Finding the Best Commercial Property Coverage
It is important to find comprehensive insurance coverage for your property.
As a business owner, you understand the importance of finding comprehensive insurance coverage for your property. Making the right choice when selecting a plan can seem daunting, however. It's a good idea to discuss all available options with your insurance agent to ensure you are covered if an emergency occurs.
Commercial Insurance Considerations
There are many issues to consider when selecting your property insurance plan. Make sure your package includes coverage for the following damages:
Property Repairs and Renovations - If your property is damaged due to a covered peril, such as a fire, or because of vandalism or theft, the cost of renovations would be covered after your deductible is met. This would include the removal of smoke and fire damage after a devastating fire.
Business Equipment Replacement - Machinery, furniture, office equipment and other electronics would be covered in a commercial insurance plan. This could also include any employee belongings that have been lost or damaged.
Business Documents - Office documents, including both paper and electronic copies, must be included in the coverage.
Business Interruption Protection - This coverage is typically a separate package, but can be included in the comprehensive plan. It would pay for the cost of relocating and would cover expenses in the interim.
Finding the Best Insurance Fit
Many commercial insurance companies have specialties. Some are more experienced with small businesses and some with large corporations. Make sure your insurer has a good understanding of the type of risks faced by your specific industry so that they can offer you the best comprehensive coverage.
Your insurance company should also give you advice on trusted commercial restoration services in Santa Ynez, CA. Making your selection in advance will help to reduce the damage and loss that occur during a fire or other devastating event.
Prepare your business in advance of unexpected incidents with an inclusive property insurance package.
3 Proactive Plumbing Care Tips
Never flush feminine hygiene down your pipes.
Three Plumbing Maintenance Recommendations
Many business owners look at their plumbing as out of sight, out of mind. However, you want to avoid having that mentality. Instead of ignoring the plumbing in your Santa Barbara, CA, business, find ways to take care of it and keep it as healthy as possible. Here are three proactive plumbing care tips.
1. Monitor Your Water Bill To Look for Plumbing Problems
Many issues with plumbing can be hidden, which can make them hard to identify. That is why you should pay close attention to your water bill every month. Even a tiny leak from a broken pipe can cause your water bill to go up. Call a plumber to look for a leak if you notice that you're paying more than usual for your water each month. Catching the issue as fast as possible can save you thousands in water damage repair services.
2. Schedule Routine Maintenance To Keep Your System Healthy
Contact a Santa Barbara, CA, plumber to routinely inspect and maintain your plumbing system. The plumber will diagnose any potential plumbing problems throughout your entire system - from the water main to the sink faucets. Additionally, the plumber will identify issues that might become problematic in the future. Knowing what items might fail can allow you to properly budget and plan to have them repaired before they break and cause catastrophic damage.
3. Only Flush Waste Down Your System To Keep It Strong
The best way to keep your plumbing fixtures and pipes in the best condition possible is to follow a strict rule of only putting water, waste, and toilet paper down them. Never flush leftover food, kitty litter or feminine hygiene down your pipes. The materials can easily clog your pipes, which can cause your system to become backlogged and overflow.
Keeping plumbing problems under control is easy and manageable when you take care of your system and rely on professionals for regular maintenance.
Storm Shutters: Options Available and Installation Benefits
Exterior rolling shutters are often considered the best option.
People living in Goleta, CA, know that homes take a regular beating from high winds. Instead of knowing that you will need the services of a certified storm damage restoration company, taking preventive measures is an investment but a better solution. A tried-and-true solution is installing shutters.
Types of Storm Shutters
There are four common window protectors. Each comes at its own cost and provides different levels of protection.
Accordion: These are attached over doors and windows and manually unfold. They can be difficult to install and are not as impact-resistant as other styles, but they are highly affordable.
Bahama: Also referred to as a Bermuda covering, this option has arms that extend out 45 degrees. Once the storm approaches, you simply pull them in and lock them in place. They offer a pleasing aesthetic, provide medium coverage and are budget-friendly.
Exterior Rolling: Often considered the best option, this type is available in manual or electric options. They are also installed over doors and windows but the blinds roll out of a bay. They provide excellent protection at a higher price. They also may help improve regulating your home’s interior temperature.
