Friday, March 16, 2018

Minimizing the Damage - Tips For Handling a Home Flooding Emergency

Homes can get flooded for a variety of different reasons: natural disaster, broken water pipes, snow melt, and many more. Regardless of how the water got there, it is absolutely essential to get it out as soon as possible. Here are some tips that will help you handle a home flooding emergency with a minimal amount of damage.

Safety First

Make sure that all family members are safe and accounted for: no matter how much you value your belongings, your loved ones are the only things that are absolutely irreplaceable! If you have small children, make arrangements for them to live elsewhere while you tend to clean-up efforts. Even if your water damage is confined to just one area (such as the basement), you need to turn off your gas and electrical supply immediately for optimum safety. Once your gas is turned off, do not attempt to start it up again yourself: leave it to a utilities professional.


To minimize dangerous and possibly toxic mold and mildew growth, start ventilating your house as soon as possible, even while you still have standing water. Open all the windows in your house and let as much air in as safety allows.

Photograph Everything Then Salvage

Before undertaking salvaging efforts, make sure to take plenty of photographs to use as proof for your insurance company: proper documentation will be essential if you plan on filing a claim. Prioritize the importance of your belongings, and start salvaging the most important hard-to-dry items first such as photographs.

Call a Disaster Cleanup Service Immediately

Most experts agree that severe water damage sets in within 48 hours, so it is critical to contact a disaster cleanup service in your area immediately. They will get rid of standing water using the latest technologies, repair and restore existing structures, and advise you on how to best salvage your precious possessions. They will dry and disinfect your home, making it a safe sanctuary for your family again. Cleaning up after a flooding incident can be overwhelming as well as dangerous: a disaster cleanup service will be a valued ally in helping you get your life back to normal.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

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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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Five Ways to Keep Your Cool During Home Remodeling

Just the words home remodeling can easily conjure up stress in even the most relaxed individual. As exciting as it is to have a completely renovated space of your dreams, the actual construction process can be quite stressful. By following these five tips, you can keep your cool during the process.

Stay Organized

One surefire way to rapidly increase your stress level is to misplace paperwork. Be sure to keep a project file that houses key documents such as specifications, any drawings or plans, communications between yourself and the contractor, the construction agreement, lien releases, estimates, and any other agreements with third parties. Having a project file keeps these documents all in one place, ready when you need them.

Make a Backup Plan

Establish your primary goals, focusing on what you want to accomplish during the remodeling process. From that list, choose the goals that are most important. Narrow it down even further by selecting the ones you feel are absolutely essential. If time or budget constraints become a factor, you will need to quickly adjust your plans to reduce wasted time and money.

Retreat to the Outdoors or Embark on a Getaway

If you are staying home during a renovation, an outdoor space to retreat to can help prevent undue stress. A comfortable outdoor space can be a spot to relax, an escape from the mess and craziness. If at all possible, plan to be away on vacation or live elsewhere during the project. Doing this prevents your family from the constant exposure to dust and the chaos that comes with a renovation. However, be prepared to have frequent check-ins with your contractor via phone, and be sure that the contractor has a reliable way to reach you at any time.

Take Before Photographs

The finished product will look even more amazing when compared to "before" pictures. Be sure to take several before photographs as well as some photos documenting the process to show how much the space has transformed.
Establish a Storage Area

Rather than having tools and materials strewn about, create a storage area where workers can store tools and supplies. An organized storage area will also prevent potentially hazardous materials and dangerous tools from becoming lost or accessed by children or pets.

By following a few easy tips, you can stay relaxed during the home remodeling process. Choosing contractors and other trade workers that are reputable and trustworthy can also alleviate much of the stress involved. Be sure to find individuals who listen to your ideas, who have experience delivering the kinds of results you're looking for, and who are focused on open communication. Make sure you and your contractor are on the same page. With open communication about expectations, you can live in the home of your dreams without losing any hair during the remodeling process.

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Water Damage Restoration - What Are Your Options?

If you have been confronted by water damage in your house or commercial property, you will be best advised to hire the services of a professional fire and water restoration company. Though the restoration is something that you can achieve on your own, there is too much at risk to take it up as a do it yourself project. Here are some highlights about the services that a well established fire and water restoration company will be able to provide.

