Water Damage Claim: The Importance of Pretesting for Water Categories
Providing information about the category and classification of the water and damage to your home.
Water Damage Claim
Anyone who has experienced flooding is likely familiar with the various colors associated with floodwaters: white/clear, gray and black. These colors are often tied to a category and a classification which specifies the amount of safety precautions necessary and the level of mitigation and clean out. When filing a claim, it is critical to know the category and classification because each ascending level impacts the severity and costs of damage. Therefore, pretesting is used to designate the category and classification of water to ensure that claims and restorative preparations are efficient and accurate.
1. Category One
When filing an insurance claim, category one, or white/clear, water is the least expensive to remedy. The source is sanitary, meaning that there is no harmful bacteria or sewage present. While this category can be a relief, it is still necessary to act quickly to remove the water and repair the damage. If the water sits for too long, it can be contaminated by other items in the area, causing an elevation in category or classification.
2. Category Two
If the water is found to be category two, or gray water, through pretesting, then it is best that you do not go near it. This result indicates that there are organic and inorganic substances in the water and that you may become ill if it is consumed or touched.
3. Category Three
Category three, or black water, is the most dangerous water. The level of contamination includes sewage, chemicals, bacteria and possible toxins. It is likely that your insurance agent and company will recommend a disaster restoration specialist in the Madeira, OH, area who will probably seal the space as they work to remove the water safely.
Insurance claims require accurate representations of the damage to a property. Pretesting provides those assessments for insurers by providing definitive information about the category and classification of the water and damage to your home.
Workplace Emergencies: Preparing an Evacuation Route
Every employer is required by federal regulations to develop and provide adequate evacuation plans to their employees.
Preparing An Evacuation Route
While everyone, including business owners, has had to go through at least one fire drill in their lives, it is different when you have to design one. Business owners are required by law to have designated exit routes for their employees, and they are supposed to practice these routes to help employees prepare for an emergency. Therefore, in developing and designing your emergency exits, it is important to keep a few traits of a good plan in the forefront of your mind.
1. Ensure Proper Lighting
Every exit should be well-lit and designated. You can mount light-up exit signs throughout your property that can help guide employees and clients safely outside. Also, you can install battery powered lighting that is triggered in the event of an outage, ensuring that everyone can see where they are going.
2. Find Exits With Appropriate Space
A fire drill is an excellent way to determine if all your planning has paid off. Your employees should have no problem working their way toward an exit. If you notice that there is too much congestion because a hallway is too narrow or there are obstacles in the way, then you will have to change the route or clear the obstructions.
3. Place Drawings Throughout the Facility
Beyond practicing escape routes, you should place evacuation maps throughout your building. These maps can be placed near fire extinguishers and other high-traffic areas to ensure they are easily spotted.
4. Seek Guidance and Feedback
It never hurts to ask for help. If you are unsure of the best way to design evacuation routes, you can reach out to your local fire department or a fire remediation specialist in the Cincinnati, OH area for guidance and feedback on your plan.
Every employer is required by federal regulations to develop and provide adequate evacuation plans to their employees. Also, it is suggested that businesses conduct at least one fire drill annually to ensure employees are familiar with those routes.
3 Reasons To Board Up After a Fire
Board up your home after a fire disaster
Secure Your Home After A Fire
If your home in Indian Hill, OH, catches fire, your first thought is likely to be your family’s safety. Closely following that thought, however, is how you’re going to restore your home so that you can return to it. How do you protect your home between the time you call fire restoration specialists and the time they begin repairs? Board up services can protect your home from more damage and protect you from liability and insurance coverage loss. Here are three reasons it’s important to secure your home after a fire.
1. Protect Property
A fire can be devastating to your home. Emergency board up services help you keep any further damage from occurring. By covering broken windows, holes in your roof or walls and compromised doorways, you can protect the inside of your home from wind or rain before and during the repair process. Securing your home can also keep out animals and would-be vandals and thieves. It’s wise to minimize your worry in any way you can.
2. Protect People
Some people consider an opening to a home an invitation. If you board up your home after a fire, however, you can prevent them from entering. Your home is not likely to be structurally sound, so anyone who enters it is in danger of injury. If people are injured on your property, particularly if they can prove you did not indicate that it was unsafe to enter, they can sue you. Protecting people from injury also protect you from liability.
3. Protect Coverage
If your home has fire damage and you fail to secure it, your insurance company could discontinue your coverage. Because protecting your home from further damage saves your provider money, the company may consider it negligence if you don’t place boards or tarps over the open areas of your home and thus may refuse to accept your claim.
Professional restoration technicians are Here to Help in any way they can. They can board up your home as part of their repair process.
4 Types of Mold You May See in Your Home
No matter the type of mold growth call your experts.
4 Types Of Molds
There are thousands of types of mold in the world, and many of them can find their way into your home. If you notice mold growth on your walls, floors or ceiling, you should call your local mold remediation company immediately. These certified professionals can identify the type of mold and use that information to formulate the best plan for getting rid of it.
