Who Pays for Damages in a Rental Fire?
Apartment fire in Chicago, IL
In an office fire, your first concern is your safety and well-being and that of everyone you work with. You also need to be mindful of the repair, cleanup and restoration costs and what responsibilities you have. If your office is in a rented apartment building in Chicago,IL, it’s important to understand that your insurance coverage may not take care of all the damages. Make sure you understand what you face in the aftermath of this apartment fire.
If you rent office space for your company, the landlord will purchase property insurance to cover damages to the structure. To protect anything you own, it’s a smart idea to get additional commercial renter’s insurance. This will come in handy if an apartment fire starts, even if you accidentally caused it. This insurance can compensate you for the following:
- Damaged or destroyed furniture you purchased
- Décor or pictures you purchased
- Personal knick-knacks and memorabilia
- Personal equipment you used for work but purchased yourself
Property Insurance Payments
Regardless of the cause (unless it was on purpose), the property insurance should cover all fire damage to the building itself, including walls, ceilings, flooring, the roof, electrical equipment or other building systems. Make sure your landlord has comprehensive coverage against fires.
When You Have to Pay
Fires are not only destructive because of the scorching flames, but water damage and smoke damage can be significant as well. If you happened to have caused the fire due to an accident or mishap, the respective insurance coverages should kick in. However, if you intentionally caused the fire, not only will you be held financially liable for damages and to pay for professional fire restoration teams to clean up and rebuild, but you may be prosecuted.
An apartment fire has the potential to damage or destroy a significant amount of your work materials. It’s a wise idea to you supplement the property coverage with commercial renter’s insurance.
4 Frequently Asked Questions About Mold Growth
Alternaria is a common type of indoor mold
Common Questions People Ask About Mold
If you have ever come across mold growth in your building at Rosemont, IL, then you may have questions. By getting accurate answers to these questions, you may better understand why mold grows, where it comes from and how to get rid of it. Here are some of the most common questions people ask about mold.
1. What Is Mold and What Are the Most Common Types?
Mold is a fungus that is naturally found both indoors and outdoors. There are thousands of fungi and different types of mold represent different strains. Here are the most common types of indoor molds recognized by the CDC:
2. What Are the Ideal Conditions for Mold Growth?
Mold loves areas with high humidity, low water drainage and low or no light. This allows them to reproduce and further spread. However, that doesn’t mean mold can’t survive in other environmental conditions. Sometimes cold, damp areas and even hot, dry deserts also experience mold growth.
3. Are Some Building Types More Susceptible to Mold Than Others?
Yes, there are some buildings that tend to have more common instances of mold than others. Here are a few of them:
- Construction sites
- Farms and mills
- Antique shops
- Flower shops
4. What Can People Do To Reduce Their Exposure to Mold?
People who are sensitive to mold should avoid wooded areas, compost heap piles and freshly cut grass. Reducing humidity by using dehumidifiers also helps to discourage mold growth. Whenever possible, it is a good idea to let fresh air into closed spaces. Finally, leaving the cleanup work to mold remediation specialists may help to reduce close contact.
Mold exists naturally in the environment year-round in Rosemont, IL. This is the primary reason behind why it is such a common problem. Hopefully these FAQs will make you more prepared to tackle mold when you come across it.
Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover Fire Damage?
Commercial Fire Loss in Chicago, IL.
Commercial Fire Damage Insurance Coverage
Commercial property insurance can cover any structure zoned for commercial use. Depending on the level of coverage and any additional endorsements, this insurance should pay for damage resulting from burst pipes, fire, explosions, storms, or theft and vandalism. Commercial insurance can shield businesses from bearing the extensive costs of fire damage alone.
The pricing of these policies depends on several factors.
- Fire protection levels: The cost of a business insurance policy that covers fire may vary depending on the distance of the closest fire station. You may pay higher premiums if you are far from assistance or do not have suitable fire suppression safety equipment in your place of business.
- Building materials: The materials used to build a commercial property may also play a major role in determining how much commercial insurance for your business will cost. Is the building built out of fire-resistant materials or combustibles like wood? Do newer structural features or updates maintain the same level or a higher level of fire safety than the rest of the building? Insurers will factor in any additions and modifications as well as the original structure, which may either raise or lower premiums.
- The type of business: When it comes to buying property insurance or policies that compensate for business interruptions, offices are generally considered to be safer commercial properties than restaurants or businesses that work with potentially hazardous substances.
