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Exceptions to Commercial Insurance Mold Coverage

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

wet insulation, insulation with mold growth, insulation removed from drywall Commercial mold damage.

Commercial Mold Insurance

Major trouble, such as flooding and severe storms, can lead to mold damage, but so can much smaller problems. For example, a poorly installed air conditioning unit could lead to a damp spot that is out of sight. Most molds are harmless, but some can lead to liability claims or affect the structure of your building. Fortunately, commercial insurance usually covers related issues in Germantown, MA, but you need to be sure you have the proper mold insurance.

Risky Qualities of Mold

Mold has many qualities that make it a significant risk for property owners and their insurance companies.

  • It can grow just about anywhere, on drywall, wood, carpets, and paper.
  • Mold travels by air, on clothing, and through ventilation systems.
  • Where mold spores take hold, they begin to break down the materials being used as food. This process can weaken and eventually destroy those materials.
  • Mold often grows where it isn't seen. Once you've found it, the damage may be extensive.

Your insurance company may help you avoid mold damage, reducing your risk and theirs. However, you also need to be aware that many of these companies have policy exceptions.

The Fungus Exclusion

This policy exclusion pretty much means that mold remediation and resulting construction aren't covered. Fungus includes mold and mildew, as well as spores, toxins, odors, and the by-products of existing fungus. Some commercial insurance policies have language to the effect that fungus is covered if it was caused by fire, civil commotions, vandalism, or sinkhole collapse. However, there's isn't much likelihood that your mold problem originated from these situations.

Limited Fungus Coverage

With this type of policy, your damages, clean-up, and repairs are all covered by a fungus that is the result of a specific cause other than fire or lightning. These specific causes include water damage and leaking fire-extinguishing equipment. If the mold is a result of flooding, the damages will only be covered if you have a flood coverage endorsement. Consider talking with your Germantown, MA, commercial insurance agent to determine whether you have the coverage you need.

The 4 Rules of Fixing a Flooded Basement

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. A visible line is showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. A basement flood is never a friend.

How Do You Overcome A Basement Flood?

The soft pitter-patter of rain on the roof can be a delightful sound when the area around your home in Montclair, MA, has been dry for too long. However, when the rain pounds against your home in torrential sheets, it can be an unwelcome surprise, and it is almost a certainty your basement will turn into a swampy disaster zone of dirty water. So, how do you overcome a basement flood and get your life back? Here are the four rules of fixing a flooded basement:

Rule One

Water doesn’t belong in an area filled with electrical outlets, bathrooms, and chemicals, and neither do you. Rule one is that you don’t enter the flooded area until the water has been removed. There are numerous professional services that can help you restore your basement, but if you are a do-it-yourself type of homeowner, here are the most popular water suction devices:

  • Shop vacuum
  • Watchdog
  • WaterBUG
  • Submersible pump

The machine you should use depends on the depth of the water standing on your basement floor.

Rule Two

Your house can be a deadly trap if you are not careful about what utilities are active in your water-soaked basement flood zone. Rule two is that before you step on the wet floor, turn all the utilities off. Even if all the water is gone, you have no idea what electrical outlets or gas-powered units are still active. If a soaking wet item is still active, it can be a hazard.

Rule Three

Once an item sits in water for more than a couple of minutes, the general rule is that it should be discarded and insurance coverage requested. Rule three is that you should remove and discard electrical items, fixtures, wiring, furniture, carpets, and appliances. This is especially true of anything that has a motor.

Rule Four

The last thing you need is another flood. Rule four is that you do whatever you can to take steps to prevent it from ever happening again.

A basement flood is never a friend. Remove the liquid, and then take steps to prevent water from entering your home during the next deluge.

Flood Coverage: Protecting Your Business From Water Damage

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed on a commercial building Air mover on building after storm damage in Adam Shore, MA.
When you purchase your commercial insurance package, you probably don't think about getting extra coverage for specific damage to your building in Adams Shore, MA, that may occur if a powerful storm hits. Your property insurance, however, is unlikely to protect you if your building needs water remediation services for damage caused by floodwaters. Flood insurance provides extra support if your commercial property is damaged by a natural flooding disaster.

What It Covers

If you purchase a policy that covers damage caused by floodwaters at least 30 days before such an event occurs, you can save yourself quite a bit of out-of-pocket expense. This type of coverage gives you the means to rebuild or replace:

  • Waterlogged walls and insulation
  • Soaked flooring
  • Damaged ceiling tiles
  • Ruined furniture, electronics or other items

Flood insurance doesn't just save you money. It can also keep you from having to shut down your business while you pay for repairs. Many businesses that have flood damage with no insurance remain closed permanently if the aftermath is too great to overcome.

