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How To Help Your Clients Navigate Storm Services

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Ways To Help Your Clients Navigate Storm Services

When a storm occurs in a place like Temple, TX, your office is overwhelmed with calls about storm restoration. In order to satisfy your insurance clients, you have cultivated a list of preferred vendors in their area who you know will work well with their coverage options and provide effective services. But what sets one restoration team apart from another? Here are some ways to help your clients navigate storm services.

1. Choose Local Franchises
Encourage your client to choose a storm restoration company that is local but that has strong backing. After a storm, many local businesses and individuals will be seeking help, so it's important to choose a company that has the backing of a larger corporation to ensure that they will have access to the supplies that are necessary to help your client with their project.

2. Value Communication
Especially when making initial contact, the first impression is important. Only recommend a storm response team that has a proven record of answering customers' calls and communicating with them openly and honestly about the time frame for providing services. It's also necessary that a restoration team keeps good records throughout the entire project and initiates follow-up calls with your client. Your client should never have to wonder about the status of their restoration.

3. Trust the Training
Emphasize companies that have a background of training their staff completely before assigning them to flood damage restoration jobs. Anyone can run a shop vacuum or a pump, but your client is depending on you to help them find restorers who are knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to properly dry out a structure so that business can continue. A franchise that is required to meet corporate standards for each employee's training can more easily guarantee that any staff member they send to a site will represent that company well by providing superior services.
Be thoughtful and thorough when you advise your insurance clients about their options for storm restoration help in their area.

How To Protect Your Business From Frozen Pipes

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Insulation for pipes Insulate your pipes.

Water damage can arise from a variety of situations all year long. In the winter, it is especially important to protect your Academy, TX, business from frozen pipe bursts.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Just like homeowners, business owners face the risk of frozen pipes every winter. Fortunately, there are many steps that can be taken to prevent this issue. The following are situations that increase the likelihood of pipes freezing:

  • Temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature fluctuations
  • Lack of insulation

To prevent frozen pipes, keep the indoor temperature as consistent as possible during the day and night. This prevents the temperature fluctuations that can lead to frozen pipes. If your business has pipes inside cabinets, leave the cabinet doors open to allow warm air to reach the pipes. Insulating the pipes themselves is another effective way to keep the water from freezing. In certain situations, particularly if you know uninsulated pipes are going to be exposed to particularly cold temperatures, leaving a small trickle of water running can help keep the water from freezing in the pipes.

Cleaning Water Damage

Unfortunately, water damage cannot always be prevented. If your commercial building experiences water damage from broken pipes, you may be able to perform the water cleanup yourself. First, extract the standing water using pumps or a specialized vacuum. Then dry out remaining moisture using fans and dehumidifiers. If the humidity outside is low, you can open windows and doors to increase airflow. Next, clean and sanitize the affected areas. Finally, begin making repairs to damaged items. Depending on your skill level and the severity of the damage, you may be able to make the repairs yourself. More complex damage may require the services of an experienced restoration company.
Freezing pipes can burst and cause water damage which can lead to structural problems and mold growth. Fortunately, with a little preventive action and quick cleanup when necessary, these problems can likely be avoided.

4 Things You Need To Know About Mold

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Moldy drywall Mold is a fungus and can grow on many surfaces, including drywall

Here Are Four Things You Should Know About Mold

If you spot suspicious green or black dots on the walls or ceilings of your building, do not ignore them. There is a good chance those fuzzy spots are evidence of mold growth. If left untreated, the fungus can spread quickly and cause serious damage to your business in Holland, TX. Mold should always be treated and removed immediately to avoid costly damage and repairs.

1. Mold Can Spread Quickly
Mold is a fungus and can grow on many surfaces, including wood, drywall, and carpet. Once its microscopic spores enter your building and land on a damp surface, the mold will begin to grow and colonize. Depending on your building's moisture level, type of surface, and temperature, the infestation can begin to develop within 24-48 hours and can cause problems throughout the entire building within a matter of days.


2. Mold Loves Moisture
High humidity and warm temperatures create a perfect environment for growth, making basements and bathrooms common areas for the fungus to form. Keep these areas well ventilated with plenty of airflow and use a dehumidifier to lower the moisture content in the air.


