What is Covered by Homeowner's Insurance for Water Damage - Southlake, TX
So, you’ve had something happen that resulted in water damage to your home. Your first thought may be “What does my insurance cover?” Water damage is a tricky subject when dealing with the insurance. You may already know that floods aren’t covered by homeowner’s insurance, but you may not know that water damage coverage comes in many different shapes and sizes.
All insurance is different, and what may be covered on one person’s policy, may not be covered on the other. Talk to your insurance agent to see exactly what is or isn’t covered by your policy. Here’s a breakdown of what is and what may not be covered by your policy.
Appliances – Appliances may be covered, though it depends on the type of damage that occurred. If it’s a sudden and accidental loss such as a hose that connects to your fridge that breaks and floods your kitchen this could be covered. However, if it’s a gradual leak that hasn’t been addressed it won’t be covered by insurance. That’s considered failure to maintain your appliances. Also, be aware that your insurance will not replace the appliance itself – replacement appliances will have to come out of your own pocket.
Pipes – Just like appliances, if a pipe breaks, and it’s an unexpected loss, then your insurance should cover the damage to your floors and walls. However, also like appliances, if it’s a gradual and slow leak (say under a sink) that has been neglected will not be covered because it could have been prevented.
Roof – Roofs are tricky and are often on a case by case basis. While a long-term leak caused by a poorly maintained roof may not be covered, if a tree falls on your roof or high winds blow shingles loose and cause leaks, then the inside of your home will be covered – but not the roof itself. For better understanding about what your policy covers when it comes to roofs, it’s better to talk to your agent.
Backed up drain or sewer line – No. Unless you add on extra coverage, you’re not covered if something gets backed up.
Seepage – Unfortunately, seepage isn’t covered by insurance because it is considered a maintenance issue.
For all your water damage needs call SERVPRO of Grapevine/NE Tarrant County 24/7 at 817.595.2506!
Undetected Water Damage in Your Home
Water doesn’t have to burst from pipes or come from a bad flood to be a problem in your home. Sometimes, undetected water damage can cause the biggest headache. There are five tells that there’s water damage going undetected in your home.
- Stains on walls and ceilings. – Nobody purposefully looks up at their ceiling. However, it is important to thoroughly check the ceilings in your home for stains. There might be a bath tub or shower leak from one floor to the next, or your ceiling could be leaking into the attic.
- Musty or unpleasant smells – Do you smell something musty, or even earthy, in your home? Hidden water can cause mold to grow, and a nasty smell is a good signal that something is wrong.
- Peeling paint – Not only can water stain your walls, but it can also cause the paint to lift. If you see your paint starting to peel, quickly find the source of the problem, or call a professional to fix it.
- Visual Mold Growth – Just like with ceilings, we don’t exactly pay attention to the corners of our homes, but often these small hidden areas can tell us about potentially harmful leaks or spills. Check to see if there are any discolored or fuzzy looking spots in isolated corners or hidden areas.
- Flooring Effects – When allowed to flow, water naturally seeks the lowest level. This is why rivers flow downstream. Water can seep under your flooring and collect – damaging your sub-floors. Check for and warping or deformation to make sure there is no water hiding beneath the floorboards. When this happens, it is important to act as quickly as possible, so we can restore your flooring to good as new.
If you suspect you have water damage, call SERVPRO of Grapevine/NE Tarrant County now! We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 817.595.2506
How To Tell If Your Floor Has Water Damage
No floor is safe from water damage. Water can seep down to the sub floor or even seep up from a slab leak. It’s pretty easy to tell whether or floor has had any water damage, and with these tips, you’ll be able to spot it fairly quickly. Each floor type has a different set of signs of water damage, so familiarize yourself with all of the signs to prevent unpleasant suprises.
Carpet shows discoloration and an odor from mold or mildew.
Tile which has discoloration could mean it has water damage. Another trick is to tap on the tiles with a coin. If you hear an empty or hollow sound it means the tiles are loose and that it could be water damage.
