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Top 5 FAQs About Mold

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on floor after pipe leak Black mold damage in Denver, CO

Questions About Mold Growth

Mold growth is an extremely common issue that the majority of homeowners do have to handle at some point. Spreading mold can quickly create larger problems for your property in Denver, CO, so acting swiftly is incredibly important. Read on to have your frequently asked questions regarding mold growth answered.

1. How Can You Tell Whether You Have Mold?
In most cases, you will be able to see mold growth. Black mold, one of the most common household varieties, is black or dark green in color and might look like a stain on the surface of an object. In some cases, a musty smell can also indicate mold growth.

2. Where Does Mold Grow?
Mold thrives in dark, moist environments. This means that any area of your house that comes into frequent contact with water could experience mold growth. Common places to find mold include your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, basement and garage.

3. How Can You Stop Mold from Spreading?
The best way to prevent spreading mold is to eliminate it at the source. In most cases, a moisture issue will be the source of the mold. Check for any leaks, pipe bursts, basement floods, damp showers or other water related issues.

4. Does Mold Go Away By Itself?
Mold is a living organism, so it's natural to assume that you could kill it by depriving it of its vital nutrients. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Cutting off the mold's access to water and nutrients may temporarily prevent it from spreading, but it won't solve the mold problem.

5. How Can You Fix a Mold Issue?
Your mold removal tactics largely depend on the scale of the problem. Larger issues do require assistance from mold remediation experts. You can address smaller problems using a kitchen scrub brush and a non-toxic cleaning solution comprised of equal parts water and white vinegar.
Preventing spreading mold is key when it comes to protecting your residential property. Make sure to contact mold remediation experts for more information and assistance resolving any mold issues you might have.

Salvaging Belongings After Water Damage

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Worker with drying equipment in a living room that has been damaged by water Water damage in a Hampden, CO home

A broken pipe, Mother Nature’s wrath or forgotten faucet can quickly create havoc in you Hampden, CO, home. Along with potential structural issues it can cause, unwanted water in a home can ruin cherished belongings. While some items can’t be salvaged, such as medicine, food, saturated wood and personal hygiene items, much more can be saved when taking a careful and gentle approach.

Caring for Belongings

As you sort through your wet belongings, keep the following in mind:

Furniture – Wipe down any affected furniture to remove excess moisture. If it is on a wet rug or carpet, remove from the area or place on blocks to lift it up. For upholstered pieces, saving it may depend on the amount of saturation.
Fabrics – Clothing, curtains, bedding and rugs should be immediately cleaned and dried. Use hot water to kill any potential bacteria.
Books, Photographs, Documents – These fragile pieces take time to deal with and often require expert help. The best option is to store them in a box or container in the freezer until they can be properly addressed.
Electronics – While not all may make it through being waterlogged, many can be restored. Again, it is vital to leave that to a trained technician. Any devices that have been in water need to be unplugged.

Professional Expertise
When faced with extensive water in a home, ensuring you save as much as possible means placing the care of your belongings in the care of water damage and restoration company. Along with helping restore your home and ensure no mold grows or other hidden damage happens, they have trained experts in the restoration of other items. Various techniques are used on- and off-site to restore many items back to normal. Depending on the material, methods used include immersion, foam, abrasive, wipe and clean, wet and dry cleaning.
Just because you have water at home doesn’t mean everything has to be tossed. Before diving into the mess, get help that is Faster to Any Size Disaster.

Who's Responsible for Water Damage: Tenants or Landlords?

9/29/2020 (Permalink)

wood floor with water sitting on it Water damage is pricey to restore--who is responsible?

According to a survey by Freddie Mac, 82% of renters now view renting as more affordable than homeownership. This is an all-time high for the survey. One of the main reasons for this is that millennials tend to value the freedom of renting more than the pride of homeownership.

