Will Filing an Insurance Claim Raise Your Rates?
If your home in Littleton,CO has been affected by flooding you should contact your insurance company
One of your primary concerns after a home flood may be whether filing an insurance claim will raise your rates. You may automatically assume the answer will be positive, but it's best to do some research before making this decision. There are many factors that could affect your rates, for good or bad.
How Many Claims Have You Filed?
Even if water damage is minor or if the situation wasn't your fault, if you have filed many claims in the past, there's a greater chance that rates will go up. In fact, if you have too many claims, the insurance company may decide not to renew your policy.
What Were the Circumstances Surrounding the Claim?
If you directly caused the damages that led to the insurance claim, there's a greater possibility that you'll see a hike in your rate. The same is true of a home flood that is the result of not providing proper maintenance on your home. On the other hand, if there's an unusual natural disaster in your area and if you haven't filed before, there's a good chance that your rates won't go up.
What Are the Insurance Requirements?
Sometimes, insurance companies will require you to contact certain home restoration professionals before any repairs are completed. They may expect you to provide photographic evidence or a statement from the local fire department. Your rates may stay the same or go up depending on whether you were in compliance with those expectations.
How Long Does the Rate Hike Last?
Did you know that rate hikes don't necessarily last forever? In many cases, your rate hike will be reversed after two to five years. With this knowledge, you should feel more comfortable filing an insurance claim.
If your home has been affected by flooding in Littleton,CO, don't hesitate to contact your insurance company. The representative may be willing to discuss your options or provide advise about your next steps.
Simple Ways To say Goodbye To That Nasty Mold Odor
Ridding your home of a moldy musty odor can be DIY.
There are many reasons why you want to avoid getting mold in your home. Aside from its unsightly appearance and the embarrassment that comes from discovering it, mold leaves an unpleasant, sometimes-intolerable musty odor. You shouldn’t have to live with the stench in your Englewood, Colorado home.
Luckily, you can take action and get your place smelling fresh once again.
Why It Stinks
First, it may be helpful to understand why the musty, damp odor of mold is so severe and how this happens. Simply put, mold releases a number of mycotoxin materials, which create the horrible smell. Here are other reasons:
- The smell is a mixture of numerous chemicals the mold releases as it grows.
- The smell comes from compounds such as geosmin, borneol, 3-octanone and others.
If you head to your local grocery store or department store, you should be able to find air fresheners capable of overpowering the smell the various mycotoxin compounds. Febreze is a popular choice among homeowners. However, be aware that the products will only mask the odor for a time; eventually, the mold stench will prevail. These products don’t eliminate the mold.
If you don’t think a commercial product will do the trick, or if you’d rather try something different, you may already have some items in your home that will work. One common combatant is the water-vinegar mixture. Try a half-part of each and put it into a spray bottle. Then, spray on the mold damaged area.
In worst-case scenarios, you may need mold remediation to rid your home of this terrible smell. A professional mold cleanup company can use specialized chemicals or may even tear out and replace drywall or flooring in your home.
Mycotoxin compounds leave a musty odor you don’t want to deal with. Try these techniques to ensure you can have a stench-free home.
What Is a Flood Zone, and Are You in One?
It is important to know the flood zones in your area and be prepared with any size storm.
Everyone has heard of Tornado Alley, and they know this alley is the region of the United States in which tornadoes are most likely to occur. However, many people are unfamiliar with a nearby flood zone and often wonder in which regions of the U.S. these zones are.
It is important that you understand what these zones are and why the government has made special designations for them.
What Is a Flood Zone?
A flood zone is a region of the U.S. that FEMA has defined according to their levels of flood risk. Though there are several alphanumeric designations the organization uses, there are four main categories in which a region can fall:
- Moderate to low risk areas
- High risk areas
- High risk coastal areas
- Undetermined areas
In high risk areas, homeowners are required to hold a flood insurance policy. However, FEMA provides grants to homeowners who were hit by a bad storm to either supplement what money the insurance company provided or to make up for lack of coverage.
How Can You Tell What Flood Zone You're In?
FEMA offers a flood map, which provides useful depictions of flood hazards per region. You can download the map for free or pick one up from a Englewood, Colorado flood insurance company. Be aware that flood zones are always changing, and that last year's map may be out of date. It is important for your safety that you retain a copy of the most recent flood map available.
Do You Need Flood Coverage?
