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Landlords and Renters: Flood and Water Damage Responsibilities

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Landlords and Renters: Flood and Water Damage Responsibilities Water damage in a Melbourne Village, FL residence

When flooding affects apartments and other rented properties, both the landlord and the tenant are affected. Unfortunately, water damage happens quickly and worsens are time passes, so there's no time to figure out who is responsible for what. As a property owner with renters, you must understand what you're responsible for (such as damages you caused) and help your renters understand where their responsibilities lie (such as purchasing renter's insurance.)

Landlord Responsibilities

In many areas of the country, landlords are not responsible to insure their tenants. Instead, tenants should have their own insurance policies. However, if property owners have been negligent in maintaining their property and flooding is the result, property owners are generally liable for the damage. Other responsibilities include

  • Hiring flood damage and repair professionals to correct and/or replace plumbing, wiring, appliances, and structural damages
  • Repairing rental units until they are habitable again within a reasonable time (i.e. as quickly as possible)
  • Reporting claims to their insurance coverage provider
  • Tracking expenses related to the flooding to submit to the insurance provider

As landlords work to fulfill their duties, renters must also work to complete specific tasks on their end.

Renter Responsibilities

Renter's insurance is necessary if renters or tenants hope to be reimbursed for furnishings and other personal belongings. For the best outcome, property owners should advise their renters to purchase the insurance coverage. Many providers require a 30-day waiting period, so renters should act quickly. Other responsibilities include

  • Complying with safety regulations
  • Seeking their own temporary living location
  • Contacting their insurance provider with reports of the damage
  • Notifying landlords if they choose to cancel the lease and move
  • Staying in communication with landlords

If flooding causes significant inconvenience but doesn't force tenants to leave the housing, they may request rent adjustment during the flood cleanup period.

Renters in Melbourne Village, FL, share concerns with property owners when their apartment or rented living space suffers flood damages. It's best that both parties understand their area of responsibility and work together to recover.

What to Do About Furnace Puff Back Damage

8/8/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial What to Do About Furnace Puff Back Damage Furnace puff back up damage

After your business in West Melbourne, FL, has been harmed by a fire, there are likely many forms of residual damage found throughout your building. One of the main issues that you may encounter is damage caused by furnace puff back. This problem occurs when smoke and soot from the fire enter the furnace, and it must be taken care of immediately. Follow the steps below to eliminate puff back damage in your building.

Report Damage

First, you need to examine any signs of damage caused by puff back. To determine the degree of your loss, search the building for traces of soot or smoke on:

  • Furniture
  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Carpets

Once you’ve identified all signs of damage, call up your insurance company and report your loss. Your provider will let you know whether or not furnace puff back is covered by your insurance policy.

Call for a Repair

After you’ve reported the damage, you need to ensure that the problem doesn’t get worse. Call an HVAC technician as soon as possible to have your oil furnace repaired. Fixing your furnace helps to thwart any further puff back damage and shows that you’re making an effort to control the situation. Insurance adjusters like to see that you’ve taken action to prevent additional harm to your business, which can help support your insurance claim.

Contact Professional Restoration Services

Having your furnace repaired is only the first step towards recovering from the damage. To have your business return to its normal condition, be sure to contact a professional restoration company immediately. By using the proper tools to clean and sanitize the affected area, these specialists can remove any traces of smoke or soot that are present in your building. Trusting a professional to properly take care of any puff back damage in your business can help you have peace of mind during the restoration process.

Dealing With Mold In Your Apartment: Here's What You Need To Know

7/30/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Dealing With Mold In Your Apartment: Here's What You Need To Know Mold damage in an Indian Harbor Beach, FL apartment

Steps To Take When You Discover Mold In Your Apartment

Your landlord has a duty to provide you with a clean and habitable place to live. While mold is not necessarily dangerous, it is unnerving to look at and, for some people, it can aggravate allergy symptoms. Then there is the fact that mold can wreak havoc on a building's structure and personal belongings. For all these reasons and more, if you discover mold in your apartment, you should contact your landlord, who should then call in an Indian Harbor Beach, FL, mold cleanup crew. Below are the steps you should take upon discovering mold contamination in your apartment:

  • Contact your landlord.
  • Take pictures of the infestation and send them to your landlord.
  • Make sure you're home when the mold remediation specialist arrives.
  • Make sure your landlord has an air quality test performed to ensure mold spores aren't in other areas of the unit or home.