Hardwood flooring has four main signs that water damage has occurred. The first sign is buckling which means the floor planks have completely removed themselves from the floor under them. Next, are dark spots – which could just be a part of the wood’s natural pattern, but if it’s a fairly new spot it is most likely mold or mildew. Third, is bulging which is when the wood planks bubble upwards and create sort of a crown shape. Lastly, is cupping. With cupping, the planks will have dips in the center and raised edges.
Laminate flooring usually sports swelling around the edges. Warping also occurs when the planks aren’t flat and are cupping or bulging. Discoloration could mean mold or mildew.
Linoleum flooring that is showing discoloration could mean that there is water damage.
If you suspect your floor has had water damage, call us today at 817.595.2506!
Severe Thunderstorm Watch - 5/3/18
A serve thunderstorm watch has been issued for North Central Texas including Tarrant County until 2PM today including the following areas: Collin, Dallas, Denton, Eastland, Ellis, Erath, Fannin, Hood, Hunt, Jack, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Palo, Pinto, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, Stephens, Tarrant, Wise and Young.
Hazards include strong winds, hail, flooding, and a potential for tornadoes. Stay indoors and away from windows and doors. Stay weather aware with a weather app such as the NOAA weather app, make sure your mobile devices are charged. Stay tuned to your TV as well. If there is flooding, avoid driving through it. Avoid down power lines.
Keep an eye on the radar here.
If you do sustain storm damage to your home, give SERVPRO of Grapevine/NE Tarrant County a call! We answer our phones twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week!
Water Damage in Older Homes, Southlake TX
Older Homes with Water Damage
I LOVE older homes, especially homes built in the 50s and 60s – I’m a post-modern fan. But, with older homes there is always the risk of finding a multitude of problems, from electrical, to structure, coding, and water. Water is probably one of the worst problems that can plague a home. It can rot out wood and cause dangerous mold. So, how do you tell if an older home has water damage? Here are some common signs:
What’s that smell? Sometimes water damage isn’t always in plain sight, so sometimes you have to make like a dog and follow your nose. Occasionally, some older homes might just have a musty smell due to their age, but if you walk into a specific room and your nose is assaulted by the smell of mold or mildew - more so than normal - then moisture damage is probably lurking behind the walls.
That’s an awfully ugly stain. You can pretty much spot a water stain from a mile away, almost everyone knows what they look like. If you’re purchasing an old home and see water stains or fresh paint in places it shouldn’t be – beware! Ask if the damage was repaired, and require proof to go along with it. If the stain pops up suddenly, get a professional out as fast as you can to see where the water is coming from.
That shouldn’t be crumbling like that. Crumbling wood around your windows and baseboards could mean water has gotten into the wood, making it crumble.
The Buckling. Buckling happens when the floorboards lift off from the sub floor. It is a sign that water has seeped into the dry wall or flooring and has made it swell. You’ll be able to see it and feel it when you walk over the spot; the floor will be warped and will feel as though you are walking over a bump. Get with a professional to determine where the water leak is coming from, and begin repairs before more damage is done.
If you’ve got an older home and have water damage – call SERVPRO of Grapevine/NE Tarrant County today at 817.595.2506.
100-Year-Floods. What are They?
Almost everyone is susceptible to flooding, especially those who live in low lying areas near bodies of water – especially during storm season. Flooding can happen at almost any time, and anywhere, in the United States. Coastal cities like Houston or Corpus Christi are especially at risk during hurricane season which happens from June to November, but peaks in August and September. Here in Grapevine/NE Tarrant County, we are more at-risk for flooding during the spring months.
When a flood does happen, you may hear reporters talk about a 100-year-flood, so what is it? We assume that it means the flood of the century. A historical flood only seen once within the last 100 years – even though they can occur two or three years in a row. The 100- year-flood is more about probability than it has to do with historical record.
