Recent Storm Damage Posts
Sewage Backup: Are You Covered?
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Most home insurance companies require homeowners to carry a rider policy if they hope for perils such as flood damage or fire damage to be covered. However, many companies offer an exception, and that is if the flooding or water damage is caused by a covered peril. In most instances, sewer backup is a covered peril.
What To Do When Your Toilet Backs Up
Not much is worse than dealing with a backed-up sewage line, yet, as a homeowner, you're bound to encounter a backup every once in a while. This is especially the case if you live in a flood plain, have large trees near your home or live in an older home with older plumbing. When your toilets back up and leave you with a disgusting mess, there are steps you can take to remedy the situation with as little pain and fanfare as possible.
• Remove spillage and wet vacuum the entire area.
• Disinfect all surfaces and mop up the floors.
• Disinfect plumbing fixtures and flush out the system.
• Remove and dispose of wet carpets and steam clean the ones that are salvageable.
• Perform a flood cut on damaged drywall.
• Clean up ductwork.
You should not attempt to clean up a sewer backup on your own. Ideally, you should call in the help of a professional Antioch, TN, water damage restoration team for safe and swift help.
How To File a Claim
There are certain steps you should take before beginning restoration efforts, during, and after a claim. Your documentation is key to making a full financial recovery. Take photos of the affected areas and the damage. Itemize property losses and take photos of damaged belongings as well. If necessary, have your cleanup crew contact your insurance company on your behalf to explain the damage in detail and what it will take to restore your home.
Dealing with a sewer backup can be a headache, but with the right team on your side, you can make it through the issue with as little pain and cost as possible. Contact your local restoration team today to get started.
Four Essential Steps To Follow When Making a Flood Damage Claim
Wet carpet due to a recent storm in Antioch, TN
What To Do If Your Home Is Damaged In a Flood
Tune in to the morning or evening news during certain times of the year, and you will likely see coverage related to flooding in some parts of the country. Now imagine if that flooding happened to your home or property in Antioch, TN. Would you know what to do to make a flood claim? Having a step-by-step plan can ease your angst.
1. Report Loss Immediately
Once you have checked your insurance policy to see if it covers flood damage, you should contact your insurance agent or carrier as soon as possible. Information that you will likely need to have on hand is a telephone number and/or email address where you can be reached, the property location and your policy number.
2. Document All Damage
Before removing any damaged items from your home, you should take pictures and videos of each item and make a detailed list to include dates of purchase, value of the items, model numbers and serial numbers. Receipts can be very helpful to have as well. Additionally, any structural damage, standing water and damaged vehicles should be photographed or videoed.
3. Make Minor Repairs
While waiting for an adjuster to assess the damage for your flood claim, you may need to address issues such as mold and wet carpet immediately. By having a professional manage the water damage and mold restoration process, your home can remain habitable while you go through the insurance claim process.
4. File Proof of Loss
After the adjuster inspects your property and home, he or she will more than likely provide you with a proof of loss document to complete, which is required by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Within 60 days of the flooding, this completed, signed to and sworn to proof-of-loss form, along with supporting documentation and the estimate provided by the adjuster, should be filed with your insurance company for review.
Take the time to learn what to do if your home is damaged in a flood. By following these four steps, you can prepare yourself beforehand on how to make a flood claim.
Are you Prepared for a Business Interruption From a Storm?
Flooding in Nashville, TN
How Can You Be Ready For A Storm
When disaster strikes in Nashville, TN, the odds of a business surviving are not good. Being prepared and getting a prompt rebuild may be the difference between bankruptcy and success. So how can you get ready for the storm?
What Are the Odds?
FEMA statistics show that 40% of businesses never reopen following a disaster, 65% will fail within a year, and a stunning 90% permanently close within two years. If you have a closed business for as little as two days, your odds of remaining open after two years is one in ten.
What About Insurance?
Insurance is your saving grace – assuming you have the right coverage. A commercial policy can pay for a rebuild of your building and usually covers a few perils, including
Water (excluding flooding)
However, there are exclusions to the standard policies. If you started a fire, that wouldn’t be covered. If water damage is from flooding, you need a special flood policy. Plus, your lost business income is not included. You need business income insurance for that.
