Filing Insurance for Commercial Loss
As a disaster remediation company, we are always looking for information to provide our clients. One interesting thing we found is “Entrepreneurs often overlook preparation for these rare events and focus instead on more pressing details, but taking steps to prepare for the unthinkable can be the difference between surviving and failing after a major storm.” As a business most watch for pricing, expenses, and such, but don’t prepare. The good thing is, we can come out and help you plan for the event of a disaster. Another interesting thing we found, is its always best to file a claim with your insurance.” Supporting Disaster Damage when Documents are Unavailable
In the case of a disaster that damages your business records, follow a two-step process.
First, document that the disaster occurred. In a recent (2014) Tax Court case, the Court faulted the taxpayer because he had never reported the disaster.
In this case, a taxpayer claimed flood damage had caused his business records to be un-recoverable, but he did not document the flood damage with an insurance claim or other evidence. If you can't prove the records were lost or destroyed, the IRS may assume you didn't have them in the first place.
The best way to document a disaster is to file an insurance claim. Even if you live in a disaster zone, the IRS has no way of knowing if your business suffered a loss unless you put the loss in writing.
How to Document Business Losses
You will need your asset records to document the losses to business assets, including vehicles, equipment, furniture and fixtures. Report casualty losses on your business or personal tax return. IRS Publication 547 describes the process for determining deductions for losses, including reduction in fair market value.
You can also file for assistance with FEMA (the federal emergency disaster assistance agency), or file a disaster assistance claim with the Small Business Administration.
Per the Tax Court case mentioned above, if your business records are lost or destroyed you must make a "serious and persuasive effort" to reconstruct your business records.”
“CNBC Make It” https://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/27/4-steps-for-disaster-proofing-your-business.html
“The Balance” https://www.thebalance.com/what-if-you-lose-business-records-in-a-disaster-397892
Mold in the workplace
Mold can be present in the workplace, as well as, at home. Mold is suspected of causing some health issues. If you suspect mold in your business, follow these tips:
“NIOSH states that excess moisture usually is the cause of indoor mold growth. If supervisors suspect mold is causing health problems among their employees, they should:
- Regularly inspect buildings for dampness.
- Prevent high indoor humidity with HVAC systems.
- Always respond when employees report health concerns.
- Establish procedures for recording and responding to indoor air quality complaints.
- Develop a plan for response and perform remedial action.
- Follow up to ensure corrective action has been successful.
- Encourage employees who have developed persistent or worsening respiratory symptoms to see a health care provider.
- Follow health care provider recommendations for relocation of employees diagnosed with building-related respiratory disease.
We are here to remediate the mold in your business, if you notice its presents. So, don’t panic call SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant at 843-884-2258
“Safety Health” http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/9007-health-risks-of-mold-in-the-workplace
Water loss in your business
A commercial water loss can cause be a burden in many ways. It can mean less revenue and customer loss. If you company has a water loss, time is important.
- Identify the source of the water
- Turn off electricity if necessary
- Turn off the water
- Contact SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant 843-884-2258
- Call local HVAC, plumbers or necessary contractor to fix the leak
- If standing water is present, mark off the area with water signs, to warn people of the danger.
These are some of the things, you should do. The best plan of action is to have an emergency response plan in place. We offer a great plan at SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant. We work closely with property manager, insurance, plumber, HVAC, or contractors, to get your business up and running in a timely manner. We make it "Like it never even happened." Call 843-884-2258 24/7
Preventing a water loss from happening is always the best solution. Maintenance to your home is the key. Refrigerator lines, washing machine, dishwasher, pipes, and hot water heaters, they all have maintenance. Here are a few interesting facts and a link to the site for more.
“STUDY FACTS: The chance a water heater will leak or burst begins to dramatically increase when it is 5 years old. 3/4 of all water heaters fail before they are 12 years old.
STUDY FACTS 73% of losses involving an ice maker were caused by the failure of the supply line hose. 10% of incidents involved new refrigerators and were linked to improper installation.
STUDY FACT Homes 30 years old were 3 times as likely to have a plumbing supply or drainage problem.
STUDY FACTS: A burst water supply line caused half of all water damage incidents involving washing machines. On average, these incidents caused more than $6,000 in damage per incident.”
Again, prevention is the key. But, we all know, water loss happens. SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, is here 24/7 for your water loss needs 843-884-2258.
“Quick Tips to Prevent Water Damage” http://www.ct.gov/cid/lib/cid/water-damage_pamphlet_CT-DOI.pdf
Fogging Duct Work
We get many calls about the possibility of mold in the ducts. “The presence of mold in an HVAC system is a common complaint. Mold is a sneaky little bugger. It can grow and proliferate and make building occupants sick without ever being seen. And the fastest way to spread mold through a building is through a forced-air HVAC system.”
Here at SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, we offer duct cleaning, as well as, duct fogging.