3. Mold is Common After Leaks and Floods
Flood and water damage can lead to mold growth when water seeps into porous and organic materials, often causing structural damage. In addition, broken pipes can leak behind a wall and provide an excellent home for growth. Performing routine maintenance on your plumbing can reduce your risk in these situations. If the fungus does appear, calling a professional mold removal service is your best bet for removing it and replacing the damaged materials.


4. Mold Can Carry an Odor
In addition to being unsightly, mold often carries a strong musty odor. In some cases, you may smell the odor before even seeing the infestation if it is growing behind a wall or in other hidden areas of the office.
Never ignore mold growth if you suspect it. It can take over your building quickly and cause severe damage. Keeping humidity low and routinely inspecting your building’s plumbing can help reduce your chances of developing a mold problem, and swift action can save you from costly repairs find any growth.

3 Preparatory Steps for Mitigating Wind Damage

1/17/2021 (Permalink)

Building Windows all Boarded Up By boarding up your building can make it safer

Three Steps To Help Minimize Wind Damage

High-speed winds are capable of causing considerable structural damage to buildings and wrecking other property. Even small impacts like causing a shingle to fly away can turn into a bigger one like a roof leak. These can turn into extreme problems that require a professional cleanup and restoration service to deal with. Moreover, high impact winds are both more common than tornadoes and can come with any storm. There are some actions that can be taken to, if not completely prevent, at least mitigate the harm done by strong winds. Here are three steps you can take to help minimize wind damage in Chilton, TX.

1. Inspection by a Contractor
You should have your building inspected by a professional contractor for problems that may be exacerbated by wind:

  • loose, broken, or missing shingles
  • a damaged roof
  • broken windows
  • damaged lights and fences

2. Secure the Outdoors
You should also be sure to secure the outdoor area of the building before a storm. This includes bringing in any outdoor items not fixed to the ground like signs. You should also have shrubs trimmed down and trees close to the building either chopped down or stripped of low hanging branches. Debris around the building should be removed so that the wind does not pick it up and slam it into the building, possibly breaking a window or causing a roof leak.

3. Reinforce the Building
There are also ways to reinforce the building to make it safer. For example, you could install windows and doors specially rated for wind resistance. Impact-resistant shutters can also help soften the wind's blows. Using good quality, solid materials like wood or steel in doors, and shatterproof glass in windows is something else that helps.
Wind can wreak havoc on property and result in problems like a roof leak. It is important to take steps to prevent and mitigate possible wind damage.

How to Flush Your Water Heater

1/17/2021 (Permalink)

Hand attaches hose to a home water heater to perform maintenance Performing a successful flush on your water heater is a simple way to help maintain a crucial appliance in your home

How to Flush Your Water Heater

Much like any other appliance in your Holland, TX, home, your water heater requires routine maintenance in order to continue functioning properly. Performing regular maintenance, such as a simple flush, can help keep your appliance running smoothly for years to come. The good news is that this process is quite simple to execute, even if you lack the prior plumbing experience.

1. Turn Off the Machine.
This process varies depending on which type of model your home is equipped with. For gas models, simply cut the gas and extinguish the pilot light. Electric models can be switched off via your home's circuit box.

2. Empty and Flush the Tank.
Open your device's drain valve and allow the water to flow freely for several minutes until the tank is completely drained. You can switch on the faucet in your kitchen sink to help the water drain more smoothly and efficiently. Wait a few minutes before turning off the supply valve. Switch the supply valve back on once the water flow ceases entirely. Flush the water heater quickly before cutting the supply once again.

3. Refill the Water Tank.
Once you feel satisfied that all of the water and debris left in the tank has been drained, you may close the valve. Switch the water supply back on and closely watch the flowing faucet in your kitchen sink. The stream will start flowing smoothly again once the water tank is completely full.

4. Reactivate the Power.
After the tank has been refilled, you can switch the power on. Do so by repeating step one in reverse order. Double-check to make sure the water tank has been filled completely before restoring the power. Doing so with a half-full tank can damage your appliance. Your water heater flush is now complete.
Performing a successful flush on your water heater is a simple way to help maintain a crucial appliance in your home. Make sure to contact water remediation experts for assistance if you encounter any problems during your flush.

