Business Insurance: Your Saving Grace When Water Damage Sneaks Up
It is true that commercial disaster insurance can be costly, but the truth is that the cost of coverage is far less than that of remediation.
Water is a lot more damaging than most people give it credit for, and even a minor leak can turn into a costly and time-consuming property issue. When it affects a business, water can destroy important documents, expensive equipment, and office furniture, not to mention the building itself. For this reason, business owners should invest in a sound business policy that covers perils such as water damage.
What To Look for in Your Commercial Insurance Policy
Most commercial insurance policies for water loss cover damages caused by burst or broken pipes and gradual leaks. Unfortunately, many policies contain exclusions, which you want to be aware of so that you can ensure you are covered for the appropriate risks. Some exclusions to look out for include the following:
• Concurrent causation
• Backup of sewer or drains
• Water damage from storms
Unfortunately, many business insurance policies require business owners to carry a ride-on policy for each of the four aforementioned perils.
Why It's Worth Your Money To Add Ride-On Policies
While ride-on policies may cost a bit more to purchase, they are well worth the extra cost. Water damage is not limited to the pipes or surrounding areas. If left untreated, water can result in damage to the carpets, inventory, and the overall structure of the building. Moreover, water can result in mold and corrosion, two issues in and of themselves that are costly to remediate. Then there is the cost of water cleanup. Depending on which Palestine, TX, water remediation team you hire and the extent of damage, the cost of cleanup can cost anywhere from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars.
It is true that commercial disaster insurance can be costly, but the truth is that the cost of coverage is far less than that of remediation. If your building does happen to be subject to water damage, you will discover that your monthly premiums more than pay for themselves.
When You Need More Than a Sump Pump
Quick water removal will help prevent further damage and increase your chances of salvage and restoration.
Your basement’s sump pump is perfect to keep out excess water in most situations, but it is not a heavy lifter. It can handle a burst pipe or a little rainwater, but it is no match for the problems that come with storm-related flooding in Athens, TX. Here are the top four reasons this equipment fails:
1. Mechanical or design failure. This can include poor installation of the pump and drainage system or just the wrong size pump for your space. Clogs and freezing can also cause mechanical failures.
2. No electricity. When the whole neighborhood loses electricity in a storm, your pump isn’t going to be removing anything until power is restored.
3. Too much water. Water over your knees is too much volume for the average basement pump and drainage system.
4. Debris in the water. A sump pump is easily clogged by the heavy debris and soil that come with storm flooding.
So what do you do when you have a flood and need to remove more than 2 feet of contaminated water from your basement? You really need multiple types of reliable machines to help you remove water fast. Fortunately, that’s one of the many benefits of using a professional restoration company after a storm. They have all the necessary water removing equipment, including:
• Heavy vacuums and pumps for when you need to move a large amount of water. The most powerful of these are mounted on trucks, using long hoses to reach challenging places.
• An industrial-strength trash pump that can handle all the mud, sticks, and rubbish that are hiding in floodwater. Without the interruption of clogs, these play a critical role in speedy water removal.
With truck-mounted equipment and alternative power sources, professional flood mitigators can drive to your home and start the job right away. Quick water removal will help prevent further damage and increase your chances of salvage and restoration.
3 Ways To Say Goodbye To Shower Mold
When shower mold wants to move into your home in Mineola, TX, send it packing by following the three steps above.
Mold and mildew love warm, damp locations like your bathtub in Mineola, TX. However, you do not share the same loving feelings for shower mold as it does for your tub. Bid farewell to your moldy foe with these three tips below.
1. Use common household supplies to clean mildew. Mildew is an early stage of mold growth that typically grows on smooth surfaces like your shower walls. If you notice a small amount of flat yellow, brown, or black growth in your tub there are steps you can take to eradicate it with supplies you have on hand. Try using a cleaning paste made with baking soda and liquid soap. If that does not work, spray the section with a water and bleach combination. Once dry, scrub and rinse. Alternatively, apply full-strength vinegar and allow to sit for an hour, rinse and dry.