The phrase ‘100-year-flood’ means that there is a 1 in 100 chance of a flood of that size occurring that year. It was a term made up in the 70's for insurance purposes, and is used to calculate who is required to get flood insurance and who isn’t. If you want to know if you live in a 100-year floodplain, you can check out a map here.
If you happen to live in a 100 year flood plain, and a flood does happen – give SERVPRO of Grapevine/NE Tarrant County a call! We can make it like it never happened with our 24/7 emergency services! 817.595.2506
When we deal with water extractions in your homes, you may hear things like “category three” water cleanup, but what do the different categories mean? There are three different categories and each category describes a level of contamination within the water.
Category 1 or “clear water” is water that comes from a clean source such as a disconnected line from an appliance, a water supply line that has broken, or a tub that has overflown. With exposure to other materials, Category 1 water can quickly deteriorate to a Category 2.
Category 2 or “grey water” is water that has come from a source such as overflowed drains from washing machines, dishwashers, or shower and sink, or aquariums. Category 2 water has contaminants that can make you uncomfortable or sick. Much like Category 1, Category 2 water can quickly turn into Category 3.
Category 3 or “black water” is the worst classification of water loss that you can have. Category 3 water is incredibly contaminated water, and contains pathogens, toxins, and other harmful things. This type of water can cause severe illness, or even death, when someone is exposed to it. This type of water’s source can include ground water, toilet over flow with feces, flooding from rivers or streams, and sewer backup.
If you have a water loss, don’t wait! Call SERVPRO of Grapevine/NE Tarrant County today, we answer our phones 24/7! 817.595.2506
Vacation & Water Damage
Summer time is right around the corner, which means one thing: vacation. There’s always so much on our minds when it comes to vacations: do we have everything? Do we have boarding passes? What time do we need to leave for the airport? Are the dogs being watched? You double check to make sure everything is unplugged, and ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your house to make sure it doesn’t catch on fire, but what about the opposite of fire? What about water damage?
Most of us don’t think about the possibility of water damage when we are away on vacation. However, nothing would be worse than coming home from the Happiest Place on Earth and finding yourself standing in a few inches of water. Here are some things to add to your pre-vacation check list.
- Shut off the water valve - The easiest way to avoid damage is to turn off your water at the main valve, and we recommend doing this for both long and shorter trips. If you’re not sure where the main water valve shut off is, call your plumber. He can also test to make sure it’s working properly.
- Appliances and more – if don’t want to shut off your main water valve because someone is house or pet sitting, or your sprinkler system is set to run, you should turn off the valves to your appliances like your dishwasher, ice maker, and washing machine.
- Gutters – If you didn’t clean out your gutters while doing your spring yard maintenance, you should do so now. If there’s a sudden summer storm while you’re away, it could unleash havoc on your home.
- Check your insurance policy – if something should happen while you’re away it’s important to double check your insurance policy. Some policies are voided if the home is unoccupied for an extended period. Some policies even have a requirement that someone must check the premises at least once a week.
If you come home from vacation to a water loss, don’t worry! Call SERVPRO of Grapevine/NE Tarrant County at 817.595.2506, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week!
Removing Water Rings from Tables
We’ve covered some heavy-duty water damage topics here on our blog. However, what about the little things? Like water rings on tables, for instance? We’ve all had it happen... a guest doesn’t use a coaster, or your kids simply ignore them. Whatever the case may be, it’s still an unsightly problem. If it’s not too late in the game, however, it is possible to remove water stains from your furniture using a variety of tips and tricks found below.
First off, how do cups stain tables in the first place?
Basically, water rings are a mark left by glasses or other damp materials and the wood absorbs the moisture. Sometimes it’s a cloudiness or a white ring (or dark ring) that is caused by moisture that’s trapped in the finish – which is also the sign of a weak finish. In this case, the moisture hasn’t quite reached the wood yet and has just settled into a layer of finish. If you act quickly – there is hope!