If you are in a high-risk zone, then yes, you are likely required to carry flood insurance. However, even if you're in a moderate to low risk area, your lender may require you to carry a rider policy. If you do need insurance, visit FloodSmart.gov for the most affordable rates and best policies.
It is important for all homeowners to understand what flood zone they're in to better understand the flooding risk. If you're unable to get the information you need from a flood map, contact your local flood restoration team for assistance.
Have Your Building’s Gas Valves Run Away: 3 Things To Consider About Furnace Floods
Getting your commercial building back up and running after water damage is difficult. Know the restoration experts in your area.
A furnace flood may be worrisome when it happens, but the aftermath can be just as bothersome. If you want to curb some of that concern, then you may want to review the list below for the most common issues resulting from a flooded furnace.
A flooded furnace can lead to many problems, but many common issues stem from damage done to the gas valves. These are three problems that can occur with a flooded furnace:
- Runaway Gas Valve: This refers to a valve that will not close, meaning that it is continually allowing gas into the system and potentially into the building.
- Intermittent Gas Valve: The valve may function sporadically, meaning that a furnace may not be able to heat when signaled by the thermostat.
- Bleeding Gas Valve: Similar to the runaway valve, this issue causes the valve to not entirely close after a cycle, allowing gas to continue to flow into the building and creating potential safety hazards.
Mold and Mildew in the Ductwork and Furnace Cabinet
A concern with any flood is the likely growth of mold and mildew, but a furnace flood creates a particular cause for concern. Most furnace cabinets require insulation. If this insulation is not checked after a flood, it can develop mold, which can spread through the ductwork and vents whenever the furnace cycles on.
Risk of System Failure
Beyond the concern of malfunctioning valves and exposure to mold, a flood can cause sustained damage that is not immediately noticeable. If this damaged goes unchecked, then it can lead to full system failure.
Getting an Inspection
The easiest preventative is to check the Englewood,Colorado area for local restoration specialists and schedule an inspection and an air duct cleaning. Most furnace inspections should catch all of these major areas of concern before they impact your business operations.
A furnace flood can be trouble for business owners. If you stay aware of the potential risks after a flood and inspect your furnace for common areas of concern, then you should have little to worry about.
What To Do If You Have Mold In Your Englewood Colorado Home
An Englewood East home with mold damage.
From time to time mold will begin to grow indoors, in homes and businesses. Due to the problems, it is essential to remove it immediately. Mold must be identified by a qualified Environmental Hygienist for proper treatment. An Environmental Hygienist is a scientist trained to asses and contain hazardous substances. These individuals will be familiar with the types of problems an area is prone to and how best to handle the situation. Once a fungus outbreak has happened the home owner should immediately contact a hygienist to schedule an assessment.
In Englewood CO, mold is a problem. Fungus will feed on surfaces such as drywall, wooden joists, studs, cardboard, and clothing. It will thrive in areas that are warm, damp, and humid. The way it reproduces is to make spores, microbial growth, which can spread throughout a structure in as little as 48 to 72 hours. In Englewood and Littleton Colorado, basements are a common space with the perfect conditions for growth. Water is essential for microbial growth. Cleaning any water damage as soon as a leak is discovered will help in the prevention of further growth. If mildew growth is discovered, it should be cleaned immediately with a commercial cleaner and a scrub brush to stop the growth before it turns into a huge problem. Mildew left untreated will quickly turn into a colony.
Here are some tips for cleaning damage:
- Fix leaks immediately and dry all items thoroughly.
- Scrub moldy area with detergent and water, then dry completely.
- Porous materials should be professionally cleaned, but be warned this may not always prevent them from having to be replaced depending on the extent of the damage.
- Avoid exposure by wearing a respirator (N-95 style), gloves that cover up to the forearm, and goggles to prevent spores from getting in the eyes.
If the problem is in several locations, has spread to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)system, or involves sewage or other contaminated water, it may be best to contact a professional who is familiar with treatment of moldy areas to ensure proper handling. Attempting to handle these issues without training, could lead to much bigger problems down the road.
For cleanup to be considered successful, the area must be free from visible as well as any smell associated with the infestation. All signs of water leaks or damage must be fixed, cleaned, and completely dry. The area must be safe for occupancy, with no health issues or physical symptoms present. Even dead spores can trigger allergies in certain individuals, therefor, the colony must be removed, not simply killed. Surface samples can be taken to ensure cleanup has been properly completed. A Environmental Hygienist, specifically trained in sampling protocols, methods, and interpreting results should be used for this type of testing.
