroom to lessen the likelihood and frequency of clogged toilets, which can lead to sewage backup and other problems.
2. Provide Waste Bins
Personal care items like sanitary napkins and paper towels are often flushed down the toilet due to convenience. These items can clog a toilet and lead to overflow. If you offer ample wastebaskets within the bathroom stalls or restroom, it will provide a quick alternative for these items. However, be sure to clean them out regularly. It's also a good idea to make sure they're large enough to handle an ample amount of waste.
3. Post Signs Around the Restroom
Posting signs around the restroom reminding patrons of which items are non-flushable and where to put them can help lessen your chances of this occurring. These signs can either be handwritten or purchased from a business supply company or online.
A clogged toilet in your commercial building can be avoided with the necessary precautions within the restrooms. However, if it does happen, be sure to bring in a restoration company that can efficiently and safely clean up the mess with minimal damages.
Why You Should Add a Mold Endorsement to Your Pollution Liability Coverage
Mold damage in Cincinnati, OH
Mold is a nightmare for any property owner in Cincinnati, OH. A small infestation can quickly become a larger problem that necessitates mold remediation services. This could affect both your finances and your local reputation.
To mitigate the harm to your property and business, you need to address any mold damage as soon as possible. Mold insurance claims can help you pay for the cost of restoration. To ensure that your insurer covers mold cleanup, you should purchase an endorsement to your regular pollution liability policy.
How To Get a Mold Endorsement
Your pollution coverage helps pay for claims resulting from pollutants released by your property or a piece of equipment. You can purchase optional add-ons to this policy, as well. These enhancements could cover:
- Illicit abandonment
The mold endorsement, in particular, could save you money on fungus cleanup in the future. Simply contact your pollution insurance provider to find out more information.
Why You Need a Mold Endorsement
You may think that you can just use your general liability policy to make mold insurance claims. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Not all property policies include mold coverage.
Even if you can make a mold claim with your general liability provider, the payout is likely limited. The money you receive will not be enough to pay for proper remediation and investigation. You may be forced to do the repairs yourself or hire a cheap contractor. Choosing either of these options may just spread the mold further.
To truly remove the mold and prevent it from returning, you need top cleanup professionals. A mold endorsement should give you the money you need to pay for this service.
Not every general liability policy lets you make mold insurance claims. You thus need to add a mold endorsement to your pollution coverage. This way, if you do have a mold infestation in your building, you can afford to hire qualified professionals to eliminate the problem.
Why Older Rental Property Pipes Need Increased Maintenance
Some of the common causes of clogs are tree roots
Older rental properties in Cincinnati, OH, have plenty of charm. However, they are also more likely to sustain water damage. That is because many of them utilize polybutylene pipes.
Over time, these pipes become brittle. The chemicals used to treat the water flowing through the pipes causes the pipes to wear down.
Ideally, you should replace older pipes in your building. This can be costly, but it will save you money on water restoration specialists in the long run.
If you are not ready to tear out of all your pipes, you should at least perform extra maintenance. After all, the last thing older pipes need is a clog blocking the flow of water.
What Causes Clogs?
A clog can occur in a sink or the main water line of your property. Some of the more common causes of clogs are:
- Tree roots
- Poorly designed plumbing system
- Sludge buildup
How Do You Prevent Clogs?
There are several ways you can limit the clogs in the polybutylene pipes of your commercial property. To prevent roots from spreading into the pipes, you should cut any trees near your main lines. Alternatively, you can pour a root killer down the toilets twice each year. This should kill the roots without harming the trees themselves.
Enzymes are also great for clog prevention. Once a month, run warm water in each drain before pouring the enzymes into them. The enzymes should remove any of the gunk that builds up in the pipes.
Finally, make sure your residents know not to put any food or hair down the drain. Provide hair catchers for showers and encourage the residents to throw any excess hair or food into the trash.
The above tips are great ways to prevent clogs in any pipes. However, proper maintenance is particularly important for older buildings that still have polybutylene pipes. Since these pipes are naturally prone to wearing down, you should take extra care to limit clogs in them.
Five Tips for Avoiding a Gas Explosion
A gas leak detector can help you in this type of situation
Tips To Avoid A Gas Explosion
For many homeowners, natural gas is used for hot water, the stove and oven as well as home heating. While many people prefer this type of energy use in this home, it’s important to be alert regarding a potential leak of gas in the home. If you ever smell gas or hear a hissing sound in your home in Cincinnati, OH, a gas fire or explosion may be imminent. Here are some tips to avoid a gas explosion which can lead to major fire damage.
