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What You Should Know About Insurance Adjusters After Your Home Floods

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

A man with a white helmet writing on a clipboard An insurance adjuster often plays an important role in restoration after flooding occurs

After a storm has caused mold or flood damage to your home in Talking Rock, GA, knowing what to do next can help to keep you from becoming overwhelmed. Though your flood insurance will often send out an insurance adjuster, you may not know the adjuster's purpose and what can be done before and after an adjuster arrives.

What Is an Insurance Adjuster's Job?

An insurance adjuster often plays an important role in restoration after flooding occurs. In general, an insurance adjuster will:

  • Assess the damage to your home
  • Document damage
  • Correspond with and provide documentation to your insurance company
  • Help determine what your insurance company will and will not cover

What Should You Do To Immediately After a Storm?

After the storm has passed, you may not know what to do first. It's often wise to contact your flood insurance company to inform them of the damage. The company will send an adjuster to visit your home, but if there is widespread damage in your area, it may take time for the adjuster to arrive. It can also be useful to keep your home dry after a flood, though it's often best to avoid using items that require electricity in order to avoid electrical hazards.

Should You Wait for an Adjuster to Arrive Before Starting Mitigation and Restoration?

After you have contacted your insurance company, you may be uncertain whether or not you should wait for the adjuster to arrive before beginning mitigation or restoration. Waiting for an adjuster may result in further flood or mold damage in some cases, however. Often, it's useful to contact emergency restoration services to assist with the most pressing issues before an adjuster arrives. If mitigation and restoration efforts need to begin before an adjuster visits, it can be helpful to first document any damage.

Flood insurance is often useful after your home has sustained major water damage due to flooding, but you may not know what initial steps to take after a flood. Knowing the adjuster's role, knowing how to mitigate damage to your home and understanding that restoration can begin before an adjuster arrives can help to prevent damage to your home.

3 Tips to Avoid Home Cigarette Fires

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Young man smoking outside at house balcony It's much easier to smoke outside than it is to deal with a fire

Steps To Prevent A Home Cigarette Fire

Though many people who smoke may think that a cigarette fire would never affect their homes, this type of fire is unfortunately common in Dahlonega, GA. However, there are several steps you can take to prevent a cigarette from causing a fire in your home.

1. Smoke Outside the Home

Some people prefer to smoke in their homes and think that going outside to smoke may be an inconvenience. However, smoking inside makes a fire significantly more likely to occur, and it's much easier to smoke outside than it is to deal with a fire. Life at home can be hectic, and it can be surprisingly easy to forget about a cigarette. Leaving a lit cigarette unattended, even momentarily, can cause a blaze to start.

2. Properly Extinguish Cigarettes

Just as it's often important to smoke outside your home, it's also generally wise to thoroughly extinguish your cigarette outside of your home in ashtrays as well. A spark can easily turn into a flame, and fires quickly cause major damage to your home if you store your ashtray inside. Homeowners whose homes have been affected by fires may find it useful to employee fire cleanup and restoration professionals. However, you can often prevent a cigarette fire by extinguishing your cigarettes outside and making certain that your cigarettes are fully extinguished in ashtrays so as to avoid an ashtray fire.

3. Only Smoke When Alert

Though this tip may seem obvious, you should only smoke a cigarette when you feel fully awake. Even if you think you'll stay awake, it's best not to smoke when drowsy, as falling asleep when smoking is not uncommon. Whether you are inside or outside your home, falling asleep when smoking can be dangerous, as this can result in a fire starting quickly, and you may only become aware of the fire after an extended period of time.

Taking precautionary steps to prevent a cigarette fire doesn't have to be difficult. Often, this type of fire can be avoided if you smoke outside, extinguish cigarettes appropriately and only smoke when alert.

3 Things To Do Before an Adjuster Inspects Your Home

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Technician writing on a clipboard Adjuster inspecting a home in Jasper, GA

Here Are Three Things To Do Before Inspection

If you've suffered water damage in your home, your insurance company could help pay for the repairs. Before you get a check though, you'll need to take several steps such as filing a claim with your agent and having a home adjuster survey the property, determining the estimated cost and need for repairs. While this time can feel overwhelming, taking some time to prepare might reduce the stress and help make the process a bit smoother. Here are three things to do before inspection.