More commonly known as black mold, this fungus is attracted to damp areas, particularly those that have water damage that has gone unnoticed or untreated for several weeks. You may notice black mold on walls or near air vents where condensation has collected. It may also infest cardboard, paper or wood.
This type of mold is particularly attracted to areas that tend to have high humidity due to extensive and frequent water usage, such as kitchens and bathrooms. This mold growth may appear alone or beside other household molds.
You are likely to see thick swatches of mucor near your HVAC unit. It thrives on the condensation that gathers around air conditioner coils and vents. Once it starts to grow, it can multiply very quickly. It is advisable to call mold specialists in Cincinnati, OH, as soon as you see these greyish white patches.
This fungus often remains out of sight. It shows up in areas that have ongoing water damage. Attics and basements where leaks have occurred may start to take on a musty smell. This is a sign that you have a mold problem that needs to be mitigated.
No matter what type of mold growth you find in your home, the best course of action is to call in the experts. These technicians are trained to assess and strategize ways to overcome mold, and they have the skills to clean your home and restore it to its original condition.
How to Tell if You Must Replace My Carpet After a Flood?
Flooded carpet in an Amberly Village, home
Water damage can come in various levels of severity and size—from a pipe break dribbling water into a wall, to excess rain flooding an entire basement. Regardless of the issue, you may have to repair or replace parts of your home. If you’re not sure whether the floorings needs attention, pay attention to warning sides that it’s time to tear out your carpet and lay down something new.
If water finds its way onto your floor, you have a few options to remedy the situation. Minor issues require a quick fix, while more widespread flooding will deem a complete replacement. Here the possibilities when a pipe break or other water problems damage your flooring:
- Hand-dry the floor with towels.
- Dry the floor with towels and blow-dryer.
- Clean the carpets with professional-grade machines.
- Replace the carpets.
When to Replace: Black Water
Raw sewage flooding is perhaps the worst type of flood you can experience in your Amberly Village, OH, home. A sewer backup or major toilet leakage could send dangerous microscopic pathogens into your home. Known as black water because it contains human feces, this flood water can harm or even kill you. This will require complete restoration.
When to Replace: You Didn’t Immediately Discover the Water
If you can detect a leak or other water issues quickly, you can often salvage carpet, drywall or other parts of your home. However, if the flooding starts while you’re not at home, and water sits on the floor for days or even hours, you probably won’t be able to save the flooring. There will be too much saturation, and you should call a professional cleanup company to tear out the carpets.
There’s no reason to take chances when it comes to a pipe break and significant flooding in your house. If black water or standing water infiltrates your carpet, plan on letting a professional replace it.
Fire Preparation: Do You Need an Emergency Action Plan?
Commercial fire in Mariemount, OH
Emergencies are unpredictable by definition which is why every business should have a contingency plan. When it comes to an Emergency Action Plan, you are typically dealing with fire preparations. Now, not every municipality requires a company to have an EAP, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. There are at least four things to consider in determining whether you should craft an EAP or not.
1. Fire Extinguisher Mandate
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, if your building is required to have fire extinguishers on the premises, and if people will be evacuating during the fire, then an evacuation plan is necessary. This is true even if fire extinguishers are merely provided and not required as well.
2. Fight or Flee
The fight or flee principle will also help you understand if a contingency plan is mandated. If you have a company with an in-house fire brigade, meaning that you intend to fight internal fires, then an EAP is not required. However, if anyone in your company is going to flee the premises, then an EAP is needed.
3. Occupational Safety and Health Administration Guidelines
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines, specifically [29 CFR 1910.157], dictates the rules surrounding mandatory EAPs. Essentially, as stated above, if a company or anyone for that matter, will be evacuating the premises then an emergency plan is required.
4. Evacuation Policy
Ultimately, most businesses must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulation and define a clear evacuation policy. You can contact a fire remediation specialist in the Mariemount, OH, area to help you asses your property and create an emergency plan, or you can contact your local emergency services and discuss your concerns.
While a contingency plan may be a lot of work to develop, a well-crafted plan can potentially save lives. Additionally, an EAP is required federally, unless you want to create your very own fire brigade. While it may be exciting to put on a firefighter’s uniform, it may be more practical to put together an evacuation plan that is clear and effective, keeping everyone safe and sound.
Ice Dam: What It Is and How To Prevent It
Ice dam in a Cincinnati, OH
An ice dam is a long rim of ice that forms along the edge of your roof and hinders the runoff of melting snow. These wintery monstrosities can cause a significant amount of damage and should be dealt with as quickly as possible. However, before you resolve the issue, it is necessary to understand the problem entirely.