What Is Business Interruption Insurance?
While your business is closed, you may have all your normal expenses (plus additional ones) while seeing either reduced or eliminated revenue. It’s also not unusual for a business to be closed during the rebuilding process.
Probably the best way to survive a major disaster is to have good commercial insurance with interruption insurance. It’s so effective at preventing insolvency that it’s recommended by the experts if you can afford it. Also, if you’re in a flood zone, you should have flood insurance. You can check the flood zone maps to determine if you’re in a high-risk area.
What About the Storm Damage?
Immediately after the storm, contact a storm damage restoration expert to inspect your building and tarp exposed areas. Most interruption insurance has a limited time for coverage, so you’ll want to begin the process as soon as possible.
If you have the right insurance and planning, you can weather any storm. Having property damage and income coverage through the rebuild is a fantastic way to dramatically raise your odds of survival.
3 Things You Can Do To Prepare for a Flood
We are experts in storm water removal
Three Things You Can Do To Help Avoid This Chaos
As a business owner in Nashville, TN, you're aware that flooding can grind your work to a halt. After all, what you need is drenched, preventing you from tackling tasks. As the news warns of impending storms, then, it's best to consider ways to keep your company and staff protected. Here are three things you can do to help avoid this chaos.
1. Seal and Border Low Areas
Minimize flood damage by filling in small cracks and establishing a structural barrier. Walk around inside and outside, particularly noting areas around windows, door frames, and the lower wall. Anything, even minor, should be re-caulked, preventing moisture from squeezing through. Then, you can add sand bags to the perimeter, hoping to avert water elsewhere. When doing this, consider placing a plastic lining underneath. Then, layout the bags much like you would bricks, overlapping them to offer a stronger seal. Make sure the flaps are down.
2. Rearrange the Inside
As flooding enters, it will affect the materials inside. Therefore, shift valuables to higher ground. Look around the building. Where would provide the most secure location? You should particularly relocate electronics, expensive merchandise, and necessary files. Cloth items such as rugs and curtains easily absorb moisture. Remove them.
3. Shut Down Utilities
If storm damage occurs, your power supply could worsen the situation; thus, turning off the gas and electricity could alleviate undesirable stress and destruction. As fluid overtakes the rooms, it could hit the electrical lines and become a catalyst for fire. Before leaving the property, have a plan in place to lesson this event. When everything calms down and you return to the premises, don't go alone. Contact a water restoration company to come with you. The professionals can ensure the property is safe. Should a hazard exist, the professionals can begin to work on it immediately.
When flooding impacts your place, it's devastating. Structure is compromised. Business stops. Take action early to try and ward off trouble.
Smart Advice for Cleaning After a Storm
Removing flood water in Nashville, TN
Smart Advice for Cleaning After a Storm
One of the biggest fears for homeowners and renters is the flooding of a property. All of that water coming into a house is scary and it creates an enormous mess of dirty water, sand, and debris. The temptation for many people is to begin the cleanup at once, but here is some better advice: stop for a moment and focus on safety. The aftermath of a storm creates the following hazardous conditions:
- Contaminated water that contains dangerous substances
- Shock hazards from wet electrical systems
- Loose materials that could fall on people
- Wild animals that could bite or sting
If you are unsure of the safety of your home in Nashville, TN, call for help. Allow the authorities to identify and clear out safety hazards before reentering your property.
Water Damage Cleanup
Any flooding event will likely require the services of an experienced storm remediation team. A team of trained technicians can arrive on-site in a matter of hours and will quickly follow a process that is adaptable to all forms of disasters. It begins with an inspection and assessment of the flood damage and then moves onto a plan of action. Water removal and extraction begins at once, followed by a drying and ventilation process. The next actions include cleaning and sanitizing all affected surfaces in the home. Depending on the damage, restoration services could include the repair of damaged walls, flooring, and contents.
