Residential Water_64_How To File an Insurance Claim for Water Damage
Filing an insurance claim is an important first step in the restoration process
Residential Water_64_How To File an Insurance Claim for Water Damage
Following water damage to your Oklahoma City, OK, home, you may decide to file a homeowner’s insurance claim. The following steps will guide you through the process.
Know Your Policy
Before damage ever occurs to your house, it is important to familiarize yourself with the details of your insurance policy. Know your deductibles and coverage limits. Know what types of damage are covered. Understand how your rate may change if you file a claim.
Create a Home Inventory
Also, it is important to create a home inventory before any damage occurs. This is a list of all the items in your home, their purchase date and purchase price. Include receipts for expensive items and photos or video of your possessions.
Address Water Source
Anything from a pipe burst to a leaky roof can cause your home to flood. Stop the water flow as soon as possible.
Contact Your Agent
Call your insurance professional. Explain the situation and ask any questions you have about filing an insurance claim. Your agent may give you specific instructions for what to do next. He or she will also set up a time for an adjuster to survey the damage.
If your agent gave you specific instructions about documenting the damage to your home, be sure to follow those guidelines. Otherwise, simply be as detailed as possible. List all the damaged items along with their purchase date and price. Take photographic or video evidence to accompany the list.
Get Quotes for Repairs
Some insurance companies will only pay for repairs made by certain companies. Others may require you to get a certain number of estimates before they will decide on an amount to pay you. Check with your agent regarding these guidelines.
Filing an insurance claim is an important first step in the restoration process. After that, you may wish to hire an experienced restoration team to help you get your home back to normal.
How to Handle Mold Damaged Belongings
If you have mold growing in your house, you should contact a mold remediation company as soon as possible
Mold Cleaning Tips That Can Help You Restore Your Home
Mold can be a frustrating problem to deal with. It is a common problem for homeowners and, once it has started growing, it can be difficult to remove. Not only can it affect the structure of your Edmond, OK, house, but it can grow on your belongings as well. The following are some mold cleaning tips that can help you restore your home.
1. Scrub Hard Surfaces With a Cleaner
Because it cannot reach beneath the surface, mold damage on hard and non-porous materials is relatively simple to remove. These items can usually be cleaned with water and an antibacterial cleaner. More often than not, they can be easily salvaged.
2. Use a Washing Machine or Dry Cleaning Service
For objects made with porous materials, mold cleaning takes a bit more work. Some objects, such as clothing, bedding and stuffed toys can be cleaned in a washing machine if the damage is not too severe. Dry cleaning is an option for larger belongings and materials that cannot be cleaned in the laundry.
3. Have Items Professionally Cleaned
While you may think that it is impossible to get mold damage out of your books, paintings and paper documents, this is not always the case. Professional services can use equipment, such as an Esporta machine, that can remove bacteria and contaminants from a variety of items.
4. Throw Out Severely Damaged Items
It may not be ideal, but in some cases, you will need to throw out some items. If mold forms beneath the surface of an object, mold cleaning can be difficult. Unless these belongings are difficult to replace or have a lot of sentimental value, it may be easier to simply discard it and purchase something new.
If you have mold growing in your house, you should contact a mold remediation company as soon as possible. They can locate any mold growth and perform cleanup and repairs. They can also help salvage your damaged belongings.
3 Tips for Buying the Right Number of Fire Alarms
Smoke alarms – triggered by ions in high levels of smoke
Most homeowners know that a smoke detector is a critical tool in reducing the chance of injury or smoke damage from a house fire. But that’s only part of the story. To be effective, smoke detectors and fire alarms must be properly used, and that means having the right number of them for your home. Determining how many is right for your Oklahoma City, OK, home doesn’t have to be confusing. Follow these tips to secure your home against fire the right way.
Fire Detector Facts
There’s more than one type of alarm to protect your home from a blaze. The main options include:
- Heat detectors – triggered by high temperatures
- Smoke alarms – triggered by ions in high levels of smoke
You may choose one or the other, or even a mixture of both types. Whichever you choose, it’s key that you have enough of them.
Number of Rooms
Smoke and fire alarms can only cover so many rooms. The National Fire Protection Association suggests you make up for this by having smoke alarms in every room and outside each sleeping area throughout your home.
