Business Interruption Insurance: Understanding Your Coverage and Your Needs
The cost associated with business interruption insurance should not worry you as a business owner.
As a business owner, you have many day-to-day concerns, but most likely a broken pipe and flooding are lower on that list; however, large water damage can shut your operation down for possibly weeks. This type of disaster, the temporary loss of business, may be covered under your current policy under the heading of business interruption. If you’ve never heard of this coverage, and there’s no shame in that, you want to read through the questions below to learn the basics.
1. What Is Business Interruption Insurance?
Business interruption insurance is just what it sounds like, a policy to protect your business in case of any significant interruptions due to unforeseen damage or disaster. Primarily, these policies aim to minimize your loss when your business is forced to shut down due to restoration efforts. These policies can float your business by instituting what they call policy limits.
2. What Are Policy Limits?
Policy limits refer to the amount of money that your insurance policy will provide the business after experiencing a shutdown due to a disaster, like flooding. It is important to ensure that the policy limits offered will be enough to cover your typical operation needs; however, policy limits can vary based on location and type of business.
3. Why Do Costs and Policy Limits Relate to Business and Location?
Most of the business interruption insurance plans, while typically a part of your overall coverage, can vary in price and policy limits depending on the type of business and the location. This variance is due to the overall risk to the insurance company. For instance, living in Hamilton, OH, the risk of weather damage is high, and if you couple that with a restaurant, with an increased chance of fire, then insurance coverage will likely be more expensive with lower policy limits because of the increased likelihood of a payout.
The cost associated with business interruption insurance should not worry you as a business owner, as they are likely already figured into any commercial coverage. What should concern you is operating a business unprotected with low policy limits, leaving yourself and your property vulnerable to disasters, like flooding.
4 Ways to Prevent Mold After Your Home Floods
Mold growth can start within 24 hours of flooding.
You should act immediately to prevent mold from starting to grow in your home after a flood in Hamilton, OH. Document the damage for insurance purposes and then take steps to dry out your home. Mold growth can start within 24 hours of flooding, but you can limit the likelihood that it will become a serious problem. Here are four ways to prevent mold after a flood.
1. Get Rid of Moisture
The most important mold prevention method is eliminating the presence of standing water and residual moisture. Depending on the severity of the flood, you may want to hire a professional water damage restoration service to pump water out of your house.
2. Clean the Affected Area
Water from a flood is considered Category Three or black water, meaning that it may contain chemical contaminants or sewage overflow. Areas of your home exposed to flood water should be cleaned before being dried and restored.
3. Thoroughly Dry the Affected Area
In addition to air movers or fans, you may also want to use dehumidifiers to dry out porous or semi-porous building materials and contents. You may need to get rid of carpet, which tends to trap moisture and contaminants that can lead to mold growth.
4. Clean or Replace Damaged Contents
Once the affected area is dry, you can determine which building materials must be torn out and replaced and deal with damaged contents. Most non-porous contents can be cleaned. Porous items of significant monetary or sentimental value may be worth restoring with specialized methods.
By following these tips, you may not experience mold growth after flooding, or the problem will be less severe than it would have been otherwise. If mold does form in your home in Hamilton, OH, you may be able to retain the services of the same residential damage restoration company to provide mold removal.
Why You Should Choose a Certified Mold Remediation Expert
Mold remediation can be a costly expense.
Cleaning extensive mold growth can be a nightmare for any homeowner in Hamilton, OH. A professional cleanup and restoration crew can help you address mold damage and restore your home. If you live in an area with multiple service providers, deciding which one to hire can be a challenge. However, at the end of the day, your goal is to ensure that your home is thoroughly cleansed and eliminated from mold. For this reason, a certified mold remediation expert is your best option.
What Certification Means
Widespread mold can significantly damage your home. A certified mold specialist will know how to efficiently address the problem, offering peace of mind to affected homeowners. To receive a mold certification, specialists must accomplish the following:
• Commit to a code of ethics
• Abide by standards of practice
• Complete testing and on-the-job training
• Renew certification regularly to verify accuracy of knowledge and techniques
Because of extensive training, certified mold experts possess the technical proficiency to thoroughly eliminate mold inside your home. This includes efficiently removing mold that has infiltrated building materials as well as preventing recontamination. Completing mandatory recertification also ensures that the contractor is up-to-date on the latest methods and technologies that benefit remediation efforts.
