The Most Effective Way to Get Peace of Mind as a Renter or a Landlord
Here a bathroom with a shower enclosure is covered in soot after a home fire in West Covina. Just imagine the charred smell...
In addition to a homeowner’s policy, many landlords are now requiring their tenants to carry renter’s insurance because it protects both parties if disaster strikes. If a tenant who holds a renter’s insurance policy causes damages to a unit, their insurance may cover repair costs. It may also aid in reducing disputes between landlords and tenants as their insurance helps to identify where coverage applies.
A small monthly expense but well worth the investment in the event of fire, water or mold damages occurring at your property.
“Our team witnessed a property fire claim loss this year where a landlord renting to her own daughter missed the mark in this regard. Sadly the fire (started by a burning candle) destroyed large sections of her home and the vast majority of her daughter’s furniture and belongings. Making matters worse, her daughter/tenant failed to seek out renter’s insurance that would have provided a degree of protection. Can you imagine having to replace all of your day to day items used in your home all at once? Overwhelming to say the least but even more so without any financial restitution…”
Be Well Informed and Prepared
Most important is to be well prepared by knowing what renter’s insurance covers and doesn’t cover. Signing up with their auto insurer, a multi-policy discount may result in surprisingly low premiums along the lines of $10-$15 a month.
What it does cover is personal possessions which helps to cover the cost of replacing your belongings if they are ruined due to fire or theft. Additional endorsements may help to better tailor to your needs. Included in most renters policies is liability. This helps protect you if someone gets injured inside your home and loss of use provides a place to stay and covers extra food expenditures if forced to relocate while repairs are being made.
What it doesn’t cover is the full value of some items. Most insurances place a cap on pay outs and are limited on damage or theft claims. Living in Southern California, something to consider is potentially purchasing separate flood or earthquake insurance if you own expensive items that could be destroyed by a natural disaster.
What Everybody Should Know about Mold
You never know what could be growing behind your cabinets or walls when a water leak goes unnoticed. Call us out if you suspect a possible issue.
Mold is always in our environment. Their microscopic spores float in the air; just like when you blow on a dandelion and watch the seeds drift away. Problems begin when spores anchor themselves on a wet surface indoors and begin to multiply. With warm humidity & a ‘food source’ it takes only hours for some strains to grow. A damp dark place like behind the wall after a hot water heater leak is a comfy spot for it to be nourished. It grows by eating away at wet organic materials like the paper backing of a wall or the wood of a cabinet.
The EPA informs us of the important fact that the key to mold control is moisture control. Condensation, water leaks and poor ventilation are all contributing factors. To prevent mold, allow sunlight to filter into your home each day as spores love darkness and open windows & doors daily to allow a cross breeze into your home to ventilate it properly. When coming across an unexpected water leak or sudden flood, act quickly by calling out a Professional to dry up more than what is visible to the naked eye.
How to Prevent Fire in your SOCAL Home
Damage happens so quickly! Flames from the oven began to melt the microwave & spread the awful smell of burnt plastic throughout the home.
Each year fires occurring during the fall and winter seasons injure more than 2500 people and cause more than $390 million in damages. Please keep your family safe by reviewing with them a few of the ways that our company unfortunately has seen home fires begin:
- Do not overload electrical outlets
- Do not leave empty home fragrance plug in cartridges in outlets
- Avoid burning candles, but if used, keep under close watch
- Keep candles and lights away from combustible materials like paper and fabric
- Before leaving for the day, going to bed at night or leaving a room, turn off all lamps and electrical appliances
- Do not charge phones, tablets or laptops on soft surfaces like carpet, beds or sofas, etc.
- When operating a microwave please do not use paper goods, fabric or metal inside it
- If cooking food on the stove top or in the oven, do not leave unattended
Through utilizing Fire & Safety Tips aim to prevent a fire from ever starting in your home. However, accidents do at times occur so please take the time to test your smoke alarms and remember to replace them every 10 years. If smoke damage does affect you, please call out the professionals with the expertise & experience to provide complete fire restoration services.
Water Leaks & Plumbing Issues… is it simply enough to get them repaired?
Water extraction needed in Covina. How far has the water traveled? Hire us with the expertise & specialty equipment to detect and mitigate properly.
We place great value in the money invested in our properties. When facing maintenance issues we work hard to stay on top of the problems so they do not quickly multiply. Bewaterwise.com reminds us to fix water leaks from dripping faucets right away to preserve our water supply. Such leaks from plumbing fixtures/fittings or pipes sometimes are apparent and visible but unfortunately many are hidden and may go undetected causing rot and costly damages.
