How to File a Water Damage Claim
Keep your insurance policy up to date, and know what it covers.
How to Make a Claim for Water Damage
If your home in Tulsa,OK was recently damaged by water, you may be wondering if you have coverage for the repairs. In most cases, insurance will cover the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property. The key is to review your policy and call your agent as soon as possible in order to file a claim. Here are some tips on how to get started:
If you think your insurance will cover the damage, take pictures of all affected areas.
Before you file a claim, make sure the damage is covered by your insurance. This may be a good time to get in touch with your agent and see if you have any coverage that would apply in this scenario. If so, take pictures of all affected areas: damage, wet areas, dry areas and contents damaged.
Check your policy to see if water damage is covered.
It's important to check your policy to see if water damage is covered. If you don't have insurance, you may have to pay for the damage yourself. If you do have insurance, you may need to call your insurance company and file a claim with them before any repairs can be made.
Call your insurance company and explain the situation so they can help you initiate a claim.
Once you have your claim number, you need to contact your insurance company and explain what happened. This is important because they may help you initiate a claim with the correct authorities so that they can start investigating your water damage situation.
Document everything that gets wet, including walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, etc.
This is where you need to be as thorough as possible. The insurer will not reimburse you for items that have been lost or damaged unless they can prove their worth—in other words, if you don't document the value of the item(s), there's no way for them to do so. Take pictures of all affected areas and include them in your claim filing. List all damaged items by name and description. If an item has a serial number, include that too; otherwise, take note of its make/model/style details (e.g., "name brand dresser"). Listing these details helps insurers determine how much money should be paid out for each item when it's replaced or repaired
Once everything is documented, list the cost of repair and restoration separately from any other expenses incurred during this period—for example: "Repair cost: $100." Finally, add all these figures together at the bottom of your list so they'll be visible when insurers review what happened during this event!
Your insurance policy may not cover an entire replacement of damaged property, but only repair and restoration costs.
It's important to understand that your insurance company may not pay for a full replacement of damaged property. This is because most homeowner policies only cover repair and restoration costs, not the purchase price of secondhand items. For example, if your $1,000 sofa was destroyed in a flood, your insurer might pay for it to be professionally cleaned or dry-cleaned, but they won't replace the sofa with another one like it—they'll just reimburse you for its original value (the $1,000). That can be frustrating if you really liked that old couch and would've liked to get another one from an antique store or furniture consignment shop instead of buying new.
But don't worry! Even though some things are irreplaceable (like jewelry), there are plenty of ways around this loophole when filing a water damage claim on other items as well:
The best thing you can do is be prepared. Keep your insurance policy up to date, and know what it covers in case of water damage. Water damage is a serious issue that can cause major problems for you and your family if not addressed quickly, so make sure your insurance company has all the information they need when they call with questions about filing a claim.
How Do I Prepare My Company For a Fire?
A well-rehearsed evacuation plan will help guide employees through an emergency and keep them safe
How Can I Get My Business Ready for a Fire?
The best way to prepare your company for a fire is to make sure that you have an evacuation plan and a contingency plan. You should also test these plans regularly so that everyone knows what they are supposed to do in an emergency.
How do I prepare my company for a fire?
Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to fire safety:
- Fire extinguisher. You should have at least one fire extinguisher on your premises, preferably stored in a visible location. Also make sure that everyone knows how to use this device (and not just the staff).
- Fire alarm. In case of emergency, you also need an alarm system and/or smoke detectors that can alert everyone within the building about a possible fire. Make sure these devices are working properly and easily accessible - you don't want them hidden away somewhere where no one can get access!
- Exit signs and emergency exits. It's also important for employees to know where all the exits in your office building are located so they can quickly evacuate if there is ever an unsafe situation.
When you have a fire in your building, it's important to know what to do. A well-rehearsed evacuation plan will help guide employees through an emergency and keep them safe.