When It's Needed

Property policies usually only cover damage that occurs as the result of an internal cause. For example, if a pipe bursts or a fire breaks out, your property insurance is likely to pay for the repairs you need. Flood coverage is necessary, however, when the water damage is the result of an external cause, such as a thunderstorm, hurricane, municipal sewer backup, or water main break. If you live in a Special Hazard Flood Area or an area particularly prone to flooding, you may be required by law to have a separate flood policy. Even if you don't live in a flood plain, if your area experiences seasons of heavy rainfall or snow, it is advisable to build extra protection into your commercial insurance portfolio.

Flood insurance can save you money and save your business. It offers protection beyond the property policy and thus is an important part of your insurance portfolio.

Alternatives That Help Prevent Candle Fires

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

Battery powered candle The small investment in battery-powered candles can keep your experience intact.

Enjoy the Benefits of Candles Without the Risk Of a Candle Fire

For thousands of years, candles have provided human beings with a way to shed a little light on things after the sunsets. In more recent years, however, they’ve branched away from their original purpose, instead of providing household spaces in Quincy, MA, with clean, fresh smells. Regardless of their uses, these products are also the cause of thousands of fires worldwide each and every day. The average candle fire

  • Is reported 24 times each day
  • Is the cause of 3 percent of residential fire deaths
  • Was responsible for over 800 injuries between 2011 and 2015

By using a few alternative products, you can avoid severe fire and smoke damage to your home.

Oil Diffuser

The average oil diffuser has been around perhaps just as long as candles themselves and provides a safe, fireless alternative to scented candles. Typically, these devices consist of a container of essential oils and sticks that transfer the oils’ smells into the surrounding air. This method of scent distribution eliminates fire altogether and reduces the chances of needing smoke cleanup in the future.

Wax Warmers

Another safe way to enjoy scented wax without the risk of a candle fire is using a wax warmer. These products use low heat levels to melt scented wax, which is placed in dishes. These products still have their own safety hazards but cause far fewer incidents annually than candles.

Fake Candles

If the mood lighting is the part you enjoy most from candles, then a small investment in battery-powered candles can keep your experience intact while eliminating the dangerous aspects of candle usage. They’re typically cheap and serve as excellent lighting substitutes.

While candles were once indispensable parts of homes across the world, the products here and others like them have now become widely available to homeowners. They provide an alternative way to enjoy the benefits of candles without the risk of a candle fire.

4 Sources of Leaks During a Rainstorm

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Damaged roof

What Is The Source Of The Leak In Your Buildings Roof?

You may have assumed your commercial building in North Quincy, MA, was in good condition, only to come to work the day after a storm to find extensive rain damage: soggy paperwork, short-circuited computers, and a developing patch of black mold on one wall. Along with calling in professional water damage mitigation, you are obviously concerned with stopping this problem from happening again. 

1. Damaged Roofing
The problem may be an obvious one. If there are missing shingles or a visible break in a flat roof, water can easily drip into the building envelope. High winds or blowing debris can do significant damage in a major storm, making a hole leading to a big leak. However, if there is no clear damage, look elsewhere for the problem.

2. Gaps in the Flashing
Flashing refers to thin strips placed around structures on a roof to prevent leaks. Usually made of aluminum or galvanized steel, the flashing around chimneys, vents and skylights stops water on the roof from getting through. If the flashing is installed incorrectly or is damaged in a storm, rain damage can occur from water seeping through gaps or cracks.

3. Wind-Driven Rain
Even if the roof and its flashing are entirely intact, rain can still get through some kinds of roofing. High winds can drive rain sideways, causing it to collect under shingles or in improperly arranged vents and cause rot and leaks.

4. Other Water Sources
If you have had your roof inspected and there are no problems with the roofing or flashing but you are still finding puddles inside your building, it can be a good idea to look for another source besides a rainstorm outside. A cracked or leaking pipe in a wall or ceiling or an overflowing toilet can cause significant water damage regardless of how dry the weather is.
After experiencing rain damage, be sure to inspect your commercial building carefully and make the repairs necessary to prevent issues in the next storm.

Where Does Mold Damage Happen in Homes?

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

mold growth found behind drywall that has been removed Any evidence of mold damage means you need an inspection as soon as possible.