Room count is only one consideration when picking the number of alarms that’s right for your home. You also need to consider your home’s total square footage. A smoke detector will typically cover about 900 square feet. Divide your home’s total square footage by this amount to get a good gauge on how many alarms you’ll need.
Number of Levels
Experts say it’s key to have a detector on every level of your home. This includes the obvious living areas, but also less used places like unfinished basements and attics. These less-trafficked areas are exactly where fires can smolder unnoticed and cause lots of damage.
Fire alarms are easy to come by and effective – if there are enough of them. Use these rules of thumb from fire damage experts and your home should be safe.
How Landscaping Can Save Your Home From Storm Damage
Sometimes, the best way to combat outside flooding involves installing rain gardens
How Landscaping Can Save Your Home From Storm Damage
Outside flooding can be just as damaging to your Edmond, OK home as indoor flooding. Accumulated rainwater can infiltrate the building and create erosion that can damage your lawn. However, you can mitigate this devastating impact. You can use certain landscaping techniques that can decrease the amount of water accumulated around your house, which significantly reduces potential water damage and the need to call a water damage repair company.
Driveways are one of the most common places where rain drainage can gather and harm your home. You might need to consider rainwater when making choices for the design of your driveway.
Placement of grass near the driveway
Drainage systems on the sides
Gravel as pavement material
Spaced paving techniques
Strategic driveway design can make efficient use of excessive water, rather than allow it to flood the property.
Sometimes, the best way to combat outside flooding involves installing rain gardens. In this practice, you place plants with higher wetness resistance in the center of a depression, with other plants around the edges. This landscape feature allows the water to collect in the middle and reintegrate into the soil, thus feeding the central plants, while the edges dry off faster. Native plants are the most effective, since they require less maintenance.
Another outdoor location in your home that can flood and create water damage after a rain storm is the roof. While you may have a sloped roof and a drainage system to avoid the buildup, you can take these measures further. Living roofs, also known as green roofs, have vegetation and plants that absorb much of the rainwater. These roofs also include slopes, rain spouts and drainage systems that further distribute the water.
Even though inside flooding poses a direct threat to your property, outside flooding can contribute just as much. Certain landscaping designs can help you prevent the damage caused by such occurrence.
Storm Water Cleanup Guide for a Business
Wet fabric removed from an Oklahoma City office
Storm Water Cleanup Guide for a Business
When you enter a business after a storm, you will immediately notice the water damage. The first step in the cleanup is to tear out everything wet. Tearing out must happen quickly so that mold doesn’t become a problem. Storm water can find its way
- Into cracks and crevasses
- Under and behind the molding
- Behind walls
- Into the subfloor
- Into the rooms below
Remove Free-Standing Water
If you don’t remove it now, it will cause more damage later. A wet/dry vac is the perfect tool for this job. Every drop that you collect will help complete the recovery that much sooner.
Remove Wet Fabrics
Fabric items include carpets and padding, window treatments, furniture and anything else that retains water. It might make sense to use your wet/dry vac to remove excess water from these items before moving them.
You may wonder if you should dispose of or restore these items. Items for disposal should go immediately in the trash. Relocate items for restoration to a place where they are out of the way of the cleanup and can’t cause any further problems.
Remove Remaining Items
Wet items should go to someplace where they won’t cause any additional problems. You can decide their disposition later. These items may include electronics, photos, important documents and non-fabric furniture.
Remove everything not damaged to a holding area. It needs to be out of the way so that cleanup can continue.
Locate the Remaining Hidden Moisture
Tear out the wet baseboards and molding. You can reuse them if they survive the drying process without warping. Do the same with the damp wallboard. The only difference is that the wallboard is not salvageable.
The tear out stage of storm restoration is labor-intensive and time-consuming. It also requires a quick completion to prevent mold growth. If your Oklahoma City, OK, business faces a storm damage crisis, it’s good to know that there are storm damage restoration specialists nearby and ready to help. They are just a phone call away.