2. Prevent future shower mold from growing. The best solution is often prevention. Use a vinegar spray after a shower to stop mold from growing. Since mold and mildew love humid conditions, use a household dehumidifier. Turn on a fan or open a window in the bathroom to increase ventilation during and after showers. Clean the shower walls more frequently especially if you notice some mildew starting to form.
3. Know when to hire a professional. You should not attempt to remove moldy areas greater than ten square feet, or if the mold from the shower walls extends to ceilings, drywall or flooring. Mold spreads very rapidly and portions may be hidden from sight. A rotting, musty smell may indicate the presence of black mold as well. For these instances, a mold restoration specialist is trained on the proper steps to take to safely and effectively remediate the mold.
When shower mold wants to move into your home in Mineola, TX, send it packing by following the three steps above.
A Breakdown of Mold Remediation Costs
Mold removal can be costly.
There may be many reasons you suspect that your home in Athens, TX, has a mold problem. Perhaps the air quality seems poorer than usual. You may notice a funky, musty odor. You may even have seen something growing on a wall or near a vent that you hadn't noticed there before. Whatever the reason for your suspicions, there will likely be expenses associated with testing and, if necessary, paying for mold removal.
The first step to solving the mystery of mold is confirming that it is a problem. You don't need to include the cost of a home testing kit in your remediation budget because those kits are a waste of money and thus you don’t need to buy them. A professional tester can determine several things that a home kit cannot:
• Cause of the problem
• Extent of the problem
• Species of mold present
Another thing a professional inspector can do for you recommends a good mold removal company. Given the inspector's level of expertise and industry connections, it's not surprising that the fees for a few hours of work are usually between $200 and $600.
When you hire technicians who specialize in black mold removal, keep in mind the task list they are going to work through to fix your problem. They have to seal off the affected area, remove all items and materials that have mold damage and replace the materials they had removed. The cost of remediation depends mostly on the extent of the damage and where it is located. A small amount of damage in the crawlspace, for example, may cost as little as $500 to fix. Black mold that has infested large portions of several walls and ceilings to the extent that it causes structural damage may cost $30,000.
Mold removal can be costly, especially if the problem goes unchecked long enough that it becomes a huge, widespread problem. Regular inspection and vigilant observation can help keep some of those costs down.
3 Tips for Deducting Commercial Storm Damage On Your Taxes
Property owners can deduct commercial storm damage on taxes for damage and losses directly caused by adverse weather.
Property owners can deduct commercial storm damage on taxes for damage and losses directly caused by adverse weather. Deducting damage can help to compensate owners for losses that are not covered by insurance. Owners cannot deduct damage resulting from storms if the property is insured but you do not file a claim.
1. Report losses caused by storm damage under casualty loss. This type of loss describes items damaged or lost due to accidents, theft, or acts of nature. This tax deduction is based on the value of the property not covered business insurance policies and additional endorsements or riders. Keep in mind that only losses due to primary damage are tax deductible, not secondary damage or progressive deterioration.
2. Business losses are not subject to the same requirements as personal losses. Individual itemizers need to reduce the amount of the loss by $100 and deduct the balance to the extent that it exceeds 10% of their adjusted gross income. When it comes to losses involving commercial property, non-itemizers can also claim losses.
3. Check to see if your region is a presidentially-declared disaster area. Unique filing opportunities are available to business owners in disaster areas. You may be able to deduct casualty losses on the current or past year's tax return to save the most money. Amend the tax return for the last year or factor in these losses in your next return.
Look over the list of declared disaster areas to see if your city is listed. This may provide you greater flexibility in deducting storm damage. Refer to IRS publication 547 on Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts for guidelines on tax deductible types of damage and how to write off losses resulting from storms or natural disasters. Between your insurance and any deductions you obtain, you should be able to offset the cost of commercial damage restoration services.
Storm Damage Tips: What To Do Before Help Arrives
After any severe storm, your primary concern is your safety.
When a severe storm ravages your home in Athens, TX, and causes damage both indoors and out, it can be difficult to know what to do. Do you stay inside until help arrives, or do you leave? What if the storm is still raging and leaving seems more dangerous than staying put? To help you figure out the best thing to do in a tricky situation, here are a few storm tips from storm damage professionals.
