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Do You Have a Small Business Claim Waiting To Happen?

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Business Insurance. Business Concept on Clipboard. Composition with Clipboard, Calculator, Glasses, Green Flower and Office Every business insurance policy is different

Ways You Can Lower The Risk Of Damage

You rarely think about the structures behind your walls, but have you ever considered what would happen if a pipe burst inside? According to a study by The Hartford, water and freezing damage is the second most common type of business claim made by small business owners. 

1. Check for Indoor Risk Factors
Prepare your indoor space by covering pipes in areas exposed to extreme temperature changes. The added protection can prevent them from bursting in freezing temperatures. Move valuable items to shelves a few feet off the floor to prevent water damage from flooding, and make sure you know how to shut off the water main in case of emergency. Finally, keep the indoor temperature above 55 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.

2. Check for Outdoor Risk Factors
Outdoor hazards are another source of damage that may cause you to file a business claim. While you can’t prevent storm runoff or sewer backups, you can lower your risk by preparing in a few different ways. Inspect the property for cracks in the exterior and foundation and seal them. Check gutters and drainage areas for blockages and clear them of debris. If snow and ice are frequent in your area, learn how to remove it from the roof.

3. Check Your Insurance Policy
Every business insurance policy is different. Don’t assume you have coverage for every type of water event that may happen in Mindoro, WI. For instance, a policy may cover a pipe break but not storm runoff. Ask your insurance agent if there are any exclusions in your policy. If so, you may be able to purchase an add-on that will augment your existing coverage. You should also ask if your policy covers emergency restoration services.
Experiencing an event that requires filing a business claim is never ideal. By following these steps, you can minimize the risk of water or freezing damage to your business and get back to normal as soon as possible.

Types of Smart Smoke Detectors for Your Home

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Smart smoke alarm on ceiling A smart smoke detector is a great all-inclusive choice

Types of Smart Smoke Detectors for Your Home

When you look at buying a new home in La Crosse, WI, do you check to see if there are smoke detectors present? It's an easily overlooked safety feature, yet essential for the well-being of your family. Whether you're installing a brand new smoke alarm or you're considering upgrading what you currently have, there are now some smartphone-compatible options to make fire detection even easier.

1. Listeners
A smart listener works with your current smoke alarm rather than require that the whole system be replaced. You can attach this separate piece nearby to your current detector and when the detector goes off, the listener will send an alert to your phone. This option is more cost-effective than replacing your current system, especially if it's hardwired into the walls. This is also a good option for people who may have hearing difficulties, since you get a notification sent to your phone whenever the alarm sounds. The downside is that the listener cannot tell the difference between a false alarm, a low battery, and real emergency.

2. Batteries
Smart batteries are another good option to upgrade the fire safety system in your home. These batteries work via your WiFi signal and send notifications to your phone when the alarm goes off. It also alerts you to the fact that the battery is low, though the current model lasts for five years.

3. Smoke Detectors
If you're ready to go all-in, a smart smoke detector is a great all-inclusive choice. You can control the alarm from your phone rather than just receiving notifications. You can turn off false alarms, silence the low-battery chirp, and most models also detect carbon monoxide. In the event of an actual house fire, the data on your phone could be helpful to show to your fire damage assessment company so that they know approximately how long a fire was burning, as this could help them with their remediation evaluation.
Connecting your smoke alarm to your phone may seem excessive, but early detection could make the difference between a small kitchen fire and a much larger problem.

How To Stay Safe in a Flood

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

Breaker box with the word CUT THE POWER! Make sure to turn off the electricity to avoid shocks

Floods can be dangerous and scary, but there are ways to stay safe. These tips for flood safety can help protect you and your property.

Prepare

One of the easiest ways to ensure that you are protected is to flood-proof your home. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for a flood:

  • Have all electrical wiring installed above-expected flood levels
  • Install back valves on plumbing to prevent sewage backup
  • Clear gutters
  • Shut off power before a flood
  • Apply sealants to walls
  • Change the grading of your yard so water flows away from your home
  • Keep an emergency kit in your home

Avoid Electrocution
Avoiding electrocution is an important part of flood safety. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Touching water that is in contact with a live electrical current can electrocute you. This is why electrical wiring should be installed above-expected flood levels in French Island, WI, and power should be shut off at the breaker before severe flooding.
Storms may cause power lines to fall. If you see a downed power line, assume that it is live, and do not allow yourself to come into contact with any surrounding water.

