Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fire Damage Restoration Can Help Make Your Home Complete Again


Nobody wants to lose any part of their home in a fire due to both the danger of this disaster and the damage that it can incur. However, there are over 360,000 home blazes a year. If you become part of this statistic, here's how you should handle the situation, from important preventative measures to your final restoration projects.

Preventative measures

If you have a chimney, make sure all coals are put out before leaving the house or going to bed. Update the wiring in your home so all cords, outlets, and switches are up-to-date. Never leave a stove unattended and never burn items on your property without the use of an approved pit.

When disaster strikes

The first thing you want to do in a house fire is make sure you, your family, and your pets are safe. Don't worry about what is happening to your property-leave that to the professionals. If you don't have a fire alarm system, call 9-1-1 as soon as possible, and after the flames are put out, contact fire damage restoration experts to restore your home.

What to do afterwards

If your home is still livable after a fire, contact your local fire damage restoration experts. These services are designed to help remove your space of the smells, effects, and aftermath of a blaze, even serious ones. As long as your structure is mainly sound, your house can be brought back to like-new condition again. Using special cleaning chemicals, tools, and other equipment, technicians can help put your kitchen, bedroom, hallways, or other affected areas back to their original condition.

What to expect

While fire damage restoration is going on, you will have to stay off your property for the duration. Your insurance company may help put you and your family in a hotel until your residence is safe to enter again. Most companies can have your space back to livable condition within a few days or weeks. Talk to the technicians that are assisting you so you can have a realistic idea of your repair timeline.

When your home has been afflicted by flames, it's normal to feel overwhelmed and helpless. You may feel like you will never be able to live in the same residence again. Luckily, there are specialists out there who can help make things right again. Whether a single room has been burned or most of the place is affected, you can trust fire damage restoration experts to help make your home livable again.


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Monday, September 26, 2016

Questions To Ask Your Water Damage Contractor


When home owners are navigating the unfortunate circumstance of major water damage in their home, it is critical that they choose a qualified and competent water restoration contractor. After all, this is their home and most likely the most valuable asset that they own, so it is a must to make sure that the water damage company that they choose is capable, reputable and trustworthy. In many cases, emergency water mitigation service involves a high level of specialized knowledge and scientific methodology. Water damage occurs fairly simply; various structural materials and personal property becomes saturated by water. However the cleanup and dry down process can be quite complex depending on a multitude of variables that make up each unique flood emergency equation. Now, let's go through some important questions that you should ask any water restoration contractor you are thinking of hiring when flood damage befalls your home:

Does your company hold water mitigation certification with the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification)?

The IICRC is the training and certification agency that is the foremost authority for the water restoration industry's best practices and guidelines. If the flood services contractor you are talking to doesn't have IICRC certification then there is a very high probability that they are not going to properly cleanup and dry down your home, and it will only be a matter of time until you have an even bigger mold/microbial problem on your hands. Properly trained technicians will know how to thoroughly dry all affected structural materials, which will eliminate the chance of unwanted microbial growth.

Do you have a state general contractor's license?

This is a question that applies only to water restoration companies that not only carry out the water mitigation (cleanup, extraction, demo, drying, sanitizing), but alto the re-construction (all repairs to deliver pre-loss conditions). If your contractor is only providing the mitigation, then they don't need a GC (general contractors license), but if any repairs are going to be made, then yes, they need it.

Do you have de-humidifiers as well as air movers (fans)?

Although not every single flood damage restoration job requires de-humidifiers, it is only a fraction of them that are small enough in scope that don't need them. Furthermore, if the company trying to earn you business doesn't own any de-humidifiers then that would indicate that they are most likely not a serious or fully qualified water restoration company. Ultimately, the answer to this one should be yes if you are dealing with a reputable restoration contractor.

Do you bill me or my insurance company?

