Insured: How To Know You Are Covered in a Flood
Water flooding in a Boston, MA prison
Your homeowners' policy is likely designed to take care of accidents that were unable to be foreseen. While it can secure against most of the things that can go wrong with your home in Boston, MA, you may need additional insurance for certain issues. Sometimes your basement flood can be covered, and sometimes it cannot.
What Isn't Covered?
There are several things your homeowners' policy probably doesn't insure:
- Flood damage
- Issues resulting from negligence or improper maintenance
- Backup of municipal sewer lines
- Repair of the flood's source
You may have to purchase additional insurance coverage for some of these issues. The cost of some of the repairs, however, such as repairs done by restoration professionals for problems caused by poor maintenance, will probably have to be paid out of pocket.
What Is Covered?
If the accident that causes the damage is sudden and unavoidable, such as a water heater that breaks and causes a basement flood, your homeowners' policy will probably protect you. If your floor or a wall needs to be replaced, your dwelling insurance can take care of it. If items are ruined in the flood, the personal property clause in the policy can help you pay for their replacement after the deductible is met.
What Additional Protection Is Needed?
If you experience frequent flooding in Boston, MA, it is a good idea to purchase flood insurance. Water backup coverage can help you when your basement is flooded by a backed-up sewer line or a clogged pipe outside your home. Talk to your insurance agent about other options that may be helpful for you to have to protect your home.
If a sudden accident causes a basement flood, a lot of the damage is probably insured by your homeowners' policy. Some special circumstances might require further coverage, though. It is important to make sure you understand your policy and have the right one in place before a problem occurs.
Properly Maintain an Emergency Sump Pump
Properly maintain your sump pump to ensure back up after a flood in the Boston area
If you live in an area of Boston, MA, where heavy rains and flooding are likely, you should become familiar with the value of maintaining flood equipment, such as a backup sump pump. This appliance protects homes with poor drainage, foundation weaknesses, and aging basement walls.
Prepare for Action
When your emergency sump pump is in top condition, it may be able to remove two feet of water at a time from your basement. Keep it ready for action with the following maintenance.
• Rinse pump inlet screen and remove dust or debris.
• Visually inspect power cord and power connection.
• Run water through to make sure the float rises, and the pump turns on.
• Schedule professional inspections and maintenance for the sump.
• Read your owner's manual for DIY maintenance, such as greasing pump bearings.
• Remove the pump to thoroughly inspect and clean it. Make repairs as necessary.
• Clean out the rest of the equipment.
• Reassemble the machine.
Protect Your Primary Sewage System
When your primary sewage piping or sump system is at risk, a back up battery pump is crucial. This pump kicks in when water levels are high. It keeps your home safe when too much rain water and debris has overwhelmed your existing drainage system. An emergency battery-powered pump can keep your home safely dry when the power goes out. It may sit on the shelf, unused for months or years at a time, but with appropriate maintenance, it will be ready when you need it.
If a sump pump isn't a possibility, you may be able to work with a remediation professional. These experts often have a truck-mounted trash pump, in addition to the sump.
The immediate use of this equipment can prevent serious damages, mold growth, and the need for expensive repairs. Protect your Boston, MA, home and family from standing water, mold growth, and other flooding damages with a second layer of protection.
4 Ways to Clean Belongings After a Fire
Cleaning belongings after a fire to restore back to normal conditions
Watching your Boston, MA, home burn can leave you with an ache in your heart. Not only do you have to deal with a massive insurance claim, but there's a good chance you'll end up losing some of your treasured possessions. When you work with a residential fire damage cleanup crew, some of your smoke-damaged belongings may get saved. Content cleaning is a delicate art that can take the following shapes.
1. Dry-Cleaning: Clothes, furniture and other porous items often have to be cleaned with a dry-cleaning method. This helps remove the smoke and soot that built up during the fire. If you try to wash your clothes on a normal cycle, you may end up causing more damage. The soot has to be removed from the textiles before you can return to a typical cleaning method.
