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Is Mold Covered In Homeowners Insurance.

Like any other organism, mold needs food and water. It loves to eat wood, and that’s one reason why homes and other structures sustain mold damage. When it begins depleting its food source, damage occurs. Mold is easily identified by how it looks and its odor.

Any type of water damage can result in mold. How the water gets into your home determines whether your homeowners insurance will cover the mold damage and remediation. All homeowners policies declare their covered perils along with their exclusions from coverage. An occurrence that’s typically covered in the context of water damage is a pipe burst. That’s because the actual pipe burst is the cause of the claim as opposed to the mold itself. If a mold claim arises from Florida weather activity like a hurricane or flood, it’s not likely to be covered without special coverage. You’ll want to review your policy or talk to us to learn whether you have flood coverage.

Most homeowners insurers do provide mold coverage within their covered risks, but the policy limits are relatively low unless an additional premium is paid. If you do have some mold damage, you’ll want to do whatever you can to mitigate your damages. You should also make periodic checks for possible water leaks in these common problem spots:

·         The HVAC system lines and drains

·         Hoses for appliances

·         Tub, shower and sink seals

·         Any visible pipes

·         Weatherproofing of windows and doors

·         Wet spots in the attic and missing roofing material

·         Landscaping around your home

If you don’t have mold damage coverage, it’s recommended that you get it, particularly because mold thrives in Florida’s warm and humid climate. An average mold claim ranges between $15,000 and $30,000. Mold coverage is available as optional coverage with most homeowners insurers.

Take a look at this water guide (to learn a little more about homeowners insurance mold coverage. Much is going to depend on how the mold got there and the specific wording of your homeowners insurance policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepared Insurance. Does my homeowners insurance policy cover mold damage? Web blog post. Living Prepared. Prepared Insurance. 27 May 2016. 10 Aug 2017

 

Flood Damage Prevention

While fire may be a more common concern among homeowners, your home could in fact be as much as ten times more likely to be damaged by water than by fire. Significant sources of water damage to one’s property can come from weather-related moisture or flooding, including flooding from heavy rains, flash floods, dam and levee failures, tidal storm surges and mudflows. In addition, new construction of buildings, roads or bridges can alter the flow of water, increasing the potential for flooding.

Living in a high-risk flood zone can increase the likelihood of experiencing a flood, but being outside a high-risk zone does not mean homeowners are safe; flooding is always a possibility.

flood damage outside a home

(Photo credit: Travelers)

 

Protecting Your Property Before, During and After a Flood

There are a number of things you can do to help minimize or prevent water damage to your property. Follow these tips to help prepare and recover from potentially costly flood damage.

Before the Flood:

Know your properties flood zone risk and evaluate your flood risk with this reference guide from IBHS.

Have your furnace, water heater and other permanent equipment elevated above the expected flood levels of your area.

Inspect sump pumps and drains regularly to ensure proper operation.

If you own a generator, have a licensed electrician provide a transfer switch to your sump pump so you can operate it in the event of flooding.

To help prevent sewage backup, have a licensed plumber install an interior or exterior backflow prevention valve.

Keep sandbags on hand to help divert unusually high water away from your foundation.

In snowy climates, flag drains to avoid plowing snow on top of them.

Learn the flood alert signals of your community.

Collect emergency building materials if you live in a frequently flooded area. These may include plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber, nails, shovels and sandbags.

Plan and practice an evacuation route. Designate a place for family members to meet in the event they become separated.

Review with all family members how to shut off utilities in an emergency.

Plan a survival kit with important documents, including insurance documents, medications and critical items in the event you need to leave your home.

During the Flood:

Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest storm information. If advised to evacuate, shut off all utilities and evacuate immediately.

Move to high ground, avoid rising waters and do not walk or drive through any floodwaters.

Stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires.

After the Flood:

Listen to the radio and do not return home until authorities indicate it is safe to do so.

Once allowed back into your home, inspect it for damage. If your property has been damaged, promptly report the loss.

Be watchful of snakes that may have found their way into your home.

Throw away all food that has come in contact with floodwaters.