Fire is a common risk covered by commercial property insurance no matter where your business is located. Some policies may require endorsements for other less common disasters such as earthquakes or floods. If you are considering purchasing commercial insurance for your property in Chicago, IL, you should carefully assess the fire risks of your property and determine the best policy for your needs. If a fire does occur, this coverage may offset the cost of fire damage mitigation.
Getting Your Business Ready for a Flood
Storm Damage in Chicago, IL.
During storm season in Chicago, IL, flooding is always a possibility. To head storm damage off at the pass, you need to be prepared to combat it. You may not be able to prevent all the storm damage, but having a plan can minimize your losses and help you get back on your feet faster.
3 Tips to Get Your Business Ready for a Flood.
Keeping an Eye on the Sky
Keep an eye on the weather, particularly if you know that storms are a frequent occurrence where your business is located. If you know a bad storm is coming, go through this checklist to improve your chances of safety:
- Turn off utilities in case of a power surge
- Check flashlights and extra batteries
- Back up important data
- Have an evacuation or safety plan so that people know where to go during the emergency
Protecting Your Equipment
To prepare for flooding, imagine what would be the most devastating items to lose. Once you have turned off the power or unplugged all the sensitive machines, it is a good idea to move them to a higher floor where they are less likely to succumb to flood damage. Barricade your building against the impending waters by placing sandbags against the doors and windows. This not only keeps the wind from blowing them open and possibly causing damage but also keeps the rising waters at bay a little longer.
Guarding Your People
Having an evacuation plan is a must in these situations. Discuss the plan with employees on a regular basis. It is also a good idea to institute practice runs so that the day your building floods is not the first time employees are trying to stick to the plan.
After the flood, you can contact water restoration specialists to inspect and remediate the damages and get your business back to normal. The more damage you can prevent during flooding, however, the quicker the cleanup process is going to go.
Smoke Alarms: Valuable Life-Saving Devices
Ionization alarm are more sensitive to fast-moving flames
An effective smoke alarm system is often the difference between escaping a fire safely and suffering a tragedy. According to the National Fire Protection Association,
- 40 percent of home fire deaths happened in homes without a working smoke detector.
- 17 percent of home fire-related deaths happened in homes where the detector wasn't working.
- The rate of deaths is more than twice as high in homes without alarms than in homes with them.
- Dead batteries are a significant cause of fire alarm failures.
These statistics may be grim, but they make it clear that installing alarms appropriately and keeping them in good working condition is a life-saving habit.
Timely Signals for an Escape
The materials in today's home furnishings catch on fire much more quickly than the materials used in the past. This means that there's a very small window of time for household members to escape from a home fire. The signal of a smoke alarm should prompt each member of the home to move to their escape route.
Types of Detectors
There are several types of alarms to consider. For example, an ionization alarm is more sensitive to fast-moving flames, and a photoelectric smoke detector is best for responding to smoldering fires. For your family's safety, it's best to have a combination of types in your home. If you have young children, you may also want to consider voice alarms that are more effective at rousing children from sleep.
Consistent and Appropriate Maintenance
A key factor in keeping your fire alarm system in working condition is proper maintenance. For example, once a month you should push the test button. Replace the batteries twice a year. The alarms themselves should be replaced every ten years. Write the date of installation on the back of the alarm, so it's easy to remember when to replace the detectors.
Do you know the condition of your existing smoke alarm system? Avoid a visit from fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals by updating the system in your Park Ridge,IL, home.
Can You Flood-Proof Your Home?
Develop a good flood safety plan to protect your home
How to Develop a Flood Safety Plan
Short of buying a home that sits on the top of a hill in the middle of a desert, the best way to protect your home from flooding is to develop a good flood safety plan. Here are four safety tips you can follow to minimize costly damage to your home.
1. Elevate Your Home
If you are buying a home, check FEMA’s website to find out how high local rivers and lakes are expected to rise during a severe storm. If possible, buy a home above the flood line. If you are buying a home on a beach, you can elevate your home by setting it on piers or columns.
2. Elevate Electrical Systems
For maximum flood safety, you must ensure that electrical systems are not on ground level. Safety tips include elevating electrical wires, breakers, sockets and outlets at least 1 foot off the ground. Air conditioners, furnaces and water heaters should be elevated and secured. Generators must be installed above the flood line or else they can become damaged, useless, and possibly dangerous during a flood.