2. Ultrasonic: Non-porous items can go through a more vigorous cleaning than materials that soak up water. The ultrasonic treatment incorporates ultrasound and a cleaning solvent to rid your belongings of soot.
3. High-Pressure Water: If the ultrasonic machine is not big enough for some of your non-porous furniture, the professionals may choose to use high-pressure water. This only works on non-porous items because they won't soak up the excess water.
4. Odor Removal: Smoke isn't the only thing that can cling to your possessions. The odor after a fire can be a long-term reminder of what you went through. After dry-cleaning, ultrasonic or high-pressure water methods have been put in place, you may want to do some sort of odor removal too. Professionals often use thermal fogging or ozone treatments to rid your home of the funky smell.
After a fire, you want to get everything back to normal as soon as possible. This means you need to clean your belongings. If the cleaning process takes longer than expected, you can also use content storage to get your dirty, smelly items out of the house until they're clean.
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Understanding Mold Growth in Commercial Property
Understanding mold in your commercial property is key
Upon noticing the smell or sight of black mold in your Boston, MA, business, you probably wonder what caused it to appear. Despite so many different varieties, molds have a single process of growing and spreading. Knowledge of how and why these fungi infest businesses teaches how to prevent them from taking over yours.
Knowing the Water Where Mold Often Grows
Mold needs time, temperature, food, and moisture to thrive. A moisture problem is often the cause of mold growth. Water that gets into building materials, utilities or flooring comes from plenty of sources:
• Burst or leaking pipe
• Flooding from nearby overflowing bodies of water
• Humid weather
• Broken supply line
• Defective sprinkler systems
• Clogged gutter drainage systems
• Defective HVAC systems accumulating condensation
Once identified, any broken utility or component should be fixed by an appropriate professional. This prevents additional water damage and the mold that comes with it.
Preventing Spores From Finding Ideal Conditions
Microscopic spores float through the air looking for a suitable place to settle. Even if the spores are floating in the air of a room, no mold species will grow without a place to settle that has food and water. The parasitic nature of black mold and other organisms means that they can be stopped from being a problem by denying environments they desire.
Treating the Mold That Grows
Proactive water cleanup can prevent the need for mold cleanup. Fixing any existing water damage stops the airborne mold from ever finding a place to survive inside your property.
Contacting a professional water cleanup crew with mold expertise is advised to make sure any water is completely removed with the power of their industrial-grade tools. Additionally, experts can find mold and water hiding in unnoticeable locations that most people miss. This prevents mold from quickly recolonizing.
Getting a Hold on Mold
Black mold may seem daunting at first, but prevention can make it seem like a nonissue. Even if mold does take advantage of a water accident at your property, there are ways to remove it without much hassle.
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Is Flood Water Safe To Remove After a Pipe Breaks?
Pipe Break causing a flood in this Boston home
When water floods your home, how do you know if it is safe to clean up on your own? This is the question thousands of homeowners ask themselves every year after waters spread their way across the floor of the property. To help answer the question, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification has categorized contaminated water levels into three degrees of danger.
When a water supply line breaks in the kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom, the resulting liquid spreading across the floor is considered “clean” or “white.” Category one water is generally deemed harmless to humans and can frequently be cleaned up by the homeowner if caught before the water level gets to more than an inch or two. Other examples of white water can include an overflowing bathtub or a broken faucet.
White water that sits for more than 24 hours can move into category two because it is then considered contaminated water. This type of liquid is often called “grey water” and is considered unsafe for humans or pets. Other ways white water can become contaminated include coming in contact with the following household items:
• Cleaning supplies
Because category two liquid is unsafe, it should be handled by a specially trained water restoration team.
Category three water is classified as grossly unsafe and extreme caution should be used when encountering the liquid. Often referred to as “black water,” this type of unclean water is often filled with fecal matter, dangerous chemicals, and toxic materials. Natural disasters, overflowing rivers, and broken sewers can flood your home with this unhealthy type of liquid. Because of the unique nature of the contaminants in black water, only trained professionals should remove this fluid from your home.
