3 Types of Damage Your Commercial Building May Suffer After a Flood
This crawl space was found with standing water. this caused mold and mildew grow quickly.
When your Croyden, PA, building business experiences flooding, the immediate results are usually obvious. Wet carpeting, standing water, and soaked office supplies are likely to be a few issues you might have to resolve. However, the moisture from a flood can continue to cause damage long after the water has been drained away. From warped wooden flooring to black mold, here are a few problems to watch out for in the aftermath of a flood at your business.
1. Water Absorption
Some building materials are porous and can absorb flood water. When this occurs, drywall and insulation can retain both moisture and odor, which can cause the rotting of whatever is contained inside the interior wall. You may want to ask your flood cleanup crew to perform a flood cut, which reveals the inside of any affected wall so the extent of the damage can be assessed and restored.
2. Mold Growth
Black mold and other types of fungi often grow after a flood due to high humidity and the presence of moisture that may remain in an area once it has been closed off. Mold may even develop where you may not spot it right away, such as in your building’s basement or in the corners of plumbing cabinetry. Once mold begins to grow and spread, it can be difficult to remove, so it is wise to have your building inspected after a flood to ensure fungi does not take hold.
3. Lingering Odors
While most types of flood damage are troubling, others are simply offensive, such as lingering odors that might remain afterward. This type of secondary damage can be especially problematic if the source of the flooding came from an outdoor or sewer source. Your storm damage and flood cleanup service technicians can target and eliminate these smells with ozone machines and other technology.
Problems like black mold and excess moisture can cause serious problems in the aftermath of a flood at your Croyden, PA, business. Being vigilant about the presence of secondary damage may help you reduce the cost of future repairs and protect your commercial interests.
Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover Mold Damage?
Ask your insurance agent if you are covered.
If a building owner or manager suspects that mold is growing or professional mold testing has confirmed the presence of fungus in a structure, the next concern is whether commercial insurance covers mold damage. Some property insurance includes this coverage, but many policies exclude mold. Exceptions may be available, or coverage for this peril can be bought back in the form of an endorsement. Find out what to look for in terms of mold coverage and options for offsetting remediation expenses.
Exclusions and Exceptions
A commercial policy should make it clear whether mold is covered or excluded. Policyholders should examine a policy closely for several factors:
- Limited coverage
- Endorsements for mold
An exception may provide limited coverage for mold resulting from a covered peril. For example, if a policy covered water damage mitigation and restoration, a limited amount of coverage may be available for mold caused by this damage that is reported in a timely manner.
Endorsements can offer more protection, but policyholders have to add and pay for optional commercial insurance coverage. If an insurer offers an endorsement for mold, a policyholder can effectively buy back coverage for perils that are excluded from a commercial property insurance policy. An endorsement for mold insurance comes at a cost, but may provide more substantial coverage for this type of damage.
If any coverage is available for mold in a standard policy, it is likely to be limited. Policyholders should familiarize themselves with limitations and prepare to pay out of pocket for additional remediation costs.
It is a good idea to document and take measures to mitigate mold damage. Some commercial insurance companies may be more reluctant to cover properties with a history of mold. It may be possible to maintain coverage by keeping an insurer informed and hiring a certified mold remediation company in Bristol, PA.
How Experts Use Pretests To Improve the Claims Process
The source of the water can give technicians an idea about what kind of water they're dealing with.
When your clients in Bristol, PA, need remediation for damage on their commercial property, the company you choose to clean up the damage can have a big effect on how efficiently your claims process goes. Pretesting is one of the ways that water remediation experts use to take care of problems swiftly and completely. Knowing exactly what the issue is before cleanup begins helps to narrow technicians' efforts and get you the information you need to start processing the claim.
Identifying the Source
Discovering where the water causing the damage is coming from is one of the first steps of assessment. The source of the water can give technicians an idea about what kind of water they're dealing with:
- Category 1 – clean water
- Category 2 – gray water
- Category 3 – black water
If the water comes from a contaminated source, you can expect that the insurance claim will include charges for decontamination.