The first thing you can try is hot air. Hot air is one of the best ways to treat water marks that have just recently occurred. You don’t need anything fancy either, a hair dryer will do just fine. Using its lowest – but still warm – setting, move the hair dryer back and forth directly over the mark. This should draw out the moisture in most cases, but just be cautious because it will also heat up the wax finish and melt it slightly. Buff out the area with a soft rag once the water mark has evaporated.
Second is toothpaste. Put a basic white toothpaste on a clean, dry rag and dab it directly onto the stain. This method works by using the abrasive qualities of the toothpaste and water extraction alone. Let the toothpaste sit for a few minutes and then gently rub it along the line of the stain. Be sure not to scrub too hard or go too far out of the stain, and don’t use a gel or a brand with bleaching agents. Both could potentially cause more damage.
The third method you can try is mayonnaise. I know, if you’re like me and you can’t stand the smell of mayo, then this may not be for you. Spread the mayo on the stain and leave it sitting for no shorter than three hours, overnight works best. After it has been left on for the desired amount of time, simply wipe it away.
If you’ve got a white ring that doesn’t respond to any of the above solutions, try using superfine 4/0 steel wool and a finishing product. First pour the finishing product on the stain and then use the steel wool to abrade the surface lightly in the direction of the grain (Be cautious and gentle! You don’t want to damage your table more). Use a towel to wipe away the excess finish. When you’re done with the steel wool, use the finishing product one more time to polish the entire surface of the table. Wipe away the oil and put a clear finish over the top.
If you’ve got dark rings, that means the water has already seeped through the finish and into the wood. Unfortunately, when this happens the above techniques won’t be effective. It may need to be refinished.
For your bigger water problems, call SERVPRO of Grapevine/Ne Tarrant County! We answer the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 817.595.2506
Fire & Pets
According to the United States Fire Administration, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected by fires annually. Unfortunately, pets knock over candles and turn on stoves starting over 1,000 fires a year. We here at SERVPRO of Grapevine/NE Tarrant County love our pets, so we’ve put together some tips to help you both prevent and plan for a fire with your pet.
As always, prevention is the number one way to make sure your pet is protected against a house fire.
- It seems like a no brainer, but make sure all open flames are extinguished before you leave your home or go to bed. Cats are notorious for knocking over lit candles.
- If your stove has knobs, take them off before you leave or go to bed at night. You can also use covers like the ones you’d use for baby proofing. This prevents animals from accidentally turning something on.
- Our pets enjoy warmth during the winter just as much as we do! However, it’s important to keep their bedding and toys away from open flames like fireplaces.
- As always, make sure you’ve got working smoke alarms!
- If your pet likes to chew, keep electrical cords out of reach. A pet could chew a wire and cause a short that starts a fire.
In the Event of a Fire
Sometimes, though the unthinkable happens and your house does catch fire, here are a few things you can do to make sure your pet is safe.
- Your pet should wear a collar with identification tags at all times in case they get lost during the fire.
- If you haven’t already, get your pet microchipped. In the event they aren’t wearing their collar, or they manage to wiggle free of it, they can be easily identified and returned to you.
- If there’s a fire while you’re not home, make sure your neighbors know how many pets you have and their names. If you trust them enough, you can even give them a spare key to use in the event of an emergency.
- Get a sign for your window! Many places offer signs to let firemen and rescue workers know you have pets in your home.
- Have a pet emergency kit available. Some things you’ll want to include are food, water, a toy, first-aid kit, leash, treats, medication, and any important documents you may need.
- When testing your smoke alarm, or when vacuuming, try and see where your pet goes to hide when they’re scared or in distress. This information will make it easier to evacuate with your pet and can let firefighters know where your pet is in the event of a fire.
- Have an escape plan put into place that includes your pet, and practice it.
- Keep leashes and crates by the door so if there is a fire your pet can be rescued easily, and you can evacuate easily too.
- Train your pet to come when called – it’ll make evacuation and rescue a breeze.
If you and your pet have been affected by a fire, we here at SERVPRO of Grapevine/NE Tarrant Co. are always here to help! Our phones are answered 24/7 just give us a call (817-595-2506) and we’ll be on our way.