Many homes in Quincy Center, MA, are now finding toxic black mold damage on a number of surfaces. It’s unsightly, has a bad odor and eats away whatever it’s growing on, so it needs to be eradicated as soon as it’s discovered.
However, It doesn’t grow everywhere. It needs an organic substance to feed upon, such as

Drywall
Cardboard
Skin cells
Wood

Does Mold Growth Require Anything Else?

The most important thing mold needs are frequent or continuous exposure to dampness. The mold spores are already in the air, and in most cases, they’re harmless. However, when they mix with organic matter, they can cause trouble.
The inside of your house is ideal for mold. There often is a lack of airflow and mold can’t grow in sunlight. Plus, some areas tend to trap moisture, such as bathrooms. Yet, the most important cause of mold damage is a water incursion.

Where Does Mold Growth Happen in a Home?
The main cause of a black mold problem is an abnormal amount of water. After a major flood, mold explodes in almost every building that’s impacted. Floodwater not only brings moisture but tons of organic material that gets coated on everything. All the added humidity in rooms causes massive colonies to cover drywall and paneling.
This kind of mold requires professional mold restoration technicians to remove all the water and humidity. They’ll squeeze the moisture out of the home using negative pressure and containment, then start attacking the mold and water damage.
Roof and plumbing leaks also require experts. All these types of water damage get behind walls and leave a disaster. It’s critical to get the humidity lowered immediately after a leak to avoid a large mold restoration bill.
Mildew growth, such as on bathroom tiles, usually doesn’t need professional assistance. The key is to kill the mildew as soon as you see it to prevent it from getting out of hand and filling the air with spores.
Any evidence of mold damage means you need an inspection as soon as possible. Fast action can prevent the spread of black mold colonies to hard-to-reach places.

Why You Need a Security Fence After a Fire

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

Chain Link Fence Installing a security fence during this time will give you peace of mind until you reopen.

Reasons To Install A Security Fence After A Fire

If a fire damages your business in Merrymount, MA, you may need to temporarily shut it down while knowledgeable cleaning and restoration experts work to restore your operations. Installing a security fence during this time will give you peace of mind until you reopen by providing the following benefits.

Protection From Vandalism and Theft
Unfortunately, your business becomes tempting to criminal activity and trespassing if it remains unoccupied for an extended period. Unattended properties can entice:

  • Thieves who break in and steal your belongings
  • Vandals who deface your property
  • Animals that can use it for shelter
  • Criminals who use it as a meeting place

You don't want to risk that another insurance claim for damaged or lost property may further affect your premiums. Worse still, you may find that damages caused by unauthorized visitors are not covered by insurance if you do not have the protection of a security fence.

Protection From Liability
Your business's physical space may require substantial restoration following a fire and the professionals who work on it know how to protect themselves from potential hazards, including falling debris, loose electrical wires, or hazardous chemical exposure. If other people find their way into your business's property they risk becoming injured and you risk being the target of a lawsuit. Installing security fencing will ensure that only trained professionals who are handling the restoration efforts have access to your premises.

Avoid Complicating the Recovery Process
After a fire, you want your business to begin operating as quickly as possible, but unless you take the necessary precautions to ensure that something unrelated does not derail the recovery effort, your business's reopening could happen later than you would like or possibly not happen at all. Installing a fence will allow restoration crews to complete the job as efficiently as possible.
When a fire forces you to temporarily close your business in Merrymount, MA, installing a security fence is the best way to help a disaster restoration crew handle the cleanup necessary to get you back to business.

3 Tips To Prevent Mold Growth on Your Commercial Property

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

Torn drywall, mold discovered behind drywall Mold growth discovered behind drywall of a commercial building.

Tips To Prevent Mold Growth On Commercial Properties

Mold spores are microscopic organisms thriving in damp and dark conditions that provide them with adequate nutrients. Mold growth is the result of these spores attaching to materials that provide the nutrients they need to develop:

  • Grout
  • Wood
  • Dust

As a property owner, you can ensure that mold spores are not given favorable conditions to grow. Here are three tips to prevent fungus growth on commercial properties in Marina Bay, MA.

1. Install a HEPA HVAC Filter
Mold spores can be found everywhere, including inside your commercial property. Due to the microscopic nature of these organisms, it is impossible to prevent them from entering a building. HEPA filters are known for their capacity to catch organisms as small as .03 microns. Installing a HEPA filter in your HVAC system improves the air quality in your building by reducing the number of mold spores in the atmosphere.