1. Gather Documents

Put together photos and documents that support your claim. Hopefully, you documented pictures and uploaded them to the cloud prior to the event. If not, review your home photos, searching for ones that show various rooms. Then, snap images of the ruined locations. There is no such thing as too many. It's better to be over prepared.

2. Establish Communication

When you file an insurance claim, you'll receive a number and a specific person with whom to work; make sure to keep this handy. Then, after reviewing paperwork begin emailing that insurance agent, saving all communications in a file. Discuss several aspects of your policy. Is flood insurance covered? What is your deductible? Will items be replaced on new value or depreciation? Ask about any additional steps that may be needed before you begin work.

3. Make a List of Issues

As you go about your daily activities, record any damage, creating a list for the home adjuster. Also consider things you can't see such as electrical malfunctions or trouble. In fact, you may wish to have an electrician inspect the home prior to your adjuster's visit. Just have the report ready to pass on. Finally, set aside lots of time to walk the home. With the list in hand, go through each concern, showing those original pictures to validate any need for repairs.
Help expedite the process by providing the home adjuster a good overview of what you need and having documentation prepared. With the insurance check, you can then pay your a water restoration company in Jasper, GA, for the needed repairs.

What You Need To Know About Flood Insurance

10/23/2019 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with two pens on top of the form Commercial insurance for flood coverage helps your business cope in a disaster.

What You Need To Know About Flood Insurance

A flood is one of the most common disruptions your business is likely to face in Mcdaniel, GA. As such, it pays to learn as much as you can about the often confusing information regarding commercial insurance and flooding. The National Flood Insurance Program can be a large help when it comes to providing valuable and timely information. To begin with, it defines a flood as when normally dry land is inundated from one of the following sources:

  • Overflow of inland or tidal waters
  • Rapid accumulation or runoff from any source
  • Mudflow
  • Collapse or subsidence of land cause by erosion

The NFIP is overseen by FEMA. The General Property Form offers commercial entities two types of coverage: Building Property and Personal Property, each up to $500,000

Important Things To Know

As a business owner, you will have the ability to choose the deductibles for your plan. If you choose a higher deductible, you will pay a lower premium on your flood policy but will receive a lower payment on a claim. To file a successful claim it's important to keep receipts related to your business and to costs associated with your property. It's also critical to know what is covered by commercial insurance. The following property damage is generally covered when caused by a flood:

  • The building and its foundation
  • Electrical and plumbing systems
  • Central air conditioning systems and furnaces
  • Carpeting
  • Walls, paneling and built-in bookcases
  • Water heaters

For personal property, furniture, equipment and machinery for business use are covered. Claims for original artwork and furs are limited to a total of $2500.

Additional Considerations

Commercial insurance for flood coverage helps your business cope in a disaster. As always, professional cleanup after a flood in Mcdaniel, GA, is a job for a professional storm management team. They are Faster to Any Size Disaster and will help your business recover from flooding.

How To Stop Mold Growth in the Bathroom

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

Mildew on bathroom tiles Bathroom mildew can be a problem in most households in Dawsonville, GA

How To Stop Mold Growth in the Bathroom

Bathroom mildew can be a problem in most households in Dawsonville, GA, especially if your house or apartment doesn’t have an effective exhaust fan to vent the humid air outside while the shower is being used. So, mold and mildew can take their hold and slowly develop around the shower or tub grout, drains, faucets, and floor. If not taken care of for a period of time, these can become difficult to clean later on and the mold can begin to cause further damage by getting into cracks.

Swamp Coolers

One method you can use to cut back on humidity in the bathroom (thus cutting down on the growth of bathroom mildew), while also cooling your house, is a swamp cooler. These work through evaporation cooling and function similar to the way your body cools itself on a hot day by sweating and the outside air evaporating the sweat.

You or a professional installer will hook up the swamp cooler to your main water supply.
The pump will pump water into the machine’s cooler pads.
Then, warm air is pulled through these pads using the fan. This process cools and cleans the air.
Then the machine pushes the air back into your home.

If you decide to use a swamp cooler, you will want to make sure the cooler pads are clean and do not get worn out. You should also clean out the water pan at the bottom of the machine every so often to ensure the pads stay clean longer.

