How to Prepare for an Adjuster’s Visit After Water Damage
Water damage in a utility closet in New Orleans,LA
Returning your home in New Orleans,LA to its previous state after it has sustained water damage can seem overwhelming. In order to replace and repair damaged items and parts of your home, a home adjuster will need to make an assessment to verify what has been damaged. There are several steps you can take to make an adjuster’s visit easier.
1. Speak with Your Insurance Company
In order to have an adjuster come to your home, you must first inform your insurance company of the damage that has occurred. Your company can advise you what type of insurance you have and what sort of damage is covered under your policy. Additionally, speaking with your insurance company will give you the chance to ask questions you may have about deadlines to file a claim and what to do next.
2. Complete and Compile Paperwork
To make an insurance claim, there are various documents that must be completed. Although every company will have different forms that must be filled out, you will need to have a list of what has been damaged in your home. If your home is structurally damaged, ask contractors to assess the damage and provide you with an estimated cost to fix the damage. Any documentation you can provide to your insurance will help you be properly reimbursed.
3. Make Needed Repairs
If there are repairs that truly need to be made to your home immediately, you don’t have to wait for an adjuster to arrive before making the necessary repairs. Instead, make sure you have thoroughly documented the damage prior to starting the restoration process. Without spending excessively or fixing superficial issues, make the repairs that will keep your home safe.
After your home has been damaged by water, it’s important to appropriately prepare for a home adjuster to visit. While preparing for an adjuster, make sure to contact professionals in water cleanup in order to restore your home.
Spring Brings Thaw, Rain and Water Damage
Water mitigation equipment in Mcdonoghville, LA
Water mitigation specialists in Mcdonoghville, LA, have learned that they are in high demand during a spring thaw. This is due to multiple weather-related problems that come about at this time and impact plumbing systems in a negative way, causing leaking and flooding. Here is a look at some common spring water problems and what you can do to prevent them from being huge disasters:
1. Pipe failures
A frozen pipe can crack or burst, and the low temperatures may make the damage go unnoticed until the thaw. Prevent problems a season ahead of time by doing proper winter readiness. This involves shutting off water to outside faucets. Also, increase inspections of pipes in your building as spring begins, so you can look for signs of leaks and catch problems before they become major flooding.
2. Basement floods.
When the ground is still frozen and the rains start falling, storm water can’t percolate down to the water table as usual. This leads to a lot of basement flooding. While you can’t prevent rain or a spring flood, you can make sure your building’s drainage system and sump pump are in good working order. Test your pump before the spring rains start coming.
3. Roof leaks.
Water that gets trapped on your roof will go through a cycle of thaw and refreeze, causing a large problem that can’t drain and leads to leaks and structure damage. Before winter, make sure to have your roof drainage system inspected and cleaned, including gutters and downspouts.
If you do encounter an unfortunate spring flood or have a burst pipe that causes damage in your building, you can make your life easier by relying on a professional water mitigation company to handle all aspects of the damage. Professionals help you recover more quickly by providing the right experience and equipment to get the job done efficiently, enabling you to get back to business sooner.
Understand and Prevent Bathroom Mold
Wall affected by mold in New Orleans, LA
Like it or not, drifting mold spores are all around you in New Orleans, LA. The damp, humid environment of your bathroom practically sends out a personalized invitation to the spores. Once it starts to grow, you notice unsightly black spots on your grout, walls or ceiling. If you have water damage in your bathroom, the mold growth may be faster and more significant.
Mold Prevention Techniques
Mold spreads at an alarming rate. Preventing spores from attaching in the first place is your best line of defense.
- Stagnant, humid air encourages mold growth.
- Use proper ventilation and air circulation in the bathroom as a preventative measure.
- Consider using a dehumidifier or a small air conditioning window unit.
Some easy ways to increase air movement are running the exhaust fan or opening a window during and after a shower. Constant moisture on surfaces is an ideal breeding ground for mold. If you have ongoing water damage in the bathroom, such as a leaking toilet or pipe, address the problem immediately. Reduce the amount of moisture on shower walls by wiping the interior with a dry towel or squeegee after use. For shower curtains, use a liner that is mildew resistant, and wash or replace the liner at the first sign of a problem. Replace caulk when moisture becomes trapped inside.
