What Does a Commercial Property Insurance Policy Cover?
Commercial storm damage in Vancouver, WA
What Does Commercial Insurance Cover?
Whether your business is big or small, new or old, property insurance is something you need. Despite how far reaching these policies are, there are important things that they don’t cover. Do you know the difference? Learn more about what commercial insurance can cover and how it benefits your Vancouver, WA, business.
Commercial policies are known for covering your building and all its contents, as well as things immediately outside of it. That list is long and can include:
But for all the things they do cover, these policies have many things they don’t cover. Knowing what those are can be important to avoiding complications following a disaster.
Some commercial insurance policies limit coverage of damage caused by things like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods. Policies that do provide such coverage may have limitations, such as not covering outdoor property such as company vehicles or fences. It’s generally worthwhile to check your policy if you’re in a weather disaster-prone area.
Commercial property insurance typically is meant to float a company through a great loss, natural or manmade. But that doesn’t always mean it will cover the costs of cleaning, rebuilding, repairing, and such following the loss. Discuss what is covered and isn’t with regards to mitigation and remediation well in advance of a disaster so you don’t get a rude awakening.
Most policies limit their coverage to items inside the building, but some will cover property up to a certain distance away. This can be critical when it comes to damage of satellite dishes, fences, signs and other outdoor property.
Bills from fire damage or another business catastrophe can be enough to send a commercial property under. But the story doesn’t have to end that way. Learn the ins and outs of commercial insurance policies, and you’ll know what to look for to protect your business.
4 Tips for Preparing Your Building for Spring
Many commercial building owners think that just because temperatures outside get warmer, the potential hazards of winter pass. A spring thaw can easily cause flooding in your building in Fishers Landing East, WA, however, if you are not prepared. Make sure your building is ready from the bottom to the top for those April showers.
1. Basement Preparation
The basement or lowest floor of your building is susceptible to a spring flood as soon as winter snow and ice start melting. In addition to taking the appropriate measures to keep water out, such as having your foundation inspected, you should also complete and check the following items off your list:
• Purchase an automatic sump pump
• Install flood sensors
• Elevate sensitive machinery off the floor
2. Plumbing Protection
A frozen pipe can burst even when it starts warming back up. If the temperature change is too sudden, the pipes may not be able to withstand the contrast. Keep the thermostat in your building set to at least 55 degrees all the time so that your pipes are still kept safe overnight.
3. Roof Inspection
The beginning of spring is a great time to have your roof professionally inspected. Contractors can identify damage and other weak spots, and water restoration specialists can remediate any flooding that occurred during the winter.
4. Drainage Clearing
Falling leaves and twigs that get blown into gutter and downspouts during the winter need to be cleared out before spring rains begin. When a spout is clogged, rain must find another path off the building, and it is usually not the path you would prefer. Clean your drainage system completely so that rainwater has somewhere to go.
When you see ice and snow melting, you know it’s time to prepare your building for warmer weather. Following these tips can help ensure a smooth transition from winter to spring and keep your building from flooding.
Holiday Home Maintenance: Water Heater Flush
Check your water heater in Vancouver, WA
Prepare for holiday guests by making sure your water heater is working its best. If you are hosting some out-of-town guests at your home in Vancouver, WA, you are probably busy making sure your guests will feel welcome and comfortable. A lot of additional demand will be placed on your hot water tank this holiday season, so here is a brief guide that will help you be ready. This is an easy way to ensure holiday memories aren’t tarnished with cold showers and house floods.
Quick Guide for a Water Heater Flush
- Turn off electricity by finding the designated switch in the breaker box.
- Connect a hose and open the drain valve.
- Turn off the water supply.
- Refill the tank.
- Turn on power.
Because the water is very hot, be sure to use caution. Make sure you don’t touch the draining water and protect your hands by wearing gloves when handling the hose.
Read These Tips Before You Start
While the steps are simple, there are a couple of tricks that will help you after you start draining the water heater. First, make sure the pressure release valve is open. This is located on top of the tank. Close this valve again when you are ready to refill the tank.