- An employee must be able to quickly identify the closest exit route from his or her current location, as well as whether any hazardous materials are present in the area (e.g., chemical fumes, combustible liquids).
- Employees should be trained on how to use emergency equipment such as fire extinguishers and smoke detectors so that they can respond appropriately if a fire breaks out.
- You'll want everyone who works in your office space practicing an evacuation drill at least once per quarter so they know exactly where they're supposed to go when there's an emergency — and how quickly they can get out of there!
Test your evacuation plan.
Once you have a plan, practice it. The most important part of the process is to test your evacuation plan until everyone knows what to do and where to go in an emergency. Make sure each employee is aware of:
- Where their designated meeting point is located
- How to get there from wherever they are located at the time of evacuation (e.g., if you’re on the second floor and need to exit through the east door, make sure everyone knows where that door is)
- What items they should bring with them (this varies depending on whether it’s a fire drill or an actual emergency)
Contingency plans are a series of actions that you should take if something goes wrong. They can help you to avoid or reduce the impact of problems on your business and recover from problems quickly.
It is important to identify what you would do if there were an emergency in your business, how this would affect customers and staff and how it will be communicated to them.You need an evacuation plan and a contingency plan, and you should test them regularly.
- Have an evacuation plan: All companies should have an evacuation plan in place. This should include information about where to go if there is a fire, what to take with you, as well as how you will get out of the building safely and where you will meet up with your colleagues afterward.
- Have a contingency plan: It's important that everyone knows what they're supposed to do if their part of the building catches fire or if there's smoke present that threatens their health or safety more generally.
- Test your plans regularly: Companies must test their plans both annually and whenever anything changes (e.g., new employees join or leave). A good way of doing this is by using tabletop exercises - these are simulations which allow everyone involved in any given situation (e.g. responding appropriately in case of a fire) practice how best to react without having real-world consequences for failure.
We hope this article has helped you better understand the importance of having an evacuation plan, a contingency plan and testing them regularly. This will help ensure that your company is prepared for any emergency that may arise.
Oh No, Toilet Overflow! Here's How To Be Prepared When Sewer Damage Strikes
Commercial buildings aren't immune to flooded toilet issues.
Commercial buildings aren't immune to flooded toilet issues. Sewer damage can occur anywhere, considering a sanitary sewer system connects all sources of wastewater. This includes residential, industrial, and commercial. If something goes awry with the sanitary sewer, you may see an excess amount of water coming out of your toilet — and in a variety of colors. Here's why it's important for you as a business owner to be knowledgeable and prepared when damage to the sewer system is suspected.
Possible Reasons Behind a Toilet Overflow
Sanitary sewer overflows occur when raw sewage is released back into the system. Sometimes, it even backs up into commercial buildings. There are a variety of reasons for SSOs, including:
- Clogged pipes
- Tree root invasion of the sewer system
- Pipe collapse
- Improper design of sewer
- Breaks in the line
- Power outages
- Defects in the system
- Defacing of public property
The EPA states that anywhere between 23,000 and 25,000 SSOs occur yearly in the United States. Sewer damage is common, but it's slightly less common to see this manifest into a flooded toilet in your place of business. In this case, you need to know what to do to mitigate the issue before it becomes costly.
How To Be Prepared
If you notice any sort of toilet overflow, it's best to contact your local sewage cleanup experts in Bixby, OK. Each insurance company has a preferred vendor, so it's best to pick a trusted remediation expert such as SERVPRO that has corporate ties and the right resources available. The worst-case scenario is contacting your sewage company, getting a quote from a company that your insurance doesn't cover, and having to pay out of pocket.
Once you've decided on the professionals preferred by your insurance provider, they can come in and do an inspection. There are three categories of contaminated water: clean, gray, and black. Depending on the source of the overflow, you could be dealing with clean water. However, if not taken care of swiftly, this can quickly degrade into the gray or black category.
Whatever the nature of the problem, SERVPRO's experts can identify the cause and remedy the sewer damage situation quickly and safely.