Mold Remediation Steps
When preventative methods do not work, take steps to remediate the problem. For mildew on shower grout, clean the area with a household cleaner, vinegar solution or bleach. Do not attempt to clean mold that is extensive or has spread to the drywall, ceiling or other parts of the bathroom. Oftentimes in these instances there is more mold than is visible. Mold remediation experts use specialized equipment and containment procedures to safely remediate and restore the space.
Water damage, excessive moisture and lack of ventilation all create the perfect environment for bathroom mold at your home in New Orleans, LA. Take preventative steps in your bathroom so that mold does not form. If you already have mold, immediately take measures to eliminate the problem.
Common Causes of Sewage Backup
Flooded basement in Terrytown, LA
A flooded basement is an unpleasant mess for any homeowner, especially if the culprit is a sewage backup. Understanding the common causes of this issue can help you take proactive steps to avoid the disaster in your Terrytown,LA, home.
A Clogged Line
A clogged sewer or water line can result in significant flooding, and there are several situations that can cause a clog:
- Grease buildup along the pipe’s surface
- Tree root infiltration
- Broken or damaged pipes
- The presence of debris including paper towels, disposable wipes and feminine hygiene products
To reduce the risks of your basement flooding and pipes backing up, you can take the following initiatives:
- Wipe grease from pots and pans with a paper towel or pour it into a can that you can dispose of in the trash
- Avoid planting trees or shrubs near sewage and water lines
- Never flush paper towels, wipes, diapers, tampons or feminine napkins down the toilet
Because sewage lines are a shared amenity, being conscientious about how you discard waste and manage foliage can benefit the entire system and spare your neighbors the anguish of a flooded basement and messy sewage cleanup.
Excessive Rain Water
Significant rainfall can also have a detrimental impact on your community’s sewer system. If the system becomes overwhelmed with excessive rainwater, it can cause a backup inside your basement. To combat this dilemma, you can install a one-way floor drain or a backwater valve. Both devices are efficient flood deterrent tools that can restrict water from flowing back into your basement.
You can take proactive steps to reduce the risks of a flooded basement and backed-up pipes. However, if you have concerns about your home’s pipes or sewer line, don’t hesitate to contact a licensed plumber for advice and assistance. If flooding does occur, a local cleanup and restoration team can help you efficiently evaluate the damage, clean up the destruction and restore your basement.
How To Operate Your Business During a Power Outage: 3 Tips
Generators can be used for power outages in your New Orleans business
When storms pound New Orleans, LA, they can affect your business. One of the most common issues is a loss of power, especially during thunder and wind storms. Dealing with a power outage can be frustrating, but there are a few strategies you can use to continue daily operations when bad weather tries to interrupt them.
1. Be Prepared With a Generator
Having a portable generator on hand can help you keep your business operating during a storm. This can be especially useful when you have a store full of customers. A generator can keep the lights, heat or air conditioner on. If you own a restaurant, a generator can keep your fridge and freezers running to avoid food spoilage.
2. Find Nearby Wi-Fi
If you own a small business, you can move your operations to a nearby café or coffee shop to take advantage of free Wi-Fi services. Consider using the downtime to hold a meeting there or catch up on invoices. You can also contact a storm damage and cleanup service from your laptop if your phone service is down and you do not have access to a cell phone.
3. Connect at Home
If a power outage forces you to temporarily shut down your building, you can save time by working from home and connecting with your employees from there. Have your social media manager work on new infographics and inform your followers of the temporary closure. Your content writers and bloggers can write from home and send you their articles via email. While this is not the most ideal way to operate, it may help you avoid a complete shutdown until the power returns.
When strong storms cause a power outage in New Orleans, LA, it can be frustrating for you as a business owner. However, being prepared and having an outage plan in place may prevent a loss of time and money.
