3 Times When Fire Damage May Not Be Covered by Insurance
A fire can leave severe damage to your building.
Property insurance usually provides coverage for damage caused by a home fire. However, there are circumstances where most property insurance policies will not cover the damage. These are three of the most common.
3 Most Common Times When Fire Damage May Not Be Covered by Insurance
- The Fire Was Deliberately Set by the Homeowner
Arson is a criminal act where someone deliberately sets fire to their own property or the property of another. Almost all insurance policies exclude coverage for intentional and criminal acts. If you or a member of your household deliberately set fire to your property, then your insurance company will probably deny the claim and you may face criminal prosecution. However, the insurance company has to be able to prove that the fire was started by arson.
- The Fire Was Caused by an Act of War
Most insurance companies also exclude coverage for damage from a home fire that occurs because of an act of war. Fortunately, there are few times when this exclusion would ever come into play. Actions that may be considered acts of war include insurrections, revolutions, invasions, military coups and terrorism. This exclusion exists because of the potential cost of claims and the difficulty involved in computing an appropriate premium to charge.
- The Property Is Vacant
Most insurance policies exclude damage caused by a vacant home fire if the fire was deliberately set. This is because policies exclude damage caused by vandalism or malicious mischief when a building has been vacant for more than 30 days before the loss. However, this provision is a topic of legal debate and whether your insurance company can exclude coverage for fire restoration largely depends on the legal interpretation of the courts in Black Forest, CO.
Most damage from a home fire is covered by property insurance; however, there are times when exclusions may apply. Your insurance company must be able to prove that the damage falls under one of the exclusion clauses in your policy to successfully deny a claim.
3 Ways SERVPRO Is Faster To Any Size Disaster
Faster To Any Size Disaster
As one of the leaders in the restoration industry, SERVPRO prides itself on making damage from storms, water, fire and mold “Like it never even happened." SERVPRO's more than 1,700 nationwide franchises are Faster To Any Size Disaster for a variety of reasons.
SERVPRO is Faster To Any Size Disaster
- Highly Trained Professionals
Each of SERVPRO's 1,700 franchise locations is staffed by highly trained restoration specialists. This has helped make the franchise a trusted leader in the industry and a preferred vendor for many local and national insurance companies. SERVPRO knows how to get an insurance claim processed quickly and effectively.
- Residential and Commercial Services
Whether your client is a homeowner or a business owner, SERVPRO has the skills and training to be Faster To Any Size Disaster. Franchises provide emergency flood damage restoration, total home cleaning, mold remediation, fire damage restoration, storm damage restoration and cleaning services to residents in Colorado Springs, CO.
Additionally, SERVPRO professionals work hard to restore the appearance and function of commercial properties to make it “Like it never even happened.” Franchise professionals have the expertise and training to handle both large and small commercial restorations and there is always a location nearby to help with commercial fire or water damage restoration, commercial mold remediation, commercial cleaning services and commercial storm and disaster recovery.
- Always Available
SERVPRO franchise professionals are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Whether a disaster happens in the middle of the workweek or the middle of the night on a Sunday, SERVPRO is Here to Help. Franchise professionals know that insurance adjusters are busy and clients want to get back to their normal lives as fast as possible.
The team at SERVPRO knows how to leverage the network of SERVPRO franchises to get results for customers fast. You can count on SERVPRO to be Faster To Any Size Disaster whether you are dealing with a major storm, a small fire or anything in between.
How To Safely Clean Up Water Damage
Damage from a broken pipe can be troublesome.
A broken pipe has created quite the mess in your home. Everything is wet, items are ruined, and you're faced with cleaning up the mess. While you wait for a water restoration company in Colorado Springs, CO, it's tempting to get inside and tackle the chaos. Be careful though. Water damage can have hazards, and it's best to remain safe. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you clean up the property.