Many at first think that mopping up visible water is all that is needed, but some may fail to realize that water can travel to baseboards, walls and beyond.
The detection of water in these areas requires sophisticated moisture detectors. This needs to be taken seriously because damaged surfaces can quickly develop mold which thrives in moist dark areas such as behind walls, cabinets or under flooring.
To avoid missing important cleaning steps, utilize a professional with the knowledge of the importance of a quick response, the experience and professional equipment and IICRC training.
In the SOCAL area? Call to ask about our complementary inspections 1.877.469.7776
Grey or Black Water vs. Clean Water
Bacteria multiplies rapidly under favorable conditions, forming colonies of millions of organisms within a space as small as a drop of water.
Interesting to note: Different categories of water can not only affect your health but also how a Water Damage Professional will proceed with the protocol of the cleanup.
Either way, using an expert is advised because with Category 1 Water (Fresh, Clean) time and temperature are urgent matters and in place drying may proceed utilizing professional specialized industry equipment preserving money and minimizing costly replacements of flooring etc. Example: burst pipe or appliance supply line.
If Category 2 Water (Grey with some degree of contaminants) is present, as with Type 1 time and temperature are also main concerns because it could become progressively more contaminated, causing further damages. Example: water coming from inside of a dishwasher or clothes washing machine.
Category 3 Water (Black, Highly Contaminated) Professionals carry test tube kits to make a quick assessment because dirty water could cause death or serious illness if consumed by humans. In which case the IICRC Recommendation is to cut and remove all surfaces affected. Example: sewage, toilet overflow, rain water entering through damaged roof or walls, exterior ground water containing silt and soil or “Clean or Grey water” allowed to sit allowing contaminants to multiply over the matter of days or sometimes even hours.
We cleanup All types of water so relax & leave it to the professionals to determine the best plan of action tailored for your unique situation to ultimately save you valuable time, money and minimize any disruption. Clearly its important to act quickly so please call today!
Water Damage Emergency Tips:
Look closely: This West Covina home is flooded with water yet the lamp is 'on' and the chord is dangling down into the water! DANGER!!
For Clean Water situations only
- Safety-first: if you see water near any electrical outlet or device, clear the area of family members and pets. Extra care should be taken to avoid slips and falls
- Act quickly to contact us SERVPRO of West Covina
- Shut off water source if possible
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs
- DO NOT use a regular vacuum to remove water
- DO NOT leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet floors
- DO NOT turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet
- DO NOT use TV’s or other electronic appliances while standing on wet floors (see photo)
Mold… Is It a DIY Project?
Mold removal in Pomona... Once the kitchen cabinetry was removed visible mold was revealed for cleanup to begin.
In seeking a DIY Mold Removal plan on the internet you will discover a variety of ways proposing how to personally rid your home of mold. A common misconception is to spray it with a bleach solution to kill the mold, but it is just not that simple.
The EPA offers a link of helpful mold facts along with a section of ‘Frequently asked questions about mold’. It addresses how using a chemical or biocide is NOT recommended because while the solution may kill the spore, even dead mold may still cause allergic reactions in some. Mold MUST be removed. In most situations the mold may not be visible until the wall or surface is opened/removed as typically mold grows inside wall cavities as opposed to the painted surface of drywall.
The one thing to be cautious about however with DIY projects where mold is concerned is proper protection for yourself. Certified mold technicians know how to protect themselves with respiratory engineering controls which means a full face mask with HEPA filter cartridges. This properly protects both your respiratory system as well as your eyes which can be adversely affected by mold spores.
The next item of concern is protection of the environment where the mold is found. Simply opening up a wall can disperse millions of mold spores throughout the living environment especially if any ventilation is being provided through air conditioning or simply walking through the contaminated areas. Proper abatement procedures involve setting up protection barriers so that mold spores will not spread throughout the rest of the house. Negative air pressure through the use of a HEPA rated negative air device (shown in image above) is the only way to properly protect your home from spores being released outside of a legitimate containment.
An oversaturation of mold in your home can definitely pose a health risk. Handling it yourself is not recommended. Mold removal should be performed by someone who is both properly trained and respects your home and health. Review the EPA & IICRC guidelines and contact us for an inspection of the area to best make the decision of a plan of action.