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What You Should Know About Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are convenient when the need arises, but only if you know how to use them. If you’ve never held an extinguisher before, this article can give you a general knowledge of how to use one along with a few handy tips that can help you during a disaster.
How the Extinguisher Works
The extinguisher is basically a giant hairspray can. Depending on the solid, liquid, or gas used in the extinguisher, you can properly put out the flames. Whichever substance is in the can gets propelled out of the extinguisher with the help of a high-pressure chemical. The three types of fire extinguishers include the following:
• Dry chemical extinguishers - Foam or dry powder spews out and smothers the fire.
• Water extinguishers - Water gets pushed out and removes the heat from the flames.
• Carbon dioxide extinguishers - The gas expands, cools, and overpowers the heat.
Extinguishers are also classified by the kinds of fires that are dealt with. There are five different kinds that are used for specific fires.
How To Use a Fire Extinguisher
These handheld machines were made to be simple. Be sure to choose the right extinguisher for the fire, and then pull the pin in the handle. Move the nozzle and aim at the bottom of the flames and slowly pull the lever. Move the nozzle slowly back and forth to fully extinguish the fire.
When You Should Call the Fire Department
Not every fire should be put out with an extinguisher. If the fire is taller than you, it’s time to evacuate and call 911. Be sure to activate the fire alarm and help others escape the building safely.
Not every building will have the right fire extinguisher for the situation. If a kitchen fire is grease-based, your extinguisher may not be the right one to put it out. As a precaution, learn about the different classes of extinguishers and which ones your business in New Orleans, LA, owns. By doing this, you can prevent fire damage and protect your employees from serious injury or harm.
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Prepare the Inside of Your Home To Avoid Water Damage
Take preventative action in your home to avoid water damage
Finding water in the home is an unfortunately common occurrence, but you can still take steps to try to avoid it. Here are some things you can do in New Orleans, LA, to prevent broken pipes and other typical water damage issues.
Tips and Tricks To Prevent Plumbing Problems
Use this checklist to take preventative action in your home. Some of these suggestions are helpful habits to incorporate into your day-to-day life. Others only need to be done once or twice a year.
• Instead of pouring grease down the drain, pour it into a can or jar to either upcycle or dispose of when full.
• Don’t use chemicals to unclog drains. The same ingredients that help to eat away at your drain blockage can also chew through your pipes. Instead, use some type of drain snake or augur for your pipe cleanup.
• Look up at your ceilings and even go up to your attic. Look down at the floor near your water sources such as sinks, toilets, and bathtubs. Take note if any of these areas are prone to moisture or water in your home.
• Keep up with the maintenance for your major appliances such as sump pumps, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators, and water heaters. Slow leaks can sometimes do as much damage overall as a broken pipe.
• Pay attention to your average water bill. If it starts to climb or abruptly rises without reason, check for a leak. This is an easy way to be alerted to potential issues where you can take preemptive action prior to a full pipe cleanup.
Even after preparing for water in home spaces, it is possible that something unforeseen can happen. When water damage happens, don’t fret. Consult your local restoration specialists and refer to the tips and tricks checklist to see if there is further preparation that can be done to avoid future issues.
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The Unintentional Skylight: Mitigating Roof Damage After a Storm
Tree damage after a storm leaving a large hole in the roof
The storm is over, and there is a moment of relief before you realize that your living room has a new skylight, courtesy of your neighbor’s intrusive maple. Overwhelmed, it is easy to write off the incident, walk away, and let your homeowner’s policy take care of the mess. You have protection against wind damage and roof damage, so why not?
The problem is that insurance companies may not cover damage that occurs after a storm, meaning that if any further damage occurs because of a gaping hole in your ceiling and that dangling tree limb, you could be liable. Therefore, it is up to you to prevent further damage, or to mitigate that damage. There are three steps to follow after a storm has caused damage: remove debris, clean and dry the damaged area, and cover/protect the area to prevent further damage.
