Recent Posts

When Does Homeowners' Insurance Cover Mold?

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on a wall. Concept of mold damage Residential mold damage in Tyler, TX.

Your homeowners' insurance covers a variety of different perils. However, fungus growth may not be included in your policy.

Understanding Homeowners' Insurance

Homeowners' insurance helps pay for restoration and cleanup services following a sudden and accidental incident that damages your Tyler, TX, house. Perils covered by insurance include:

  • Bursting pipes
  • Water overflow from appliances
  • Lightning
  • Theft
  • Fire

If immediate mold growth results from one of these sudden emergencies, then your insurance should pay for the cost of removing this fungus. However, not all mold damage is covered.
Insurance providers expect you to regularly care for your home and keep it dry. Any mold that occurs due to your negligence will be excluded from coverage. For instance, if the mold spreads because you failed to replace a leaking roof or ventilate your bathroom, your insurance claim may be denied.

Getting Mold Insurance
Read over your policy to see whether it includes mold insurance. If mold is excluded, you can still buy an endorsement that covers fungus growth. However, the insurer may not let you purchase this endorsement if your home has a history of mold issues.
Even with an endorsement, your mold coverage may be limited. Some insurers cap mold damage payouts at a certain number. Others may only pay for some mold-related services but not cover remediation or testing.

Filing a Claim
Before you file an insurance claim, you should stop any leaks that are causing water damage to your property. Next, open doors or windows to speed up the drying process and hinder mold growth.
Be sure to take photos and videos documenting the harm to your property. Do not throw away any items until you talk to your insurance adjuster. The adjuster may also visit your home to assess the situation in person.
Mold damage is often excluded from homeowners' policies. You should thus try to limit the fungus growth in your house by removing excess water and ventilating bathrooms and kitchens.

How Do Property Managers and Towns Prevent Flood Damage?

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

Two box truck, drying equipment placed outside a building Storm damage in Arp, TX.

As severe storms increase in intensity and number, a combination of new and ancient flood prevention techniques are being employed to reduce the probability of flood damage. In many cases, floodwater issues can be strongly mitigated or even virtually eliminated, even in high-risk flood zones.
Ideally, the planning involves both property managers and local officials. When flood control planning is done on a wide-area basis, a huge number of strategies become available. If you’re limited to mitigation efforts only on your property, it’s not only harder, it may cause problems for the neighboring properties.

What Methods Are Useful for Property Managers?

The primary method of flood prevention is through landscaping. Many techniques are used, including

  • Increased drainage
  • Rock beams
  • Rip rap
  • Terracing
  • Vegetation

A landscaping engineer should consider how heavy rains in Arp, TX, will flow naturally. They’ll then use a combination of tactics, including drainage alluviums and landscaping, to dramatically reduce your risk.

What Should You Do If Your Commercial Building Floods?
Flood cleaning should be left to the professionals. You need a high-quality flood damage restoration company to inspect the property, remove the water and clean up the damage. They may be able to advise about further flood mitigation techniques, too, since if your property floods once, it’s more likely to flood again.

What About Neighborhoods or Towns?
Local officials in Arp, TX, need to be involved in the planning. Ideally, flood diversion includes removing excess water from whole neighborhoods and includes drainage retention ponds, dikes, dams and water channels. They can also designate some areas as floodplains that have native vegetation used to the local wet-dry oscillations. These will absorb the water harmlessly as well as provide a habitat for local fauna.
In some cases, flood gates can be installed on the river for superior, long-term flooding control. Also, sand or dirt should be made available in neighborhoods for businesses and homeowners to fill sandbags. They make an excellent cheap and temporary barrier for emergencies.
The best flood prevention means working closely with city officials in a partnership to reduce damage city-wide. However, you’ll still need to do your part to save your own properties.

Is a Security Fence Really Necessary After a Building Fire?

4/27/2021 (Permalink)

Private property in the forest angle shot Installing a security fence in your building can protect you from a total loss.

Reasons To Protect Your Property After A Fire

If you discover your Flint, TX, commercial building ablaze, you're mainly concerned about putting the flames are out quickly. Total loss or not, there are several reasons it's essential to protect your property. Installing a temporary security fence will do just that.

1. Protects Against Theft
Crimes of opportunity happen often. An abandoned building devastated by fire can be particularly susceptible to attracting thieves. You have several options of the type of temporary fencing you can choose. If you feel a significant risk of trespassing, you can get fencing with barbed wire.

