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Can You Sue Your Property Manager Over Mold Issues?

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on white surface Mold growth in a St. Michael, MN building

Can You Sue Your Property Manager Over Mold Issues?

If your business in St Michael, MN, recently suffered from fungus growth, you probably have filed mold insurance claims with both your own insurer and the landlords. After all, your policy probably initiated cleanup procedures, and the building's policy may have aided in paying off the structural repairs. This overall process is tedious, long and expensive. In fact, depending on your coverage, you may have suffered more than your deductible. You may have faced months of lost revenue, hurting your company's ability to survive. At this point, you may wonder whether you can sue your property manager for failing to provide adequate space. It might be possible. Here are a few things to consider.

1. What Were the Damages?

The mold remediation company should conduct an inspection, looking for the origin of the contamination. Spores multiply when they come into contact with water, so if a leak occurred it could cause the problem. Make sure the plumbing and roofing is examined, and consider why a problem occurred in the pipes or the shingles. Document everything because the source of the issue is significant to your lawsuit.

2. Who Is Responsible?

When mold insurance claims are considered, the companies need to understand if anyone was at fault or neglected duties. Property managers, for instance, have an obligation to protect the building and those that use it. Lawsuits might be feasible if you can prove any of the following occurred:

  • The property manager ignored the initial issue
  • Management was aware of faulty equipment or parts
  • Property management made choices that endangered tenants

3. Was Prevention Encouraged?

How much effort did managers put into maintaining the property? Routine inspections could prevent fungus growth and a mold claim. Roof specialists and plumbers should come in once or twice a year, looking for small leaks in piping and shingles.
Mold insurance claims are expensive. If you think that a lawsuit is possible, consider whether your landlords or owners failed to repair something in a timely manner or keep your employees safe. You would need to prove negligence or endangerment.

Fire Restoration Often Includes Water Damage Cleanup

12/29/2019 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a building. The cops are present on scene Extinguishing the flames leaves water behind

Fire Restoration Often Includes Water Damage Cleanup

Being prepared in case of a fire in your Annandale, MN, business is key for the safety of everyone onsite as well as keeping damage to a minimum. After following proper fire protocols, the next step is fire cleanup. Along with that, water cleanup will likely be part of the process.

Extinguishing the Flames Leaves Water Behind

Although smoke cleanup and rummaging through burnt items is to be expected after a fire, many may forget the massive amounts of water required to extinguish the flames. Depending on the extent of the fire, it could result in more water cleanup than expected. The main water damage concerns include:

Wood Damage – Floors, furniture and other items made from wood quickly soak up water. As it retains the water, buckling and other damage can take root. Items severely damaged will likely need to be replaced.

Ceilings – Along with inspecting for any fire damage to the structure of the building, ceilings with water damage will need to be repaired immediately.

Drywall – The walls of a building often take the brunt of both fire and water issues. If they made it unscathed from the flames, there could still be hidden water issues. Any areas affected will need to be replaced to avoid further deterioration and mold growth.

Electrical – Water can find its way into electrical equipment and outlets without being detected. A close inspection of all electrical components should be conducted.

Count On Professional Help

Lingering water left unattended can cause big problems long after the fire has taken place. A water damage specialist has the expertise to properly dry, clean and restore your business back to new. Along with repairing physical issues, they can also help with the restoration of items such as documents, furniture, paintings and more.
While you might not be expecting water cleanup after a fire, it’s important to make sure water damage doesn’t go unchecked. Getting the right help can help get your business back to normal.

Prepare Your Commercial Building for a Winter Storm

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Hail on the Roof. Get your roof professionally inspected before the first signs of winter weather

Take These Steps To Prepare Your Building for a Winter Storm

As the first winter weather of the season rolls into Howard Lake, MN, it could be too late to consider winterizing your building. Being proactive is key when it comes to potential storm damage. As cooler temperatures approach, it’s a good time to go over last-minute details before the cold sets in. Consider taking these steps to prepare your building for a winter storm:

1. Inspect the Roof

Get your roof professionally inspected before the first signs of winter weather. Damaged flashings and loose or missing shingles could result in severe damage to the interior of the building if left to sit through the winter.

