Does Your Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Where water damage comes from matters; it affects how damaging it is to your home.
Approximately 98% of basements will experience water damage in their lifetime. The inevitability isn’t too surprising considering basements are underground and therefore prone to things like gravity and the consequences of whatever happens in the home above. Considering this statistic, it’s safe to say that understanding the processes of both the water damage itself and the restoration required to fix it is genuinely useful for homeowners.
Here’s what you don’t know about water damage.
First off, water damage insurance and flood insurance are different. If you live in an area not prone to floods, you don’t need to get flood insurance just to protect your home from water damage. They’re different insurance types entirely. In addition, not all water damage is actually insured. For instance, water damage related to neglection of the property may not be covered the way a sudden disaster’s effects would be. Once water damage has impacted the home, in any area, call insurance immediately. The sooner the better since they need the complete details in order to determine the cause, the damage, and therefore pay the restoration company. If you find dealing with insurance a pain, no worries. Restoration companies like, for example, SERVPRO can help you with insurance in addition to repairing the site of the water damage.
Once insurance is dealt with, there’s a few other things to consider. Some water damage, depending on the source, can be polluted and dangerous to be in or around. It is not recommended to explore the damage personally, especially if it’s a large quantity of water and in a location like the basement. In addition, the moment the water damage happens it is getting worse and worse every minute. That is why there is a sense of urgency that comes with water damage. More than the water, the dangers of water damage come with water the water causes. This includes mold growth, structural damage, destruction of personal items. The sooner the area of damage can be dried and restored, the better off the home is. The same way you wouldn’t avoid going to the doctor if a sudden pain erupted in your body, your home needs similar urgency to keep its integrity and continue to serve you and your family in a safe way.
In case of a water damage emergency, consider SERVPRO of Huber Heights. They can assist you with your insurance, be at the site within twenty-four hours, and use the most powerful possible equipment to return your home to normal in no time.
Can Water Damage in Your Apartment Affect Your Neighbors?
The benefit may be the same as the drawback for apartments: in a confined place, you're tied to your neighbors.
Apartments are convenient for many reasons, like cost, location, and in-building facilities. One factor that can be a benefit or a drawback is the relationship between neighbors of an apartment building. One apartment’s water damage can easily become water damage for surrounding neighbors. If you’ve experienced water damage of any kind in your apartment, for example:
- A burst pipe
- Overflowed toilet
- Cracks in bath causing flooding
- Large spills
- Dysfunctional appliances
It is very possible that the water damage in your apartment could reach the apartment below or beside you. Being that water is heavy in large quantities, can break through material when built up, and flows through all kinds of materials laterally, then it’s more than likely that the damage might reach another neighbor. Don’t feel bad, it’s a very common issue and the physical properties of water cause it to spread easily through floors. So, what do you do?
- Contact Your Property Manager
- Recommend SERVPRO as Your Water Restoration Specialist
- Alert Neighbors to Check for Water Damage
The property manager will repair the damage for both you and your neighbor. When SERVPRO arrives at the scene they’ll finish the rest of the restoration process, which is a five step process.
- Contact (This is what you and your property manager did in calling SERVPRO)
- Assessment (SERVPRO reviews the damage and creates a plan)
- Drying (Using their equipment, the drying process begins)
- Salvage (Any water damaged material that isn’t ruined is now restored)
- Restoration (Ensuring the quality of every damaged material)
The First Thing to Do When Your Property is Damaged
Each commercial property comes with its own set of variables when restoring damage.
When damage occurs in a commercial property, the capacity for the spread of damage is much higher than in a personal property. From surface area to multiple floors, there’s far more to consider when repairing a commercial property. The quantity of people using bathrooms, sinks, ovens, and other appliances raises the risk factor of accidental damage taking place. When it does occur, it can create a decent mound of stress for any property manager in charge of maintenance and restoration. Make sure to take the first, important steps:
- Take pictures of everything. You’ll want to remember each part that needs to be fixed and make sure everything is returned to normal.
- Ensure your restoration professional has the right equipment. In order for any restoration professional to cover a large surface area or multiple floors, depending on the structure of your commercial property, they’re going to need a large quantity of equipment and workforce. Equipment includes: Dehumidifiers (for restoring humidity), air movers (for drying quickly), truck mounted vacuums (for drying surface water), and negative air machines (for trapping contaminated air).
- Call the right restoration professional. SERVPRO is a large restoration company, with over 1,700 locations nationwide. They know what the standards are for a professional restoration job, and they have a large quantity of equipment and employees to bring their best effort to the table, regardless of the size of the project.
If you’re a property manager, unsure where to start with a little or big restoration job, call SERVPRO of East Dayton to take the weight off your shoulders. In just one call you can alert SERVPRO of the necessary procedures needed to take care of the damage in a time efficient manner and return operations to normal. While businesses are not immune to any restoration needs, time is the most valuable consideration in commercial restoration projects. Your business will be returned to normal as soon as you call your local SERVPRO.