Storm Restoration and Recovery
A home that is restored according to the highest standards of the cleaning and restoration industry should appear "Like it never even happened." This includes the elimination of odors associated with flooding and the removal of all hazards from the home. An efficient process works to keep expenses low and a restore versus replace philosophy also works to lower costs. A big storm or a heavy flood can be handled by following a few smart steps.
Key Differences Between Storm Damage and Flooding
Commercial flood cleanup in Nashville, TN
Business owners in Nashville, TN know the unexpected will eventually happen, which is why staying on top of insurance coverage is essential. When the next big storm hits, understanding what your unique policy covers ensures a smoother process. An important element of that is knowing the difference between flood damage and storm damage.
Storms vs Floods
While both may unleash excessive amounts of water, which often requires the help of a storm and water damage restoration professional, the source of the water and other factors determine the type of damage. The following are considered aftereffects of a storm and are typically covered:
- Torrential rains and thunderstorms
- High winds
- Ice, hail and snow
When it comes to flood damage, most businesses will need extra insurance to cover the damage. Flooding happens from:
- Inland rivers, lakes or other waterways overflowing
- Tidal waves and hurricanes
- Rapid and extreme rainwater accumulation
- Ice or snow suddenly melt
- Surface water runoff
- Landslides or mudslides
Dirty Nature of Floods
While any unexpected water may have contaminants, floodwaters are considered Category 3 water, also known as black water. This type is highly contaminated and may pose health risks. Depending on the source of the flood, it could be carrying sewage, organic matter, pesticides and other substances that require careful cleanup. According to FEMA, it is considered a flood if two or more acres of land that is usually dry is partially or completely saturated or it affects more than two properties. Since the cleanup and restoration is often much more extreme, it is recommended that businesses in flood-prone areas get additional insurance coverage.
After the storm hits, it's not also easy to tell if you are dealing with storm or flood damage. Knowing a few basics of how they are categorized makes it easier to prepare for the cleanup process and helps the claims process be clearer.
The Scourge of Black Water
Flood damage in Nashville, TN
A home can face many different types of water damage. Minor leaks from clean water pipes are usually fairly manageable and can be taken care of without too much trouble. The next step is when a home experiences something like a broken pipe that discharges copious amounts of water into a home. This can do significant damage to walls, ceilings, floorboards, and even upholstery. As with all cases of released water into a living space, fast action is called for to clean up the problem and to minimize additional harm. The most complicated problem is when water contaminated with chemicals and other harmful substances pour into a home.
Dealing With Contaminated Water
Water that is dark in color may contain pathogens, microbes, sewage, and other noxious materials. This is often called black water and is the most serious water threat to property. It can damage a home in many different ways:
- The contamination of household items
- The creation of unpleasant smells
- The making of stains on walls
- The ruination of insulation and drywall
- The contamination of the HVAC system
This type of dirty water can come from broken discharge pipes, backed up sewer lines and from a flood. It should be taken care of by trained professionals.
Handling a Complicated Cleanup
Each instance of water damage to a home has its challenges, and even the simplest situation is likely to have some complicated issues. A local storm remediation company in Nashville, TN, is capable of handling both straightforward and complex jobs. The SERVPRO team is Faster to Any Size Disaster. Certified workers have been trained in many aspects of water restoration, from a clean water leak to a flooding situation that brings in gallons of dirty water. They have impressive resources to lean on and can call in for reinforcements for the toughest jobs. They will reduce damages and limit costs.
Understanding Flood Cuts and Their Usage
Any situation that involves contamination is one where a flood cut is needed
If a torrential downpour or other disaster has resulted in the flooding of your home in Nashville, TN, then your walls are probably waterlogged and require repairs. In the case that your home was constructed after the year 1960, you most likely have drywall. Homes with drywall afflicted with a sudden influx of flooding may need to have a flood cut performed on them, either by the homeowner or a professional restoration service. What does this mean exactly? Read on to find out.
What Are Flood Cuts?
In many cases, you might not want to tear out soaked drywall; having to remove the walls is inconvenient and replacement can be costly. However, this is not realistically possible all the time. Instead, sections of drywall may need to be cut out. These sections are usually removed a foot to a foot and a half above where the damage caused by the water ends. This is what is referred to as a flood cut.