Remove standing water as quickly as possible, including from your basement. If your basement is flooded, pump out about 1/3 of the water per day to avoid structural damage.

Properly dry or remove soaked carpets, padding and upholstery within 24-48 hours after a flood to prevent mold growth. Discard anything that cannot be properly dried.

Wash and disinfect all areas that have been flooded. This includes walls, floors, closets and shelves, as well as heating and air-conditioning systems. Do not energize electrical or electronic equipment that may have suffered water damage without first having a qualified electrician inspect and/or test it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Flood Damage Prevention”. Web blog post. Prepare & Prevent, Flooding. Travelers. 28 July 2017.

 

How Flood Zones And Evacutaion Zones Differ.

Flood zones, evacuation zones, and storm surge are different. They measure different conditions that may not occur at the same time, are determined by different methods, and have different purposes. A home may be located in a non-evacuation zone, yet still be located in a flood zone because of a nearby stream or pond. Residents are advised to check all of them to learn what your flood risk is.

Image result for flood zone sign
(photo credit: Structural Solutions of NJ)
 

Definitions:

Flood zones are areas mapped by FEMA for use in the National Flood Insurance Program. Each flood zone designation, represented by a letter or letters, tells homeowners what the risk is for flooding at their property over a period of years, regardless of the cause. High risk areas, referred to as Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) are shown on the map as zones labeled with the letters A or V. By law, all homes in high-risk zones carrying a mortgage must be covered by flood insurance.

Visit the Pinellas County Flood Map Service Center to find out what your risk is.

Evacuation zones are based on hurricane storm surge zones determined by the National Hurricane Center using ground elevation and the area’s vulnerability to storm surge from a hurricane. The evacuation zones are marked from A through E, plus non-evacuation zones. Visit the Know your Zone Evacuation Level Lookup to find out what zone you are in.

 Storm Surge flooding occurs when an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm is pushed toward the shore by strong winds. If you are susceptible to storm surge, flood insurance is recommended, even if you are not located in a FEMA flood zone.

Current Water Levels in a nearby waterbody can help you predict when flooding might occur during a rain or tropical event.

 

Understand flood insurance

Much of Pinellas County is prone to flooding, so you should get flood insurance for your home, business, or rental. Regular homeowner’s or tenant’s insurance do not cover losses due to flooding. Flood insurance covers you for damage to your home, business and contents due to surface accumulation of water from inland or tidal flooding and erosion due to flooding. Don’t assume that you’re safe from flooding just because you live on an upper level in a condo building. If a severe flood wipes out the ground floor of your building, all of the other units in the building (including your own) may become uninhabitable as well.

If you are looking at buying a property, it is a good idea to check out the possible flood hazards before you buy. Most homeowners insurances do not cover flood damage. Talk to your insurance provider about your policy and consider if you need additional coverage.

 

Stay Connected

· Sign up for ALERT Pinellas - You will be notified of an emergency with phone and text messages!

· Sign up for E-Lert - Receive a monthly newsletter with the latest emergency education information and receive emergency bulletins and instructions during emergencies via email.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Flood Information.” Web blog post.  Pinellas County Flood Information. Pinellas County Florida. 28 July 2017.

 

Things You Should Do After Your House Floods.

One of the most damaging and devastating things you can ever experience as a homeowner is a flood. There are many causes of household flooding including:

  • Heavy rains
  • Sewer back-up
  • Malfunctioning sump-pump
  • Burst pipes

No matter what the cause, you should still know what you should do if your house floods. Taking care of the problem earlier will help reduce the amount of damage after and will make clean-up and repair easier.

 

1. Safety First

The first step in any major home disaster is to remain safe. You may be forced to leave your home if the flooding is bad enough. Make sure you are also safe when you return to your home to begin dealing with the aftermath. This may include turning off the power, as water and electricity obviously do not mix. Be sure to wear protective clothing–such as rubber boots and gloves–when you reenter your home. Not only will you be dealing with the water itself, but also whatever else the water has been in contact with, namely debris or even sewage. It is best to protect yourself against whatever harmful chemicals and items the flooding may have washed in.

