Spring Storm Damage Prevention

They say April showers bring May flowers, but they may also bring damage to your home. You might be more prepared for the crazy thunderstorms common in the summer, but spring storms can take us by surprise. You’ll want to take any and all precautions to prevent flooding, siding damage, hail damage, and more. Spring is the perfect time to prepare for any bad storms that may be coming, especially in the summer.

 

Inspect your home after the snow melts. Is anything amiss? Does the foundation still look intact? Are the gutters clogged? Are there signs that a tree root has begun to grow into your pipes? Look for damage to the outside of your home and make any necessary repairs to the roof, windows, and siding to avoid further problems down the road.

 

Flooding is a common problem in the spring. You can avoid it by addressing the slope of your yard if it’s designed in such a way that it causes water to flow toward your home. Make sure you don’t have any cracks in your foundation or basement walls, and make sure your sump pump is functioning properly. Clean your gutters and your septic system, too. Trim trees to avoid loose limbs snapping off and flying into your home or falling on a power line.

 

Your home’s siding can suffer different kinds of damage during a spring thunderstorm depending on the material it’s made of. Aluminum siding can suffer dings and dents, and siding may come off during intense storms. Vinyl siding can suffer worse damage, such as cracks, chipping, breaking, and holes. You’ll want to inspect siding after a hailstorm. If you live in an area with a lot of intense storms, consider investing in a more durable siding option. If you have storm shutters, these may become damaged too. Otherwise, you may notice damage, such as shattered windows or broken panes. During intense storms, be sure to close blinds and keep your shades drawn in case of shattering windows. If you are worried about hail damage to your vehicles, you can even tie thick blankets over them.

 

Overcoming a Home Tragedy

Overcoming a tragedy in your home is a difficult process. Whether there’s a flood, a fire, or a sewer back-up, not only will the damage itself be frustrating, it has the potential to be emotionally scarring.

 

There are various causes of a home tragedy. A sewer backup can send sewage into your home, coating your basement with harmful bacteria. Your pipes can freeze and burst, destroying your walls and wrecking furniture. A flood can turn your home into a personal swimming pool, and the flames of a fire can turn your items to charred remnants of what they once were. Losing your home in a fire is a whole new level of distress. Not only will you have to deal with the loss of important items, but you’ll also need to evacuate. You’ll also have to find a place to relocate and decide whether or not you’ll rebuild or move somewhere else. Each tragedy is unique, and everyone will react differently.

 

Your home is your safe place. It provides comfort and security. There’s a reason they say, “There’s no place like home.” A home tragedy takes away that sense of comfort and security. It isn’t uncommon for individuals who experience a home tragedy to go through the traditional stages of recovering from a tragedy and trying to adjust. Those stages include shock, anger, depression, and hopelessness before moving on to acceptance. Eventually, individuals are able to move past negative feelings and regain a sense of safety and comfort in their home, but it may take some time.

 

When a home tragedy occurs, your sense of normalcy is interrupted. Your daily routines have to adjust. It can be very jarring. The road to recovery and coping involves reestablishing a new sense of normalcy. You have to focus on healing and self-care. Allow yourself to feel upset, sad, frustrated, and whatever else you might be feeling. Also allow yourself to feel happy; even though you are working through a difficult period in your life, you are allowed to experience joy during happy moments. Focus on stress relieving activities, whether that means exercising, listening to music, or engaging in your favorite activity. Start to make small decisions that will make you feel more in control of your life again, but avoid making major life decisions that may increase your stress level. Reach out to your friends and family for support, and talk about the tragedy in order to work through your feelings. Remember that even though something bad has happened, there are still good things in your life.

 

If you have children who have also experienced the home tragedy, they may react differently. They may have anxiety or nightmares. They will look to you as an example of how to handle the trauma. If you cope successfully, you will act as a positive role model for your children. Encourage them to talk about their fears and anxieties, whether it be with you or a licensed professional.

