Types of Water Damage Coverage
More water damages are caused by broken pipes in South End, MA
How to Approach Damaged Pipes and Other Plumbing
Do you know when water damage to your business is covered by your existing insurance policy? Read on to better understand how to approach damaged pipes and other plumbing problems.
1. Floods or Leaks?
While most commercial insurance policies explicitly do not cover the sort of catastrophic flood event that results from extreme rainfall, tidal waves, or overflowing rivers, many other types of water damage are still covered by default plans. For example, leaking pipes and the damage they cause to the surrounding area are usually covered. As long as all issues are correctly documented and ascertained by your adjuster, your insurer will likely pay for a qualified professional water damage restoration service to bring your property back to its original condition.
2. Burden of Maintenance
However, under most default packages, your business damage will not be insured against flooding resulting from negligence. Broadly speaking, these cases usually come down to a lack of preventative maintenance. For example, if a few damaged pipes were noticeably leaking for more than a couple of weeks, it is no longer considered an unpreventable accident. In such cases, the business owner will be liable for all damages, since the flood did not result from a sudden event.
3. Other Exceptions
Coverage for fire suppression systems, such as water-based overhead sprinklers or powder-based devices, is usually more extensive than for the basic plumbing. This is because these systems are necessary for the buildings to be compliant with fire codes and because water does not move through these pipes regularly. While it is important to maintain your fire sprinklers in South End, MA, for safety and legal reasons, it is unlikely that you need an additional insurance coverage package to cover them. Mold damage resulting from moisture retained in the walls or floors is usually not covered, as this is a side effect from a more fundamental plumbing problem.
Don’t allow damaged pipes and other plumbing issues to linger and incur unnecessary costs. Prevent downtime by actively pursuing the appropriate maintenance remedies outlined above.
Choosing a Fire Restoration Company Like A Pro
Fire cleanup after SERVPRO of Boston Downtown/Back Bay/South Boston finished
Choosing the Right Fire Cleanup Firm
A fire can create endless headaches, but those can only worsen if the company you choose to handle your fire damage restoration isn’t on the level. Lack of experience or cutting corners can leave you with subpar repairs. Do you know what to look for? Here are a few tips for choosing the right fire cleanup firm in Seaport, MA.
In the wake of a fire, your property will likely face a myriad of cleanup needs you couldn’t have imagined. Some of the main things you’ll need after a commercial fire include:
- Dry cleaning
- Smoke cleanup
There are many more skills the ideal fire damage restoration firm should have in their pocket, but this is a good place to start. Once you find a company offering those basics, look for the following to make your final choice.
A company can make many promises on its website, but the proof is in the pudding and that means online reviews. Look for companies with a strong mix of good and moderate - all sparkling might not be entirely honest. What’s important is that they’re strongest at the things you need most.
Experience, Experience, Experience
Any handyman can take a stab at after-fire restoration, and lots of cleaning companies are getting into commercial fire damage. How do you know whom to trust? Look for a firm with at least a few years of experience. Now is not the time to take chances on novices who can worsen damages.
Fire damage can leave your commercial property closed for business, costing you profits. Physical damage, meanwhile, exposes your business to the risks of weather and even vandals. Choose a company that can get started on your restoration immediately.
The fire damage restoration company you choose can make a huge difference in your fiscal and even emotional recovery from a commercial fire. Follow these tips to make the best choice.
A Few Leading Fire Sources
Outdoor grills can be a cause of fire in your Back Bay, MA home
Leading Causes Of Fire Damage
Homeowners in Back Bay, MA, should be aware of a number of leading causes of fire damage. Understanding these statistics can help you prevent a home fire and make more informed decisions regarding your fire insurance policy.
1. Food Preparation
Cooking fires are the largest category of fires requiring a documented fire department response. Most of these involve a stove range of some kind, with electrical ranges being somewhat more dangerous than gas ranges on average. Outdoor grills also rank fairly high on the list of fire causes. Around a third of these cooking fires are the result of unattended flames or heating surfaces. Clothing ignition does not usually directly cause kitchen fires, but a fire that spreads to clothing has a strong correlation with personal injury.