Second, turn on the hot water at your kitchen faucet. This creates some air that will help with draining the tank. Don’t turn the faucet off until you have finished refilling the tank. The water at your kitchen faucet will start flowing normally again when the tank is full.
Ensure a Smooth Holiday
Low water pressure or a flood from an eroded water tank can interrupt your holiday and leave you unable to give house guests what they need. Prevent water heater problems by doing maintenance once a year. If you haven’t flushed your tank in a long time, do it now! Flood damage restoration is probably not something you want to do during the holidays, but thankfully there are experts available if you do have an emergency.
The Problem of Water After a House Fire
House fire in Camas,WA
You may be surprised to learn that some of the most frustrating fire damage has to do with water. After the flames are gone and the smoke has settled, you may still have plenty of water damage to deal with. As you consider the odors, the soot, the damaged furnishings, burned structures, and soaking rooms, the whole situation can seem insurmountable. A clear solution to this problem is hiring restoration professionals.
Why Water's a Problem
How does water cause damage after a fire?
- Water from the fire hose collects as it puts out flames.
- Powerful sprays of water or foam move items around.
- Pipes burst due to extreme temperatures.
- Openings in the roof or walls allow rain and snow into the home.
- Sitting water and hidden moisture can lead to mold.
As surprising as it may be, water damage is one of the biggest issues you'll face after a fire.
Your First Steps After Fire
The first few hours after the fire are the most important. As soon as you can, contact your insurance company. During this call, you can find out what your policy covers, and you may get recommendations concerning water and fire damage professionals in Camas, WA. When you have the go-ahead from the fire department, collect important paperwork, receipts, and any necessary items that haven't been too impacted by the fire.
Involve Professionals in the Recovery
Next, you should contact the fire and water damage remediation company. These professionals know which inspections must be completed and can make sure that repairs are completed in compliance with local and national regulations. They also have specialized training and equipment to deal with both damages from the fire, water, and smoke.
As you put plans into place for recovering from fire damage, don't forget to make plans for water damage as well. Take time to choose a company that understands the potential for all types of damage after a fire.
Why Does Mold Keep Growing In the Same Place?
Mold remediation in Cascade Place,WA
Mold mitigation is intended to get rid of active growth and reduce spore levels to prevent mold from reforming. If mold returns in the same place, the underlying cause has not been resolved. It is necessary to address the factors that lead to mold growth.
Moisture Remains Available
Mold will regrow in the same place if sufficient levels of moisture are present. Some of the most common recurring or persistent causes of excessive moisture include:
- High humidity levels
- Poor ventilation
- Leaky pipes or roofing
- Water damage
It may be necessary to take measures to seal the building envelope to keep out moisture. You may also want to use a dehumidifier to lower the level of ambient moisture in the air.
Nutriment Remains Available
Mold also requires a food source in order to thrive. This nutriment often comes in the form of cellulose. These plant fibers are found in:
If a porous material has been exposed to mold, it will probably need to be torn out and replaced. Cleaning mold growth off of a porous surface will not eliminate the underlying structure of colonies, and they may reemerge if favorable conditions persist.
Conditions Are Still Suitable
It may be necessary to take several measures to prevent mold from returning. In addition to getting rid of moisture and food sources, you may also need to:
- Tear out and replace porous materials
- Reduce humidity
- Increase air circulation
- Regularly clean the area
- Use mold prevention treatments
These are several reasons why mold may grow in the same place and ways to stop regrowth. If you have already gone through mold mitigation at a commercial property in Cascade Place, WA, contact the service to report that mold growth has resumed. You may want to schedule an inspection with another full-service company that specializes in mold mitigation and water damage restoration.
4 Forms of Damage Your Business May Sustain During a Fire
Commercia storm damage in Camas,WA
Different Forms of Damage a Fire Can Cause to Your Building
A fire can be a devastating disaster for any business in Camas, WA. The extent of fire damage may depend on a variety of factors, including the size of the blaze and how quickly it is extinguished. Large infernos can cause significant destruction that may interrupt normal business operations. To complicate matters, a fire can cause several different forms of damage within your building.