 

At Royal Renovations, we understand how devastating a home tragedy can be. We will be there for you in your time of need, and treat your items and home with the utmost care—whatever your home emergency.

 

Does My Insurance Cover Basement Flooding?

It’s the first big rainstorm of the season and your basement floods. What do you do? Will your homeowners insurance cover all the damage? Flooding is an ambiguous issue because there are so many potential causes. Some flooding issues may be covered by insurance while others are not. All policies are a little different, but let’s talk about what’s covered under a standard home insurance policy.

 

If any of your appliances malfunction and flood your home, this is typically covered. You’ll most likely encounter this with a malfunctioning washing machine, air conditioning unit, refrigeration, or water heater. However, if you haven’t been performing proper maintenance on the appliance, the insurer can argue that the flood is your fault. In that case, they can deny your claim. If the appliance truly malfunctioned, the flooding will be covered, but you will need to pay to replace the appliance yourself.

 

If your basement floods because of a bathtub, pool, or sink, the damage will be covered. They consider this situation “sudden and accidental.”

 

Bursting pipes aren’t uncommon, including frozen appliance and sprinkler pipes. If insurers can’t prove that you were living in the home at the time the pipes burst and flooded your basement, they can deny your claim. If you went on vacation for the winter, you will need to prove that you were maintaining the home with heat or you shut off the water.

 

Now that we’ve discussed flooding situations that would be covered by homeowners insurance, it’s important to note what isn’t covered. You can consider any flooding situation caused by nature as not covered. You would need flood insurance to cover something like that, and even flood insurance can be a bit limited. It may cover damage to personal belongings, but not structural damage. Water that seeps from underground (such as after a heavy rain) is also not covered by homeowners insurance. Unfortunately, if you have a sewer backup, you won’t be covered by insurance either. You would have to have an endorsement for sewer backup, and even that doesn’t cover much. The best defense you have against flooding in these circumstances is prevention. Fix any cracks to your foundation, keep your gutters clean and pointed away from your home, make sure your sump pump is functioning, and install a backwater valve to prevent sewer backup.

 

Do you have any questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

 

Preventing Basement Flooding

Spring is on its way! That means flowers, warmer weather, sunshine, and new summer activities! It also means slush, mud, and the potential for basement flooding. With the combination of melting snow and spring rain showers, you have increased potential for a flooding disaster. If you’re worried about a basement flood, read on for tips to avoid the stressful situation.

 

Address your Landscaping

First thing’s first: the shape of your yard may be the source of flooding issues. The slope of your yard may be causing water to flow toward your house, causing it to pool near the foundation until it finds a spot to seep in. If this seems like it could be causing problems for you, you may need to install drains or regrade the slope of your lawn.

 

Foundation

Do you have cracks in your foundation? If so, you may as well just have installed a funnel for water to enter your home. Inspect the (exterior) foundation for cracks, as well as your basement walls and floor. Any cracks you notice should be filled.

 

Clean your Gutters

You should always keep your gutters and downspouts free of any sort of debris. That means regularly removing sediment, twigs, leaves, and anything else that may block water flow. Be sure gutters and downspouts are pointed away from your foundation; water should be directed several feet away from your home. Utilize downspout extensions or troughs if you don’t already have them.

 

Clean Septic Systems

After you clean your gutters, inspect your sewers and septic systems. Regular maintenance will help prevent backups and overflows.  If you install a backwater valve, your home will be closed off from the sewer in case of a backup.

 

Sump Pump Maintenance

Is your sump pump working properly? If you don’t have one, consider buying one, as it can help fight water damage/flooding and mold. Check to make sure that it is plugged in and working properly. It’s also a good idea to have it run on a generator in case you lose power. If your sump pump is broken and your home floods, the damage may not be covered by your home insurance.

 

Invest in Window Covers

If you have below-grade basement covers, invest in transparent window covers. You’ll still get light, but will protect yourself from flooding.