Renters can pack-up and leave if they no longer find a home satisfactory. They are also spared the stress of maintaining a property. Renting gives a tenant the freedom they would not have if they owned the property. But how far does a renter's freedom go? Does it completely free them of responsibility of the rental?

This question causes constant conflict between landlords and tenants. And now here is the issue more present than when assigning responsibility for water damage in the rental property. Water is ubiquitous in a house and where water is, the possibility of damage is ever present. Additionally, the cost of fixing water issues can be prohibitive.

Therefore, landlords and tenants are motivated to shift the responsibility for water damage to the other party. Tenants believe the responsibility is the landlord's since the property belongs to the owner and tenants are paying rent. Conversely, landlords say that because tenants live in the home and are more likely to cause water damage, they should bear the responsibility.

But what does the law say and what is the best way of dealing with this problem? With the help from Bighorn Rentals, below we explain the limits of landlords' and tenant's responsibility for water-damage in a rental property.

Water damage: landlord's rights and responsibilities

The basic principle for this issue is the "Implied Warranty of Habitability." This is an unspoken guarantee given by landlords to their tenants, assuring them that a home is livable up to the existing codes. It means the necessary systems which will allow a tenant to live comfortably in a home are in place.

The principle further demands that landlords check the working condition of the plumbing and drainage systems before tenant move-in. These must be functioning to the satisfaction of the tenant. Furthermore, the landlord is expected to maintain these systems in proper working order throughout the duration of the tenant's stay. To do this, landlords must:

  • Carry out regular maintenance and repairs of the plumbing and drainage to resolve issues caused by wear and tear
  • Carry out emergency repairs when it is required. An emergency is any problem that threatens the livability of the property.

These two expectations from the basis of the landlord's responsibility for water damage in the rental. However, property owners also have the following rights.

  • Landlords have the right to expect responsible use of the plumbing and drainage systems by tenants. Where a tenant is proven to be negligent, landlords can demand that the tenants bear the cost of repairs.
  • Secondly, landlords have the right to be informed immediately, by the tenant, if problems arise with the home's plumbing. This is because the tenant is in constant contact with the systems and is therefore in the best position to detect problems.

Where the tenant fails to respect the landlord's rights, the tenant will be partly or wholly responsible for the repairs.

The tenant has the "Implied Right to Habitability." Since the tenant has paid for the right to live in the home and use its systems, the tenant has the right to peaceful enjoyment of the property. The landlord must keep the home in a condition that allows the tenant to enjoy the full benefits of paying rent. Tenant's rights may be summed up as:

  • The right to a home that is safe and sanitary
  • The right to immediate action by the landlord to fix all reported water-issues in the home

Where the landlord fails to maintain the property to the expected standard, the tenant reserves the right to withhold the rent or move out of the rental.

But to enjoy these rights to their fullest extent, the tenant must also be responsible. The tenant is responsible for the following:

  • Any damage to the home's plumbing and drainage deemed to have resulted from a tenant's misuse of the property or negligence will be paid for by the tenant.
  • If the detected damage is not the tenant's fault but the tenant failed to report it to the landlord in a prompt manner, the tenant will be partly responsible for it
  • It is the tenant's responsibility to limit the extent of any detected damage. For instance, by shutting off the main supply when they discover a burst pipe.
  • The tenant is responsible for their belongings in the event of water damage.

If the tenant fails to do any of the above, that tenant will be liable for the damage and the landlord is right to charge the tenant.

The above is the basic framework that landlords can use to navigate the assignment of responsibility for water damage in their rental property. If these terms are properly spelled out in the lease and explicitly explained to tenants, the probability of friction between the owner and the renter will be greatly reduced.

How To Check Your Home's Fire Alarms

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

Ionization smoke detector Ionization alarms picks up on hot blazes

Here Are Some Questions You Ask Yourself as You Make Sure Your Home Is Protected

Chances are, you don't think much about the fire alarms in your home in Glendale, CO until they start chirping or go off when you use the toaster. These alarms are vital to protecting you and your family from a fire, though. Whether it's alerting you to a life-threatening blaze or reducing the amount of fire damage from an unnoticed kitchen flare-up, your home's fire alarms are vital to helping you avoid heartache.