Move to Higher Ground
If your home has an upper level, you should go upstairs during a flood. You can also move belongings upstairs to avoid damage.
When shopping for homes in areas where flooding is common, it is wise to look for houses that are built above typical flood levels.

Contact a Professional for Repairs
Even if you follow all of these safety tips, your house could still be damaged by high water. If you suffer from any damages, it is best to call a storm damage restoration specialist in French Island, WI, to perform repairs. Trying to repair damage on your own can result in electrocution, unresolved structural damage, and molding.
Educating yourself on flood safety and taking the right precautions can protect you and your property when disaster strikes. When faced with high water levels, be sure to flood-proof your home, avoid electrocution, move to higher ground, and contact a professional for repairs.

3 Questions Answered About Basement Flooding

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. Flooded basement in Rockland, WI

No one worries about a basement flood until it happens. A million questions will race through your mind when it does but answering these three questions before flooding strikes will help you be more prepared.

What Does Insurance Cover?

Insurance coverage for a flooded basement is not a cut and dry policy. Some incidents are covered, but others are not. If an incident is sudden, it will likely be covered. Here are some examples:

  • Flooding from appliances
  • A burst pipe
  • Accidental sink overflow


However, other issues might not be covered:

  • Flooding from storms
  • Damage that happens over time from leaking pipes
  • Water seepage issues


Review your policy to make sure you understand your coverage. Talk to your agent to see what types of coverage they recommend to customers in your area.


How Do You Start Cleanup?
Shut off the main valve to your home to stop the water flow. Before you worry about getting the water out, make sure the environment is safe. Do not wade into a basement flood. The water could be contaminated or electrified. You might need to shut off the electric breaker to your basement. Use a wet/dry vacuum and mop to clean up small messes on your own. If there is a substantial amount of water, hire a local water removal services company in Rockland, WI, to pump it out.


Who Should You Call for Help?
The people you enlist for help will depend on the amount of damage to your flooded basement. Start by calling a water damage and restoration company for an assessment. They can help you with a lot of the cleanup and can recommend companies for services like HVAC and electrical if needed.
Dealing with a basement flood brings up a lot of unknowns. However, having a cleanup plan and knowing who to call for help is a good place to start.

3 Important Components of Your Fire Safety Plan

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Man Installing Smoke Alarm Install and test fire alarms

Three Important Components of A Fire Safety Plan

A business fire occurs in more than 30,000 businesses every year. Fire prevention is important for reducing your chances of a fire occurring. However, it is also important to have a fire safety plan in place so that you are prepared if a fire does happen. 


1. Fire Safety Equipment
Installing and maintaining fire safety equipment is a critical fire preparation step. Sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers can be used to douse small fires before they can spread to the rest of your building. Have your extinguishers and sprinkler system inspected regularly to ensure proper function. Train all employees on the proper use of fire extinguishers, including when it is best to evacuate, rather than attempt to put out a fire.


2. Evacuation Plan
Your priority in any business fire should be to ensure the safety of all employees, customers, and other people occupying your property when a fire occurs. Install and test fire alarms, so that people have enough warning to evacuate your building before the fire spreads. Drill your employees on evacuation procedures and make sure they know how to assist customers and guests who also need to evacuate safely. Keep your fire exits clearly marked and free of clutter. Establish a meeting point where you can ensure all employees are accounted for.


3. Fire Safety Procedures
All employees should receive written instruction on safety protocols, such as not storing combustible materials near open flames. Make sure you are enforcing your protocols and periodically updating them and providing ongoing training. Give your employees contact information for fire restoration and other services in Holmen, WI, that they may need if fire damage occurs.
Both fire prevention and fire safety are important aspects of avoiding and mitigating the damage from a business fire. Make sure you always have a fire safety and prevention plan in place.