 

Understand your Policy

You should know what is and isn’t covered by your home insurance policy in case of a flood.

 

If you do encounter a flood this season, we can help take care of any water damage. Don’t hesitate to give us a call for emergency service at 320-743-3440.

 

CE Class for Insurance Agents & Adjusters

Class Information

Location: Coyote Moon – 480 55th Ave SE, St. Cloud MN 56304

Class Schedule:

7:30  –  8:00 am    Registration & Breakfast – Provided
Instructor: Jim Miller
8:00  – 12:00 pm    Liability Review
12:00 – 12:45 pm   Registration & Lunch – Provided
Instructor: Renee Bryan
12:45 – 4:45 pm     
Are we really Making Money

Liability Review
AM Session – 4 Credits – Jim Miller

Review and discuss how and why liability insurance were developed and its usage in society today.
We will include personal, business and umbrella liability coverages.

Are We Really Making Money?
PM Session- 4 Credits
– Renee Bryan
U.S. Monetary policy and budget concerns have a far-reaching scope in our economy and even of the economies abroad.  This course explores a whole range of federal policies and legislation including the complexities of our banking system, history and current taxation, money laundering, and more to determine, “Are we really making money?”

CE Class Fee:  $50/ Person – All Day (8 Credits) or Half Day (4 Credits)       

VIP Member CE Class Fee:  $45.00 All Day (8 Credits) or $30.00 Half Day (4 Credits)  

For Questions Please Call/Email: Joelle Urke ~ 320.290.7134~  Joelle@royalrenovations.net 

Payment is due with registration to reserve your spot.

 

Winter Storm Damage Prevention and Repair

With the polar vortex hopefully behind us, you’ve probably heard a few crazy stories about the sort of damage the frigid temperatures have caused. Of course, there are some silly and fun things happening where people have made the best of the below freezing temperatures by throwing coffee or boiling water in the air and watching it turn to snow, or turning a traditional water gun into a snow gun. But there have also been bursting pipes and toilet tanks that are exploding because it’s so cold the water inside the tank froze. Winter storms can do serious damage to your home.

 

There are many ways a winter storm can damage your home’s interior and exterior. Ice dams, high winds, and heavy snow can cause leaks and shingle deterioration on your roof. Similarly, cold and snow can cause paint to peel or moisture leaks. Wood may start to rot underneath your siding. Ice dams can also damage your gutters. The ice builds up, causing the gutters to pull away from the roofline. You may even find damage to your home’s foundation, with hairline cracks in the concrete. In extreme cases, tree limbs or entire trees may fall with the weight of snow and ice, falling on parts of your home.

 

If your home isn’t properly insulated, not only will you likely experience cold spots in your home, condensation on your windows, and air leaks, but you may be more prone to bursting or frozen pipes. If this happens, you could have a lot of water damage to your home, especially if you aren’t home to shut off the main water valve when a pipe bursts.

 

You should be aware of all these potential winter storm damage problems. Insulate your pipes, and fill in any cracks or open spaces in the insulation or foundation each spring. If temperatures drop below zero, open the cabinets under your sinks so warm air can circulate around pipes, and leave the faucets on a slow trickle. Take care of your roof each year to prevent ice dams, and trim loose limbs or cut down dead trees to prevent them from falling on your home.

 

It’s also good to know of a disaster repair company that can help with storm damage should anything occur during a winter storm. They’ll fully assess the damage to your property and take appropriate action to fix any damage caused by snow, ice, cold, or high winds. An assessment will help secure your homeowners insurance claim to save you from a financial disaster.

 

Whether you need an emergency board-up, water extraction, content cleaning, or complete reconstruction, the experts at Royal Renovations are here to get your home and life back to normal.