3 Tips To Clean Up Water Damage
1. Survey Electrical Damage
Before working in the room, look around for electrical threats. Check for water in home appliances and outlet areas. If this has occurred, then wait for the professionals. You should also head to the electrical box and turn off the circuit breakers to the impacted areas. Do not use televisions, fans, or vacuums. Think safety first.
2. Remove and Protect
When the broken pipe burst, it released an overwhelming amount of water, drenching floors and walls and ruining personal items. Save what you can by removing the damp belongings, particularly those with coloring. Allow these to dry on a porch or in a garage, any place that minimizes additional discoloration. Furthermore, remove any toys or objects that could help create space and make it easier for the repair crew.
3. Clean up the Water
When picking up after flooding, you need to prioritize drying out the room. One thing you can do is turn the air conditioning down to combat moisture. In addition, you'll want to locate a mop (not a vacuum) and begin wiping up the floor. Grab towels and wipe down the furniture. In fact, place aluminum foil underneath chair and sofa legs to create a barrier between the wet ground the furniture.
Damage from a broken pipe can be troublesome. If you want to begin to clean up, take precautions. Turn off the electricity. Then, salvage items by removing them to another room. Ultimately, you'll want to dry the room out as best as possible.
4 Things To Know About Water Damage
Mold growth due to untreated water damage.
Out of the disasters that people worry about when it comes to their homes, water is among the top. A pipe burst or leak can create thousands of dollars in damage, requiring the expertise of a water mitigation company in Black Forest, CO. For the average homeowner, there are several things you may not understand about water damage, but there are at least four things you should.
4 Facts About Water Damage
1. It's Compounding
Water damage does not occur in its own little bubble. The damage quickly spreads and evolves. For example, a small leak in a water line may seem minor, but if left untreated for too long, it can lead to mold growth and other issues. When faced with a water emergency, time is of the essence.
2. It's Expensive
While most water problems can be mitigated early before the costs swell, many issues occur behind walls, which means that by the time a homeowner is aware of the issue, significant damage has occurred. The best way to prevent hidden problems is to have an annual or semiannual assessment of your home's plumbing.
3. It's Salvageable
While a pipe burst can seem beyond repair because of the level of harm to your house, it is not. There are dedicated mitigation companies for water damage repair. While the damage may be extensive, most of the time, it is repairable.
4. It's Avoidable
The most common misconception of water problems is that they are unavoidable. Most water crises are avoidable with proper prevention measures. For example, many people fall victim to flooding every year, but with the installation of a sump pump or backwater valves, you can limit your risks, if not eliminate them.
Are you ready for water damage? Do you know how to avoid it? Contact a local water mitigation service to discuss prevention methods and to ensure that you are informed about all water damage possibilities, even a pipe burst. Do not let your home fall victim to preventative issues.
Important Steps to Take After Fire Sprinklers Discharge
A fire sprinkler.
Your business in Colorado Springs, CO, could experience the impacts of flooding from a variety of sources. While a strong storm with heavy rains remains the most likely culprit, your building could also have a catastrophic plumbing breakdown. Another possibility is the discharge of your fire sprinkler system while putting out a fire; even an accidental sprinkler discharge, though rare, could release hundreds or thousands of gallons of water into your facility. When fire sprinklers go off in a commercial building, the following steps should be taken.
Cleaning Up Water Damage After a Sprinkler Discharge
Stop the Water From Flowing
Quickly after a fire has been put out, or immediately in the case of an accidental discharge. the water from the sprinkler system should be turned off. This will stop water from soaking flooring, ceilings, furniture and other valuable items. Limiting the amount of water that discharges is one of the most effective ways to limit water damage to your building. All managers and all maintenance workers should know the location of all relevant shut-off valves for the facility.
Call a Local Restoration Company
As soon as things are under control, a call should be made for commercial building restoration services. A team of highly-trained workers will arrive within a couple of hours and begin to inspect and assess the damage to your building. The lead workers will take action to ensure the building is safe, and then they will formulate a comprehensive restoration plan.