After any severe storm, your primary concern is your safety. Before acting, ask yourself the following questions:
• Is it safe to stay in the home?
• Are there electrical hazards, slip and fall hazards, or any other major health risks?
• How bad is the water damage? Does it look like the roof, ceiling or floor is about to cave in?
• Is there an area of the home that is still secure and in which you can move around comfortably?
When Not To Stay in the Home
If the storm has passed, the best thing to do would be to leave the home until help arrives. However, if the storm is still raging, your situation is much more complex. Depending on the severity of the storm, it doesn’t make sense to go out if you don’t have to. However, how can you tell if being in your home is more dangerous than being in the elements? These storm tips may help:
• When the roof is caving in or materials are falling, it’s time to get out.
• If any part of the home’s electrical wiring is exposed and touching water, it’s time to get out.
• If any part of your home is exposed to the elements and the storm is still active, it’s time to get out. This is especially true if there is lightning.
If you are forced to choose between staying in a damaged home or going out into the storm, you need to think carefully and act fast. Every minute you don’t make a decision could mean you’re a minute closure to real danger. Consider the storm tips above to make the best decision for you and your family.
3 Steps for Repairing a Leaking Commercial Roof
When your Palestine, TX, commercial building suffers a roof leak, it can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to having it repaired.
Heavy rains and strong winds can cause considerable damage to your Palestine, TX, commercial building. However, when it comes to vulnerable areas, few are more exposed to the elements than the roof. Standing water and other types of flooding can cause a roof leak, which may interrupt normal business operations and cause monetary loss. However, there are a few steps you can take to have this problem repaired quickly and reduce the risk of long-term roofing difficulties.
1. Call for Mitigation
Taking quick action upon discovering a leak can help prevent costly water damage to your building. Calling in storm damage and flood mitigation service to stop the worst of the leaking with tarps and temporary sealant can be one of the most effective ways to stem the flow of a serious roofing leak. You may want to be prepared for flood technicians to evacuate affected areas of your building while mitigation is performed.
2. Take Note of the Damage
Once you can safely access your building’s roof, make a list of any damage you see so you can report it to your insurance provider or roofing contractor. Note any missing shingles, visible sagging, standing water, and damaged roofing material that may need to be replaced. Creating this list may help you gauge the cost of the repair of a roof leak. Remember to take photos as well so you have visual evidence of the damage you list.
3. Compare Repair Estimates
Having a damaged roof repaired can cost anywhere from several hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the extent of the destruction. Before you settle on a contractor, take the time to compare a few estimates so you do not overpay for the repairs. Consider asking other business associates in the area if they have any recommendations that may help you hurry the process along.
When your Palestine, TX, commercial building suffers a roof leak, it can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to having it repaired. Knowing which steps to take may help you resolve the issue quickly and lower the risk of financial loss.
3 Facts About Black Water Floods
Understanding flood water and how it might affect your Mineola, TX, business can be beneficial for you.
There are several types of floods that can impact your Mineola, TX, business, but no matter their origin, they can cause considerable water damage. One major concern after a flood is the state of the water. Flooding from storms or from overflowing toilets because of sewer damage can cause contaminated water to enter your business. Dirty floodwater can spread disease, create foul smells and invite mold to grow, so it is important that you understand a few facts about it before you call storm damage and cleanup company for help.
1. Outdoor Flood Waters Are Usually Contaminated
When flooding occurs because of heavy rains or a sudden strong storm, any water that finds its way into your business would be considered category 3 because of the possible contaminants it contains. Flooding that originates from overflowing creeks, rivers, or sewage pipes is also known as black water and typically requires professional cleanup because of the bacterium and solid waste they may have carried into your business.
2. Sewage Floods Can Seep Into Floors and Walls
During a storm, your city’s sewer system could become clogged with debris and cause your building’s toilets to back up and flood the bathrooms. When this happens, the resulting flood water may seep into drywall or dry into floor tile grout and leave an unpleasant, lingering odor. If you smell sewage long after a toilet overflow flood, it is a good idea to call a restoration and cleanup company to deodorize the building.
