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Why Not To Wait for an Adjuster After Storm Damage

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

A man wearing a white helmet filling out a paper on a clipboard The Insurance Adjuster works closely with our team from start to finish

If you have been struck by a storm in Oxford Township,NJ and have experienced water damage, you need to get a professional water restoration service onsite as quickly as possible. Most likely, your insurance policy includes flood insurance, but so does everyone else's. That means that after a major storm, your insurance company is likely to be inundated with calls and adjusters may have a difficult time getting to everyone. The good news is that you do not have to wait for an adjuster to file a claim. By working closely with your insurance company and supplying the necessary documentation, you can begin the process before more damage sets in.

Why Not Wait

The longer the water sits, the more damage it can cause. There are many reasons to begin the restoration process as quickly as possible:

  • Mold damage can begin to grow in as little as 24-48 hours
  • Drywall and furniture begin to swell with the 1st day
  • Dyes and inks will begin to bleed
  • Any bacteria in the water will multiply
  • Likelihood of contamination goes up
  • Odors will appear

Water spreads and seeps into any material it can and rusts those it cannot. The longer it has to cause damage, the higher the cleanup costs will be, so timely cleanup is also good for your flood insurance company.

Make Sure You're Covered

Speak to an advisor about what kind of documentation is needed. Be sure to fill out all the paperwork they request and take pictures of the water and any items that have sustained damage. When the restoration company gets onsite, make them aware that an adjuster has not yet been out. They may have special procedures or take pictures of their own.
Floods can cause extensive damage to your house. By getting an expert flood damage restoration company to begin work as quickly as possible, they will minimize the damage. Providing the proper documentation will ensure that your flood insurance will cover the damages when work begins.

Factors That Can Increase Your Premium

10/26/2019 (Permalink)

Ceiling tiles are removed and also drywall due to a pipe that was leaking and caused water damage Leaking pipe caused water damage to a home in Oxford Township, NJ

You purchase insurance on your home in Oxford Township,NJ, so that you have protection when you need it. Depending on the circumstances that prompted the filing of an insurance claim, however, the cost of your premium could go up. Here are some factors that can affect how much you pay each month.

Type of Claim

The reason you are filing your claim could decide whether your insurance company chooses to raise your rates. One of the most common reasons rates go up is over incidents that could have been prevented with a little more vigilance:

  • Injuries from falling
  • Water damage
  • Mold growth

If the insurance adjuster cannot prove that your negligence caused the damage on the claim, the company may still offer a payout. That doesn't protect you from an increase in your premium, though.

Person at Fault

If the accident described on the insurance claim was not your fault and could not have been prevented by any action on your part, your premium may not go up. Those problems you could have prevented by making different choices are the ones that can increase your costs. The cost of water cleanup services for a pipe that bursts on its own may not raise your rates, but having to pay for such services for a pipe that bursts during the course of a DIY renovation probably will.

Frequency of Claims

A home flood doesn't happen very often, and it's rarely the fault of the homeowner. If, however, it is the third claim you have filed this quarter, it may still raise your premiums. Frequent claim filing increases the insurance company's risk, so it may raise your rates to protect its interests.
You don't always have a lot of control over whether your insurance company will raise your premiums. By limiting the number of times you file an insurance claim and keeping up with a regular inspection schedule to avoid foreseeable issues, you can do your part to keep costs down.

6 Benefits of Renter's Insurance

10/26/2019 (Permalink)

Renter insurance form on a table with a calculator and a pair of glasses Renter's insurance can provide you with peace of mind

Six Benefits of Renter's Insurance

Your landlord probably has an insurance policy that covers damage to your residence, however that policy likely does not cover your personal belongings. For this reason, you may wish to consider these six benefits of renter's insurance:

Replaces your personal property. The primary benefit of your insurance coverage is that it can help you replace property damaged or destroyed by a covered cause of loss, such as fire, storm or flood damage. Some policies also cover theft. An insurance professional in Mount Hermon, NJ can explain to you which causes of loss your policy covers.
Covers property you have borrowed or rented. Some renter’s policies provide coverage for property you have borrowed or rented if it is damaged by a covered cause of loss while in your possession.
Covers your property when it’s not in your home. Your renter’s insurance policy may provide coverage for your property when it is in your car, on an airplane, in a hotel room or otherwise not in your residence.
Provides temporary relocation expenses. Some types of damage, such as storm damage that requires the services of a professional storm clean up service, may require you to temporarily vacate your residence. Many renter’s policies will provide funds for costs associated with temporary housing, such as the cost to rent a hotel room.
Pays damages you are liable for. Your policy may include liability coverage that could pay for damages you become personally liable for due to incidents such as your dog biting a guest or a member of your family causing an injury to a person or damaging their property.
Pays for your guest’s medical bills. Another potential benefit is coverage for the medical bills of a guest who is injured while in your residence.