Determining the Extent
It's not enough to know how contaminated the water is. Specialists also use pretesting to determine how far the damage goes. Class 1 damage affects a small area of one room, but Class 3 or 4 damage will likely require replacing more materials or an extended drying time. This not only can change the cost of the restoration but also the amount of time it is expected to take.
If water has been in the building for more than 24 hours, testing for mold damage may be prudent. If a mold problem is discovered, the insurance agent or adjuster may find it helpful to include fungus remediation on the same claim as the initial problem that led to it. A professional mold test can determine if this is necessary.
Pretesting is an efficient way to gather the information you need to process commercial property clients' claims. It gives you an overview of the work that needs to be done before the cleanup process starts.
What To Do With Water-Damaged Building Materials
Some building materials damaged by water may be capable of being restored. Here are a few guidelines regarding what homeowners should do with swelling wood, damp drywall and other building materials after a supply line break or any incident involving contaminated water.
Some materials can be restored after exposure to water. This is particularly the case if an incident involves clean, Category One water. The following materials may be dried and restored:
- Solid wood
After water pipe repair is complete, these materials should be thoroughly dried. Any corrosion on metal should be removed. Swelling wood may need to be sanded, scraped, refinished and possibly even retrofitted depending on the degree of damage.
Building materials may need to be replaced after extensive water damage or incidents involving contaminated Category Two gray water or Category Three black water. Porous materials such as drywall exposed to contaminated water pose an increase mold risk and should be torn out and replaced. Other materials that may sustain irreparable damage include
- Composite or engineered wood
- Electrical components
These materials may be irreparably damaged or increase the risk of mold growth at a residence. Water damage restoration specialists can recommend whether any building materials or contents are viable candidates for restoration or should be thrown away and replaced.
Seek an Expert Opinion
Residential restoration experts can provide informed opinions about the cost-effectiveness of restoring building materials and the likelihood of success. In some cases, the category of water damage and extent of exposure or saturation may make it possible to restore some materials that might otherwise be discarded.
Homeowners who are uncertain whether swelling wood or other building materials are worth attempting to restore should contact residential damage mitigation and restoration professionals in Levittown, PA. These specialists can take measures to prevent further damage and offer advice regarding restoration and replacement.
How To Distinguish Mildew From Mold
Mold in Levittown, PA crawlspace
Mildew and mold are fungi that can grow wherever moisture and organic material are present. Learn about the appearance of these two types of fungi to distinguish mildew growth from mold damage.
How To Identify Mildew
Mildew is a fungus that grows on the surface of organic materials. There are two major varieties of mildew:
- Downy mildew consists of yellow or brown spots on plants or produce
- Powdery mildew takes the form of white or gray spots on plants that become yellow or black
This type of fungus usually has a fluffy or powdery texture. Mildew tends to affect plants, but may also develop in bathrooms. Homeowners can apply plant treatments and prevent mildew growth on surfaces by using antifungal cleaner and increasing air circulation to promote drying.
How To Identify Mold
Mold is usually a more serious problem than mildew. This type of fungus tends to grow after water damage and has several distinctive traits:
- Fuzzy or slimy texture
- Irregularly shaped spots
- Wide range of colors
It is important to take immediate measures to mitigate mold damage. Trained professionals can identify species and safely determine the extent of an infestation.
Mildew and Mold Distinctions
Mildew is almost always gray, white, yellow, brown or black. Mold also appears in these colors, but can also be many other colors depending on the species and stage of its life cycle. Blue or green growth is almost always mold. Mildew forms on surfaces, while mold penetrates materials.
Mold and mildew both release microbial volatile organic compounds during the growth cycle. MVOCs are responsible for the musty odor of fungus. Homeowners can look for signs of visible mold growth, but should not disturb colonies or seek out hidden mold. The best way to identify the species and amount of fungus in a residence is to contact a mold damage remediation company in Levittown, PA.
The Importance of Third Party Certification
When you are looking for mitigation specialists in Levittown, PA look for those who are certified through the IICRC.
The Importance Of Third Party Certification
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification sets the standard for the restoration industry. To ensure the highest level of standardization, the IICRC voluntarily partners with the American National Standards Institute. This results in certifications that can be trusted to verify both extensive knowledge and experience in the mitigation field. Essentially, third party certification sets the standards for standard setters. There are several reasons why this is important.