Insurance Company’s Preference
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration conducts research and sets industry standards. In addition, it’s one of the leading certification authorities. Like homeowners, insurance companies want assurance that mold remediation will be thoroughly and professionally completed. For this reason, insurance companies typically prefer experts possessing mold certification.
A Wise Choice
Mold remediation can be a costly expense. However, attempting to reduce costs by choosing an uncertified technician can create extra expenses in the long run. A certified mold technician is a worthwhile investment because their technical proficiency and dedication to best practices will ensure that the problem is adequately addressed from the beginning, helping to preserve your home’s internal integrity and reduce the likelihood of future mold growth.
Toilet Overflow and Prevention
If the overflowing toilet takes out of control, you can count on SERVPRO.
Overflowing Toilets and Their Prevention
Dealing with a flooded toilet is a challenging and unpleasant task. For residents of Hamilton, OH, there are options available that can make cleanup and prevention a much easier and more infrequent process. Here is what you need to know.
When toilet overflow happens, there are a few things you can do right away to prevent water damage and bacteria from spreading in your home.
• Turn the water shut off valve at the base of your toilet to stop additional water flow.
• Try to remove any objects that may be blocking the toilet and preventing it from flushing. It is best to use rubber gloves for this task so that you are protected from bacteria that may be lingering in your toilet.
• Clean up spilled water from the surrounding area with towels or other highly absorbent materials as soon as possible.
• Contact a sewage company to assess the damage.
Sometimes it is difficult to find the cause of your clogged toilet. The most common cause for toilet overflow is a blockage in the drain line. The drain line is the pipe that connects the outside line to your toilet line inside the house.
Sewer damage is another common culprit for an overflowing toilet. Sometimes the main sewer line can get clogged by something, and it can back up the pipe lines all the way into your home.
Septic systems can also cause toilet overflow if they are not functioning properly. This can happen if the ground surrounding the tank isn't absorbing the incoming water.
To prevent toilet overflow, put only flushable items in the toilet. Never flush plastic, hair, paper towels or anything that will not disintegrate.
Sewer damage is no joke, and when a toilet overflows, the cleanup and damage can be daunting. Residents of Hamilton, OH, are encouraged to call a professional sewage company to check their homes for any kind of sewer damage that may cause future problems.
What Type of Mold Is Growing in Your House?
If you suspect mold growth in your home, consider talking with SERVPRO.
In Your Home, What Kind Of Mold Is Growing?
There are many different types of mold that can grow in your house in Oxford, OH. Mold growth is much more common than you may think, especially in areas of high humidity where water damage may have occurred. In all cases, the mold should be remediated. Here are some common types of mold typically found in the household.
Usually green in color, Cladosporium can be found hiding under upholstery or floorboards. This mold can grow inside or outside in hot or cold climates and tends to grow on wood and fabric.
Aspergillus is a very common mold and can be found anywhere where there are high levels of dampness. It can grow into thick layers quickly if not dealt with in time. Aspergillus can appear in a variety of colors as there are many species of this type of mold growth.
Penicillium will appear blue or green in color and is often found in areas of high water damage, typically in areas such as carpet and wallpaper. This fungus usually will have a fuzzy appearance to it.
Alternaria is a fast-growing mold that is extremely common. It usually appears as dark brown or black in color and fuzzy in texture. Under sinks, in window frames, or in showers are some of the frequent areas this mold is found.
Stachybotrys, frequently referred to as “black mold,” is typically black, slimy, and smelly. Black mold usually grows on wood, paper, or cardboard in areas that have experienced prolonged periods of water damage.
Mold can be difficult to locate and even harder to remove. If you suspect mold growth may be an issue in your home, consider talking to a professional to locate and remove the problem. Professional removers have specific training and equipment for the remediation of mold to ensure that it is taken care of for good. Always stay on top of it—mold grows fast and can spread to places you may not think of.