Unfortunately, Englewood and Littleton CO, are susceptible to colony growth. Once discovered, immediate action is essential for quick handling, cleanup, and recovery. Anyone looking for more information pertaining to Colorado specific fungus should visit.
Visit http://www.SERVPROenglewoodeastlittleton.com for more information on mold damage.
3 Ways to Protect Your Building After a Fire
While cleanup and restoration initiatives unfold, your building may be a shell of its former self.
A fire can be an extremely devastating incident for any business in Englewood, CO. As a business owner, initiating repairs and resuming normal operations will likely be your top priorities. However, an insurance adjuster will need to assess the site and verify damage before cleanup and restoration endeavors can begin. In the meantime, your building and any surviving assets are exposed to a variety of elements. To prevent further property damage, you should consider several precautionary measures including installing temporary security fencing, boarding exposed entry points and securing your compromised roof.
1. Install Security Fencing
Depending on the severity of the damage, your building may be a very dangerous site after the fire. Setting up security fencing establishes a safety perimeter and helps minimize accidental injuries by preventing unauthorized people from gaining access to your damaged building.
2. Provide a Temporary Roof Cover
Your building’s roof probably did not endure the fire unscathed. To aid their efforts and create an escape route for smoke and heat, firefighters may have cut holes in it. These holes provide an accessible entry point for animals, rain, snow and other weather elements, which can potentially cause additional destruction. To avoid this situation, you should cover any damaged areas with a tarp or professional-grade shrink wrap until your roof can be properly repaired.
3. Secure Broken Windows and Doors
Although a temporary perimeter fence will likely deter people from attempting to access your site without permission, broken windows and doors serve as additional entry points for weather elements and unauthorized visitors. Boarding shattered windows and securing damaged external doors are an important means of further securing your building and surviving assets from additional harm.
A Work in Progress
While cleanup and restoration initiatives unfold, your building may be a shell of its former self. In the interim, installing security fencing and addressing damaged windows, doors and your roof can mitigate the risk of your commercial property sustaining supplemental damage, which is something every affected business owner hopes to avoid. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROenglewoodeastlittleton.com/.
A Simplified Guide to Claiming Your Casualty Loss
After assessing storm damage, restoring your business is a top priority.
If your Englewood, CO, business recently sustained storm damage from a sudden, unexpected or unusual event, such as a hurricane, flood, tornado, earthquake or fire, you may be eligible to claim a casualty loss on your taxes. Although somewhat tedious, claiming your storm-related losses doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. Understanding several key points can help every business owner prepare their tax return.
The Role of Insurance
Your first action after the storm passed was probably to contact your insurance company. The amount of money you receive from your insurance claim impacts your tax deduction and is a required component of the deduction formula.
Focus on Property
Storm damage can impact many aspects of a business including revenue and productivity. Although vital to business success, these aspects are not tax deductible, at least in terms of your casualty loss. Your claim must focus exclusively on damaged or destroyed property.
For your tax professional to properly calculate your deduction, you will need to provide several key pieces of information pertaining to your damaged property:
• Proof of ownership
• Acquisition cost
• Pre-disaster value
• Reduced value because of the disaster
• Amount of your insurance reimbursement
The IRS Formula
The deduction calculation process involves the following three steps:
• Determining your adjusted basis in the property, meaning what the property cost to acquire and improve minus depreciation
• Calculating the decreased fair market value of the property
• Subtracting your insurance reimbursement
If you plan on deducting losses for multiple pieces of property, you will need to follow this formula to calculate the value of loss for each item.
When Should You File?
Generally, business owners must claim their deduction in the year the loss occurred. However, if the damage your business sustained occurred because of a federally-declared disaster, you may complete an amended tax return and deduct the loss in the preceding year.
Restoring Your Assets
After assessing storm damage, restoring your business is a top priority. Claiming a casualty loss deduction on your taxes can help reduce the financial burden of the cleanup and restoration process. Maintaining good records will help ensure you have all the necessary information, should you ever need it. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROenglewoodeastlittleton.com/.
Tips for Dealing With Water Damage
You can't always avoid plumbing problems, but you can respond to them quickly to lower their impact on your home.
Plumbing problems are a common problem for homeowners. Broken pipes and ruptured supply lines can wreak havoc on your home in Englewood, CO, but if you act quickly, you can minimize the water damage they cause. Here are some tips for handling flooding in your home in a timely manner.