Be sure to never eat food that has been contaminated by flood waters, or even in close proximity to the water for an extended period of time. If the water was high enough to reach your refrigerator or any of your pantry cabinets, it is safest practice to go ahead and throw the food away and just buy more. Be sure to thoroughly wash any dinnerware, glasses, and flatware that might have been caught in the house flood before you use it again.

2. Stopping and Removing Water

One of the first things you should do when your house floods is stop the source of water coming in if at all possible. If your sump-pump is broken or malfunctioning, replacing it will help keep up with any continuing rains and may prevent further damage to your basement, garage, crawl space, or main floor. Calling the city to remove debris from storm drains may also be necessary in order to help stop flooding.

If your flooded home was caused by a burst pipe, fix the plumbing as soon as possible to lessen water damage. The sooner you stop the water from coming in, the sooner you can get to cleaning up and repairing any damages.

After that, it’s time to remove the water. Depending on the level of flooding you have experienced or even the rooms in your home that have been affected, your process might change. You may need to bail water out using buckets and bins or use hoses to drain large amounts of water from your basement. As the water begins receding, you can use a wet vacuum to suck remaining bits of water and moisture from carpets and floors. If you’re lucky and the damage is minimal, you might be able to simply mop the mess up.

3. Drying Out Your Home

Even if you are successful in removing all of the standing water from your home, everything will remain damp and wet, especially if heavy rains have increased the humidity in your area. If you have power, use your air conditioning and portable fans to help dry the wet areas of your home.

Dehumidifiers are also a big help, especially in closed off spaces such as basements or crawl spaces. Dehumidifiers work by removing excess moisture from the air. This is the easiest way to dry out your home and minimize the potential water damage you might be dealing with, as it does not require you to actively clean. However, in the case of a house flood, dehumidifiers are only supplemental and you are likely to need multiple methods of action. Dehumidifiers are recommended for anyone who lives in a damp climate or an area that experiences longer rainy seasons, as they can prevent some of the problems associated with this type of weather, both for you and your home.

4. Calling the Insurance Company

Your homeowners’ insurance will vary depending on what policies you have, but many insurance companies cover flooding due to storms, backed-up city sewers and storm drains, broken sump-pumps or burst pipes. The insurance company will send an adjuster to look at and assess the damage and determine if it is a covered loss. If your losses and damages are covered, the sooner you call the insurance company, the sooner they will pay out. Repairs can become costly, but the insurance money will help get your home back in order quicker with less of a financial burden on you.

Your insurance company may not be able to send an adjuster right away, especially if your flooding is part of a larger weather event. Document values of everything and take as many photos as possible before, during, and after clean-up. This will help the adjuster when he or she is able to come assess the damage.

5. Clean-Up

Once the water is gone and you have called your insurance company, it’s time to begin post-flood care. You can call in a professional clean-up crew or else begin work yourself. This may involve determining what is salvageable and throwing away anything that is too damaged or no longer safe to use. If the flooding in your home was widespread, you may have to bring in a roll-off dumpster for easy disposal of larger damaged items, as you will find your trash bags filling quickly.

Be aware that you may need to remove flooring, drywall, and insulation to prevent mold and mildew from spreading in your home. Furniture may also need to be dried out, cleaned or thrown away depending on the level of water damage. Unless you are exceptionally handy, it is probably best to call in a professional company that specializes in mold removal. Mold can begin developing within the first 24 hours after a flood, and once it has started growing it can be difficult to fully remove. The quicker you remove items from water and begin drying them, the less likely they are to be lost to mold, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution and have a professional assess the situation.

6. Repairs

The aftermath of a house flood can typically take the longest amount of time. You may have broken windows from the water rushing in, flooring that may need to be replaced, and broken possessions in need of repair. After your insurance company pays out for qualified damages, you can hire a contractor if one is needed. Be sure to board up any broken windows and remove any harmful debris from flooded areas.

If you have electronics that were submerged in water or were damaged in the flood, make sure to have them checked out by a professional before plugging them back in to a power source. This includes your television sets, stereos, game consoles, computers, and appliances.

