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The Importance of Commercial Fire Insurance

5/18/2022 (Permalink)

Hand holding a piece of paper that says Are you covered, and a small house on fire. Fire insurance concept Fire insurance is a key purchase for any business owner.

The Importance of Commercial Fire Insurance

Fire insurance is a key purchase for any business owner. That is because fires are more common than you may think. Nearly 500,000 property fires occurred in America in 2017. While most of these were residential fires, more than a quarter occurred in commercial buildings. In all, the fires caused more than $10 billion in property damage.
It is not just the fires themselves that cause destruction, either. Smoke damage alone can be costly. Buildings can also be harmed by fire-fighting materials such as:

  • Foams
  • Powders
  • Water

Insurance can help you pay for the cost of smoke cleanup and fire restoration services. Best of all, this insurance is relatively easy to purchase. It should be included in your commercial policy.

Obtaining Sufficient Coverage
Fire insurance is useless if you do not obtain enough coverage. Make sure to insure your property for its full value. An experienced appraiser can help you determine what this value is.

Maintaining Your Policy
Once you do purchase insurance, you need to regularly maintain your policy. When your office location changes, you must tell your insurer about this new address. Otherwise, you may have to pay for the cost of fire damage restoration yourself.
If you are expanding your business, you don’t need to get a separate insurance policy for each building. Instead, consider putting all of your offices under the same policy. This will likely be cheaper than purchasing individual coverage for each place.
There is another way you can save money on fire insurance. Implement a fire prevention strategy within your office. Some insurers provide discounts to companies that do this. However, you should have some sort of safety plan in place regardless of whether it lowers your insurance costs.
Your commercial insurance policy should include fire coverage. This insurance could be essential if your company suffers devastating heat or water damage. Without insurance, you may not be able to afford the cost of repairs. You could even have to close your University City, MO, business down permanently.

Common Flood Prevention Strategies

5/13/2022 (Permalink)

Person laying grass Planting grass is an environmentally friendly way to limit flood damage

Flood Prevention Strategies

Storm cleanup is a lengthy process that can cost your Oakland, MO, business money. Floods are a particularly devastating consequence of storms. That is why commercial building owners often enact flood prevention strategies. Many of these same tactics can be applied to cities and towns, as well.
Floods are sudden or lengthy discharges of water that submerge dry land and buildings. Floods can result from:

  • River overflow
  • Excessive rain
  • Strong coastal winds
  • Hurricanes

Whatever the cause of a flood, it can be devastating to a community and a property owner. Flood cleaning, in particular, is both costly and time-consuming. That is why businesses, towns, and cities often utilize one or more of the below prevention techniques.

Increased Vegetation
Planting additional shrubs, grass and trees is an environmentally friendly way to limit flood damage. That is because vegetation limits land erosion and reduces the strength of flowing water.

Education
Education is another effective flood prevention tactic. Make sure your employees know that litter and debris can block waterways and cause flooding. While this is particularly problematic in developing countries, excess garbage can lead to water overflow in developed cities, as well.

Retaining Walls
Buildings and municipalities that are prone to flooding often use retaining walls to block the excess water. Cities and towns may also utilize dams, reservoirs, retention ponds and levees for similar purposes.

Detention Basins
Some municipalities also build detention basins. These are small reservoirs that store overflowing water. Find out if your area has one of these basins attached to your local waterways. If so, you and your employees may have more time to evacuate during a flood.
Even if your town has flood prevention strategies in place, you should consider enacting some additional measures for further protection. Still, there is no way to stop rainfall or other natural disasters that cause flooding. Therefore, as you prepare your commercial property for potential storm damage, you should also save the contact information for your local flood cleanup and restoration company.

3 Facts About Mold Remediation Costs

1/24/2022 (Permalink)

Mold Quarantine Mold remediation in Glendale, MO.

Mold Removal Costs

Mold remediation can be an expensive process. Determining which type of mold is present and the extent of an infestation may cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to $1,000 before remediation. Here are three facts to keep in mind regarding mold removal costs.

