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What is the difference between Flood Insurance and Homeowners Insurance?

7/14/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage What is the difference between Flood Insurance and Homeowners Insurance? Flood Insurance Vs. Homeowners Insurance

There basically are two insurance policies that deal with a homeowner's damage due to water -- a flood insurance policy and a homeowners insurance policy. Losses not covered by one of these policies may be covered by the other. Knowing the losses to which your home could be exposed will help you decide whether to buy one or both of these insurance coverage.

While insurance policies may differ in the coverage provided from homeowner to homeowner, there often are basic features common to all policies. You should ask your insurance agent or insurance company about the specifics of your insurance policy. In the meantime, the Insurance Information Network of California offers the following general information based on standard insurance policies.

Flood Insurance

As the name implies, a standard flood insurance policy, which is written by the National Flood Insurance Program, provides coverage up to the policy limit for damage caused by a flood. The dictionary defines "flood" as a rising and overflowing of a body of water onto normally dry land. For insurance purposes, the word "rising" in this definition is the key to distinguishing flood damage from water damage. Generally, damage caused by water that has been on the ground at some point before damaging your home is considered to be flood damage. A handful of examples of flood damage include:

  • A nearby river overflows its banks and washes into your home.
  • A heavy rain seeps into your basement because the soil can't absorb the water quickly enough
  • A heavy rain or flash flood causes the hill behind your house to collapse into a mud slide that oozes into your home.

Flood damage to your home can be insured only with a flood insurance policy -- no other insurance will cover flood damage. Flood insurance is available through your insurance agent, insurance company or local Federal Emergency Management Office (FEMA). To determine if your home is located in a flood plain, contact your county planning office. If you are living in a flood plain, flood insurance may be an excellent purchase.

Homeowners Insurance

A homeowners insurance policy doesn't provide coverage for flood damage, but it does provide coverage for many types of water damage to your home. Just the opposite from flood damage, for insurance purposes, water damage is considered to occur when water damages your home before the water comes in contact with the ground. A few examples of water damage include:

  • A hailstorm smashes your window, permitting hail and rain free access into your home.
  • A heavy rain soaks through the roof, allowing water to drip through your attic or ceiling.
  • A broken water pipe spews water into your home.

Even if flood or water damage is not covered by your homeowners insurance policy, losses from theft, fire or explosion resulting from water damage is covered. For example, if a nearby creek overflows and floods your home, and looters steal some of your furnishings after you evacuate, the theft would be covered by your homeowners insurance because it is a direct result of the water damage. However, the flood damage would be covered only if you have flood insurance.

It's important to note that flood insurance and homeowners insurance do not duplicate coverage for water damage. Instead, they complement each other.

It is up to you to talk to your insurance agent or insurance company about flood insurance and homeowners insurance, and then decide which insurance coverage you need to protect your home, its contents, and your family.

Source: https://www.fema.gov/

Hurricane Eugene to reach the coast of San Diego

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Hurricane Eugene to reach the coast of San Diego Southern California is bracing for Hurricane Eugene.

Large waves from Eugene will reach the coast of Southern California and threaten beachgoers and boaters through the middle of this week.

"Eugene, once a Category 3 hurricane, will slowly weaken over cool water and within dry air over the next few days," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

While Eugene will impact California with wind and rain, waves radiating outward from the center of the storm will reach Southern California waters.

The increased threat for coastal waters comes following several days of extreme heat in the southwestern United States. While the latest heat wave is past its peak, thousands will still be heading to the beach for relief or summer vacation this week.

However, large waves and rip currents will affect many of the beaches throughout the coast of Southern California. Waves can be large enough to cause considerable over-wash and minor coastal flooding along the beachfront.

If you live or work in the coastal area, monitor the news and weather channel. Follow instructions issued by local officials.

For more information: https://goo.gl/xsLHxR

SERVPRO of Coronado / Imperial Beach / National City proudly serves Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City and surrounding areas. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for Fire and Water Damage Restoration, as well as Mold Mitigation Services.

10 things you should know about mold

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 10 things you should know about mold Mold Prevention
  1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints.
  2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
  3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
  4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
    • Venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
    • Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
    • Increasing ventilation
    • Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
  6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
  8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
  10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

For more information: https://www.epa.gov/mold/ten-things-you-should-know-about-mold

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (619) 435-0365

About SERVPRO of Coronado / Imperial Beach / National City

SERVPRO of Coronado / Imperial Beach / National City specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a fire or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Why is Mold Dangerous?

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Why is Mold Dangerous? How does mold affect you?

Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.

In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children.

Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development, and that selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies, but more research is needed in this regard.

Specific Recommendations:

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%–all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
  • Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months.
  • Be sure the home has adequate ventilation, including exhaust fans.
  • Add mold inhibitors to paints before application.
  • Clean bathrooms with mold killing products.
  • Do not carpet bathrooms and basements.
  • Remove or replace previously soaked carpets and upholstery.