As long as your water loss claim has been approved by your insurance carrier, then any legitimate and certified water restoration contractor should send the final bill to your insurer using Xactimate. Sometimes you may have to settle the deductible with your contractor, but all other billing should be issued to your insurer. Any discrepancies on the bill should be settled between your contractor and the insurance adjuster handling the claim, without the involvement of the insured.

How long will it take for the property to become dry?

Generally speaking, the dry down process should last 3-4 full days for most residential flood losses. Unless there are abnormal or extenuating circumstances, you should be weary of unethical practices if your contractor is trying to justify longer than the 3-4 day time period for dry down. In most water mitigation bills, the drying equipment (air movers, de-humidifiers) are the main driver in the overall cost, so this is the area that dishonest contractors will try to inflate.

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Cleaning Fire Damage - A Difficult Process Without Proper Training


When a home or business is struck by a fire, the damage to the building remains even after the fire is extinguished. At this time of tragedy, the last thing that property owners need to be worried about is cleaning fire damage. Hiring a professional to perform this difficult task can provide peace of mind to property owners because they can relax, knowing that the job is being done effectively and in a timely manner. Professionals have the training and the tools that are needed to properly clean up after a fire and restore the building and contents safely.

Some types of materials create chemical reactions after they have been burned, so it is important that they are cleaned quickly. If they are not cleaned fast enough or with the proper types of agents, the items could become unsafe in just a matter of days. Without the proper equipment, cleaning fire damage is a long and difficult process. This is another reason why it is best to call on the professionals. They know how to clean even the most delicate items and they clean them in a way that prevents future problems, such as mold, from occurring.

Restoring a home or a business after a fire is extremely physically demanding, especially without good equipment. In many cases, even the wood and the walls in the building need to be cleaned in order to prevent future problems. For individuals without the proper training and equipment, this process takes a great deal of time and energy. Without the proper fire damage cleaning experience, it can also be done incorrectly, which will only cause problems later on down the road. The potential issues that can result from this can be hazardous to the health of those who occupy the building. Professionals can eliminate the need for future repairs, while saving the property owner time, energy, and money.

Many property owners want to take cleaning fire damage upon themselves in order to save money, but end up finding that it is much too difficult for them to take on alone. Rather than wasting the energy, it is best to put the process in the hands of true professionals who will get the job done right the first time.


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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Water Damage Restoration Contractors


Professional fire and water damage restoration contractors have expertise in emergency response and disaster recovery situations. When such disasters strike, be it a flood in your basement or crawl space, a leak in your roof or smoke and soot damage in your home, call fire and flood damage experts for complete repair and restoration services. Restoration companies usually have a set up emergency response hotline, supporting their communities in these stressful situations. The technicians who handle fire and flood damage emergencies are often IICRC certified restoration professionals, experienced in fire, smoke, flooding and water disaster scenarios on residential, commercial and industrial scales.

Professional restoration companies will arrive in your place of emergency within the hour, for the most part. They know that time is of the essence and prompt attention to your emergency will lessen the duration and cost of the restoration project. These experts arrive ready to assess the water damage in your home and start drying out the property immediately. The trucks are equipped with gear and supplies necessary for any fire, smoke, soot and water restoration job. Professional water extraction and drying tools that are used for water removal from your property are industrial strength and are designed for any type of repair and restoration efforts. They truly offer dependable, competent and personalized service for a variety of disaster recovery situations.

Fire and water damage restoration contractors engage in the complete repair and rebuilding of your home or office following natural disasters or man-made accidental catastrophes. Both fire and water restoration scenarios involve flood loss prevention and water removal and drying. Restoration companies have expertise in loss containment. Many household items such as electronics, furniture, clothing, photographs, artwork, books and many others can be salvaged in restoration facilities that specialize in recovering personal possessions from fire and flood emergencies. Water damage restoration contractors can store your salvaged personal items until your restoration job is complete.

