Flood Damage 101 for Commercial Property Tenants
Commercial flood damage can feel overwhelming. When you are a tenant, you may not know off the top of your head who should be responsible.
Flood Damage 101 For Tenants Of Commercial Properties
Severe storms and flooding in Brunswick, ME, can cause massive damage to commercial properties. As a tenant, you may feel confused and helpless in the aftermath of a flood that has wreaked havoc on your place of business. Should you ever have to go through the highly unfortunate situation of dealing with severe commercial property flood damage, you likely already know you need to reach out to your renter’s insurance provider. In addition, there are three more steps you should immediately take:
- Call your landlord or property management company to inform them of the situation.
- Start tracking the expenses you incur during this time. Your insurance may possibly reimburse some of these costs.
- If it is deemed safe by the authorities to enter the property, take pictures of each room and make notes about the extent of damage incurred.
Who Covers What?
Commercial flood damage can feel overwhelming. When you are a tenant, you may not know off the top of your head who should be responsible for covering what. Unless your lease specifies otherwise, structural damage is typically covered by the property owner’s insurance coverage, while the contents of the property are usually covered by the tenant’s renter’s insurance policy.
It may not be possible to continue operating your business after it floods. You will need to determine whether it is better to shift into a new, temporary space during cleanup, or put everything on pause until you are able to move back in. Check with your insurance agent to see if any of these costs are covered.
When you file a claim with your insurance company, they will likely send out an adjuster to determine the extent of damage done to the interior and exterior of your commercial property. You’ll also want to ensure a professional cleanup crew in Brunswick, ME, is called in to clean up, dry out and sanitize the area, as well as uncover any hidden areas of flood damage.
Flooding is no fun. However, if you follow these steps, you can simplify the process and utilize your renter's insurance to guarantee a quick, smooth return to business as usual.
How To Detect Roof Damage
Over time, pooling water can undermine roofing materials and cause water damage that requires cleanup and restoration.
How Can You Tell If Your Roof Is Damaged?
Adverse weather or high winds can result in roof damage. A damaged roof puts an entire residence at risk for leaks, water damage, and even mold. Take the following measures to detect damage as soon as it occurs.
Inspect the Shingles
Missing or dislodged shingles are one of the most evident signs of damage. Depending on the overall condition of a roof, shingles can be replaced to reduce the likelihood of a leak. If you take a closer look, you may also notice more subtle signs of damage, such as:
- Loss of granulation
Notify a roofer about any indications of damage. A professional can determine the right approach to roof repair.
Look For Signs of Stress
High winds may start to loosen and peel off roofing materials. Roof damage can quickly spread and become extensive. A roof does not wear evenly. Wind tends to put stress on certain areas, including the:
- Outer perimeter
In cold climates, wear around the eaves may indicate that ice damming is occurring. A poorly ventilated and insulated roof with uneven surface temperatures can cause snow to melt and refreeze around the edges of the roof, preventing proper drainage. Over time, pooling water can undermine roofing materials and cause water damage that requires cleanup and restoration.
Check For Signs of Impact
If a fallen tree limb or flying debris has damaged a roof, you may be able to see signs of impact. These may include:
- Missing shingles
Adverse weather and wind tend to cause damage to a roof over time unless an impact from heavy debris occurs. Contact a roofer as soon as you hear or see signs of a sudden impact.
It is important to regularly check for signs of roof damage. If you do not feel safe doing so yourself, contact a roofer in Woolwich, ME.
Why Secure a Building After a Fire?
SERVPRO has a team of licensed fire damage restoration professionals who are ready to restore your home or business at any time.
Why Is It Necessary To Secure A Structure After A Fire?
A building with fire damage may not seem like a desirable location, but there are several factors that can attract looters, trespassers, or vandals. Here are a few reasons why a building owner or manager should secure the premises after a fire has been extinguished.
To Prevent Further Damage
Every person that enters a building damaged by fire is likely to make damage worse. Several factors may include:
- Admitting debris
- Admitting water
- Grinding soot into surfaces
Boarding up holes in doors and windows and using tarps to cover a damaged roof are the best ways to prevent these types of damage. A building owner may also want to consider installing security fencing until restoration is complete.