Shaker: This traditional style is pleasing and offers some protection, but they may not be the best suited for high winds. They are also typically made from wood, so they aren’t as durable as metal options. They are an affordable option that simply swings closed when needed.
Are They Worth Installing?
If you live in an area that is frequently windy, any added protection is better than none. Regardless of the style, these devices add peace of mind from extensive damage and may also reduce injuries caused by broken glass or flying debris. Depending on your insurance provider, you may also be able to get a wind mitigation discount, as well as increase the value of your home.
If high winds have become a constant, installing devices for added protection is worth considering. Luckily, there are many options available to hit both the protection, budget and aesthetic buttons.
How To Reduce Disaster Response Time
SERVPRO of Santa Barbara/Santa Ynez/Goleta can respond to any size disaster.
How To Reduce Disaster Response Time
Every second counts after fire, storm, or water damage at a residence in Santa Ynez, CA. Some mitigation and restoration services take longer than others to respond to damage. These four factors make SERVPRO Faster to Any Size Disaster.
1. Franchise Locations Nationwide
A local franchise can quickly respond to calls. In addition to returning a call within one hour, a nearby location can also have trained experts on site for an assessment within four hours. It is critical to act quickly to limit the damage.
2. Trained and Certified Staff
The quality of training is a major benefit of relying on a local franchise of a national corporation. SERVPRO provides new franchise and employee certification training. This company is also an approved training school for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Trained professionals can respond Faster to Any Size Disaster.
3. Large Scale Loss Response
In the event of a major flood, storm or other large-scale loss, a local franchise can achieve the shortest response times. If a region is experiencing increased demand for mitigation and restoration services, the national corporation can call on nearby franchises to provide additional equipment and expertise and reduce wait times.
4. One-Stop Mitigation and Restoration
A service equipped to perform both mitigation and restoration is likely to shorten the length of the overall cleanup and restoration process. Rather than contacting two companies and juggling estimates and schedules when filing an insurance claim, homeowners or insurance representatives can rely on a single service to provide a complete estimate and restore a residence as quickly as possible.
Homeowners and insurers can count on SERVPRO to be Faster to Any Size Disaster in Santa Ynez, CA. Calls should be responded to within one hour, and an on-site visit should take place within four hours. Professionals will follow up on this assessment with a verbal briefing and an estimate.
Flood Safety Tips for First Responders
A first responder is a selfless individual who helps the community during a disaster.
First Responder Flood Safety Tips
A first responder is a lifesaving individual that helps the public during a crisis. When a disaster strikes, these people often risk their own safety to rescue others.
During a flood in Santa Barbara, CA, emergency response crews will be dispatched to locate missing people and rescue those who have been stranded. After the initial threat has passed, some may also volunteer to clean up debris and repair homes. Working in floodwater can be dangerous, so all responders should consider the following safety tips.
1. Know How Floods Occur
Flooding typically happens when heavy rainfall or melting snow leads to excess water accumulation. Communities near rivers or creeks are at the highest risk for flood-related disasters.
Flooding can happen gradually or rapidly. Gradual flooding, although still challenging, is the most preferable since it allows citizens time to prepare and evacuate. Rapid flooding, also known as flash flooding, is more difficult to navigate. When water levels rise quickly, people often find themselves unprepared.
2. Stay Up-to-Date on Immunizations
During a rescue or cleanup, a first responder may encounter rusty metal or be exposed to chemicals in the rising water. For these reasons, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all responders stay up-to-date with their tetanus and Hepatitis B vaccines.
3. Wear Protective Clothing
Rescue crews and flood restoration specialists should wear protective gear. Waterproof clothing, boots, goggles and two layers of gloves are highly recommended. N95 masks can protect against mold or mildew.
4. Remain Alert for Other Hazards
Flood response is tricky for many reasons. For example, murky floodwater could engulf landmarks and make even a familiar environment feel disorienting. Downed electric lines might cause power disruptions. Uneven terrain and sinkholes can make wading impossible. By remaining alert and using tools such as maps, boats, drones, generators and radios, rescue crews can be better equipped to handle these challenges.
