Do I Need Fire Insurance for My Building?
Fire insurance protects you from financial loss if your building or property is damaged by fire.
Do I Need Fire Insurance for My Building?
You're a business owner, so you've got a lot to think about. You have employees, inventory, and investments at stake. When it comes to fire insurance, you might be tempted to think that it's outside of your scope of responsibility. However, if your building catches on fire and you haven't taken out the necessary insurance policies, you could suffer significant losses that put your business in jeopardy—and even put people at risk.
What's the cost of not having fire insurance?
The cost of not having fire insurance is simply the price of a policy, which can vary somewhat in cost per year between different companies and policies. However, there are additional costs associated with not having a policy in place. Fire restoration is extremely expensive and can cost tens of thousands of dollars depending on the extent of damage and how much time has passed since it occurred. Smoke cleanup services can also cost thousands.
Some people consider their home as an investment and don't want to risk losing money in case something happens to it. If you're thinking about buying a house or condo but aren't sure if you should get fire insurance first, consider these questions:
Stay Protected With Fire Insurance.
Fire insurance is important for protecting your building, investments, and reputation. It can help with the cost of fire damage, smoke cleanup and smoke damage.
If you own a building that’s rented to tenants or used as a commercial space, there are many reasons why you should get some fire insurance. For example:
- Your business could be damaged by fire and no longer able to operate if something goes wrong.
- You may have lost rental income while the property was being fixed after a fire broke out in one of your buildings that was not insured against damages caused by such events - which is why it's important that all structures be covered properly before anything happens so an insurer doesn't try charging excessive premiums due to risk factors not being considered beforehand!
Quick cleanup and restoration.
The quicker you can get your business up and running, the better. A fire cleanup company can be there to help with:
- Removing smoke, soot, and other residues
- Disinfecting surfaces that were exposed to smoke or water
- Cleaning up debris or rubble left behind by firefighters and/or workers on site
If you don't have a professional restoration company on board after a fire, these tasks will fall onto your shoulders—and that's not something anyone wants to deal with in addition to all the other challenges they're facing after such a traumatic event.
Fire insurance is important to protect your building, investments, and reputation.
Fire insurance protects you from financial loss if your building or property is damaged by fire.
It will also give you peace of mind while allowing you to get back on your feet quickly with a clean slate after the damage has been repaired and cleaned up. As an added bonus, some policies may provide coverage for the cost of moving supplies and equipment into another location if yours must be demolished after a fire has destroyed it.
Fire insurance is an important part of protecting your building and investments. If you don't have it, then you're putting yourself at risk for losing everything in the event of a fire. It's worth looking into because even if there aren't any fires in your area right now, it doesn't mean they won't happen tomorrow!
After the Flood: Where Is That Smell Coming From?
A wet carpet can lead to unpleasant odors and secondary damage.
Unpleasant Odors After A Flood
According to FEMA, 99% of counties in the U.S. suffered some impact from flooding between 1996 and 2019. Regardless of whether it comes from a malfunctioning toilet or a leaky roof, a flood has the potential to cause issues like mold growth and water damage. Cleaning up flood water can involve a great deal of time whether you do it yourself or employ the services of a professional cleanup service in Pleasanton, CA, so it can be annoying to observe a lingering odor even after the process.
There are three potential culprits for a smell that refuses to leave in the wake of an unexpected surge of water.
1. Mold and Mildew
FEMA states that mildew colonies (generally used to refer to a certain kind of flat mold growth) may begin to cling to and spread across damp surfaces within only 24 to 48 hours. The fungus produces chemical compounds while propagating that release an earthy, musty scent.
Flood water is separated into three categories for recovery and restoration purposes:
Clean water (Category 1)
Gray water (Category 2)
Black water (Category 3)
The latter two may carry substances like chemicals. Among their contents, bacteria often reside. These may emit bad odors like the rotten egg one commonly associated with sulfur or others or their breakdown of particles may lead to them. Even after all standing water is removed and everything dried, porous materials like carpeting may retain some of the microorganisms if not properly cleaned, causing the smell to permeate the room.
