Recent Storm Damage Posts
Does Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Damage?
Perils covered by homeowners insurance policies vary. SERVPRO of Central St. Petersburg cleans microbial contamination. Free estimates: (727)-521-2562
The perils covered by homeowners insurance policies vary depending on the insurer.
Mold damage can be costly and happen anywhere, so several insurance companies have restricted or eliminated coverage for this risk under standard policies. If you are concerned about fungus growth at a residence, try to identify the problem's source first, then check your policy for mold coverage.
The Cause of Mold Damage Matters
Restoration experts commonly refer to mold as secondary damage, as fungal growth typically results from direct water damage.
Insurers are more likely to cover mold damage that results from one of the following covered incidents:
- Appliance leaks
- Broken or burst pipes
- Pipe leaks
Even if a policy does not cover the cost of fixing the problem, the resulting damage may be covered. Check your policy and contact an insurance agent or adjuster.
3 Ways Insurers Limit Mold Coverage
Many homeowners insurance providers have removed or limited the amount of coverage for fungus growth because it is a higher risk peril. Since mold can grow practically anywhere, anytime in the right conditions—it’s not exclusive to one geographical location. Because of this an insurer may restrict coverage in these ways:
- Exclude mold damage completely
- Only cover microbial testing or cleanup
- Refuse coverage on properties with a history of mold
Read your policy carefully to determine whether there are any conditions under which mold is covered. If mold is not covered, you may want to add an endorsement.
What Is an Endorsement?
It may be possible for policy holders to pay for limited mold coverage. Ask your insurer whether any endorsements are available. This option may be costly, especially if your residence has a history of mold.Homeowners should determine the limitations of their coverage and decide whether to obtain additional mold insurance.
Paying for remediation out of pocket can be very expensive. The best way to prevent mold growth is to mitigate water damage and potential damage. Don’t be caught without the right mold insurance.
Storm Damage vs Flood Damage: What’s the Difference?
Storm Damage vs. Flood Damage and Dealing with Insurance
Property owners in Florida may have a hard time differentiating storm damage from flood damage—which is important when considering insurance coverage.
Commercial properties can sustain water damage from both flood and storms, but there are a few significant differences to keep in mind that may help you manage these risks.
The most general distinction is that stormwater comes from above, whereas flood water overspills natural bodies or watercourses and covers at least two acres of ordinarily dry land.
Storm damage to a commercial property may originate from a variety of causes such as:
- High winds
- Heavy rain
Most business insurance plans protect from storm damage. Property owners need additional coverage to offset the expenses of flood damage. If your property is located on a flood plain, you should make sure you carry the policies necessary to protect your property investment.
Flooding occurs when water overflows a body of water or watercourse such as:
- Storm-water channels
In order for water to be considered a flood, it must cover two acres and affect at least two properties.
If a commercial property is located in a high-risk zone, and the owner has a mortgage from an insured and federally-regulated lender, they must maintain flood insurance. Risks tied to flooding and storms should be known, minimized, and dealt with as soon as possible. Regardless of a moisture source, the risk of mold and other secondary damage within a building can be looming over the aftereffects of large, disastrous water events.
Restoring Damage From Storms and Floods
Restoration specialists can help property owners determine the precise causes of damage and the best solutions. If a property in Florida experiences flood damage or sustains damage during a storm, contact SERVPRO of Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park at (727) 521-2562 as soon as possible.
Reduce Business Disruption After a Commercial Disaster
Contact SERVPRO of Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park at (727) 521-2562 to get started on your SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile today.
After a major disaster, businesses suffer a variety of interruptions like:
- financial and emotional stress
- production downtime
- sullied reputation
- a plethora of other strains.
In the time period following a trauma like a fire, flood, pipe break, or other form of disaster, making the right decisions can be taxing and confusing. At SERVPRO, we regularly see local companies go through this and want business owners to know we are here to help after a commercial disaster. Part of that help comes through an emergency readiness checklist and disaster plan.
How To Minimize Risks and Loss of Revenue?
Creating a disaster readiness plan for your business can save you thousands on your bottom line, and can save your business, entirely. And the planning process does not have to be overwhelming when placed on top of all other responsibilities. Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park is here to help take the weight off your shoulders by developing an Emergency Ready Profile for your company. Knowing you are, "Ready for whatever happens," will give you, your clients, and employees confidence if or when your business is affected by a disaster.
We Generate A Plan For You
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate action plan. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize the severity of water and fire damage on your business.
SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile Advantages Provide You With:
- A no-cost assessment of your facility.