If you are unsure about what your first steps for home repairs should be when your house floods, then hiring a construction company that specializes in flood or natural disaster repairs can be helpful. They can determine if walls need replaced or if your floors have been compromised by the flood waters. A professional construction company can help you safely enjoy your home once again.

What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Home After a Flood?

Failure to completely clean up your home after a house flood can lead to severe and costly damage that can affect the hidden corners of your home without you even realizing it. Not only can this damage the structural integrity of your home, but it can lead to costly repairs for your electrical system, HVAC, etc.

Above all, failure to clean up after your house floods can create perfect conditions for mold to grow, which can lead to illness. Mold can be unpleasant–even dangerous, for some people. Mold can cause severe allergy symptoms as well as lead to asthma, which is particularly dangerous for children and the elderly. However, there are things you can do to prevent the growth of mold after a house flood, including the use of special equipment, chemicals, and utilizing a professional company.

It is a smart idea to invest in an air purifier to prevent the growth and spreading of mold spores. Air purifiers can help keep your indoor air free of more than just mold spores. These appliances can also remove unpleasant odors, pollen, pet dander and more from your air, which helps promote a healthy home. It is recommended that anyone who experiences allergies or asthma symptoms invests in an air purifier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erin Doman. 6 Things You Should Do After Your House Floods. Web blog post. Learning Center, Allergy & Air. 4 May 2016. 20 June 2017

Hurricane Season & Travel Insurance

The number one concern of summer travelers researching travel insurance is how their trip will be affected by hurricanes or other severe weather events. When traveling during the Atlantic hurricane season, June 1st to November 30th, you must plan for unexpected weather patterns. It is best to purchase a travel insurance plan as soon as you place your first payment on your trip to avoid loss of coverage due to a predicted storm. Basically, you need to buy your plan before a hurricane or tropical storm is predicted to affect your travel plans.

 

If you read nothing else in this article, although all of it is important and we highly recommend you do, know this: purchasing your travel insurance plan prior to a storm being named should provide you coverage for travel concerns that arise due to that storm. If a hurricane or tropical storm that affects your trip is predicted prior to you purchasing a plan, your coverage may be extremely limited.

Hurricane Travel Insurance: How to Decide If it’s Important

You are probably thinking to yourself, “Sure, bad weather affects travel plans. But do I really need to invest in a travel insurance plan?” While we can’t answer that question for you, we can set you up with the right tools. We recommend purchasing a comprehensive travel insurance plan if you can answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions:

Are you planning to travel between June 1 and November 30?
This is the “hurricane season” in the Atlantic region. If you are traveling at all during these days (even just returning from a trip in early June), we highly recommend you purchase a plan. It can help to reimburse additional expenses, up to the policy limit, for an extended stay due to grounded flights or an interrupted trip due to damage of your primary residence.

Are you traveling to or through any destination on the East Coast of the United States, or in the Atlantic region?
The Atlantic region (or East Coast of the United States or the Caribbean) is the prime area for hurricanes. The most impactful hurricanes in the last decade hit the mid-Atlantic region of the United States east coast, the Texas, Florida, Alabama and Louisiana coastlines; twice.

Do you live anywhere on the East Coast of the U.S. or in the Atlantic Region?
If you live in an area where hurricanes are known for tormenting, travel insurance can help you out – even if you are leaving the area entirely. If you are on a trip away from home when a hurricane hits and your primary residence is made uninhabitable, your plan may provide trip interruption coverage which may help to defray the cost of returning home and provide reimbursement for unused pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs.

Hurricane season is six months out of the calendar year. Six. That’s a large window of time that Mother Nature can wreak havoc on the travel industry. Depending on the travel investment you are making, you should consider purchasing a travel insurance plan if you answered yes to any of these questions. But how exactly does a travel insurance plan cover you if bad weather should occur?

Travel Insurance Coverage That Can Assist if a Hurricane Hits

Let’s go back to that fun fact we shared at the start of the article: purchasing your plan prior to a storm being named should provide you coverage for travel concerns that arise due to that storm.

