Flood Damage

Water Damage Cleanup Repair and Restoration Minnetonka MN

Minnetonka, Minnesota Water Damage Restoration Water Damage to Your Home Water damage is one of the most common reasons for claims against insurance policies. Does your homeowner insurance policy cover you against the most common types of water damage? Many homeowners only find out what their insurance policy doesn’t cover when they make a claim. Homeowners Insurance: Is Your Home Insured Against Water Damage? Will My Insurance Cover It? Yes. No. Maybe. The single most confusing element related to water damage is what is and is not covered. Find out what you have, or don’t have, and learn what you need when it comes to water damage and your insurance. Many homeowners only find out what their insurance policy doesn’t cover when they make a claim. Here are some of the most common types of water damage, and what you can expect if you need to make a claim. 1. A pipe bursts in your home and floods the living areas. Are you covered? It depends on the circumstances, but generally the answer is a qualified yes. Your homeowner will usually cover the damages to your home and furnishings, but not the cost of repairing the burst pipe. The repairs to the pipe are considered a home maintenance issue rather than an unforeseen circumstance. There are some exceptions, since your insurer does expect you to take reasonable care and caution with your property. You may not be covered, for instance, if you left your home unoccupied and unheated for several days in the dead of winter and a pipe bursts as a consequence. 2. A sewer overflows, flooding your finished basement with water and sewage. Will your homeowner insurance cover the cleanup costs? Unless you have a special endorsement or rider covering damage from sewers and drains, you may be on your own. Many, if not most, homeowner policies specifically exclude damage caused by sewer backups and overflows. If your home has a finished basement or a basement workshop, a sewers and drains rider could be worth its weight in gold. Often, the cost of repairing the damage after a sewer backup goes far beyond replacing the carpet. You could be faced with massive cleanup and decontamination costs. 3. Your washing machine breaks, and the flood of water damages your living room carpet. Will your insurance pay to clean the carpet? Generally, the answer is yes. A standard homeowner policy will cover the cost of cleaning or replacing the carpet when an unexpected appliance breakage damages your property. There may be exceptions to this, however, especially if your insurer determines that your washing machine hasn’t been appropriately maintained. 4. Your roof leaks during a heavy rainstorm, soaking your daughter’s bedroom walls and furnishings. Will your insurance cover the damage? Your homeowner policy will usually cover the damage to property caused by the water, but not the cost of repairing the roof. That could include the cost of repairing and repainting or papering the walls, replacing damaged furniture and cleaning draperies, bedding and clothing. If the leak was caused by something more drastic, say a tree branch crashing through your roof, the insurance will also cover the cost of repairs to your roof. 5. Your bathtub overflows, and the water damages the floor and the ceiling below. Can you make a claim? Yes. Even if the overflow was your fault because you forgot to turn off the faucet, your homeowner policy will usually pay to repair the damage. 6. Your swimming pool leaks and the water damages your garden and lawn. What will your insurance cover? Usually, nothing. Damage to your...

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Water Damage Mold In Your Minnesota Home Part 3