Renter's insurance can provide you with peace of mind, knowing that your personal property can be replaced in the event of a covered cause of loss. It can also provide your family with protection from other unexpected expenses.

How Your Belongings Are Restored After a Home Fire

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Two fire damaged houses Fire damage in Washington Township, NJ

Why Hire a Specialist?

A fire in your home can be unsettling and stressful for you and your family. Fire damage is often serious; even items that didn’t burn may be affected by heat, smoke or water. If you have experienced a fire in your home, you are undoubtedly wondering how your property will be cleaned and restored. Seeking assistance from a fire restoration service may be the best first step.Why Hire a Specialist? The combination of fire and water damage can be devastating to personal property. The pressurized water from the fire hose alone can be destructive. If your property damage is considerable, it may be prudent to consider hiring a fire cleanup and restoration service:

  1. Fire damage experts have access to specialized equipment and methods that facilitate timely drying and restoration of your belongings.
  2. Professionals are trained to use safety precautions to prevent accidents and injuries.
  3. Specialists work quickly to prevent secondary damage, such as mold, from developing.

Turning over your home and property to restoration experts can feel uncomfortable. It may help to have some more information about what to expect.What About Your Belongings?While structural restoration continues, a content-cleaning team will begin to sort and inventory your personal items. Fire-damaged items are often unsalvageable, but many water-damaged items can be restored. Textiles, carpets and upholstered furniture that are not badly smoke damaged can be dried and cleaned. If not damaged by heat, electronics such as computers and televisions will be dried, dehumidified and restored to working order, if possible.Restoration of paper items is a complex process. Your documents, books or other papers with water damage will undergo multiple specialized methods to clean, dry and press them. Document restoration generally includes a HIPAA-certified staff member to ensure confidentiality and security. When a fire in your Washington Township, NJ, home disrupts your life, it can be overwhelming. A professional cleanup service can help facilitate your fire-damage cleanup. Using a secure, multi-step process, they will clean and restore your belongings as quickly and completely as possible. Knowing what to expect may help you decide what will work best for you if you experience a home fire.

Do Fire Sprinklers Need Maintenance?

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

A red fire sprinkler Fire sprinklers don't get used all that often, but they still need attention

Add Fire Sprinkler Maintenance To Your Established Routine

Fire sprinkler maintenance in Mount Hermon, NJ, often gets overlooked because it is easy to forget they are there. However, it is necessary to keep them in working order because once they are a crucial safety mechanism.


Fire sprinklers don't get used all that often, but they still need attention. Over time, a coating of grime can form on your sprinkler heads, especially if they are in your kitchen areas. Some actions to take:

  • Regularly clean them so that the water is unimpeded- be sure to use a non-corrosive degreasing solution.
  • Check on your furniture and equipment distribution every so often to be sure that nothing that comes close to the ceiling is placed beneath a sprinkler.
  • Be sure never to paint over a sprinkler.

Water Pressure

Proper sprinkler maintenance includes a quarterly water pressure check. This aspect is crucial should a fire occur, to make sure there is enough water to put it out. The most common culprit of decreased water pressure is a turned valve. If the water pressure in the rest of your building is good, your sprinklers are probably okay, too. If your pressure is too high, you may discover water damage, and should call a water remediation company to take care of it.

Full Inspection

You or your staff should check on non-electric control valves weekly, to make sure that they are all open. Otherwise your sprinklers won't be able to spray any water. A full inspection only needs to be carried out annually. This will look more closely at the status of the pipes, seeking out leaks and corrosion. It will also make sure that your system is calibrated and responds appropriately. Fire service professionals and firefighters are trained to perform these types of inspections.
It isn't hard to add basic sprinkler maintenance to your established routine. Do your best to make sure your building is prepared in case of a fire and give your sprinklers some love.

