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What to Do When Your Home Has Suffered Water Damage

a leaking and water damaged ceiling

Even a small amount of water can lead to serious water damage.

A tiny leak in your roof can become a spreading water stain on your ceiling. A dripping pipe under your sink can cause your cabinetry to rot.

And that’s to say nothing of the major catastrophes we see when responding to floods, hurricanes and other Cumberland County water damage claims.

In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the steps you should take when your home sustains water damage.

Talk to your insurance company

Don’t wait to talk to your insurer. It’s important to find out what your policy covers.

Research contractors

You might need professional help when dealing with water damage. An electrician can help in cases where water reached your electrical panel or got into fixtures or appliances.

An HVAC technician can examine your heating and cooling system for damage. It’s a good idea to have them inspect your property if you think water has gotten into your ducts or heat registers.

Finally, you may need to speak with a general contractor who has experience restoring water-damaged homes. Ask for references; not every contractor will have the experience you need when dealing with Cumberland County Water Damage.

Safety issues

Even though the disaster may have passed, you should still exercise caution in the aftermath of a flood or major storm.

Shut off the power to your home if you can, unless doing so will require you to stand in wet areas. If that’s the case, wait until you’ve consulted with an electrician. Wear protective clothing such as rubber boots and gloves upon re-entering your home.

If any of your kitchenware – plates, glasses, flatware – were caught in the flood, make sure you wash them before using them again.

Water removal

If you’re only dealing with a small amount of water, you may be able to carry out your clean-up with a wet vacuum. More serious flooding will likely require you to rent a water pump.

If your basement is flooded, take care not to remove all the water at once, as the sudden loss of pressure can cause the walls to cave in and the floors to buckle. Instead, try to pump out one third of the water a day.

Dry and disinfect

Mold works fast, so you’ll need to work faster to dry out your home. Fans are useful, but if water damage has spread throughout the home you might want to rent a large dehumidifier and run it nonstop to dry things out.

Mold mitigation can turn into a major project, which is why you might end up working with a general contractor. Moisture in your walls might require you to replace drywall and insulation to prevent mold, mildew and rot.

Also, we mentioned kitchen suppliers earlier, but anything that came in contact with flood water should be disinfected. If the flood water contained sewage or other hazardous materials, any porous materials will need to be thrown away.

Thorough drying and disinfecting – done as soon as possible – are essential for curbing mold growth.

Speak with a public adjuster

If you have experienced any sort of water damage, a licensed public adjuster from Interstate Public Adjusters can help you recover the full value of your home and belongings.

No matter the extent of your Cumberland County water damage, we can examine your property and help you value your claim accurately.

Your insurance company hires professional adjusters to protect their interests. In the wake of a catastrophe, you deserve to have someone looking out for you. Contact us today to learn more.

Millville Disaster Preparedness: Everything You Need to Know

disaster prep kit

For the last several years, people living in certain parts of California have had to spend large portions of the year contending with massive wildfires.

In some parts of the country, disasters are just an unfortunate fact of life. But disasters can happen anywhere, as anyone who’s had to deal with Millville, NJ flood damage claims can tell you.

We’re mentioning Millville for two reasons: they’ve dealt with a lot of flooding in recent years, and their town website includes an excellent emergency preparedness kit.

Here are a few of the things they – and we – recommend:

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The Egg Harbor Flood: How to Cope When Waters Start to Rise

Cars driving through a flooded street

It wasn’t the worst flood in the region’s history, but last year’s Egg Harbor flooding was definitely in the top 10.

And Egg Harbor flooding may only get worse as time goes on. As the Press of Atlantic City reported last year, precipitation totals on the wettest day of the year have slowly risen over the last 70 years. The number of rain events greater than two inches has gone from a little more than 10 in 1980 to around 30 in 2010.

The idea of a flood can be frightening. As with any emergency, you’ll do well to keep a cool head and be prepared. Here are a few ways to get ready for the next flood and alleviate flood damage.

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How a Public Adjuster Can Help You.