Phone calls to your insurance company and local water restoration specialists should be your first priority. Before you start water cleanup, you need to take inventory of anything that could be damaged:
• Personal items, such as clothing
• Floors, walls and ceilings
• Door and window frames
A list of the damage and the cost it will take to repair or replace is can be helpful to your insurance adjuster. Take pictures of the damage before touching anything so that you have an accurate account of what happened. It's even better if you can get an invoice for temporary repairs from restoration experts as well as an assessment of other repairs that need to get done.
While you are waiting on repair personnel to arrive, there are a few things you can do to minimize water damage. After donning rubber boots and other protective gear, turn off the water at the source to stop the flow. It's also a good idea to cut the power to the area to lower the risk of electrical shock. If there is a lot of water and you can safely do so, start removing water from the area. When the professionals arrive, though, trust their judgment and let them take over the water cleanup process.
You can't always avoid plumbing problems, but you can respond to them quickly to lower their impact on your home. By calling in the professionals as soon as you know there's a problem and cutting off the source of the issue, you can get your water damage under control. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROenglewoodeastlittleton.com/.
3 Reasons Why Bleaching Mold Helps the Fungus and Not Your Business
When you discover mold at your Englewood, CO property, you may seek out bleach to treat it. Bleaching has been touted as a potent biocide for fungus cleanup, but it is actually not effective or recommended. Here are three reasons why bleaching is not the most effective method of mold cleanup.
1. A Wet Environment Means More Mold
Mold is a quickly reproducing organism when it gets an opportunity. It reproduces by spreading spores that search for suitably moist and warm environments. While the mold may seem gone after a surface scrubbing of a chlorine product, it can return days later if the damp environment mold loves is still untreated.
Organizations such as the EPA have advised to avoid using biocides without professional judgment because of the risk of potentially worsening the fungus growth. The EPA advises that moisture control is the only completely effective way to kill mold.
Small levels of spores will always remain despite disinfection. The best way to stop them from recolonizing is to prevent them from having a suitable place to grow. Lingering water that mold needs to live can be removed from your business by a professional water and mold cleanup crew.
2. More Water Is Added With Its Use
Most available bleach products are 99% water. By using it for mold cleanup, you are only creating a better environment for fungus growth with additional moisture. While the surface mold may seemingly go away, the material instead becomes perfect for any lingering spores to resettle later.
3. It Is Not Thorough
For comprehensive cleanup, bleach does not cut it. Porous materials such as wood are where the roots of the fungus, known as hyphae, settle. By only cleaning the surface of these materials, the roots continue to spread the spores but more effectively with the help of water that seeps down.
When choosing the best route of cleanup for mold, bleaching should not be something considered. Fungus cleanup at your business can only be accomplished by sterilizing and creating an environment free of problems that allowed the mold grow in the first place. Visit http://www.SERVPROenglewoodeastlittleton.com for more information on mold.
4 Types of Smoke Remediation
Smoke cleaning is an important process after a fire has affected your Englewood, CO home. Soot and smoke can cling to the surfaces of your house as well as your belongings. If left unattended, the damage could further permeate your structure and become harder to fully remove. Your residential fire cleanup professionals may use various methods to clean up the smoke.
1. Thermal Foggers: When you hear about thermal foggers, you may think of pest control. However, this equipment can also help remove smoke odor. The technique recreates fire-like elements, such as pressurization and heat. The porous materials in your house pick up the deodorization materials in the same way they picked up the smoke odors.
2. Air Filtration Devices: Some air purifiers can help in the smoke cleaning process. The fine, professional-grade filters actually help catch the odor-causing particles. The filtration system can simultaneously help you deal with mold problems and excessive moisture in your home as well.
3. Ozone Machines: The smoke odor in your home could also be removed by an ozone machine. This equipment kills certain particles in the air to ensure your home is free of bad odors and dangerous airborne irritants.
4. Solvent Cleaners: Solvent cleaners help remove the physical signs of smoke damage. Your cleanup team may use wet and dry cleaners on various surfaces in your home. In some cases, the building materials in your home may actually have to be removed rather than cleaned. However, solvent cleaners can work to rid your house of soot and smells.
Smoke cleaning requires two different elements to be addressed. First, you have to worry about the unsightly soot that clings to your belongings. Second, you have to tackle the odor that permeates almost every surface in your home. When these two elements are addressed at the same time, you have a better chance of being happy with the restoration your home goes through. Visit http://www.SERVPROenglewoodeastlittleton.com for more information on fire damage.