2. Establish Ventilation Systems in Areas With Frequent Water Use
Fungus thrives in areas where there is lots of moisture, such as kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms. The nutrients, standing water and darkness in these areas provide mold spores an ideal home. Installing a ventilation system in these locations lowers the humidity levels, making conditions less optimal for mold growth.

3. Purchase Commercial Air Purifiers
Air purifiers with HEPA technology can lessen the chances for microbial growth and the spread of bacteria. In addition to a filter for your HVAC system, consider an air purifier with a HEPA filter to improve air quality and prevent the circulation of mold spores. These are beneficial, especially for immunocompromised individuals in need of better air quality.
If you have damage from mold growth, contact a professional mold remediation and restoration service to aid in cleaning and restoring your property. Taking preventative steps to keep mold spores from circulating throughout a building lessens the chances of mold colonies destroying the natural construction materials of a commercial property.

How To Clean Your Gas Range

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Cleaning a gas stove with kitchen utensils, household concepts, or hygiene and cleaning. Keep your range looking its best.

Tips To Get Your Gas Cooktop Sparkling Clean

When it comes to creating a culinary masterpiece, most Hough's Neck, MA, cooks agree: An electric cooktop is no match for the power and control of a gas range. Of course, an electric cooktop is usually much easier to clean than a gas stove. Range cleaning doesn’t need to be intimidating, however. 

Basic Cooktop Cleaning
Cleaning as you go is the best way to keep your range looking its best, but for most ranges, a daily or every-other-day will be sufficient. Follow these steps for a basic, everyday cleanup job:

  • Remove the burner grates and set them aside.
  • If the grates are dirty, place them in a sink filled with hot water and a little dish soap.
  • Wipe any loose crumbs or other debris off the gas range cooktop surface, using a dry paper towel or brush.

Apply a few drops of liquid dish soap to a clean, wet sponge. Wipe the entire cooktop surface down with the sponge. If your sponge has a scrubby side, feel free to scrub a bit at any heavily soiled areas. In the alternative, you can mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray generously over the entire cooktop. Both vinegar and dish soap will cut through cooking grease to get your range clean.
Wipe the vinegar solution or soapy water off using a clean paper towel or rag.

Stubborn Buildup
If your range has cooked-on spills that remain after basic cleanup measures, try a few drops of dish soap on a clean, wet toothbrush or other small, soft brush. Brush the soapy water onto the stained area and scrub using small, circular strokes. Wipe clean with a wet cloth or rag.
Because a gas range uses an open flame, it’s critical to keep yours clean. Cooking on a dirty stove can cause drips and spills to burn, filling your kitchen and home with a smoke smell. Worse, spilled grease can ignite into a home fire, leaving you to face smoke damage restoration and even structural repairs.

4 Questions to Identify the Cause of Your Basement Flood

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

Hand with a glove cleaning a clogged gutter Keep your gutters clean.

Top Causes Of A Basement Flood

When you have a flooded basement in your home in Germantown, MA, acting quickly can prevent further damages down the road. Although water under the house is not something any homeowner wants to deal with, ignoring the problem is never wise. For this reason, familiarizing yourself with the top causes of a basement flood can help you know what to do if you ever find yourself in this situation. If there is extensive flooding, you may need to call a water damage remediation expert for assistance.
To figure out where the water is coming from, ask yourself these four questions.

1. What Is the Home's Location Like?
When it comes to locating the source of water under a home, one of the first things to consider is the land that is underneath the foundation. Ideally, you want to build your house on a sloped terrain so water can flow away from the basement area, but realistically speaking, this does not always happen.

2. How Is the Sealing in the Floors and Walls?
Another question worth asking is about the floors and walls. Take a look around your basement. Do you notice anywhere with damaged sealing between floor tiles or wall panels? If so, water can easily seep in during extreme weather and cause a basement flood.

3. Is the Gutter System Clean?
Next: How are the gutters? If you notice debris blocking water, clean them out. When you do, remember to check the eavestroughs underneath the edge of the roof. If water continues to overflow despite having a clean gutter system, you may need to replace your current eavestroughs with larger ones.

4. Does the Drainage System Work?
Finally, how is the installation of your drainage system? If it is not working properly, this is another thing a professional can help with. Sometimes, all it takes is a little downspout readjusting.
When you experience a basement flood, understanding the top causes can help you more quickly identify the best solutions. These questions can help guide you.