Does Size of Property Change Restoration Process?
No project intimidates the skills and tools of your local SERVPRO.
The size of a property does not change the restoration process, in terms of the steps needing to be taken. The process can slide on a scale of necessary equipment and workforce, but remains the same. For instance, if you had two floors of completely soaked flooring, one plan might be two individuals running each floor with as many tools as needed in the assessment. While for homeowners, a smaller sized restoration company could get the work done and in a timely manner, considering the smaller surface area of possible damage and the amount of equipment needed, however commercial properties may not be able to use smaller restoration companies. The best bet for a commercial property in need of any type of restoration, whether its fire, water, mold, or storm damage, is a company that has a large supply of equipment at hand. The volume of equipment and workforce that SERVPRO of East Dayton has allows quick response time and quick restore time, because any number of people and tools can be at the location in a prompt time. In the past, SERVPRO has helped restore a number of commercial properties including:
- Office buildings
- Retail stores
- Strip malls
- Apartment buildings
Don’t worry about the size of the damage, the tenements or individuals affected by the restoration process, or anything else that might prohibit smooth running of the business. That will be little to no concern with SERVPRO, who knows efficiency and can create a flexible restoration plan that works around business operations, allowing you to keep running or to be back as quickly as possible.
What Every Property Manger Needs to Know
This is what your team should look like, even in the middle of a restoration project.
The main causes of water damage in a commercial property is appliance leaks and overflowing, plumping breaks and leaks, large spills, and natural disasters infiltrating the structure of the building. This isn’t even including the high population that runs through a building. Customers using the restroom, employees using appliances like a coffee machine or dishwasher, the large quantity of piping needed to cover an entire building. A home bathroom may be used a few times every day, but a building bathroom could be used several hundred times a day, creating a far greater opportunity for damage to occur.
A couple of things to know about water damage in a commercial setting:
- There are three types of water that can be a part of water damage.
- Clean water damage, caused by rain or clean appliance leaks.
- Gray water damage, caused by overflowing appliances or treated water.
- Black water damage, caused by sewage or flooding.
- Identify recurring sources of water damage.
- Follow up with affected individuals after restoration process has been completed.
- Reusing one restoration professional can allow them to understand the needs of the building really well.
When choosing a restoration professional to have continued service with, consider the following:
- Does their amount of equipment and workforce meet the requirement of restoring your specific location’s requirements?
- How efficiently can they restore your location so business can move on as normal?
- How quickly can they pursue the project after receiving details and doing an assessment of the damage?
- How can you get the best price to stay in your business’ budget?
SERVPRO of East Dayton can take care of all those considerations. They are a franchise of a large business, therefore having any needed equipment readily available. They also are local as a result of being independently owned, so they know the area and can give you small business, local prices. They are also a 24/7 hour emergency location. Your needs can be met before you even list them out.
The Future of the Restoration Industry
The restoration industry is profitable and a highly needed service.
Any business that uses a commercial space to conduct itself will come into contact with a restoration company at some point or another. From one business to another, it could be useful to understand the interest behind any company that you do business with. Especially considering that the restoration industry has taken off, there are some interesting things to know about the industry as a whole.
Property restoration is currently a growth industry. This isn’t to say that it’s an easy industry to build a business in, being that it does require professional knowledge of damage and services to fix damage, however it does coincide with hot topics. For instance, as the amount and strength of hurricanes increases due to the warming of the Earth over time, more and more damage has been needed in the South East part of the United States. During especially bad hurricanes, like Katrina of Louisiana, some restoration businesses increased profits by as much as doubling net gain in that year. The best part of the restoration industry is knowing that although large damage provides a high profit margin for restoration companies, this all comes from helping return the communities to the way they were before the storm hit. The restoration industry is not only profitable, but an honest service.
Even smaller projects, like buildings and homes, comes from the service of returning peoples’ lives to the way it was before the damage occurred. In addition, franchise formatted restoration services provide an avenue for which companies can arrive even sooner to the location of need. 24/7 hour emergency would be less possible if it weren’t for the large access to professional equipment and employees.
External Versus Internal Sources of Water Damage
Water damage has a variety of sources.
Water damage affects parts of the home differently, especially considering whether the source of the damage was internal or external. For example, an external leak from heavy rain is water that has crossed paths with many contaminants on its way into the home. Internal leaks, on the other hand, is often the water we would be using anyways and therefore change the concern about the water damage clean up. Safety concerns vary with each flood, leak, or build up. It also matters where in the house the water damage is located. Water damage in the ceiling can cause instability in the infrastructure of the home, and can allow breakage between the floors of the house. Water damage near the windows usually result in puddles forming under the carpet or hardwood floors, as well as within the walls surrounding the window, which can lead to peeling of the paint. While damage in this area doesn’t necessarily lead to furniture falling from the ceiling in worst case scenarios, it does force us to not only replace but repaint entire sections of the home. In all cases, a water damage assessment by a professional is necessary to know the full extent of the damage. Because SERVPRO of East Dayton and Beavercreek is a 24 hour emergency location, no matter what time you find water damage, help is just one phone call away. To have water restoration professionals able to arrive within a couple hours can take the headache out of where and how the damage occurred in the first place. SERVPRO knows how to assess and repair damage so you don’t have to.