Mold and Hidden Water Damage Mold From Ongoing Minor or Hidden Water Damage Continued from Water Damage Mold In Your Minnesota Home Part 1 Virtually everyone has some type of mold or another somewhere in their home. Although not all types are toxic, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish types without lab testing. Black molds can develop from water intrusion like water seepage, improper drainage and irrigation, plumbing leaks, basement flooding, rain and condensation issues. While toxic mold is less common than other mold species, it is not rare. For that reason, it is imperative to treat and remove all molds as if they are potentially harmful. Regardless of the type of mold found, a home containing mold is essentially not a healthy home. Exterior Water Intrusion Mold can grow on any wet building materials. Once it is discovered, it must be addressed quickly and appropriately. Delayed or improper treatment of mold issues can multiply repair costs significantly. When building materials such as wood siding, brick, concrete block and stucco are exposed to moisture sources from outdoors, over time that moisture can penetrate exterior walls and enter the wall cavity, creating perfect conditions for mold growth in between exterior and interior walls. Eventually the moisture and mold can penetrate all the way through to the interior side of wall surfaces. By that time, extensive damage to the structure has already taken place. Water and Mold Cleanup and Repair Begin any cleanup by drying your home, including removing any water-damaged items to help facilitate drying. Water-damaged walls and floorboards will need to be thoroughly dried, and drywall will likely have to be thrown away. All wet insulation, carpet, and similar items will also have to be thrown away. If you are cleaning personal items, there will be some hard choices to make. Cloth materials can normally be cleaned by laundering them several times to remove the impact of the water. Many other porous items, such as couches, stuffed animals, papers, and some older pictures, will have to be thrown away if they have been in the water for longer than 48 hours. Remember, it is better to throw something away than have it become a source of mold in the future. The long-term health issues associated with mold can be reduced by ensuring that a proper cleanup is done.  If you suspect you have a mold problem from hidden water damage, it is always best to hire a qualified and experienced specialist that is knowledgeable in the latest water extraction and drying methods. If your home was flooded for longer than 48 hours, you will probably need to consult a Certified (IICRC) Water Damage Restoration Professional. A proper inspection can help detect water intrusion issues early, saving thousands of dollars in repairs costs. Some of this information was quoted from an article called “Is Indoor Mold Contamination a Threat to Health?” by Harriet M. Ammann, Ph.D., D.A.B.T. – Senior Toxicologist at Washington State Department of Health, Olympia, Washington. Is Indoor Mold Contamination a Threat to Health.pdf Download Or for a full copy of her report in Microsoft Word format CLICK HERE Mold In The News http://theforagerpress.com/bookstore/blackmold/moldnews.htm MINNESOTA Investigating and Remediating Mold in Minnesota Public Schools – State Dept. of Health Molds In Our Environment http://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm Health Effects of Mold http://www.weather.com/activities/health/allergies/mold/health_effects.html Frequently Asked Questions about Black Mold http://theforagerpress.com/bookstore/blackmold/moldfaq.htm Mold In The News http://theforagerpress.com/bookstore/blackmold/moldnews.htm MINNESOTA Investigating and Remediating Mold in Minnesota Public Schools – State Dept. of Health...

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Water Damage Mold In Your Minnesota Home Part 2

Water Damage  Mold As the weather turns cooler, one of the “fast and furious” water leaks that homeowners encounter occurs when a pipe freezes and bursts. Whether you have had a small leak in one of your pipes or a full out flood, water damage mold is nothing to be taken lightly. Mold can be very persistent and hard to get rid of and it can also be hazardous to your health.  Not only that but if left unchecked, mold will ruin any surface it grows on. What Is Mold? Mold is a fungi whose job it is to decompose things. We often think of it as decomposing vegetables, bread and other foods that have been left around but when it gets into your home, mold can decompose your carpets, your drywall, your clothing, your books and any other organic surface in your home. Mold loves more sure which is why water damage mold is so common in flooded areas. Since mold spores are always present outside, it doesn’t take too much for them to get inside. All they need is a moist area, some organic material and the temperature of between two and 40°C. Needless to say, you don’t have to experience a major flood to get mold in your home. What To Do If you have mold in your home whether it’s from a flooded basement, heavy melting ice, or maybe a burst pipe, you want to assess the extent of the damage. Get into the area and see how bad the mold is. If it is excessive, you probably want to check your insurance policy to see if mold damage is covered and then call the insurance company. In many cases, hiring a mold remediation company is necessary to remove the mold safely. If you just have a minor leak at a pipe that has caused a little area of mold that you may be able to remove yourself. The first thing is to be sure of where the mold this. Remember, it can grow on wood, drywall, carpeting, fabrics and books so you want to check to make sure if any of these items around that they do not have mold on them. When removing the moldy items, you want to be sure that you seal them in a bag so that the mold spores do not become airborne and find another place to grow in your house. If it is a big job, you want to section off the entire area and be sure to have ventilation to the outside. Also, wear protective clothing when cleaning or removing mold as water damage mold can be very hazardous to your health. One of the worst outcomes of a leak or natural disaster is water damage mold. That’s because mold can be persistent, is hazardous to your health and is often difficult and costly to get rid of.  It only takes mold 24 to 48 hours to grow in the right moisture conditions.  Chances are, if you can’t see the mold and have a musty smell, that you have “hidden” mold. Hidden mold tends to be located in the air ducts, on the back side of dry wall, paneling or wallpaper, on the underside of carpets and pads, behind furniture, just to name a few locations. A Water Damage Restoration Expert can help you locate the water source, do the necessary testing and help you remove the mold from your home before it has an opportunity to do any further damage. Mold loves moisture and it needs an organic surface to live on. That means that...