A first responder is a selfless individual who helps the community during a disaster. He or she can prepare for a flooding crisis by knowing how floods happen, staying current with vaccinations, wearing appropriate clothing and remaining alert.
Top 5 Causes of Flooding in Crawl Spaces
Expert checking under a crawl space.
Flooding In Crawl Spaces
If there is flooding under your home in Santa Ynez, CA, one of the first things a water damage remediation expert will do is check what is causing the flood. By identifying the root of the problem, the cleanup team can then determine the next best steps to take. While there are many reasons a home can have a wet crawl space, some causes are more common than others. Here are the top five situations that can lead to unwanted water.
1. Poor Sloping
Check the landscape around your house. How is the sloping grade? Ideally, you want the grading around the foundation and crawlspace to slope away from your home. This way, water cannot become trapped underneath.
2. Gutter Systems
The next place to examine is the gutter system on the roof. If you notice clogged gutters, clean them out. Likewise, you may need to redirect improperly aimed downspouts.
3. Over Watering Plants
Another common reason people end up with a wet crawl space is due to overwatering. If you have a sprinkler system, look to see if it is functioning properly and turn off any hoses.
4. Pipe Bursts
A more complicated cause of the flooding is a pipe burst. Often, broken pipes are easy to spot by simply walking around your home and looking for leaks, but when it happens under the house, things can be more challenging. If you are having difficulty locating a suspected burst, it may be best to call a professional for assistance. Remember, acting quickly can reduce potential damage.
5. Underground Water Issues
Another top cause of water under a home that is more complex is when the issue stems from beneath the ground. In these scenarios, there is typically a problem with a broken city line, an insufficient drain, or another issue resulting from foundation or storm-related damages.
No homeowner wants to have a wet crawl space, but understanding the top causes can help you prevent it from happening in the future. At the end of the day, it is always better to be ready.
Effective Maintenance Tips for Your Commercial Irrigation System
A well-maintained lawn depends on a thorough irrigation maintenance system.
Steps To Keep Your Lawn Looking Its Best
Keeping a well-maintained landscape and a plush, green lawn makes your business more appealing to clients and customers. You count on your commercial irrigation system to work when it’s needed. To keep your sprinklers in top working condition, however, they require routine irrigation maintenance.
There are several steps you should take to keep your lawn in Goleta, CA, looking its best.
1. Annual Inspections
Before you start up your sprinkler system in the Spring, you must check it carefully. This is the perfect time of year to hire an irrigation specialist to inspect the entire system for broken lines, leaks and sprinkler heads that are misdirected.
The water management system should also be checked to ensure you aren’t wasting water.
2. Monthly Maintenance Checks
In addition to annual inspections, you should check the sprinklers on a monthly basis in warmer weather. Foot traffic, bicycles, and even animals can cause a lot of damage to sprinkler heads. Look for cracked, missing, or clogged heads. Clean, repair or replace the problems right away.
Your irrigation maintenance plan should also look for sprinkler run-off. If an area of the lawn becomes too saturated, you must adjust the direction of the sprinkler heads. If the heads are not adjusted properly, this can create sprinkler flooding. Once this occurs, excess water may seep into the ground and cause flooding within your building.
If you ever discover flooding inside the premises, contact a water damage repair service as soon as possible to assess the damage and create a water damage remediation plan.
3. Additional Considerations
Consider installing water pressure equipment to help regulate your sprinkler system’s water pressure. Some parts of the lawn may also require different amounts of water. Adjust each zone to meet the needs of that area.
A well-maintained lawn depends on a thorough irrigation maintenance system. Following a few simple steps will help keep your landscaping in top shape.
Methods for Preventing Water Damage During Construction
Another way to prevent a water pipe repair is to turn off the water supply during off-hours.
Preventing Water Damage During Construction
If you have to take a break from a construction project while you wait for a water pipe repair to finish and water remediation professionals to fix the damage, you can lose money and have unforeseen fees. One way to avoid this is to take proactive measures to prevent water damage from impeding your construction projects.