  • Available 24/7 - The best fire and water restoration companies will operate throughout the day and night. Time is of the essence when it comes to water damage restoration and lost time will often result in dramatically increased losses and additional restoration expenses. Shut off the water supply that caused the flooding and call a professional water damage repair company as soon as you can

  • Expert help with insurance claims - The fire and water control and clean-up company is more than just a professional service to restore your home. The restoration company will often award you an insurance specialist who will help you with the insurance claims process along the way. Ideally, claiming insurance should be easy for homeowners who have suffered property damage although the reality is that the insurance company will do anything to give you a check with a lower amount than required. Having professional help in the form of an insurance specialist will save you a lot of stress and effort and will also get you that check that will cover all the restoration expenses.

  • Professional equipment - restoration companies will have several commercial grade machines such as dehumidifiers, blowers, truck mounted water extraction units, portable water extraction units, moisture gauges, humidity gauges and so on that will help them remove the water and restore your property in the fastest way possible. If you approached the process on your own, it will take you a very long time as you will generally have just one dehumidifier or just one blower which might not even be powerful enough to do the job in the first place.

  • Technical know how - This is where water damage control and clean-up companies offers the most value. It will take you several hours of research and learning to figure out the best restoration plan for you house while a professional restoration company will often have years of experience on their hands. Their experience and their expertise will allow them to immediately go to work on restoring your property in the most time efficient and cost efficient manner. They will also be able to advise you about potential problems with the construction of your house that might lead to future water damage problems.

Thus, in conclusion, it is advised that you call for the services of a water damage restoration company if you haven't done so already. The sooner your call, the lesser your losses will be. Water damage restoration companies will also guarantee you that their repair estimates will be accepted by the insurance company which means that you have almost nothing to lose by hiring professionals.

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Sunday, March 4, 2018

Benefits of Renovation: Why You Should Renovate Now

You may have heard a lot about renovations recently and you wonder why so many people are willing to spend their hard-earned money to renovate. You are not alone. Some people even question the wisdom the decision to renovate. They ask why renovate when the house is still functional and livable. This article will answer that question by showing you some of the best benefits of home renovation.

1. Comfortable living

Many people renovate their homes to improve their home life. Homes can be livable but not comfortable. Some people renovate to free up some space in their home, bring in more light from the outside, increase relaxation upon coming home and make the home safer for kids and elderly.

Your home should be the place you can relax and unwind after a hard day at work, but how can you relax if you come home to a house that could trigger claustrophobia, because it's dark and you worry constantly whether or not your kids are safe when they use the stairs, the bathroom, the kitchen and the garage. The money you pay for renovation will be worth it.

2. Saving money

Renovation helps you save money, too. In fact, many people renovate to save money in the long run. One of the main ways renovation helps you save money is by revamping your house's energy use. There are many energy-saving items that are available now, which were not available in the past, like for example led lighting, energy-saving outlets, appliances that consume less power and more.

Renovation could also modernize your heating system at home, making it more current and therefore more energy-efficient. Renovating your bathroom can improve water efficiency so you are not wasting water and paying more for water bills.

3. Increasing the value of the home

Increasing the value of your home provides many benefits, from improving your credit rating to getting better deals if you decide to sell your home. The housing market is a highly competitive one, so if your house has very low value because the facilities like kitchen, bathroom and toilet are outdated, don't expect a good price. It will take longer to sell too. Many home buyers now often check if the house they are buying have been renovated to ensure that they don't buy a home with outdated kitchens and bathrooms with hidden structural problems.

Home renovations may be kind of expensive, but the money you invested won't go to waste because renovation pays itself off either through a comfortable home life, savings from energy and water bills, safety of your family or through a good price if you sell your home.

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

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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Monday, February 26, 2018

What to Expect With Fire & Water Restoration

Some disasters cannot be planned for or expected such as fires and floods. For a homeowner, water damage and fire damage are expensive and stressful problems to deal with. Luckily, there are several services out there that offer help. Fire & water restoration can refer to many different things and being aware of what this entails is very important in preparing for the unexpected.