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Water Damage Mold In Your Minnesota Home Part 1

 Water Damage Mold Chlorine Bleach is Not Effective in Killing Mold According to the EPA – “Biocides (like chlorine bleach) are toxic to humans as well as mold! (1) The object to killing mold is to kill mold at its “roots”.  Mold remediation involves the need to disinfect wood and wood-based building materials, all of which are porous materials. Thus, chlorine bleach should not be used in mold remediation as confirmed by OSHA’s Mold Remediation/ Clean Up Methods guidelines. The use of bleach as a mold disinfectant is best left to kitchen and bathroom countertops, tubs and shower glass, etc. (2) Chlorine Bleach does kill bacteria and kill viruses, but has not been proven effective in killing molds on non-porous surfaces.  Bleach itself is 99% water.  Water is one of the main contributors of the growth of harmful bacteria and mold.  Current situations using bleach re-grew and regenerated mold and bacteria twice the CFU counts than were originally found before bleaching, within a short period of time. Bleach is an old method used for some bacteria and mold. It is the only product people have known for years. The strains now associated within Indoor Air quality issues are resistant to the methods our grandmothers employed to clean-up mold. (3) What potential mold ‘killing’ power chlorine bleach might have, is diminished significantly as the bleach sits in warehouses, on grocery store shelves or inside your home or business 50% loss in killing power in just the first 90 days inside a never opened jug or container. Chlorine constantly escapes through the plastic walls of its containers. (4) The ionic structure of bleach prevents Chlorine from penetrating into porous materials such as drywall and wood—it just stays on the outside surface, whereas mold has enzyme roots growing inside the porous construction materials—however, the water content penetrates and actually FEEDS the mold—this is why a few days later you will notice darker, more concentrated mold growing (faster) on the bleached area. (5) Chlorine Bleach accelerates the deterioration of materials and wears down the fibers of porous materials. (6) Chlorine Bleach is NOT registered with the EPA as a disinfectant to kill mold. You can verify this important fact for yourself when you are unable to find an EPA registration number for killing mold on the label of any brand of chlorine bleach. (7) Chlorine bleach off gases for a period of time. Chlorine off gassing can be harmful to humans and animals. It has been known to cause pulmonary embolisms in low resistant, and susceptible people. (8) Chlorine bleach will evaporate within a short period of time. If the area is not dry when the bleach evaporates, or moisture is still in the contaminated area (humidity, outside air dampness), you could re- start the contamination process immediately and to a greater degree. (9) Chlorine is a key component of DIOXIN.  One of the earliest findings of dioxin’s toxicity in animals was that it caused birth defects in mice at very low levels. This finding led to dioxin being characterized as “one of the most potent teratogenic environmental agents”. The first evidence that dioxin causes cancer came from several animal studies completed in the late 1970’s. The most important of these, published in 1978 by a team of scientists from Dow Chemical Company, led by Richard Kociba, found liver cancer in rats exposed to very low levels of dioxin. This study helped establish dioxin as one of the most potent animal carcinogens ever tested and, together with the finding of birth defects in mice, led to the general statement that dioxin is the “most toxic...

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Water Damage – Will Your Home Insurance Policy Pay For Water Damage? Part 2