Is Fire Damage To a Vacation Home Covered?
Fire damaged home
Owners of vacation homes are often unsure about the status of insurance coverage for a seasonally occupied property. It is important to maintain vacation home coverage, document damage and make claims in a timely manner to ensure that a home fire at a vacation property qualifies for a level of coverage comparable to that available under the homeowners insurance policy for a primary residence in Tulsa, OK.
You Need Vacation Home Insurance Coverage
A vacation home requires additional insurance coverage above and beyond the policy for a primary residence. Insurers consider vacation homes higher risk for several reasons:
- Intermittent occupancy
- Likelihood of delayed response
- Disaster risk in some destinations
The premiums for insuring a vacation home may be relatively high, but the ability to make a claim for a vacant home fire is worth it. Based on how long it takes for a blaze to be reported and extinguished, the cost of repairing damage can be considerable.
Making a Claim for a Vacation Home
In order to make a home fire claim, a vacation homeowner must submit documentation of damage. If you are not staying at a property when a fire breaks out, it may be possible to have damage cleanup and restoration professionals document damage. It may be necessary to go to a vacation home to meet with an adjuster.
Perils That Are Not Covered
A vacation home without a dedicated insurance policy does not qualify for coverage under the owner’s primary policy. An intentional fire or arson is also excluded from every policy.
In order to make an insurance claim after a home fire at a vacation house, it is necessary that the owner maintain vacation home coverage. As soon as the fact that a fire has taken place is apparent, property owners should take measures to document and mitigate damage in preparation to make a claim.
What Personal Protective Equipment Is Necessary To Remove Mold?
Commercial mold clean up in Liberty, OK.
Personal Protective Equipment You Will See While Removing Mold
Discovering mold growth in your commercial building in Liberty, OK can cause a bit of panic. Mold is a hardy little organism that's excellent at covertly taking over large spaces. Mold remediation must begin immediately to stop further progression. It's also essential for workers to wear special gear to protect themselves.
Here's the personal protective equipment you'll typically see:
1. Hair Covering
The team will wear disposable hair coverings in the affected area. These coverings keep mold spores and other debris from getting trapped in their hair. Hair coverings will be removed and discarded every time workers leave the area to prevent cross-contamination into other parts of the building. A fresh hair covering will be used upon the worker's return to the affected area.
Workers typically wear fully-enclosed goggles. These eye coverings help ensure that no spores, debris or chemicals can get in their eyes during the mold cleanup process.
3. Face Mask
A specific type of respirator is worn covering the nose and mouth to avoid inhaling contaminates. These respirators can be disposable or reusable.
Disposable gloves are worn to protect the mold remediation specialists' hands from contaminates and cleaning chemicals. The gloves are removed and disposed of every time the worker exits the contaminated area, and then a new pair is put on when they return.
Coveralls cover and shut out all spores from getting on the workers' clothes. These coveralls can be purchased in disposable or reusable varieties. Like the other PPE, they must be removed before leaving the area and put on again before returning to work.
6. Shoe Coverings
Coveralls sometimes include built-in shoe coverings. Disposable coverings are also available. Removing and discarding them when leaving the affected area will prevent tracking contaminates into other areas. Upon return, they're replaced with new ones.
During mold cleanup, PPE must be worn to protect the workers and prevent cross-contamination into unaffected areas. By hiring professionals, your building will be returned to its preloss condition as soon as possible.
What To Expect When Fire Damages Your Home
Fire Damage in Jenks, OK
What to Expect If Your Home Is Damaged by Fire
It’s difficult to imagine your home being affected by a fire, yet over 400 thousand homes each year experience fire damage. A fire can cause devastation, not only from smoke and fire but also water from the pressurized fire hose. If you’ve had a home fire, it’s important to consult with a fire remediation service to begin the cleanup process. This discussion may prepare you for what to expect during this phase.
What Will Cleanup Entail?