Understanding Black Mold

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

black mold and it scientific name Stachybotrys chartarum Stachybotrys chartarum, it is one of the most common forms of mold growth found in houses

Chances are good that at one point or another you have heard of black mold. Officially known as Stachybotrys chartarum, it is one of the most common forms of mold growth found in houses in Oxford Township,NJ. This mold is typically black or green in color and has a slimy texture as well as a characteristic musty odor. It thrives in moisture-rich environments with high humidity and may be indicative of water damage. When dealing with this type of mold, it is important to always enlist professional cleanup assistance right away.

Where Is It Found?

Check for black mold in moist places and areas that frequently hold water. This may include basements, kitchens, garages and bathrooms. Here are a few particular spots in the home where mold is often located:

  • Pipes underneath sinks
  • Ceilings and drywall
  • Windowsills
  • Wood paneling
  • Carpet and furniture
  • Air conditioning units and HVAC ducts

Excessive condensation, poor ventilation, flooding and leaking pipes are all factors that create ideal conditions for mold to flourish. Pay special attention to spaces that may be prone to moisture or standing water.

What Causes It?

Mold spores are constantly in the air around us, but they require water to actively grow. Thus, one of the key aspects of mold remediation is repairing any ongoing leaks and keeping indoor humidity below 45 percent. Also be mindful not to leave damp carpets, wet piles of clothing or other pulpy materials lying about. Not only does maintaining a dry environment stop the growth of Stachybotrys chartarum, but it also inhibits the development of other commonly occurring household molds.

How To Fix It

If you discover black mold in your house, there is no need to panic. Treat the mold with caution, and do not attempt to remove it yourself. Instead, call an experienced professional. Mold remediation specialists in Oxford Township,NJ, are available year-round to address a variety of problems and concerns. Using specialized technology, experts can quickly provide full-scale remediation and restoration services. Do not let this mold cause you undue stress. Knowledgeable mold cleanup technicians are always Here to Help.

Why You Should Not Drive Through Flooded Streets

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Red truck and a black car driving through a flooded street Flooded road in Washington Township, NJ

Why You Should Not Drive Through Flooded Streets

When a major storm is heading for Washington Township, NJ, you may need to evacuate as soon as possible. Yet you also have to drive away safely. A flooded street, in particular, can be a hidden danger as you head for higher ground. Driving on flooded roads can lead to:

  • Your vehicle getting damaged
  • Your car getting stranded
  • Your passengers getting injured or killed

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control recently found that more than half of flood-related drowning resulted from a person driving into flooded waters. That’s because it is often hard to tell how deep the water is until it is too late.

Shallow Water, Major Damage

Even relatively minor flooding can cause serious destruction. Just six inches of water on a flooded street can cause your vehicle’s wheels to lose traction. This could lead to a serious car accident that could damage you or your vehicle.
Once 12 inches of water floods onto a road, your car could start floating away. If this happens, you will be unable to brake or steer. Two feet of water is all it takes to float a larger vehicle such as a pickup truck or SUV.
Flood water that is more than two feet deep poses an additional danger. At this point, water could get into your engine and stop it from running. Your vehicle could stall, leaving you stranded and unable to drive to safer ground.

Flood Travel Tips

Before heading out during a storm, check online to see which roads are flooded. You can also research alternate routes to take. Above all, do not drive into a flooded street. Instead, turn around and find a safer road.
Once the floodwaters have receded, you can safely return to your home and assess your property. If the water has gotten inside your house, contact your local storm damage restoration specialists. They can remove the excess water and dry out your belongings.

Leaking Kitchen Sink: What Next?

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

Leaking kitchen sink

Water damage in your Mount Hermon, NJ home can be devastating, and when the source comes from an everyday item like your kitchen sink, the stress and expense can add to the problem quickly. Swift action is crucial when you find water in home in order to minimize damage and ensure proper coverage from your insurance company.

