How Do Cities Prevent Floods?
No matter how big or small your city is, high water can present a problem
Flood Prevention Methods
No matter how big or small your city is, high water can present a problem. Fortunately, there are a variety of flood prevention methods that a city can take to stem the tide of stormwater. Here are four ways that cities and towns work to stop flooding.
1. Rooftop Gardens
Covering a building's roof in greenery has a variety of benefits when it comes to handling rainwater. The biggest advantage to going green on the roof, however, is that your rooftop vegetation can soak up said water, thereby reducing runoff and the possibility for floods. Plus, it looks wonderful.
Much like rooftop gardens, floodplains drink up excess stormwater. This can prevent the water from invading nearby towns, and the absorbed water can then be used to replenish the area's groundwater.
3. Permeable Grounds
Predictably, concrete does little to mitigate the effects of high water. Instead, the overflow runs directly into streets and sidewalks. Cities and towns can reduce flooding by replacing concrete paths and pavement with porous materials, such as grass and gardens, that will soak up stormwater instead of ushering it elsewhere where it can accumulate and cause problems.
4. Clean Sewers
Common sense would indicate that a clean sewer system works better than a dirty one. That's why one of the easiest flood prevention methods that a town can take is to maintain its sewers. Keeping these underground lines free from obstructions such as waste, tree roots, and debris ensures that they are better able to handle excessive water. Regular inspections can prevent rust and corrosion from debilitating sewer lines as well.
These are just some of the ways that cities and towns like Chinatown, MA, deal with high water. If you ever find yourself dealing with water damage of your own, trust your local water damage restoration company to get your commercial property back on its feet promptly.
5 Steps for Filing a Water Damage Claim
An insurance adjuster will come to your home and document the damage
5 Steps for Filing a Water Damage Claim
No matter the source, water in your North End, MA, home can cause quite a bit of costly damage. Because of this, it is important to start filing your insurance claim as quickly as possible. This will allow you to finish the process and receive the financial assistance you need sooner. Use the following steps to get through the situation smoothly.
1. Contact Your Insurance Agent
The first thing that you should do is to call your insurance company so that they can begin filing your claim right away. In some cases, waiting too long to contact the company can affect your insurance claim or cause it to be denied, so don’t hesitate to do this.
2. Document the Damage
While an insurance adjuster will come to look at your home, you don’t need to wait for them to arrive. Begin taking pictures of damaged areas of the building as well as affected belongings. You may want to make a list as well. The adjuster can use these as proof of damage.
3. Start Cleanup and Mitigation
Even if it is from a clean source like a pipe burst, the longer water sits in your home, the more damage it can cause. In order to reduce the cost and time of repairs, you can start removing water from the building so that it can begin to dry. Set aside damaged items as well.
4. Review Your Policy
Because all policies are not exactly the same, it is important to know what is covered in yours. Some causes of damage, such as a flood, may not be included. Look over the details so that you know what to expect and what is expected of you during the claims process.
5. Prepare Necessary Forms
Once the insurance company has sent you the required forms, you should fill them out as soon as possible. This way, they will have everything they need to finish filing your claim.
If your home has been damaged, a cleanup and restoration company can return it to its previous condition. Filing your insurance claim quickly can help you cover the costs.
When Is a Home Fire Not Covered by Insurance?
House on fire in South End, MA
Two Conditions A Home Fire is Not Covered by Insurance
Most home insurance policies cover fire, as well as other common causes of damage, such as theft or various weather events. There are two conditions under which a home fire is virtually never covered, however:
1. When It's Set on Purpose
Arson is when a fire is deliberately set with the goal of causing destruction. It happens for a variety of reasons, but one of the most common reasons why a homeowner might choose to set his or her own home ablaze is to scoop up the insurance money.
Predictably, insurance providers are prepared for this. If a fire results in a claim, the insurance company will dispatch a team of investigators to examine the damage and pinpoint the cause of the fire. If their assessment is that arson was the cause, the home fire will not be covered by the homeowner's policy.
2. When Nobody Lives There
A vacant home fire is not covered by insurance providers, either. While the definition of "vacant" may vary from insurance company to insurance company, generally speaking, if nobody has lived there for 30 consecutive days, a home is considered vacant. It's up to the insurance company to prove vacancy in order to deny a claim.
It's important to note that a vacant home, in terms of the denial of insurance coverage, is different than a seasonal home, such as a summer lake house or a winter cottage. If you own property that isn't occupied year-round, most insurance companies that offer homeowners policies also offer vacant home insurance that safeguards your home through those months when nobody's there. This type of policy usually covers vandalism, theft, fire, and weather-related issues, such as those involving hail or wind damage.
No one expects a home fire. Fortunately, if one does occur at your South End, MA, residence, it is most likely covered by your insurance policy. Working with your insurance company, as well as trusted fire damage restoration professionals, you can promptly return your home to its pre-fire condition.
