How To Make a Water Damage Claim
Broken pipe in a Park City, UT bathroom
Bursting pipes and other mishaps that flood your home can add a lot of tasks to your to-do list. You must find the source of the water so you can minimize overall damage. You need to arrange for repairs from a certified water restoration company. You will also probably want to file an insurance claim. Filing a claim can be daunting if you don’t understand whether your policy covers the accident or what you are entitled to receive. The following information may help demystify the process.
Factors Affecting Claim Acceptance
Standard homeowners’ policies cover a myriad of sudden accidents that may lead to water damage. Whether your policy covers the damage to your home in Park City, UT, depends on several factors:
- Type and scope of policy
- Source of flooding
- Timing of damage onset
Some policies cover more than just bursting pipes. Coverage can vary by state or region and the amount of extended coverage you purchase. If floodwaters come from outside your home, particularly if you are in a flood plain, you may need an extra flood policy to cover the loss. If the damage was brought on by an ongoing problem rather than a sudden issue, your claim is more likely to be denied.
Tips for Minimizing Denials
The best way to avoid a claim denial is to understand your coverage and make sure it is adequate to protect you against the specific risks to your home. Your agent can explain your policy and suggest extended coverage when necessary. It is also important to keep up with a regular maintenance schedule for your home. Most gradual damage claims are denied because they indicate a lack of vigilance on the part of the homeowner. If you fix a broken pipe in a timely manner, for example, it is less likely to cause significant damage.
Hiring a restoration company that is Faster to Any Size Disaster can improve the chances of claim acceptance. Knowing your rights, as well as your responsibilities, makes filing after a bursting pipes incident easier.
Business Claims: Making a Disaster Claim
Fire damage in Dear Valley, UT
Fire Claim Process
While a blaze burning through your facility and your inventory is devastating enough, the fire damage can leave your property and your business boarded up for months. This is why it is essential to start the fire claim process immediately so that you can minimize the extent of the business interruption and get back to work quickly.
1. Call Your Insurer
While the first calls you make are to emergency services and family, the third call you should make after a fire is to your insurer. You want to make this call immediately after a fire to ensure that the claims process is initiated at the earliest possible moment. The longer you wait to make a claim, the longer it will take to get your business up and running.
2. Mitigate Further Damage and Loss
After you initiate the fire claim, you will want to get a fire restoration specialist from the Dear Valley, UT, area on the scene to board up and tarp your facility, mitigating further damage and loss. If you already have a plan in place with a restoration expert, then call them and get the process started. Keep in mind that your insurer may require you to mitigate further loss, meaning that if you don’t, then your coverage may not kick in.
3. Keep Receipts
As you begin the cleanup, be sure to track all of your expenses by saving and tallying all receipts. When the adjuster arrives, they will want a full record of the damages incurred and the mitigation efforts made to reduce further property loss and damage.
4. Make a Record of Loss
Additionally, you should walk your property, photographing all damages to show your insurance adjuster. This record of loss will be used when evaluating your claim. You should also include any relevant receipts for the damaged property so your insurer can create an accurate valuation of the overall loss.
A fire claim may seem like a confusing process, but as with every bureaucratic process, there are appropriate steps to take. After a fire, just make sure to call your insurer, mitigate further damage, keep receipts and make a record of loss.
Preparing for Fire Cleanup
Soot damage after fire in a Salt Lake City, UT home
Steps to Restore Your Home After Fire Damage
A home fire can be a difficult event, but there are steps a homeowner can take to rectify smoke damage and related issues. The following procedures can help you restore your living space in Salt Lake City, UT, and return to your daily routine.
1. Smoke on the Walls and Ceiling
Some of the most obvious signs of a fire, even a minor one, are streaks of discoloration on interior surfaces. If the affected area is a relatively non-porous surface, such as a painted wall with a high-gloss enamel coating, then soot damage can usually be cleaned with a detergent or degreaser solution. Other fixed surfaces may require more extensive treatment, such as smoke-covered plaster. In these cases, it may be prudent to contact a qualified fire cleanup service.