Each plan will cover water removal, drying and cleaning and sanitizing. The final stages will cover repairs and construction of damaged structures. One qualified company can perform all of these services.
Contact Insurance for Flooding Coverage
Each water event is handled differently by insurance companies and your coverage will depend upon your policy. In many cases, a fire sprinkler discharge, whether accidental or necessary, is covered by insurance. An experienced restoration company should be able to work together with the insurance adjuster and your company. This provides accuracy and speed and often leads to quicker and more reliable reimbursement for damages and claims.
Inspect the Finished Work
The goal of any professional restoration company is to return your building to its original condition before any flooding occurred. For your satisfaction, take a look at all the work that was done. Make sure that all repairs match the original look of the building. Watch out for any remaining stains or discolored areas. There should be no unpleasant odors coming from the damaged area.
With water damage, it is also important to be on the lookout for mold growth. If the wet area was not properly dried, mold could begin to become visible in a week or two. A professional restoration company will test the humidity of your facility and monitor the situation for any type of secondary damage.
No matter the source, the flooding of your business can be a challenging situation and it calls for a number of timely actions. The restoration process should go smoothly so long as you immediately reach out to an experienced mitigation team.
The Factors That Affect Your Fire Estimate
Fire damage in Colorado Springs, CO.
If your Colorado Springs, CO, commercial property is affected by fire, you need to start the cleanup and restoration process immediately. It doesn’t take long for unwanted stains and odors to settle into any furnishings that are salvageable. If moisture from the water used to put out the flames is left untreated, it encourages mold growth. The steps you take in the moments after the fire has been extinguished determine how well your property recovers. These steps often begin with obtaining a fire estimate from a cleaning and restoration agency.
3 Factors in Determining the Fire Estimate
One of your top priorities following a commercial fire understandably is getting back to business as quickly as possible with as little expense as possible. However, some less-reputable fire damage restoration companies may offer a very low bid. Beware of these bids; you could end up with low-quality work and a lot of additional charges. Before you put your business at risk of poor workmanship, make sure you understand the factors that affect the estimate:
1. Thorough Inspection
Trustworthy property damage inspectors have the licensing and insurance in place and can provide proof of these things. The inspector who visits your property will check the roof and roofing materials, the siding and concrete, interior walls, and plumbing and heating systems. The professional will also check for structural damage and check out the stability of doors and walls.
2. Emergency Response
You may have to wait several days before an adjuster catalogs the damage to your property, and then you need to wait even longer before the insurance company approves your claim. During this time, emergency services prevent further, or secondary, damage. The clean-up team may use temporary tarps and boards to prevent wind and water from carrying more debris into the area. Emergency services also often include securing your property to prevent trespassers from carrying away your property or causing more harm.
3. Full-Service Restoration
There are many different actions that restoration professionals take to ensure lasting, comprehensive results:
- Attention to the roof
- Removal of debris
- Thorough drying services
- Disinfection and thorough cleaning of belongings within the property
- Transportation and storage of belongings
- Repairs rather than replacements to keep costs down
- Reconstruction to all parts of the commercial property that were damaged
When you know all of the work that is involved in getting your property back to its previous condition, it’s easier to understand why the estimate from a reliable agency may be higher than the estimate from a lesser-known agency.
A Quick Estimate Is Required for Success
You don’t have much time after a fire occurs on your property to prevent secondary damage. It’s crucial that you contact your insurance provider and a cleanup and restoration company as soon as possible. The good news is that your insurance agent may recommend professionals with a tried-and-true history of success.
Once you receive your fire estimate, you can move forward with your damage claim and the needed repairs. You can then work with professionals from your insurance and your reconstruction crews to get the results you want in a timely manner.
What You Should Know About Cleaning and Repairing Drywall
Damaged drywall removed after suffering water damage.
