Going on Vacation, how well do you know your Insurance Policy?
Frozen Pipe that has Broke
At SERVPRO of Dubuque, we occasionally have customers that run into coverage issues when it comes to damage caused by broken water pipes from freezing. We asked one of our local agency partners to provide our customers with more information on this common issue.
Shirley Snow an Account Executive at Denlinger-Herrig Insurance was kind enough to provide the following information.
It’s that time of year when freezing pipes can wreak havoc on your home!!
Living in the Midwest a lot of people will take extended vacations to warmer climates. It’s important to understand what your insurance may or may not cover if you are gone, and your pipes freeze and cause a leak. Your insurance company may not cover losses related to freezing of pipes if your home is unoccupied or vacant.
Most companies consider a property unoccupied if you are gone for 60 consecutive days prior to the loss (30 days in some cases). This means that if you winter in another state your property may be considered unoccupied and there may not be coverage for freezing pipes. Some companies will allow coverage with an endorsement that states you will maintain heat in the home while you are away; or in the event that you want to have the utilities shut off and you drain all water lines.
Vacant properties are typically properties without any furniture, utilities, or appliances; essentially properties that are empty. These are typically properties that are on the market for sale or dwellings for rent. You should notify your insurance agent, if your property is vacant as there are coverages such as pipe breakage that may not apply once it has been vacant for 30 days.
Each insurance company defines vacant and unoccupied differently. It is best to contact your agent to see how long you can be gone from your home before pipe breakage is no longer covered and if there is an endorsement you can purchase to buy this coverage back while you are gone.
It is imperative that you call your agent to report a claim as soon as you suspect a pipe has broken and caused damage, no matter how minor you think it to be. If water damage is left unattended and not properly mitigated, mold could grow and potentially spread to other parts of your home. Most policies include wording that requires you to submit a claim as soon as you know it has happened. If you do not the company may deny coverage if you delay reporting the damage; which would result in more money out of pocket for you.
If you have additional question about coverage issues, or would like a second opinion on the policies you have currently, please feel free to contact us:
3686 Crescent Ridge
Dubuque, IA 52003
No Power.... No Problem!
Photo of power outlets on exterior of desiccant.
One of the biggest hurdles that we encounter in the event of a disaster is the lack of usable onsite power. Either there is no power available at a job site or the power is not reliable or is potentially unsafe due to damage.
Our Blog about our portable generators explains their capabilities and can be found here: https://www.SERVPROdubuque.com/blog/post/180441/storm/we-got-the-power
In addition to these portable generators, our Desiccant Dehumidifier is also a power source. Additional information about the drying capabilities of this cutting edge technology can be found here: https://www.SERVPROdubuque.com/blog/post/85591/storm/residential-desiccant
For the purposes of this blog, the Titan 5000 Desiccant generator's capacity is fully utilized during the startup and heating up of the desiccant wheel. Once that process is completed, there is a significant amount of additional power available. The machine is equipped with cam lock outlets to distribute this available power to other equipment.
In the event of a water damage loss at a commercial building with out usable power, the desiccant functions as a power generator. In addition to supplying dehumidified air to the entire structure, the power that it distributes can be utilized to run the necessary air movers, HEPA Air Filtration Devices, temporary lighting or other corded tools or equipment.
Another reason why, SERVPRO of Dubuque is the most well equipped and prepared disaster restoration contractor in the NE Iowa, SW Wisconsin and NW Illinois. If you experience a fire or water damage event at your commercial building, local help is ready and available from SERVPRO of Dubuque.
Prevent winter water damage in your building.
Frozen Pipes can result in winter water damage.
As temperatures drop during the winter months, one of the largest risks of weather related damage facing commercial properties is water damage from frozen/broken water lines. As extreme cold and winter storms make their way across the Midwest during the coldest months of the year, water supply lines are at risk of freezing. The freezing of copper supply lines, water lines for heating boilers and other water system components, can result in bursts or other damage to these lines. When the water in the pipes begins to thaw, water will start leaking out of the damaged pipes. Those leaks could range from an occasional drip out of a pin hole or hairline crack or they could be geysers from highly pressurize lines.
The amount of water damage can be significant from both, a high volume of water or a small leak, which can result in mold growth from remaining unnoticed for a duration of time. Either way, the best way to avoid these potentially dangerous and expensive issues it to prepare in advance.
Hose spigots along the exterior perimeter of the building should be properly serviced prior to winter.
Obviously, it is important to maintain heat in the building during winter months, but in the most extreme cold, additional precautions may be necessary. Be aware of any outlying areas, away from the core of the building, that might have water supplied to them. Restrooms in shop areas or areas of the building that are maintained at a lower temperature than finished spaces. Supplementary heating may be necessary during extreme cold snaps.
In areas where pipes are most likely to freeze, some experts recommend allowing a faucet to drip will prevent freezing. For more suggestions if you discover that your pipes have frozen, check out additional tips from Consumer Reports.
