Friday, August 31, 2012

Why Do You Need Flood Insurance?

A flood is defined as an overflow of inland or tidal waters, rapid accumulation or runoff of surface water from any source, and a collapse of a land because of excessive erosion due to flood, mudslides caused by accumulations of water on the ground or underground. Any homeowner or renter should protect their property and purchase flood insurance.

Depending on your request, a flood policy can cover the dwelling with the content or just the contents. If you own a home, you should purchase both. If you rent the apartment or a house, you can purchase only the personal property flood coverage. A flood policy covers the property in the policy description against direct loss by or from flood.

Flood insurance is one of those additional insurance policies that nobody wants to waste money on, especially if the property is not located in the flood zone. Unfortunately, many homeowners are left with unpaid claims by their homeowner's insurance, just to find out that flooding is not covered under their homeowner's policy.

Purchasing flood insurance gives you peace of mind like any other insurance and needs to be purchased ahead of time. It is hard to imagine a street flooding in your neighborhood when it has not flooded in the last twenty years. It is hard to imagine flood damaging your personal property while in a drought.

Floods are very common in the areas prone to tropical rains and hurricanes and in areas where rivers absorb melting snow during spring. Flash rains after the drought cause floods mostly because dry land takes more time to absorb the rain. Old subdivisions with clogged storm drains are more prone to flooding. New subdivisions also can have clogged water drainage due to the construction debris in the street. A new subdivision in the area will increase possibility of a flood. A meadow or a forest absorbs the water very well. If we built a town covered in cement with buildings and streets, rainwater has nowhere to go and floods the streets.

We all think about purchasing this type of insurance when the tropical storm is pouring down or when the local river is swollen near our house, but that is not a time to purchase it, and no insurance company will sell you a policy when a hurricane is in the Gulf of Mexico or when you are evacuating. That is why flood policy becomes effective only 30 days after purchasing. Insurance provides coverage for unpredicted happenings. Knowing that a big storm is on the way which will cause losses and that is predictable.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dry Ice Blast Cleaning After Natural Diasters

Hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes, floods and fire all wreak havoc on lives, the landscape and destroy billions of dollars in personal property every year.

What is the proper response to a natural disaster when it is your property that has sustained the damage?

Safety First! As much as you may want to immediately begin sifting through the wreckage and start putting your life back together, your structure may have suffered significant damage, making it unsafe. Play it smart. Wait until your building has been inspected and deemed safe to occupy.

Document Everything! This practice should really begin well before the catastrophe hits. Every property owner should make a habit of photographing and cataloging their property and possessions on a regular basis. This way, if something does happen, you will have receipts as well as photographic proof of the condition of your property and belongings. Photograph, video and document everything that has been lost or damaged. This will make your claims process so much easier.

Contact your Insurance Agent/Carrier Immediately! Hopefully, you have a good relationship with your Agent. A helpful agent can make all the difference between having a smooth claims process or an absolute nightmare.

Protect What's Left. We don't like to think this sort of thing can happen to us, but during times of catastrophe and disaster human nature can take a nasty turn. Sometimes our neighbors can turn into scavengers, looters and hooligans. Do your best to protect whatever is left of your valuables and property from the elements and from potential threats.

Start The Cleaning Process. Begin with de-watering. Water, wind and weather are probably your biggest enemies. Water can continue damaging structures, foundations and valuables long after the initial swells have subsided. Water will breed mold, mildew and can undermine foundations. Water destroys concrete, wood, plaster, drywall and most every other kind of building material used in construction. The sooner water can be controlled and removed the sooner the cleaning process can begin.
The Actual Cleaning Process.

Once the water has been removed and your structure has been secured, it's time to start cleaning up the damage and piecing your life back together.

This can be a confusing time and there are many options to consider. Most cleaning professionals and disaster recovery teams rely on their own proprietary systems and methods to do their work. Don't feel as though you do not have a say in the methods they use, however. This is your property and you want to be certain that great care is taken to salvage as much of your structure and belongings as possible.

Consider using a contractor that utilizes dry ice blast cleaning as one of their primary methods of disaster recovery.

Dry ice blasting is a process that is extremely efficient at breaking up and removing layers of mold, smoke residue and dirt. The benefits of this revolutionary cleaning method make it ideal for cleaning any structure that has been affected by mold, soot and other hard-to-remove contaminants from a natural disaster.

The dry ice blasting cleaning method is a faster and more effective at removing mold, mildew, dirt, charred residue and soot than other cleaning methods such as manual scraping, sand or soda blasting and pressure washing. And because cleaning is more cost-effective than structural replacement, dry ice blast cleaning will save you money in the long run.