Restoration services refer to everything from disaster preparation to construction and repair work. It has to do with property damage that occurs due to water, fire, smoke, or mold. These kinds of damages result in timely and costly repairs that can be disastrous in themselves. However, fire & water restoration services work with insurance companies and some even offer insurance policies to help people recover quickly and efficiently from these types of disasters.

So what actually goes into the job? The very first step should take place before a the problem occurs. There are preventative measures you can take to help protect your property in case of a disaster. Many insurance companies will take an invested interest in some of these simple but effective preventative measures that can be done to help protect your property.

There is only so much you can do to prevent damage in preparing for the possibility of a disaster. Once a disaster occurs your professional service provider will help you to work with your insurance company to restore your property and return things to normal. You will need an appraisal or assessment of the damage that has taken place. This involves discovering the extent of the damage and what recovery measures are needed.

Once the damage has been assessed and a plan of recovery has been laid out, the next step is carrying out those plans of recovery. Depending on the extent of the damage, construction restoration and cleaning can be either minor or extensive. Most companies that offer fire and water restoration services have crews that are able to handle a variety of construction demands.

What sort of construction demands might arise in the face of extensive water or fire damage? One of the first restoration projects of flood damage is repairing or replacing the floors. In wide scale floods, it is most likely that the floors will need to be completely replaced, especially carpet. With fire, smoke, and mold damage, there are different repairs that will be needed.

With fire, smoke, and mold damage there are a different set of concerns for restoration. One major concern is with repairing walls and ceilings. This is due to the fact that both smoke and mold can penetrate a structure in disasters. While all of the construction is being carried out, you must be sure to protect your property from the elements while repairs are taking place.

One way many companies do this is to shrink wrap a structure to shield the building from exposure to the outside elements. Repairing fire and water damage can be extensive. Fire & water restoration services are set up to help people return to their everyday lives as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Water Damage - 4 Signs That You May Have It

When homes suffer from water damage they benefit from specific restoration. While water damage from natural disasters or floods may look devastating, some things can usually be restored if they are not damaged too badly. On the other hand, there may be some items that are too badly damaged to be repaired or restored.

It is not very often however, that there is nothing salvageable, and in some instances homes can be restored back to their former glory. By calling on the help of water clean-up experts and professionals, it is possible that repairs and restoration can be carried out, so that items such as furniture, carpets and even personal items like photographs and documents are not completely lost. This article describes the signs to look for when it comes to water damage in the home, and when it may be necessary for professional help to be obtained.

Stains: One of the biggest water damage indicators are brownish stains on ceilings and walls. This is usually an indication that water has been constantly running or dripping, which could mean that there is a leak. It could also be an indication of standing water due to rain, as is the case very often when it comes to flat roofs or blocked gutters. Whatever the cause, a brown stain is not good news, and it should be checked out as soon as possible and the leak located and repaired.

Warped floors and sagging ceilings: Either of these problems will generally mean that there is a leak. In this instance it is imperative to get the problem checked out by a professional, as ceilings could collapse due to a weakened structure. If a ceiling is sagging due to a leak from the roof or attic space, a temporary solution is to poke small holes through the ceiling so that the excess water can drain away; reducing the chances of the ceiling collapsing because of the waters weight.

Wet or damp carpets and rugs: Although rugs and carpets are easy to replace, standing water and damp areas are mold magnets, which can ultimately cause severe health problems for the inhabitants of the home. While some mold can be relatively easy to remove, other strains will need to be treated by the experts. It is important that if restoration is to work the water damage source is located and water damage repair carried out, which can sometimes mean that professional advice should be sought.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fire Damage Clean Up: Restoring Your Home With the Help of an Expert

Having a flooded home is never a great experience, especially if the damage is too much that you'll have to spend weeks to work on it. Water damage is not only a source of frustration, it could also threaten you and your family's health. Just to think of mud-soaked carpet and cracked walls makes you very, very upset. But what is more difficult is to repair and restore a flood-damaged home since it may cost you a small fortune in remodeling or even rebuilding your home, depending on the severity of the damage.

No matter what your neighborhood handyman is capable of doing, always remember that water damage clean up is always an overwhelming job that is best left in the hands of expert professionals. Since restoring damaged property usually calls for time and expert attention, water damage clean up could be done faster with the help of someone who knows how to do it best.