1. Burned Objects
The most obvious form of destruction may be charred and incinerated objects. Office equipment, furniture, walls and flooring frequently suffer extensive harm during a business fire.
2. Soot Damage
Items not consumed by the blaze may be covered in soot. Fine soot particles can also infiltrate electronic devices and damage circuits and other sensitive internal components.
3. Lingering Smoke Odor
In addition to direct fire damage and soot residue, an obnoxious smoke odor may linger for an extended period. The smell may be challenging to eliminate because smoke particles often cling to upholstered furniture and settle inside small areas inside your office space, including HVAC ducts.
4. Water Damage
Water may be another culprit of damage. If the blaze is small and quickly contained, problems from water may be confined to the area where fire sprinklers activated to help douse the flames. If, on the other hand, extinguishing a fire requires the assistance of firefighters and a fire hose, your building may experience significant water destruction.
Specific forms of damage may include saturated flooring and drywall as well as soaked electronic equipment and documents. Water saturation can also introduce hazards, including the risk of electric shock and potential mold contamination.
A commercial fire can result in multiple forms of damage. Depending on the amount of destruction, your building may require extensive fire damage cleanup and restoration initiatives. Although no business is immune from a fire threat, recognizing the various forms of destruction that can occur may help you better prepare for a potential blaze.
How To Mitigate Mold After Flooding
Mold remediation in a Cascade Place, WA home
Mold may start to grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours immediately following a flood. If your home experiences flooding, you should get rid of standing water, clean, disinfect, and dry the affected area as soon as possible. The following measures may prevent or limit the severity of mold growth.
Eliminate Flood Water
The faster you get flood water out of your home, the less likely mold spores will be to multiply. There are several ways to make your home less inviting for mold:
- Pump out remaining water
- Tear out porous contents and building materials
- Use a wet vac to get rid of any puddles
Once all of the flood water is gone, it is time to clean and disinfect the affected area.
Clean and Disinfect
Flood water is classified as Category Three black water. This means that standing water may contain
- Heavy metals
For this reason, it is necessary to disinfect all surfaces and contents exposed to flood water. Mold also flourishes in undisturbed locations. Cleaning surfaces and eliminating porous contents that cannot be thoroughly cleaned, such as carpet or drywall, will make mold growth less likely.
Dry the Area
The more you can lower moisture levels following a flood, the less likely mold will be to grow. For this reason, homeowners or restoration experts should use equipment such as commercial- or industrial-grade
- Air movers
All of these appliances help to speed up drying. Dehumidifiers are particularly useful for maintaining low moisture levels in the air and drawing dampness out of semi-porous surfaces.
Removing water, cleaning and disinfecting, and drying are all ways to reduce the risk of mold growth. For the fastest mitigation process and less of an opportunity for mold to develop, rely on the professional equipment and extensive experience of residential water and storm damage specialists in Cascade Place,WA.
3 Lint Cleaning Techniques for Preventing a Dryer Fire
Protecting your Orchards, WA, home from fires can keep your family and investment safe. Homes fires can have many sources; however, clothes dryers are often the culprit. Lint and dust collect in several parts of the unit and increase the risk of a blaze that could spread quickly. You can lower the risk of a lint fire by using a few daily and weekly cleaning strategies, and most are simple to perform.
1. Clean the Lint Screen and Trap Area
Lint can gather in the dryer’s screen and down in the trap where the filter sits. This could cause a dryer fire because the accumulated lint might be difficult to see, even when the screen is removed. To clean this area, pull the screen out, remove the excess lint and then rinse the part with water. Next, use a slim vacuum attachment to clean the empty trap. Remember to dispose of all the lint carefully.
2. Vacuum Around the Dryer Weekly
Lint and dust can gather behind and under your dryer, increasing the odds of a lint fire. This can be especially dangerous if you have a large family with multiple individuals doing laundry throughout the week. However, you can keep the area clean with weekly vacuuming, which can be especially important if your dryer does not sit flush to the floor.