Sensitive individuals should avoid areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas. Inside homes, mold growth can be slowed by controlling humidity levels and ventilating showers and cooking areas.

For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm#affect

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (619) 435-0365

What to do before, during and after a storm.

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage What to do before, during and after a storm. Storm Damage, Coronado, CA

WHEN IN A WATCH AREA

  • Frequently listen to radio, TV (local and cable), and NOAA Weather Radio for official bulletins of the storm's progress.
  • Fuel and service family vehicles.
  • Inspect and secure mobile home tie downs.
  • Prepare to cover all window and door openings with shutters or other shielding materials.
  • Check batteries and stock up on canned food, first aid supplies, drinking water, and medications.
  • Prepare to bring inside lawn furniture and other loose, lightweight objects, such as garbage cans, garden tools, etc. Have on hand an extra supply of cash.

WHEN IN A WARNING AREA

  • Closely monitor radio, TV (local and cable), and NOAA Weather Radio for official bulletins.
  • Complete preparation activities, such as putting up storm shutters, storing loose objects, etc.
  • Follow instructions issued by local officials.
  • Leave immediately if told to do so! If evacuating.
  • Leave early (if possible, in daylight).
  • Stay with friends or relatives, at a low-rise inland hotel/motel, or (as a last resort) go to a predesignated public shelter outside a flood zone.
  • Leave mobile homes in any case.
  • Notify neighbors and a family member outside of the warned area of your evacuation plans.
  • Put food and water out for a pet if you cannot take it with you.
  • Most public health regulations do not allow pets in public shelters, nor do most hotels/motels allow them.

IF STAYING AT HOME

Only stay in a home if you have NOT been ordered to leave.

  • Stay inside a well constructed building.
  • In structures, such as a home, examine the building and plan in advance what you will do if winds become strong. Strong winds can produce deadly missiles and structural failure.
  • Turn refrigerator to maximum cold and open only when necessary.
  • Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities.
  • Turn off propane tanks.
  • Unplug small appliances.
  • Fill bathtub and large containers with water for sanitary purposes.

IF WINDS BECOME STRONG

  • Stay away from windows and doors even if they are covered.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway.
  • Close all interior doors.
  • Secure and brace external doors.
  • If you are in a two-story house, go to an interior first-floor room, such as bathroom or closet.
  • If you are in a multiple-story building and away from the water, go to the first or second floors and take refuge in the halls or other interior rooms away from windows.
  • Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.

PLAN TO EVACUATE IF YOU

  • Live in a mobile home.
  • They are unsafe in high winds, no matter how well fastened to the ground.
  • Live on the coastline, an offshore island, or near a river or a flood plain.
  • Live in a high-rise.
  • Hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.

AFTER THE STORM

  • Keep listening to radio, TV (local or cable), and NOAA Weather Radio.
  • Wait until an area is declared safe before entering.
  • Roads may be closed for your protection. If you come upon a barricade or a flooded road, turn around and go another way! Avoid weakened bridges and washed out roads.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas! Stay on firm ground.
  • Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet.
  • Standing water may be electricity charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Check gas, water, and electrical lines and appliances for damage.
  • Do not drink or prepare food with tap water until you are certain it is not contaminated.
  • Avoid using candles and other open flames indoors.
  • Use a flashlight to inspect for damage.
  • Use the telephone to report life-threatening emergencies only.
  • Be especially cautious if using a chainsaw to cut fallen trees.

For more information: http://www.weather.gov/media/hgx/tropicalwp/WhattoDo.pdf

Fire and smoke clean up tips.

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire and smoke clean up tips. Amazing! This is how you fight a fire in San Diego.

In the wake of a fire that has covered homes with smoke and ash, it’s important to begin clean up as soon as possible in order to prevent permanent damage or discoloration from soot residue.

Here are some tips for fire victims facing clean up:

  • Practice safety first. Use a dust mask (like painters use) and gloves as you work.
    • Ventilate the home. Place a box fan in an open window to draw the air and dust out.
    • Clean from top to bottom. Start with the ceilings, walls and fixtures, and work your way down to the contents of the room, then to the floor.
    • Vacuum floors and upholstery. Make sure your vacuum cleaner has a high efficiency filter. Otherwise, you risk blowing soot back into the air.
    • Some draperies, clothing and machine-washable items may be laundered. Use a mild alkaline cleaner to neutralize the acid in the soot. Fine clothing should be dry cleaned.
    • Most exterior walls (brick, stone, wood, paint, siding) and eaves can be cleaned by spraying with a detergent, agitating soot with a soft-bristled brush, pressure washing from bottom to top, then rinsing from top to bottom.
    • If the damage and residue are heavy, it may be best to hire a professional to thoroughly restore your home and belongings.
    • Check with your insurance company to see if smoke damage from outdoor sources is covered by your policy.
    • If the fire has warped or distorted the structure, consult a licensed general contractor.
    • Professional restoration technicians know that damage increases and restoration costs escalate the longer neutralization, corrosion control and cleaning is delayed. When homeowners prolong the restoration of their home, they extend the effects brought on by the smoke exposure. 