3. Protect Sewer Systems
During a flood, backed-up and overflowing sewer systems can cause unsanitary conditions that spread disease. Flood-proof your sewer system by installing backflow valves on all pipes that enter your home.
4. Make a Last-Minute Effort
If flooding is imminent, some last-minute efforts can help minimize damage to your home in Chicago,IL. Clean gutters to help route the water away from your home. Try to get kitchen appliances off the ground. Move valuables upstairs or onto countertops to minimize losses.
With a little planning, you can minimize the damage your home experiences during a flood. If flood damage occurs, enlist the help of a professional storm damage restoration company to return your home to its pre-flood condition. Remember to always watch and adhere to any flood safety or evacuation warnings.
Can Items Be Saved After a Fire?
Fire damage in Rosemont, IL
One of the hardest things about experiencing a fire in Rosemont, IL can be the loss of personal belongings. Walls and floors can be repaired, a roof replaced and plumbing and electrical redone. The contents of the building, however, can have meaning and personal attachment that makes them difficult to do without. Dry-cleaning and other techniques can be used to save many items.
What Methods are Used to Clean Contents?
There are several methods that can be effective depending on the material the items are made up of. Here are a few of the favored content cleaning choices.
Dry-cleaning — For clothing and draperies and fabrics with soot stains
Laundering – For other fabric items not contaminated with soot
Cleaning with detergent – metal and hard surfaces
Shampooing – Carpet my possibly be cleaned this way if the damage is only from smoke
Ultrasonic treatment – This method works well for many non-porous materials
Cleaning and Storage
The first two options are best for cleaning smoke and odors from clothing and fabric items that suffered soot stains in the fire. You may also be able to save draperies, sheets and bedding and bathroom linens this way.
A soapy wash with an anti-bacterial detergent may help save some of your washable items like dishes, glassware, and surfaces like laminate or tile. For non-porous items, a dip in an ultrasonic unit can loosen and break up soot and smoke residue. They should be thoroughly cleaned to remove stains and odors.
Content cleaning is a particular process best handled by fire restoration professionals. Using the wrong method can cause permanent damage. Professionals in Rosemont, IL know what works best to salvage anything possible. In some cases, cleaned items may be put into content storage to protect them from becoming contaminated until restoration is complete.
If a fire disaster happens, get help that understands the way dry-cleaning and other methods can help save your content. They can help make it “Like it never even happened.”
3 Ways To Minimize Sewer Blockages in Commercial Buildings
Avoid chemical drain cleaners
Three Steps to Minimize the Risk of a Blocked Sewer
Maintaining both small and large commercial buildings can be a challenge, especially as infrastructure ages. Plumbing issues may, for example, be a common concern inside many Park Ridge,IL, facilities. In addition to pipe breaks and clogs, many properties may also experience a sewage backup or an unsanitary toilet overflow. Although some problems may be unavoidable, there are three key steps every property manager can take to minimize the risk of a blocked sewer and contamination requiring prompt and professional attention.
1. Make Wise Landscaping Decisions
Planting attractive bushes and shrubs can add curb appeal to your building, enhancing its appearance to both customers and staff. Unfortunately, roots can pose a threat to the integrity of external water and sewage lines.
To access water, roots may infiltrate nearby pipes. This can result in both obstructions and detrimental damage. To minimize this risk, determine the location of vital supply lines and plant vegetation away from those areas.
2. Have Accessible Trash Cans
Flushing trash, such as paper towels, diapers and feminine hygiene products, can result in a blocked sewer line. To avoid this scenario, place trash receptacles in every stall and post signs asking patrons to avoid flushing anything other than toilet paper.
3. Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners
Sometimes minor sink and toilet clogs may develop. To minimize the potential for a toilet overflow and sewage contamination, you should routinely clean and inspect your restrooms. If you suspect an obstruction, employ a plunger, a drain snake or call a licensed plumber.
Chemical drain cleaners can warp pipes or send the clog farther into the system, potentially causing additional problems. Because of this, you should avoid using these products.
Protecting your building from a blocked sewer doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Taking simple proactive measures can help you avert unsanitary contamination, a costly plumbing bill and a time-consuming professional water and sewage cleanup.