2. Cut Back Tree Limbs

Ice and snow really weigh down tree limbs. Be sure to trim back overhanging, loose or dead branches before winter weather hits. Otherwise, you risk damage to your roof, windows, gutter system, among other things.

3. Clean Gutters

A winter storm can wreak havoc on a gutter system. Make sure to keep gutters free of all leaves and debris. A combination of full gutters and snow can form ice dams which can cause interior damage.

4. Inspect Insulation and Weather Stripping

Make sure that your building has a sufficient amount of insulation and weather stripping. They can make all the difference when it comes to the cost of your heating bill.

5. Leave the Heat On

Leave the heat on even in areas that aren’t being used. Set the thermostat to no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Inspect HVAC System

Get a full HVAC inspection before cold weather arrives. This will ensure that everything is in proper working order before the need for heat arises.

7. Inspect Exposed Pipes

Make sure that the pipes are properly insulated to protect them from freezing and bursting. By sealing any cracks or openings you will go a step further to prevent a pipe break.
When it comes to winter in Howard Lake, MN, being proactive can ultimately save time and possibly even a lot of expense. If your building sustains damage from a winter storm, be sure to call storm cleanup professionals to help.

Cleaning up After Sewer Damage

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed in a living room Air movers placed in a Rockford, MN home

Discovering you have a flood in your home is bad enough, but if it involves sewage, you have an even bigger problem on your hands. This type of water damage requires the expert assistance of a professional. Because sewer water will contain hazardous waste, you want to leave the sewer cleanup to a company that specializes in flood remediation. The crew will follow effective steps to make your home safe once again.

What Can You Do?

You may be able to tackle smaller floods in your Rockford, MN, home. When it comes to a sewer backup, however, there are too many health risks. If sewage issues bring water into your house, make sure you do the following:

  • Turn off the main power to your home.
  • Stay away from any water.
  • Evacuate your home.
  • Call your insurance company, city utility services and a reputable sewage cleanup company.

Get Rid of the Water

The flood cleanup team will start by evaluating the water damage. The crew has the necessary safety equipment to come in contact with the sewage. Technicians will repair any sewer line breaks and will begin to pump out and extract all water from your house.

Drying

It's not enough to get all the water out of your house. Sewer cleanup teams will next get industrial-strength fans to thoroughly dry the area. The crew will also use dehumidifiers to keep out any mold growth.

Sanitizing

Once there is no moisture left behind from the flood, the cleanup company will sanitize and clean the affected space. The team will use powerful chemicals to kill any fungi or harmful materials. Even a flooded toilet could introduce dangerous bacteria.
Sewer cleanup is essential if black water gets into your house. This potentially deadly water can infiltrate your living space through a backed-up or broken sewer line. Make sure you contact a flood removal company right away.

Ensuring Your Safety from Common Dryer Fires

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

hand removing lint Routine cleaning of your dryer is important to prevent home fires

According to the US Fire Administration, nearly 2,900 residential fires are caused by dryers, and 34% of those fires are likely caused by a lint fire, meaning a failure to maintain or clean the appliance. Therefore, dryer fires can be prevented, and the best way to ensure your safety from these appliance disasters is to follow the three keys of ownership.

Proper installation
Routine cleaning
Inspection and maintenance

Proper Installation


A dryer fire can occur because of poor installation. A professional installer will ensure that all electrical components are correctly connected and that all plugs and outlets are compatible. Also, while using a third party installer is wise, you should also make sure you read all the manufacturer's warnings and instructions before use.


Routine Cleaning


If you fail to clean your dryer regularly, then you are putting yourself and your family at risk of a lint fire. To prevent such an issue, you need to not only clear the lint filter but ensure that lint is removed from any other likely areas. For example, you can develop a lint buildup in the back of the dryer at the exhaust connection. Also, lint can buildup in the vent pipe. For any difficult cleaning call on a professional.


Inspection and Maintenance


Most remediation companies and other appliance repair professionals in St Michael, MN recommend performing routine checks on dryers, typically every three to six months. These inspections should cover the cleaning, testing and possibly replacing of integral components.


If you are in the market for a new dryer or are concerned about the possibility of a dryer or lint fire, then follow the advice above. Dryer fires are often preventable fires. Therefore, ensure that they are correctly installed, cleaned regularly and inspected every three to six months. Your home does not have to become a part of the statistics. Be an educated appliance owner.

