Is Homeowners Insurance Coverage for Burst Pipes?
It's important to know if your homeowners’ insurance will cover the damage.
Homeowners Insurance and Burst Pipes
When it comes to frozen and burst pipes, you want to know that your home insurance policy will protect you from costly damage. However, not all policies cover the same things. To help you navigate what is and isn't included in your plan, we've put together this guide.
Frozen and Burst Pipe Insurance Coverage
In the winter, frozen and burst pipes can occur. If you have a pipe that bursts, it's important to know if your homeowners’ insurance will cover the damage. In many cases, it does—but it's not always clear what exactly qualifies as a "burst" pipe. Many people assume their homeowners’ policy should cover this type of damage but aren't sure what kinds of pipes are covered or whether there are any limitations on how much coverage they'll receive.
Preventing a Frozen Pipe
As with all things related to your home and belongings, prevention is key when preventing frozen pipes—and there are some simple steps you can take:
- Make sure that all exterior faucets are turned off during freezing temperatures so they don't freeze up (or use anti-freeze products).
- Be sure to check outdoor spigots regularly during cold weather months; never leave them unattended while in use!
- Also, keep outdoor spigots cleaner than indoor ones so they don’t clog up from dirt buildup over time (which also causes blockages).
- Insulate any exposed pipes in crawl spaces under houses.
Water Damage Insurance Coverage
Under the Water Damage section of your policy, you will find that your insurer covers water damage from burst pipes. A burst pipe is defined as a break in any part of the pipe system that transports water to or from a building.
If a pipe breaks, causing flooding and/or damage to property within your home or building, this is considered a covered claim under this section.
Examples of covered claims include burst water pipes (including frozen) Leaking toilets, overflowing bathtubs or sinks, and damaged sump pumps.
In addition to covering damage resulting from burst pipes and leaks, your policy also provides coverage for things like sewer backups and flooding if it happens outside (for example if there’s heavy rain).
Reasons for Frozen Pipes
There are several causes of frozen pipes. The first is that the water in your home may have been turned off, which will cause the pipes to freeze and burst. This can happen if you have a leaky faucet or toilet, and you forget to fix it. Another cause could be if there's a power outage in your neighborhood, causing all appliances that use electricity—including heaters and water heaters—to stop working.
If you've experienced any of these situations, it's important to act quickly to prevent damage from occurring further down the line. If you suspect that your pipes are frozen but aren't certain whether there's been any internal damage yet, make sure they're not leaking before calling an emergency plumber out so they can assess whether or not there's any risk involved in turning them back on again (e.g., electrical hazards). It's also vital that homeowners know what kind of coverage they have before making any repairs themselves. Identifying what type of plan works best for their needs will help protect them against future expenses related to damages caused by frozen pipes during winter months when temperatures drop significantly outside.
When it comes to frozen and burst pipes, insurance companies may have different policies on what is covered by your policy. It’s important to know what is and isn't covered so that you can plan ahead for an emergency. If you aren’t sure, call your insurance company and find out.
When a pipe bursts in your home or business, give SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville a call! We will be quick to mitigate the water in your home, and get your Muncy property back to normal.
How do You Estimate a Fire Damage?
We understand how devastating a commercial fire can be to your business.
Estimating Fire Damage
The first step in estimating fire damage is to take a look at the affected area and determine what kind of damage has been done. This involves looking at the structure itself and the contents within, including any furniture or equipment that might have been damaged by smoke or water. It also involves making sure that there is no hidden damage (such as mold growth) that can't be seen at first glance but could become visible later on down the line.
Scope of Damage
The first thing we need to do is determine the scope of the damage. Is it contained, or did the flames spread throughout the building? We will look at specific areas of the damaged property. During this step, we will determine how big the affected area is. The affected area will include the building and its contents, as well as the exterior of the building. This also includes any other areas that have been damaged by fire, such as roofs or landscaping.