Rules for Testing
Certification agencies must uphold high standards for evaluating the effectiveness of a training program. Every aspect of testing is under scrutiny, including:
- Test development
- Test administration
- Test evaluation
The strict rules enforced by the overseeing agency ensure that candidates trained in a certification program have met or exceeded these standards.
Responsibility to Consumers
When the IICRC certifies professional mitigation specialists, customers can rest assured that these technicians have undergone the necessary training needed to do the job well. Through third party certification, the institute is held responsible for making certification requirements available to the public. It also can take feedback from consumers on ways to improve these requirements.
Requirements for Certification
Developing appropriate standards testing and making promises to consumers are only as useful as their practical application. Third party certification gives value to the certification itself. The partner agency enforces the eligibility requirements of obtaining a certification. Earning a mitigation certificate means that the candidate has undergone training, passed all subsequent tests and completed the necessary years of experience needed. Certified mitigation experts can be trusted to provide the excellent service they learn through this training and experience.
When you are looking for mitigation specialists in Levittown, PA look for those who are certified through the IICRC. Not only are these specialists Faster to Any Size Disaster, they also are often preferred by insurance companies because, with the certification, their reputation for quality work precedes them. Third party certification makes sure that the highest standards of service are offered and met.
5 Tips for Deducting Storm Damage on Your Taxes
Deducting Storm Damage on Your Taxes
Deducting Casualty Losses
If you’ve experienced damage to your business in Fairless Hills,PA , due to a flood, hail, wind, hurricane, or other natural disaster and insurance wouldn’t cover you for whatever reason, your company is likely in a rough spot financially. Fortunately, storm damage that isn’t covered by insurance can often be deducted on your next tax return as a casualty loss. Here are five tips to keep in mind when deducting casualty losses.
1. You Will Need To Prove You Experienced a Loss
In order to be qualified to claim casualty loss as a tax deductible, you will need to prove that you are the owner of the property and the one experiencing loss. You will also need to prove the value of the property before the disaster and show you are unable to cover the costs.
2. Special Rules Apply to Presidentially Declared Disasters
If the president declared a disaster in your area, you can deduct the losses due to storm damage for either the year the disaster occurred or the year after- whichever saves you the most money.
3. There are Different Rules for Deducting Casualty Losses for Personal Property and Businesses
While personal property damage only allows you to take a write off for itemizers and requires you to reduce the loss by $100 and 10 percent of your AGI, this does not apply to business casualty losses.
4. Wear and Tear Is Not Considered Casualty Loss
Since a casualty loss is defined as a loss that occurred due to an unexpected or sudden event, normal wear and tear that occurs to your business will not be tax deductible. However, work done by a storm damage restoration company as a result of an unexpected disaster would be covered.
Although a natural disaster of any sort can be extremely difficult for your business to recover from, it helps to know a lot of your losses are tax deductible. When filling out this year’s tax refund, remember these four tips!
You Fire Cleanup Should Include Electronics – Here’s Why
Fire damage in a Fairless Hills, PA kitchen
You and your family made it through the fire and most of your belongings look untouched. But unbeknownst to many homeowners in Fairless Hills,PA , even materials that look undamaged can be impacted. This is especially true of electronics, which can be penetrated and permanently ruined. Still not convinced your fire cleanup efforts should include cleaning electronics? Learn exactly how smoke can impact your electronics.
How Smoke Causes Damage
Electronics are remarkably delicate and lots of things can impact how well they work. There are two main elements of fire that can impact electronics.
- Smoke damage - smoke penetrates deep crevices in electronics, making them prone to overheating and failure
- Soot - Pushed in by smoke, soot can form a layer in delicate electronics, interrupting circuits and causing malfunction
You know what about smoke causes the problems, but how do these things wreak havoc?
Soot is acidic, and acid and electronics never mix. When soot gets into wires and circuitry, it can corrode these delicate surfaces. The result is degraded components and a device that may soon fail.