This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects, but will save a lot of time if ever needed.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
This helps minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
- Professionals at SERVPRO of Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park, established as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider!
You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and is close by for an emergency response.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
This saves time so we can start cleaning up the damage, so you can reopen your business as soon as possible.
- Specific Facility Details of your business such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.
You will have a quick reference of what to do, how to do it, and who to call in case of an emergency so that you are "Ready for whatever happens."
Contact SERVPRO of Central St. Peteresburg / Pinellas Park at (727) 521-2562 to get started on your SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile today.
We are here to be your total solutions provider during an emergency commercial disaster so you can do what’s important: taking care of your clients, employees, and other business needs.
The Importance of Fast Water Cleanup
How Fast Should Water Damage be Cleaned Up?
You depend on your business to keep money flowing in, and you rely on the building where location keeps business going. However, when a pipe or supply line springs a leak, it throws a kink in your week. The time it takes for you to arrange pipe burst cleanup can make the difference between a simple and fast water cleanup or extensive and expensive water damage.
The First Few Minutes
Water damage begins with a variety of events, including:
- Pipe break
- Supply line leak
- Toilet overflow
- Adverse weather
- Foundation crack
If all you need is pipe burst cleanup or supply line repair, the first few minutes of water cleanup are crucial. If possible, turn off the source of water as quickly as possible.
The First Few Hours
The longer water sits, the more potential havoc it wreaks. Once exposed to humidity, walls can start to disintegrate, and items made of pressed wood—which often includes cheap flooring—can swell and warp. Water from burst pipes and supply lines can also damage furniture and other supplies in your workplace.
The First Few Days
Damage that is not mitigated quickly will also become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria growth. Prolonged damage can interrupt your business’s daily operations, possibly harming your bottom line. To limit the extent of water damage to your business, call a professional in the restoration industry like SERVPRO of Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park. SERVPRO’s highly trained professionals are equipped with knowledge, experience and all tools capable to restore your business to its preloss condition. We know the disruption that results from supply line leaks, overflowing toilets, adverse weather, foundation cracks, pipe breaks and other catastrophes. By calling our emergency team, available 24 hours per day, you may be able to turn a potentially massive setback into an easy and fast fix. For additional information regarding commercial restoration, call us at (727) 521-2562.
Prepare for Hurricane Season
Hurricane Preparedness Checklist
Atlantic hurricane season runs roughly from June 1 thru November 30 each year, with September holding the spot for the peak hurricane month. While, technically, hurricanes can wreak havoc any time of the year, this is the time to be on your guard the most. With that said, there are several ways to prepare for these storms during the off-season so you are not caught unawares.
Stock Up on Essentials
You'll want to prepare for the loss of electricity and the ability to cook by stocking up on water, bread, non-perishables, and items you can eat without heating. Also, make sure you have:
- Extra batteries for flashlights or headlamps,
- Portable chargers and cables for cell phones,
- Candles with matches.
Check Your Insurance
If you live in a hurricane-prone region, make sure your insurance covers flooding and other expenses you may incur because of a St. Petersburg hurricane.
Make a Video of Your Home
If your home is damaged from hurricane winds and water, a home inventory video will help prove the pre-storm state of your home and make insurance claims processing easier. It would also be beneficial to make electronic versions of important documents related to your home and your personal information in case the originals are destroyed in the storm. Include digital files of documents such as your:
- Birth certificate
- Driver's license
- Home's deed
- Social security card
Protect Your Property
Install hurricane shutters or plywood of at least 3/4 inches in thickness. You may need to install hurricane clips to secure the roof of your home to the walls. This is important in areas that may receive a direct hit, and install foot and head bolts on all doors.
Make an Evacuation Plan
When it is time to evacuate, go. Make a plan for where you and your family will stay at least 50 miles from your St. Petersburg home. If you can, pre-pack a bag before the threat of an Atlantic hurricane is severe. Load it with clothes, blankets, food, water, electronics, and important papers or photos.
Use These Tips
Don't Take Risks. Ultimately, people are more important than things. People hurt in hurricane weather evacuate late or stay in their homes altogether. Be wise and get out early. Prepare in order to mitigate panic and this kind of risky behavior.
We Help with Hurricane Recovery
We live and work in this community; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated cleaning, damage restoration, and construction business, SERVPRO of Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park is a proud and active member of this community and is ready to respond to your Orlando home emergency 24/7/365. Call us today at (727) 521-2562.
