Tips on Maintaining Your Commercial Roof
Roofs are exposed to the elements day and night. However, roof damage caused by rain, wind, snow, and sun exposure in Lafayette, LA, can be mitigated with proper care and attention. In order to ensure that your roof is ready for anything Mother Nature throws at it, be sure to inspect your roof at least twice per year and immediately repair any damage that you notice.
Conduct a through inspection of your roof at least twice and up to four times per year. Check for the following things:
- Signs of sun or wind damage such as cracking or peeling
- Clear drainpipes that are free of any moisture that may have resulted from a snow or rainstorm
- Low-hanging tree branches that can scratch or damage your roof during a wind or rainstorm
Be sure to address any roof damage as soon as you spot it. This may require replacing roof tiles or resealing cracked panels. You may also need to replace or repair drainpipes that are not functioning properly. If you are new to roof repair, you may prefer to hire an expert who can assist with your roof-repair needs.
Maintaining your roof is the best way to ensure its longevity. In addition to regular roof inspections and spot maintenance, waterproofing your roof can be an excellent way to protect it from the elements. Waterproofing also provides you with a non-slip surface on which to walk when conducting your inspection or maintenance.
The regular inspection and maintenance of your commercial roof will ensure that its lifespan is extended. Check for any problems and make repairs as soon as possible. Failure to adequately address roof damage may result in having to undertake a complete roof rebuild, which can be a costly and timely endeavor. So what are you waiting for? Step on up and inspect that roof!
3 Ways to Keep Birds Away from Your Building
Birds are a beautiful and relatively harmless part of nature, but when they decide to make a home out of your building, they are no fun to have around. Their messes can cause problems for businesses, which is why you should consider pest control solutions if they nest on or around your building.
Birds often build their nests on ledges, rafters and signs around businesses. Droppings can damage buildings and create health and safety hazards, while nests can clog drains or create fire hazards.
The easiest way to eliminate a pesky bird problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are three ways to stop birds from nesting on your Lafayette, LA, business, as well as ways to get rid of them if they already have.
1. Visual Deterrents
Scare crows and other visual deterrents mimic the appearance of predators, which keep smaller birds away. While these aids can help keep them away, they work best in windy environments and are not the best solution for an existing bird problem.
2. Netting, Spikes, and Slopes
Another pest control tactic is placing materials on top of ledges, eaves and other popular nesting locations. Slopes, nets and spikes all work similarly in that they make it difficult or impossible for birds to land on surfaces where they typically build nests.
If you already have a bird problem, traps are a possible option. You should be careful, though – some species of birds, such as swallows, may not be trapped or killed for legal reasons. This can make bird removal a tricky process best left to experts.
While the best way to eliminate a bird problem is prevention, sometimes they find ways around any deterrents that are put in place. If your Lafayette, LA, business has unwelcome inhabitants, a pest control expert can help determine the best solution for your specific problem.
What To Do When Your Kitchen Sink Is Leaking
Woman calling a restoration company after a kitchen flood.
Waking up to water in your home in Lafayette, LA, from a leaking kitchen sink is not only annoying but can also potentially be dangerous. Flooding due to a leak can quickly become a serious safety hazard, so immediate action must be taken. Before you begin to think about kitchen repair, there are several steps you should take to mitigate damage and ensure your safety and that of your household.
1. Shut Off Your Water
If it is safe for you to stay in your house, the first thing you need to do is shut off your water to prevent further flooding. When determining whether it is safe to do so, check to make sure that there are no cords or wires in the water and that you can safely navigate the area without risk of slipping and falling. Once you are absolutely sure it is safe, locate the two stop valves under the sink. These can usually be found at the back of the cabinet. Next, turn each of the small valves under them clockwise.
2. Call Your Insurance Company
Now that the leak has been stopped, you will want to call your insurance company to find out what steps you should take to make a water damage claim. Insurance policies vary, so the quickest and most efficient way to figure out what you need can be to read your policy and call your insurance agent. Coverage will also depend on the extent of the damage. Kitchen leaks will often damage walls, floors and cabinetry.
