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You’ve heard the warnings. Invest in flood insurance, purchase French drains, and slope your yard away from your home if possible. But what does flooding really do to your property?
The effects of flood damage depend largely on your region and the type of flooding that can affect your home. Asking the question, “what type of flooding affects my region?” is the first step to understanding what your risks truly are.
Do you live near the banks of a river or in a coastal area? Storm surges near large bodies of water can have dramatic and instantaneous effects on your home’s structure. Coastal flooding forces have been known to demolish entire homes in minutes. If your structure does survive a coastal flooding event, you may face what homeowners in less risky regions do after a heavy rain: mold, mildew, and slow structural decline.
Many people adore dalmatians and their longtime association with firefighters, but not many know how this breed came to be the number one firehouse mascot in both the United States and Britain. However, this uniquely-spotted animal possesses traits that have made it a helper breed to humans for hundreds of years.
Dalmatians are strong animals and great endurance runners and are in these ways much like horses. Why the horse comparison? The dalmatian breed has existed for approximately 600 years, and these dogs were identified early on as calming to horses. Because horses played a major role in transportation well into the 20th Century, any animal that assisted with horse protection and care became indispensable.
The day your home is devastated by a flood is the wrong day to look into flood insurance policies. Instead, cover yourself, your home, and your family by doing research on flood insurance carriers now. If you have never considered flood insurance before, the following is a basic guide to help streamline your search process.
How to Get It
Flood insurance can only be purchased through an insurance agent. For a list of agents serving your immediate area, search the NFIP website or contact them at 888-379-9531.
What Is Covered?
It’s not enough just to have a policy; you need to know what it covers. Flood insurance covers issues caused by flooding, including:
- Building property damage: Insured building and foundation; electrical and plumbing systems, permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring, paneling, wallboard, bookcases, cabinets, and window blinds; central air conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters, and more, depending on your insurance plan.
Personal items: clothing, furniture, and electronics; portable air conditioners, microwave ovens, and dishwashers; carpets that are not included in building coverage; washers and dryers; original artwork, furs, and other valuables, up to $2,500.
Basements: Coverage is limited in this area, so be sure to ask your agent about your particular details. Areas included in this part of your insurance policy are basements, crawl spaces under elevated buildings, and other enclosed spaces beneath elevated buildings.
Just like other types of insurance, a higher deductible lowers the premium required as well as your claim payment amount. Deductibles apply to your building and its contents separately, with different amounts for you to choose.
Is Flood Insurance Required?
Flood insurance is required for homes and businesses with mortgages from federally insured or funded lenders in high-risk flood areas. You may still purchase flood insurance if you live in a moderate-to-low risk area, and the benefits in case of crisis often outweigh the cost of making a monthly payment.
What About My Rate?
Your flood insurance rates depend on many factors, including the date and type of construction of your home and your area’s level of risk. If your community is a participating member of the Community Rating System, you may qualify for an insurance premium discount.
How Long Before the Plan Is Effective?
A major reason to investigate flood insurance options prior to a crisis is a 30-day waiting period before most plans go into effect. There are exceptions to this rule, including buildings that have been newly designated SFHA, or if flood insurance is being purchased in connection with increasing, making, or renewing your loan. However, in most situations, preparation is the best policy.
Particularly if you live in a high risk flood area, flood insurance is an essential aspect of taking care of your home and family. Once insured, your chances of coming out of a flood-related crisis unharmed are much greater, and you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from planning for the unexpected.
If your home has already been flooded, be sure to contact a restoration specialist to help you recover.
If you live on or near a coast, particularly our wild West Coast, the possibility of flooding is a frightening reality. Choosing to live near the beach has many benefits, but when flooding becomes a threat to your residence and family, it’s time to consider options for securing your property and evacuating if necessary. Consult the following list of cautionary measures that can prepare you and your family for the possibility of flooding in your home:
1. Check your risk: Before you panic, make sure you know your flood risk by checking the FEMA Floodsmart website and setting up a profile. This will give you a clear picture of your risk and rule out issues that do not apply to your location. You can also find useful tips here, relevant to many types of flooding.
2. Get Insured: Making sure that your home is fully insured is vital to financially floating a flood. Meet with your insurer as soon as possible (preferably long before a flood threat is announced) and discuss your requirements. Not all companies have the same approach to coastal erosion, so make sure that your plan covers your priority issues.
3. Get educated about coastal management: At the crucial moment, you will have no time to call your local agency to ask questions, so do it now. You can find a list of local hazards, as well as Oregon’s coastal management plan, on Oregon.gov, where the overall strategy for reducing the risks associated with flood is discussed. Awareness of your local flood plan allows you to coordinate strategies with your neighbors and gives you the right resources for the worst case scenario. The same goes for a plan coordinated with your town or village. Educate yourself and your family to leave as little as possible to chance.
4. Property Concerns: If you are troubled by flood threats to your immediate property, contact your local authority immediately to find out what supports are available for you. You may be eligible for a coastal erosion assistance grant for additional financial assistance with moving and possibly demolition costs. .
5. Find a restoration specialist: In the event that your home is damaged by flood, a flood restoration specialist like Paul Davis will work hard to make sure your valuables and home structure return to their former state of repair and function. Call your coastal flooding restoration specialist to see what options are available to you should your home incur damage.