If you experience a water damage from frozen pipes this winter, give the water damage experts at SERVPRO of Dubuque a call. We have the knowledge and equipment to remedy the situation as quickly as possible.
What might be LURKING in flood water??
Flood water affecting a home.
After being properly trained on how to handle different types of water damage, team members at SERVPRO of Dubuque no longer play in flood water....
Flood water is considered by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) part of the definition of Category 3 – grossly contaminated water.
Flood water shares Cat 3 with other water sources such as: sewage, waste line back-flows, water polluted by toxic materials such as pesticides and toxic organic substances.
(For more information on the other water classifications, see our blog on the subject here: https://www.SERVPROdubuque.com/blog/post/184256/water-damage-restoration/the-3-different-categories-of-a-water-damage)
Flood water can be water that originated from seas, rivers or streams. It is potentially contaminated with toxic chemicals, dangerous microorganisms and sewage related pathogens.
These are excellent reasons to not splash around in flood water! Less obviously, it is the reason that any porous materials in your home that have been affected by Category 3 water, including flood water, should be removed and disposed of.
Property owners are often reluctant to remove and dispose of carpet or baseboard and the bottom few inches of drywall that have been affected by flood water. There is no way to clean these porous materials in a way to completely remove the potential hazards that were deposited there by flood water. Once they consider that their children or grandchildren will likely be crawling around on carpet that is likely contaminated by pathogenic microbes, they often change their minds.
So, in addition to cringing when you see the neighborhood kids splashing around in flood waters, give additional consideration to just cleaning up flood water in your property without addressing potential hazards. Better yet, call the water damage experts at SERVPRO of Dubuque, we are always here to help.
The Best of the Best
The Best of the Best
SERVPRO of Dubuque has several team members that have been a part of the SERVPRO Family for many, many years. I would like to introduce Terry Lenstra, Project Manager & Claims Coordinator. Terry joined SERVPRO of Dubuque 14 yrs. 8 Months & 15 days ago or April 4th 2005 if you don’t like math lol. I asked Terry if he remembered his very first job and what type of loss it was, he immediately responded, “2 Story, Brick, House Fire” something you never forget in this industry. Terry did have a life before joining the SERVPRO of Dubuque Family which gave him an advantage in this industry. Terry has several years of experience in Construction and Building Maintenance.
Terry was the very first SERVPRO of Dubuque employee to get a company Mini Van.
Terry has been married to his wonderful wife Julie for 34 yrs. They enjoy being involved in Hope Church where Terry is part of the Music Ministry. They are avid bicyclists and workout daily. Terry also has a passion for plying the guitar.
Terry’s commitment and dedication to SERVPRO of Dubuque has made him a valuable assist. Along with these Certifications and Training's.
IICRC Certified - Water Damage Restoration
IICRC Certified - Applied Structural Drying
IICRC Certified – Microbial Remediation Technician
Certified Water Damage Restoration WRT Course
Claim Training Services – Successful Subrogation II
Something you will hear Terry say often is “Each Day is Better than the Day Before”…words to live by. A positive and team like attitude are just some things Terry brings to the table at SERVPRO of Dubuque.
Why choose SERVPRO Terry???? SERVPRO of Dubuque is committed to providing the BEST service for remediation, mitigation and reconstruction in the Tri State area.
This is no Job for Ghostbusters
Loaded and Ready
It’s 8 o’clock on a Friday Night when you finally arrive home from a long dreadful week of work to find water pouring out your door jams and windows, who do you call?!? This is not a job for Ghostbusters, this is a job for the industry leader SERVPRO of Dubuque 563.584.2242 Check out our website learn more about us https://www.SERVPROdubuque.com/
SERVPRO of Dubuque is equipped to handle any size loss. SERVPRO of Dubuque has trucks and trailers loaded 24/7/365 days a year.
SERVPRO of Dubuque’s advantage is that we have a very large supply of equipment on hand…
Air Movers – 300
Dehumidifiers – 36
Air Scrubbers – 28
50 KW Generator - 1
35 KW Generator - 1
5000 CFM Hybrid Desiccant Dehumidification - 1
Titan - 2
FireBird – 1
FireBird Compact 20 – 1
Ozone Machines – 2
Vapor Shark – 1
Truck Mounts – 2
Dump Trucks – 2
Dump Trailers – 3
Storage Trailers for hauling contents – 3
This list is just some of the specialized equipment SERVPRO of DUBUQUE has on hand to handle your loss. If this is not enough equipment have no fear, with over 1700 franchises SERVPRO Industries believes in being there for their franchise owners. We just call a neighboring SERVPRO for back-up in a time of need. SERVPRO is one of the few companies that call on each other in a time of need.
So when you finally realize where the water is coming from and have stopped the flow of water call your local SERVPRO of Dubuque 563.584.2242 to make it “Like it never even happened”.
We are SERVPRO Strong!
Planning a Trip? Here are some simple but helpful TIPS to keep your home safe while away
Outlet electrical fire
The trip has been booked, you have researched the top attractions, recharged your phones, laptop and IPad, packed your suitcases. You’re ready to hit the road.