Flood waters can be frustrating to deal with, and the uncertainty of knowing what type of water you are standing in can be frightening. With the IICRC’s list, you can feel more secure in dealing with different types of contaminated water in Boston, MA.
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Your Guide to Bathroom Maintenance
Regular Maintenance for your commercial bathroom will reduce damages.
Whether you are dealing with a clogged toilet or a leaky faucet in your commercial building in Boston, MA, chances are you wouldn't mind some help keeping your bathroom in top shape. These seemingly minor bathroom problems can lead to overflow issues, water damage and messy spaces. You can work with a commercial water restoration team after your bathroom creates a watery mess, or you can use these tips to avoid the problem.
Employees and customers can throw the wrong thing down your toilets. When this happens, a blockage may create the perfect environment for toilet overflow. You can prevent this issue from happening by doing the following:
• Keep waste baskets in every stall.
• Offer a thin toilet paper.
• Request patrons throw paper towels and other non-toilet-friendly items in the trash through signage.
These simple steps may help you keep your toilets from getting blocked up.
A clogged toilet is not the only bathroom issue you need to be concerned with. Faucet leaks could be another problem. You can switch to automatic faucets to reduce the risk of people simply leaving the water running. Scheduling regular inspections and having a plumber on hand can help you fix actual leaks.
Another common problem in public bathrooms is mold growth, grime buildup and other unsavory cleanliness issues. If the toilet backups include sewage, you need to make sure your cleaning crew uses the proper solutions to rid the bathroom of the accompanying germs. Controlling moisture can help you avoid mold growth. If you notice a musty smell, you should try to call in a knowledgeable cleanup crew as soon as possible or the mold could spread.
The bathroom in your commercial building, whether open to employees or customers, may need some maintenance to keep it in working order. Many commercial restrooms have reoccurring issues with a clogged toilet, leaking pipes and dirt buildup, but yours doesn't have to.
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Is Storm Damage Tax Deductible?
Commercial Storm Damage
If your commercial property in Boston, MA has been damaged by a storm, you may want to know whether the cost of the damage is tax deductible. Unrecoverable losses caused by storms or natural disasters are usually deductible, as long as these damages are proven and will not be reimbursed by insurance. Here are three steps you can take to find out whether you can deduct the cost of storm damage from your tax bill.
1. Determine how much damage your insurance covers. If your business is insured, you can only deduct damage that exceeds your coverage or was not covered for other reasons. Owners of uninsured commercial property can deduct the total cost of storm damage. Consult IRS Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts, to read the rules for claiming these deductions.
2. Check to see if a storm or disaster is a Presidential Declared Disaster. If you are dealing with storm damage in a region that has been federally recognized as a disaster area, special filing options may apply to your situation. Check the IRS's list of tax relief in disaster situations to see if your locality is listed and find out about any assistance that is available.
3. Distinguish between actual property loss and deductible property loss. Actual property loss is your total loss as the owner of a commercial property. Deductible property loss is based on the current value of your property and factors in all reductions. If you are unsure about reductions involved in a commercial property, you should contact an accountant.
If you have unrecoverable storm damage at your commercial property in Boston, MA, you should see if you can deduct any damage from your tax bill. Tax deductions cannot overlap with covered losses, but these deductions can help to offset the cost of professional damage restoration if your property is uninsured or underinsured.
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The Invisible Impact of Smoke Damage
Smoke Damage can be visible on your commercial building after a fire breaks out close to your business
No property owner wants to experience a commercial building fire. The fire can be devastating, not only because of the damage the fire does but from the odor and discoloration the smoke leaves behind. Furthermore, while the building is closed, you can lose a great deal of money. However, before you hire a professional service in Boston, MA, to begin smoke cleaning, it can be important to understand exactly how the smoke damage can impact your building, your clients, and you.
Although smoke can often be seen during a fire, the damage causing the lingering smoke odor can often be a result of components that are not always visible. These can include:
• Invisible and toxic gasses can contaminate the air. These gases can include carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and phosgene. The gases can be a highly foul-smelling contribution to the smoke.