Reasons Mold Might Keep Coming Back

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Why Is Mold Coming Back?

You have already dealt with the green and black mold monster that lurked in your basement, but for some reason, it has returned with a vengeance. What should you do? Why is it back? Despite what some removal services will have you believe, mold is never truly gone. The tiny microscopic spores can never be entirely eliminated. However, with proper removal and maintenance, you should not have to deal with a full infestation again. Although, if that happens, then there are several reasons why.

Failed Remediation
Unresolved Issue
Poor Ventilation
High Humidity

Failed Remediation

Mold remediation is a skill, and any companies offering this service should hold the appropriate licensing and certifications required by your state. Unfortunately, there are many duplicitous operations out there, and it is possible that they failed to clean your home appropriately. Therefore, if you need further mold removal, call a reputable home restoration service in St Michael, MN.

Unresolved Issue

If you did not hire a professional for your mold cleanup, then it is possible that you did not remedy the situation. Sure, you might have removed every visible spec of mold, but if you didn't find or fix the water leak or humidity problem, then mold will probably reappear in the same area as before.

Poor Ventilation

Perhaps you did hire a reputable company, and you did resolve the root cause of the original black mold infestation. The new mold growth may be just that, new. If your home is not adequately ventilated, then areas like the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room can become humid and filled with excess moisture, providing a habitat for mold.

High Humidity

Also, regardless of ventilation, if your home has a humidity problem, then it is conducive to mold growth. Therefore, invest in several dehumidifiers to try and control the moisture levels in your home.
Common and black mold thrives in moist, humid and dark environments. The best way to eliminate perpetual mold growth is to reduce and control the elements that make your home habitable to spores.

4 Ways To Safeguard Your Basement From Sewage

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Standing water in basement Standing water in a Delano, MN basement

Four Ways To Prevent Sewage from Backing Up Into Your Basement

Any time there is a heavy storm in Delano, MN, you know that the basement of your home is in danger of flooding. Some of this excess water has the potential to come from sewer backup, and that can lead to an extensive remediation process. Here are four ways to prevent sewage from backing up into your basement during a storm.

1. Clear Pipes

One way to keep sewage from coming up through your pipes when it rains is to make sure excess sewage doesn't get caught in there to begin with. If you notice water draining slowly, use a drain snake to clear the pipes. This can help you prevent the need for sewer cleaning.

2. Monitor Roots

The roots of trees near your home can cause problems with your sewer system. If the roots grow into the pipes or knock them loose, storm damage from the sewer is almost inevitable during a heavy rain. Have your system inspected at least once a year, preferably before the rainy season starts, and fix any problems you find.

3. Install Valve

A backflow prevention valve can can keep sewer backup out of your home. It is installed at the exit point from your basement into the sewer line. This valve keeps sewage flowing only one way - out of your home and into the sewer where it belongs.

4. Plug Drain

If you have one-way drain plugs installed in each drain, you can prevent backflow into your home even if it comes up through your pipes. It works similarly to the valve; it keeps water draining in one direction. Even if you have other measures in place, it's good to have drain plugs just in case sewage gets past the other barriers.
If you do get a sewer backup during a storm, you will probably need to call storm damage mitigation specialists to disinfect every place it affects. The best protection is prevention.

The Important Differences Between Flood and Storm Damage

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded blue house with rising water Flooded house in Clearwater, MN

Learn the Crucial Differences Between floods and Storms

Water damage can cause plenty of trouble for your Clearwater, MN, business location. While you can thankfully rely on solid insurance and repair plans, they may not always apply to every water-related incident. Flood damage may carry different insurance demands or solutions than destruction caused by a storm. It may be in your best interest to learn the crucial differences between floods and storms to find the most effective answer for the problem.

Damage Created by Floods

Flooding is commonly associated with accumulated water from excessive rain and storms. While most floods emerge as their aftermath, not every flood is created by a storm. For instance, a flaw in your commercial building's plumbing system can lead to a water leak. When that leak is ignored, it builds up until it creates a water surplus. Overflowing water from nearby lakes, rivers or other sources can also create a flood.