To Limit Liability
A property owner may be liable if anyone, including a third-party, sustains an injury on the location of a fire. Security measures can make it more difficult for trespassers to get into a structure that has fire damage and risk becoming injured.
To Discourage Looting
A number of items in a fire-damaged property may be desirable to looters. Even after many contents and parts of a structure have become damaged or destroyed, a business may retain some elements, such as
Looting may still pose a risk regardless of whether building materials, fixtures, or other contents are intact or in need of being disposed of and replaced. A board-up, combined with security fencing, can help to limit losses and damage caused by trespassing.
Securing a building demonstrates an owner's desire to mitigate damage. Most insurers will seek evidence that mitigation is taking place. Securing a location with fire damage is one of the best ways to indicate an intention to restore the building for functional use as soon as possible. Start by contacting a service that specializes in fire cleanup, security, and protection from the elements in Bath, ME.
Why Do Ice Storms Result in Damage?
An ice storm can make any area unsafe. If the weight of ice or other factors result in damage to a residence, you can count on SERVPRO.
What Causes Damage From Ice Storms?
An ice storm involves the accumulation of freezing rain. Snow melts as it passes through air that is warmer than freezing. Precipitation then refreezes as it falls through subfreezing air closer to the ground. This results in a layer of ice that can be up to several inches thick.
What Do Ice Storms Involve?
Ice storms can result in accumulations of ice on the ground, sidewalks, roads, and other outdoor surfaces. These storms are characterized by:
- A layer of ice at least a quarter-inch thick.
- Excess weight on branches and power lines.
- Risk of additional wind damage.
According to The Weather Channel, ice can increase the weight of tree branches up to 30 times or add as much as 500 pounds of excess weight to power lines. The weight of ice can cause branches, power lines, and poles to fall.
Common Types of Storm Damage
In addition to risks posed by slick surfaces, ice storms can also lead to power failure. Some of the consequences of an ice storm include:
- Fallen branches
- Lack of heating
- Ice damming on roofs
- Shingle bruises
These are some of the most common types of damage caused by accumulated ice. Preventative measures may limit the extent of damage.
Limiting Ice Damage
Homeowners can take several measures well before a storm is on the forecast. The following tips may lessen storm damage:
- Clear gutters and downspouts
- Ensure that roof temperature is uniform
- Have trees pruned
- Obtain a generator and fuel
These measures can protect a home and vehicle. It is also recommended to stockpile food and fill the gas tank of a vehicle in the event of becoming housebound or needing to evacuate.
An ice storm can make any area unsafe. If the weight of ice or other factors result in damage to a residence in Brunswick, ME, contact a storm and water damage restoration service.
Commercial Property Insurance: Coverage for Common Water Concerns
Damaged pipes and water issues are ordinary business losses. However, commercial insurance can alleviate some of that concern and expense.
Coverage For Common Water Concerns In Commercial Property Insurance
As a commercial property owner, you are likely aware that water leaks are the most common business losses, which includes damaged pipes. While you may be aware of this common problem, you may not be aware that your commercial property insurance policy likely covers the cost of damage and repair. There are actually three distinct circumstances that nearly every commercial policy will cover.
1. Sudden Events
Sudden events refer to any event that was not previously known about, or that could have been prevented with routine maintenance. This means that leaking pipes that are located deep in the walls, that likely would not show up for annual inspections, are probably covered, as is any incurred damage. However, if the leaky pipe is a direct result of negligence on the property owners part, then the repair will not be covered. Insurers are there to protect your interests, but they are not there to defend and correct an owner’s mistakes or intentional neglect.
2. Damage to Fire Suppression Systems
When it comes to fire suppression systems, most policies will cover all damaged pipes. It is understood that fire sprinklers are a necessity for building and worker safety. Additionally, as sprinkler systems are exposed, it is assumed that they can be damaged more easily than other plumbing. While it is still necessary to prove responsible ownership, as long as you have your system inspected annually, your policy should cover any damage. The only way that this may not be the case is if either a property owner or employee maliciously and purposefully damages the equipment.
3. Restoration Work
It is not uncommon for broken pipes to lead to flooding and other structural damage. It is also not unusual for most of this damage to occur behind walls, in ceilings and under foundations. For that reason, many insurers will cover both tear-out and repair. As insurers only provide coverage, it will likely be up to you to seek out and receive estimates from several emergency remediation specialists in the Brunswick, ME, area.