3. Clean the Exhaust Hose
Cleaning out your dryer’s exhaust hose can keep the unit functioning efficiently and prevent fire damage that could spread to other rooms. Before you begin, unplug the dryer to prevent the risk of electric shock. Vacuum the inside of the hose and use a hook tool to ensure it is completely empty of lint before you reattach it. You can ask a fire damage and restoration service to inspect your dryer if you are unsure about whether your cleaning techniques are effective.
A lint fire can devastate your Orchards,WA, home. Knowing how to maintain your dryer can reduce the risk and may even extend the life of the unit.
Weather and Your Business: Understanding that Flooding May Be the Least of Your Concerns
Water damage in a correctional facility in Camas,WA
Many building owners worry about flood damage, but a flood is not the only problem caused by storms. Storms produce a variety of elements that can be equally unfavorable to a property, and as a property owner or manager, you may want to be aware of each.
1. Water Damage
Floodwaters are only one type of water damage, and it is not the most common. Most damage stems from persistent leaks or holes in your roofline. These issues cause significant loss to occur over time. Leaks can cause sagging of ceilings, rotting out of joists, and even the spread of molds and mildews. Additionally, while not necessarily storm-related, persistent leaks from pipes can cause the pipe to corrode and fail, resulting in a flood.
2. Hail Damage
While flood damage can be a threat, hail damage may pose a more imminent concern. Hail occurs when temperatures allow for rain to develop into large chunks of ice, sometimes resulting in baseball size masses. These pieces of ice can cause significant property damage, from broken windows to holes in your roofline. Inspecting your property after a hail storm should be a top priority.
3. Wind Damage
The most common cause of storm damage is the wind. Wind damage can peel back siding and roofing shingles, and it can launch random debris, like sticks and lawn ornament, making them volatile projectiles. In high wind situations, property managers should keep employees and clients clear of windows.
4. Renovating the Damage
It may be wise for property owners to plan ahead. Some restoration companies in Camas, WA, provide an emergency planning service for businesses. This service may include an initial analysis of your property and a customized plan for restoration and recovery in the event of a disaster.
Flood damage may be a concern as a property owner or manager, but storms can produce hail and high winds that can be equally damaging to property. Granted, water damage is the most common cause of property damage, but even that is not only caused by flooding.
Fixing a Basement Flood in 3 Steps
Flooded basement in Vancouver,WA
Sometimes you do all the right things to prevent a flooded basement, but it still happens. This is often due to extreme weather or a mechanical failure with the sump pump. Basement flooding is a big job that needs your immediate attention. Though it is a lot of work, it comes down to three key steps:
1. Be safe
Electrical shock is the biggest, most immediate risk to your health when you have a basement flood. Once water is in contact with live electricity, you cannot enter or even touch the water. Be sure to have the electricity (and gas) to your property turned off if the water in your basement is high enough to reach electrical outlets or other appliances.
2. Remove water
Once the electricity to your property is turned off, you need to remove all the water from the basement flood. It’s ideal to have the water pumped, so the job can be done as quickly as possible. If you are waiting for professional help to arrive, go ahead and use any resource you can to start water removal. Materials begin to break down quickly in water, and mold can even start developing in the first 24 to 48 hours.
3. Clean and restore
Building materials that are below the flood line are going to need to be removed and replaced. This may include subflooring, carpet pads, and wallboard. Electrical outlets and wiring that have been submerged should also be replaced. Carpet damaged from a basement flood of Category 1 water may be saved and dried outdoors. Wallboard above the flood line may also be saved.
Don’t assume flood damage in Vancouver, WA, is included under your insurance coverage. Water damage is a complicated claim, and it’s typically not covered if the damage is from a weather-related event. Sudden and unexpected floods from pipe or line failures are typically covered; however, not if the damage is due to the neglect of a leaky pipe that had been ignored.