Once the tests are complete, the mold remediation specialist will begin the mold remediation process.

What To Do If Your Landlord Won't Cooperate

Unfortunately, some landlords are not as cooperative as they should be. If your landlord ignores the issue or flat-out refuses to help with the mold cleanup process, there is a specific way you should handle the situation.
First, contact an attorney. An attorney can advise you on how to proceed as well as inform you of your legal rights. After you contact an attorney, make copies of everything. This includes written notices, photos and receipts of costs you incurred trying to resolve the issue on your own.
Next, schedule an indoor air-quality test. You will need these results to prove that the conditions in your home are a threat to your health.
Finally, file a lawsuit. If you win, you may receive a reduction in rent, one month's free rent, a civil penalty of $500 and actual damages. If you hired an attorney, your landlord will also have to pay for the attorney fees.
If there is mold in your rental unit, your landlord is responsible for mold cleanup. He or she should contact a professional mold remediation company.

What To Do After a Home Fire

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What To Do After a Home Fire After a fire you should create an inventory of damaged items for your insurance company

What to Do After a Fire

The thought of a fire in your Indialantic, FL, home is a scary prospect, and the fire restoration process afterward can seem overwhelming. However, knowing beforehand what you will need to do after a fire can give you peace of mind and help minimize damage if you are ever the victim of a fire.

1. Before a Fire

Before a fire, it is important to make sure you have adequate fire insurance coverage. You can do this by creating a home inventory. This is basically a list of all your possessions and how much they are worth, so you know how much insurance coverage you need. Including receipts and photographs in your inventory will streamline the claim-filing process later.

2. Make Sure Everyone Is Safe

After a fire, your first priority will be to make sure you, your family and pets are safe. Do not re-enter your home until the fire department has said it is OK to do so. Keep children and pets away from fire damage.

3. Call Your Insurance Company

You will want to notify your insurance company immediately, so they can get to your claim as soon as possible. Generally, an insurance adjuster will be dispatched to your property fairly quickly.

4. Document the Damage

Before beginning the fire restoration process, be sure to document all the damage. You can take either photographs or video, but make sure you capture enough detail for the insurance company to determine the extent of the damage.

5. Prevent Further Damage

It is important to understand that damage can occur even after the fire has been extinguished. You may need to board up parts of your home to keep it secure. Additionally, smoke can be corrosive, so it is important to begin smoke cleaning as soon as possible.
A home fire is a frightening experience, but it is possible to rebuild your life afterword. Hiring experienced professionals to help with fire restoration can help make the process even easier.

3 Flood Response Tips for First Responders

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 3 Flood Response Tips for First Responders Avoiding walking or driving through quick-moving water

How to Keep Yourself Safe When Responding to a Flood

As a first responder, there are many types of disasters that you will need to respond to in Melbourne Village, FL, including storms and flooding. However, to help others, it's important to protect yourself as well. There are several ways you can keep yourself safe when responding to a flood.

1. Ensure You Have the Correct Immunizations

When a flood occurs in your area, emergency responders are often the first to help people in need. Responding to a flood or another type of disaster, however, can put you at risk for several conditions, especially if you are interacting directly with patients. The CDC requires that all emergency responders receive vaccinations to protect against tetanus and hepatitis B, but there are additional vaccinations that can also be beneficial to receive.

2. Use Appropriate Equipment and Tools

Wearing and using the proper equipment and tools can help to prevent injuries and can make your job as a first responder significantly easier and safer. Wearing protective clothing can help to limit your exposure to potentially harmful materials in and around water. In environments that may contain unsafe chemicals or bacteria, wearing a respirator and goggles can also help to protect you.

3. Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Assisting others after a flood has occurred is an important job that can come with various hazards. When there is standing water in a residential area and emergency restoration services have not assessed the area, it's often useful to be cautious of electrical hazards. Avoiding walking or driving through quick-moving water unless you are equipped with the appropriate equipment is also wise. Additionally, it can be useful to avoid exposure to contaminated water if possible.

In order to have an effective flood response as a first responder, it's helpful to focus on your safety. Having the right vaccinations, using appropriate equipment and tools and being aware of potential hazards around you can help you to perform at your best.