2. Heating Systems
The second-most common category of home fire, at around 15% of total reported cases, involves heating elements. Many of these fires, around two-fifths, are due to smaller portable space heater units. The typical cause of a space heater fire is the proximity to combustibles such as upholstery or certain building materials. Another prominent issue is the lack of appropriate fire cleaning around fireplaces and chimneys, where certain flammable materials can build up over time.
3. Electrical Systems
Another leading cause of fire lies in the various faults that can appear in home wiring and related electrical systems. A majority of these occur either in lighting components or locations where electrical power is transferred, such as outlets or adapters. Homeowners should take special care to schedule an inspection for any exposed wiring or non-functional appliances, as these can lead to shorts that ignite surrounding flammable materials.
Even the most cautious homeowner can never completely eliminate the risk of a home fire. However, a little familiarity with some of the most common fire problems can help prevent injury and the need for professional fire restoration.
4 Techniques To Help Minimize Toilet Flooding
Clean your restroom in South Boston, MA regularly
How To Prevent a Clogged Toilet and Avoid Unhygienic Leaks
A messy sewage backup can be an unsightly and disgusting problem for any South Boston, MA, business to endure. In addition to sanitary concerns, an overflow can also cause significant water damage that may require extensive cleanup and restoration initiatives. Fortunately, there are several techniques every business owner can employ to help prevent a clogged toilet and avoid unhygienic leaks.
1. Clean Restrooms Regularly
To help maintain a sanitary environment, it’s important to regularly clean restrooms. An efficient cleaning regimen can also help you identify and address potentially problematic leaks and drainage problems. To help avert both bacterial contamination and water damage, you should promptly use a plunger on slow drains and complete necessary repairs without delay.
2. Complete Routine Inspections
Like many other fixtures inside your building, commode components can wear out over time, compromising the unit’s ability to function properly. Examining internal components during routine maintenance inspections can help you locate and repair defective parts before a toilet overflow occurs.
3. Avoid Using Drain Cleaners Inside Toilets
A plunger is the most efficient means to address a clogged toilet. Although drain cleaners may seem like an adequate alternative, these solutions can compound the dilemma by damaging aging pipes and plumbing fixtures. For this reason, you should not attempt to remedy drainage issues by pouring chemicals into your facility’s commodes.
4. Encourage Proper Trash Disposal
Clogs can arise if paper towels, diapers and feminine products are flushed. To help avoid this problem and encourage proper trash disposal, you should have waste receptacles readily accessible throughout the restroom. You can also post signs in every stall to remind everyone what items are acceptable to flush.
Sewage exposure is an unhygienic situation that should be promptly addressed. Taking a proactive approach can help every business owner safeguard their plumbing system, reduce the risk of a clogged toilet and maintain a clean restroom for their staff and customers.
3 Steps To Take When a Toilet Overflows
Sewage cleanup in a Boston,MA home
Three Steps to Limit Damage While Attempting to Clear the Drain Line
A flooded toilet is caused by a blockage in the drain line. Backups can result in sewer damage at a residence in Boston, MA. A homeowner can try plunging the toilet or using an auger or snake. If these consumer-grade tools do not eliminate the clog, the homeowner should contact a plumber. Follow these three steps to limit damage while attempting to clear the drain line.
1. Prevent Overflow From Spreading
As soon as the toilet begins to overflow, a homeowner should use towels or a mop to prevent water from spreading. This measure can reduce the extent of water damage. Water from a toilet backup is contaminated and may cause irreparable sewer damage to carpet or other porous materials. It will be necessary to dispose of cleanup materials.
2. Snake the Toilet or Floor Drain
Obtain an auger or snake designed for use in toilets. Some snakes are hand cranked, while others feature a power drill attachment. Run the snake down the toilet, or remove the toilet and insert the snake directly into the floor drain. Depending on the location of a clog, the snake should penetrate and either break up or extract the blockage.
3. Snake the Drain Cleanout
If the clog is located further down the line, a homeowner can try snaking the drain clean out. The clean out is a cap on the main line located in a basement or crawlspace. Use a long pipe wrench to remove the cap. This tool is required to provide the necessary torque. Backup may flow out once the cap has been removed.
If a toilet still floods after a homeowner has taken all of these steps, it will be necessary to contact a plumber. Depending on the severity of sewer damage, it may also be advisable to contact a sewage company that provides water damage mitigation and restoration in Boston, MA.