2. Further Precautions
Removable items such as upholstery, furniture and appliances should be washed or laundered, preferably away from the home so as not to further spread smoke particles and odors. Replace filter components of your central heating and air system. Refrigerators and freezers may require additional smoke cleaning and inspection of food items. Any building materials with more than superficial damage, such as charring, may require professional attention.
3. Water and Fire
If emergency personnel had to put out the fire, or if a fire suppression sprinkler system was activated, there may be water damage in addition to the fire and smoke damage. Ensure that any nearby electrical systems are disconnected before inspecting them and beginning the cleanup process. Set up fans or dehumidifiers in order to move air through the building. Excess dampness can lead to mold or rot if left unresolved. Materials like drywall or carpet padding that have absorbed too much water may need to be replaced.
Smoke damage doesn’t have bring your life to a halt and hurt your property value. With attention and care, most belongings and home surfaces can be restored to their original condition.
When To Call a Restoration Company
Hire damage mitigation and restoration professionals in Park City, UT
A water damage mitigation and restoration company can provide timely and effective services after a pipe breaks or a sewer backs up. If a building requires pipe burst cleanup or treatment for any other major water damage, professionals will get the job done quickly. Here are several instances in which a building owner should consider calling a water damage and sewer cleanup company.
If a Pipe Bursts
A broken pipe can swiftly flood a structure. A building owner or manager may limit damage by:
- Shutting off the water
- Collecting as much water as possible
- Contacting a plumber
Once the pipe is fixed, a pipe burst cleanup service can eliminate standing water and promote drying. This can limit the degree of primary damage and the risk of secondary damage.
For a Sewer Backup
A sewer backup calls for thorough cleaning, disinfection, and drying. Damage mitigation professionals will:
- Clean the affected area
- Tear out porous materials and contents
- Disinfect the area
- Dry and dehumidify
Any contaminated porous materials that are left intact may raise the risk of microbial growth. A sewer cleanup company can make informed recommendations about reducing safety and structural risks.
To Limit Damage
Primary water damage could be the start of a larger problem. There are several types of secondary damage that can follow if water damage is not properly cleaned and restored, including:
A damage mitigation and restoration company is capable of resolving primary damage and preventing secondary damage. It is important to start the cleanup process as soon as a problem becomes apparent.
An incomplete response to pipe burst cleanup or a sewer backup can lead to problems that plague a building for years to come. The most effective response is to hire damage mitigation and restoration professionals to clean up the incident and anticipate potential risks to a structure in Park City, UT.
Why Your Water Heater May Be Creaking and Groaning
Check your water heater to avoid water damage in your Deer Valley,UT home
If you hear bumps in the night and creaking moans coming from your basement, there is a slight chance that your home is haunted, but an even greater chance that your water heater is just acting up. Before you sprinkle garlic around the perimeter of your home, contact your Deer Valley, UT, water cleanup team, or perform a few quick tests on your heater yourself to see if maybe it's not the old tank that's giving off the creepy vibes.
Troubleshooting Water Boiler Issues
There are a few telltale signs of a troubled water furnace for which you can look that can help you diagnose the issue and therefore identify a viable solution. Some such signs are as follows:
- You have no hot water or not enough hot water.
- The hot water is far too hot.
- The water smells funny or is discolored.
- Your water heater bangs, pops, gurgles, screeches, screams, shrieks or makes any other unsettling noise.
If you notice one or more of the first three signs in conjunction with the strange noises, rest easy knowing that your hot water tank is your ghost. Now that you know the furnace is to blame, however, what can you do about it?
Repairing a Troubled Water Tank
The requisite repair all depends on the issue. If the issue is lack of or insufficient hot water, you may need to check the gas pilot or the electrical connection. You may also want to check the dial on your heater to make sure that it's set to a sufficient temperature.
If the water is too hot, again, check the temperature gauge. It may be turned way up. If that's not the problem, and if you hear boiling noises coming from within the heater, the pressure relief valve may be improperly installed.
If the water has a strange odor, the source of the problem may be your water source and not the water tank. Iron, copper and discoloration often cause discoloration and bad smells.