Eliminate the Mold Inside Your Shower in Just 3 Steps

1/17/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold growing on shower grouted joints tile in bathroom wall corner As the most humid place at home, you can expect mold in your bathroom

You Can Accomplish These Goals Through These Simple Steps

Shower mold is not a surprising development since the bathroom can be the most humid area in your Holland, TX, house. The shower area is constantly wet, and it can be difficult to prevent mold formation. Still, it is important to clean the fungi off fast and reduce the possibility of growth. You can accomplish these goals through these simple steps. 

1. Prepare a Cleaning Solution 
Cleanliness and disinfection are crucial in removing visible black mold and preventing spore congregation. White vinegar is the most effective option. You can spray it on the affected area without diluting the formula. A mix of one cup of Borax and one gallon of water also creates a safe solution that lasts after the spray. A bleach solution is a last resort tactic due to the chemical's hazardous nature. Mix 10 parts water to one part bleach, using gloves to keep yourself safe. 

2. Wipe Off the Mold
It is now time to clean off the shower mold. Spray a moderate amount of solution to the moldy area and gently wipe it off with a clean cloth. If this method does not work, switch to a specialized scrubbing brush instead. For mold located inside caulking and grout, you will need to use a dedicated small brush or toothbrush to reach the smaller area and scrub it. Remove and replace the caulking or grout if you are unable to clean the mold from it. 

3. Prevent Future Mold Growth
Mold spores can grow again anywhere, even after the removal. Mold remediation experts have the best equipment and techniques to eliminate the fungus as effectively as possible. You can always contact them to assist you with this task. Additionally, you can prevent mold growth by reducing humidity. Dry any wet areas in the bathroom and improve ventilation by using the fan when showering and opening a window afterward. 
As the most humid place at home, you can expect mold in your bathroom. This three-step procedure can help you easily resolve shower mold cases and prevent them from returning.

How To Prepare for a Fire

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Disaster Plan Key Showing Emergency Crisis Protection And Preparedness In Preparation Or Risk Management. Fire preparation can help you avoid damage, injury, and business interruptions

When it comes to fires, it's better to be safe than sorry. Fire preparation can help you avoid damage, injury, and business interruptions. Knowing when a disaster preparation plan is needed and how to create and implement one is critical for your business.

When a Plan is Needed

Disaster preparation plans are needed for many reasons:

  • Preventing injury
  • Preventing damage
  • Complying with laws and regulations
  • Applying for some grants
  • Communicating with government officials and investors

Creating a Plan
The type of plan you need varies by location and business. Familiarize yourself with state and local requirements in Temple, TX, before creating your disaster preparation plan. All fire preparation plans should be well-documented and updated regularly. Some items to include are emergency exits and exit strategies, fire extinguisher and hose locations, smoke detectors, fire alarms, automatic sprinkler systems, and more. Once completed, your plan may need to be approved by appropriate agencies.
You will also need a plan for what to do following a disaster. You should make sure you have good insurance coverage and familiarize yourself with what your policies cover. It is also important to research fire damage restoration services and select a company you can contact to repair fire damage.

Implementing a Plan
Once a plan is in place, it will need to be implemented. Educating employees is one of the most important steps in implementation. Make sure all staff knows disaster plans, and post signs around the building that have clear instructions for staff and customers to follow in case of emergency. Regular meetings should be held regularly to review and update policies.
All emergency equipment, such as fire extinguishers, should be checked often and replaced as needed. Locations of such equipment, as well as exits, should be clearly marked.
A well-developed fire preparation plan will reduce the risk of injury, damage, and business interruptions. Business owners should know when a plan is needed, how to create a plan, and how to implement said plan.

3 Reasons Wildfires Increase Flood Risk

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Station Fire was the largest wildfire of the 2009 California wildfire season. A wildfire is an unplanned fire that burns in a natural area such as a forest, grassland, or prairie

3 Reasons Wildfires Increase Flood Risk

Many regions that experience wildfires are dry, with few sources of water, making them appear to be at low risk for flooding. However, homeowners in these areas may still want to consider purchasing flood insurance through the FEMA NFIP program due to the increased flood risk posed by wildfires. These are three reasons that wildfires increase flood risk.

1. Terrain Alteration
Wildfire damage can drastically change the terrain and ground conditions where the fire occurred. Vegetation, such as trees and grass, plays an important role in absorbing rainfall. After a wildfire has occurred, the ground is often charred and barren, greatly reducing its ability to absorb water. These poor drainage conditions make flash flooding and mudflows more likely to occur. This increased risk lasts until vegetation returns, which can take up to five years.