Many emergency water restoration scenarios involve mold infestation if left untreated for longer than 24-48 hours. Thus, mold remediation is an essential service water damage restoration contractors engage in routinely. Mold removal, structural drying, dehumidification and disinfection are crucial to the proper completion of most restoration projects.

Professional restoration contractors routinely work directly with homeowners' insurance companies to file claims. Usually, when water damage restoration contractors bill insurance companies directly, the paperwork is filled out accurately and the process flows smoothly so the claim is often processed quickly and without further delays.

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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Why You Should Let A Fire Restoration Company Combat Your Smoke And Fire Damage


As a homeowner will usually want to restore a fire damaged or smoke damaged house on their own. They might want to restore it on their own for a couple of reasons. The first is usually because they think they can save a lot of money by doing the smoke damage and fire damage repair on their own. The second reason is because they might be uncomfortable in allowing strangers to work in their home, especially if only part of the house was damaged. Though the second reasons is strictly a matter of personal choice, one has to realize that a fire restoration company can only save a home owner a lot of money rather than make him spend more to restore his or her house.

This is further explained below. A professional smoke damage or fire damage company will usually have several years of experience that will allow them to tackle various problems in the most efficient and cost effective manner. If you approached a fire restoration project on your own, you will quickly find that you will have to do a lot of trial and error type of mistakes to learn the best processes to restore your home. Also, you can make costly mistakes that will result in a very improper restoration. You might then have to spend more to get it restored again and it will ultimately cost you a tremendous amount of money. A much better option would be to leave the whole restoration work to a fire restoration company as they will work in the best interests of your home.

Moreover, there are certain things that need to be done for smoke damage and fire damage that you cannot do on your own without proper equipment. For example, smoke damage is often extensive when there is a fire. Smoke has the ability to be absorbed by porous construction materials such as carpets and walls. An expert fire restoration company will use a process called as thermal fogging where they will use a chemical fog to penetrate the areas of the house that were also affected by the smoke in a similar manner. The fog will then neutralize the odor left by the smoke. Thermal fogging will require chemicals and equipment that you will definitely not have.

A smoke damage and fire damage cleanup company will also know what sort of chemicals to use on various materials that may have been affected by soot. If you did it on your own, you can damage certain materials in your house by using the wrong chemical cleaners. Many people make the mistake of using household deodorizers or home fresheners to get rid of the smoke odor. This will only have a temporary effect and in some cases the household deodorizer will often mix with the smoke odor to have a distinctly annoying odor of its own.

A fire damage restoration company will also use ozone to remove smoke odors. An ozone generator will be needed to do this. Even if one gets his hands on such a device, they must know that it must be operated only when the area is contained or sealed off.

If you really want to avoid headaches related to the restoration of your fire damaged home, it would be wise to hire the services of a professional fire restoration company.


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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Why You Should Repair Water Damage Quickly


It is an unfortunate reality that many people underestimate the potential damage water can cause with even limited exposure time. Chemistry teaches that water can be a base or an acid depending on environmental factors meaning that in high acid environments, water acts as a base and in low pH environments, water is slightly acidic. The mutable nature of water affords water the ability to carve through solid rock to create beautiful natural wonders but this same ability can also destroy drywall, plumbing materials, and other common building materials. This point, however, is often forgotten when people deal with water damage.

When dealing with water damage, many people simply focus on the top layer of water and neglect to do anything for the layers of water that have penetrated the subsurface or been absorbed in to the gypsum board (aka drywall and sheetrock) and sill plates usually due to the double whammy of they do not understand the risks and they do not have the proper extraction equipment. Wikipedia reports that gypsum board is "easily damaged by exposure to water" and "supports the growth of mold." While gypsum board is treated to make it more water resistant, should the gypsum board be punctured or should water, as in the case of water damage, collect around the unprotected area of the gypsum board, the porous gypsum board will then readily absorb and hold the water. The longer this absorbed water stays inside the gypsum board the more damage it causes.