Burst pipes are one of the most common reasons for flooding in a structure, and they often contain wastewater. Even if water comes from outside, it may have mixed with sewage loss from storm drains and garbage from the streets, particularly if it is overflow from a nearby body of water.
The best way to avoid unpleasant odors from mold growth and other things in floodwater is to disinfect all affected areas and surfaces thoroughly as soon as possible. Consulting a professional may also help.
5 Things Commercials Owners Should Do Right After a Fire
Commercial fire damage in Dublin, CA.
Five Things To Do After A Fire
Fire restoration is a multi-step process, demanding patience and hard work. Commercial owners may want to dive in, cleaning off the soot from walls and tables. This method isn't recommended because the situation is more complex. Proprietors, though, do have a significant role in fixing the facility. The following are five useful things owners can do after a fire.
1. Report the Fire
If you hold a fire insurance policy, file a claim with your insurer immediately. If anyone else leases or owns the building, work with these people as well. The mortgage company, for instance, may be able to work with you on your monthly payments. These agents, however, cannot help if they are unaware.
2. Secure the Area
Above all, do not touch anything on your own as several structural and electrical hazards may exist. It's best to permit a fire restoration company in Dublin, CA, to enter the premises and begin to mitigate potential secondary concerns.
Experts should safeguard the property. Openings should be closed up, preventing unwanted people and animals from entering. Board up exposed windows and doors. Cover the roof with tarps.
3. Approve Remediation Assessment
Water and smoke cleaning are often both necessary to restore the affected rooms. Allow for professionals to complete a thorough inspection of damages and put together a methodical cleanup plan. Send this report to your insurer for approval.
4. Take Pictures
Once the fire department and the restoration team allow re-entry, walkthrough, snapping images of anything destroyed. Gather visuals of the ash and char: document merchandise or equipment destruction.
5. Create an Inventory List
Many policies include property loss compensation. Look through your visuals and then write out the name of each thing. Also, note how much it cost and how you need to replace it.
It's hard to wait, but the process to handle fire cleanup isn't easy or quick.
Fire restoration professionals require time to care for the building appropriately. Owners can help out by working well with paperwork and insurance communication and leaving the physical cleaning to the experts.
Will My Insurance Pay for Water Damage?
Drying up after water damage in a residence in Dublin, CA.
If you have sustained damage from water in Dublin, CA, and need to calculate the cost of fixing it, you might wonder if you should file an insurance claim. If you have homeowners insurance, you may think that filing a claim is the best decision — after all, if you pay for insurance, you should be able to use it. However, it may be in your best interest not to file a claim. In fact, depending on how the damage occurred in the first place, you might not have a claim at all.
What Type of Water Damage Does Insurance Cover?
Damage from a water source is usually covered by insurance if the cause is sudden and accidental. A few examples of this include:
- Burst pipe
- Rain or snowstorm
- Damage from extinguishing a fire
- Sudden appliance failure
If you need water damage repair after a sudden accident, your insurance can help pay for related expenses.
Insurance will not cover damage resulting from events caused by lack of maintenance. If, for example, your roof leaks because of loose shingles that haven't been fixed, or if a pipe rusts over time and bursts, you will not have a valid insurance claim.
Flood damage is also not covered by insurance. You can, however, purchase home flood insurance under a separate policy.
Why Should I Think Twice About Filing a Claim?
There are no hard-and-fast rules about how an insurance company decides whether to accept a claim, or whether they will raise your rates afterward. It is in your best interest to talk to your agent ahead of time so you understand your coverage before a disaster occurs. If the cost of damage repair is minimal, paying for it yourself might avoid a rate hike. If you have catastrophic damage, you will probably want to file a claim, but the insurance company may still raise your rates.
If you want to know exactly what your options are for an insurance claim, the best thing you can do is talk to your agent. You will have the knowledge you need if you sustain water damage to your home.
3 Common Questions About Mold
Mold damage in a Pleasanton, CA residence.
Mold Growth and Cleanup
Mold is a vast and complicated subject with few easy answers. There are over 100,000 known types of mold and as many as three times this number of species are speculated to exist. Here are answers to three simple questions about mold growth and cleanup.