1. Do You Have Enough?
You should have at least one fire alarm on every floor of your home, plus one in each bedroom and one outside every sleeping area. Inspect your home to make sure you have the right number, and consider adding additional units. If the alarm closest to your kitchen is down the hall and around the corner, it might be a good idea to install another one nearer to this high-risk area.

2. Do They Work?
Chirping alarms ensure that you're replacing the batteries regularly, but you'll also need to replace your fire alarm unit entirely every 8-10 years or so since their sensors eventually wear out. Sometimes the units will alert you of this, but often you'll just need to keep track of when they were installed.

3. Are They Effective?
In addition to making sure that your fire alarms are functional, it's important to know that they are effective. For example, there are two different types of smoke detectors: One that picks up on hot blazes (an ionization alarm) and one that warns you about smoky, smaller fires (a photoelectric alarm). To make sure that you're covered for both types of fires, make sure you have both types of alarms installed throughout your home or alarms that detect both.
Although a fire alarm can't prevent a fire or prevent the need to clean up from smoke damage, it can give you the notice you need to put it out or get to safety. Make sure that your home is properly equipped to protect you and your family.

Do You Need Coverage for Mold Exposure Claims?

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

worker with protective gear while removing mold from building Mold clean up services in Cheesman Park, CO

Most insurers have cut coverage for mold claims out of commercial liability policies. Property owners may need to buy back coverage of this hazard for a building in Cheesman Park, CO. The ability to file mold insurance claims can save tens of thousands of dollars in a structure with a history of mold or water damage.

The Effect of Mold Endorsements

Endorsements affect an insurance policy by taking away or restoring coverage for stated perils. Check for any of the following factors:

  • Mold endorsements
  • Mold exclusions
  • Limited fungus coverage

If you are not sure how much coverage is available for mold claims, consult with an insurance agent. It may be possible to restore coverage that has been excluded from a property or liability policy.

Regaining Mold Coverage
Commercial policyholders and insurers may be able to use endorsements and riders to restore coverage for perils cut out of a policy. This can be the best way to regain lost coverage for mold insurance claims. Make sure policy limits are sufficient to offset mold cleanup and remediation costs.

Major Mold Remediation Expenses
If you do not have coverage for mold when an infestation becomes apparent, you will not be able to file a mold claim. The best way to limit expenditures on cleaning up mold is to ensure that water damage is mitigated and extracted within 48 hours and that the affected area is completely dried and restored. Most water damage is covered under general commercial property policies.
You may want to look into buying back coverage if your commercial property and liability policies exclude mold. Consider adding an endorsement or rider to a current policy or seek an additional policy for making mold insurance claims. Make sure that premiums are not unnecessarily high and that limits are sensible based on the likelihood of a mold problem at a building in Cheesman Park, CO.

The Costs of Water Damage

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Pipes, wet floor, mold growth due to humidity Commercial water damage in Montclair, CO

Three Fallouts Of Water Damage 

The water damage caused by damaged pipes might seem bad enough on its own, but the preliminary damage itself can in fact lead to all sorts of other trouble. Besides the surface damage caused by flooding, it can lead to secondary damage such as:

  • Mold growth
  • Rusting metal
  • Rotting wood

These three types of damage and more can add up to costly repairs for your Montclair, CO, commercial building, so it's important to call your local water damage experts as soon as possible.

Mold Explosion
Mold spores are everywhere around us, searching for the moist environments in which they can grow. A flooded area around leaking pipes, for instance, is the perfect habitat for mold. Unfortunately for business-owners, mold grows extremely quickly, and can start to spread in as little as 24-48 hours after flooding. The first step in mold remediation, of course, is to fix those damaged pipes so that the water doesn't just keep flowing.