The long bands of ice that form along the eaves of your roof are caused when melting snow is unable to flow off the roof before refreezing. This occurs because of heat loss and the fluctuating temperature along your roof. The peak of the roof is the warmest area because it sits directly above the living space. The edge of your roof is the coldest, usually the temperature of the outside, because it overhangs the structure of your home. This means the snow melts at the peak and then refreezes when it reaches the edge of the roof, causing ice bands to form.
An ice dam can cause significant damage. From a roof leak and water damage to wet insulation and mold, dams can wreak havoc in the winter months. It is crucial to find the underlying cause of ice buildup on your roof to ensure that financial expenses are minimized.
There are a variety of solutions for ice buildup on your roof:
- Increased insulation
- Improved ventilation
- Reduced air leakage
The first thing to do before trying any possible solution is to have your roof inspected, ensuring the right solution is used. You can reach out to an emergency restoration company in the Cincinnati, OH, area for a quick inspection and recommended solutions.
An ice dam is beautiful, but so is a poison frog - and you don’t want any of those hanging around your property. Ice presents considerable risks to your home if left alone, so be sure to handle dams quickly, calling in assistance if needed.
Situations When Your Insurance Won’t Cover a House Fire
Apartment fire damage in Indian Hill, OH
Do you ever get frustrated making that monthly insurance premium payment? You may spend a fair amount of money on homeowner’s insurance, but if the time comes when you need to use it, you’re grateful for the coverage it provides. Insurance can give you peace of mind and save you from financial ruin. Take a home fire, for example. Your homeowner’s insurance will cover the cost of loss in a fire in most cases. There are only a few situations in which you’ll be out of luck.
Let’s get the most uncommon issues out of the way first. There are a few events where your policy wouldn’t cover a fire at your Indian Hill, OH, home, but the chances of these are extremely small. Still, it’s helpful to know that you are on the rare and unfortunate end of these situations that you’ll have to seek help in some other way.
- Nuclear blast. If this happens at our near your home, there are more widespread things to worry about. But your policy won’t cover it.
- Act of war. If a home fire starts as a result of an invading army, you can’t rely on your insurance for help.
Under no conditions will any insurance company ever cover a fire that started from arson. People sometimes try this method to get money from their insurance. This act won’t just leave you with damage or potentially no home, but it’s punishable with prison time.
You homeowner’s policy won’t cover fire damage if it occurs when your home was vacant. Usually, this means you haven’t occupied it for more than 30 consecutive days. You can purchase additional insurance in these cases in the even a vacant home fire causes damage or destroys the structure.
If you need further information about cleaning up after a fire, contact an expert restoration specialist. You should also become familiar with your insurance policy and understand to what extent it will cover a home fire.
Preventing Secondary Water Damage
Drying equipment in a Madeira, OH business
Water damage in your Madeira, OH, business is something no one wants to experience. After calling in a plumber to take care of the immediate problem of a burst pipe or a backed-up toilet or sewer, you're still left with the resultant mess. It's important to deal with this situation as soon as possible, as secondary damage, including black mold or structural damage, can occur quickly. This kind of damage can be very costly.
Secondary Damage Explained
This consists of any damage not directly produced by the flooding. It can show up in several ways, including:
- Wood floors buckling
- Damage to finishes
- Vinyl and other kinds of flooring curling up from the floor
- Cracked or sagging drywall
- Growth of mold, such as stachybotrys chartarum (black mold)
If the primary damage is not addressed properly or if it goes undetected for a long time, this more serious damage can happen. Problems can also occur if the area is not properly dehumidified after the flooding.
Assuming you are able to enter the building, there are steps you can take immediately to help minimize the damage. If the flooding happens during summer months, use your air conditioning to help remove as much high humidity as possible. During colder months, open all the windows and turn up the heat. Try to remove as much water as possible by mopping and using a wet/dry vacuum. Move any saturated carpeting outside and remove items such as documents, electronics or furniture.
Next, make a call to a professional water damage restoration company. They can immediately inspect the structure to assess the damage, and then determine what specialized equipment is required. Using advanced techniques, they can completely dry and disinfect the area, making sure that any pathogens, such as black mold or bacteria, are completely eradicated. Then any necessary repairs to the property are made.
Water damage to your building can seem overwhelming. But by using the information outlined above, you have a good chance of preventing secondary damage before it happens.
POST HOILDAY CLEANUP
Pine needles and trees causing mold to be in your home.
If you have stubborn tree needles sticking in the carpet or other seasonal messes? Call SERVPRO for help with all of your holiday cleanup needs...
Life is full of time consuming struggles during the holiday season that devour the precious moments you have to share with your loved ones let us at SERVPRO of East Central Cincinnati help with any choirs that steal these minutes away. We offer a wide variety of services from major remodeling to a simple house hold cleaning. Our staff is fully trained to execute the task at hand all while being compassionate when dealing with sensitive situations.
When you find yourself running around feeling like life is passing you by please don't wait until its too late call SERVPRO of East Central Cincinnati to rescue your time. Please spend your day's doing what's important to you and your family and as always remember the reason for the season.
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