1. Costs Come in Several Stages

A visit from an environmental hygienist may take several hours and range from $200 to $600. This specialist will take air samples to analyze. Analysis of each sample may cost $30 to $150. Remediation is the most expensive phase of the process. If mold growth is limited to crawlspaces or a small portion of a home, cleanup may cost up to $5,000. If mold growth is more extensive, expenses may range up to $6,000 or more. If structural damage is widespread, cleanup can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 or more.

2. Most Homeowners Insurance Excludes Mold Remediation

It may be difficult to get a claim to remove mold covered by standard homeowners insurance. An additional rider or endorsement may be available for this damage. It may also be possible to obtain coverage if mold results from a covered peril and you have proof that you have done everything you can to mitigate or prevent damage.

3. Black Mold Removal May Be More Expensive

If toxigenic mold is present in a residence, the cleanup process may end up being more expensive. Remediation professionals may recommend that homeowners arrange for a decontamination chamber or airlock around quarantined areas. Additional equipment may be necessary if the infestation is widespread.

These three facts should prepare a homeowner to spend at least several thousand dollars on mold removal, even for a minor infestation. It may be possible to simplify the remediation process and obtain a more accurate estimation of the total cost of these procedures by contacting a full-service mold damage restoration company in Glendale, MO.

Fire Damage Preparation Tips

1/17/2022 (Permalink)

External drive connected to a computer You should also consider utilizing electronic cloud services to keep online copies of your most important files.

Fire Preparation

As hard as it can be to think about, a fire could occur at your place of business. While a fire and its related damage are very real risks that you need to consider, there are things you can do to prepare for a possible future fire - and sleep a little easier at night. Here are five steps you can take to help you with fire preparation.

1. Understand your insurance plan. Make sure that you understand your commercial insurance coverage, claim requirements and any special conditions that apply to fire damage. If you don’t like one of the provisions of your policy, talk to your agent about adding or removing coverage.

2. Estimate replacement and repair costs. This is an important step to take to understand how much focus needs to be put on fire preparedness within your company. Making estimates will also help you identify your most vulnerable equipment.

3. Protect your workers. Make sure that your entire team is trained on fire preparation. Create an emergency escape plan that everyone can learn and remember so that they can exit the building as quickly and safely as possible during a fire.

4. Safeguard your business. Your business needs an emergency plan of sorts, too. Create a plan of recovery so you know what to do to reopen after a fire. This should include planning on the Ladue, MO, commercial fire damage service you will use if damage occurs.

5. Back up important files. Business records, repair service provider lists, financial spreadsheets and inventories are some examples of documents that should be preserved to the best of your ability as part of your disaster preparation plan. You can store these at an offsite location, but you should also consider utilizing electronic cloud services to keep online copies of your most important files.

Fire preparation is important not only for your company and finances but also for the well-being of you and your entire staff. Put these steps into action for a better defense against building fires.

The Perils of Black Water

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

Water inside a living room, flooded living room, standing water on living room Floodwaters enter a home in Clayton, MO.

Water Damage Categories

After a flood occurs in Clayton, MO, the lingering effects of water take on many different forms. Three categories describe the different types of water damage that could exist after a disaster. The categories describe not only the intensity of the damage but also the method necessary for cleaning and repairing the destruction.

1. Category 3, the category into which all floodwater falls, is the most perilous and requires the most intensive cleanup. This type of water is called black water.

• What is it? Category 3 water comes from outside sources, such as sewage. Bacteria contaminate these sources to a dangerous level.

• What does it affect? The water impacts any surface that is porous. Contaminated water soaks into materials, rendering them dangerous to anyone who encounters them.

• How do you clean nonporous materials? Clean areas that are unable to soak up water by simply disinfecting surfaces.
• How do you clean porous materials? First, contain the affected areas by setting off the contaminated areas. Then, cut out materials containing sewage. Replace with new parts.