Unlike fire damage that leaves a visible and generally static path of damage, water damage can be subtle and can manifest its destruction over a period of time. Opposed to the immediate destruction caused by fire, water, similar in many ways to stress, can slowly chip away at the host until it requires extensive repair at a cost that is MUCH higher and over an area MUCH larger than initial exposure would have been required to treat. The subtle nature of water is what causes water damage to be regularly underestimated and, therefore, undertreated in real world case scenarios.

Unfortunately, despite the best intention and valiant effort of many honorable do-it-yourselfers, their efforts are for naught as they simply lack the equipment needed for remediation and such equipment is not commonly available at your local rental shop. At best these people may have access to a commercial carpet cleaner which can effectively remove the top layer of water but does little to penetrate the subflooring or remove the absorbed water so they will stop when the area feels dry and will leave a fan on. This method is very similar to the method employed by remediation professionals in the infancy of the water restoration profession but this was soon sent to pasture as it was quickly shown to be ineffective, at best, and a catalyst for decomposition and mold growth, at worst.

The best way to combat water damage, and to prevent the short and long term devastation caused by water damage, is to call a professional water damage restoration company as soon as the damage is found. While the honorable do-it-yourselfer will have the unrelenting urge to break out their equipment and assist the professional water damage restoration company, the best way a do-it-yourselfer could assist the company is by disabling the source of the water damage (if possible), ensuring the area is free from electrical risks, and ensuring the affected area is free of debris and physical hazards (if possible) so that the professionals can extract the water as quickly as possible to minimize the restoration time.

Proper timing is essential for the fastest restoration. Now you know.


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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hiring The Right Fire Damage Company Is Not As Hard As It Seems


Are you searching for the right fire damage company, but can't seem to locate the one you want to hire? Locating the company you will hire isn't as hard as most people make it.

You just need to understand the things that need to be done to make your search easier. Once you know these things, deciding which company to hire will be simple.

Here are the things that you need to do if you want to be sure you choose the company that will be the best for your fire damage cleanup.

1. Multiple companies - If you want to hire a company that will help you achieve the fire damage cleanup, then be sure you take time to do your homework so you can research multiple companies. This is important so you can be sure you are choosing a company that will do a good job for you.

Take your research online because many companies these days have websites. This will let you learn essential information about each company. Plus, you can search online to find out what others are saying about a particular company.

2. Get estimates and compare - There are so many companies these days that are offering estimates for free so you can find out what it will cost you. It is always important to know up front what you will be paying for a company's services.

That way you can make sure it is within your budget. You want to take the estimates from more than one company and compare them.

This will allow you to save money and will help you locate the one that is within your price range. Saving money is always important, but be sure you are choosing a company that also has a reliable reputation.

That is why the first step, researching more than one company is so important before you make your final decision about who to hire.

3. Talk to them - This is one step that many people avoid doing these days because hiring a company using the internet is so easy to do. It is smart to take time to talk to the specialists that will help you with fire damage cleanup.

This is important so you can make sure you feel comfortable with them in your home. A fire is devastating enough, having someone in your home that you don't feel comfortable with, will not help you any. So, talk to them and ask any questions that you may have.

These are the most important things that you need to do if you want to make sure that you hire the right company from the beginning. Don't make the mistake of not doing these things because this has lead many people into hiring the wrong company and then ending up with more problems they didn't need. This can be avoided by doing these things.

