Commercial Property: Flood Recovery and Financial Responsibility for Tenants
Most states require property owners to have commercial insurance coverage.
Flood Recovery And Financial Responsibility For Tenants
If your business is run out of a leased facility, you may be wondering what your financial obligations are after a flood or significant water damage. While business and renter's insurance will help you through the inevitable business interruption, there is the bigger picture of culpability and responsibility. Most of the answer depends on where you live and your lease agreement.
1. State Regulations
Most states require property owners to have commercial insurance coverage, and they also hold property owner’s accountable for repairs. However, depending on where you live, owner’s may be able to share responsibility with tenants under certain circumstances.
2. Lease Agreement
You may also want to review your lease agreement because there may be line items that refer specifically to water damage and who is ultimately responsible for the repairs. Your renter's insurance provider may be able to help you understand your rights as a tenant as well.
3. Personal Property
In most states, the property owner is responsible for the structure of the property, and the tenant is responsible for their personal property. In regards to businesses operating out of leased facilities, this means that the owner is responsible for the facility and you would be responsible for damaged equipment, which is likely covered under your business policy.
While the owner’s property policy likely covers restoration work involving the structure of the facility, any damage done to your business, like inventory and equipment, is considered a personal business loss and will likely be covered by your insurance. You can contact your insurer or a disaster restoration specialist in the Oklahoma City, OK area for more details.
A flood is devastating for a business, but especially when that business operates out of a leased space. In most states, the property owner is responsible for structural issues while your business and renter's insurance is responsible for personal property losses.
Get the Lint Out! 3 Tips for Cleaning Your Dryer
With proper maintenance you can cut lint fire risk
The laundry room may seem like an unlikely place for fire risk, but it is. Clothes dryers contain lint traps that can build up and create a fire risk without proper maintenance. Read on to learn just how to clear your dryer exhaust and lower the risk of lint fire in your Smith Village, OK, home.
Understanding the Risks
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 2,900 home fires are started by clothes dryers each year, due largely to the buildup of lint in the dryer. This lint builds up in:
- Lint traps
- Dryer vents
- Duct work
Lint is combustible, so when it combines with heat, the stage is set for a lint fire. What is a homeowner to do?
Clean the Lint Trap
This may seem obvious, but many of us are doing it wrong. After every load, remove the lint from the screen and wipe the edges. Periodically place it in a sink of hot water and scrub with a bristle brush to get it completely clean and prevent a dryer fire.
Invest in A Brush
A dryer lint brush is a long-handled brush that will help reach the nooks and crannies. Remove your dryer lint filter, stick the brush inside and gently loosen built-up lint. This will remove big chunks of lint that you can gather and discard. Run the dryer on air only to remove any small leftover particles.
Check Your Exhaust
Once a year, unplug your dryer and get a good look at where your exhaust vent connects. Remove that piece, reach inside and use your vent brush to get out as much lint as possible.
Whether it’s from clothing or even dryer sheets, lint is going to build up in your dryer, creating a risk. With proper maintenance, however, you can cut lint fire risk and make sure you are not a fire damage victim.
Three Reasons You Might Need a Certified Industrial Hygienist
Mold damage at a Oklahoma City home
Finding A Certified Industrial Hygienist
You may be wondering if you really need the help of a hygienist when you can just check for mold on your own. The answer is yes. While you can certainly see for yourself when you have visible mold, there are cases when you might be unaware that your Oklahoma City, OK home needs mold cleaning. Only an environmental hygienist, or industrial hygienist, is certified to check for mold in your home. Here are some circumstances in which you may need a certified industrial hygienist.
1. You Have a Leak
If you have had a leak or any sort of plumbing issues, such as burst pipes, you might have mold damage in places that you can’t see. Sometimes, mold hides behind walls or underneath carpets and you have no way to check for it. In this case, a hygienist can conduct tests to see if the water damage has caused any mold.
2. You Have a Musty Odor in Your Home
In some cases, you may be able to smell mold but not see it. This can make mold cleaning difficult. Mold creates a musty scent that can be quite strong. A hygienist will be able to locate the mold that is creating the smell in your house.