2. Protects Against Vandalism
Like thieves, vandals may see your building as an excellent opportunity to cause trouble. They may not steal anything, but they can cause costly damage, such as graffiti and broken windows. Additionally, fire damage remediation professionals will have a more difficult time restoring the building.

3. Protects Against Animals
A security fence also protects against animals that want to explore the ruins or take up residence. Animals can cause quite a bit of damage if they're free to roam an abandoned building.

4. Protects Against Lawsuits
People tend to be curious after a structure fire and may want to explore the destruction. Even if they don't intend on causing mischief, trespassers could hold you responsible if they get injured on your property. This scenario is especially true when it comes to children. Fencing is the best way to prevent harm and, therefore, the risk of potential lawsuits.

5. Protects Against Insurance Reimbursement Problems
Your commercial insurance policy probably states that you're required to take any reasonable steps to protect your property from further loss. Otherwise, your damage restoration reimbursement amount could be significantly lower than you would expect.
After even the worst fire disaster, you are responsible for preventing further loss. Installing a security fence can provide you with some much-needed reassurance of your building's survival from the unavoidable.

How To Progress From Mitigation to Restoration

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

hose on the floor, wet floor. Concept extracting water from floor Mitigation services in New Hope, TX.

Mitigation is the first step to take after a storm causes damage at a commercial building in  New Hope, TX. In addition to limiting the severity of the damage, mitigation may shorten the duration of restoration. Find out when to call a service that specializes in mitigation or a flood cleanup company.

Take Damage Management Measures

The primary goal of mitigation is to lessen the severity of damage in the hours after an incident. Depending on the cause of damage, any of the following measures may be helpful:

  • Boarding up structural breaches
  • Removing standing water
  • Tarping over roof damage

Storm damage may introduce contaminated water into a structure. Once water has been removed, a restoration company can tear out ruined materials, clean, disinfect and dry the affected area.

Tear Out Ruined Materials
Flooding or a severe leak can destroy drywall and insulation. These substances are difficult to disinfect and pose an elevated mold risk. If a building manager or owner is not sure whether to attempt to clean or dispose of any materials, it is a good idea to consult a flood cleanup company.

Clean and Dry the Affected Area
Damage restoration professionals will use EPA-rated cleaning solutions and disinfectants to reduce the risk of mold in a structure damaged by a storm. Air movers, dehumidifiers or fans may be used to accelerate drying times.

Rebuild a Damaged Structure
Once a structure is clean and dry, restoration professionals can start to rebuild the damage. Whereas mitigation takes place within hours or days, this part of the recovery process may take days or weeks.
A property owner may be able to take some preliminary steps toward mitigation, but professionals can act quickly to lessen the severity of damage. A flood cleanup company can pump out standing water, which is one of the most important mitigation measures after flooding or severe weather in New Hope, TX.

Hotel Fire Safety for Vacationing Families

3/19/2021 (Permalink)

Emergency exit - fire in the building Hotel fire in Bullard, TX.

Everyone looks forward to arriving somewhere new on vacation, but leaving home means sacrificing a bit of control over our lives. Placing ourselves in environments far away from Bullard, TX, means we run the chance of encountering a hotel fire caused by factors beyond our control. Here are some fire safety tips regarding holiday accommodations.

Hotel Room Fire Assessment

As soon as you enter your room:

  • Locate the closest building exits
  • Verify that there are fire alarms on your floor
  • Examine the evacuation plan on the back of your door

Inform everyone in your clan of what you have discovered. If your building lacks smoke detectors or a fire procedure notification, move to another hotel. Wherever you stay should be well attuned to fire prevention measures.

Hotel Room Fire Escapes
In the event of a hotel fire, leave in a quick and orderly fashion. Place shoes, pants, wallet, medication and keys by your bedside for easy access. As soon as fire alarms blare, make your exit even if you suspect it is only a drill or they are going off accidentally.
Before opening the door, feel for heat. If it is warm, keep it closed. Fire may have engulfed the hallway. Windows sometimes lead to fire escapes, so use one if possible. If no escape ladder is present, lift the pane, lean outside and yell for help.
If conditions permit, shower with clothes on before entering areas covered in flame. Cover your mouth with a dampened washcloth to prevent smoke inhalation and stay low. With luck, you will escape unharmed, leaving you to recommend a professional disaster repair company to hotel management. Without a doubt, they will need to conduct a thorough fire restoration.
A hotel fire is the last thing you want to experience while relaxing in exotic lands. Use these tips to make sure you and your loved ones remain safe when exploring distant locales.