5 Essential Burn First Aid Tips

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 5 Essential Burn First Aid Tips Bandage the wound

5 Essential Burn First Aid Tips

When you think of fire damage, charred property and soot buildup requiring professional cleanup and restoration may be the first images that come to mind. Intense heat and flames can, however, also singe clothing and flesh. Employees that work with flammable liquids and other ordinary combustibles may be particularly vulnerable to burns. Regardless of the nature of your West Melbourne, FL, business, burn first aid is valuable knowledge that can be extremely useful, especially in emergency situations.

1. Recognize When To Call 911

Burns can range from minor to serious. If the skin appears charred or dry and leathery, call 911 for emergency assistance. You should also seek immediate medical care if the wound is larger than three inches in diameter or affects a major joint, your feet, hands, face, buttocks or groin.

2. Cool the Burn

You can treat smaller burns that present with superficial redness by applying simple first aid techniques. Begin by applying a cold compress or running cool water over the affected area. Because excessively cold fluid can cause further irritation and damage, refrain from using ice packs or cold water.

3. Remove Jewelry

Topical fire damage may cause swelling. Because of this, remove rings and other jewelry from the affected site.

4. Apply Ointment

To soothe and protect damaged skin, apply a petroleum-based ointment. Aloe vera may also be effective. Avoid using lotions, oils, creams and butter, which may contain irritating ingredients or cause an infection.

5. Bandage the Wound

To further protect the area, loosely wrap the wound in sterile gauze. Refrain from using cotton dressings that may stick to the skin’s surface.
As you bandage the wound, take caution around any existing blisters. Although they may appear unsightly, blisters can protect the site from infection and should never be intentionally popped.
Burns are a form of fire damage that require prompt attention. First aid can help everyone recognize the severity of the wound and administer the most appropriate care.

Dealing With a Sprinkler Flood in Your Business

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Dealing With a Sprinkler Flood in Your Business Fire sprinklers caused water damage in Indialantic, FL

A typical business owner in Indialantic, FL, doesn’t spend time pondering the effects of catastrophic flooding due to fire sprinklers being activated. However, it’s a problem that can quickly get out of control and cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. The obvious solution to the problem is prevention, but you first need to know what causes the issues.

Reasons For Accidental Activation

Contrary to popular belief, modern sprinkler systems aren’t activated by fire alarms or smoke from burnt food in an employee breakroom. They instead have to be subjected to extreme heat that will either burst the red liquid bulb or melt the metal sensor. However, there are cases where they will activate accidentally, and the following are common reasons for this to happen:

  • Sprinkler heads being used as hangers
  • Improper installation
  • Vandalization
  • Factory accidents

Immediate Steps To Mitigate Losses

In an emergency flooding situation, the first critical step is to turn off the water. In an office or factory setting, it’s important to have multiple designated employees who know how to do this. Once the water is shut off, cleanup can begin. Hundreds of gallons of water can be released in a short period of time, so water damage to floors, walls and machinery happens quickly. The most thorough plan is to contact a water restoration company, which will be able to correctly dry each surface and reduce mold risk.

Long Term Approach

Once the initial cleanup is underway, the next step is to contact the insurance company and prevent the problem from ever occurring again. Employees must be trained to never touch or hang anything near a sprinkler head, and ideal placement for them is in a location difficult for a person or machine to accidentally contact.

Flooding in your business can seem overwhelming. However, there are steps you can take to prevent and minimize damage. A good water restoration company will have your facility looking “Like it never even happened.”

When to Change the Supply Line in Your Bathroom

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage When to Change the Supply Line in Your Bathroom Supply line damage may lead to some pretty serious problems, such as standing water or mold growth

When is It the Time to Replace a Supply Line in Your Bathroom?

Many of your household appliances that use water require a supply line. Because they are so commonly used, supply line damage can cause some major issues. It is important to call a professional as soon as you notice an issue. This can help prevent water build up in your home in Melbourne Beach, FL. Changing these lines when needed may actually help you avoid problems later on. How do you know when it's time to replace it though?

Check the Warranty

You may find that many of these hoses come with a warranty. It really just depends on what type you have. Most plastic lines come with a 5-8 year warranty. This means that you are responsible for replacing it if anything happens to it after that time is up. Steel braided ones often have a lifetime guarantee. While they are generally more expensive than the plastic ones, the benefits may be worth the extra cost. Always ask the seller about the warranty before you decide to purchase.