1. Is Mold Harmful?
Many types of fungus are allergenic and some mold species are toxigenic. It is generally advised that homeowners try to limit direct exposure to mold. Avoid pulling up wallpaper, drilling into walls, or otherwise disrupting any surfaces that may be moldy without proper personal protective equipment.
2. How Do I Identify Mold?
Mold is a fungus that grows in patterns. Black mold or stachybotrys chartarum, a toxigenic species, grows in a pattern of circular spots. Mold growth may appear fuzzy, slimy or shiny depending on the species, stage of the fungus life cycle and the characteristics of the surface supporting growth. Mold can permeate materials unlike mildew, which is a fuzzy or powdery surface-level fungus.
3. How Do I Clean Up Mold?
Homeowners can clean up small mold infestations by using undiluted white vinegar, ammonia and water in equal parts or a fungicide that has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. Most experts recommend homeowners contact a mold restoration service for infestations affecting more than 10 square feet of a residence. Keep mold from returning by taking timely measures to lower high humidity or restore water damage.
Understanding the conditions that could support fungus growth can help to prevent a mold problem at a residence in Pleasanton, CA. Making speedy arrangements for professional water damage mitigation and restoration is the best way to prevent mold from starting to grow. Professional mold cleanup is recommended in situations where mold growth is already underway.
How To Clean Up Water Damage After a Fire
If you suffer from fire damage call SERVPRO of Pleasanton/Dublin
Cleaning Up Water Damage After a Fire
If a fire affects your Pleasanton, CA, home, you are likely to have more problems than fire damage. Unfortunately, damage from the fire itself often co-occurs with damage from water.
How Fires Lead To Water Damage
Firefighters have many tools for extinguishing fires, but the fire hose is one of the most effective. These hoses can release several hundred gallons of water per minute, and this water, along with smoke damage, is the homeowner’s responsibility.
Although a sprinkler system is likely to minimize fire damage and use much less water than the fire department, homeowners are still left with a wet mess afterward.
Water Damage Restoration Process
Standing water, no matter the cause, can lead to other problems, including:
- Structural damage
- Bacterial contamination
- Mold growth
Due to these potential problems, it is important to begin drying the property as soon as possible. You can enter the property after the fire department says it is safe to do so. The first step in the restoration process is to dry out the home. There are many tools that can be used for this purpose, including shop vacuums, dehumidifiers and fans.
You can rent these items yourself. Be mindful of the electrical hazards posed by running equipment in wet areas. If you hire a professional restoration company to do the work for you, they will use their commercial-strength tools. Depending on how long the water was present, it may be necessary to sanitize affected surfaces and remove any mold growth. After everything is clean and dry, repair what can be salvaged and replace what cannot.
Unfortunately, fire damage is not the only issue homeowners face after a fire. Water from the extinguishing efforts also causes damage and can lead to mold growth. Fortunately, acting quickly minimizes damage from both the fire and water.
8 Ways To Prevent Fires
If your home has suffered from Fire call SERVPRO of Pleasanton/Dublin we are here to Help!
8 Fire Prevention Methods
1. Have smoke alarms installed
Fires often occur at night when you’re asleep and spread so rapidly that some people are overcome by fumes before they even wake up. Smoke alarms will give you early warning and save lives.
Smoke alarms will be most useful if placed:
• Near a doorway or stairway (on the ceilings)
• On every floor of the house
• In each bedroom or at least in the corridor outside each sleeping area.
• In the kitchen (every so often, you might get a “false” alarm when you’re cooking. If you turn it off, don’t forget to turn it back on!)
2. Have fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers. That’s plural, as in more than one. Many people just have one for the kitchen, but you should have one in every room, especially if you have a fireplace or use space heaters. Don’t forget the garage and attic, places where people store gas cans, old clothes, and lots of other combustible stuff.
3. Watch the wiring
Electrical fires can be some of the most dangerous, so keep a close eye out for frayed wiring, especially if you have pets in the home. Especially puppies who like to chew on everything. Other pets, like cats or adult dogs, might urinate on sockets while marking territory. Unintended “pets”, like mice and rats, can also do damage by gnawing on wires.
• Never run electrical cords under rugs or furniture. Not only are these things combustible, but you can’t see if the cord is frayed or has been damaged.