Professional cleanup crews will work quickly to sort, clean, and restore your personal property. Your homeowner’s insurance policy is likely to cover a good portion of the cleanup and reimburse you for a percentage of your losses. The following are examples of how the crews will handle your belongings.
Carpets, upholstered furniture, and other porous items may not be salvageable if they are compromised by fire damage. If water-damaged, these items will undergo numerous processes intended to dry, sanitize, and restore them.
Your documents, books and other paper-based items are challenging to restore, but they may be able to be taken off-site for specialized drying, cleaning, and pressing.
Electronic items, such as computers, will be dehydrated and repaired if not compromised by heat.
Your input and supervision are important to the cleanup process and will generally be welcomed by the technicians.
Why Hire Experts?
If your damage from fire and water is minimal, you may feel hiring experts is unnecessary. It can still be helpful to have a consultation with an expert to help outline the process. If you have significant fire damage, hiring fire-cleanup experts is strongly recommended. They are specially trained to use safety measures that protect you and your property. Cleanup crews will work quickly to take care of your belongings before mold and other forms of secondary damage can occur. Hiring professionals is generally the quickest and most stress-free strategy.
If your Jenks, OK, home has sustained smoke, fire, or water damage, you are likely experiencing a stressful time. Having a better understanding of the cleanup process may help you make good decisions about what will work best for restoring your beloved home to its previous condition.
Mold in the Crawlspace
Mold in a crawlspace
Read On To Learn More About Moldy Crawlspaces
Some houses have a crawlspace rather than a basement because crawlspaces are cheaper if you live somewhere dry. However, they are still prone to moisture and mold problems. While mold is an eyesore, it can also lead to some serious structural issues.
Signs of Mold
Detecting mold immediately is crucial to prevent it from spreading. This stuff spreads quickly, so you need to take action as soon as possible to stop it from damaging your property. Therefore, you need to know the signs of mold in your crawlspace. The signs of mold can include:
- A musty smell
- Health effects
- Visible mold
If you see these signs or notice visible mold elsewhere, you should get the mold remediation process started immediately.
No Mold Is Acceptable
When it comes to mold in your crawlspace, a little is too much. No mold is acceptable. You can't afford to be friendly with it because it will spread and can cause a lot of damage to your home.
That musty smell is your first sign that growth has begun. Check your home in Broken Arrow, OK, for patches of mold so you can identify it. White mold is most likely to grow on your exposed soil and floor joists. It is uncommon during cold weather, but this fuzzy white powder can cause a lot of damage to your home. Black mold is the most frightening of all. These will be dark gray or green flat patches and should be handled quickly. However, the most dangerous to your home is yellow mold. It feeds on wood and must be removed as soon as possible so it doesn't eat your house. Be warned, that any of these can be caused by flooding and must be removed by remediation professionals.
To avoid mold damage to your home, you should know the signs of mold in crawlspaces. Remember that no mold is acceptable and you should have any type of mold removed quickly.
How To Handle a Basement Flood
A flooded basement in Burning Tree, OK.
No one in Burning Tree, OK, wants to walk into the basement and find see water all over the floor. Unfortunately, this scenario isn't unheard of. The basement is one of the most common places in the home for flooding to occur. At first, you may feel helpless against this disaster. You should keep a level head and take appropriate measures to stop the water and clean up the mess.
Typical Ways That Floods Start in the Basement
If you find water in the basement, you may wonder how this could happen. There are several possible culprits when you've got a basement flood. A few of these causes could be:
- A broken or ruptured pipe
- A ruptured or leaky water heater or other appliance
- A backed-up sewer line
- Improper drainage from rain gutters and downspouts
Find the Source
After making sure everyone in your home is safe, you need to find what is causing the flooding. If it's a pipe issue, turn off the water to your home. If it's an appliance, unplug it. If a sewer problem is to blame, call your local utility company.