The Need to Call a Water Damage Clean Up Expert

Should there be water damage in your home, a damage restoration specialist or company should be called immediately to remedy this condition. Using proper equipment, a restoration professional will not only restore your home back to its former glory, he could also see to it that your home's indoor environmental quality (IEQ) stays at a safe level.

Ideally, a restoration process should begin 24-72 hours after the water damage. This is to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. If a sewage leak causes the damage, extra care should be taken to prevent toxins and bacteria from contaminating the home environment. Remember, water extraction and restoration does not end up the process; your home still needs disinfection to keep it free from harm brought by the growth of mold and mildew.

Other than moving out the furniture and fixtures out from the room, you also need to remove carpets and padding and disinfect the area using strong disinfectants and chemicals. The work may also call for the removal of molding and the lower parts of the wall or coverings. The affected area - the walls, ceilings, floors, and vents - should also be dried using high-power air movers and dehumidifying equipment to hasten the work. Since this job requires a lot of care and expertise, tapping the service of a restoration expert or company is most practical.

Since neither you nor your ever-reliable handyman could do much to restore your home after a flood or water damage, the best thing that you can do is to hire a reputable flood cleanup professional. You could ask for referral from your neighbors or friends who, like you, also experienced the same devastating situation. In this way, you can have the hand of a reliable, experienced, and skilled individual who will restore your home to an even-better look.

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Water Damage Restoration Saves Your Home From Mold

Mold and water go together like an old married couple. If you have water standing inside your home, then mold will surely follow. Few people understand how damaging and dangerous mold can be inside your home. Mold has a tendency to continue to grow and spread unless it's halted. That's why you should deal with mold immediately upon first discovering it. One way to deal with it is to perform water damage restoration. Repairing the damage reduces the chances of mold developing.

The most obvious danger associated with mold in your home relates to the structure. Walls and other surfaces to which the mold attaches can become unstable. Not only can it damage your home, but it also makes it unsightly. This really should be enough to encourage you to take action.

Yet another dangerous situation concerns the effect of mold on your health. People simply don't realize that mold causes a lot of allergies in people and pets. Various respiratory diseases have also been associated with mold. If you value your health, and that of those who live in your home, it is important that you take steps to repair problems that have arisen.

You can hire a company to help or you can fix the problem yourself. It depends on the severity of the situation. Water damage restoration isn't always simple, but it can be. If the damaged area is small and confined, it might make sense to deal with it yourself. However, if your gut instincts tell you that you really have a problem on your hands, it is best to hire professionals.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Water Damage Service to Fix Your Home Or Business

Water damage service from a qualified and bonded water damage company must begin within 24-48 hours after you have an incident to prevent the growth of dangerous mold. Water damage mold can not only damage and stain your belongings, but it can reduce your air quality and cause allergic reactions.

Any kind of water damage, whether it is a burst pipe, roof problems, flood, hurricane or a broken appliance will need immediate water damage cleanup. Having a flood plan in place will be the easiest way to deal with this catastrophe.

Begin by making sure you will be covered financially for such an event. Many homeowner policies will not cover you for a flood of any kind. You may be required to carry additional flood water damage insurance to be covered.

Many homeowners don't carry flood insurance if their mortgage company doesn't require it. Most don't if you don't live in a 100 or 500 year flood plain. This can give you a false sense of security as many floods can and do happen outside of this area.

Once you are properly covered with the financial aspect, be sure to have access to several qualified and bonded companies that can do water damage service. This isn't something you should try to do on your own or use an unqualified water damage company. This can make the difference in saving your possessions and preventing mold growth, or requiring a total rehab job.

After a flooding event, be sure to stop the water if you can. If it is an appliance, turn off the water at the source. Always consider safety first, though. If electrical damage is suspected, turn off the electricity at the source, as well.

Damage will continue to walls, woodwork and insulation if the carpet is wet. Attempt to dry the carpet or pull it up. This will prevent the continued water damage to the interior of your home or business.

You should separate furniture legs from wet carpeting. Use a saucer or wood blocks. Open windows and allow for cross ventilation.

This should get you started while waiting for your water damage service company. Be sure to insist on immediate action and ask if their is anything else that they would like for you to do that will help to minimize damage.