2. Flood Severity
Not only is flood risk higher after a wildfire, but the severity of flooding damage also increases. Because the charred ground is unable to absorb much water, it takes only a small amount of rainfall to cause a flood. With no vegetation to slow the flow of the water, the water gathers soil and sediment, which further increases the damage the floodwater can do to homes in its path. Heavily soiled floodwater requires significantly more effort and expense for flood remediation, making the protection offered by the FEMA NFIP program even more valuable.

3. Widespread Risk
Homes located directly in the burned area aren't the only ones that experience increased flood risk after a wildfire. Homes that are located downstream or below burn areas also experience more flooding.
The FEMA NFIP program can help homeowners at higher risk for flooding due to wildfires protect their homes from financial loss. An insurance professional in Belton, TX, can review your coverage options with you and help you select the best coverages for your home and family.

What To Expect During the Mold Remediation Process

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Mold Quarantine The first step of mold remediation is containment

Here's an Overview of the Cleanup Process

If you own a commercial property in Marlin, TX, eventually, you may face a black mold problem. Since mold growth often results from excess moisture, you must hire a professional who can address the mold and the causes behind it. Having some background knowledge can help you make an informed decision. Here’s an overview of the cleanup process.

1. Containment
The first step of mold remediation is containment. The mold cleanup specialist, wearing personal protective equipment such as goggles and shoe covers, uses physical or chemical barriers around the area to keep the mold from spreading during cleanup. This ensures that other areas of the property remain unaffected.

2. Removal and Repair
Next, the technician assesses the building materials affected by the black mold. Porous items like drywall or carpet can be prone to heavy mold infestation and may need to be torn out. If your technician decides that any of these surfaces are beyond repair, they are removed and replaced with new materials. He or she should also repair the source of the moisture leak to prevent further problems.

3. Cleaning and Disinfection
After addressing the structure of the building, the mold remediation specialist assesses the items inside, such as furniture, decor and equipment. Many of these items can be cleaned and disinfected so that no traces of damage or odors remain.

4. Drying
Throughout the cleanup process, the remediation expert uses specialty fans, dehumidifiers and other equipment to ensure that the area is thoroughly dried and the air is filtered. A good technician will have been trained to assess each unique situation and apply the correct drying and cleanup techniques.
Finding black mold at your property or commercial building isn’t ideal, but with the right mold restoration company, it doesn’t have to be too stressful. Ask your technician about each step in the process so you can confidently proceed with remediation services.

3 Fire-Related Expenses Covered by Renters Insurance

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Renters insurance form and dollars on the table. Renters insurance can help you avoid financial struggle after a fire

3 Fire-Related Expenses Covered by Renters Insurance

If your Rosebud, TX, rental home suffers fire damage, it is important to understand what your renters' insurance will and will not cover. The following are three costs generally covered by rental insurance policies.

1. Liability
Even the most conscientious tenants may accidentally start a fire. The liability portion of your insurance policy will cover damage to other people’s property, third party medical bills, and any related legal fees up to the coverage limit. Many policies include a similar provision that will cover medical costs for third parties that are not high enough to necessitate determining liability. Remember that insurance will not cover damages from fires that are intentionally set.

2. Loss of Use
In some cases, you will not be able to live in your rental home during the fire restoration process. Fortunately, many renters' insurance policies will pay for your living expenses during this time. Covered expenses may include hotel charges, boarding fees for your pets, food, and storage space. Keep up with receipts so that the insurance company can reimburse you.


3. Contents
Contents coverage is also known as personal property coverage. It covers your furniture, electronics, clothing, and everything else that belongs to you rather than your landlord. Be sure to keep an inventory of everything you own that you would want restored or replaced if affected by fire damage. Make a list that includes a description of the items as well as the purchase date and price. Take pictures of the items individually or do a video walkthrough of your home. Keep the inventory in a secure off-site location or in cloud storage. This will help the insurance company determine how much to pay out after a loss.
Renters insurance can help you avoid financial struggle after a fire. Read your policy thoroughly and ask your insurance agent if you have any questions. He or she can help you make sure that you have the right coverage for your unique needs.