How to Reduce Pet Stress During a Storm: Evacuation Plan
Follow these simple measures to reduce your pet’s stress.
Plan For Your Pets
Inclement weather or fires can happen with or without notice. Creating an emergency plan can help prevent damage to your home and belongings and protect you and your loved ones - including pets! When putting a plan together, it’s important to plan for their needs as well.
Make an Evacuation Plan
Remember, if you must evacuate due to an emergency, the area is likely not suitable for your pets either. Your evacuation plan should consider where your pets will be taken, if not kept with you, and how best to transport them. Make a list ahead of time of pet friendly hotels or friends’ houses along your evacuation route and near your final destination. Know that some hotels and shelters do not accept animals.
You also might want to build an emergency travel kit for your animals. This will save time and worry when you must evacuate.
Items to include in your pet's emergency kit:
- A completed Emergency Pet Passport containing important information like your pets’ veterinarian contact info, medical needs, license/chip info, photos, etc.
- Leash, harness, and carrier with blanket to transport animals
- A few portions of a suitable non-perishable food, water bowl, bottled water, and can opener
- Cat litter and pan or bags for excrement
Don’t Have to Evacuate?
If evacuation is not necessary, there are still some things you can do to reduce your pet’s stress in an uncomfortable situation like a thunderstorm.
Pet Stress Symptoms
Pets may exhibit signs of stress and anxiety that can be alleviated by simple measures. Some of these symptoms include whimpering, hiding, pacing, or shivering. These symptoms may be caused by a variety of factors including pets’ greater sensitivity to sounds and air pressure.
As stress increases, symptoms may become more severe. Follow these simple measures to reduce your pet’s stress:
- Remain calm as an owner
- Create a comforting space for them in a smaller room like a closet or under a blanket
- Close blinds and curtains
- Keep them in their normal routine, if possible
Read more storm and pet related articles here.
Protect Your Home Against Wind Damage
When storms hit anywhere in the United States, our SERVPRO team can scale our resources to handle even the largest storm or flooding disaster.
Wind Damage from Different Types of Storms
While thunderstorms are the most common source of wind and storm damage, winds from hurricanes or tornadoes are more severe and may be more costly. Still, thunderstorms are responsible for a lot of damage, such as lightning, hail, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding. Either way, billions of dollars are spent on wind damage repair and storm damage restoration each year. While understanding the nature of wind damage can’t stop them from happening, it can help you limit the amount of damage to your property and save on restoration and repair costs.
What You Need to Know
Flying Debris is a Damage Risk
Flying debris can cause more damage than strong winds themselves. Damage can result from plants or other unsecured structures and objects. If a storm is approaching your area, make sure any potential debris in your homes such as patio furniture, toys, garbage cans are either secured or brought inside. Bonus tip: For severe weather, secure your doors and windows, too.
A Well-Designed Roofing System Does Wonders
Apply roof deck, shingles, or membrane over the decking. A well-designed roofing system will anchor the trusses and decking to the walls and foundation to keep the entire roof from lifting off the structure in a strong wind. Roofing material should latch to the deck.
The construction phase of building a structure is the most influential piece in reducing damage caused by storms. Loosely connected shingles will lift from the deck, so fasten that siding down. Building codes will likely direct the minimum standards for connections. You, your architect, or your contractor may decide to exceed these minimums for a stronger storm-resistant structure—especially if you live in an area more prone to storms like near the Gulf.
Monitor and Maintain Your Trees.
Falling trees and tree limbs are another significant type of damage to structures in a windstorm. Maintain your trees by removing dead limbs. In addition, remove the entire tree if it is dead. Healthy trees should have strong enough roots to withstand fairly strong winds, but dead trees will not.
Mitigating Damage After a Storm
What happens after the storm?
First, close any openings as soon as possible. Roof openings and broken windows are the most common source of water damage in these situations. Keep a roll of plastic sheeting that cuts to size and nail it over the opening. Your insurance policy will likely cover the cost of an emergency close-up, if needed, so contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.
If the damage is too much to handle on your own, contact a restoration professional as soon as you can to help limit and repair damage and respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.
SERVPRO of Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Since we are locally owned and operated, we can respond quickly to your area with the right resources. This is extremely important because a fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Resources to Scale Up for Large Disasters
When storms hit anywhere in the United States, our SERVPRO team can scale our resources to handle even the largest storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of over 1900 franchises across the country as well as our elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Flood Damage From Your Roof
Flood Damage Problems in Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park from Storm Damaged Roofs
When a storm comes into the Florida area, damage to your roof is relatively standard. Once a hole in your roof gets large enough, extensive flood damage can result. During a rainstorm, many winds or even hail elements can arise that can ruin your roof shingles. Wind can blow rocks or other objects into your home and create holes in your roof or exterior walls that rainwater can enter. Once the water starts entering the interior of your home, flood damage can occur from the top of your house to the bottom.