But wait have you checked your home? Before you depart you should make sure to have your home to-do list completed…
- Turn off your main water supply
Pipes break and even leak even though we are on vacation. Returning home to a flooded house is not anything you want. Weather the trip is a couple days or a couple weeks it is always a good idea to turn the water off.
- Unplug all electronics
This tip has a couple benefits. By unplugging our devises we can prevent an electrical fire from starting and save money on our electric bill, who doesn’t like to save money.
Unplug the major appliances that you don’t need to run while you bask in the sun.
- Invest in a timer
Having lights turn on at different times and in different rooms can prevent a burglar from robbing you.
- Adjust your thermostat
If you live in a place where AC is a must during the summer months, adjust the thermostat a bit to save on your electricity bill. A good rule of thumb is to keep it a few degrees higher than normal. (So if you usually keep it at 70, change it to 75.) By not turning off the AC completely, you’ll keep enough air circulating to control humidity and mold.
If you live where it gets bitterly cold in the winter months you will want to leave the furnace on and lower it to 50-55 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing while away.
- Pour baking soda down your drains and toilet
Coming home to a nasty smell can be prevented by combining some vinegar and baking soda add a cup to your drains for a fresh smell.
- Check up on your insurance
Checking your car, home or renters insurance should be a must. Knowing what our policies cover could save you time and money in the event that something does happen while away.
Also the belongings that you take with you on vacation are covered by your homeowners or renters insurance…who knew.
Bring back the warm weather with you please and thank you, SERVPRO of Dubuque, until next time…
The 3 Different Categories of a Water Damage
Wet Ceiling - Category 2
Most of us are not aware that there are 3 Categories of water damage, Category 1, Category 2, Category 3. There will be a series of blog posts to follow discussing how different materials in your home are affected by water and how that determines how SERVPRO of Dubuque and your insurance company will deal with the resulting damage.
The IICRC S 500 4th Edition Standards book is the Approved National Standard for the water damage industry. Everyone in the water damage restoration business, agrees to abide by these standards and the courts have, in turn, acted in the past per the standards.
The S500 categorizes water damage into 3 different categories. Here is a breakdown of the 3 different Categories.
Category 1 - water originates from a sanitary water source. This water does not pose a substantial risk to health from ingestion or inhalation. Basically, other than falling rain water and melting ice, the source of this water is usually from the water supply to the home. That water might be from a broken supply line, toilet tank, and tub or sink overflow (as long as there are no contaminants or additives).
Category 2 - water contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. Examples of Cat 2 water are; discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, toilet water with urine only, ground water seepage (hydrostatic pressure) or punctured waterbeds.
Category 3 - water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. It can cause significant adverse reaction to humans if contacted or consumed. Cat 3 water can include, sewage, waste line backflows, flood water from seas, rivers or streams. Surface water can contain hazardous materials including pesticides or toxic organic substances.
Depending on category of water that causes the event as well as the fact that that water became contaminated by either flowing through a contaminant or from it remaining wet for a duration of time, the Category can change from Cat 1 to Cat 2 or Cat 2 to Cat 3.
No matter the Category 1, 2 or 3 SERVPRO of Dubuque has a crew that is ready to make it “Like it never even happened.”
When you need us we are there
Do you have Water or Storm damage?
Don’t hesitate Call SERVPRO of Dubuque NOW!
When you Need Emergency Service,
Call SERVPRO of Dubuque 24/7 – (563) 584-2242
Flooding and water damage like Dubuque, Iowa has experienced the last few years, is very invasive. The faster that we can begin to mitigate the problem, the less expensive the cost. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. If SERVPRO of Dubuque is contacted quickly, we can start the water extraction process almost immediately. This rapid response helps to minimize the damage to try and limit the cleaning and restoration costs. Also, flood water can be severely contaminated.
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Water begins to penetrate hard to access and dry areas.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
SERVPRO of Dubuque has the knowledge.
SERVPRO of Dubuque has more than 22 years experience, specializing in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Simple reminders are the best
Christmas Tree Fire
Simple reminders are the best
Holiday Safety Tips from your local SERVPRO of Dubuque
Lights, trees, candles and decorations are just a few of the fun and festive items that come to mind during the holiday season – however, if not used properly your holidays may go from merry to miserable.
Although Christmas tree fires are not that common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious fires. The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to greatly reduce the risk of a fire in your home or business.
‘Tis the season to make sure you are following proper safety tips.
- Place Christmas trees, candles and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.
- Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Always unplug the tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
- Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
- Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from the Christmas tree.
- Keep anything that can catch on fire – pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains – away from your stove top.
- Designate one person to walk around your property to ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.
What happens if a disaster strikes your home or business during the holidays? Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle; give SERVPRO of Dubuque a call at 563-584-2242. We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, because we know that disasters cannot wait.
SERVPRO of Dubuque hopes your holidays are safe, merry, and bright!