3. You Have Had Mold Problems Before
Mold can be a difficult problem to get rid of and even if you have had mold remediation done in your home before, it is possible that there is still some lingering growth. After you have had mold removed, it is a good idea to have a hygienist conduct an inspection to make sure that the mold levels in your home are no longer above normal.
When you are unsure if you need mold cleaning in your home, calling in the help of an industrial hygienist is the best course of action. As a professional, they will be better able to tell if your home has problems with mold growth.
Don’t Get Short-Changed on Your Burst Pipe Claim
Contact a professional 24/7 emergency clean-up service in Oklahoma City, OK
Don’t Get Short-Changed on Your Burst Pipe Claim
You care enough about your home in Oklahoma City, OK, to protect it with an insurance policy covering water damage, but are you sure you’ll fully recover your losses if bursting pipes unleash buckets of water inside your home? Here are some ways you can help ensure you won’t come up short.
1. Document Everything — Before and After
Before taking steps to fix broken pipe damage, document everything affected. Don’t throw away anything that’s been damaged beyond repair; take pictures of everything first or make a video.
It’s a good idea to also take photos or videos of your house and belongings when you first get your policy or when you make changes to your home. A before-and-after damage demonstration can help substantiate your claim.
2. Know What Your Policy Terms Mean
Be aware of any exclusion and exception terms in your policy. Find out from your agent what all the terms mean; certain types of damage from bursting pipes may not be covered. Water damage from long-term gradual pipe leakage, for example, may be excluded; only sudden or accidental damage may be covered. An adjuster could then conclude that damage reported in a claim could have been prevented if you had not neglected certain maintenance, inspection or repair issues.
3. Be Proactive; Get Inspected and Have Maintenance Work Performed
To help prevent a claim denial based on gradual or long-term leakage, have your plumbing system inspected regularly by licensed professionals. Obtain inspection reports and keep records of all maintenance or repair work performed.
4. React Quickly and Call In a Reliable 24/7 Clean-Up and Claim Inventory Service
Contact a professional 24/7 emergency clean-up service as soon as possible. You’ll want to choose one that provides a thorough and reputable contents claim Inventory service.
You’ll be better prepared to file a claim with sufficient picture and paper documentation, a full understanding of policy terms and a proactive approach to inspections and maintenance. Taking these steps can help you gain the confidence that you’ll be fully covered if your home in Oklahoma City, OK, is damaged by bursting pipes.
A Commercial Fire Next Door Can Cause Unexpected Smoke Damage Issues
Heavy smoke that lingers in the air can often carry with it toxic particles
Did you know sometimes a commercial fire in the Oklahoma City, OK, area can cause enough smoke damage to your building that you may need to file an insurance claim? Fire is an insidious agent that sends out more than just flames. As the soot and smoke are thrown into the air, they may cast a large shadow as they settle again onto and into the surrounding buildings. That is how the damage can catch you unawares.
Extreme Vapors May Damage Your Building’s Interior
Heavy smoke that lingers in the air can often carry with it toxic particles, vapors, and gases that can expand with the heat from the flames. These are some of the most common areas that may be damaged by smoke and soot in nearby buildings:
Although outside building smoke damage is often expected from a nearby fire, the broken windows, stained inside walls, and soot-covered interior are generally a surprise. In fact, smoke and soot can be carried for miles in even a gentle breeze, leading to massive areas of soot damage from even the smallest of commercial building fires.
Smoke Odors May Cause Hidden Damage to Your Property
The lingering odors after a fire are often unpleasant due to the phosgene, carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide that is typically produced as a result of the fire. As the gases spread, they can attach themselves to walls, furniture, carpeting, and clothing. To alleviate the hidden damage of extreme odors, call in a fire restoration specialist for a thorough building smoke cleaning. The professionals have all the tools needed to remove the offensive smoke odors.
Fire damage, whether it is visible or hidden, can be a source of angst for a commercial property owner. Don’t let the effect of a fire next door put you out of business for even one day. Look for the signs of smoke damage and take immediate action to alleviate the number of repairs your building will need.