If your home or business has been completely consumed by flames and burned down to its foundations, then our job will be much simpler than if only part of your home has been destroyed by a fire. In this case, we will write down all visible damages as well as any structural components that appear structurally unsound (such as cracked walls or crumbling floors).
When estimating losses after an extensive fire damage situation, remember that there may be hidden dangers lurking behind walls and under floor coverings that could cause further danger once removed from their original setting.
Assessing the Condition of the Structure
If you're assessing a building that has been damaged, it's important to evaluate whether or not the structure is salvageable. If the building can be salvaged, rebuilding will likely cost less than replacing it entirely. If not, demolition may be necessary and a new building will need to be constructed on-site.
Determining Whether to Restore or Replace
While the ability to restore your property after a fire is a huge benefit, it's not always possible. In fact, more often than not, restoration is not an option.
Before you make any decisions about which items should be restored and which should be replaced, you'll want to consider whether or not they can be restored.
Restoration is generally only recommended if the item in question has sentimental value or is important for your livelihood (for example, a guitar). If not, it may be time for some fresh air and new memories.
Call the Professionals
We understand how devastating a commercial fire can be to your business. An estimate is the first step toward recovering from the damage, but it’s also an important part of knowing what to expect and making informed decisions.
Our experienced technicians can help you get back on track after a commercial fire in your Muncy, PA business—and in some cases, they may even be able to save your property from total destruction. We know how complex this process is because we have experience with various types of fires, including electrical fires (which are surprisingly common), grease fires, gas explosions, and more.
When you work with us for fire damage restoration services after a disaster strikes your company or business location you will have access to our specialized knowledge base about all things related to fire damage restoration for commercial properties like yours.
At SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville, we have the experience, training, and skills to help you through this difficult time. We understand that your business is more than just a building or an inventory list—it’s what keeps your family fed, clothed, and happy. That’s why we take pride in being able to restore your property back to its original state so that you can continue doing what you love most: serving customers!
How Often Should You Service Your Furnace?
Properly service your furnace
How Frequently Should Your Furnace Be Serviced?
When cooler weather comes in Montoursville, PA, you'll be grateful for a properly functioning furnace. However, if you neglect routine maintenance and upkeep, your furnace won't do a good job of keeping you warm. Worse, problems could arise that could lead to fires. To avoid fire cleaning and other disaster mitigation, you need to properly service your furnace.
1. Replace the Filters Regularly
Your furnace relies on an air filter to work efficiently. The filter will keep dust, dirt and other debris from getting into the appliance and hampering airflow and other performance issues. Too much buildup can also cause fires. To avoid fire cleaning and an inefficient system, make sure you replace the filters often.
2. Have an Annual Inspection
Sometimes, you can pinpoint signs that your furnace is acting up and needs some repairs. But often, problems start small and are difficult to detect unless you take a closer look at the unit. This is a job that a professional can handle. At least once a year, call a heating and air conditioning technician to inspect your furnace. This will give you peace of mind. Also, the technician can identify areas that you need to address before they get worse.
3. Act Immediately When There Are Problems
Pay attention to your furnace and indications that it may not be performing well. If the air coming out is not warm or if the airflow is weak, you need a professional to service it. Also, pay attention to odd sounds or smells coming from the unit or the vents. Don't delay in calling for help. This will allow you to avoid having to call a professional fire mitigation company for smoke cleaning.
Fire cleaning can be expensive and stressful. If you keep up with furnace maintenance, you can reduce the risk of fires and poor HVAC performance.
4 Fire Safety Tips To Keep In Mind When Grilling
Remember to grill away from the HVAC intake system or your home may smell like BBQ for a long time
When Grilling, Consider These Four Fire Safety Tips
Cooking a great meal on the barbeque is a staple for many homes. However, it's important to understand how to safely operate a grill in order to avoid a home fire. Here are four essential tips to employ in your Loyalsock, PA, home to avoid a grill fire.