3. Call a Restoration Company
Once you’ve made a claim against your insurance, you should then get in touch with a restoration company to make the necessary repairs. These companies should have the skills and equipment to restore your kitchen as quickly as possible. Services often include water removal, drying and dehumidification, and cleaning.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when your kitchen is flooding, but following these steps can allow you to mitigate as much of the damage as possible and get your kitchen back to its pre-flood condition.
Ice Dams and Mold Growth
The cold, snowy months of winter affect more than your heating bill. Slow snow melt on commercial roofs and gutters may create an ice dam that prevents proper water drainage. The worst-case scenario is that the excess moisture creates an ideal environment for mold. Ice dams create mold problems through the following process:
• Sunlight causes snow to partially melt on roofs and around gutters.
• The partial melt creates a blockage that prevents melt-off from draining.
• Backed-up water seeps through cracks in the roof or in the walls.
• Trapped moisture allows mold to flourish.
A Costly Problem
In some cases, low outside temperatures will be enough to prevent mold growth. Unfortunately, if the water seeps into the walls and reaches a warmer area of the building, mold can start growing within a day or two. While many commercial property owners fear black mold, there are hundreds of mold species that can damage buildings. If the problem goes unchecked, the property owner may have to pay for replacement walls or flooring.
Preventing Problems Before They Start
Commercial property owners can prevent mold growth by stopping an ice dam in its tracks. Keep close tabs on the roof, gutters, and flat surfaces where ice and snow can accumulate. Clear off any snow, and make sure melt-off does not refreeze. Repair any crack in the roof or walls so moisture does not seep through and call a mold cleanup specialist if any mold is suspected.
An ice dam can cause a major headache with mold growth, but this does not have to be the case. There are many steps commercial property owners can take to prevent the formation of ice dams and to prevent mold growth if they do occur. If mold growth is suspected, call a professional in Lafayette, LA, who can accurately assess the damage, remediate the problem, and help you prevent trouble in the future.
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Filing Your Fire Damage Claim: What Damages Should You Include?
Lafayette House Fire
Filing a fire damage claim can be an overwhelming and confusing process. Dealing with insurance adjusters is never straight forward, and often, damage that one assumes would be covered by one type of policy is often covered by another type of policy. For instance, water damage from bursting pipes and sewage overflows may be covered by a standard homeowner's policy, but water damage from a flood would require a separate flood policy. The same is true of loss due to fire. For this reason, talk with your Lafayette, LA, insurance adjuster regarding what each policy does and does not cover so that you can ensure that you're covered no matter what.
What Fire Insurance Covers
Most fire insurance policies typically cover fire mitigation efforts of all buildings affected, regardless of where the fire originated. Additionally, most policies cover smoke and water damage due to a fire for up to one year after the fire took place. Most companies will not cover fire damage due to arson or any other malicious acts, such as burglary, theft or rioting. However, it does cover loss due to the following:
• Electrical shorting
• Faulty wiring
• Gas explosion
• Natural disaster
Some policies may even cover fires started because of burst or overflowing pipes or water tanks.
Though policies are designed to cover property damage and loss, many identify the same exclusions. Some such exclusions include:
• Specific items such as works of art, manuscripts, drawings, plans, securities, stamps, coins, accounting books, computer system records and the like
• Cold storage inventory
• Any boiler or machine in which steam is generated inside and if damage to it was caused by its own implosion
• Perishable goods
• Intellectual property
When drafting your policy, discuss with the insurance adjuster other possible exclusions. Some companies may allow you to negotiate for inclusions for an additional fee.
A Lafayette, LA, fire mitigation team can help you assess the fire damage, provide an official report and ensure that you recover the most compensation for your damaged items. If your building was recently affected by a fire, contact your local remediation team right away.