It may seem like a small detail, but it will make or break the coverage available to you. If you wait to purchase a travel insurance plan until The Weather Channel is already warning the world about the latest hurricane on it’s way to the Caribbean Islands, you’re too late. However, if you purchased your travel insurance plan in a timely manner, you should expect a full suite of coverage as listed on your plan. Here are some reasons you may want to use your travel insurance coverage:

Airline or cruise line cancels or delays the trip due to weather: If your airline or cruise line cancels or delays your scheduled departure due to bad weather, you may be eligible for the trip cancellation, travel delay or trip interruption coverage on your plan. This can help to reimburse you for the unexpected, added expenses for being held in transit longer than expected. Depending on the plan, you may even be eligible for inconvenience benefits if there is a change to your itinerary.

Your destination is under a hurricane warning: Some travel insurance plans will have coverage that becomes eligible for reimbursement when a destination is under an NOAA-issued Hurricane warning or alert.* It’s important to know how detailed your travel insurance plan is in regards to specific hurricane warnings and coverage eligibility.

Accommodation cancels a reservation because of storm damage at destination: If a storm hits hard prior to your arrival date, a hotel, resort, or vacation rental may cancel your reservation because it’s devastated and made uninhabitable by a storm. Travel insurance plans typically provide coverage for this. A reimbursement for this can help if the accommodation you selected does not provide a full refund for your pre-paid reservation.

You must cancel or interrupt because your home was made uninhabitable by a natural disaster: The right travel insurance plan doesn’t just protect you in case something should damage or destroy your destination – but also your home. If you cannot travel because you need to tend to damage done to your primary home, you may be eligible for reimbursement due to cancellation or interruption of your trip.

Going home early because your destination has become uninhabitable while you are there: It could be a scary situation to be on vacation when a dangerous storm rolls through. A travel insurance plan could provide coverage for trip interruption (going home early) because your accommodations have become uninhabitable during the storm.

These are a handful of reasons travelers have found travel insurance to be helpful in recouping lost travel expenses. If you are traveling and think you may be able to be reimbursed for unexpected expenses due to bad weather changing your travel plans, keep your receipts and document everything possible. Call your travel insurance company and any travel suppliers that may be affected by the change as soon as possible. All of this will help minimize possible slow downs during a claims process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Admin. Hurricane Season & Travel Insurance. Web blog post, Insuring your trip. insuremytrip. 12 May 2017. 

Make sure Your Insurance Is Ready For Hurricane Season.

We are well aware of the impact that hurricanes and tropical storms can have on us. Experts say that planning ahead is the best way to financially weather a storm. The most important step in the planning process is to review your existing insurance coverage. With hurricane season right around the corner, here are some of the important items to review:

Make sure you are protected with flood insurance. While the high winds associated with these storms can cause a lot of damage, you should also be aware that flooding causes significant damage as well. Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, and Tropical Storm Frances are good examples of this. Standard homeowners policies do not cover damage from flooding. Financial protection from flooding is only available as a separate stand alone policy. It is important to know that there is a 30 day waiting period before a flood policy takes effect, so if you are considering this coverage, you should not delay.  Up to 20% of flood damage occurs in low to moderate risk flood areas, so no matter where you live, it is a good idea to consider flood insurance.

Make sure your homeowners policy includes wind storm coverage. While wind storm coverage is included in many homeowners policies, sometimes it is excluded for various reasons. You may have chosen to have it excluded yourself or your insurance company may have chosen to remove it at renewal (this is not common, but has happened before). Historically, properties in the “wind pool” (the area designated as being within 1,000 feet of the coast) have been most affected by this. The bottom line is that it is always a good idea to double check your policy to make sure wind storm coverage is included.

Find out if your policy covers you for Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value for losses. Replacement Cost covers you for new items, while Actual Cash Value covers you for items at their depreciated cost.

  • Ensure that  your home and all items inside the home are insured at the correct values.
  • Make sure your vehicles are covered for wind and flood damages. This typically means including comprehensive and collision coverage on your auto policy.
  • Review your policy to ensure that Sewer Backup and Overflow coverage is included.