2. Category 2, called grey water, describes damage due to water that is somewhat contaminated, such as water from the dishwasher. The water will not make you sick unless you drink a lot of it. The water damage is cleaned similarly to Category 1. Technicians may additionally use a disinfectant.

3. Category 1 describes damage due to clean water, such as a broken pipe. To clean, technicians simply remove water from affected materials with an extractor, drill holes under baseboards to allow air flow, and arrange air movers and dehumidifiers to dry things out.

When you begin the process of cleaning and repairing destruction due to water, first determine the category of the damage. Use this knowledge to determine how to safely and efficiently disinfect and restore affected and contaminated building materials. Remember that water damage due to category 3 waters is perilous. Avoid contact with contaminated water or materials. The water will not harm you if you know what it is, what it affects, and how to clean it.

Common Causes of a Leaking Toilet and Their Fixes

12/26/2021 (Permalink)

Water leakage from a bathroom due to blockage of the pipe A leaking toilet is absolutely no fun.

The Most Common Causes of a Leaking Toilet and How to Fix Them

A leaking toilet is absolutely no fun. From having to clean up gross toilet water to having to deal with secondary water damage, there are countless reasons you need to suck it up and either invest in professional plumbing services or figure out how to fix the leak yourself. Whatever you choose to do all depends on the cause of the leak. Below are just four common causes of toilet leaks:

  • The wax ring is dry.
  • The toilet was improperly installed.
  • The tee bolts are loose.
  • The flange is broken.

If you don't feel confident in your ability to make an accurate diagnosis and repair the issue yourself, call a Brentwood, MO, plumber. Otherwise, keep reading for repair solutions.

Solutions to a Bathroom Leak

The solution to your leaking toilet all depends on the problem. If the problem stems from a dry-rotted wax-ring, you may have to remove your toilet and exchange the old ring with a new one. This can be kind of a pain to do, as toilets are heavy and what lies beneath them is generally not very pretty. However, if you're strong, and if you can get over the gunk that rests at the base of a toilet, you can save big on making the repair yourself.

If the toilet was improperly installed, you may need to, again, remove the toilet and reinstall it. This is also something you can either do yourself or have a handyman take care of for you.

Loose tee bolts is the best-case scenario. Tightening tee bolts involves nothing more than taking a wrench and twisting the nuts with all your might. Hopefully, tee bolts are your only concern.

If possible, fixing a broken flange is worse than fixing a rotted wax ring. It's also a much more complex process than any of the above fixes, which is why, if the flange is the problem, you should allow your local plumber to do the job for you.

Once the Repair Is Done, It's Time To Cleanup

Once you've fixed the leaking toilet, contact your water damage restoration team to clean up around the leak site and ensure that there is no residual moisture that can cause secondary damage. This final step can save you money and your home.

What Determines If Your Business Has Category 2 Water Damage?

12/16/2021 (Permalink)

Wet floor in a commercial building. Commercial water restoration in Rock Hill, MO

Types of Water Damage

Whether your business needs a water pipe repair or has an issue with the sump pump, dealing with water damage in your business in Rock Hill, MO can be time-consuming and expensive. Often, it can be helpful to understand what type of water damage has occurred.

1. The Source of the Water

One of the primary ways water damage is classified has to do with the source of the water. If water comes from an appliance and is clean, it is classified as category 1 damage. However, water that comes from a broken pipe and has contaminants is considered to be gray water, or category 2 water damage. Water that contains sewage and significant biohazards is labeled as category 3 water damage, known as black water.

2. The Amount of Time the Water Sits

Water that was a category 1 originally can turn into category 2 damage if the water is not quickly removed. If the cause of the flooding is not remedied quickly, and you, for example, put off a water pipe repair, it becomes increasingly likely that mold and bacteria will grow near or in the standing water. Generally, the sooner water is removed, the less likely major damage will occur.

3. Cleanliness of the Water

The cleanliness of the water is another major factor that determines the category of water damage. Category 2 water damage is water that is contaminated with some amount of hazardous material. If a major flood occurs, it’s often possible for there to be different categories of water damage in one building. Even if water was originally clean, water that has flooded one floor and has seeped through to another floor could become contaminated.