1. Remove Debris
It is important to remove debris after a storm to prevent both further roof damage and potential physical injury. For instance, the weight of a heavy tree limb can continue to put pressure on a compromised roof, opening a hole further or collapsing the roof altogether. By removing the tree limb, you mitigate the risk of further damage to both the roof and yourself.
2. Clean and Dry the Damaged Area
Water damage can cause many problems, including mold, which is why it is important to clean and dry damaged areas thoroughly. After major storms, it can take insurance adjusters weeks or more to review your case, and that is not time you can afford to waste.
3. Cover and Protect To Prevent Further Damage
After removing debris and cleaning the damaged areas, it is important to cover any openings to protect the inside of your home. The most cost-effective option is to use either tarps or plywood to cover exposed areas. There are local restoration specialists in the Slidell, LA, area that can help with large or dangerous mitigation jobs.
Storms can be frightening, and their aftermath devastating. Nevertheless, most insurance companies require homeowners to mitigate further home and roof damage by taking the above steps, so be safe and be prepared.
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Tips for Making a Claim After a Fire
This damage was caused by a fire starting in the attic of the home
When a fire damages your home in Slidell, LA, you may not be in the right frame of mind for making good decisions. The decisions you make regarding your fire insurance claim, however, can affect how much of the fire restoration is covered by your insurer. Here are three tips to help you think through the process rationally and hopefully get the settlement you need to restore your home.
1. Call Insurance Company
One of the first calls you make after a fire has ravaged your home is to the insurance company. Timely reporting is essential to getting your claim processed and approved. As soon as the company receives your call, an assessor can be sent to review the damage and substantiate your claim.
2. Call Professional Restorers
After a fire, your home is likely permeated with the odor of smoke and soot damage. Firefighters probably had to use a lot of water to put out the fire, resulting in water damage as well. Certified fire restoration specialists offer both smoke cleaning and water damage remediation to fix the problems in your home. They often offer board-up services to secure the house during the restoration process, and they can give you an estimate on what the repairs are going to cost, which can back up your claim with the insurance company.
3. Don't Touch Anything
Once you have made the necessary calls and the waiting begins, you may be tempted to start cleaning up the damage yourself. Fight the urge to do so. The insurance agent that comes to assess the damage needs to see it as it is, and without the knowledge and skills of the specialists, you may cause more damage. While you wait, it is a good idea to take pictures of the damage as long as it is safe to do so.
You may feel powerless when your home suffers fire damage. By calling the appropriate professionals and waiting on their guidance, however, you can speed up the fire restoration process.
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Expand Your Knowledge on Tax Relief for Fire and Storm Damage
You built your business in West Bank, LA, from the ground up. You prepared it with disaster contingency plans, but all the planning in the world won't stop nature. Of course, you make the repairs and you hire restoration specialists to do the cleanup, but did you know that everyone’s favorite uncle, Uncle Sam, can help you with a little financial relief from fire or storm damage?
- Determine if you have a casualty loss, as defined by the IRS. A casualty loss occurs when property is damaged from unexpected events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and fires. You need to provide proof that you own the property and that the loss was due to a casualty event, as well as the date of the event.
- Determine if you have disaster area losses. Sometimes events, such as hurricanes or wildfires, cause damage in places that are then declared federal disaster areas. The IRS website lists information on special tax relief for storm damage in these areas. The IRS often provides filing extensions or even allows taxpayers to file an amended return for the year preceding the disaster, which often results in a refund.
- Calculate your casualty loss. The tax deductible casualty loss is the lesser of the decrease in fair market value (FMV) or the adjusted basis of your property, minus any insurance reimbursements. Instead of getting an appraisal on your property, you can use the amount of money you spent on restoration costs to determine the FMV. Think of the restoration costs as the amount you must spend fixing up your property to get it back to its condition as it was just before the event occurred. When using cleanup costs as a factor, it is important that the work actually be completed.
Casualty losses for business property are not required to be reduced by the same rules as those used on personal property. Be sure to consult IRS Publication 547 and Form 4684 for detailed rules and examples for determining your loss from storm damage.