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Mold Growth: An FAQ
Mold and Mildew clean up in a Lafayette home
Mold may be disgusting and a danger to your home, but do you truly understand what mold is? Let’s take a look at a few frequently asked questions about mold, and what you can do to prevent its outbreak in your Lafayette, LA home.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that can take root in your home and proliferate, causing unsightly stains and aggravating allergies. Once mold sinks in deep it can be hard to get rid of.
What Causes Mold to Grow?
Mold growth is primarily caused by excess moisture in your home environment. You can frequently find it in places of your home that have suffered water damage. Factors that contribute to mold growth include:
• High humidity environments
• Water damage from flooding or leaking
• Broken and damaged pipes
• Condensation from malfunctioning appliances
Is Mold Different from Mildew?
While both mold and mildew are fungal growths, they’re not the same thing. You can generally tell them apart by texture; where mildew tends to be soft and powdery and will flake off to the touch, mold tends to be a fuzzier growth with a thicker texture.
How Can I Get Rid of Mold?
Mold remediation is a complex process that begins with eliminating the source of the mold. This means identifying where your water damage is coming from and repairing your leaking roof or broken appliance, or using a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air. Cleanup can require disposing of mold-infested items and scrubbing others with baking soda and vinegar or harsher chemical solutions.
Once the Mold Is Gone, Will It Come Back?
It can. Mold is never wholly gone; it just goes dormant as invisible spores in your environment. If mold finds a combination of organic matter and moisture to feed on, then it can take root again and begin to grow. It’s best to remain vigilant and continuously seek to eradicate mold sources from your environment.
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When Home Fires Are Not Covered By Insurance
It is important to know what insurance covers if a fire emergency ever broke out in your home
A residential fire in Lafayette, LA, can be costly. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average home fire or lightning strike between 2011 and 2015 caused $43,983 in damage.
Thankfully, insurance can cover much of the damage. But there are two types of house fires that are not covered by typical insurance.
1. Arson Insurance Fraud
Any time you make an insurance claim for fire damage, investigators come to your home to determine the cause of the blaze. If the fire was the result of an electrical failure or a weather event, you should be covered.
Insurance even pays for your damages if the fire was accidentally set by someone in the household. However, if investigators determine that the fire was intentionally set for the sole purposes of collecting insurance money, the insurer will not cover your claim.
2. Vacant Home Fire
Insurance may not cover a home fire if the property was vacant at the time of the blaze. The National Fire Protection Association reported that there were an average of 30,200 vacant property fires annually between 2011 and 2015, causing an average of $710 million in damages each year.
Vacant doesn't just mean abandoned, either. Most insurers define a vacant home as one that has been unoccupied for 30 days in a row.
That means a fire in your summer home during the winter months could cost you money out of your own pocket. However, you can supplement your existing policy with vacant home insurance that covers fire or storm damage.
Whether your home fire is covered by insurance, the potential for damage doesn’t stop once the blaze is put out. Soot can linger in the carpets, and the water used by firefighters can cause flooding and other issues. Fire restoration experts can help mitigate these damages and limit how much you or your insurer has to pay.
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The Process of Mold Remediation
Mold growth can grow in your commercial or residential properties
If you've heard about it in past science classes or during walk-throughs while purchasing property, or even dealt with it yourself, then you already know: mold is no light matter in most cases. In fact, mold removal can become a complex process, depending on the extent of the damage. Wherever you might find yourself in this procedure, look to the following tips to make sure you stay on track.
1. Stay Patient
Finding out that your own business has brought on board a fungus infestation can be frustrating. Remember that the problem likely took time to develop, so it also takes time to resolve. Mold professionals may need three to seven days to completely assess a situation and ensure proper removal.
2. Trust the Procedure
Fortunately, most mold professionals understand that remediation needs to happen quickly. However, each situation is unique, and your own mold removal procedures may require significant planning. No matter how you've chosen to handle the issue, it is vital that you go about it the right way. An overly easy remediation process may seem tempting, but it could ultimately set you up for more spore spreading in times to come.