What is fogging?
Fogging is an environmentally safe duct cleaning solution that kills germs in your air conditioning duct while keeping your indoor air quality is at optimal levels. Cleaning the interior of your HVAC and air systems is important, but it is not the only step that needs to be taken. Aside from killing and ridding your systems of all mold, debris, and bacteria, its essential prevent them from growing again.
How it works
Fogging releases an antibacterial spray that sanitizes and seals the ducts. This process has a number of different uses including odor control, sanitizing, and pest control.”
If you need your ducts cleaned or fogging, call us at 843-884-2258
Emergency Response Plan
Commercial loss does happen. The key to handling them smoothly is having a plan of action in place. At SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant, we offer a ERP. We will come to your location, walk through with you, getting a plan in place. Here are some other tips, in the event your business suffers a loss such as a fire.
What to Focus on After a Fire
- Tip #1: Bring in your public adjuster early in the process to manage as many of the following as possible while you concentrate on your business and your employees!
- Document your property damage with photographs.
- Take steps to mitigate any further damage, including theft and vandalism.
- Prepare comprehensive lists of lost/damaged items.
- Track all out-of-pocket expenses related to the cleanup and rebuilding process, as well as any additional expenses you incur to mitigate your loss of business and to expedite your recovery.
- Analyze your policy, including all clauses, additions, extensions and exclusions, and develop a strategy for maximizing every available dollar.
- Bring in experts to prove the full extent of structural and other damages, as necessary.
The key to loss is staying one step ahead. Hopefully, you never have to use your emergency response plan. But, we are here to help you through that, as well as, if you suffer a loss. We are here 24/7 for emergency services 843-881-2258.
“Adjusters International” https://adjustersinternational.com/commercial-claims/loss-type/fire/
Mold after Natural Disasters
After, a major storm, we see more mold in homes. It’s very common. Moisture causes the growth. We understand these occurrences and are ready to help. If you are unsure if you have a mold issue, please call us 843-884-2258. We can guide you through the process, advise you who to use to test and clean it up and make it “Like is never even happened."
“Natural disasters often cause damage to homes and other structures. Mold growth is typically a side effect of different natural disasters, such as flooding or torrential rains. To prevent mold after flooding and water damage, there are some necessary steps to take to improve the situation.
- Check it out
- Get it out
- Clean it up
- Dry it out
- Keep it dry
These five steps will help make the whole process easier.”
As winter approaches, it’s time to know how to protect your pipes from freezing. I have attached some types to help you.
“How to Protect Pipes from Freezing
Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
- Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
- Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
- Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
- Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
- Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
- When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
- If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.”
If you end up with a busted pipe, call us to help. We never look forward to such an event, but they do happen. We are available 24/7 for emergency situations.
“Red Cross” http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm/frozen-pipes
This week, we are working on a water damage caused by a leaking toilet. Please watch those toilets.
“What Can Go Wrong? - Leaks mean water, water can be a problem. Left unattended, leaks can damage finishes and structural elements. Letting a leak go for a long time can do thousands of dollars of damage. Fixing it quickly will always be the best course of action. Anything that can be damaged by water should be removed from the area before the repair is attempted. Getting the toilet partially repaired before it gets too late or the parts store closes can leave the toilet not operating. One trick is that a toilet can be flushed by dumping a couple of gallons of water quickly into it from a pail. This mimics the normal function of the toilet tank.”
If you have a toilet leak, please call us. We can find you a good plumber to fix the damage, and clean up the water damage. We are only a call away, with 24//7 emergency help at 843-884-2258.
“Home Repair” http://www.home-repair-central.com/how-to-fix-a-leaking-toilet.html
Water under home
This photo is under a home after hurricane Irma. As you can tell water was still present. It took time, effort, and patience to make it through this storm. But, we alongside our clients worked tirelessly to get them back in the home. We are pleased to say our clients are not only clients, but friends. They count on us for their water loss, cleaning needs, duct cleaning, mold, and fire loss. We have shown time and again we can make it "Like it never even happened.”
“Storm-battered Charleston began drying out Tuesday from a hurricane-driven tidal surge that had turned the historic district and other parts of the Lowcountry into a watery mass of flooded streets, floating debris and swamped buildings.
A day after near record tides hit the Charleston area; the water had begun to recede as communities worked to recover from a flood caused by the remnants of Hurricane Irma.
High tides that flooded the downtown were among the most significant to hit Charleston in recent years. Surrounding areas, such as Isle of Palms and Folly Beach, also suffered from the storm surge associated with Irma. The damage included substantial beach erosion.
"Thankfully, we appear to have come through this storm with no loss of life or serious injury,’’ Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said in an afternoon statement. “That's a real blessing. Now, our job is to move forward with recovery efforts and get our city back to normal for our residents as quickly as possible."
“The State” http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article172835176.html