Once you have reviewed your insurance policies, it is important to keep them in a safe and easily accessible place. I also recommend that you save your insurance agency’s phone number and your insurance company’s phone number in your cell phone so that you can start a claim immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kirk Ball . Make Sure Your Insurance Is Ready For Hurricane Season. Web blog post, Stay up to date. Wren Insurance Agency. 26 June 2014. 4 April 2017

Homeowners Policy Vs. Flood Insurance.

Your home can be one of the biggest purchases of your life. Homeowners insurance helps you protect his important investment and may make the difference between minor inconveniences and major financial losses. While a standard homeowners insurance policy provides basic coverage, a special policy can protect against losses incurred during floods.

 

Homeowners Policy

Homeowners policies may vary, depending on your insurance company, your home and your circumstances. Insurance companies offer several levels of coverage to choose from, allowing you to select the amount of deductibles and premiums you will pay for your policy. Mortgage companies often require a minimum amount of coverage to reimburse the amount of your loan. While your basic policy may reimburse your losses from several causes, such as fire and theft, it won’t pay for flood damage.

 

Flood Policy

The National Flood Insurance Program is a federal program that provides insurance coverage for damages due to floods. While your homeowners insurance may pay for water damage due to broken pipes, flood insurance pays for damages caused by the rising of a body of water that covers normally dry land. You can purchase this national flood damage coverage from your insurance agent or your local Federal Emergency Management Agency office.

 

Risks

Your insurance agent can tell you if your house is located in a flood zone. Although you may never experience a flood, living in a recognized flood zone increase your risk of flood damage. You may need flood insurance if your home is near a river that could overflow its banks, located on a coastal region or against a hill that may experience mudslides.

 

Considerations

Read your homeowners policy carefully to determine what your insurance company won’t cover, such as tidal water and sewage backups. Deciding whether you need a special policy to cover damages due to floods depends on your circumstances. If you carry a mortgage on your home, your lender may require you purchase this type of coverage. If you own your home, consider your flood risk, as well as how much money you can afford to lose due to uncovered expenses.

 

 

 

 

Piper Li. Homeowners Policy Vs. Flood Insurance. web blog post. The Nest. 4 April 2017

Why Hire A Licensed And Insured Contractor.

Licensed and insured. These are ubiquitous terms found on most service company advertising, but what do they mean? Why should you care? An educated consumer makes better decisions. It’s important to understand what it means and why it’s important when hiring a contractor.

What “Licensed’ Means in Florida

The state of Florida requires both residential and commercial builders and contractors to be licensed. There are separate licensing requirements for residential contractors, mechanical contractors (plumbing, electrical, HVAC) and general contractors. All are licensed through the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB), which also requires licenses be kept current.

Homeowners can confirm a contractor’s license is legitimate and current by visiting the state’s website. Select “Verify a license,” and then search by license number or contractor name.

The CILB also administers the Florida Homeowners’ Construction Recovery Fund. If you lose money on a project performed under contract where the loss results from specified violations of Florida law by a licensed contractor, you may be eligible for payment from this fund. If you choose an unlicensed contractor at your home or business, you have no rights under the statute that created this fund.

What ‘Insured’ Means in Florida

There are two types of insurance on which to focus when selecting a vendor.

Workers’ compensation insurance protects homeowners from liability for injuries incurred while workers are in their homes or on their property. If somebody is injured working in your home and is not covered by a workers’ compensation policy, you might be responsible for their lost wages and medical costs.

General liability insurance protects the homeowner from bodily injury, property damage or personal injury. In the event there would be damage or loss to a home or structure due to a contractor’s negligence, your homeowners’ property insurance won’t likely cover the damage. Most policies explicitly exclude damages caused by contractors. It would be necessary for the contractor’s general liability insurance to cover this damage. If the contractor is not insured, you are at risk.

There have been instances where companies claim to be licensed and insured, and it comes to light after an incident that they have a business license and auto insurance on their work vehicle. Neither offers the homeowner any protection in the case of an injury or damage to your property. While the license is issued by the state, the insurance is backed by an insurance carrier. Contact information for verification purposes is listed on the insurance certificate, as is the expiration date of the policy.