Keeping Your Home Mold-Free

Having a small mold problem in a bathroom is normal, and using equipment like swamp coolers and dehumidifiers can help keep the mold under control. If you just moved into a home with less-than-desirable cleanliness, or perhaps your vacation home has a humidity problem, and you suspect that irreversible damage has occurred, utilizing the expertise of a mold remediation company might be your best option. They will ensure your home is fully cleared of all bathroom mildew. They can also repair any required structural damage so you can rest assured your bathroom is safe and clean to use.

What To Do When Filing a Flood Damage Claim

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

An insurance claim form a pen and calculator Filing a flood claim doesn’t have to be complicated.

Tips For Filling a Claim

When your residence yields to a flood in Cumming, GA, the first action you must take is to contact your insurance agent to file a flood claim. Reaching out to your insurance company should be top of the list, above cleanup and documentation. They will be able to offer some guidance and can help you decide on the next steps to take. Here’s some tips for filing a claim:

Check Your Insurance Policy

Refresh yourself on your policy. Different insurance policies offer different levels of coverage. Go over your documents if you have them handy to double-check your coverage before you talk to your agent. This might include:

  • Hiring of a professional flood restoration company
  • Replacement of damaged items
  • Temporary accommodations while repairs are ongoing

Speak With an Agent

Contact your insurance company once you have your information on hand. It is best to do this immediately, as it can take a couple of days or even weeks for a claim to be processed. There might even be a time limit for when you can file a flood claim. This will get the ball rolling on restoring your house sooner rather than later.

Prevent Additional Damage

Once you have filed your insurance claim, it’s time to assess your home and take action to prevent further damage to your property. Standing water must be cleaned up. Excess moisture must be removed from the affected area by using wet vacuums, pumps, and/or dehumidifiers. Irreparable items should be thrown away. Items that can be salvaged should be left out to dry in a separate area free from moisture.
Filing a flood claim doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, most companies make it easy for their clients to take the flood recovery process step-by-step. Despite the damage to your home, you can rest easy knowing that you don’t have to deal with it alone.

3 Reasons To Choose a Mitigation Company To Rebuild Your Business

8/25/2019 (Permalink)

a fire alarm attached to a wall Commercial fire cleanup in Holcombe, GA

If your property in Holcombe, GA, sustains fire damage, mitigation and restoration will likely be priorities for you as a business owner. Businesses often hire separate companies to provide mitigation and restoration services. However, there are several benefits to employing the same company to provide both immediate loss prevention and any follow-up repairs and renovation.

1. A Quick Response

When your business has been affected by a fire, you likely will want mitigation and restoration efforts to begin as quickly as possible. However, it can be time-consuming if you have to contact two separate companies and schedule a time when each company can visit your building. A mitigation company that also performs restoration can provide you with a timely assessment of your business. A single company can also quickly provide your insurance adjuster with information about the state of your business.

2. Excellent Communication

After your business has sustained fire damage, it can be frustrating to go back and forth between a mitigation company and a restoration company. Communication is essential during the mitigation and restoration process. If two companies are unable to communicate with one another well, this can cause both processes to come to a halt. However, using a fire mitigation and restoration company can help to ensure that no important details are overlooked, ultimately helping your business to reopen more quickly.

3. Effective and Thorough Mitigation and Restoration

Hiring two different companies to mitigate the damage and restore your business could mean the quality of work may vary. Each company will likely have its own set of standards, and hiring an excellent mitigation company and a sub-par restoration company, or vice versa, could result in an unsatisfactory result. When you hire an experienced company to mitigate damage and restore your property, however, you can trust that you will receive consistent, high-quality results.
A mitigation and restoration company can respond quickly to a disaster, communicate effectively, thoroughly mitigate the damage and restore your business. Choosing a mitigation company to restore your business after your property has sustained fire damage can ultimately help to save you time, money and stress.

What's the Difference Between Flood and Storm Damage?

8/25/2019 (Permalink)

rain falling off a roof Storm damage in Dawsonville, GA

Learn Some Of The Key Differences Between Flood and Storm Damage

Flood damage and storm damage in Dawsonville, GA, can seem virtually identical. But there are key differences, some of which can have major implications when it comes to financing repairs. Curious to know what sets each of these apart from the other? Read on to learn some of the key differences.

Major Similarities

While flood and storm damage have some important differences, they are the same in the potential impacts that they can have on a home or business. Some of the most common and most costly include:

  • Temporary or permanent loss of business or residence
  • Expensive cleanup costs
  • Damage to personal goods

Different Causes of Damage

The mechanisms of damage can differ from a storm to a flood. In the case of a flood, damage often results from items being infiltrated by high levels of standing water. Storms, on the other hand, tend to cause damage from direct physical damage from high winds, hail and projectiles.