With knowledge of how category 2 water damage is identified, you can look out for potential causes of this type of water damage and you can implement solutions, such as a water pipe repair, to keep your business safe and dry. If your business has already sustained water damage, it could be useful to work with water damage restoration experts.

Festive Candle Substitutes

12/3/2021 (Permalink)

Battery powered candle Consider candle alternatives during the holidays.

Candle Alternatives

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 University City, MO.

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.

3 Plumbing Noises That Could Lead to a Broken Pipe

11/24/2021 (Permalink)

Carpet has been removed, wet floor. Concept of water damage. Richmond Heights water damage

Plumbing Noises Can Lead To a Broken Pipe

Did you know that the noises your Richmond Heights, MO, house makes could be warning signs of bigger problems to come? Not every sound coming from your walls heralds an upcoming pipe break, but some could point to this type of issue. Use this guide to help you figure out if you should ignore the sound or call in a water remediation team.

1. Knocking

A knocking sound is often caused by sudden pressure changes. When you turn a faucet off, for example, your pipes may rattle because of the reduced pressure. If this hammering only happens once, you probably don't have to worry. However, if the knocking takes place every time you turn a faucet off, it could cause the fastenings to get loosened. This could eventually lead to your plumbing falling out of place, which would require you to fix a broken pipe and potentially clean up flooding.

2. Screeching

A high-pitched whistling or screeching usually indicates there is a blockage somewhere in your plumbing. When the water has to squeeze through a smaller-than-normal opening, the whistling sound is created. Depending on the location and cause of the clog, you may have to worry about a pipe burst. This is usually a bigger concern when the clog is located in the center of your pipes.

3. Ticking

Ticking noises are not always associated with an upcoming pipe break. Sometimes this type of noise is simply caused by hot water traveling through a cooler pipe. However, you may also notice a ticking noise before your exterior pipes freeze over. When you hear ticking, you need to consider the surrounding circumstances to really figure out if it could lead to water damage.

Sometimes houses make funny noises when they settle or when water rushes through the plumbing. Not every unexpected noise you hear will create a pipe break, but it is good to be cautious. Cleaning up after a broken pipe can be time-consuming and cost a lot of money, so it may be better to catch the problem before it reaches a bursting point.

Exceptions to Insurance Coverage for House Fires

11/17/2021 (Permalink)

Severe fire damage inside a home, everything seems burnt Severe fire damage in Oakland, MO.

Two Key Reasons For Policy Exceptions

A fire to your home can be devastating, and even worse when a few bad apples ruin the bunch. Because arson is one of the leading causes of house fires, insurance companies are very scrupulous when it comes to coverage and investigation of home fire claims. Take some time to learn about situations when fire damage may not be covered by insurance. Here are two key reasons for policy exceptions:

1. Fraud

Setting fire to your own home is considered arson. Trying to collect insurance money from an intentionally set fire is criminal insurance fraud. Whenever there is a claim filed for a home fire, your insurance company will be sure to conduct a detailed investigation to find out where the fire started and if fraud was involved.

2. Vacant home

Because fraud and arson are so common, many insurance companies have some coverage exceptions when it comes to a vacant home fire. The definition of a vacant home varies from company to company, but most consider your home vacant if it has sat empty for 30 days or more. This could be a problem for homeowners that are trying to sell a home in Oakland, MO, as well as those that have a vacation home or split time between multiple locations seasonally. Protect your property by inquiring with your agent about their stipulations on vacant homes. Most carriers can offer you additional insurance coverage to protect your property when no one is living there.

It can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to begin to recover from your home fire. Utilizing a knowledgeable and experienced disaster recovery company can reduce your burden by saving you time and money. A professional restoration company is one source for all your needs, reducing your management and interaction with multiple contractors. Insurance companies are also accustomed to working with these professionals, building trust and smoothing the claims process.