Have a Plan
Proper planning is the key to creating a watertight project. Here are some of the things you should consider in your water preparedness plan:
- Keeping electrical equipment away from water sources
- Using grading to divert water away from a project
- Installing windows and doors with minimal chance of intrusion
- Planning to create a waterproof building
Assign a Supervisor
To ensure the plan is properly carried out and you don't have to worry about water pipe repair jobs, you should assign a supervisor. This person will be responsible for ensuring that your water damage prevention techniques are implemented throughout the work.
Your water preparedness plan should also assign someone to inspect the job site in Santa Barbara, CA, each time it is shut down. The inspection should look for threats that could affect a building overnight or on weekends. If the inspector identifies any threats, such as a broken pipe, they will handle the situation before it leads to excessive damage.
Turn Off Water
Another way to prevent a water pipe repair is to turn off the water supply during off-hours. This means that when no one is working on the project, the water supplies should be turned off. However, this is only feasible if you don't have any machinery requiring a constant water supply.
To avoid the costly and time-consuming aspects of a flooded worksite, you should take proactive measures to prevent water damage. The techniques you use should range from proper planning to ensure the site is securely shut down before leaving.
What Is and Is Not Covered By an NFIP Policy
Flooded building in Goleta, CA.
What Is Covered by an NFIP Policy and What Isn't
When you are purchasing commercial insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, it is important to know what it does and does not cover. Here are a few things that you make sure that you have when you purchase this type of policy.
Building coverage protects:
- Electrical, fuel, air conditioning and plumbing systems
- Cabinets, carpet, bookcases and filing cabinets that are permanently installed
- Detached garages
Essentially it covers any property that is permanently affixed to your business and most major systems. This type of commercial insurance coverage might also cover flood remediation in Goleta, CA, or wherever your business is located.
Property or Contents Coverage
This coverage protects the contents of your building. It will cover personal property, curtains, portable air conditioning units and other valuable items. Your flood policy may also cover inventory and other items that belong to your business, depending on how it is written. If you have inventory, check with your underwriter to make sure it is covered.
What It Does Not Cover
The National Flood Insurance Program does not cover properties that are not affected by a flood under its definition. The FEMA definition of a flood under this program is an excess of water on at least two acres of land or affecting two or more properties. For instance, if you are flooded by a broken pipe or your toilet backs up and floods, you will not be covered under this program.
This type of insurance also does not cover financial losses from a business interruption, vehicles and valuable papers. You want to make sure that you have offsite copies of valuable papers in case of a flood or fire.
When you are purchasing a National Flood Insurance Protection policy, it is extremely important to make sure that you know precisely what is and is not covered. If you are worried about specific contents or other types of flooding, you might need to check into purchasing an additional commercial insurance policy.
3 Steps You Should Take If You Find Mold in Your Apartment
Mold damage in an apartment in Goleta, CA.
Mold In Your Apartment
Mold is a common issue that is usually caused by a moisture problem. If left untreated, mold can cause property damage, so you should take steps you perform mold cleanup promptly. These are three steps you should take if you find mold in your apartment.
1. Determine Whether It Is Mold or Mildew
Unlike mold, mildew only grows on the surface and can be removed with household cleaners. Mold spores are embedded in the surface, which makes mold more difficult to remove. Mold usually has a fuzzy or slimy appearance and is green or black. Mildew is usually gray, yellow or white and has a fluffy or powdery appearance. Mildew tends to grow in high moisture areas, such as shower stalls and windows, while mold grows on organic materials, such as walls, wood, ceilings, paper and leather.
2. Contact Your Landlord
If you have determined that you need mold cleanup in your apartment, you should contact your landlord. Your landlord should investigate the source of the mold and fix any moisture issues, such as leaky pipes, and may also wish to contact a mold remediation company in Goleta, CA, to remove the mold. It is essential not to ignore the problem because it may get worse and there may be a requirement in your rental agreement that you report issues, such as mold or leaks, promptly to avoid being assessed for damages.
3. Locate the Source
Help your landlord find the source of the mold problem. If you have noticed signs of leaks, such as water spots on walls or the ceiling, or you find water on the floor around your shower or toilet, you should let your landlord know that this could be the cause of the mold contamination.
The longer you wait to perform mold cleanup, the more damage mold could do to your apartment. Taking these three steps promptly can help avoid unnecessary damage.