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Know When Your Homeowner's Insurance Covers Broken Pipes, and When it Does Not

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Broken pipe in the ceiling Broken Pipe in West Orange NJ Home

You may have heard that homeowners insurance doesn’t cover water damage, and while this is true in many instances, it is generally not true in the case of a broken pipe. While most policies won’t cover the broken pipe itself, they will cover the ensuing damage, such as weak drywall, ineffective insulation and ruined carpet. If you recently experienced a flood of water because of a pipe burst, it is important that you understand what your insurance policy does and does not cover. Though this post can give you an idea, the best thing you can do is contact your West Orange, NJ, insurance provider regarding your coverage.

Some factors your insurance adjuster may consider when examining your claim include:

• The cause of the broken pipe
• Whether you were negligent in the care of your pipes
• Preventative measures employed by you prior to pipe burst
• The type of damage

Was Negligence at Play?

While most homeowners insurance agencies agree to cover water damage, they do so under upon the condition that homeowners do their best to maintain their premises. Part of home maintenance includes eliminating hazards, fixing noticeable damage before it becomes a problem and taking proper preventative measures. If an adjuster determines that you did not fix a broken pipe when it started to leak or that a lack of heating caused your pipes to burst, your claim may be denied. However, if you did everything in your power to prevent a flood, your agency cannot rightfully deny your claim.

What Type of Damage Is Present?

Fortunately, most homeowners policies are fairly extensive when it comes to water damage. Basic homeowners insurance coverage should cover the cost of damaged drywall, carpet, framing, woodwork and restoration efforts if the damage was sudden and unpreventable. However, any type of gradual damage is not likely to be covered.

Every homeowners insurance policy is different, and what may be covered by one company may not be covered by another. If you want to know whether the flood damage in your home is covered by your policy, the best thing you can do is talk with your provider.

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Common Commercial Water Damage Problems

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Pieces of wood and paper thrown and wet on a floor Commercial water damage in Llewellyn Park, NJ

Common Commercial Water Damage Problems

If you own or lease a commercial space in Llewellyn Park, NJ, you need to be aware of what types of problems most commonly cause water damage to commercial buildings. Any sizable water damage, whether from a flood or broken pipe, will require the services of a professional restoration company. There are certain preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of water invading your building.

1. Broken, Damaged or Leaking Pipes

Pipes carry a lot of water in and out of your building on a daily basis. Over time, joints can become loose, cracks can develop, and pipes can begin to wear out. A busted pipe inside a wall can cause a lot of damage. If you hear unusual noises in your pipes, you should get them checked out.

2. Faulty Toilets

One of the most dreaded sources of flooding comes from dirty toilet water. This water can contain bacteria and other organisms. If you experience a toilet overflow due to a broken pipe or other problem, make sure the area is properly cleaned and disinfected. You can help maintain toilets by making sure they are flushing properly and do not continue to run after they are flushed.

3. Extreme Weather

Extreme weather can cause flooding, especially if your building is not properly maintained. Get your roof inspected regularly and make sure windows and doors are tightly sealed.

4. Failing Appliances

Some appliances use water. When these appliances begin to fail, they can leak water and cause water damage. For example, a freezer that thaws out overnight can leave an unexpected mess in the morning. Make sure your appliances are properly maintained and running smoothly.
Returning your building to normal involves more than simply soaking up the water from a broken pipe or other source. When you work with a skilled water repair service, you get the benefit of expertise and equipment to get your business back to normal.

4 Things You Can Do While Waiting For Your Insurance Adjuster

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Someone wearing a white protective gear with google, helmet and gloves Be sure to wear gloves and protective clothing if you are in an area with standing water since it is likely contaminated

4 Things You Can Do While Waiting For Your Insurance Adjuster

When you make a flood insurance claim after a storm, you might consider waiting for your adjuster to arrive before doing anything else. However, this can cause the damage in your Glen Ridge, NJ, home to become worse and may affect your claim. Instead of doing nothing, here are some productive things that you can do while you wait.

1. Call a Restoration Service

The longer the water sits in your home, the worse the damage becomes. Mold damage, in particular, can become a big problem in a short amount of time since this fungus can start spreading within 24 hours. To prevent this from happening, contact a cleanup and restoration service to begin mitigation right away.