Soot can also leave a film that coats the inside of electronics, forming a sort of insulation. This can result in overheating once you turn these devices back on after fire cleanup. Overheating leads to failure in the best case and can trigger a fire in the worst case.
Believe it or not, smoke has a magnetic charge. Magnets can short circuit electronics - something you might not realize until you’ve used your device a few times and find it stops working.
High heat and soot can be devastating to sensitive electronic devices, causing malfunction and even triggering new fires. The good news is that there are ways to salvage your electronics safely. Be sure to talk to your fire cleanup specialist about electronics cleanup to ensure you’ve covered all your bases after a fire.
3 Methods for Preventing Mildew on Plants
3 Methods for Preventing Mildew on Plants
At one point or another, you may have come across mold in your Levittown, PA home, whether it grew in your bathroom, your kitchen or your garage. However, it’s less likely that you’ve ever had to deal with mildew growth on your household plants — until now. If you encounter plant mildew on your indoor or outdoor plants, here are three methods for preventing its return in the future.
1. Don’t allow for overcrowding of leaves amongst your plants. Plants need sufficient space for leaves to expand and grow without running into problems. Therefore, if you’ve neglected to cut back the leaves and overgrowth is exceeding the limits of the space, mildew can begin to form. Regularly maintain your greenery to ensure they can branch out and naturally utilize the space around themselves to stretch out.
2. Place your greenery in areas with better air circulation and suitable sunlight. Powdery plant mildew tends to flourish in hot, humid spaces and in situations where a plant’s leaves can’t dry out enough after being watered. Giving your plants sufficient sunlight can help them dry faster and grow stronger, while placing them in areas where they’ll be given adequate air circulation can help ensure high heat or humidity doesn’t allow for mildew growth.
3. If you notice mildew creeping up on your plants, snip the edges to prevent its spread. Trimming your plants is crucial for sustaining healthy greenery that’s mildew-free. Simply trimming the edges of infected leaves can do the trick, or try removing the specific layers of leaves altogether to contain the spread of mildew throughout the entire plant.
Once you’ve followed these methods for preventing plant mildew, your greenery should return to its happy, healthy state. If you come across any forms of mildew or mold in your household that seems to be beyond the point of easy maintenance, it’s important to let professional mold remediation specialists handle its removal.
Cleaning After a Flood
Air mover on a water damage in Fairless Hills, PA
When floodwater in the home is gone, and most of the heavy work is finished, many Fairless Hills,PA, families and individuals want to slip back into life as they knew it before the disaster. Unfortunately, all the wood, fabric, drywall, and other materials exposed to the water have probably absorbed the liquid. Moving belongings back into your house too soon could lead to ongoing problems, such as mold growth, pest infestations, and long-term deterioration. Remember, flood water isn't clean; it needs to be handled differently than other types of water disasters, such as a broken pipe.
Focus on Safety
Before taking your first recovery steps, make sure you know how to proceed safely.
- Arrange structural, electrical, fire, and gas inspections, so you know the home is safe to enter.
- Wear sturdy, protective clothing. It's best to have waterproof protection.
- Don't mix chemicals, such as chorine and ammonia, when cleaning.
- Watch out for pests hiding in flooding, including snakes and fire ants.
If you're not sure about safety and water in the home, get more information from water damage remediation professionals and local authorities.
Contact Appropriate Professionals
Your next steps should include contacting your insurance adjuster, scheduling repairs and cleaning from professionals in Fairless Hills,PA, and making sure your electricity and gas have been turned off. With these tasks completed, move on to cleaning and disinfecting your property.
Identify the Work
Working closely with the remediation professionals, you'll separate items into at least three categories: to clean yourself, to leave for the technicians, and to discard. There are many repairs you can handle yourself. Clothing may be wet or could have a mildew smell. It's generally safe for laundering or dry cleaning those items on your own. However, expensive and structural items should be turned over to professionals. Your carpets, flooring, furniture, and walls present cleaning challenges that require specialized techniques and training. Finally, some items, such as mattresses, must be thrown out for your family's health.
Water in your home requires a lot of work even after floods recede. When you know what to do and who to call for help, that work can progress smoothly and efficiently.