Damaged pipes and water issues are ordinary business losses. However, commercial insurance can alleviate some of that concern and expense.
How To Maintain Smoke Alarms
If your home sustains damage due to a fire, rely on SERVPRO, we can help you.
How To Keep Smoke Detectors In Working Order.
Maintaining smoke alarms should be simple. It is important to know which types of alarms you have, how to test these alarms, and the necessary power sources. By taking the following measures, you should be able to count on every smoke alarm to function if a fire starts.
Know How the Alarm Works.
A number of different smoke detector designs are available. Depending on the age of a house and the purpose of a room, an alarm may rely on one of the following methods to detect smoke:
- Dual-sensor (ionization and photoelectric).
- Combination (smoke and carbon dioxide)
These alarms vary in functionality and battery life. Make sure you know which alarms are installed in your home.
Test Alarms Monthly.
No matter which type of detectors you have, you should test each alarm at least once a month. For most models, this will involve:
- Pressing and holding a test button
- Waiting a few seconds for a siren to sound
- Determining whether batteries or the detector should be replaced.
If you don't know how to test a smoke alarm, read the instructions for the brand and model. It is important to regularly test every alarm.
Replace the Batteries.
Various smoke detector designs use different batteries. Check to determine which of the following power sources an alarm requires:
• Replaceable batteries (D, AA, AAA, C, or PP3)
• 10-year lithium batteries
• Hardwired electricity
Follow the instructions to replace or disconnect the model for cleaning. You may use compressed air to clean vents on a disconnected alarm.
It is important to know which kinds of alarms are installed in a residence. The alarm design may impact how frequently the batteries in a smoke alarm should be changed. An alarm cannot function without a power source. If your home sustains damage due to a fire, rely on fire damage restoration professionals in Rantowles, SC.
3 Tips for Protecting Pets During a Fire
Every time you practice your fire emergency and evacuation plan, train your pets to participate with you.
3 Ways To Keep Your Pets Safe During A Fire
Sadly, residential fires are one of the most common disasters to happen in homes across the country and in Brunswick, ME. While it's best to take steps to ensure that your home isn't affected by fire, it's also important to prepare for that possibility. When you have pets in your home, use the following steps to keep them safe when a fire emergency takes place.
Pet safety should include preventing them from starting fires. Use these tips from the American Red Cross:
- Put out open flames before you walk away from them.
- Remove knobs from your stove and cooktop when you leave home.
- Swap out lit candles for flameless candles.
- Put young bets in a confined space when you're away.
One: Include Pets in the Family Safety and Evacuation Plan
Every time you practice your fire emergency and evacuation plan, train your pets to participate with you. Teach them to come to you when you call their names. As you put together disaster supply kits for family members, don't forget to include food and supplies for your pets. These pet preparation steps are crucial, so you don't risk your own safety when an actual fire takes place. Talk to a residential fire restoration company for more tips.
Two: Alert Firefighters to Your Pets
Rescuers may save your pets if they know animals are in the house. Place a pet alert cling on your front window and list the number of pets in the home. This information lets firefighters know to look for the pets. Leave a leash near the front door as well, so rescuers can grab it quickly for safely removing animals from the home.
Three: Store Pet Documents in a Fire-Safe Box or Outside Location
Stash your pet ownership and vaccination records in a box that will protect them from the fire or store the box at a friend's home. This important step can help you through the fire emergency and recovery process after the flames have been put out.
Draining a Flooded Basement
A flooded basement is a headache. SERVPRO knows this, which is why we're available to respond to your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Getting a Flooded Basement Drained
If your basement has flooded in Brunswick, ME, you may be at a loss regarding what you should do. No one wants to deal with a basement flood, but facing reality and following these four steps will help you to recover your property with as little residual damage as possible.
1. Call Your Insurance Agent
You may have insurance coverage for floods in your home. Because of this, you should always check over your homeowners policy and call the agent who handles your account to ask questions and make a claim if you can do so.
2. Wait for Conditions to Settle
Before you decide how to handle water removal, you will need to make sure that the water is under control. If it seems to be limited to the basement, and any outdoor water has receded, you can safely move on to draining your basement flood.