Understanding Clean Water Damage
Bursting pipe in Financial District, MA
Business owners in Financial District, MA, know that anything can happen. While big events like flooding or storms are often the main culprits of water damage, it’s often the smaller culprits that go unnoticed. Luckily, when the damage isn’t from a big event, a business owner is faced with clean water instead of contaminated water.
Category 1 Water Damage
Water damage categorized into clean, gray and black. Clean water comes directly from a clean source, which means its not harmful. Potential causes of this category of leak may include:
- A cracked or broken water supply line: broken pipe
- Sink or tub overflow
- Ice or snow melt
- Rain water
- Toilet tank overflow
- Non-chemical treated toilet bowl overflow
When the mess is from these, cleanup is easy. For the other two categories, it is best to call a professional. Category 2, gray water, comes from appliances or other sources that may contain chemicals or some contaminants. Category 3, black water, should always be addressed by an expert. Often the result of flooding or sewer backups, this water has potentially harmful bacteria and debris.
Address Water Problems Right Away
Although clean water is safe to cleanup, avoiding the task could change all of that. The two main reasons to immediately address any water issue are spreading damage and mold. Both water and mold love porous materials. Sitting water will begin to work its way up and behind walls, as well as under carpeting, tiling and other flooring. If there is a continuous leak, that water will begin to cause extensive damage that will be expensive to fix. Alongside the damage, one can expect mold to begin forming. It loves the water and humid conditions, and it can quickly spread to other areas of your business.
If a pipe breaks, you can feel at ease knowing that the water you have to deal with is safe. Even so, to keep your business operating, it’s best to fix the smallest problem before it becomes a big one.
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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3 Things Homeowners Should Know About Mold in Crawlspaces
Checking for mold in a crawlspace
Issues That Could Affect Your Home's Crawlspace
Many people don't often think about the spaces under their homes in Seaport, MA. However, just because you may not think about the spaces under your home doesn't mean problems may not occur there. As a homeowner, it can be wise to know what common issues, such as mold growth, could be affecting your home's crawlspace.
1. The Areas Under Homes Are Frequently the First to Acquire Water or Mold Damage
When flooding occurs, areas closest to the ground are most likely to sustain damage first. As a result, mold growth is likely to appear in areas under your home. However, other issues can also encourage mold growth under your home. Rain spouts that aren't diverted in a direction away from your home can cause water to build up under your house, and pipe leaks are another common cause of damage.
2. The Damage May Go Unnoticed
Many homeowners avoid going under their homes when possible, and since your crawlspace is not easily visible, the area may sustain damage without you noticing. Though you are likely to notice if a flood has affected the structure of your house, a slow pipe leak can result in equal amounts of damage. Keeping track of your water bills and looking out for unexplained increases in cost can help you to notice a leak before it's too late.
3. Media Blasting Can Be Beneficial
If the underside of your home has been affected by mold, restoration and sanitization can be difficult. However, mold remediation experts often use a method known as media blasting when removing mold from small spaces underneath houses. As the name suggests, media blasting entails blasting baking soda onto moldy surfaces. Then, specialized vacuums help to contain any remaining mold spores.
It's often useful to know about issues that could affect your home's crawlspace, as well as solutions that can fix common problems. Knowing that areas under your home are prone to damage, that problems can often go unnoticed and the benefits of media blasting can help you better prepare for any potential issues under your home.
What To Do if Your Home Has Been Damaged in a Storm
Hire a restoration company in the South Boston, MA area
For many homeowners in South Boston, MA, severe storms can be a hassle. They can cause damage to your house that might take a lot of time and money to repair. In some cases, you might not know how to proceed if your house has been affected. Use the following storm tips to get your home back in top shape more quickly.
1. Contact Your Insurance Company
If you have experienced storm damage to your home, one of the first things that you should do is call your insurance agent. The claims process can be lengthy, so it’s better to get started sooner rather than later. Many policies have a cut-off for filing a claim as well, so if you wait too long, you might be denied.
2. Hire a Restoration Company
Something else that you should do quickly is to hire an emergency cleanup and restoration company to begin repairs on your home. When damage is left to sit, it can become worse. This will make it more difficult, time-consuming and costly to repair.
3. Document the Affected Areas
While you are waiting for your insurance adjuster to arrive, you can begin documenting the storm damage in your home. Check the house thoroughly and write down everything that has been damaged. You can give this list to your adjuster to help with the claims process. You should take pictures of everything since the insurance company will need evidence of the damage.
4. Prevent Damage From Worsening
One of the most important storm tips to remember is mitigation. This step is necessary to keep damage at a minimum. In some cases, if this is not done, your insurance claim can be denied. It can also increase the amount of time needed for repairs. Board up affected areas to keep water from spreading, and move items to a dry location.
After your home has been damaged, it can be difficult to keep your thoughts organized. You might have a lot of concerns and frustrations. However, keeping these storm tips in mind can help you get through the situation more calmly.