3 Reasons To Have a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile
When disaster strikes, the devastation can be tremendous. Extensive damage or loss of property can lead to uncertainty about the future of your business. To lessen the confusion that comes with a disaster, you need a plan of action in place before the devastation occurs. To protect your business in Smith Village, OK, an emergency profile is an indispensable service. This service can give you peace of mind in many ways:
1. Protect your assets. One of the most important uses of this type of profile is to protect your business’s physical location. An accurate assessment of your facility before a disaster is imperative. This assessment should include details of your business that would prove useful in the event of an emergency, such as contact information and safety details of the location. Your local emergency restoration service may provide a facility evaluation for no charge to your business.
2. Protect your clients. As a business owner, your clients are the priority. In an emergency, each client needs to be assured that your business will resume the operations and service of which he or she is a patron. An emergency profile lets your clients know that you are prepared for any emergency, and it can show that you value the loyalty shown to your business.
3. Protect your future. Only half of businesses that suffer an unexpected accident remain operational. Researchers have found that many of those businesses that do remain open have some type of disaster plan protocol. Within minutes, SERVPRO’s easy-to-use Emergency Ready Profile application provides you with the necessary tools to begin safeguarding your business with your own emergency plan protocol. With the ERP app and the experts from SERVPRO on your side, you will be able to better ensure the future operation of your business entity in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
Creating an emergency profile is an excellent way to protect your business and its future operation, as well as the clients that allow your business to thrive. You can operate your business with the assurance that you are prepared for any disaster that could arise.
Will a Drain Cleaner Damage My Pipes?
Clogged drain in an Oklahoma City, OK home
As a homeowner in Oklahoma City, OK, you most likely will encounter a clogged drain at some time. Your first inclination might be to go to the store and pick up some drain cleaner. This may seem like a simple solution, but can cleaning products damage your pipes?
How They Work
There are three different kinds of chemical cleaners:
- Oxidizing - includes peroxides, bleach or nitrates
- Acid - muriatic acid or sulfuric acid
- Caustic - caustic potash or lye
These cleaners use an electron transfer process to either give or take away electrons from the organic substances blocking the pipe, thereby creating heat, which breaks down the materials and clears the clog. This process can, however, cause harm to your pipes.
How They Cause Harm
The heat from these chemicals can warp or soften the pipes, especially when they are older metal pipes or plastic pipes. There's a higher danger of damage if the clogged drain is completely blocked. If there's nowhere for these caustic chemicals to go, they will just sit in the pipes, eventually eating through them if not removed.
Besides harming your pipes, these chemicals can be harmful to you and to the environment. They can irritate your throat and eyes, and if improperly handled, can cause burns. Once they go down the drain, they can end up in waterways and landfills, causing harm to wildlife.
Before using a chemical in the drain, try to clear the blockage using a snake or augur. If this doesn't do the trick, try using a non-toxic solution such as an enzymatic drain cleaner. These cleaners work by actually eating the clog with bacteria or enzymes. They work best on organic blockages such as soap or hair, but can take as long as 24 hours to work.
If you are not able to clear the clog by yourself, it's best to call a plumbing professional to assess the problem and clear the clogged drain. If the blockage is further down the pipes, they can do a thorough sewage cleaning to make sure your drains stay clear for a good, long time.
Getting Your House Back to Its Pre-Fire Condition
Clean up process to kitchen fire in Valley Brook, OK
Fire Restoration: Four Step- Process
Residential fires in Valley Brook, OK, are nothing short of heartbreaking. After all, what homeowner wants to watch years of investment go up in smoke? If your fire has sustained minor, moderate or severe damage during a fire and is not a total loss, you likely want to return it to its pre-fire condition as soon as possible. Generally, fire restoration follows a four-step process.
1. Mitigating Damage
Following a residential fire, you must take some steps to protect your home from ongoing damage. By boarding up windows and doors, you keep the weather, criminals and critters from moving inside your house. You may also want to install a security system to monitor your property during the restoration process.
2. Forming a Plan
Repairing your home after a fire can seem daunting. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. By working with the right team, you access the information you need to form a cleanup plan. Listen to the experts to develop your restoration strategy.
3. Cleaning Salvageable Items
Furniture, personal belongings and other items may look bad after a fire. They may not, however, be a total loss. In fact, you can likely salvage many of your valuables after a fire. Because you are not a fire expert, you should consider contracting with a reputable damage cleaning specialist. Restoration technicians have the equipment, skill and expertise to clean salvageable items.