Rust Rampage
Rust is an iron oxide formed by the reaction of oxygen and iron in a moist environment. Besides its unpolished appearance, it can cause the iron to severely weaken and can cause all types of mechanical malfunctions. Similar forms of degradation can occur in all kinds of metals in the presence of water.

Weakened Wood
When saturated with water, wood can rot the same way any plant or organic material would. That's one of the many reasons that flooding is especially dangerous to wood floors and other wooden structures. The rotting of wood is irreversible and the affected areas must simply be replaced, so it's crucial to address the source issue right away.
All in all, water is an incredibly powerful element and water damage is one of the most common causes of property losses, whether due to damaged pipes or natural weather. Mold, rust, and rot are just three of the many fallouts of water damage.

How Quickly Should You Begin Storm Damage Mitigation?

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Abandoned buildings were flooded. Flood damage in a Capital Hill, CO building

How Quickly Should You Begin Storm Damage Mitigation?

Immediately after a storm or flood in Capital Hill, CO, efforts must begin to prevent further damage. This period is known as “golden time,” because the actions taken in these hours make the greatest difference in saving lives and preventing further damage. It’s also when your flood cleanup company should be called.

What Happens When the Flood Waters Recede?
During the flood itself, no one should enter your business except to save lives. Once the waters recede, the first ones inside should be a licensed flood cleanup company.
Flood-damaged buildings can collapse without warning! The inspectors need to examine the circumstances and begin a three-step procedure:

  • Assess the safety of the building.
  • Secure the integrity of the structure.
  • Cover exposed areas in the building envelope.

How Is a Building Determined To Be Safe?
The frame of a building is scrutinized for damage that indicates an unsafe condition. Some may have to be torn down and replaced. However, many buildings can be shored up for at least temporary entry, allowing expensive items to be removed.
The majority can be repaired to their original condition. The restoration company makes the determination, along with your insurance company. It’s a good idea to choose a contractor on the official list of preferred vendors. Your insurance agent can help you locate one.

What Is a Building Envelope?
The frame of your commercial building provides most of the structural strength, but the building envelope is essential to protect the frame. It’s what keeps out excess moisture and all the elements. It needs to be properly sealed to do its job.
It also gets the worst beating from storms – or even the burning summer sun. Solar radiation eventually breaks down many roofing materials, while rain and humidity ruin the rest.

What If the Envelope Is Damaged?
Your flood cleanup company will mitigate any further damage by immediately tarping and boarding all exposed areas. This prevents further damage from the elements. Then, the restoration process begins using giant air movers and dehydrators. SERVPRO is Faster to Any Size Disaster!

Why Stability Is Important After a Fire

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke damaged on walls of a property Fire damage in a commercial building

Why Stability Is Important After a Fire

A fire in a business can be completely destabilizing. A loss of function of the property due to commercial fire damage, flooding, or accumulation of debris can be a loss of a place to live or a temporary freeze in business. Stabilizing the situation immediately after a fire can provide momentary peace of mind to the owners of a property that has undergone fire damage, and a restoration company can provide that peace of mind.

Fire cleanup can be a lengthy, multistep process that requires industrial equipment like cranes, dehumidifiers, and specialized cleaning implements to remove smoke smells. These cannot be individually arranged by a business owner but are managed by a restoration company. Fire damage restoration requires multiple parties, including independent contractors, the fire department, and the police department. Taking this burden from the property owner is the first step toward stability after devastating fire damage.

A fire restoration company can provide an initial assessment of any fire damage, soot damage, or smoke damage in a property can arrange for it to be boarded up as soon as possible. Boarding up any damaged windows or doors will ensure that the property is safe from intruders. The professional restoration company will also manage any entry or exit into or from the property by the fire department or other professionals so that the property owner can work through any other issues.