How To Keep Your Restaurant Kitchen Mold-Free
Install a ventilation system in your Waterfront, MA kitchen
Enjoying the fruits of your hard-earned labor through the success of your Waterfront,MA, restaurant is always a rewarding feeling. However, coming across mold growth in your commercial kitchen can bring that contentment to a halt very quickly. Thankfully, there are various methods for keeping your restaurant kitchen clean and consistently mold-free.
Focus Your Attention On the Food Itself
Though there are many possible avenues for mold growth to occur, one of the most common causes of mold is through the food you bring into your kitchen. It can materialize easily on such foods as:
- Cheeses and other dairy products
- Bread, and more
Therefore, it’s important to inspect your produce and other items before ever integrating them into your kitchen. Look for bruises, abrasions or already-apparent growths on your fruits and vegetables before purchasing. Check the expiration dates on packaged items and keep any open containers covered or sealed until use to prevent the onset of mold.
Keep a Reliable Ventilation System
Mold tends to emerge in areas that are dark, moist and generally untouched, meaning it can be hard to pinpoint the onset of mold until it’s too late. Help yourself and your kitchen crew by installing a ventilation system that reduces the high humidity in the kitchen, preventing potential mold from finding a suitable place to take root.
Remove and Restore Any Water Damage As It Occurs
Finding water damage in your restaurant would hardly be surprising, as running water is a consistent feature in any commercial kitchen with food prep spaces, dishwashing stations and more. For this reason, it’s important to always keep an eye out for continuously damp or wet areas that are the perfect breeding ground for mold. Hiring qualified mold remediation specialists to clear the area of any damage is key to a clean and healthy food prep environment.
When it comes to keeping the commercial kitchen of your Waterfront,MA, restaurant clean and mold-free, following these methods can help prevent any outbreak of unwanted mold growth and clear your kitchen for healthy food prep.
3 Things Not To Do After a Flood
Flooded home in Boston, MA
Avoid These Three Things
What you don't do after a flood can be as critical for your safety as the actions you take. It is important to remove flood water to limit water damage, but you should also avoid doing these three things after a flood in Boston,MA.
1. Risk Exposure to Tainted Water
Standing water resulting from a flood is considered Category Three water, or black water. It may contain contaminants such as chemicals, heavy metals, microbes, or solid waste. Keep unprotected skin from making contact with this infected water, and do not allow humans or animals to drink it.
If you attempt to mitigate damage in a flooded home, be sure to wear personal protective equipment, such as waterproof boots, hip waders, and heavy work gloves. If mold may be present, you should also wear a respirator.
2. Turn the Electricity On or Off
You may risk electrocution if you attempt to cross flood water to shut off a circuit breaker. There is no guarantee that water-damaged electrical components will function normally. Furthermore, neighbors may be running a generator improperly and back-feeding electricity into the grid.
A utility company technician or a licensed electrician can disconnect the electrical meter to ensure that there is no electrocution risk. You should also exercise caution when dealing with flood-damaged electronics, which are likely to short-circuit.
3. Delay Cleanup
The longer water is left standing or moisture lingers, the more likely mold growth will become. Mold can begin to grow in a flooded home in 24 to 72 hours. Contact a cleanup service to eliminate standing water.
Avoid unprotected exposure to flood water, the risk of electrocution, and the dangers of secondary damage. The best way to handle flood damage is to hire water damage mitigation and restoration specialists to clean, to disinfect, and to dry the flooded portion of your residence in Boston, MA.
Your Business’s Fire Exposure May Be Worse Than You Think
Fire break out in a Chinatown,MA building
No business owner wants to watch years of investment and effort go up in smoke. Still, fire damage in Chinatown, MA, is a somewhat common occurrence. If your business has gone through a fire, damage may be more extensive than you think.
Insurance May Not Cover All Damage
As a diligent business owner, you likely have insurance to protect your company from the effects of fires and other hazards. Unfortunately, following a fire, your insurance adjuster may inform you that your policy doesn’t cover certain types of fires. Commonly, fire policies exclude the following events:
- Arson-related fires
- Fires in vacant buildings
A Fire May Touch All Parts of Your Business
Fires can be unbelievably destructive. Once smoke clears and fire crews leave, you may notice damage to all parts of your business. Damaged structures may include office buildings, warehouses, storage facilities and distribution centers. Further, inventory, office supplies, computers and equipment may sustain fire damage as well.