How To Safely Minimize Damage After a Pipe Bursts in Your Home

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

Drying equipment on the floor and a pan, flood cuts performed on drywall Water damage cleanup

How To Safely Minimize Damage After a Pipe Bursts in Your Home

When your home suffers a broken pipe, the results can be devastating. Knowing what to do, along with what to avoid, will minimize the fallout and streamline the cleanup process.

Safety and Damage Minimization Actions To Avoid
Certain behaviors should always be kept clear of whenever flooding occurs.

Hold off vacuuming. Doing so could ruin your equipment or create shocks.
Never place newspaper on damp surfaces. The ink may easily transfer onto flooring or counters.
Refrain from turning on fans. Doing so spreads contaminants.
Stay off wet floors. Stepping on them could accelerate damage or cause a fall.

Minimize the danger uncontrolled water poses even further by shutting down your main electricity source and unplugging every appliance until your nest is completely dried.

Proper Safety and Damage Minimization
Shut off the main water valve to stop your broken pipe from raining down. Instruct everyone to avoid bathing or using the sink until further notice and place “Do Not Use” signs over every existing spigot.
Compromised furniture that is easily movable should be taken outside. Towel off these items and allow the sun to accelerate the drying process. Pin up couch and chair skirts to prevent additional contact with dampness. Draperies should similarly be secured away from any water in home.
Place aluminum foil under furniture legs to prevent carpet stains. Remove books, shoes, plants and any other items with the potential to harm carpeting. Examine these items closely for signs of mold and toss anything emitting a musty odor.
The faster you jump into action, the less time there is for damage to advance. Search for a residential water restoration company in Midway, WI, and have them attend to your situation as soon as possible.
A broken pipe has the ability to create significant ruin, as well as place your family at risk. Know how to minimize the danger along with the destruction.

5 Common Questions About Mold

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on drywall Mold damage in New Amsterdam, WI

Protect Your Home From Mold Damage

Mold is an extremely common residential issue that many homeowners have to tackle at some point. Putting a stop to spreading mold is a big part of the remediation process, but even that is only the beginning. Read on to learn how to better protect your New Amsterdam, WI, home from mold damage.

1. What Is Mold?
Mold is a living organism. Many people mistake it for a plant or bacteria, but it's actually a member of the fungus kingdom.

2. How Does Mold Spread?
Mold spores are always present in the air around us. Mold itself needs moisture and a source of organic matter in order to actually grow, however. Mold growth occurs when the spores in the air attach to a damp surface or object. After that, it only takes about 24 hours for signs of black mold to appear.

3. How Can You Stop Mold from Spreading?
The first step to putting a stop to spreading mold is to identify the source of the problem. Perform a thorough home inspection to figure out where the moisture is seeping into your home, then resolve the issue.

4. What Are Some Common Mold Causes?
Any number of factors could contribute to your home's mold growth. Water damage, such as leaks or flooding, are common causes. You're also likely to find mold growing in your walls, ceilings or window sills if your home's humidity levels are too high.

5. How Do You Get Rid of Mold?
You can tackle smaller mold issues on your own using a non-toxic, homemade cleaning solution. A simple mixture that consists of equal parts water and white vinegar can work wonders. Larger problems might require mold remediation experts, however.
Spreading mold can quickly take over your home if you don't handle the issue swiftly and effectively. Contact mold remediation experts for assistance with your residential mold issues.

How To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Commercial Building

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on wood Mold damage in La Crosse, WI

Steps To Prevent Mold From Spreading

Preventing mold from growing in your building in La Crosse, WI, can be a daunting task, but it's worth the effort. While you likely won't be able to fully avoid mold, there are some steps you can take to prevent it from spreading through your entire building and requiring significant mold remediation.


1. Keep Your Eyes Out for Signs of Mold Growth
The key to preventing mold growth is to find and mitigate it quickly so that you don't have to do a lot of mold removal. You can do this by regularly checking damp areas where it's most likely to grow. These include basements, crawl spaces, areas near HVAC units and bathrooms. Look for signs of mold behind walls or under carpets as well.