Finally, if noise is the only complaint, there may be sediment trapped at the bottom of your tank. If that's the case, perform a water heater flush and see if that doesn't correct the issue.
Ice Dam Management 101
Mold damage on ceiling in Sugar House,UT
When you think of winter hazards, sleet, snow, icy roads and frigid wind chills may come to mind. In addition to these concerns, business owners in Sugar House, UT, may need to add an ice dam to their winter perils list. Because these formations can cause significant destruction inside your property, it’s important that you understand both how they develop and specific issues inside your building that may contribute to the potentially damaging problem.
Ice Dam Formation
Heat escaping into the attic can cause the roof to warm and snow to melt. External conditions may then cause melting snow to refreeze, potentially trapping water under a layer of ice. This entrapment can be problematic if water seeps into your building and causes damage.
Although you may not be able to prevent snow and ice formation on your roof, you can take several proactive measures to help prevent an ice dam from forming:
- Ensure adequate attic ventilation
- Verify bathroom exhaust exists through the roof
- Maintain clean gutters
Reducing heat seepage within your attic is an essential prevention strategy. To help accomplish this, your attic ductwork should be properly ventilated and free of leaks.
Because a clog can prevent proper water drainage, obstructed gutters may cause water to pool and freeze along the edge of your roof, exacerbating your dilemma. Routinely inspecting and cleaning your gutters can help alleviate this problem.
Water and Mold Damage
Ice dams can be particularly destructive if trapped water leaks into your building and causes water damage. Because mold thrives in moist environments, a water leak can also increase the risk of black mold growth that necessitates extensive mold cleanup endeavors. For this reason, it’s essential that you inspect your building and address issues that may facilitate dam development.
A Manageable Problem
Winter can present numerous challenges, many of which you have little control over. You can, however, take proactive steps to reduce the risks of ice dam formation, water damage and mold contamination.
How To File a Flood Damage Claim After the Disaster
Flood damage in Kimball Junction, UT
Three Things To Do To Make a Claim
If your home in Kimball Junction, UT, was flooded by a natural cause or disaster, it’s time to file a flood claim. This can help you get the funding you need to recover from the damage. However, filing an insurance claim can be confusing. Here are three things you can do to successfully make a claim.
1. Start the Process
The first thing you can do is notify your insurance agency of the flood. Do this as quickly as possible so that an adjuster can contact you within the next few days. You can discuss what action to take and what you should be doing on your end while you wait. Be sure to have the name of your insurance, the policy number, and your phone number ready.
2. Document Everything
Next, photograph the damage. It’s important to document everything that was damaged during the flood so that you have evidence of what losses you suffered. Take pictures and videos of your entire home. You can also make a list of damaged or lost items and use that in your flood claim. Don’t forget to place damaged items outside to prevent mold growth within the house.
3. Back Up Your Claim With a Proof of Loss
With the help of your adjuster, you can create a Proof of Loss to prove that you are claiming the correct amount of money. This contains specific details concerning the damage from the flood and must be filed within 60 days of the disaster. Once you and your insurance company agree on the amount, the claim payment should come.
Insurance can be beneficial when dealing with the water restoration process, and filing a flood claim doesn’t have to be complicated. By carefully and concisely compiling evidence and keeping in touch with your insurance company, you can file the claim and receive payment. Keep in contact with your insurance company to find out how you can best receive the help you need.
Business Interruption Coverage: Minimizing Loss of Income After a Disaster
Soot and debris after fire damage in a Deer Crest, UT commercial building
Business Interruption Coverage
After a disaster, business owners are likely concerned with income loss and business interruption. While typical commercial insurance policies cover costs associated with repairs to, and even replacement of, equipment and structures, coverage does not always extend to loss of income. Business owners wishing to cover income loss in the event of a disaster should consider an interruption insurance policy.
1. What is an interruption policy?
Business interruption coverage (also referred to as business income coverage) protects a business from the loss of profits or income due to damage, property loss or other covered peril. This income coverage is restricted to the restoration period, meaning that once full functionality is restored to the business, the coverage will cease.