5 Steps to Prevent Mold Growth After a Flood
A dehumidifier will remove the moisture from the area.
Prevent Mold Growth In Your Home
If your Hamilton, OH, home has experienced a flood following a storm, you might be considered about mold growth, as you should be. After flooding, homeowners only have about 36 hours to act before mildew and mold can start to grow. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent mold from growing in your home.
1. Remove Wet Items
The first thing to remove from the home is big, wet items like furniture, curtains and pillows. They can hold a lot of moisture, so move them to the driveway or garage until they dry out completely.
2. Use a Wet Vac
Shop vacs or web vacs can remove water from wet carpets. If you don’t own a shop vac, you can rent one from a hardware store. You can also hire a professional to come in and take care of your carpets for you.
3. Air Out the Area
It might be a good time to invest in a dehumidifier, which will remove the moisture from the area. Fans can also help. If rain has stopped, open doors and windows to give the water somewhere to escape.
4. Remove Molding and Baseboards
Baseboards and crown molding look beautiful but can prevent the walls from completely drying. Removing all molding from the walls exposes them to air so that they can better dry.
5. Cut Small Holes In the Wall
Walls made out of sheet rock are especially vulnerable to mold growth. Allow them to dry out by cutting small openings along the bottom of the walls. This lets air reach the covering on the inside of the walls in addition to the outside.
These steps will help prevent mold growth in your Hamilton, OH, home. Still, after a few days without power, mold can start to grow. Contacting an expert can help you determine the best route for mold removal.
Tips To Prepare Kids for a House Fire
By teaching and practicing safety fire tips with your children your family is prepared for a home fire.
Your kids’ safety is of utmost importance. You teach your children to look both ways before crossing the street and to stay away from strangers. But, as a parent and homeowner in Morgan Township, OH do you educate your children on what to do in a home fire? When a fire emergency occurs, every second counts. Have a fire escape plan and practice it with your children. Review the tips below to educate your family.
Practice a Fire Escape Plan
Teach and practice the following techniques with your children during a non-emergency, so your family knows what to do in the case of a home fire:
- If the smoke alarm sounds at night, roll to the edge of the bed face down, place the closest hand to the floor and slide off the bed.
- Crawl to avoid smoke in the air on knees and forearms with head down, or crawl like a snake.
- Check doors before opening by feeling for heat. If hot, find another way out of the room. If warm or cool, open slowly and check for fire. Close doors as you go.
- Create and practice an escape route and agree on an outdoor meeting place. If trapped, go to the window, open it, climb out if possible or yell for help. Once out of the house, do not return inside for any reason.
Preventative Measures for Kids
Aside from teaching and practicing the above techniques, follow these kids’ safety tips:
- Maintain at least one functioning smoke detector at each level of your home. Teach your children that the alarm sound means there is fire and smoke in the house.
- Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of young children. Instruct older children not to play with these or other flammable objects, such as candles.
By teaching and practicing the above tips with your children in Morgan Township,OH your family is prepared for a home fire. Once your kids’ safety is secured and the fire is out, contact a fire restoration specialist and your homeowner’s insurance agent to begin the process of returning your home to preloss condition.
How To Combat Mold and Mildew in Businesses
Mold damaged behind walls.
How to Get Rid of Mold and Mildew in Your Business
With large groups of people comes a large influx of bacteria. For many commercial businesses, this means a challenge in maintaining a healthy environment for customers. One location, in particular, provides a larger challenge. Because of the constant moisture and potential for bacterial growth, bathrooms are hubs for mildew and mold. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep mildew off clean surfaces.
1. Maintain a Level of Cleanliness
Mold can spread quickly if it is left to its own devices. However, in order to grow, mildew must have some source of food and water. Wiping down counters, daily trash disposal and frequent spot cleaning can stop it from feeding and advancing.