How To Flush Your Water Heater

3/4/2021 (Permalink)

Hand attaches hose to a home water heater to perform maintenance Keep your water heater running well for years.

Five Steps In Flushing A Water Heater

The best way to keep your water heater working well is to flush out the dirt and sediment periodically. If you follow the five simple steps below, you can extend the life of your heater and reduce the likelihood of expensive repairs.

1. Shut Off the Heater
If your heater is electric, turn off the line at your circuit breaker. Turn the gas off if you have a gas heater to ensure the pilot is out.

2. Attach a Garden Hose
The garden hose should be connected to the drain valve. Make sure the open end is in an area that can handle the sediment and warm water.

3. Drain the Tank
Once you have opened the drain valve, allow the water to drain from the water heater for several minutes. To speed up the process, turn on the hot water faucet in your kitchen. After a few minutes, shut off the valve to the water supply. After the water stops, turn the water supply valve on again to quickly flush the heater and then close the valve again.

4. Turn On Water Supply
After all the valves are closed, turn the water back on. When the stream in the kitchen faucet is smooth with no air escaping, this indicates the tank is full.

5. Turn Power and Heating Element On
It’s critical to make sure the tank is full before you turn the power and heater back on. After you are sure the tank is full, turn the power to the unit back on. Then turn the heating element back on as well.
After those steps are completed, shut off the kitchen faucet. If you encounter a water leak during the water heater flush, contact a water restoration service as soon as possible.
Keep your water heater running well for years in Whitehouse, TX, by following these easy steps every few months.

The Dirty Reason Why Taking a Shower Can Cause Toilet Overflow

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet Overflowing toilet in Troup, TX.

If you have a home or business, sewage cleaning may be the farthest thing from your mind. However, something as simple as toilet overflow during showering could be costly. Most people don't have the extra time or funds to go through an unexpected loss like this. If you're in Troup, TX, working with a preferred clean-up and restoration vendor of your insurance agency can mitigate this threat.

Steps to Take When a Shower Causes Toilet Overflow

Residential houses, and some commercial businesses, usually have a shower that is frequently used. If, say, the showers in the gym you own are running and, simultaneously, the adjacent toilet starts gushing water, it's time to look into the root of the issue. This is almost always due to a clogged pipe between the toilet and sewer. The shower is connected to waste waterlines, and if there is a clog, the toilet will be the first place it shows! Everything is connected. What do you do now that you know a clog is causing the back up? Here are some sewage cleaning options that may need to be taken by professionals using a commercial-use snake tool:

  • Running the snake directly through the toilet;
  • Taking the toilet out from the floor and snaking the drain from there;
  • Heading to the drain cleanout in a crawlspace area, lifting the heavy cap, and snaking the opening;
  • Or repairing/replacing the entire pipe.

Make Sure Your Insurance Works with the Right Professionals
The outlined steps above gradually increase in difficulty, and they should always be performed by a professional. If the snake is noncommercial, it likely won't be long or tough enough to reach a clogged pipe causing the toilet to overflow. After each step, the professionals will test the clog status by running the shower again. In the worst-case scenario, it's possible that something such as the roots of a tree or a rusted pipe collapse caused the blockage. In this case, step four of repairing or replacing the entire line is the only option. In order to get the job done correctly and save money, it's best to have already made sure that your insurance works with trusted sewage cleaning professionals.

Maintain Your Irrigation System To Prevent Flooding

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

sprinkler head watering the bush and grass in the garden Consistent irrigation maintenance keeps the area healthy.

A healthy landscape attracts people to your business in Tyler, TX, by giving it a pleasant look and displaying your professionalism. Consistent irrigation maintenance keeps the area healthy by ensuring the sprinklers spread the right amount of water at the necessary areas and at the appropriate time. Make sure the system works as intended and detect any mistakes by following these tips.

Inspect the System Often

System inspection is the most basic maintenance task you can accomplish. Everything from the faucets to the hoses should be free of cracks and holes. The sprinkler heads are the most important, since they are the most vulnerable to hazards such as:

  • Common wear and tear
  • Unstable ground
  • Footstep and lawnmower damage
  • Poor installation

Beyond the obvious signs of damage, look for nearby leaks and puddles. Fix the issue if possible or remove and replace the broken piece.