For those living on our beautiful Oregon Coast, coastal flooding is a harsh reality. By gathering your resources before danger strikes, you prepare you and your family to cope with whatever occurs and pave the way for a safe recovery.
A home fire can be devastating and may leave you wondering if life will ever be the same. The first 24 hours after a fire may be the most scattered, but also the most important, in re-establishing your normal routine. Consult the list below for tips to help you manage the immediate effects of a home fire and begin the damage restoration process.
1. Call 911 to report the fire: Even if you suspect the blaze has gone out, report the fire and make sure that the fire department visits your home to assess the cause. Preventing another fire is essential to rebuilding your life, and the fire departments can rule out electrical and other issues. In addition, the fire department will have your utilities temporarily disconnected, including your water, power, and gas to prevent further damage. Remember to halt service from your garbage service, cable, satellite TV, and other utility providers so that you are not being charged for any time spent away from your home.
2. Remove Valuables: If the fire department allows you to access the building, remove your personal property, including jewelry, money, electronics, and pictures. Also, gather together your vital documents, including insurance files, banking, and family information such as birth certificates and social security cards. You want to have all the basics accounted for and accessible.
3. Discuss Security: The fire department will likely require that your residence be secured to decrease the likelihood of unlawful entry. Discuss options, including a Board Up vendor, which your insurance provider may also suggest. Home protection keeps your space secure and prevents robbery and further damage to your home’s interior.
4. Take Stock: Inventory the personal items that have been damaged or destroyed and report to your insurance company. Check your homeowner’s insurance for compensation policies and required documentation, and report in a timely manner to ensure the quickest outcome.
5. Hire a contractor: You want a contractor that you can trust to help put back the pieces after a fire. The goal is to return you to your home as soon as possible and restore not only the structure, but your family’s schedule and overall life balance. The best contractors will assess the damage and work quickly and with care to get your life back on track. For restoration estimates and advice, give Paul Davis a call. Our fire restoration technicians work day or night to restore your home to its former condition, and will pay special attention to the efficient clean up of burn and smoke damage.
A home fire need not permanently derail your hard-won quality of life. By following the above steps in the first 24 hours after a fire, you will ensure that the glue that holds your everyday life together is intact so you can focus on rebuilding.
Restoring a home is a huge project. Much like a deep clean, it can save your sanity—and help you plan—if you tackle one thing at a time. Break your restoration down into sections that are easily digestible and actually doable.
Start with the hardware as a way to transition into a bigger undertaking. Know exactly what you have, and if there are any antique or unique pieces that are worth repairing rather than replacing. Take photos and measurements, do your research, and take this information with you to the hardware store. A little polish and repairs can help keep the authenticity of a vintage home.
Tackling the Windows
Always save wood windows, even if they don’t have the "look" you think they should. Wood windows can last hundreds of years and are an instant way to know if a house has antique value. They might require some sanding, staining, or painting. However, there’s never an excuse for replacing wood windows with plastic alternatives.
Almost all modern homes have plastic windows, which are likely to break within a decade. Of course, older wood windows probably don’t have the insulation you’d prefer. Add some weather stripping, heavy curtains, or interior air panels to boost your energy savings. This is an easy fix and you retain the historic value of the home.
We usually prefer to look back fondly on the year that has past. Unfortunately, 2012 was quite a destructive year as far as natural disasters go. Here are some of the worst we have experienced:
1. Hurricane Sandy
The event that is still freshest on our minds was not only the worst storm of 2012, but second only to Hurricane Katrina in the highest amount of property damage in our country’s history. Hurricane Sandy, later given the much more ominous name of “Superstorm,” inflicted damages estimated to be north of $60 billion.
2. The November Nor’easter
The Northeast of the U.S. was targeted again by Mother Nature just 10 days after Hurricane Sandy. A powerful nor’easter made its way up the coast, resulting in heavy snow and rain. It also produced eight-foot waves along the coast and set snowfall records in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The wet season is upon us. A long winter of rain and snow will definitely show homeowners whether or not their basements are able to keep water on the outside. But why wait until you see it inside before you do anything about it? Here are some tips on how to prevent water leaks in your basement.
If you live in a low lying area or are vulnerable to heavy rain accumulation around your basement, a sump pump deserves strong consideration. They work by removing water from the sump basin away from your home's foundation. The modest upfront cost of a few hundred dollars to install one may save you thousands of dollars in repair costs later.
Gutter and Downspout Repairs
More often than not, basement water leaks result from draining problems around the house. Gutter and downspout repairs may be in order. As long as the grade of the home works in your favor and the water coming off your roof can easily be guided away from your home, simply adding an extension below the downspout can keep the water away from your foundation.
While most of us probably already have our Christmas trees in place, it’s not so certain we all have a safety plan in mind. With all those lights and decorations comes a heightened chance for a fire risk if proper care isn't taken. Whether you’re decorating at home or in the office, there are some safety precautions to take to make sure you and yours have a happy and safe holiday season.
- If you haven’t selected a tree yet, make sure the needles are green and don’t fall off when you touch them
- Add water to the tree stand every day to avoid drying. A well-nourished tree will be much less susceptible to fire hazards
- Place the tree at least three feet from a heat source (e.g. vents, fireplace)
- Make sure your lights are meant for indoor use
- Inspect your lights each year to make sure there are no frayed wires
- Occasionally check the wires when you have them set up. They should not feel warm.