Asking to see the license and certificates of insurance is your best protection. Reputable companies are happy to provide proof of adherence to laws and regulations designed to protect both you and them. Contractors that cut corners on licensing and insurance and put that risk on you are much more likely to cut corners when working at your home.

 

 

 

Mike McCalley.Why Hire a Licensed and Insured Florida Contractor? Web blog post. Articles. Angies List. 28 June 2011. 30 March 2017 

What To Know About Flood Damage.

Flooding is a serious threat. Flood damage can lead to severe damage to property and human life. Houses, cars, commercial establishments, basements are all potential candidates for flood damage. Flooding has an unpredictable nature – reason for more concerns if you live in a high risk area.

Image result for flooded house

Flooding usually has natural causes. This is common for storms and hurricanes that constantly prey on its path. Water is a force that is really hard to stop. However, flood damage can be minimized. This can be done by being prepared and paying attention to news updates.

Minimizing Flood Damage

Flood damage is at maximum when you are unprepared or unwilling to take the necessary actions. Elevating electronic equipment, cars and furniture should be the best action during the flooding – but always take on safety first before beginning to salvage any property.

After the flood, water disposal and drying of soaked materials should minimize damage. Always remember that any water damage requires immediate attention. This is because water damage progresses with time requiring attention every time it hits.

Immediate and Secondary Flood Damage

Flood damage may be categorized as immediate and secondary. Immediate flood damage may be best explained as deformed or warped floor boards and walls, unusable electronic equipment, broken furniture and wet documents. Immediate damage can be minimized by acting on water immediately. This can also be done by elevating objects above the flood level or by simply washing out water from surfaces to avoid discoloration – especially for good furniture.

Secondary Damage may be considered as an after effect. This damage is a result of undisposed water after the flood. The most prominent form would be mold infestation. Mold can be a huge health risk, not to mention the arid smell it produces. Mold thrives in humid areas where food and moisture exists. Quickly drying materials soaked in the flood will help control secondary flood damage.Image result for dried out flooded house

Flood Damage: Getting Help

Flood damage can be nullified with the help of professional service providers. Specialization is greatly required with this scale of damage. PRS of Tampa Bay aids in any water or flood restoration projects. A team of experts from PRS has the capability to provide fast restorations. Complete with certifications for mold remediation, water and flood damage control and structural repairs – PRS is a one stop shop.

Flood Damage: Insurance

Always make sure that you are covered with insurance. This is also to say that always contact your insurance provider when flood and water damage is sustained. It is best to know your coverage to have a cost assessment and restoration appraisals before you barge in with the activities.

Lisa Appel. “5 Things You Need to Know About Water Damage” Web blog post. Advice. Porch, 20 Feb. 2015.

Images provided by Google.

How Flood Zones and Evacuation Zones Differ.

Flood zones and evacuation zones are different. They measure different conditions that may not occur at the same time.

Flood zones are areas mapped by FEMA for use in the National Flood Insurance Program. Each flood zone designation, represented by a letter or letters, tells homeowners exactly what the risk is for flooding at their property over a period of years, regardless of the cause. By law, all homes in high-risk zones carrying a mortgage must be covered by flood insurance.

flood zone sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evacuation zones, on the other hand, are based on hurricane storm surge zones determined by the National Hurricane Center using ground elevation and the area’s vulnerability to storm surge from a hurricane. The evacuation zones are marked from A through E, plus non-evacuation zones.

hurricane evac

The flood zones and evacuation zones are determined by different methods and have different purposes. A home may be located in a non-evacuation zone, yet still be located in a flood zone because of a nearby stream or pond.

Residents need to check both zones.

 

An important thing to remember is that flood losses are not covered by homeowners insurance policies. The National Flood Insurance Program makes federally backed flood insurance available to residents and business owners. Any flooding damage covered under the policy – whether or not a federal disaster declaration is made – will be reimbursed per the policy limits, which can include structural damage or the loss of contents.

For more information on flood zones, visit the National Flood Insurance Program at www.floodsmart.gov or call (888) CALL-FLOOD (225-5356)

Flood Maps and Zones. Flooding. Maps Pinellas County Florida. Pinellascounty.org

Images provided by Google.