2. Dry Excess Moisture
The need for mold removal often comes when there is an excess of moisture that can feed the mold, whether that's from a pipe leaking behind a wall or a spill on the carpet that didn't get cleaned up properly. To avoid this, make sure you take care of leaks quickly and thoroughly examine the surrounding drywall, wood, and ceiling tiles to make sure they didn't get wet. If your building tends to be humid during different points of the year, consider adding some dehumidifiers and keep fans running as much as possible, even if your AC isn't on. This will help keep your building drier, discouraging mold growth.


3. Clean Ventilation Systems
If you do have some mold in a part of your building, your HVAC system will spread it all over the building. You may also have some water buildup in your system where mold can grow, allowing it to blow through the vents and into the rest of your building. Prevent this from happening by having your HVAC system cleaned regularly, and immediately call a mold removal specialist if you suspect mold growth anywhere in your building.
Take these steps to avoid having mold grow throughout your building, but if you do find some, don't hesitate to call a commercial mold cleanup company to remove the problem quickly and safely.

3 Alternatives to Sandbags for Flood Prevention

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

Inflatable Rubber Dam flat. AquaDam is a type of balloon that fills with the water that's causing the problem and uses it as part of the solution

Consider Purchasing Some Of These Alternatives

When you know that a big storm is coming to West Salem, WI, you have an action plan to protect your business. A sandbag barrier is the most common flood prevention tool, and for good reason. They're easy to use and very cost-effective. However, many experts say that their effectiveness is limited. In the event of high tide, waves, or flash floods, sandbag barriers can be effective. However, for combatting longer-lasting flooding, this isn't the best type of barrier because they become less effective as they become saturated or are exposed to UV rays. In order to prevent flood damage to your place of business, consider purchasing some of these alternative products instead.

1. Quick Dam
This fabric dam is easy and inexpensive. Place it in front of your doors or elsewhere around your property and it absorbs and diverts water away from your building.

2. AquaDam
You can fight water with water. AquaDam is a type of balloon that fills with the water that's causing the problem and uses it as part of the solution. Different sizes are available all types of water control. If regular flooding is a problem for your business, this may be a worthwhile investment.

3. AquaFence
As flood dams go, this is the top of the line. AquaFence is a series of interlocking panels that can encircle your building and prevent floodwaters from reaching you. If you are in an office complex, this is the sort of thing that everyone benefits from, so the cost can be spread over multiple businesses.

Restoration
There are times that your business will still have water damage despite your efforts to control flooding. A water damage restoration company can help get you back up and running quickly.
A sandbag barrier is only as effective as the quality of the materials and the duration of the flooding. You can better prevent flood damage to your business by trying one of these alternative flood dams that are easier to store and long-lasting.

What Happens in Your Building After a Partial Loss Due to a Fire?

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

Emergency exit - fire in the building Fire in a building

It's a nightmare scenario that you don't want to even think about: a fire raging through your office building. The consequences could be disastrous. People could get hurt, and your business could suffer. If you suffer fire loss and discover that materials and equipment are damaged, you need to call on the right professionals for help. Experienced fire cleanup specialists can restore partially ruined items and help you get back on your feet once again.

Common Causes of Office Fires

Fires can start in your building even if you have safeguards in place to prevent them. Some of the most frequent examples of commercial fires that result in fire loss include:

  • Electrical fires from poor wiring or defective appliances or equipment.
  • Improperly stored flammable materials such as chemicals or solvents.
  • Kitchen or break room fires.

What Is a Partial Loss
As opposed to a complete loss where a fire would burn up an item and destroy it beyond repair, a partial loss in a fire can be repaired. In this case, it has not been burned but instead has suffered smoke damage or damage from ash and soot. Examples often include furniture, electronics, walls and ceilings, and personal belongings.

Your Next Steps
A disaster recovery company in La Crosse, WI, has the knowledge and training to respond to your needs. The company has the right tools to handle fire restoration, including repairing building materials and work equipment. After you get in touch with the company, technicians will get to work and let you know of the timeline until the project is complete.

The Process
Cleanup crews will tear out damaged items and carefully clean them. For severely damaged materials, the crew may need to replace or rebuild. After the restoration process is over, you should have confidence in using the previously damaged items again.
A fire loss can be devastating. However, you can feel at ease knowing skilled professionals are working to restore your building.