Water damage in your home is a problem that needs to be handled as quickly as possible. Water from flooding due to rising groundwater, sewage backup, and weather events is considered to be black water and as such contains contamination, requiring the intervention of a professional damage restoration company. Untreated damage can lead to the growth and spread of mold. If you ever suffer damage from floods at your home in Black Forest, CO, drying your interiors is a big part of remediation, including drywall repair and cleanup.
Drywall Repair and Cleanup
Removing Drywall After Flooding
Water-soaked drywall cannot be dried and reused, so it must be removed. Water wicks upward in drywall, so it’s generally recommended to tear out a portion of the wall as part of the remediation plan. This is known as a flood cut and it should be at least 12 inches above the flood line. The removal process includes these steps:
- Mark a straight line for the flood cut: Use a chalk line to determine the limit of drywall removal. It should be at least one foot from the flood line.
- Cut along the line with a utility knife: Using a knife, score through the drywall along the length of the flood cut. Do not cut fully through the drywall. Cut ½ to ¾ of the way through.
- Loosen and remove drywall: Using a hammer, make a small hole in the part of the drywall to be removed. Gently separate the drywall from the studs, using the hole as a handle.
- Tear out wet insulation: After removing the drywall, remove any wet insulation. Because insulation can be damper than it feels, it may be worth taking out all of it.
- Use fans to dry out behind the walls: Let your fans run for several hours to improve the airflow behind the wall and facilitate moisture removal.
Taking the Appropriate Measures
Water damage from flooding can also lead to electrical problems. Shut off electricity to affected rooms prior to removing drywall and insulation. The last thing you want to do is create an electrical hazard or cause additional damage that requires extra repair and cleanup. Professional water cleanup providers know how to safely remove drywall and other damaged items throughout your home. If you have to file a claim, your insurance company will prefer working with professionals to restore the damaged areas to preloss conditions.
Understanding the Value of a Full Remediation
Major water damage can also compromise other parts of your home, including floors, ceilings, and other structural elements. The professionals don’t just remove soaked items. They also repair and rebuild your home as necessary, minimizing the cost and time it takes to restore your property. The pros also know how to check for mold and prevent the spread of it to other parts of the house.
While you never want to experience flooding in your home in Black Forest, CO, it’s important to reach out to the pros should it occur. The faster you can remove and dry soaked drywall and other items, the better. Partial removal of the drywall may be all you need to do, but it should be at least 12 inches above the flood levels in your home.
The 4-Step Fire Restoration Process
Residential fire damage.
A house fire is not fun, and it can leave many families homeless for weeks or months, depending on the severity of the blaze. A fire restoration service in Black Forest, CO, will strive to get a family back home as quickly as possible, and they do so by adhering to the fundamental four-step restoration process.
4 Steps For Fire Restoration
- Property Assessment
Before a restoration company can provide a timeline for the restoration of your home, it will need to send a team out to assess the fire, water, and smoke damage. The team will walk the property and identify immediate safety concerns as well as structural issues. Do not worry that a significant amount of damage automatically means your house is not salvageable. You might be surprised at what a little elbow grease and construction knowledge can accomplish.
The fire restoration company will probably suggest using mitigation techniques to ensure no further damage occurs. Most insurance companies do require property owners to protect their property within reason.
The typical services offered by a majority of mitigation contractors are board-ups, tarping, and fence installation. These tools offer the most protection against damage from weather, wildlife, and vandals.
Before the crew can move onto damage cleaning, they will need to remove any excess water from the house. With the water removed and the space given adequate time to dry, the team will move forward with cleaning and disinfecting the space, likely removing any contaminated elements.
With the property clean, the restoration service will begin the reconstruction process. During this phase, you can see your house turning back into your home. When the team is finished, you might not even realize there was ever a fire.
The fundamentals of fire restoration boil down to an essential four-step process. It is not the job of the homeowner to go through a disaster alone, especially when there are professionals with the expertise to help.