2. Take Pictures

When you are making a flood insurance claim, it is important to provide evidence of the damage. Since waiting for someone to inspect the house will only make the situation worse, you should take photos instead. You can provide this along with a list of affected items to your adjuster when he or she arrives.

3. Start Cleaning Up

Even before the restoration company shows up, you can start cleaning the flood damage on your own. Move dry belongings to a safer area so that they don’t end up in the water. Set aside anything that has already been affected. Be sure to wear gloves and protective clothing if you are in an area with standing water since it is likely contaminated.

4. Read Over Your Policy

Checking the details of your flood policy while you wait can help move things along once the adjuster gets there. It can help you understand what needs to be done and what requirements there will be moving forward.
While you will need to wait for your flood insurance adjuster to work on processing your claim, there is still plenty that you can do in the meantime. You can take that time to begin returning your home to its previous condition. Just make sure that you do so safely.

Can My Mold-Damaged Belongings Be Saved?

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Furniture with mold Mold damage on furniture in a Llewellyn Park, NJ home

Can My Mold-Damaged Belongings Be Saved?

Mold damage doesn’t just affect the structure of your home. It can also damage the contents inside the house. That is why a great mold cleaning company in Llewellyn Park, NJ, addresses not only the walls and floors, but also your valuable possessions.
Since the fungus can spread quickly throughout your home, the mold remediation process typically includes discarding damaged items. However, if a sentimental item was affected, experts may be able to restore it to its original state. There are several different cleaning methods that can be used. They include:

  • Spray and Wipe
  • Immersion Cleaning
  • Wet Cleaning
  • Foam Cleaning
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Abrasive Cleaning

Any items that have minor residue may just require dry cleaning. Wet cleaning, meanwhile, is designed for more severe damage. For belongings that cannot handle the wet mold cleaning method, the spray and wipe may be used instead.
Foam cleaning is designed for upholstery or other items that might bleed or shrink when washed with water. Abrasive cleaning includes surface agitation, and immersion cleaning involves dipping the damaged item into a bath full of cleaning solution.

Saving Your Electronics

Mold typically thrives in excess moisture, and moisture and electronics do not mix. You may thus find water damage to your computers, televisions or DVD players during the cleanup
Remediation experts will clean the outside of these devices to prevent corrosion. They will then send the items to a technician for restoration.
Special Services
Mold cleanup professionals may also be able to remediate of leathers, clothes and paintings. Special services are available to remove the mold from these items. In particular, the new Esporta machine can restore more than 90 percent of the textiles and soft contents of your home.
Even if you need black mold cleanup in your home, you may not have to throw out all of your possessions. The mold cleaning process can include the restoration of your favorite items.

What to Do When Water Drips From Your Light Fixtures

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

Water in light fixture

What to Do When Water Drips From Your Light Fixtures

Dealing with water leaks is a pretty familiar occurrence as a homeowner in West Orange, NJ, but having water leaking into sensitive places around the house can be very damaging, and even more so if the leak goes unnoticed for a period of time, causing wall or ceiling damage, and even electrical damage.
Finding water in light fixtures can be both a costly repair and dangerous, and it’s possible to be shocked by just touching the light switch. Not only that, water going into an electrical fixture could potentially spark and start a fire. The leak may be gradual, making it impossible to notice right away, so by the time you see water dripping there may already be mold present, or corroded wires which can cause a short circuit.

Ceiling Damage

If you don’t see water in light fixtures, but you do see the ceiling sagging or bulging, the drywall could be soaking wet meaning it has lost almost all of its structural integrity. If this is the case, it’s important to stay away from these areas until you can get it repaired.

What to Do Next

Once you see damage or water around your home lighting, it is recommended that you turn off the electricity to that area of the house to avoid electrocution. Then you can figure out where the water is coming from and shut off the source if it’s being caused by a plumbing leak. Finding water in light fixtures below a bathroom might mean you have a leaking toilet, tub, or sink. Leaks on the top floor or in poorly sealed basements could be caused by rain.