Damage Created by Storms

Even though you might associate storms with an overabundance of water and flood damage in general, they can create other destruction not directly associated with pouring water.

  • Strong winds
  • Debris and dangerous objects
  • Lightning damage
  • Water from defective drains or gutters

Storms have plenty of other elements at play, so you can expect multiple damage sources besides just extra water. As you hire emergency restoration services, consider all the water and non-water damage on the property.

Why the Difference Matters

Learning the different origins of the water damage can play a significant role in how much insurance you can claim. Most commercial buildings have an insurance plan that covers storm damage and its various sources. However, they often do not cover floods or offer very limited coverage. Look for the right policy that includes flooding or consider getting a separate plan that includes it.
Even though some property owners interchangeably use storm and flood damage, they are not the same. Knowing the difference ensures you receive the right repair treatment in Clearwater, MN and get the correct insurance policy.

How To Save Your Water-Damaged Belongings

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Wet documents Documents can be saved after a flood

How To Save Your Water-Damaged Belongings

A broken pipe or natural disaster can lead to water in home. That water can damage your carpets, furniture and valuables.
Water damage repair specialists in Maple Lake, MN, can perform dry cleaning to restore your belongings. Before they arrive, there are some steps you can take to care for your items.

Air Dry Inside When Possible

You may be tempted to bring all of your wet belongings outside so they can dry in the hot sun. However, certain items may buckle or split if they dry too quickly. You should instead let them air dry inside your house. Air-dryable items include leathers, organic materials, textiles and paintings. Be sure to remove any wet paintings from their frames and to keep them away from direct sunlight.

Prevent Mold Growth

Water in home does not just make your valuables wet. Moist environments can also lead to the growth of excess mold, which can cause further damage to your valuables. You can reduce the chances of mold growth by limiting the humidity in your home. That means utilizing air conditioners, open windows, dehumidifiers and fans to boost air flow. This can assist in the drying process, as well.

Rinse and Clean Wet Items

To remove the dirty flood waters from your belongings, rinse them off with a hose spray or clear water. Next, use a damp cloth or soft brush to remove debris and silt. Any metal objects should be rinsed and dried immediately. However, heavy mud can be left on larger metal items while they dry. Specialists can remove the caked mud later.

Preserve Books, Documents and Photos

Even these valuable items can be saved after a flood. You can carefully remove them from any frames or mats and place them in a refrigerator or freezer for preservation. Make sure to only use appliances that weren’t damaged by the water.
Water in home can seem devastating. Yet by following the above steps and calling your local restoration experts, you can get your house and belongings back to normal.

How To Avoid These 3 Common Causes of House Fires

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

Young man using red fire extinguisher to stop fire coming from oven in kitchen Kitchen fire in a Monticello, MN home

3 Common Causes of House Fires

There are many different types of accidents that can potentially lead to a house fire and require fire cleanup services, which is why it is important to always be aware of potential hazards in your home. Three common causes of home fires include cooking fires, a cigarette fire, and candle fires. Find out how you can protect your home in Monticello, MN, by reading the tips in this guide.

1. Kitchen Fire

From leaving cooking food unattended to accidentally allowing grease to splatter, there are many opportunities for a fire to start in your kitchen. Always make sure to stay near food whenever you are cooking and never leave food in the oven or in a slow cooker when you leave the house. Keep all flammable objects off the stove. When cooking with oil, have a lid nearby and don’t overheat the grease.

2. Smoking Indoors

Cigarette fires are the leading cause of fire deaths, which is why it is important to always practice safe smoking habits. While only smoking outdoors is the best way to prevent a fire from starting indoors, bedrooms should be kept completely off-limits. Steer clear of all flammable objects and make sure to avoid an ashtray fire by always putting out butts and properly disposing of ashtray contents.

3. Candles

Many people use candles around their homes, especially during the holidays. Always make sure to burn candles from away from flammable items, such as curtains and towels. Blow out candles before exiting a room, leaving the house, or falling asleep. Keep candles far out of reach from curious animals and children. Additionally, never let candles burn all the way down to avoid overheating the container.
These tips are all great ways to avoid the devastation a candle, kitchen, or cigarette fire can cause. The best tactic in keeping your home safe from a fire is to always remain aware of your surroundings and address any hazards you see right away.