Water Damage on Wood Versus Carpet
Though the floor is not the center point of our home, the decision of what to use is just as important.
Carpet and hardwood retain water differently and, as a result, require different processes in order to dry them. Carpets can very quickly become unsalvageable if they become entirely soaked or if delamination occurs. When a carpet experiences delamination, it is unable to remain adhesed to the floor and therefore must be replaced with new carpet. On the other hand, if the damage isn’t detrimental to the carpet’s adhesiveness, a wet dry vacuum can be used to help begin the drying process before water damage professionals even arrive. Carpet fibers react differently to water. Wool is one of the more expensive carpet fibers to use and yet it can be more prone to mold and mildew. Triexta is a more affordable carpet fiber and is known to non-absorbent and therefore resistant to mildew.
Wood is different because wood floors can vary in thickness and therefore damage potential. Certain types of wood handles water differently. For instance, Oak, Maple, and Cherry wood are the most commonly used for flooring and furniture due to their water resistance. On the other hand, Bamboo and Coconut Timber can be used but can require adhesives that can be undone by water damage. Wood needs to be removed in order to get rid of the moisture underneath, but depending on the integrity of the wood it can be put back after the water has been removed.
Regardless of whether water damage has been done to carpet or wood, it’s vital to hire a water damage professional to remove all the water. SERVPRO knows the best action to take for each type of floor, so if you find yourself with carpet or hardwood floor water damage make sure to call your local SERVPRO of East Dayton and Beavercreek.
What Type of Mold is in Your Home?
Danger presented from mold varies by type. Have a professional check.
There are over 10,000 species of mold, that we’re aware of, in the world. Don’t worry, though. Only 5 of these 10,000 species are commonly found inside of our houses. These 5 types vary in danger, but nonetheless all 5 need to be removed as quickly as possible.
One type is Alternaria, which comes from water damage. Materials retaining water create an attractive atmosphere for this type of mold. Once growing, it can cause allergic reactions and asthma for anyone living in close proximity to it.
Another type is Aspergillus, which is the most common type we know of. It causes respiratory infections and inflammation, posing more of a danger than the typical allergic reactions that come from mold. It prefers warmer temperatures.
Cladosporium grows is lower temperatures than its’ fellow mold, but just as easily triggers asthma in anyone in contact with it.
One of the more musty smelling types of mold is Penicillium, which grows specifically on carpet, wallpaper, and insulation. Its’ strong odor can bring attention to it. Though we hopefully find it first due to the strong odor, sometimes bugs find it before us, attracted to the moldy stench it creates.
And finally, the one we have heard about through scary tales, Stachbotrys Chartarum or black mold. It is the most dangerous of the five household molds, being that it causes severe health issues to anyone in contact with it. It grows anywhere that water damage has been sitting, undealt with, creating the perfect atmosphere for growth. The longer the water damage stays in one spot, the easier it is for black mold to grow and pose a health threat.
If you have any reason to believe mold is growing in your home, get a mold remediation specialist to give you peace of mind. SERVPRO of East Dayton and Beavercreek can be at your home in a timely manner to assure the safety of your home.
How Quickly Does Mold Grow?
We can't see the process that takes place in the mold life cycle until its already begun doing damage.
Molds develop as quickly as 24 to 48 hours but can remain hidden until the spores are large enough to have done considerable damage. Even worse, dead mold spores can continue to be just as harmful to our health as live mold spores. The life cycle of mold takes four main steps. While there are complicated words and processes that occur, here is the life cycle of mold in the simplest form:
Once an environment has created ideal conditions for mold growth, spores begin to germinate. Then they break off and travel through either air or water.
Spores can stay dormant until in the ideal environment. In such conditions, they begin to swell, growing to a much bigger size.
The swollen spore consumes enzymes of the organic material it grows off, breaking down the nutrients to grow even bigger.
Once large enough, the structure the mold grew on becomes weak, being consumed by the now fully grown mold. Reproduction of spores now occurs.
The process of mold growth is something out of a biology class, not easy to remember and rarely useful, even if we find mold in our own homes. In the case of finding mold in your home, the best thing to do is to call a mold remediation specialist to contain, control, and remove the mold and its source of growth. Contact your local SERVPRO of East Dayton today to see how they can help you avoid further growth and damage to your home.