For more information:  https://www.IICRC.org/consumers/care/fire-smoke-restoration/

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

Officials predict dire wildfire season

6/30/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Officials predict dire wildfire season San Diego Wildfire

Hopefully no homes or offices are damaged by fires this year, but it is inevitable that the smoke and soot from wildfires will reach all corners of the county.  If you have a strong smell of smoke or soot in your home it is usually covered by your homeowners or renters insurance to have your home and belongings cleaned and deodorized from top to bottom.  Call us for a free inspection.

County Supervisor Dianne Jacob called the Gate Fire “a reality check,” and said it was a harbinger. She said we must all remember that a large part of the county hasn’t burned in more than 50 years.

“We have probably the worst risk of a major wildfire than we have had in a long, long time,” she said. “The good news is we have brought a lot of muscle to these fires.”

Since the 2003 firestorms, the county has invested $406 million to beef up its fire-fighting readiness, she said.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/communities/north-county/sd-no-wildfire-prepare-20170522-story.html

Preparedness is the key to a fast recovery.

6/30/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Preparedness is the key to a fast recovery. How much will a flood cost your family or business?

Nuisance flooding can lead to road closures, overwhelmed storm water systems, damage to transportation infrastructure, and coastal erosion. Nearly 200,000 Californians live in low-lying coastal areas and 873 miles of coastal roads are at risk from flooding during King Tides, storms, and other periods of elevated sea level. When flooding occurs, work and tourism are also interrupted: coastal tourism accounts for 39 percent of California's $17.6 billion ocean economy; the state's coastal economy accounts for $662 billion in wages and $1.7 trillion in Gross Domestic Product.

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/news/dec15/california-flooding.html

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

Why is soot dangerous?

6/30/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Why is soot dangerous? The smaller the particle the more dangerous It is to your health.

The word "soot" sounds so simple and harmless. To some, it conjures up images of campfires and candles. In fact, soot is anything but simple and is certainly not harmless.

Soot includes the fine black particles, chiefly composed of carbon, produced by incomplete combustion of coal, oil, wood, or other fuels. Soot can consist of acids, chemicals, metals, soils, and dust. The common trait of soot particles is that they are extremely tiny – 2.5 micrometers or smaller in diameter. This is smaller than dust and mold, and is about 1/30 the diameter of a human hair.

This combination – extremely small size and toxic composition – is what makes soot so dangerous. It can travel deep into the lung, where the compounds it consists of can do some serious damage.

Smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles produced when wood and other organic materials burn. The biggest health threat from smoke is from fine particles. These microscopic particles can penetrate deep into your lungs. They can cause a range of health problems, from burning eyes and a runny nose to aggravated chronic heart and lung diseases. Exposure to particle pollution is even linked to premature death. 

Some people are more at risk

It’s especially important for you to pay attention to local air quality reports during a fire if you are 

  • a person with heart or lung disease, such as heart failure, angina, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema or asthma.
  • an older adult, which makes you more likely to have heart or lung disease than younger people.
  • caring for children, including teenagers, because their respiratory systems are still developing, they breathe more air (and air pollution) per pound of body weight than adults, they’re more likely to be active outdoors, and they’re more likely to have asthma.
  • a person with diabetes, because you are more likely to have underlying cardiovascular disease.
  • a pregnant woman, because there could be potential health effects for both you and the developing fetus.

Click below to find out how to tell if smoke is affecting you. 

https://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=smoke.index

Water Heater Leak

6/27/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Heater Leak Does your water heater belong in this pile?

Water heater failure is one of the top five sources of residential water damage, according to an IBHS study. In fact, water heater failures cost an average of $4,444 per incident after the deductible was paid. If you think your water heater is not in risk, keep in mind that 69 percent of all water heater failures result from a slow leak or sudden burst. Don’t get stuck with cold showers and costly water damage repairs due to water heater failure. Reduce your risk with these steps for avoiding water heater failure.

Avoid Water Heater Failure With These 4 Steps

  • Check your water heater’s age. If your water heater reaches its life expectancy, the risk of a slow leak or sudden burst increases. Consequently, your efforts to inspect and maintain the water heater should increase.
  • What is an anode rod and why should you care?  A “sacrificial” anode rod is installed in water heaters to avoid corrosion of the tank. To determine if your anode rod needs to be replaced, it should be inspected once every two years and at least annually once the warranty has expired.
  • Clean out your water heater regularly. Regular water heater maintenance should include removing sediment by flushing the tank every six months. Water heaters can be flushed by attaching a garden hose to the valve at the base of the water heater. Note: Turn off the power and run hot water until it cools before you try to flush the tank since the heated water may be 130 to 140 degrees or more.
  • Get an inspection annually.  Don’t forget to have a plumbing professional inspect your water heater’s shut-off valve and all piping annually. Signs of broken valves and loose or wet joints and rust are a signal that more severe damage is coming.