As soon as moisture enters your home from the outside, multiple issues can quickly arise. The best thing to do is immediately call in a professional restoration company such as SERVPRO to mitigate the flood damage inside your home. Water coming from the outside is considered black water and may be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Rainwater can also bring microbes from the outside, increasing the chance of microbial growth. No one wants molds growing in their attics.
In many cases, the first place that retains moisture after your roof leaks in your attic. Elevated moisture levels inside your attic can ruin building materials if the area does not get dried out promptly. If the insulation inside the attic gets wet, the moisture can decrease the R-value of the material. Some types of insulation can get dry when wet, whereas other kinds must be removed.
After removing wet insulation, our SERVPRO team can then dry out the wet ceiling materials and roof trusses. To do this, we often create a containment chamber to control the environment in the affected area better and prevent harmful particles from entering the rest of the house. We then set up heated air movers to create a circular air movement inside the area. In addition to the air movers, we also set up dehumidifiers that remove moisture from the air. Once building materials are dry, we treat the attic with anti-microbial chemicals and sometimes spray the trusses with a specialized sealant paint to inhibit fungal growth.
If you ever have a problem inside your attic after a storm, call SERVPRO of Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park at (727) 521-2562.
Preventing Flood Damage
According to the National Flood Insurance Program, flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, causing $2.7 billion in losses between 2001 and 2010. Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding, so it may be necessary to buy a separate flood policy for your home.
Three Key Steps
Here are a couple of tips to keep water from entering your home during a heavy rain event:
- Fix foundation leaks that may allow water to enter your home.
- Make sure your roof is secure and protected.
- Clear gutters and drains
If water ever floods your home, getting someone on-site as soon as possible is key to keeping the amount of damage to a minimum. SERVPRO of Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park is ready to respond at any time and also provides a free assessment!
How To Check For Roof Damage After a Storm
After a significant storm, it's a good idea to inspect your Central St. Petersburg property for storm damage. Your Floridas home's main line of defense is your roof, and it takes a beating. Pay attention to things like dings in your gutters or tears in your window screens, indicating hail damage. You may see missing tiles or other signs of roof damage from the ground, but most leaks don't represent a need for whole roof replacement. Usually, the leak is coming from something requiring minor roof repair. Find the source of the leak, stop it, and clean the water damage.
Find the Leak Source
During storms in Florida, wind damage lets the rain into your roof. From the inside of your home, look for stains that indicate the leak source and areas needing roof repair. You may see water stains on your ceiling or coming down a wall. When you see that, get your flashlight and head to that area. Here are five familiar sources for a roof leak:
1. Vents and fans
3. Window dormers
4. Vent pipes
5. Unsecured nails and nail holes
Fix Water Damage
To complete your roof repair, start looking for materials damaged by water. Check for discolorations and rotting wood and wet drywall and insulation. When you find mold, remain careful and don't spread it during cleanup.
A mold remediation professional can help create a containment area while working on the water and mold damage. If you haven't found mold, be sure to start drying any wet materials immediately. Mold can begin growing on wet damaged materials in as little as 48 hours. Complete drying is critical to preventing mold, and it may take longer than you realize. Specialists have monitoring equipment that they use to ensure materials are dry.
Protection From Wind Damage
Have storm damage? We're here to help!
Many areas of the United States have experienced heavy winds and storms this season, and the strong, powerful winds can cause significant damage to your home. Wind damage can cause a range of destruction to your property, from broken windows and fallen tree branches to severe damage to the roof, garage, or car. It can happen from the strong wind or indirectly from the wind blowing debris into your house.
Wind Damage from Different Types of Storms
Thunderstorms are the most common source of wind and storm damage, but winds from hurricanes or tornadoes are stronger and can cause severe damage. It can produce many types of bad weather such as lightning, hail, tornadoes, straight-line winds, flooding, etc. Thunderstorms are responsible for wind damage cases in the U.S. However, storm damage repair may be costly for hurricane or tornado wind damage. Billions of dollars are spent on wind damage repair and storm damage restoration each year; understanding the nature of wind damage can help you limit the amount of damage to your property and save on restoration and repair costs.