Causes of Burst Pipes
Pipes with corrosion can cause a big leak in your home
With all the joys of being a homeowner in Edmond, OK, there are some downsides when it comes to nature interacting with your home's hidden plumbing. If a pipe burst happens, it can be easy to become confused and frustrated with the flooding that occurs. However, there are ways to avoid this problem.
Causes of Pipe Breaks
In addition to freezing conditions, there are three other culprits that can cause a big leak:
- Tree Roots – Trees love water, and the roots tend to find their way directly to a source. Over time, these roots can cause a weak spot to happen in the water line or loosen a connector. As the roots grow, they can eventually tighten enough to burst a pipe.
- Corrosion – While newer homes may not face this problem, older ones typically have older systems. Technology has come a long way, which means those homes built before 1970 may not have corrosion-resistant piping.
- Collapsed Pipe – Settling, construction and other events can impact a piping system. If there is increased weight, it could result in a collapse.
While in some cases a pipe burst may be out of your control, there are some simple things to do to prevent it from happening:
During freezing cold weather, let a faucet drip. This slight extra water flow can help reduce the chances of the line freezing.
Ensure pipes are insulated. If they are exposed, they are more likely to freeze. Additionally, even in the summer, underground pipes can get become too cold and expand, eventually bursting.
Seal any cracks or air leaks throughout your home. Keeping the cold air out of the home will help protect the plumbing inside.
Once cold weather is on its way, disconnect any outside hoses from the spigots.
Consider the air flow around your kitchen. If it seems colder under the sink, leave a cabinet door open to warm the air.
Understand where your pipes are and keep that area of the home above freezing.
If a pipe burst does happen, you don’t have to go it alone. Count on water damage restoration professionals who are Here to Help.
How Renters Insurance Can Help You After a Fire
Your renters insurance can help you replace your belongings following a robbery
How Renters Insurance Can Help You After a Fire
You have probably heard that your renters insurance can help you replace your belongings following a robbery. Yet this insurance can also come in handy after a fire.
Fire damage cleanup typically addresses both the apartment itself and the contents inside. The landlord's insurance should cover the cost of repairing the actual building. However, your tenants insurance policy provides plenty of additional coverage.
Your tenants insurance policy primarily covers the loss of your personal property. This includes any damage to your belongings after a fire. Insurance can also help you pay for fire restoration services.
Of course, your furniture and electronics have depreciated in value over time. Thankfully, most renters insurance policies will give you the amount of money you need to replace your belongings rather than the actual value of those items.
Fire Liability and Medical Payments
A fire may not just affect your Oklahoma City, OK, home. The flames could cause fire damage to nearby apartments, as well. Your neighbors could also suffer burns or smoke inhalation.
If the fire started in your apartment, you may have to pay for the repairs to your neighbors' valuables. Your tenants insurance should cover these costs. Specifically, the insurance covers any property damage of third parties not named on your policy.
Your policy may also provide some coverage for your neighbor's medical bills. Typically, this medical payment coverage is minimal and applies to minor injuries such as a sprained ankle.
Loss of Use
Finally, tenants insurance can cover any expenses you incur due to the temporary loss of use of your apartment after a fire. For instance, the insurance can pay for the cost of a hotel for you and your family while the apartment is being restored.
Fire cleanup is an extensive and costly process. Renters insurance can help you replace or repair your belongings and pay for other fire-related expenses.
3 Tips for Maintaining Your Evaporative Cooler
If you have a leaking swamp cooler, you are leaving your home vulnerable to all sorts of potential problems
3 Ways To Prevent a Leaking A Swamp Cooler
A leaking swamp cooler can cause all sorts of problems. The water that pools around the leak may become a breeding ground for bacteria. A leak can drive up the cost of your utility bill. It can also leave your home in Edmond, OK, susceptible to a mold problem. Here are three ways you can prevent leaks and thus the issues that generally come with them.
1. Commit to a Yearly Maintenance Schedule
Like all major appliances, your evaporative cooler occasionally needs a tuneup to work properly. A yearly inspection can help identify potential issues and fix them before they cause bigger problems such as mold growth. Professional maintenance technicians can clean your swamp cooler and make sure that any parts that need to be tightened or replaced get the attention they need.