A fallen tree next to a house

It’s a process that anyone who’s dealt with an insurance company can relate to. A disaster strikes, you file a claim, and they pay…maybe.  Listen we have helped thousands of customers settle their claims and we have seen quite a bit.

From our home base in Cumberland, NJ to Egg Harbor Township, to Philadelphia, we are exposed to all types of weather patterns and experienced with a wide variety of resulting claims.

The problem we see is when insurance companies don’t pay or underpay. Maybe your claim spends months or even years in limbo. Maybe the amount you get back doesn’t cover the cost of repairs to your home.

And in situations like these, having a public adjuster on your side can help. A public adjuster is a licensed professional who works on behalf of insurance policyholders during negotiations with the insurer.

Here are three ways that hiring Interstate Public Adjusters can help you.

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Fire Prevention Tips Everyone Should Know

Horrified woman dealing with a stove fire

In the time it takes you to read this article, two homes somewhere in the United States have caught fire.

That’s how common house fires are in America: there’s one every 86 seconds, according to the National Fire Prevention Association.

That’s a lot of fires, and a lot of PA fire claims.

Years of dealing with PA fire claims have taught us all the ways fires can happen and some of the ways fires can be avoided. Here are some fire prevention tips everyone should know.

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There’s Water in My Basement. What Do I Do?

a water damaged basement

After years and years of dealing with NJ water claims, we call tell you there are a lot of reasons basements get flooded.

Heavy rains, hurricanes, burst pipes, backed-up drains and exploding water heaters. Whatever the cause, the outcome is the same: a waterlogged basement.

And dealing with those NJ water claims has shown us how much of a nightmare a flooded basement can be for homeowners.

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Getting Ready for the 2019 Hurricane Season

Trees that fell on a house during a hurricane

Are you ready for Andrea? Barry? What about Humberto, Jerry and Karen?

Those aren’t people, but rather the names meteorologists will give to the tropical storms and hurricanes as they develop in 2019.

In a few short months, people up and down the east coast could be cleaning up after hurricane damage, which means we’ll likely be dealing with hurricane claims. PA and NJ: pretty much any state on the east coast is susceptible to some level of destruction from tropical storms.

We’ve talked a lot about how to recover after a storm hits and dealing with NJ and PA hurricane claims, but we haven’t dealt much with hurricane preparation. With that in mind, we’ve decided to share this list from FEMA on how you can prepare for hurricanes before, during and after the storm.

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What Do I Do If a Tree Falls on My House?

The tree was there when you moved in and at this point, it’s like part of the family.

Sure, sometimes it’s like an annoying part of the family. You’re not crazy about raking leaves or clearing brush from your yard every spring.

But you like how the tree looks. You like how it offers shade, how it gives your kids a place to play.

Then one day, the tree isn’t there anymore. A big storm comes along and uproots it or does so much damage that the tree can’t be saved.

Worse, part of the tree falls on your house. When that happens, there are some tips from a PA public adjuster on how to protect yourself, your family and your home.

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Case Study: Helping a Church Recover from Massive Water Damage

It takes just one frozen pipe to cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.

One of our clients learned that lesson the hard way recently. And without the help of a seasoned public adjuster, they might have had to settle for a fraction of what they needed.

Read on to learn how a we were able to work with this client and their insurance company to make sure they got the settlement they required.

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5 Easy Ways to Prevent Chimney Fires

PA smoke claims

Before chimneys came along, keeping your home warm meant building a fire pit. You’d have to cut a hole in your roof for the smoke to escape.

Even then, you’d still have to live and work in a fairly smoky environment, while also contending with an open fire in the middle of your home.

Then came the Middle Ages, and with them the chimney, forever changing the way we heat our homes. Yet even after 900 years, we still haven’t perfected the chimney.

Chimney fires cause millions in property damage each year, destroying homes, putting lives at risk and leading to countless Cumberland County, NJ smoke claims for insurance companies.

Yet there are ways you can protect your home and your family and ensure your chimney does its job. Here are a few different ways you can prevent chimney fires and smoke damage.

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