Fire Containment Can Cause Additional Damage
The best way to limit damage during a business fire is to extinguish flames as quickly as possible. Still, fire mitigation often causes additional damage. As such, even if your business did not turn into a raging inferno, you may have to deal with the messes water, fire retardant and smoke leave behind. Fortunately, you probably don’t have to figure out cleanup on your own. A professional restoration technician from a reputable service likely has the equipment and knowledge to assess damage and recommend a restoration strategy.
While all fires are different, many in Chinatown, MA, have the potential to cause serious damage to your business. As a savvy entrepreneur, you spend a significant amount of time thinking of ways to attract new customers and improve your company’s products or services. Nonetheless, if you don’t have a plan for recovering from fire damage, you may be missing the mark.
What Sets Smart Smoke Detectors Apart?
Protect your South Boston, MA home with a smart smoke detector
Smart smoke detectors are a relatively new technology that can send push notifications to smartphones and may be controlled remotely. Find out how a next-generation smoke alarm can protect your home.
Smart Alarms Types
There are three types of smart fire safety devices:
- Smart batteries
- Smart detectors
Smart batteries can be used in standard battery-powered smoke detectors or as backups in hardwired units. Smart detectors may cover more square-footage than standard alarms and can be controlled remotely. Listeners send alerts when any alarm is triggered.
A smart battery is an affordable way to monitor your home while you are out. This technology functions like a nine-volt battery but has Wi-Fi connectivity to send notifications. You can silence battery-powered alarms remotely, but this function does not work for hardwired alarms with smart battery backups.
A smart smoke alarm also sends notifications, can be remotely controlled, and may be capable of monitoring more than one floor of your home. Some devices alert users to elevated carbon monoxide levels. Listeners send notifications whenever an alarm sounds in your home, though these devices are not capable of silencing alarms.
Smart Alarms Effectiveness
A single smart alarm may monitor an entire floor of your home, or more. If your home is spacious, you may want to just install a listener to notify you of any alarms.
Smart Detector Costs
Smart fire safety solutions are available in a wide price range:
- The initial smart battery unit retails for about $35 with $15 replacements once or twice a year
- Smart detectors start around $100
- Listeners range from $50 to $100
Consider a smart smoke alarm or smoke detector device to receive timely push notifications about alarms. All of these devices can increase overall safety at your residence in South Boston, MA. If a fire results in damage, rely on the expertise of damage restoration professionals.
How To Choose Flood Coverage for Your Business
Water extraction at a Back Bay,MA prison
The National Flood Insurance Program offers both building property and personal property flood coverage for businesses. If your business is located in an area prone to flooding, chances are that you are required to have some type of flood policy. Commercial insurance policies that are specifically designed to cover single-peril events provide protection that your general property insurance does not.
What It Covers
The main differences between building property and personal property flood insurance are the relative mobility and permanence of the damaged item or material. Items that are part of the structure or are hooked up to it in some way are usually covered under the building property policy:
- Building and its foundation
- HVAC system
- Plumbing and electrical systems
- Fire sprinkler system
- Installed design features such as carpeting or paneling
- Machinery that is a permanent part of the structure, such as a walk-in freezer
- Any apparatus attached to the outside of the building
Commercial insurance coverage for your personal property during a flood includes most items inside the structure. Furniture, appliances, rugs, inventory and equipment are typically covered under an NFIP policy through FEMA.
What It Doesn't Cover
Flood coverage is usually limited to a single event, the structure and the items within that structure. Secondary damage such as mold, which must be mitigated by mold remediation experts, is not covered under your company's flood policy. If the sewer backs up into your building, your commercial flood coverage does not pay for its cleanup, even if it was indirectly caused by flooding. Anything outside the building is not covered, and neither are the costs of keeping your business going. It's a good idea to talk to your insurance agent about adding policies that cover what the flood policies don't to your portfolio.
When your business in Back Bay, MA, floods due to a storm or natural disaster, you will be glad you have a policy with the NFIP. These commercial insurance policies are designed to help make your business whole again.