Why You Should Not Drive Down Flooded Roads
Flooded streets can damage your car.
While many people worry about flooding to their homes, they do not think about what can happen if they drive during a flood. A flooded street is just as dangerous as rising water inside a home and requires just as much storm remediation. Here are a few reasons why you should not travel during a flood.
3 Reasons Why Should Not Travel in Flooded Roads
- You Are in the Way
During a flood situation, crews in Colorado Springs, CO need to be able to do their jobs. These crews may be:
- Restoring electricity
- Rescuing those in need
- Clearing blocked roads
- Dealing with leaks and spills
- Attempting to mitigate the rising waters
These crews must be able to perform their jobs without interference from motorists. A flooded street is even more dangerous to work crews if you are attempting to drive on it.
- It Can Damage Your Car
Not only can the water from flooded roads seep into your car through cracks in the doors, even a small amount of water can severely damage your engine. Most cars have an air intake on the bottom of an engine. Normally this isn't a problem because there is not enough water that enters the engine to hurt it. A car's engine can pull in large amounts of water during a flood, causing catastrophic engine failure. This damage cannot be corrected without replacing the engine.
- You Risk Losing Control
A car can start to slide in just an inch of water. During a storm, it is important to pay attention to your auto manufacturer or insurance company's travel tips. They understand the risks that water poses and can help you if you absolutely have to travel. One of these tips is usually, do not drive unless it is necessary.
Not only is driving down a flooded street dangerous to you personally, but it is also dangerous to work crews and can destroy your car. It is always best to stay safe and off the streets during a flood.
4 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Microwave
Clean and protect your Microwave with our Tips.
If you are like most people, you probably appreciate all the things that modern appliances do to improve your life. Without your washing and drying machines and your dishwasher, life would be full of more labor. Still, these appliances come with a cost, especially if they are not maintained in a reasonable manner, resulting in consequences such as an unpleasant smoke smell or other lingering odors.
If you enjoy nuking your food from time to time, read on how best to maintain your portable oven.
4 Ways to Love Your Microwave Even More
Your home in Colorado Springs, CO, would not be the same without this fast-cooking appliance. As handy as it is, there are always some things you can learn to make it more valuable to your household.
1. Clean the Filters
Modern microwaves are likely to come equipped with an advanced ventilation system. This is designed among other things to reduce any smoke smell from cooking. Each brand and model is different, but most are likely to have a grease filter. This should be cleaned about once a month.
As with all appliances, follow the instructions in the owner manual. The cleaning of the filter usually involves soaking it in hot water and detergent and then scrubbing it to remove debris. A charcoal filter should be replaced about every six months or so.
2. Avoid Fires
The National Fire Protection Association reports that about 4% of home fires come from microwaves. If you are faced with this type of fire, take the following steps:
A microwave fire in your home can cause all kinds of damage, even a small fire. Soot and smoke damage require trained technicians to remove smells and clean off surfaces. Doing it yourself is likely to result in unsatisfactory results.
3. Clean the Vent Grill
This device, usually located at the top of the appliance, must be clean and clear of obstructions to allow for adequate airflow. For best results, clean this area with appropriate cleaning agents about once a month and also make sure nothing blocks the grill. For best cleaning, the grill should be removed, soaked in hot water and dish soap and then scrubbed clean of materials.
4. Clean the Entire Oven
Over time, the inside of the oven will accumulate food particles and will coat the inside surfaces. This should be cleaned on a regular basis. Failure to do so will result in odors permeating throughout your kitchen. Steam cleaning can be an effective cleaning technique. It involves placing water and some vinegar in a bowl, heating it, and then wiping down the inside of the unit.
By taking care of your oven, you can avoid a fire in your home and reduce any type of smoke smell that comes with its operation. Read the owner's manual, clean the components of the oven and replace items as needed. This will help you get the most out of this handy appliance.