1. Inspect Gas Grill for Leaks
If you have a gas grill, it's important to check it before every use and make sure there is no gas leaking. Always be wary of the smell of propane gas while grilling, as this could soon turn into a dangerous grill fire.
2. Be Mindful of Proper Charcoal Grill Practices
Like gas grills, charcoal grills also require safety measures. When lighting one up, don't overuse any starter fluid. Subsequently, never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids once flames have been established. Take caution after use as well and let coals cool entirely before disposing them into a metal container.
3. Place Barbeque Away From Home
Keeping your grill too close to your home is not advised. Doing so not only risks the chance of a home fire but will likely result in smoke damage on the exterior of the house. If this occurs, a fire damage restoration company will likely need to intervene to clean the smoke and repair any damage.
4. Always Clean After Cooking To Avoid a Grill Fire
More often than not, a barbeque fire will spark due to the grease and burnt residue that remains after previous use. Always scrape away this residue from the grill grates as well as the underneath tray to best avoid out-of-control flames the next time you cook.
Keep your barbequing safe from fire hazards by checking for leaks on a propane grill, knowing the best practices for a charcoal grill, cooking away from the house and always cleaning the grill after use.
How To Remove Cigarette Smoke From Your Home
A popular method of home deodorization is ozone generation.
How To Get Rid Of Cigarette Smoke In Your House
If your Williamsport, PA, home has a lingering smoke smell from cigarettes, home deodorization can be tricky. Smoke particles travel far and are difficult to remove. Fortunately, there are reliable odor removal techniques. One popular option is ozone generation.
Cigarette Smoke Odor
Thirdhand smoke is when chemicals and odors from cigarettes linger in the air or on surfaces. Eliminating this entirely can be tricky because the emissions from cigarettes tend to adhere strongly to surfaces. The following are some of the many chemicals released with cigarette smoke:
- Carbon monoxide
Many individuals find the odor of thirdhand smoke unpleasant, so getting rid of it can make your home more enjoyable for you, your family, guests and even potential buyers.
A popular method of home deodorization is ozone generation. Ozone is a reactive compound that has three molecules of oxygen. Normal ambient air has two oxygen molecules, and ozone has three. Ozone generators take normal air and apply an electrical charge to create ozone. The extra oxygen molecules created react with the smoke particles in the area to create a new compound that does not have a smokey smell. A professional restoration service knows how to properly run these machines and air out the space afterward so that occupants return to a safe, non-smoky environment.
Other Deodorization Methods
Ozone generation can be combined with other deodorization techniques to produce even better results. Scrubbing hard surfaces with a mixture of water and white vinegar removes the buildup of tar and nicotine. White vinegar can also be added to washing machines to deodorize washable fabrics.
Whether you have recently quit smoking or just moved into the former home of a smoker, getting rid of the lingering smell is likely to be difficult. Fortunately, using ozone for home deodorization has proven effective in many cases.
Do You Have Business Interruption Insurance?
If you own a business, you are probably aware of the importance of protecting your investment by purchasing property insurance. However, while property insurance can help you get your business running again, it doesn't pay for the income you lose while your business is inoperable. Interruption insurance can help keep your business from suffering financial distress while you wait for needed repairs. See what business interruption insurance can do for you:
- Replaces Lost Income
Depending on how severe your damage is, it could take weeks or even months to fully restore your business to preloss condition. During this business interruption, you may not be able to operate at all, or may only be able to operate at reduced capacity. This coverage replaces income lost based on your past financial records, as long as is a covered cause of loss
- Helps You Pay the Bills
You will need to pay the mortgage or rent on your facility, as well as any utilities that still need to be connected when your business isn't operating Don't forget about making payments on any business loans, paying your taxes and any other business expenses.
- Provides Money To Pay Employees
Your employees probably can't afford to go without a paycheck while your business is shut down due to a loss. This insurance helps you keep employees on the payroll so that you don't need to hire new employees after you reopen.