2. Prevent Leaks
Mildew thrives in high-moisture environments. Identifying even the smallest faucet or toilet leaks early is essential in fighting fungal growths. Keeping floors and walls free from spills can also help to keep mildew off clean surfaces.
3. Allow for Ventilation
As any commercial owner may know, planning is essential in preventing unforeseen expenses. One important aspect to consider when maintaining your business is allowing for reasonable airflow in restrooms. Consider setting up ceiling fans or small windows that can be opened.
4. Inspect Grout and Caulk
Although both of these details can seem small, building grout and caulk can house large amounts of bacteria and mold. If not properly applied, they allow for water to accumulate and for mildew to multiply. Cleaning and reapplying new grout and caulk is vital in preventing fungal growth.
5. Inspect Ceiling Tiles
Another frequently overlooked source of mildew is the bathroom ceiling tiles. Their porous material can house millions of mold particles. Cleaning tiles with appropriate cleaning supplies can eliminate one of the common feeding grounds for fungal spores. In some cases, replacing old tiles will be necessary to keep mildew off clean surfaces.
If bathroom mold has already spread beyond control, calling qualified mold removal experts in Millville, OH, is important in preventing a larger problem. With these tips, anyone can help their business maintain a high level of safety.
How To Make Your Meeting With the Adjuster Go Smoothly
Drying carpet in a home that suffered from water damage.
Making a claim after a flood in your Trenton, OH, home can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Your provider may want you to take pictures of the damage, meet with a home adjuster and hire a professional cleanup team.
Use this quick guide to help prepare for your meeting with the adjuster.
- Make a list. Chances are the adjuster is going to want to go over the details of your loss. You should make a list of any belongings damaged in the flood. Try to remember when you purchased each item and how much it might cost to repair or replace it. You should also include structural damages in your list. If possible, include pictures to give the adjuster a visual idea of what happened to your home.
- Keep the damaged items. Even though you made a list and took pictures, you should still keep any furnishings, building materials or belongings you plan on throwing out. The home adjuster may want to see the destroyed items to better understand the extent of the flood.
- Get a quote. If you already know who you want to tackle your restoration, you should get a quote. The adjuster may set a specific budget for your insurance claim.
- Keep receipts. Sometimes it may take a while for an adjuster to make it out to your home. If you have to start the repairs before your home is inspected, you should be sure to keep all receipts of the work done. Remember to also keep before and after pictures of your house to help the insurance investigator better understand what happened.
A home adjuster is sent out by your insurance provider to figure out the extent of your loss after a flood. Because this person may decide how much money you get from your policy to do the repairs, you want to make sure the meeting goes well.
3 Ways To Prep Your Business For a Winter Storm
Keep your gutters clean.
Ways To Prepare For a Winter Storm
If you own a business in Ross, OH, you are probably familiar with the damage that a winter storm can bring. In addition to physical damage, they can also cause business owners to lose time and money due to business closures. Below are a few ways you can prepare for when the inevitable storm comes through your city.
1. Inspect Your Building
Don’t wait until the news shows a winter storm heading your way. As you approach the winter season, start inspecting your building and its grounds. Here are some typical problem areas to look for before the storm hits.
- Pipes – Make sure there aren’t any leaks and clear out water before freezing temps arrive. This will help avoid a pipe break.
- Gutters – Remove any clogged debris and check for leaks.
- Landscaping – Keep trees trimmed and free of dead branches, which can fly through high winds.
- Windows, roofs and doors – Check for leaks around sealants and siding, which can let in water.
2. Be Aware
Once your building is in good shape, pay close attention to the weather reports so that you have as much time to prepare as possible. You should have an emergency plan in place for your business, which might include the number of a trusted restoration expert. If inclement weather hits hard, having a contact readily available will get your business back up faster.
3. Know Your Coverage
Review your insurance policy annually and ensure you are aware of what is and isn’t covered when it comes to storm coverage. Take some time to review the storm damage assessment and the claims filing process.
A winter storm can wreak havoc on your business, but there are plenty of ways to prepare for it. By keeping your building and property in order, paying attention to weather reports and reviewing your insurance policy, you’ll be ready for whatever winter throws your way.