2. Empty Drip Pans When Not in Use
When you winterize your home, add your swamp cooler to the list. A drip pan with stagnant water is just as problematic as a leaking swamp cooler. It provides the excess moisture mold needs to thrive. By emptying the pans regularly and keeping them emptied completely as winter approaches, you can minimize your fungus risk.
3. Replace Water Pads as Necessary
The parts of your swamp cooler that are particularly prone to mold growth are the water pads. They often get wet as the machine works. If they also get dirty, they become a veritable smorgasbord on which mold can feast. Mold mitigation experts recommend that water pads be replaced at the beginning of the spring as you start to use your cooler more often. Inspect them frequently and replace them as they start to show signs of wear.
If you have a leaking swamp cooler, you are leaving your home vulnerable to all sorts of potential problems. With regular maintenance and attention, however, you can increase its efficiency and minimize the chances it will cause a mold issue.
3 Steps To Take After a Water Pipe Break at Your Business
Commercial water damage in Oklahoma City, OK
Steps To Take To Protect Your Commercial Property and Contents After a Pipe Break
Dealing with water damage at your Oklahoma City, OK business can be difficult. Whether age, damage or cold weather is causing bursting pipes, taking quick action could reduce repair costs and save valuable inventory. Once a pipe break occurs, there are a few steps you can take to protect your commercial property and its contents.
Shut Off the Main Water Supply
Once you realize a pipe in your building has burst, it is wise to locate and turn off the main water supply valve. This can reduce the amount of flooding that can otherwise occur. You may want to be aware of the location of the shutoff switch beforehand so you can stem the flow of water as quickly as possible. If you rent your commercial space, ask your landlord about the location of the main water supply valve and alert any managers to its location in case a bursting pipes emergency takes place when you are not present.
Seal Off Affected Areas
You can reduce water damage to adjacent areas by shutting or sealing off doors. For example, if a pipe burst in a restroom, you can seal the bottom of the door with towels to prevent water leakage. Ask your employees and customers to clear the area so you can be assured flooded rooms remain secure until professionals can examine and fix broken pipe components.
Call in a Water Damage Remediation Service
A burst pipe can cause a great deal of trouble in a matter of minutes; however, other issues, such as mold growth and warped building materials, can be prevented by calling a flood control and remediation service to inspect and repair your property. Water damage in Oklahoma City, OK can be common during cold weather snaps, so it is a good idea to have a working relationship with this type of service if you own a business.
One or more bursting pipes at your Oklahoma City, OK business can have serious consequences to your equipment or inventory. Knowing which immediate steps to take afterward can help you minimize damage and the cost of future repairs.
Will Solar Panels Keep the Lights On During Bad Weather?
Extreme weather and storms could result in panel damage.
The durability of a solar panel is not easily compromised. It is not constructed with moving parts and it is manufactured with high quality materials. Panels are put through rigorous tests and quality control to ensure their strength and longevity. If panel damage does occur, it is typically due to weather; therefore, if you live in Oklahoma City, OK and have solar panels, it is important to understand how nature can potentially leave you in the dark.
What Can Cut the Power
Extreme weather and storms could result in panel damage. Possible weather factors that cause damage include the following:
- High wind
Panels are essentially outward facing glass. Exposure to high winds and tornadoes can pummel your roof with branches and other debris that can crack or even break a panel completely. Cracked and broken panels expose your roof to excessive amounts of water, which can lead to costly roof damage. Continued exposure to strong storms with excessive rain and hail can create further complications if your roof has already sustained damage or become the starting point for expensive amounts of structural harm.
How To Keep the Lights On
An initial investment in high quality panels, as well as installation by experienced professionals, can be the first line of defense against damage due to wind and water. Panels that are cracked, damaged or routinely subjected to large amounts of wear can be evaluated by a professional to see how to repair and prevent roof damage. Potential damage or obstruction to panels is likely if they are consistently exposed to wind and water, as well as severe weather. If you know that Oklahoma City, OK is an area that experiences weather conditions that may put your energy efficient investment at risk, it is essential to speak with an expert in storm damage restoration.
Solar panels can be a smart choice for both your home and the environment, but they're not invincible. Panel damage happens. That's why regular maintenance is essential to keeping them in working order — and keeping your lights on.