• Overloaded electrical sockets are a major cause of fires. If lights are flickering or your breakers are tripping frequently, you’ve got a problem. In these cases, the light switch or receptacle plate may feel hot. Get it replaced immediately by a professional.
• Loose plugs that don’t fit snugly into sockets can cause sparks and heat buildup.
• Never try to force a three-prong plug into a two-plug outlet.
4. Be careful cooking
If you’re frying or grilling food, stay in the kitchen! Even a short time out of the room might allow a fire to go unnoticed until it’s too late. Don’t cook with a stove, oven, or grill if you’re sleepy or if you’ve been drinking alcohol. A microwave oven is safer, but fires are still a risk.
Don’t wear long flowing sleeves when you’re cooking, even if you’re used to wearing a house robe while getting the kids ready for school in the morning. Speaking of kids, keep them 3 feet away your stove or oven; children are notoriously curious about fire and heat.
If you’re cooking with oil, it’s a good idea to have a lid handy for the pan you’re using. A lid would suffocate the fire and give you time to turn the oven off. Don’t try to move the pan or throw water on the burning oil, it will splatter and burn you.
5. Monitor and maintain other appliances
• The lint trap in your clothes dryer, if left clogged, can cause fires by overheating the appliance. Clean it out after each load.
• Houses with furnaces have a built-in fire hazard and have to watch it closely. Replace filters diligently and keep clutter several feet away. Let professionals establish and monitor settings and do needed repairs and maintenance.
• Portable space heaters are handy, but be certain to remove any nearby combustible clutter at least 3 feet away in every direction. Get a heater that has an automatic shutoff function if it falls over.
• Operate and re-fuel portable generators only outdoors, where there is adequate ventilation.
6. Keep the small fry away from the flames
Kids are notoriously curious about fire and flames. Teach them that fire is not a toy, it’s a tool.
Establish a few rules:
• Kids stay 3 feet away from cooking stoves and fireplaces, as mentioned earlier, except under your direct supervision.
• Kids do not handle matches, lighters, or lighted candles, except under your direct supervision.
• Kids don’t use barbeque grills, except under your direct supervision.
• Kids are to follow established escape routes in a fire (more below)
7. Use sense if you smoke
Smoking is a fire hazard, so avoid the activity inside the house and, especially, don’t smoke in bed. Avoid smoking when you’re drowsy, on certain meds, or have been drinking alcohol. Make sure that all cigarettes and cigars are completely out before you toss them in the trash or, better yet, have an ashtray with sand in it available.
Never smoke in a home in which someone uses oxygen. Oxygen is extremely flammable, even explosive.
8. Establish escape plans
You should be already looking around the house for at least 2 ways to make a rapid exit from the house. If there’s a second floor, the family should know how to easily open the windows and deploy a ladder, in case they can’t get downstairs. Conduct fire drills regularly so that everyone knows exactly what to do in a fire, with a designated meeting spot outside the home.
You might not be able to protect your family from every calamity. With a little planning and some common sense, however, you’ll be able to spot every fire hazard short of a flaming meteorite hitting your home. Find those hazards and eliminate them and your home will become a whole lot safer.
How To Save On Maintenance Without Cutting Corners
Pool house with standing water in Pleasanton, CA residential caused by a storm.
What Can Property Managers Do in the Event of a Hurricane?
It is possible for a property owner to control maintenance costs and preserve and improve the condition of a residential building. These facility management tips can reduce the overall cost of maintaining an apartment, condominium, or other multifamily residences in Pleasanton, CA.
Prevention Versus Emergency Fixes
Preventative maintenance tends to be much more affordable than an emergency fix. There are several costs that may be avoided:
• Fast response premiums from appliance specialists, plumbers, or roofers
• Cleanup costs
• Damage restoration expenses
The maintenance cost associated with prevention will be considerably less than if damage has already occurred. It may also be possible to avoid irreparable damage to building materials or contents.