Water-Based Secondary Damage to the Home
Replacing floor after water damage in Back Bay, MA
When water finds its way into your Back Bay, MA home, the damage can persist well after the area has dried. Known as secondary damage, rooms, walls, furniture, and other items that have not been properly dried and dehumidified can suffer from black mold and other issues that may begin to damage other areas of the home if left unchecked. As such, it is imperative to quickly and efficiently remove the water, dry and dehumidify the area, and closely inspect the area for mold growth.
Understanding Mold Growth
Oftentimes, damage to the home from water, stemming from storms, leaks, or other water-related issues, is not as devastating as the secondary damage that comes after the puddles have dried. Black mold forms quickly if given the right environment, and once it forms, it can spread quickly. Some of these factors include:
- Porous material: The wood, insulation, drywall, flooring, and furniture in a home are very absorbent and trap water when not properly and thoroughly dried
- High humidity: Warm, humid days are a veritable breeding ground for mold growth because the moisture level in the air prevents porous areas from fully drying
- Ventilation: When battling against porous material during a humid time period, proper ventilation is imperative to preventing mold growth
- Time: Swift action must be taken after storms and leaks to dry and ventilate the home, as mold will begin to form and spread in a matter of days
Dangers of Mold
Mold is more than an unsightly inconvenience. As a living organism, black mold has the ability to spread throughout the home quickly, even in areas that were untouched by the original water damage. Mold attaches itself to all types of materials, including walls, floors, and support beams, and begins to eat away at these areas. As such, the overall integrity of your home can be damaged in a matter of days. Swift action, close inspection, and thorough remediation are the best ways to protect your home from further damage after a water leak or flood.
5 Easy Steps To Ensure Your Commercial Building Is Prepared for the Next Storm
Exterior of a building in Boston, MA
5 Steps To Help Your Business Handle Even The Worst Storms
When a storm rolls into Boston, MA, will your building be able to withstand Mother Nature? Being prepared with exterior maintenance in advance is a good way to ensure you will be ready for the unexpected. Here are five steps to help your business handle even the worst storms:
1. Know What You Are Up Against
Know the types of storms that are likely to affect your building. The more informed you are about the typical meteorological conditions you can expect to see in your geographical area, the better you can tailor your building’s exterior maintenance to withstand damage caused by those conditions.
2. Conduct A Building Inspection
Once you have a better understanding of what kind of climate to expect, it is time to assess your building exterior and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. Focus especially on the integrity of your windows and doors, as these can be vulnerable to damage. Ensuring drainage pipes, gutters and other channels for storm water are clear can help greatly to reduce flooding.
3. Fix Your Flaws
After you’ve taken a good look at your facility, focus on reinforcing and strengthening the exterior. Keeping your building maintained will go a long way towards curtailing damage sustained during a storm. It is a good idea to consult a professional with storm damage expertise to ensure all your bases have been covered.
4. Prepare Your Strategy
Having an emergency plan in place for when disaster strikes takes the guesswork out of handling these stressful scenarios. In addition, having a detailed exterior maintenance plan can help ensure your facility is strong once a storm hits.
5. Stay Alert
You now have a solid plan in place, and your building has been reinforced in preparation for the worst. Keep alert for signs of storms and other bad weather so you can act immediately at the first signs of danger.
Keeping your building maintained means you have taken thorough measures to mitigate damage caused by storms and flooding. Be prepared, stay watchful, and rest assured knowing that you have taken the appropriate precautions.
First 3 Steps To Take After a Fire
Board up building after fire in Theatre District, MA
3 Main Things To Focus On After A Fire
If a fire breaks out in your commercial building in Theatre District, MA, you may be overwhelmed by the number of items that are suddenly on your to-do list. Keep in mind, however, that most of the things that need to be done are the job of the fire restoration team. There are three main things you need to focus on after the fire has been put out.
1. Make Vital Calls
Your fire insurance company needs to know what happened to your building. Give your agent a call so an adjuster can come out and survey the fire damage. You also need to call restoration experts to start the cleanup process. They often arrive only a few hours after you call, and they can help you with your insurance claim by providing an estimate of the repair costs.
2. Leave Everything Alone
It can be difficult to see your property with fire and water damage and do nothing, but that's exactly what you need to do. Fire restoration professionals have the training needed to address the damage safely and correctly. If you try to do it on your own, you may put yourself in danger or make the problem worse.
3. Secure Your Building
A fire can leave your building vulnerable. Windows are likely broken and your roof has probably sustained fire and smoke damage. It's important to secure your building during the smoke cleaning process. Make sure to ask for board up services when technicians arrive. They can cover broken windows and put tarps on your roof to keep out rain, debris, animals and looters.
Fire restoration duties fall mainly under the purview of the experts, but as the building's owner, there are a few things you can do to make the process go more smoothly. With timely reporting and responsible treatment, you can expect a faster resolution to your fire damage problem.