Avoid Secondary Damages After Flooding
Water damage in a Chicago, IL home
Secondary damages are those caused after the initial stage of damage. For example, if a faucet is left on long enough to flood a room or two, black mold may linger long after you've cleaned up the most obvious damages. Unfortunately, it often takes a while before it becomes obvious that secondary problems are affecting your home.
What are The Main Causes of These Out-of-Sight Damages?
If flood water is allowed to stand in your home long enough for it to begin evaporating, you can almost certainly expect mold growth and other types of secondary home damages. Common causes include
- Extensive water damage
- Undiscovered leaks or flooding
- Inadequate dehumidification
- Unknown conditions or damages in inaccessible areas
- Lack of a timely response to trouble
How can I avoid extra losses related to water damage?
The key to avoiding further trouble is a quick response. The cleanup process must begin immediately for the best results. Pay close attention to materials such as sheetrock, hardwood floors, vinyl flooring, and any porous furnishings. Black mold spores quickly colonize wherever organic materials and a bit of high humidity are available.
If I don't have water damage coverage, will my insurance cover secondary water damages?
If you do have coverage for this situation, secondary damage will certainly increase the cost of the repairs and affect your claim. If your policy doesn't cover water damage situations, it's best to ask the insurance agent about mold or further troubles.
How can I minimize losses?
Call water remediation professionals as soon after discovering the water as you can. Begin to ventilate the property and remove as much water as you can. Open doors, cabinets, and drawers to provide ventilation for any humid areas. Remove your belongings from the home before they suffer more damage. (If you do have coverage, contact your insurance adjuster before moving anything.)
The best way to avoid black mold growth and other secondary water damages is to act quickly. Any hesitation can lead to more trouble for your Chicago,IL, home.
The Aftermath of a Pipe Break
Pipe Break can be a major cause of Water Damage in your home or business.
Damage in flooded homes is not uncommon. It can lead to the loss of your property and even the dreaded mold growth. Water in business premises can cause a standstill in the company’s operations, and this will be a major cost to the corporation. That is why mitigation of water in home and business environments is important. So, how exactly do professional water damage companies handle pipe breaks?
Water Damage Due To Pipe Break
Analysis of the situation
Professionals will arrive at the flooded home after a short while and will thoroughly inspect the damage caused by the supply line break. This will allow them to devise a plan for mitigation of the water damage. With water in business or home buildings, you need to carry out simple and prudent mitigation procedures after making the call to a professional flood damage company. For example, you can move some items out of the house and even carry out a simple water cleanup. This will reduce the overall losses that result from the water in business premises.
Water in home and business premises will cause mold growth and lots of other problems if left for long. That is why professionals invest in powerful water cleanup machinery that sucks water from your floor and carpet. For this procedure, the company will probably require you to clear the area so that they can perform thorough drying. You may need to hire a moving company.
In some cases, the water damage restoration company will require you to dispose of items such as carpets to protect the other surfaces of the house. Of course, this depends on the level of damage caused.
For these purposes, the company will use moisture detectors to determine the wetness in the area. They may also use infrared cameras to inspect the walls and other surfaces that can hide water from normal view. Once this is determined, powerful gas-powered pumps will be used to get rid of the water.
Drying the Area
Water in home and business environments will leave some moisture even after the water cleanup process. Professionals use air movers or other efficient equipment to dry up the house. Besides drying the floor, this will help to remove moisture from other surfaces and items that may have been affected by the flood damage, supply line break, or pipe break.
They will only leave once normal moisture levels are recorded on their equipment. Drying the house to this extent will prevent secondary water damage and, therefore, preserve your home and make restoration successful.
Repair of the Business
Water in home and business environments can necessitate some repairs and cleanup procedures, depending on the severity of the matter. A supply line break or pipe break has to be handled as soon as possible. Otherwise, you can expect the flood damage to recur in the future.
A restoration company can help you move out of the premises and will provide you with a temporary storage area for your items. This will allow the business to be restored. The process will mostly involve the repair of the walls, floors, tiles, and carpets. It may also be necessary to repaint the building. Early mitigation of the flood damage will make the restoration process simpler.
Water in business and home environments can cause inconveniences, and these can be reduced by quick mitigation of the situation. A professional water damage restoration company can effectively handle the damage caused by supply line break in your house or corporate premises. Your overall costs can be lowered by taking some necessary mitigation steps before the company arrives.