Dryer Vent Fire Prevention
As a homeowner or business owner, it is imperative that you are aware of, and perform, the preventative maintenances that help keep your property safe. One of the lesser known maintenances is to keep your dryer vents lint free. Here are some tips to keep your dryer working efficiently and to reduce your risk of a lint fire:
- Regular Dryer Maintenance- Make sure that you clean your dyer's lint filter after every use. Quarterly you should clean out any built-up lint where the filter is housed and as well from your dryer into your vent pipe.
- Outside Dryer Vent- Remove the cover over the access to where your dryer vent is piped outside. Check that the cover is free of debris, and clean inside the exhaust to ensure that there are no nests or lint build up.
- Pay Attention to Warnings From Your Appliance- Any unusual noises or smells, as well as longer than usual drying times, need to be handled handled by a professional repair person that is qualified for your specific appliance.
Call SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville for your dryer vent cleaning today!
2022 Hurricane Seasons is Fast Approaching
Hurricane Safety Tips From Weather.gov
"Hurricanes are among nature's most powerful and destructive phenomena. On average, 12 tropical storms, 6 of which become hurricanes form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season which runs from June 1 to November 30 each year.
While hurricanes pose the greatest threat to life and property, tropical storms and depression also can be devastating. The primary hazards from tropical cyclones (which include tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes) are storm surge flooding, inland flooding from heavy rains, destructive winds, tornadoes, and high surf and rip currents.
- Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm's winds. This hazard is historically the leading cause of hurricane related deaths in the United States. Storm surge and large battering waves can result in large loss of life and cause massive destruction along the coast.
- Storm surge can travel several miles inland, especially along bays, rivers, and estuaries.
- Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities from landfalling tropical cyclones. Widespread torrential rains associated with these storms often cause flooding hundreds of miles inland. This flooding can persist for several days after a storm has dissipated.
- Winds from a hurricane can destroy buildings and manufactured homes. Signs, roofing material, and other items left outside can become flying missiles during hurricanes.
- Tornadoes can accompany landfalling tropical cyclones. These tornadoes typically occur in rain bands well away from the center of the storm.
- Dangerous waves produced by a tropical cyclone's strong winds can pose a significant hazard to coastal residents and mariners. These waves can cause deadly rip currents, significant beach erosion, and damage to structures along the coastline, even when the storm is more than a 1,000 miles offshore."
Get Your Commercial Ducts Cleaned NOW!
Spring is in the air- which also means it is in your ducting system! Allergens, like pollen, dander and dust particles, get sucked into your ducting system and subsequently blown around your business (or home). These contaminants also accumulate in your ducting system and cause your heating or cooling efficiency to drop as much as 25%-40%, as well as your air quality being affected. When your efficiency drops, your system has to work harder to produce the same sort of effects, which can lead to more maintenance or service repairs.
With heating season dwindling down and summer quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to get your business's ducts cleaned. Give us a call at SERVPRO of Williamsport/Montoursville at 570-546-3500. Our highly trained technicians will come take a look at your unit and ducting, give you a reasonable quote, and have your businesses air quality like new!
Storm Damage on Your Solar Panels?
Storms of all sizes come through Williamsport and surrounding areas during various parts of the year. Many of these storms cause little concern and do little, if any, damage to your home. However, high winds, rain, and other conditions may be a threat to the solar panels on your roof.
Hail storms may not be common in your area, but they can create various problems for property owners. You may wonder about panel damage if hail starts falling, but you can have peace of mind knowing that these panels should not be affected.
The panels are made of tempered glass and highly flexible material, and are built to withstand impact from rock, hail or other materials.
While high winds can cause roof damage, they are much less likely to cause panel damage. Your solar panels are designed to withstand up to 140-mph winds. This means they can hold up against hurricanes and other less potent storms.
Snow and Rain
If you purchase a high-quality set of panels, they should last 25 years or more. They are well-equipped to handle a rainstorm or a snowstorm. The glass portion of the panels has protection from any negative effects from precipitation.