Detecting a Gas Leak
The two most common indicators of a gas leak are the smell of gas and hearing a hissing sound of gas escaping. Your next steps are critical in preventing a gas fire or explosion:
- Turn off the stove or oven. Check to see if any burners are on if it’s safe to do so.
- Keep all lights off. The electric spark from turning on a light may ignite. Use a flashlight if you need to see.
- Open doors and windows. This ventilates your home and provides a way for gases to escape.
- Know where your gas meter is and how to turn it off. Don’t wait until an emergency to learn how to turn the meter on or off.
- Exit the premises. In any situation, exit the home with household members, including pets. When you’re a safe distance away, notify the authorities by calling 9-1-1.
- Using a cell phone inside your home may also spark a flame.
If safe, warn other neighbors of the leak. You should have an emergency plan in place for dealing with a gas leak ahead of time.
You should not return to your home until it’s declared safe to do so by the proper authorities. Because a gas fire may occur, it’s important to make sure you know how to contact your insurance company. There will be damage from fire, smoke and water used to extinguish the blaze that a professional fire restoration provider can clean and repair.
5 Common Types of Household Mold
Stachybotrys is perhaps the most common type of residential mold
Know Which Common Varieties To Look For
It's not uncommon to discover mold growing in your Indian Hill, OH, home. Mold growth can occur under several different circumstances, depending on the type of fungi in question. Before you begin your mold remediation process, you should identify which species is the culprit.
More commonly referred to as the infamous black mold, Stachybotrys is perhaps the most common type of residential mold. Much like the name implies, it has a dark green or black color and may feel slimy to the touch. It's very common in places that come into frequent contact with water, or in areas that have recently suffered some form of water damage.
This species of mold is often confused for black mold, as it thrives under the same damp or high humidity conditions, has a very similar appearance and is just about as common as its cousin. Instead of feeling slimy, alternaria has an almost velvety texture due to the wispy dark green or brown hairs that sprout on its surface.
Once again, this type of mold growth is quite common in water-damaged structures. When it first appears, it boasts a white or gray color before slowly fading to dark brown or black over time. You're more likely to smell this species before you see it, due to its musty odor.
You should check for this type of fungus behind your wallpaper or on painted wooden surfaces. This mold appears pink or brown in color when it's young and slowly fades to black over time, much like chaetomium.
This versatile species of mold can thrive in both warm and cold environments. You're most likely to find it growing in your carpeting, upholstery, and other types of fabrics. It boasts a soft, suede-like texture and green coloring.
You could potentially find several different mold species growing in your home, so it's important that you know which common varieties to look for. Contact mold remediation experts for assistance if you do discover mold growth in your home.
How To Perform a Water Heater Flush
Flushing your water heater is an easy process that can be completed within moments
How To Perform a Water Heater Flush
A noisy water heater could be a sign of developing problems. In some cases, components need to be replaced or repaired. In others, a flush may be all that is necessary.
Heater Warning Sounds
Your device in Cincinnati, OH, could be on the verge of failure if you hear:
- Cracking, Popping or Rumbling
- Ticking or Tapping
- Singing or Screaming
Installing a water softener sometimes stops these sounds by reducing the buildup of minerals and sediments. If doing this fails to silence the clatter, your system may need to be flushed, a painless process that takes approximately 20 minutes.
If your water heater uses a tank, try to perform a water heater flush every one to three years. However, the job is simple enough that you should seriously consider doing it annually.
Depending upon what type of heater you own, begin by shutting off your gas or electricity. Do the same with your cold water supply valve, usually located near the top of your heater.
Go to your sink or tub and allow the hot water to flow. Have the faucet run during your entire flush to prevent vacuums from forming while draining the tank. Open the pressure relief valve and collect the rushing water into a bucket. Doing this helps the water drain more easily.
Connect a garden hose to your spigot. Lead the other end of the hose outside, unless you want your basement to suffer water damage that requires the services of a trained residential restoration professional. Open the spigot and drain your tank until there are no more signs of sediment. Complete your flush by turning on the cold water leading into your tank. Let the water run until the liquid expelled from the other end is totally clear.
Flushing your water heater is an easy process that can be completed within moments. Before yours emits signs of trouble, make this task a regular part of your maintenance routine.