• Particles of carbon called soot can cover the floors and walls. The fragments can float long distances from the fire and be deposited in unusual areas such as the cracks of bricks or under the heads of nails.
• Vapors of poisonous smoke can look like mist. The gaseous droplets can be poisonous and can cover items in your building with contaminates.
Signs of smoke are often evident after a fire. Black stains covering the walls and ceiling of some rooms, soot covered floors, and an unpalatable odor are often visible signs of pollution left behind by the fire. But the acrid smell that lingers for weeks after a fire is often caused by a cloud of invisible particles left over from the flames. That is why smoke cleaning can be a tedious and unpleasant job.
Removing the smoke damage that can be seen may be easily done by a fire restoration and smoke cleaning team. On the other hand, removing the often acrid and unpleasant odor left behind can be difficult even when using scientific means. Sadly, the longer the odor lingers, the more difficult it can become to remove it completely.
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5 Things You Need to Know About Mold
Mold can grow and spread in your Boston home if moisture or water is present.
As a homeowner, you don't want to hear that there is black mold in your living space. The thought of mold growth may terrify you. It's true that this fungus can be a problem in Boston, MA, but the spores themselves really aren't that scary. If you talk to any residential mold professional, you'll learn a few important things about this growth.
1. It is everywhere. Mold already exists in your home. This doesn't mean you need to call in a remediation team right now, but it does mean that the spores naturally occur both indoors and outdoors. You can never have a mold-free house because the spores are always around.
2. It requires water. While the spores may be everywhere, mold cannot thrive in every location. Water is a key ingredient for mold survival. If you have been dealing with a moisture problem in your house, even just high humidity, you may be inviting colonies of mold.
3. It can travel easily. Part of the reason spores can be everywhere is because they travel through water, in the air and on humans and animals. You may introduce mold to your home without realizing that a few spores caught a ride on your shoes.
4. It may have a smell. Some molds, particularly black mold, are associated with a musty odor. This aroma may be what clues you in to your growth. However, this fungus can exist without a tell-tale smell.
5. It needs to be dealt with quickly. Because mold is everywhere and can spread easily, a mold cleanup crew should be called as soon as you suspect the growth is in your house. If not taken care of right away, it may spread to other rooms and the remediation process may grow.
Black mold is something that no one wants to find in their home, but sometimes it finds a way to show up. The more you know about mold the better prepared you will be to take care of the problem.
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5 Steps To Prepare Your Home for a Fire
House fire in Boston, MA
Most people take active measures to prevent house fires, but not many people have implemented fire preparation techniques. Yet, fire prep is just as important as fire prevention, and in fact may be more so when it comes to protecting your home and loved ones. If you have yet to implement fire safety procedures, it’s time to do so. Below are five things you can do to get started:
• Test your smoke alarms.
• Plan an evacuation route.
• Teach your children what to do in the event of a home fire.
• Devise a communication strategy.
Test Your Alarms
Though your smoke alarms should inform you when they’re low on batteries, it doesn’t hurt to check them periodically. Test them once a month, and to err on the side of caution, replace their batteries at least once a year.
Plan an Evacuation Route
This should be at the top of your fire preparation list. Identify all possible exits for each room in the home and make sure that each family member is aware of where those exits are. Designate a family meeting spot outside.
Teach Your Children
If you have young children, show them what the fire alarm sounds like and advise them on what to do if they hear one. Inform them of evacuation routes as well.
Plan a Way To Communicate
Put together an emergency contact list and make sure that all family members know who to contact if they cannot find one another. Have your young children memorize important phone numbers, beginning with 911.
The best way to ensure that all family members know what to do in the event of an emergency is to practice. Host a fire drill every couple of months and devise different scenarios. In doing so, you can increase the odds that everyone knows what to do and how to escape in a real emergency.
Your Boston, MA, fire remediation team or local fire department can review your fire preparation plan and provide additional tips for how to improve it. Don’t cut corners when it comes to fire safety and start planning today.
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