Different Types of Damage

Flood damages tend to be interior - that is, water damage that comes from appliances, carpeting, walls and more being left to soak in high waters. The result is typical water damage, which can include mold and mildew. Damages from a storm, however, tend to be more exterior. Storms batter the outside of a building, tearing of shingles and blowing out windows.

Different Insurance Coverage

One of the most financially relevant differences between these two types of damage involves insurance coverage. A homeowner's insurance policy will typically cover damages from a storm. But it usually will not cover damage from a flood - unless the flood is a direct result of a storm.
Storms and flooding can have very real consequences in terms of property cleanup and expense. Prepare in advance. Understand the differences between storm and flood damage as well as what some of the damage can be and you’ll be prepared.

Dealing With Toilet Overflow

8/25/2019 (Permalink)

a toilet full of contaminated water Try is using a plumbing snake to clear out any blockage.

Dealing With Toilet Overflow 

The plumbing in your home works hard each and every day to cover all your basic necessities. Without a properly working system, you may go without water for some time and end up requiring a lengthy sewage cleaning from professionals. Damage that can occur in the meantime includes:

  • Bacteria growth
  • Weak subfloors
  • Ruined flooring

One sign that there may an issue is an overflowing toilet while you shower. Here are the basics on how a toilet overflow needs to be taken care of.

Why Does a Shower Cause an Overflow?

Your plumbing is one interconnected system. When something is wrong with one section of your pipes, you may not notice an issue until another water fixture shows problems like when an overflowing toilet occurs while running your shower.

See, the water in your shower goes in your home’s water waste lines. If it encounters an issue like a clogged pipe, then the first place it can head to is the nearest toilet. The first thing you have to do to fix this issue is conduct appropriate sewage cleaning.

Repairing Overflow

The first step you can try is using a plumbing snake to clear out any blockage. A snake that can extend up to 25 feet is recommended. Removing the toilet may also be required in order to properly access clogged piping. Be sure to periodically run your shower to see if the overflow problem has disappeared.

If that method doesn’t work, try locating your home’s drain clean out. It is likely situated somewhere outside your home. Please note, that certain homes in Dahlonega, GA may not have this particular sewage component. Try using a plumbing snake in your clean out to see if your blockage may be there.

If neither of those solutions work, then it may be time to contact the right plumbing repair specialist for further assistance in sewage cleaning.

Is Mold Cleanup Covered by Commercial Insurance?

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

Man holding bucket to catch rain leaking from ceiling Mold growth due to storm related water damage

If you've discovered mold at your Marble Hill, GA, commercial property, one of your first concerns was likely whether or not the cleanup process will be covered by your commercial insurance policy. The short answer is "maybe," and it likely depends on the root of the problem.

Types of Mold Damage That Are Often Covered

If the mold growth in your building was caused by an accident, the odds are higher that your insurance company will cover all or part of the cost of cleanup by experienced mold removal specialists. "Accidents" often refers to unforeseeable events such as the following:

  • Broken supply lines
  • Frozen or suddenly burst pipes
  • Storm-related water damage

In short, if you and your staff couldn't possibly have prevented the water or moisture influx that caused the mold, its removal may be covered by your commercial insurance policy.

Types of Mold Damage That Aren't Likely To Be Covered

If you're experiencing mold growth due to a structural issue with your commercial property that could've been averted or that is due to a lack of attention, the removal of that mold is unlikely to be covered by any form of mold insurance. "Preventable events" often refers to issues such as the following:

  • Pipes that leak over time
  • Tiles, shingles, flashing and other parts of the roof that exhibited visible signs of wear and tear
  • Seepage as a result of cracks in the foundation or other areas of the building's exterior
  • Past repairs that were performed incorrectly

If mold was able to take hold because of a longstanding issue — even if you had no knowledge that your roof was deteriorating because you never go up there, for example — the odds of your insurance company covering the cost of that mold's remediation are very low.

Ultimately, mold coverage depends on a variety of factors. In fact, some commercial insurance policies may let you buy coverage specifically for mold removal. It varies by state. The bottom line, however, is that the best way to find out what's covered and what's not is to contact your insurer.