Control the Irrigation Schedule
As part of your irrigation maintenance, you should also set up your system to sprinkle the best amount of water in the right areas. The higher the temperature and the greater the sun's exposure, the more water that spot will need. Overuse can wear down the system faster and create sprinkler flooding that warrants professional water damage repair for your property. You can control the irrigation by installing sensors that shut down the system when they detect rain, ice, or low temperatures.

Prepare for Each Season
You do not need to use the sprinklers during the winter and the closest time periods. Therefore, you should winterize them after usage is finished for the year since the cold temperatures can freeze the water and damage the components. Drain all the water by shutting off the irrigation water supply and opening the drain valves until it is all gone. Disconnect the parts, put away the hoses, and insulate the exposed pipes and faucets.
The proper care of your sprinklers guarantees a long lifespan and effective watering of your commercial landscape. These irrigation maintenance tips will help you keep the system in great shape.

The Best Bleach Alternatives For Cleaning Mold

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

Low angle view of baking soda with vinegar, natural mix for effective house cleaning Mold growth in your commercial building? Call in fungus cleanup specialists.

Here Are Several Substances That Are More Effective For Eliminating Mold

Bleach is of limited use for cleaning mold. The most common chlorine-based solution is strictly a surface disinfectant and does not sink into porous materials. As a result, the root system of mold may resume growth after fungus cleanup. 

White Vinegar
Distilled white vinegar is one of the best antifungal cleaners for porous and non-porous materials. There are several ways to use a solution of acetic acid in water to cleanup mold:

  • Apply standard white vinegar at 5% concentration
  • Apply cleaning white vinegar at 6% concentration
  • Dilute standard or cleaning white vinegar

Depending on the material, you may prefer to use standard or slightly stronger cleaning vinegar to kill mold. Vinegar may be less likely to damage, discolor or degrade many sensitive substances than bleach. Keep in mind that vinegar is acidic and may react upon coming into contact with certain substances.

Sodium Borate
Sodium borate, which is often referred to as Borax, is another effective alternative for fungus cleanup. Dissolve one cup of this white powder in one gallon of hot water. Like bleach, sodium borate is basic, whereas vinegar is acidic. If you are not sure about the best cleaning substance for delicate materials or contents, consult with mold remediation experts.

Specialized Fungicides
In some cases, it may be necessary to use a fungicide to kill mold. These substances are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Make sure to follow the instructions on any mold killer you use. Many commercial building owners prefer to have these treatments applied by restoration professionals for maximum effectiveness.
If you see signs of mold growing in a commercial property in Arp, TX, you should call in fungus cleanup specialists. It is crucial to determine the true extent of an infestation. Experts may also recommend testing to determine whether mold is toxigenic.

How Residential Property Managers Should Prepare for Hurricanes

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

a young man in suit in his office showing an insurance policy and pointing with a pen where the policyholder must to sign Check to see if your renters have proper insurance.

Below Are Some Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Limiting hurricane damage is an important part of residential property management. By taking control of the situation in advance, you can reassure your renters that their homes will be safe from an impending storm.

1. Plan Ahead
Hurricanes typically do not take a city by surprise. There is usually some warning that the storm is approaching. This should give you time to make a plan.
Start by creating a project team. Work with the team to assign responsibilities and roles to each employee. Make sure that every person in your organization knows what to do before, during, and after the storm.

2. Prepare Renters
Your tenants may feel anxious as the storm approaches. This is especially true for renters who have not experienced hurricanes in the past.
To reassure the residents, talk to them about your various policies. Tell the tenants if you plan to trim trees or perform other measures to limit hurricane damage. You should also make sure your renters know the local evacuation policy.
Check to see if your renters have proper insurance. Most renters' policies do not include flood coverage, so suggest that your tenants purchase separate insurance to cover this type of loss. Above all, your conversations with the renters should emphasize that you are trying to keep them safe.

3. Take Inventory
Finally, take time to gather all the information you will need prior to the storm. Keep updated phone numbers for the residents along with their emergency contacts. You should also store the name and number of a trusted cleanup and restoration company.
Proper preparation will not just reduce the hurricane damage to your Arp, TX, properties. It will also build up trust between you and your renters. This will be invaluable going forward. If any future issues arise, the tenants will trust your ability to handle the problems correctly.