Safety and Repairs

Let everyone in the house know about the damage, and make sure they do not touch any electrical sources until you can confirm they’re safe. It might be necessary to call an electrician to ensure all your wiring is still up to code, as well as a plumber if you have damaged plumbing. A professional restoration company can come in and cleanup the damage caused by water in light fixtures, mold, or even an electrical fire.

How To Keep Your Business Safe During a Thunderstorm

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Checking for roof leaks

Prepare For A Storm And Keep Your Business Protected

When a thunderstorm is about to target your business in Upper Montclair, NJ, it’s your responsibility as the owner to keep it as safe as possible. To ensure that your building doesn’t sustain severe damage, it’s crucial to take preventative measures before the rain storm arrives. Here are some of the steps you should take to prepare for a storm and keep your business protected.

Maintain Your Property

To prevent any high winds or flood damage from wreaking havoc on your property, you need to maintain it. Some of the ways you can maintain your building’s property include:

  • Trimming trees
  • Checking for roof leaks
  • Cleaning gutters
  • Pulling weeds

Taking even small steps can make a big difference when it comes to protecting the state of your business. When the storm arrives, you can feel much more prepared if you’ve taken good care of your property.

Protect Your Windows

If you leave your windows vulnerable to the various effects of a rain storm, they can become severely damaged. Be sure to properly shield your windows from the storm in advance. You can shutter them or cover them with curtains or drapes to protect them from the effects of hail or high winds. Taking this step may also keep the wind from blowing broken glass into your building.

Keep Your Appliances Safe

All of the corded appliances you have in your building should also be protected from the thunderstorm. Make sure you unplug any corded appliances you see when walking through your building to prevent them from being affected by storm damage. Ensuring that your devices and equipment stay safe throughout the storm can help you avoid paying for costly repairs or replacements.
While it’s important to do what you can to keep your business safe, you can’t control nature. If you notice any signs of harm after a rain storm, don’t hesitate to contact storm damage restoration professionals. With the help of their knowledge and expertise, your building can be renewed after undergoing storm damage.

3 Things Business Owners Should Know After a Partial Loss From a Fire

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

Fire loss in Montclair, NJ

What To Expect After a Partial Fire Loss

A fire in Montclair, NJ, can wreak havoc on a business. Fire loss is often one of the first things business owners think about, and many people believe that a partial loss will mean a quick, inexpensive cleanup process. However, this may not be the case, and it can be helpful to know what to expect after a partial loss.

1. An Insurance Claim for Partial Loss Can Be Complex
Although you make an insurance claim after a partial loss, just as you would if fire and smoke damage had affected the entirety of your business, partial losses can make your claim more complex. It can take an extended period of time for an insurance adjuster to determine what items were damaged in the fire and what items weren't affected by the fire. Providing your adjuster with photographs and other forms of documentation of your business before the fire might help to expedite the process.

2. Unseen Damage Is Often Present
With a partial fire loss, people often think that a building has been minimally damaged. Unfortunately, there is often hidden damage associated with partial losses. During a fire, the air quality in a business is often affected by smoke and soot, and though your building's air ducts aren't visible, damage may be present. Additionally, both water and mold damage commonly occur after fires when sprinklers and fire hoses are used to extinguish the flames.

3. Restoration May Still Be Necessary
Though a partial loss from a fire means that some elements of your business are unaffected, restoration may be needed depending on what areas in your business were impacted. If structural elements of your building were damaged in a fire, restoration is often essential. Many business owners find it useful to employ fire restoration experts who can assist in cleanup and restoration.

When considering a fire loss, it's often wise to understand what a partial loss from a fire may involve. By understanding the complications that can come from a partial loss, such as difficulties with an insurance claim, unseen damage and the potential need for restoration, you can better plan for a fire and its effects.

Uncovering an Invisible Culprit

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Dark spots on wall

Commercial properties in Verona, NJ, tend to see a lot of traffic, but there are some properties that are invaded by invisible troublemakers. Mold spores are a nuisance to air quality, but unless you see tracks of growth, you will need an indoor environmental specialist to uncover a problem.

Identifiable Signs of Mold

Many people are familiar with visible or noticeable mold problems. If you have any of the following conditions, it might indicate mold growth is present.