Fire Recovery

A fire can occur in your home no matter the time of year. You might not associate fires with winter because it’s so cold out, but a winter fire is not out of the question. A stove goes unattended, a toaster gets left plugged in, a portable furnace is running too long, a heated blanket is left turned on and sparks fly. What do you do after a fire? Whether there is damage to a room or the entire house, you may need to address structural concerns or water remediation. If there is a fire in your home or business, do you know what to do once the firefighters leave?

 

A home or business fire can be devastating for all involved. There may be smoke damage, charred items, and water damage to small items or the entire structure of the home. However, there are ways to recover; you don’t have to simply throw everything away.

 

You may want to start cleaning up your home once the firemen leave, but hold yourself back. You should call a damage restoration company first. Crews are available 24/7 for emergency service. Trying to wipe down or wash away fire remnants could negatively impact the fire damage recovery process. At the very least, you may be able to open windows. Do not use appliance until they’ve been inspected, and refrain from throwing anything away. You’ll want to document all the damage with photos so you can include them with your claim.

 

Once damage restoration experts arrive on the scene, they’ll assess damage and control any immediate hazards to prevent more damage to your home. For instance, they’ll use tarps and other sealing services if a hole was burned through your roof or siding. Then, they’ll move forward with the damage remediation process, which includes odor control, water extraction, structural drying, and complete construction. You won’t need to throw out all your damaged items—they have a slew of techniques to restore your items back to new.

 

We hope you never have to experience a home or business fire, but if you do, the experts at Royal Renovations are happy to help you restore your items.

 

Cold Temperatures are Deadly When it Comes to Pipes

Last month we talked about pipes bursting in the winter and how to prevent that cold weather nightmare. Sewer leaks can also be a problem in the frigid temperatures. You may associate sewer leaks with warmer spring and summer seasons because flooding is more common then, but winter is not exempt. The causes are numerous, from tree root blockages and toilet obstructions to defects in the sewer lines and frozen septic systems.

 

Sewage is composed of everything you put down the drain: human excrement and waste, beauty products, food waste, and so on. This mixture generates gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfur dioxide. Sewage leaks release these gases, which can lead to sickness, disorientation, and even death. Hydrogen sulfide is toxic, and methane can lead to asphyxiation. Add in the pathogens present in sewage, which can cause major problems if ingested, and a sewage leak has the potential to be more dangerous than you may expect. Not only are the chemicals in sewage dangerous, but the leaks can also damage materials in your home, like sheetrock, carpet, and furniture. If left untreated, it can cause mold or even an unsanitary ponding condition in your yard.

 

Sewer leaks can be hard to detect, but there are a few signs to look for. You may notice an odor or gurgling noises coming from your drains or gurgling sounds when you flush your toilets. Water may be slow to drain in sinks, bathtubs, and showers. If you notice any of these symptoms, call a professional, who will complete additional testing and diagnose the problem before it gets out of hand.

 

You can do your part to prevent sewer backup all year round. Be mindful of what you are putting down your drains (or toilets). Don’t dispose of items that could cause any sort of blockage, like grease. If you don’t have a sump pump, install one and ensure it is working correctly. Make sure snow isn’t piling up on sewer vents, as it can create a blockage. You can help prevent sewer gases from entering your home by adding water to infrequently used drains, like the ones in your basement. You’ll also want to take measures to ensure your sewer vent doesn’t freeze. Don’t disrupt the septic system by flushing down chemicals or bacteria; it may interrupt the production of necessary bacteria and lead to leaks.

 

If a sewer leak does happen, not all is lost. We treat your home and personal belongings with the best care throughout the sewer backup cleanup process to restore items to their pre-loss condition if possible. Quality control is something we take very seriously.

 

Glossary of Services Provided by Royal Renovations (Part 2)

This month we continue our discussion on the emergency services Royal Renovations offers.

Our team is certified by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) in water damage restoration, renovation, microbial remediation, odor control, fire and smoke restoration, and carpet cleaning, upholstery, and fabric cleaning. We’re also experts in content processing, content cleaning, and pack-outs.