You want to mitigate as much damage as possible. Get as many items away from the water as you can and move them to dry ground. The only exception would be if black water is in your home. If this is the case, only professional crews should go near it.
Call the Pros
Professional disaster response teams are equipped to handle flood cleanup and restoration projects of all sizes. The technicians have the skills, equipment, and techniques to remove the water, clean your materials and restore your home. The technicians can even do pipe repairs. After you get in touch with a cleanup company, contact your insurance company to discuss filing a claim.
Acting decisively can help you spare more damage to your home. Also, make sure you hire a company that has experience cleaning up after flooding.
3 Post-Flood Mistakes All Homeowners Can Avoid
A flooded home in Woodland Hills, OK.
After experiencing a residential flood in Woodland Hills, OK, many homeowners are anxious to begin the process of cleanup and repair. With flood water subsiding and insurance companies involved, it may be time to begin the restoration process. Before you jump into the job with both feet, be sure you are prepared for what is ahead. Stay safe and streamline the work that goes into repairing a home flood by using these three helpful tips.
1. Wear Proper Attire
Flood cleanup is a large process to tackle. As you begin the duty of drying and restoring your residence, don’t underestimate the importance of proper clothing. Exposure to contaminated liquid may be dangerous, and walking into a longstanding pool of water can pose several risks. Some essential clothing to consider during cleanup might include the following:
- Knee-high rubber boots
- Long-sleeved shirt and pants
- Disposable respirator mask
- Rubber gloves
2. Don’t Touch Standing Water
Following a large storm where flood water fills a home, many home residents impatiently await the time that they are allowed to go back into their property. While it may be tempting to walk around your flooded home to assess the damage, it is never a good idea to enter a house that’s taken in too much moisture. If downed power lines are in contact with standing water, the risk of electrocution is very high. For safety reasons, contact a licensed electrician to clear the area before getting started.
3. Follow Clean-Up Protocol
After taking in the severity of the water damage left behind by a residential flood, many homeowners want to speed up the sanitation process as much as possible. In order to achieve the best results, be sure to consult storm damage restoration specialists. Work closely with your property insurer and follow its processes. This will ensure more timely results and proper repairs.
Keep these tips in mind as you begin to rebuild after a residential flood. For a safe and efficient process, deal with flood water damages in a cautious and routine manner.
Learn About the Basics of Roof Damage Mitigation
Roof damage in a home in Leonard, OK.
Roof Damage Mitigation
After a powerful storm, roof damage can leave your Leonard, OK, home vulnerable to other types of damage. When a residential restoration company arrives, one of the first actions it should take is to enact mitigation on your damaged rooftop. Learn more about the purpose of this process, its execution and the steps taken afterward.
Definition and Purpose
Whenever you hear about damage mitigation in any restoration case, you should know it simply means an attempt at preventing the damage from getting worse. The team's repair investigation might take some time, so they will need to protect your home from threats such as:
- Wild animals
- Strong weather
The mitigation either prevents these potential issues or delays them until the workers are ready to fix your house. It is meant to be a short-term solution that assists the long-term repair plan.
Roof Damage Mitigation Process
Upon their arrival, the restoration experts will evaluate the area for any hazards and attempt to neutralize them. Afterward, they can investigate the extent of the wind damage and determine the tools and materials needed for mitigation. The debris in the area is removed to facilitate the process. Once the technicians take the proper measures, they can board up and install tarps on any existing openings and weak points throughout your home.
Aftermath of Mitigation
Once the mitigation procedure is complete, the specialists will inspect the rest of the property and formulate a plan for the entire property. Specifically, they will look at the interior components and any belongings you have kept inside. Since the interior is already protected by the boards and tarps, it will be easier to take the time to create a plan to restore as much as possible with the best resources. These additions will then be replaced by a more permanent repair.
An intense storm can result in various forms of destruction, including roof damage. Ensure that your remediation team performs damage mitigation on the roof to protect your Leonard, OK, home during the process.