Watch for Damage

Supply line damage may lead to some pretty serious problems, such as standing water or mold growth. This is why it is a good idea to have a professional come out if you notice a supply line leak. Always shut off the water if you see an issue. This could be anything from a small bathroom leak to pretty serious flooding. Turning off the water can help prevent further damage from happening in your home.

If you are still unsure whether you have supply line damage, it is best to call a professional restoration company to come take a look. They may be able to help you resolve a number of issues that arise in this type of situation, such as fixing the leak and cleaning up the water. If your line gets replaced, always ask what type of warranty you are getting so that you will be aware if any future problems occur.

Industrial Hygienists Locate and Document Mold Infestation

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Industrial Hygienists Locate and Document Mold Infestation If your home in the Sebastian, FL, area suffers from a mold infestation, it’s time to pick up the phone

As a handy homeowner, you know how to remedy almost every maintenance issue that comes along. You know how to repair a door that doesn’t shut properly. You know how to fix a squeaky step. You even know how to perform minor plumbing repairs. One problem you may not know how to handle is mold cleaning.

Mold is mysterious. Mold is devious. An innocent-looking patch of mold may be a more significant problem than you can imagine. When it comes to mold, it’s essential to understand that:

  • Mold damage may be widespread and well-hidden.
  • Mold remediation costs are usually the home insurer’s responsibility.
  • Mold infestation creates an unhealthy home environment.
  • Mold removal should begin as quickly as possible to limit its spread.

Industrial Hygienists Are Mold Infestation Experts

Industrial hygienists also go by the name environmental hygienists. A hygienist can evaluate your mold problem, create a report and explain the findings. The report includes types of mold present, the infested locations and the severity of the infestation.

When it comes to insurance, the hygienist’s report plays a crucial role. The insurance adjuster uses the report to determine a course of action for mold cleaning. Insurance companies depend on the expert opinions of Certified Industrial Hygienists. Without an expert evaluation, a successful cleanup is difficult.

Mold Cannot Hide From Industrial Hygienists

One might think that a hygienist is someone who walks through your home with a clipboard and takes notes. That certainly part of the job. Don’t be surprised when the gloves, mask and tools come out. The hygienist’s job is also to find mold wherever it hides. The job includes removing wallboard and searching crawlspaces to discover mold’s hiding places.

If your home in the Sebastian, FL, area suffers from a mold infestation, it’s time to pick up the phone. There are local certified hygienists and mold remediation specialists who are ready to evaluate your mold problem and begin the mold cleaning process right away. They are here to help.

4 Steps To Take After a Fire

5/15/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 4 Steps To Take After a Fire Contact a professional restoration service in your Palm Bay,FL area

4 Steps To Take After a Fire

After a fire, your Palm Bay, FL, home will likely require fire restoration to return it to its previous condition. If you have homeowners or renters insurance, this process will often be covered by your policy. Here are a few things you should do after a fire to ensure that the claims process goes well.

1. Call Your Insurance Company

One of the first things you should do after any damage to your home occurs is to call your insurance agent. Contacting him or her right away will allow you to get the process started quickly. Because a fire insurance claim may take a while, you will want to begin as soon as possible.

2. Contact a Professional Restoration Service

In some cases, your insurance company or agent may give you a list of restoration services that they recommend. You should arrange to have these professionals come in as soon as you can. They will perform smoke cleaning as well as any necessary repairs to the building. They may be able to salvage some of your damaged belongings as well.

3. Take Photos of Affected Areas and Belongings

While you are waiting for the fire restoration company, it is a good idea to take pictures of any areas of your home that have been damaged in the fire. The insurance company will use these to help determine the amount of your claim. The restoration company may also take pictures before they begin working.

4. Prevent Further Damage

Sometimes, your insurance company will require remediation to prevent damage from worsening. You can start on this before the professionals arrive, moving smaller items to safer locations and blocking off areas that haven’t been affected. The restoration company, however, will include mitigation and remediation in their services.

Because fire restoration can be a lengthy and costly process, you should do what you can to ensure your insurance company approves your claim. Acting quickly and contacting them right away is a good place to start.