 

24/7 Claims Management

No matter the day of week or time of day, your claims will be handled in a timely fashion. We offer 24/7 emergency services, so if your pipes burst in the wee hours of the morning, count on us to provide the services you need.

 

Climate-Controlled Storage

As your items are being restored after a disaster, they will be secured in a climate-controlled storage facility to prevent further damage.

 

Complete Construction

If your property has extensive damage, reconstruction can be arranged.

 

Structural Drying

Whether due to flood damage or water damage after a fire, structural drying will remove excess moisture from wet structural materials (think: wood, concrete, sheetrock).

 

24-Hour Rush Cleaning

If you need your items cleaned quickly, Royal Renovations offers a 24-hour rush cleaning service so that your items are quickly as good as new.

 

Photo Inventory

When restoring your contents after fire, water, storm, or sewer backup damage, we will take photo inventory of all your items to ensure they are all accounted for and recorded for claims purposes.

 

Specialty Item Cleaning

If your unique items are damaged—for instance, specialty rugs—you don’t need to throw them away immediately. Oftentimes they can be restored. Just call us and ask!

 

Onsite Cleaning

For smaller damaged items, we can clean onsite on the spot. The items won’t even need to leave your property.

 

Content Tracking Software

Know where your items are at all times in the content restoration process with our comprehensive tracking software.

 

Non-Salvage Inventory 

Using our content tracking software, Royal Renovations will keep track of your non-salvage items (items that are too badly damaged to be restored).

 

At Royal Renovations, we ensure the best disaster restoration services in St. Cloud, MN. We’re here to fix your home when tragedy strikes. Call us at 320-743-3440.

 

Glossary of Services Provided by Royal Renovations (Part 1)

We get it: fire and water damage is scary. Natural disasters are devastating, sewer and drain back-up is gross, and mold growth is shocking. These things can also feel embarrassing if they happen to you, but we’re here to tell you that it shouldn’t. These problems happen to the best of us through no fault of our own, which is why we offer the emergency services you need.

Our group of managers and experts are certified by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) in water damage restoration, renovation, microbial remediation, odor control, fire and smoke restoration, and carpet cleaning, upholstery, and fabric cleaning.

We’re also experts in content processing, content cleaning, and pack-outs.

 

Emergency Board-ups

No matter the reason for the damage, emergency board-ups will prevent further damage to your home.

 

Odor Control

Sewer and drain back-up aren’t the only things that cause funky odors. No matter your emergency, Royal Renovations employs a slew of methods to effectively remove odors.

 

Content Cleaning/Restoration

It might seem like the only option after a disaster is to throw away all your damaged items, but you don’t have to. Through extensive restoration processes, your items—whether it’s your carpet or a precious family heirloom—can be brought back to life (sometimes in better condition than they were before).

 

Duct Cleaning

If your ducts are dirty, they’ll circulate mold and other airborne illnesses. Royal Renovations will clean them to make sure your ventilation system is only putting out clean air.

 

Temporary Utilities

If your home or workplace had severe fire or damage restoration, you may need temporary utilities during the reconstruction of the building.

 

Content Pack-out/in and Content Processing

If the structure of your home or office needs to be restored, we offer full content pack-outs/ins. We will organize and pack your items for temporary storage, which includes photo inventory, a detailed itemization of non-salvage contents, and transportation to our climate controlled secured facility. You’ll always have access to your items with our integrated inventory systems. When the structure of your damaged building has been restored, we’ll bring your items back.

 

Water Extraction

Whether your home flooded or there is remaining water from putting out a fire, Royal Renovations provides water extraction services so that you don’t have to live underwater any longer.

 

Moisture Readings and Post Testing

We’ll perform moisture readings to determine the moisture level of specific materials that may have been damaged, like wood or drywall.

 

We have an amazing team at Royal Renovations and we are proud to ensure the best disaster restoration services in St. Cloud, MN. When tragedy strikes, we’re here to fix your home. Give us a call at 320-743-3440.