2. What is covered?
As previously stated, interruption insurance covers income loss. These policies do not typically include the costs associated with equipment repairs or restoration to the property because your commercial policy should cover those expenses. These policies merely assess potential income loss based on historical data and help companies recoup this loss during the restoration period.
3. How long is the restoration period?
While storm and fire restoration periods vary in length depending on the severity of sustained damage, interruption policies typically cover 30 days. However, depending on the severity of property damage and loss, this period can be extended to nearly a full year (360 days) with the proper endorsement.
4. How can I prepare for potential interruption?
Coverage is beneficial, but the best way to ensure a quick recovery — and even reduced insurance costs — is to prepare for potential disasters. Emergency restoration services in the Deer Crest, UT, area offer guidance in emergency preparation. These companies will assess your property and help you develop a customized plan to ensure any interruption is resolved efficiently and quickly.
Business interruption insurance can reassure owners during the restoration process, potentially helping them sustain operations. However, to truly survive a disaster, a business also needs to plan ahead so that recovery is handled quickly, allowing the business to return to profit.
Important Smoke Alarm Replacement Tips
Keep your smoke alarm up to date in your Junction, UT home
With all the time you spend in your home in Junction, UT, you want to know that you will be prepared and promptly alerted if a fire occurs. With each smoke alarm in your home replaced as necessary, you can feel confident that they will alert you in case of a fire.
1. Frequently Replace Batteries
Thanks to technological advances, alarms do not need to be replaced as frequently as they did in the past. However, just because the alarms themselves need to be replaced only every 10 years or so, this does not mean you can go years without replacing their batteries. A smoke detector should have its batteries replaced once a year.
2. Test Your Alarm
Even when you replace the batteries of your smoke alarm as needed, dysfunctions can still occur. Checking every alarm in your home once a month can help ensure that each alarm is functioning as it should. With most alarms, you can do this by pressing a button labeled ‘test.’ When testing your alarm, be prepared for the loud, consistent noise it will emit. If you don’t hear this response, it may be an indicator that your batteries need to be replaced.
3. Listen for Beeping
A smoke detector or alarm that needs new batteries will often spontaneously make a short beeping or chirping noise. Even if you have replaced your batteries within the year, the series of chirps may indicate that another change is required. If the alarm continues beeping after the batteries have been replaced, it might be time for a new alarm.
Keeping every smoke alarm in your home up-to-date is an important way to protect your home, yourself and your loved ones. Although these measurements can alert you of a fire, destruction is not always preventable. If your home suffers from a fire, you may want to contact experts in fire damage restoration.
"Create a Water-Tight Building Envelope "
Clean your gutters oftenly in order to protect your building from rain damage
Maintaining a healthy building is much easier when you've created a watertight building envelope. This means that your commercial building is safe from rain damage and the black mold that could result from water seeping into the walls and frame of the building. In fact, one of the top causes of premature structural weakness is the presence of moisture. Fortunately, you can keep water out of the envelope, even during a significant storm.
Begin by Understanding the Envelope
What is a building envelope? This line of defense plays many roles, including
- Defending against rain, hail, snow, ice, and other sources of moisture
- Diverting water to appropriate drainage areas
- Providing resistance to the exchange of heat and cold
- Supporting critical interior equipment and systems
Protect the Envelope From Water Infiltration
Three things have to happen for water to get past the exterior walls. These include the presence of water, some type of pressure forcing the water inward, and openings in the wall, such as cracks around windows or gaps between doors and the walls. If you can eliminate any of these factors, you'll prevent a lot of potential rain damage.
Overcome Common Problems
Leakage usually happens when mistakes are made during installation or because of a lack of appropriate maintenance. Eventually, bricks may become porous, mortar joints may crack, coping caps may lose their seals, and tiny openings may appear around doors and windows. It is a big task to reduce these areas of risk, but it is necessary to prevent significant rain damage when storms occur.
Take Protective Steps
In addition to regular inspections and ongoing repairs, you can protect your building from rain damage by adding water barriers such as sealants, installing sloping gutters, and improving drainage and ventilation around the property. You can also add secondary systems, such as through-wall flashing and damp-proofing treatments. If you're not sure where to start, schedule a professional inspection with water damage experts in Park City, UT.