3. Water Category Can Degrade Over Time
If storm damage has caused a burst plumbing pipe or water line flood, allowing the water to sit can cause its condition to degrade. For example, water that comes from a sterile source, such as a kitchen sink pipe, can become stagnant and grow bacteria within 24 hours. Having any type of floodwaters drained away quickly can prevent the formation of black water.
Understanding flood water and how it might affect your Mineola, TX, business can be beneficial for you. Even if flooding is not common in the area, being prepared may give you the confidence to act quickly if the worst should happen.
3 Important Items To Keep in Your Business' Emergency Medical Kit
While emergencies are often unpredictable, being prepared may give you peace of mind that you can handle them if they should arise.
Keeping your employees and customers safe can be an important part of being a responsible Mineola, TX, business owner. Posting warning signs in dangerous areas and following state and federal safety protocols can help keep your property safe. However, if an accident should occur, being prepared with a stocked first aid kit might mean the difference between being able to help an injured individual and having to wait until help arrives. If you are creating a kit for the first time, there are several items you may want to include.
1. A Variety Pack of Bandages
Cuts and scrapes may heal more quickly when they are covered with a sterile bandage, and covering a wound may also reduce the risk of infection by preventing dirt and bacteria from contaminating injured skin. However, since it can be difficult to predict the size of a wound, it is a good idea to keep a variety pack of bandages, all in different sizes and shapes, in your medical kit. Consider keeping flexible bandages on hand to cover scrapes on knees and elbows that might be incurred in a fall.
2. Large Gauze Pads
Gauze pads can be effective in covering wounds and stemming the flow of blood from a wound. Having large pads on hand means you can fold them for thickness if necessary. It is wise to keep several large sheets of gauze, up to eight inches long and ten inches wide, in your first aid kit.
3. A Complete Directory of Emergency Numbers
You may have a list of emergency numbers posted in your office or in the breakroom. However, keeping a backup directory in your emergency kit can help you contact a storm damage cleanup service and other emergency repair numbers if your business floods and you cannot access the posted list. Consider laminating your backup list to protect it from water and staining.
Keeping a fully-stocked first aid kit available at your Mineola, TX, business can help you act quickly in case of an injury. While emergencies are often unpredictable, being prepared may give you peace of mind that you can handle them if they should arise.
5 Ways to Keep Your Business Secure After a Fire
With the assistance of a professional commercial property restoration company, your business can receive proper fire cleanup.
After fire damage, your Athens, TX, business building may be unattended until repairs start. Protecting it in the meantime is beneficial towards preventing additional losses. By adhering to these five tips, you can secure your business to ensure you can reopen without added hurdles.
1. Retrieve Important Documents and Valuables
If it’s safe to enter, it’s best to gather up anything that may be detrimental if stolen or lost. This includes safes, money, computers, or important business documents. They should be relocated to a secure location until they can be safely returned.
2. Board up the Building for Safety
Protecting the windows and covering major holes in the property prevents unwanted intruders. This stops natural forces like rain from entering your commercial property. Water damage further weakens the structure’s integrity and puts it at risk of further deterioration.
Additionally, sealing off extra entryways removes easy access to sneak inside your building. The protection complicates looting and vandalism. Criminals are deterred with an increased risk of being caught.
3. Contact Lenders, Customers, and Partners
Fire damage that causes a building to become inoperable will change how you work with business partners and customers. They are likely wondering how operations will change, so phone calls or emails should be made explaining what will change in the meantime. This can also lead to others lending a hand to help your business with its temporary needs.
4. Gather Documents for the Claims Process
Hopefully, you’ll still have access to receipts or statements about the costs of items lost to a fire. During the process, these should be printed off and gathered in a single place to relieve the burden of proof later. This should include photos and videos of the property, so you can prove the damage later if necessary.
5. Begin Restoring and Fixing Your Property
With the assistance of a professional commercial property restoration company, your business can receive proper fire cleanup. By protecting your business before a restoration company can begin work, you save yourself unnecessary repairs for everything except the fire damage. By always being smart and proactive, your business will thrive.