4. Discarding Ruined Belongings
Unfortunately, you probably can’t save everything in your home after a fire. If your belongings have fire and smoke damage, you must dispose of them in a way that is safe for you and the environment. Your restoration technician will likely take care of discarding ruined belongings.
Your home is your castle, and you want it to be nice. Even though fires can be unbelievably destructive, you may be able to restore your house to its pre-fire condition.
Mold Damage can Signal Ongoing Water Leaks in Oklahoma City
Mold damage on your ceiling
Mold Remediation and Water Fixes are Interrelated
Mold takes a while to grow, but visible signs of mold can seem to happen overnight, too. When you have found multi-colored circles on the ceiling or black streaks and patches on your walls, there can be no doubt that there is mold damage in other areas of your home. SERVPRO can help locate other areas affected by mold before damage increases in severity.
Though it is a relatively dry city compared to many others, mold damage in Oklahoma City can still happen. Water, needed by mold and other fungi to grow, does not need to have outside sources when there is water dripping from a water line somewhere in your home. Mold only needs a tiny amount of water moisture to begin spreading through your home. Dormant spores spring to life with moisture. Technicians at SERVPRO use moisture meters, infrared sensors, and other devices to detect where water sources are located. Then we repair any dripping lines, preventing any more moisture to accumulate. Mold remediation can begin once the sources have been eliminated.
Lines can leak anywhere, but joints are a common spot for this to happen. If there is a tiny hole or small crack in a line, water could be spraying the inside of your wall, which can allow water to seep into areas that may seem uncontaminated by mold damage because the mold growth is not visible.
Water loss in a home from dripping lines may cause other problems with secondary water damage besides mold, so SERVPRO checks for signs of these, also. Repairing lines that leak can also decrease your water bill, in addition to protecting your home from mold damage. Fungi must have a water source for growth to take place, and spots, streaks, and patches signal not only mold damage, but the presence of water where it should not be. We can make it "Like it never even happened” and decrease the risk of any future mold growth at the same time.
We know that mold damage can be a scary situation in your home, so SERVPRO of South Oklahoma City is available 24/7. You can call us at (405) 677-4000, and we respond quickly.
Seasonal Storms Hitting Oklahoma City
Call SERVPRO after any storm or disaster for fast remediation.
SERVPRO is Ready to Help with ANY Kind of Storm Damage
Oklahoma has a widely varied and often unforgiving climate, making it on the receiving end of damage from a wide range of dangerous storms and natural disasters. Tornadoes can cause huge damages to entire towns, massive hailstones have been known to destroy cars and smash through roofing, and storms in both the summer and winter have the potential for serious flooding and water damage. Storm damage here varies widely in appearance and specifics, but SERVPRO is prepared year-round for all types of natural disasters common in the season.
Call them tornadoes, twisters, or whatever you like, but these violent natural disasters cause some of the most severe storm damage we see in Oklahoma City. Tornadoes can completely demolish a home, sometimes making rebuilding and replacing the only viable option for unfortunate homeowners. However, more commonly, a home may be affected to a mild or moderate degree and only require corresponding restorations to specific areas of concern. If you are unsure of how long or how much money a tornado restoration could take, be sure to call us for a quote.
Snow and Ice Storms
Snow is less voluminous than in other regions of the country, but can still cause significant damage in the coldest months of the year. Snow can seep into foundations, pile up and freeze in the yard, or cause ice dams that directly lead to water damage problems. When regular shoveling fails, SERVPRO is ready to help with any damages taken by your home.
Heavy Rain Storms
In some cases, ordinary rainstorms can be heavy enough to cause flooding or other severe damage to local homes, especially in the late spring and summer. A storm from the ocean may even make its way inland from the coast, bringing with it a massive amount of moisture and destruction. In the event of flooding, make sure your valuables are secured and elevated and try to stay in a safe place or on the upper floors of your home.
SERVPRO of South Oklahoma City has helped hundreds in the local area to recover from water, storm, fire, and other types of damage to their homes. For our assistance after a storm, just call us 24/7 at (405) 677-4000.