Any property that has undergone fire damage after a fire in a home or a fire in a business will most likely have undergone water damage as well due to firefighting. It is important to remove any water with industrial dehumidifiers and air movers as managed by a licensed professional to prevent any further corrosion of property. Antimicrobials and disinfectants are then applied to prevent fungal or mold growth in moist areas. Before any fire cleanup can occur, the property must be completely dry. Soot damage and smoke damage can be managed afterwards.

Once the property has been boarded up and dried, debris and salvageable items can be removed for disposal or restoration. It is important for property owners to consult with the company to discuss whether or not items hold sentimental value in order to determine whether or not they are appropriate candidates for restoration. Smoke smells, soot damage, and smoke damage are often able to be removed by a fabric or upholstery expert. Commercial fire damage occurs due to smoke and soot damage very often and requires extensive fire damage restoration.

Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Businesses

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

How To Prepare A Business For A Storm

If a hurricane strikes a business located in Montclair, CO, the aftermath could be disastrous. Fortunately, the more prepared a business owner is, the faster a company may be able to resume operations after suffering hurricane damage. Here are three tips for how to prepare a business for a storm.

1. Have a Disaster Plan in Place

The National Weather Service and meteorologists can help tremendously by predicting where a cyclone may hit. Paying close attention to weather reports may be critical for awareness of the high winds of a storm. However, the weather is unpredictable, and a business owner should always be prepared in case a storm takes a track directly toward the location of the company. It is always smart to have an emergency plan already in place. This strategy might include allowing employees to work remotely for an extended period if the commercial building suffers storm damage. Purchasing emergency supplies and non-perishable food, as well as discussing a disaster plan with all workers, is also important.

2. Properly Secure the Building

Hurricane damage is not only caused by high winds, but flood damage due to massive amounts of water can also be devastating for a company. If a storm is headed toward Montclair, CO, it is imperative to properly secure the structure. Boarding up windows with plywood may prevent them from shattering, and placing sandbags around the exterior of the business can provide protection from flooding.

3. When in Doubt, Get Out

While it may be possible to shelter in place during a cyclone, getting out of the path of the storm is typically the safest option. This is especially true if an incredibly strong hurricane is headed toward the area. When in doubt about whether it is safe to stay or to go, leaving town is usually the right choice to make.

Hurricane damage to a business property can be a major problem for an employer. However, the safety of employees and individuals in the building should always be the top priority. Any structural damage can quickly be repaired by professionals who specialize in storm cleanup and flood cleanup.

How to File a Flood Insurance Claim

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Underwater flooding in a backyard. Flood damage in North Park Hill, CO

Simple Steps To File A Flood Claim

In the wake of a storm, many wonder how they are going to pay for their damage and costs to hire cleanup and restoration professionals. If this is you, you can follow a few simple steps to file a flood claim with your insurance company.

Notify Your Insurer

After experiences a flood, immediately contact your insurance agent to file a flood claim. Make sure to have the following information handy when making this phone call:

  • The name of your insurance company
  • Your policy number
  • Contact information where you can be reached at all times

An adjuster should contact you soon after you make your claim. If you do not hear from them within a few days, you should contact your agent again.

Document the Damage
Once you have filed your claim, separate your damaged property from undamaged property. Your adjuster will need physical evidence of all of your damaged property in North Park Hill, CO. Gather this by taking pictures of all the damage you face, including broken objects, structural issues in your home, and water levels. Then make a list of all of your damaged or missing items and include their date of purchase, value, and receipts.

Complete a Proof of Loss
After seeing your damage, your adjuster will assist you in preparing your Proof of Loss for your official claim. A Proof of Loss can be many things, as long as it meets the requirements outlined in the Standard Flood Insurance Policy. You must file your Proof of Loss within 60 days of the flood. This document substantiates your flood claim and is required before you can receive your compensation. You will receive your payment after turning in your Proof of Loss and agreeing on the cost of damages with your insurer.
After a catastrophic storm and severe flooding, you must file your insurance claim quickly. To file this claim, you should notify your insurer, document the damage, and complete a Proof of Loss.