It's important to know when a storm is approaching your area and what type of storm it is so you know the potential and level of damage to expect. These wind damage facts will help you better understand the potential for wind damage and how to prevent it. Here are some steps you can take to minimize the risk of damage to your home when severe weather strikes.
Preventing Wind and Storm Damage
Most wind damage starts by flying debris either from plants or other structures unsecured. If a storm is approaching your area, make sure any potential debris in your homes, such as patio furniture, toys, garbage cans, and other objects, are either secured or brought inside. Secure your doors and windows to help minimize the potential storm damage to the home.
Roof damage reduces during the construction phase when the roof deck, shingles, or membrane is applied over the decking. A well-designed roofing system will anchor the trusses and decking to the walls and foundation to keep the entire roof from lifting off the building in a strong wind. Roofing material should latch to the deck.
Loosely connected shingles will lift from the deck. Siding damage reduces at the construction phase. Fastened siding isn't as likely to lift off a structure in strong wind. Building codes will likely direct the minimum standards for connections. You, your architect, or your contractor may decide to exceed these minimums for a stronger storm-resistant structure.
Falling trees and tree limbs are another significant type of damage to structures in a windstorm. Tree maintenance to remove dead limbs or identify and remove weakened trees will reduce the likelihood of structural damage. Mitigating damage after a storm closes any openings made in the structure by the wind. Roof openings and broken windows are the most common problem.
Keep a roll of plastic sheeting that cuts to size and nails over the opening. Your insurance policy will likely cover the cost of an emergency close-up. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed. Falling trees and tree limbs can open a structure with sudden violence. Tree on a structure is a serious personal and structural safety issue.
Trees, at times, won't shift positions. It can shift and cause serious injury to the unwary. Fallen trees may mask severe other safety issues, such as downed electrical wires. The wires may still be alive, and the tree itself energized. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.
Suppose your home or business sustains wind damage during a storm. In that case, it is important to contact a storm damage restoration professional as soon as it is over to help limit and repair the damage. SERVPRO of Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions. Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.
Storm vs. Flood
Property owners may have a hard time differentiating storm damage from flood damage. Commercial properties can sustain water damage from either source. There are a few significant differences to keep in mind that may help you manage these risks.
The most general distinction is that stormwater comes from above, whereas flood water overspills natural bodies or watercourses and covers at least two acres of ordinarily dry land. Storm damage to a commercial property may originate from a variety of causes, such as:
- High winds
- Heavy rain
Most business insurance plans protect from damage caused by storms. Property owners need additional coverage to offset the expenses of flood damage. If your property is located on a flood plain, you should make sure you carry the policies necessary to protect your investment.
Flooding occurs when water overflows a body of water or watercourse such as:
- Storm-water channels
For water to be considered a flood, it must cover two acres and affect at least two properties. Suppose a commercial property is located in a high-risk zone and the owner has a mortgage from an insured and federally regulated lender. In that case, he or she is required to maintain flood insurance. Damage resulting from either flooding or storms can cause severe problems and should be planned for, prevented, and handled as soon as possible. Regardless of a moisture source, the risk of mold and other secondary damage within a building can be just as severe.
Restoring Damage From Storms and Floods
Restoration specialists can help property owners determine the precise causes of damage and the best solutions. If a commercial property in Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park experiences flood damage or sustains damage during a storm, contact a commercial damage restoration company as soon as possible.
Storm Restoration Services
Water restoration services are needed in water damage caused by floodwater, roof leak, ice damage, oozing of groundwater, leaking or bursting of frozen pipes, and ice dam bursting. Like SERVPRO of Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park, water restoration companies develop various storm remediation services to ensure successful home restoration tasks. During the home restoration process, the storm restoration companies concentrate on storm damages such as roof damages that may cause a roof leak hence the need for roof repair. Hail damage and wind damage may, for instance, cause roof damage.
Ice damming is also problematic in cold places like Tundra that forms an ice dam that can burst at any moment, causing ice damage to your property or home. When frozen pipes burst, they may cause flooding in homes, hence needing clean water before any damage occurs. On the other hand, river flooding can be minimized by constructing a flood pump that helps in the water restoration process when conducting home restoration exercises.
Ice damage, hail damage, hurricane damage, ice damming (forming ice dam), groundwater bursting, wind damage, and floodwater occur naturally. As a result, wind damage can also be resolved through storm remediation. Hurricane damage is particularly common, and its impact may be overwhelming. These damages may result in roof damage that calls for roof repairs to avoid a roof leak. Call SERVPRO of Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park today at (727) 521-2562.