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Home Restoration Services - Different Types, Services and Precautions


Restoration can be defined according to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (1975) as a process that is 'a bringing back to a former position or condition.' Restoration is a necessity for antique lovers, when it comes to preserve the beautiful framework, historical importance and aesthetics. Yet sometimes it is just an unavoidable process due to natural calamities or other damages. At times there can be some sentimental or traditional memories to be taken care of. But regardless the reason behind restoration, it is always the highest concern of both the restorer and the client to return back into the home's original shape and design.
Types of restoration services:
Three major types of damages affecting the homes can be mentioned, for which home restoration services are needed:
  1. Water Damage restoration services
Water damages can range from natural catastrophe to simple faults in household contents, like floods, heavy rains, toilet overflow, plumbing leaks, dishwasher leakage etc. Whatever the reason is, it causes a great damage to homes and is often followed by molds.
  1. Fire and Smoke Damage restoration services
Fire damages can take place due to heavy lightning strikes to simple candle fire, even smoking. It also includes faulty wires or electrical equipments, natural gases and fireworks. It is the most dangerous form of damages, as it can spread out so easily and frequently destroying even a whole city.
  1. Mold Damage restoration services
Due to poor ventilation, high humidity and darkness molds start to grow at homes. Molds are also side-effects of water damages. And sometimes it occurs in a greater extent because of not taking it seriously at the very initial stage.
Steps in restoration services:
Whatsoever the damage type is, at first the restoration team will monitor the place thoroughly and after analyzing they will make a plan to execute. Then they will take necessary steps according to the damage type. Generally the steps include limiting the damage, draining out excessive water (if any), evaporating contents, helping family members in disinfection, odor treatment, cleaning up the residues and lastly decontaminating everything.
Precautions to be taken:
Both a huge amount of expenses and effort can be saved, if several precautions can be maintained. Using waterproof materials for household contents and raising the electrical systems' level can prevent the severe water damage. Incorrect cleaning and using defective electrical appliances should be avoided. Smoke alarms and fire exit doors should be planned for each and every house. Using organic materials and controlling moisture at home can prevent molds to grow.
Health hazards:
There are possibilities of being highly infected by these damages, especially molds. It can be allergic reactions, fungal infections, asthma problems and also inflammatory infections. So molds must be taken care of at the early stages.
Time plays a vital role in affecting the walls, roof tops, furniture, electronic appliances and everything else as a result of these damages. So it should be treated with high priority as soon as possible, as it spreads out fast with time. Also the right procedure and appropriate materials usage count regarding this. It is highly recommended to contact with home restoration professionals in all above cases. At the time of restoration process, some factors should be kept in mind with high priority, such as: using cheaper painting, mixing different types of materials, lack of knowledge etc. can even lower the durability.

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Monday, September 5, 2016

An Explanation of the IICRC Water Damage Classification Used in Flood Restoration



The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is one of the largest non-government organizations in the United States that sets standards for people in the field of flood restoration. Among its many contributions to the fields of inspection and cleaning, the IICRC has created a Water Damage Classification (WDC) system, to better assist the treatment of damage in buildings or homes that have been overexposed to water. In the event that your home is damaged and needs to undergo flood restoration, it is important that you understand the WDC, as doing so will allow you to be aware of the potential threats to your property.
The WDC is broken down into four classes, each one determined by the volume of water present in a designated area. These grades go from 1 to 4, with 4 having the most severe consequences in regards to property deterioration and potential health threats.
Class 1: Limited Intrusion
A minimal amount of liquid has been introduced into the area. The area might also have a high potential for evaporation, with little extenuating damage to furniture, walls, carpet, and carpet cushions. For some Class 1 situations, it might be possible to dry out the area with fans.
Class 2: Some spread
This grade indicates that some moisture has spread beyond a single spot in the room. It might have risen into the walls, where it can be absorbed into the insulation or structural materials, such as timber, concrete, or particleboard. It might also have been absorbed into the padding beneath the carpet or flooring. These areas have the potential to grow mold or other growths if left unchecked.
Class 3: Invasive Liquid
In this grade, most surfaces in the area, including walls, ceilings, flooring, and furniture, have been soaked with moisture. Lines or marks on the walls indicating moisture can be found more than 2 feet above the floor. Damage like this is often caused by burst plumbing in a second-floor room leaking into the ceiling or through the walls. In cases like this, it is sometimes necessary to remove some of the building materials, as the extensive damage will render them irreparable. Special drying and dehumidification equipment will be required to return some remaining stuffs to their pre-damage state.
Class 4: Inaccessible Material
In some cases, flooding to the area is so severe that items not normally exposed or accessible are saturated with liquid. This makes it extremely difficult or impossible for traditional flood restoration techniques to save these materials. Special drying and dehumidification equipment, as well as more advanced techniques, can sometimes be used to dry components in crawl-spaces, under oil-based paint, behind cabinets, etc. It is also sometimes the case that these materials are not salvageable.
In addition to assessing the severity of damage in a location, an inspector must also determine the quality of the liquid permeating the area. "Clean Water" is much easier to address than a situation with "Black Water," or water that can contain potentially life-threatening organisms. The presence of Black Water might affect your space's grading.
After an inspector has assessed the nature of the damage to your property and belongings, he or she will work with a team of certified IICRC-certified technicians to begin bringing your home back to its original state. They will use everything from old-fashioned scrubbing to microbial remediation to rid the space of moisture and any potentially threatening organisms. The IICRC's WDC grading will help make this an easier process, should your home ever need flood restoration.