3. Learn From Mistakes
Even if you achieve a fungus-free building, your place, just like any other, could become home to mold growth again at any point down the road. Types such as black mold and common mildew are infamous culprits indoors. Don't forget about the problem the second you've tackled it; take note of vulnerable spots in the building and make regular maintenance checks part of your new routine.
You likely have a mountain of other tasks waiting for you after a mold removal procedure, but when you've conquered the mold the right way, you can reduce chances of wasting time on jobs that don't fully remove the problem. Make sure you can get back to your Lafayette, LA, business and put that fungal mishap behind you by addressing the issue properly the first time.
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Drying Important Documents After an Unfortunate Water Event
Flooding can destroy documents and other important content in your home
Recovering wet documents after a flood can be the saving grace for a business that would otherwise succumb to failure because of the disaster. Medical and legal offices have important paper records containing patient and client information that are integral to the continued performance of the business and the servicing of their clientele. When a water disaster strikes, document drying services are often necessary to preserve the validity of many businesses.
Document Recovery Process
The process of document recovery after flooding is as follows:
• Identification and retrieval of wet documents from the flooded area
• Secure processing of documents
• Digitizing and returning paper and electronic copies to the affected business
Business owners can and should be present during the reclamation process to point out areas where the desired documents to be recovered are located within the flooded building and which documents the recovery professionals should focus on.
Sensitive Information Handling
Medical records and papers with sensitive information should be handled in a specific manner to maintain patient and client confidentiality. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 has many stipulations regarding the handling of patient information in a health-care setting. Finding a recovery specialist that is certified and knowledgeable in the handling of such documents in a manner conducive with government regulation is often very important.
Methods for Drying
Tried-and-true methods for handling wet documents should be enlisted to ensure complete recovery. The Library of Congress in Lafayette, LA, utilized freeze-drying technology for document recovery that was very effective. Treatment with the proper chemicals to hinder microbial growth after a moisture event is also important. Mold and bacteria can multiply in moist environments created by flooding and wet paper. The microbes can use the paper as food and substrate for growth, causing potential health hazards and rendering documents illegible and not structurally sound.
Dealing with flooding alone can be a headache, but when you throw in damaged papers that could hurt your ability to reopen, it can be downright miserable. Working with a professional restoration company can be a good way to get started on the work.
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3 Actions You Can Take To Prevent Flood Damage
Flooding in Lafayette, LA, can happen without warning and leave you facing damage to your home and belongings. While flood insurance may protect you against some of these issues, many policies are not all-inclusive. However, there are a few preventative measures you can take before floods occur that may help reduce the damage they might cause.
1. Check Your Home’s Drainage System
An effective drainage system on your property can help draw flood waters away from your home’s foundation. To ensure that water is draining in the proper direction, check your home’s gutters, downspouts and drainage ditches. If your gutters are clogged or damaged, have them repaired or replaced. You may want to ask your roofing contractor if your home’s roof is shedding water properly, as this can be an important factor in effective water drainage. You can also have drainage ditches deepened or rerouted.
2. Have Your Sump Pump Serviced
Your home’s sump pump can be one of the first lines of defense against flooding damage, as it keeps your basement free of excess water in case any should enter. Keeping your pump in good working order means being able to count on it when you need it most. Clean the intake screen, ensure the float is working and have a storm damage and water cleanup company come in to inspect and test your unit.
3. Improve Soil Erosion Around Your Home
Poor or rapid soil erosion can encourage flood waters to seep into your basement, but there are a few ways you can slow the process. Planting shrubs and trees around the perimeter of your home to absorb excess water can be an effective tactic, and you can spread a carpet of mulch across bare areas of your lawn to help keep soil in place.
Flooding in Lafayette, LA, can happen before you know it. However, when you take steps to defend your home from storm damage before it happens, the aftermath of a flood may be less serious and not as costly to repair.
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