Initial Steps to Minimize Damage

Extensive flooding from a leaking kitchen sink is all too common, especially if the leak begins overnight or when no one is home to stop the problem. Several immediate steps should be taken as soon as you discover the leak:

  1. Shut off the water: A leaking sink probably stems from the pipes or other internal issue in the home, so the only way to stifle the flooding is to cut off the home’s water source immediately
  2. Call your insurance company: Before you can begin any drying or repairs, reach out to your insurance company so that you understand the best ways to highlight the extent of the damage to ensure you will receive proper coverage during the cleanup and kitchen repair stages
  3. Call restoration professionals: Working with professionals to properly dry and ventilate the area will help reduce the risk of secondary damage such as black mold and weakened floors and other structural elements of the home

Additional Tips

Remember that mold growth and other secondary damage can occur throughout the home, including rooms away from the original source of the flooding. Porous items in particular easily absorb water and humidity, and are difficult to fully dry, so ensure you remove these items from the kitchen right away to prevent mold growth. Items that are wet should be dried as much as possible, and placed in an area that receives adequate ventilation. By acting quickly to reduce additional water damage, working closely with your insurance and restoration companies, and making sure additional items do not stay wet, your home’s kitchen can be returned back to normal more quickly with less stress and expense.

3 Tips to Protect Your Building From a Spring Storm

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

After a long, cold winter, the warm spring weather can be a great relief. However, in addition to bringing higher temperatures and beautiful flowers, this time of year is known for some heavy storms. Luckily, there are things you can do to help protect your commercial building in Oxford Township,NJ, from a strong spring storm.

1. Have the Building Inspected

Your building may be more vulnerable than you are aware of. Small roof leaks can become extremely dangerous when there is heavy rainfall. Having someone come and inspect your roof, doors and windows to make sure they all close properly can prevent serious storm damage. During a storm, you can end up with a pipe break, which becomes even worse when leaves and debris block the area. Always have your pipes checked and gutters cleaned before the rainy season begins.

2. Be Weather Aware

Oftentimes, a spring storm can hit with little notice. When the weather turns dangerous, staying informed about changing conditions can give you and your employees the opportunity to get to a safe place. Make sure all workers are aware of what to do and where to go in the event that disaster does strike. Remember to have flashlights and other necessities on hand in the event of a power outage.

3. Hire a Storm Cleanup Company

Sometimes storm damage is inevitable. Hiring a professional storm cleanup company right away can help you avoid further issues with the property, such as mold growth from flooding. The company will inspect the building and close up any roof leaks or other areas that are still at risk of flooding or other problems.
Natural disasters can strike at any time in Oxford Township,NJ, but preparing your commercial building in advance can help keep your employees safe and lower chances of severe damage. When that next spring storm does hit, know who to call to get you back in business as soon as possible.

How Interruption Insurance Can Help Your Business Recover From a Fire

8/9/2019 (Permalink)

The key button of a computer that says: "Business Insurance" Business income insurance covers lost revenue and certain expenses due to business interruption

After a fire at your Washington Township, NJ, business, your income may be slow or even completely stop for a while as you try to get your facility back to normal. Interruption insurance can help your business stay afloat during this tough time.

What Is Business Income Coverage?

Business income insurance covers lost revenue and certain expenses due to business interruption. What is and is not covered depends on the insurance company and the policy, but may include the following:

  • Lost income
  • Payroll
  • Monthly bills
  • Temporary relocation expenses

Because coverage varies among companies, it is important to familiarize yourself with the details of your policy before you are the victim of a fire. Additionally, your insurance company will need records of your income and expenses to determine how much they will pay out. It is important to store these records in a secure location so that they are available when you need them.

How Much Coverage Do I Need?

The amount of interruption insurance coverage that you should purchase depends not only on your typical income and expenses, but also a few factors you might not have considered. For example, how much would it cost to rent a comparable commercial space in your area? If you own the building you work out of, rent costs may surprise you. Do you have a lot of physical merchandise? Replacing stock can take a while; however, fully digital companies may be able to restore their “merchandise” more quickly if it is backed up. How susceptible is your property to fire? A well-maintained sprinkler system will likely extinguish small fires before they completely gut a building. All of these variables affect how much coverage your business will need.
Even though interruption insurance can help you remain financially stable during the fire restoration process, you will still want to get your business back to normal as quickly as possible. A reliable restoration company will make sure the job is done quickly and correctly.