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Fire Damage Restoration Is The First Step Towards Tomorrow


When smoke and flames consume a residence, trying to pick up the pieces and return to a normal life may seem like an impossible task. Fire damage restoration is the all-important first step in the process of rebuilding the structure and making it a livable space once again. The process of remediation after this kind of loss is time-sensitive and involves a number of steps. Finding a professional organization to perform this process can lessen financial stress and help property owners return to the home that they love.

Time Is Of The Essence

Fire damage restoration is a time-sensitive process. The passage of time will increase the impact in terms of the harm to property and belongings and the cost to return them to their former state. The initial impact of the flames is obvious; charred items show the results of the event. Water and chemical agents that were used to tamp down and contain the event also leave behind traces of how they were applied. However, there are other elements, less apparent but no less critical, that can dramatically increase the level of harm that has occurred.

The residual effects following a combustible event begin within minutes of the flames being doused and the smoke being cleared. Soot, ash, and odors can combine to discolor surfaces; corrode metallic objects, such as appliances and plumbing fixtures; and permanently stain fabrics, such as clothing and upholstery. As time passes, the long-term impact can be felt both in financial and emotional terms. Beginning the recovery process as soon as possible will help reduce the cost and the time required to begin a return to normalcy.

What Is Involved

A professional fire damage restoration team follows a number of steps in achieving the goal of returning the affected property to its former state. Below are highlights of this process.

Securing The Site

After a professional team is called to a location and performs an initial assessment, the location will be secured from the elements. This may involve windows and damaged walls being boarded up. If there is damage to the roof of a structure, a roof tarp may also be installed to prevent the elements from causing additional harm. It is important to note that protective clothing is utilized during the entire operation as team members can be exposed to potentially harmful elements that resulted from the occurrence.

Initial Removal Of Flame Retardant Items

Water and chemical agents used to control the event need to be removed from the location before additional work can be performed. Drying elements, such as dehumidifiers, are brought in to expedite the process. Large fans and other air moving devices will improve ventilation and make the area both easier and safer to perform the remediation.

Removing And Cleaning

The next phase of the procedure involves removing the residual soot and smoke odors from the premises. This is one of the most comprehensive steps, as it involves a thorough cleaning of all surfaces including walls, ceilings, floors, fixtures, and appliances. During this time, additional estimates can be made as to what can be restored and what must be replaced.

Sanitizing and deep cleaning will help bring items back to the condition that they were in before being damaged in the event. This step can also result in significant cost savings both to the homeowner and the insurance company involved.

Restoration And Replacement

The final step in fire damage restoration is dealing with any structural damage. Installing new flooring, repainting, and similar activities will be undertaken at this time. If portions of the property need to be rebuilt, this can also be completed during this phase.


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