Fix Damage As Soon As Possible
Repairs tend to become more costly the longer damage lingers. This is particularly the case for primary damage that is prone to result in secondary damage, such as the following scenarios:
• Damaged windows or doors
• Roof damage
• Roof or pipe leaks
Fixing damage quickly may prevent secondary damage, such as mold. A timely response can also lead to lower mitigation or restoration costs or allow for maintenance measures that might otherwise not be taken until severe problems develop.
Take Measures To Increase Efficiency
Some maintenance measures are made even more cost-effective by increasing efficiency. Switching out older appliances for efficient models may avoid damage resulting from leaks or malfunctions and improve overall efficiency. Replacing or installing treatments or weather-stripping on windows or exterior door sweeps can lower heating bills and prevent storm damage.
All of these measures are practical ways to minimize the maintenance cost of a residential building. It is crucial to quickly mitigate and restore any damage caused by a storm, water backup or leak to prevent costs from spiraling. A property owner or facility manager should rely on a professional service that specializes in residential and commercial restoration in Pleasanton, CA.
What Can Property Managers Do To Prepare For a Hurricane?
Areas prone to hurricanes may want to install storm shutters.
What Can Property Managers Do in the Event of a Hurricane?
Hurricanes can cause severe damage wherever they strike. Property managers may be able to take a few measures to limit the amount of hurricane damage sustained by a residential building in Dublin, CA. Here are three measures building owners or managers should take before a hurricane is expected to strike.
1. Install Storm Shutters or Board Up Windows
Owners of properties in areas prone to hurricanes may want to install storm shutters. There are several styles of shutters that make it possible to find the right hurricane preparedness equipment for any type of building. These solutions can range in cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the number of windows that require protection. Boarding up windows can also be an effective short-term solution.
2. Check Insurance Coverage
If a property is located in an area prone to hurricanes, the owner or property manager should make sure that the current level and types of insurance coverage are sufficient. Most standard residential and commercial property insurance policies do not cover hurricane damage. It may be necessary to add a policy to cover damage caused by these severe weather events. Some policies also only cover damage resulting from certain categories of hurricanes. Separate flood insurance coverage may also be necessary.
3. Take an Inventory
A property manager should have an up-to-date inventory of all of the contents and equipment in the common areas of a structure. Managers may also want to encourage tenants to take out rental insurance policies and make sure that these policies cover contents damaged by hurricanes. Managers should document damage after a hurricane and prepare to make an insurance claim.
These measures can limit damage and make it easier to file an insurance claim for hurricane damage. If a building sustains major damage, property management should arrange for professional mitigation and restoration services as quickly as possible.
Can Severe Storms Damage Solar Panels?
A severe storm can damage your roof and also your damage your solar panels.
Can Solar Panels Be Damaged by Severe Storms?
Most solar panels are designed for durability and can withstand hail or wind speeds as high as 140 miles per hour. A severe storm that damages a roof or is accompanied by flying debris may also damage panels. Find out more about the most common forms of panel damage and how to plan ahead and protect these components.
The Effects of Adverse Weather
Roof-mounted panels may succumb to general roof damage. This includes several incidents:
• Broken panels
• Damage due to flying debris
• Dislodged panels
Panels that are less expensive and well-made may be more likely to break. Most high-quality panels are certified to withstand hail with a one-inch diameter falling at 50 miles per hour and high wind speeds. Roof-mounted panels are also typically secured to roof beams with lag bolts.
How To Prevent Panel Damage
Homeowners can take several measures to prevent panels from becoming damaged. These considerations start during the panel selection process and continue throughout installation:
• Invest in high-quality panels
• Check panel design damage ratings
• Anchor panels to roof beams with lag bolts
• Ask installers about common causes of damage
All of these measures can reduce the likelihood that solar panels will sustain damage even during the most severe storms. Lag-bolted panels are positioned within a few inches of a roof surface and should be capable of withstanding intense uplift force. Installation professionals can also provide insight into some of the most common causes of damage in a particular region and install panels in ways that may prevent damage from occurring.
Most industry-leading solar panel designs combine durable aluminum with glass casings to protect solar cells and prevent panel damage. These panels should be capable of standing up to adverse weather conditions. If roof damage results in leaks or damages the interior of a residence, homeowners should rely on a mitigation and restoration service in Pleasanton, CA.