Is Your Home Insured Against Water Damage? Will My Insurance Cover It? Yes. No. Maybe. The single most confusing element related to water damage is what is and is not covered. Find out what you have, or don’t have, and learn what you need when it comes to water damage and your insurance. Continued from MN Water Damage – Will Your Home Insurance Policy Pay For Water Damage? Part 1  We will try to clarify some of these points in this blog. Common Water Damage Insurance Scenarios Here are some common causes of water damage. Find out if you are covered by your insurance policy if you face any one of these common scenarios. Scenario 1: If your water pipes froze due to the cold weather and burst, flooding your home with tap water. In this scenario, most homeowners insurance plans will cover you on a conditional basis. If the house was unoccupied when the incident happened and the pipes burst because you forgot to turn on the heat before leaving, some policies may not cover the damage. This is because the incident may have been easily prevented had it not been for your negligence. Scenario 2: Your washing machine or dishwasher overflows and floods your basement, laundry room, or kitchen. In this scenario, the decision depends on the reason what caused the water appliance involved to malfunction. If the damage was accidental or was due to some defect in the appliance, your policy may cover the water damage repair, but not the repair for your appliance. However, if the problem was caused by your lack of maintenance, your policy may not cover it. Scenario 3: Your sewage system backed up and flooded your basement. Basic home insurance policies do not cover basement floods caused by sewage water damage. Most companies frown upon sewer backups because the water involved is black water or is highly contaminated. In fact, several policies specifically list sewer backups under its exclusions. Thus, if you want to be protected from this, you will have to pay extra for special coverage. You can use the following list as a general guide to what is and isn’t covered or simply refer to the Summary of Coverage (PDF 108K) to help you better understand your policy and coverage. Scenario 4: Water seeps through your basement foundation and damages your home’s foundation and basement interior. Water seepage problems are not covered by homeowners insurance plans. This is because seepage only occurs if you failed to have foundation waterproofing installed before you had your house constructed. It is not considered as sudden and accidental. Scenario 5: Heavy raining caused a nearby river to overflow and the flood enters your living room. It also damages some of your furniture. This scenario is considered as flood water damage, and is excluded from regular home insurance policies. If you want coverage for flood damage, you have to purchase an additional flood insurance rider. You also have the option to avail of federally provided flood insurance plans, which are offered by the National Flood Insurance Programs to communities participating in its floodplain management project. You can determine if your property is eligible for flood insurance by checking the NFIP Community Status Book. For Minnesota PDF 49KB Scenario 6: Fire water damage Another water damage cause that almost all homeowners insurance companies frown upon is fire water damage. Such damage is excluded due to the high level of loss they often entail. Like with flood damage, fire damage will only be covered if you purchased of an additional fire insurance rider on top of your...

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MN Water Damage – Will Your Home Insurance Policy Pay For Water Damage? Part 1

Water Damage | Water Damage Insurance Water damage cleanup, repair and restoration can be a costly operation, and surely you’d want to receive financial help from your home insurance policy. In fact, water damage is one of the top reasons why most home insurance plan holders make claims. Unfortunately, home insurance tends to be tricky when it comes to water damage, which is why many people have had negative experiences when claiming insurance benefits for their water damaged house. The biggest challenge in making a water damage insurance claim lies in determining whether your water damage problem is covered by your policy. But even if you are uncertain about whether your insurance plan will cover your water damage expenses, it is still best to report any water damage incident to your provider. Water Damage Insurance Reporting Even in the panic of finding your home flooded, don’t forget to call up your insurance company to report the damage. Ask them about the step by step process they require in making a claim, and you may also ask for some recommendations on which water damage companies you can trust. You are not obliged to heed their advice, but there’s no harm in including the recommended companies in your comparisons when you ask for quotes. If you have had any kind of water intrusion, a proper inspection by a Certified (IICRC) Water Damage Restoration Professional can help detect water intrusion issues early, saving thousands of dollars in repairs costs. After receiving your report, your insurance company will most likely send an agent out to evaluate and document the loss, but in the meantime, before you or your water damage restoration service start the cleanup, take pictures of your water damaged home. After extracting the water, you should also take pictures of your water damaged floors. Take individual photos of everything that get damaged, including water damaged ceilings and walls, furniture, and even small loose items. These photos will come in handy when you make a claim; some homeowners have even taken videos. While taking pictures, write down these damaged items in a list. The goal is to give your insurance company a clear idea of the full extent of the damage. Other documents that can help make your claim stronger include cost estimates, a complete water damage report, and receipts of repairs, restoration, and even sanitizing services you used. If your insurance agent and water damage repair company comes up with a different cost estimates, they will have to agree on a single amount, usually halfway between their estimates. Just make sure nothing is compromised in terms of the complete repair and restoration your home will need. Homeowners Insurance on Water Damage – What’s Covered and What’s Not Since policies cover different types of losses, insurance companies have different standards, and water damage is caused by many reasons, not all water damage incidents are automatically covered. Water damage incidents that are covered are those that occur due to material defects such as dishwasher malfunctions or burst pipes, and those that are accidental in nature. However, insurance companies will not pay for damage caused by neglect, carelessness, or poor maintenance. There are exceptions, though. There are sudden and unexpected reasons that are beyond your control that insurance agencies nevertheless exclude from their basic coverage. These include water damage caused by natural disasters such as heavy rainfall or river overflows; such damage is considered to be flood damage, which is a common exclusion. Usually, home insurance policies offer separate coverage packages for the water damage incidents their basic plans do not cover. This way, homeowners...

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