3. Choose Your Removal Method
All water removal methods are typically handled best by water damage technicians. Two typical solutions are pumping for large floods and vacuuming with a wet/dry machine for smaller ones. It is a good idea to research all of your options so that you make the best decision possible.
4. Decide on a Drying Method
Most homeowners will find that the majority of their damaged property and valuables will need to be dried, dehumidified or otherwise salvaged, as old flood water can cause irreversible damage to your investments if left to sit. The service that you hired for water removal can likely help you with drying and restoration, as well.
A basement flood is a big deal to any concerned homeowner, but being prepared can help you be less overwhelmed if this unfortunate situation is occurring or should occur in the future. Use your newfound knowledge to help protect your Brunswick, ME, house from as much lasting damage as possible.
Top Reasons Your Insurance Company May Deny Your Fire Claim
Like arson, a vacant home fire is also not typically covered under most insurance policies.
Top Reasons Your Fire Claim Might Be Denied By Your Insurance Company
A home insurance policy typically covers numerous situations, including fire damage. However, there are two home fire circumstances that are usually not covered under most policies: arson and a fire inside a vacant home.
Investigating for Arson
Deliberately setting fire to a home is a criminal act, and a desire to collect insurance money is often the motive. For this reason, insurance companies require a fire investigation as part of the claim process. This helps the insurer establish the cause of the fire and note potentially suspicious details, such as multiple points of origin.
To help further reduce the risk of insurance fraud, your insurance company may also evaluate your personal finance and insurance claim history. Examples of potentially suspicious findings that may result in a denial of a home fire claim include the following:
- A recent increase in coverage or decrease in deductible
- Extensive debt or pending bankruptcy
- Prior insurance claims and loss history
- Recently purchased, high-value items on claim list
- The value of destroyed contents is inconsistent with household income
Because of this detailed investigation, any homeowner filing a claim in Brunswick, ME, should be prepared for a potentially lengthy claim process.
A Vacant Home Fire
Like arson, a vacant home fire is also not typically covered under most insurance policies. A home is considered vacant if it is uninhabited for 30 or more consecutive days. If your insurance company can verify this circumstance, it may deny your claim, forcing you to fund cleanup and restoration costs out-of-pocket. To protect your financial interests, you should consider purchasing vacant home insurance or add an endorsement to your existing policy for any vacation homes or rental property you own.
Protecting Financial Interests
Your home insurance policy can be a strong financial safety net in the event of a home fire. However, because arson and insurance fraud are serious problems, insurance companies must thoroughly investigate fire claims to protect their financial interests. To further safeguard your financial security, you should update your policy to ensure vacation and rental properties are adequately protected.
What Can You Expect From the Mold Remediation Process
If your home suffers from mold growth, don't hesitate! Call us, SERVPRO is always ready to help you.
What Should You Expect During the Mold Removal Process?
As a homeowner near Brunswick, ME, you may feel a little overwhelmed when you discover black mold in your house. You call in a mold remediation team right away, but you still don't know what to expect from the entire process. Learning a bit about the typical cleanup routine may help you feel better about letting the professionals into your home. So, what can you expect?
• Inspection: The first thing your team will do is come in and inspect your living space. They need to understand the extent of the mold damage before they can come up with the proper mold cleanup process.
• Containment: Once the fungus has been located, the remediation team wants to make sure your black mold doesn't spread to other parts of the house. Using tarps, negative air pressure and other containment techniques allows them to keep the growth to one area.
• Safety Gear: Before anyone enters the work zone, safety gear is required. Your team may use face masks, gloves, goggles, shoe coverings and coveralls to ensure spores don't travel to other areas of your home.
• Water Removal: If there is standing water in your home, the cleanup team has to remove the water before trying to get rid of the mold. The workers may also try to level out humidity problems and dry out your possessions.
• Tear Out: Depending on the extent of your mold damage, the team may need to tear out carpet, drywall and other belongings. This allows them to remove some of the mold buildup, but it can also help them make sure the problem isn't deeper than initially anticipated.
• Clean Up: Other belongings can be cleaned and disinfected. They may still be taken out of the mold-filled area, but they can be returned once they are deemed clean.
Black mold is often an unwelcome problem, but mold remediation teams know exactly how to get rid of the fungus. Your cleanup process may require additional steps, but these are the basics.