  • Musty odors
  • Dark spots or stains on walls or ceilings
  • Fuzzy growth near air returns and registers

If you haven’t experienced any of this but your building has experienced water damage, you should schedule a mold test with an indoor environmental specialist. Mold spores are invisible to the naked air, but they can be traced through highly sensitive equipment. Any building that experiences a lot of condensation or has been flooded is a prime growth spot for mold.

Air Quality Testing

Since many individuals spend the bulk of their time indoors while at work, it important to provide the best air quality possible. This is difficult to do if you have mild spores present. When testing is done for mold, it can reveal the exact nature of the materials present in the air. Since there are different types of molds, the evaluation will explain the specific types of mold present in the air and the level of concentration. The information is important for scheduling comprehensive mold remediation services because it directs the attention to the true culprit.
An indoor environmental specialist can do more than test your air quality. They can investigate potential sources of the contamination problem, as well as look for locations of moisture or water damage. They can also investigate the HVAC system and duct systems for growth problems related to the ventilation and movement of air throughout the building.

Prevent Fires: Keep an Eye on Your Dryer Vent

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning the vent house of your dryer

Prevent Lint Fire

You rely on household appliances each day to help you with routine but important tasks. But did you know that some of the most dependable items have the potential to wreak havoc in your Llewellyn Park, NJ, home? Dryers are among the biggest causes for fires in the home. If you're not mindful of maintenance and upkeep, a lint fire could start. Make sure you reduce this risk with regular cleaning.

Mitigating the Dangers

Every year, homes are destroyed due to a dryer fire. You can significantly minimize the chances of this happening to you with some simple steps:

  1. Make sure your dryer is installed correctly.
  2. Keep flammable items away from the dryer.
  3. Use a flexible vent hose.
  4. Service your dryer each year.
  5. Don't run the dryer unless you are home.

What About the Vent?

After each use, your dryer will collect dust and lint from your clothes. Over time, the filter can become clogged. Consider that your dryer can reach temperatures of up to 550 degrees, and it's easy to see how a lint fire can start. While it may be common to forget about removing the filter and cleaning the vent screen, you should make it a habit of doing this before every load. It's especially important to do this if you've just washed a load of towels or other heavy items such as blankets or sweatshirts.

Other Considerations

If you want an extra line of defense, wipe out the inside of the dryer once a week. This is an effective way of catching lint and other materials that the filter misses. Check the vent hose, and make sure it's unrestricted.
It's much simpler to avoid a lint fire if you take good care of your dryer. Never start a new load until you've removed the lint screen and clean it off thoroughly. While you can rely on the expert help of a fire restoration company, you never want to go through the terrible ordeal of a house fire.

What Is an Ice Dam?

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Ice dam in a Glen Ridge, NJ home

Winter’s arrival to Glen Ridge, NJ can mean a significant amount of labor added to your already busy day. Snow shoveling, blowing and scraping can zap your energy. Snow and ice on vehicles and the ground are obvious. What might not be so apparent is an ice dam, an accumulation of ice on the eaves of your home.

Risks of Snow Buildup

While a sloped roof is necessary for a location that gets extreme winter weather, snow can still build up quite a bit. In fact, snow and ice buildup can weigh as much as an SUV, so imagine the stress on your roof. Melting is a good thing, of course, but can sometimes cause more problems if it refreezes at the eaves and gutters; large icicles can be created, preventing the drainage of water off the roof. Several types of damage can occur as a result of an ice dam:

  • Injury to people from falling snow and icicles
  • Damage to roof from the weight of snow and backed-up water between shingles
  • Damage to attic due to moisture, causing wood rot
  • Damage to ceilings and walls due to indoor water leakage from backed-up water

But there are measures you can take before a winter storm and in its wake.

Prevention and Removal

Ice dams are preventable. Keeping the roof cold helps tremendously. Adding insulation to your roof will keep the warm air of the house from penetrating attic. Adding vents to the roof and soffits can also be helpful. These vents will pull cold air into the roof while expelling warmer air.

A snow rake is a very helpful tool for pulling snow off of your roof. However, there is a risk of being hit by falling ice while you’re doing so. The best option might be to hire a professional removal service. Ask your insurance agent if your homeowner’s insurance has ice dam coverage.

An ice dam can be worrisome. But if you make the necessary modifications before winter returns, ice buildup on your roof may not be an issue.