When Are Flood Cuts Needed?
Drenched drywall does not always need to be cut out. So when is this process needed? Any situation that involves contamination is one where a flood cut is needed. Times when a flood cut must occur include:
- If the affected area was backed by insulation
- If a mold infestation has claimed your walls
- If the tide of water in your home is from an outer water source like river overflow or runoff that might contain chemicals, sewage or other contaminants.
When Aren't Flood Cuts Needed?
However, there are situations where a flood cut is not necessary. Specifically, a flood cut is not required when two conditions are met: There is no insulation or mold present and the water in the drywall is clean and contaminant-free. Avoiding employing a flood cut means the wall may be able to be saved without dry wall removal.
Not every flooding incident will end up requiring a flood cut. Many will, but not all. There still exists hope for wall preservation in some situations, so it's best not to automatically assume flooded walls are doomed.
Protect Every Part of Your Business from Hurricanes
Prepare a first aid kit in case of a disaster
Create A Plan To Protect Your Employees, Building, And Documents
Your business is composed of multiple parts that need protection from natural disasters such as hurricanes. Your employees are exposed to danger, the building can suffer from hurricane damage and important documents may get destroyed. Before such an event hits Nashville, TN, you will need to create a plan that protects these essential parts as much as possible.
The safety and wellbeing of your crew is the most important task at hand. As you think about the emergency plan, assemble the following items:
- First aid supplies and manual
- Emergency contact information
- Basic tools and equipment
- Three days' worth of food and water
- Flashlights and battery-operated radio
These are some of the essentials, but you can always add more resources like an electrical generator and bedding items. Highlight escape routes towards the storm shelter and inform your personnel about them.
The storm's high winds can leave behind a significant amount of hurricane damage on your property. Both the building and the equipment inside are essential to your business. Prepare for a potential storm by using sandbags to absorb floodwater and blocking doors and windows with plywood to prevent the wind-breaking them. Turn off and secure utilities and electronics since they can complicate matters during the hurricane. Contact commercial storm damage specialists to make any necessary repairs.
The documents that contain information critical to your establishment are also the most vulnerable. Even the slightest water damage can ruin them. Determine which documents are the most important and the most difficult to replicate. Keep them in an alternate location outside the premises or under waterproof protection. Additionally, try to back up these documents digitally so you can download and print them in case the originals are destroyed.
Every aspect of your company is in peril when a hurricane arrives, from your hard-working employees to the building itself. Create a plan that accounts for hurricane damage, document recovery, and everyone's health.
Preventing Water Damage With a Sump Pump
The best way to keep the bottom of your house dry is by practicing pump maintenance
Your house in Percy Priest, TN, is vulnerable if you live in a flood-prone area or if you go through frequent precipitation. The sump pump in your basement is one of the best measures against potential water damage from these occurrences. Learn about how these devices stop humidity, some maintenance tactics, and what to do when the basement becomes flooded.
Benefits of Sump Pumps
Sump pumps are composed of two parts: the sump pit and the pump. Excess water flows to the pit via drains or the ground. The pump is a device installed inside the pit that works alongside it. When the water reaches a certain level, the pump moves the water from the pit to areas outside your property. This function keeps the building dry and prevents water damage, which is not always easy to resolve.
The best way to keep the bottom of your house dry is by practicing pump maintenance. You will keep the sump pump in great shape by:
- Testing the unit every spring by dumping a bucket of water into the pit
- Removing debris and other obstructions from the pit and the pump
- Inspecting the ground fault circuit interrupter's connection to the pump
- Replacing the back-up battery every two years
By performing these maintenance tasks, you will ensure the system works as intended. If you notice something is wrong with it, call a plumber immediately to fix it before the problem escalates.
Handling Water Damage
At rare times, your unit can malfunction and you will have a flooded basement. Prioritize the safety of everyone in your household by turning off the power to the area. After that, salvage whatever items you can and call your insurance company and emergency remediation services. These professionals will help you repair the area and your belongings from any water damage.
Your sump pump is the best measure against potential flooding. Remember its purpose, install one if you do not have it yet and keep it well maintained to protect your home.