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Three Familiar Water Damage Issues

Water Damage is not something that a home owner wants to be familiar with, and yet for many, I'm afraid that it is a dreaded reality. The basic maintenance to keep a house up and in good condition can be hard enough on your schedule and your wallet, but when you throw in something unexpected like an issue with water damage popping up out of nowhere, then your world is going to be turned completely upside down. Preparing for the unexpected can be done by becoming more knowledgeable of possible threats, so I'm going to take this opportunity to share with you what the three most familiar water damage issues are for the home owner today.

The roof can be your home's best friend or it's worst enemy, depending on whether it has holes in it or not. The problem with most major issues that stem from leaks in the roof is that they build up over a period of time and you don't realize that there is a problem until quite a bit of damage has already taken place. A fact that you need to realize is that many times you cannot tell that roof damage is present by simply looking up at the roof from outside. Just because shingles are in place and all are accounted for does not mean that water cannot get in. There are other issues to consider. Your gutters can fill up with debris such as leaves and cause rain water to seep into the side of your roof when backed up. The items on your roof that stick out are sealed by pieces of rubber that can deteriorate over time. It would be good for you to make a habit out of occasionally going into the attic when it rains and inspecting the roof from the inside to ensure that there are no water leaks present.

Another thing to pay close attention to will be the basement or crawlspace under your house. This is the part of your home that is located closest to the ground, which is where rain water is going to eventually drain to. It only makes sense that without proper preventative measures being taken, issues related with water damage will soon develop. The foundation of your home should never have water resting up against it, and this can be prevented by utilizing a good gutter system that empties by way of downspouts that are turned away from the home. The use of splash blocks are a good idea to assist in routing the water away from the home, rather than saturating the ground next to the foundation. If you have a crawlspace, be sure that the earth located directly underneath the house is completely covered with plastic. This will prevent moisture from coming out of the ground and lingering in the air. If you have a basement, you need to go along the walls and floor and ensure that there are no cracks allowing water to leak through. Your best plan of action here is to fill any cracks that are present and then use a good sealer that will not allow water to penetrate the concrete. If you have done all you can do and water still proceeds to invade your crawlspace or basement, the use of a good pump that will turn itself on when water is detected is a must. This process will remove water out of the area as it arrives to avoid the water settling and creating damage.

The last familiar issue to the world of water damage is your plumbing. This is probably the most common area that water damage comes from in most homes. Over time, everything that makes up your plumbing system from faucets to pipes and fittings is going to wear down and will require maintenance or replacement. The best way to avoid this problem is to routinely inspect the pipes and fittings for anything that has come loose and possibly even started to drip. It is also a good idea to occasionally replace the washers or other types of seals that may be present in all of your faucets. This will prevent slow drips from starting, which will help you to avoid a large problem that could stem off of a small one very quickly. Get familiar with these common problems that are related to water damage in the home so that you are better equipped to prevent them from happening in your home.

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Fire Damage - Factors to Consider When Choosing a Remediation Service

When your property has been burned by fire it can be devastating. Precious belongings and even loved ones can be lost forever. Cleaning up the mess can be painful and seem impossible. Fortunately there are remediation services available to help clean and restore the property during this difficult time.

You will want to choose a remediation service that will check and restore the stability of the building. A fire can compromise the structure of your property and a qualified company ought to inspect the building and determine what needs to be done. Electrical wiring can also undergo damage and a remediation service should remove and replace all electrical wiring and connections that are damaged. They should start from the ceiling and work down the walls to collect all the fallen debris on the ground before they replace the flooring.

They should also ventilate the room by opening all windows and bringing in industrial fans. This is done to remove the smoke odor that is present. You must also make sure that the service plans to deep clean the building with HEPA vacuums to remove all soot and ashes that creep into every crack and crevice imaginable. Remaining fine dust from the fire can cause respiratory problems in the future if not removed.

You will also want a company that can restore many of your personal belongings. A remediation service will remove all objects with too much damage and try to restore all objects that have minimal damage. Many property owners are surprised to learn that their books, furniture, artwork, valuable documents, and electronic devises can be saved.

In almost all cases, you will need to leave while the work is being done. Often times the building materials with fire damage release toxic gases and only trained professionals wearing the proper protection know how to identify and neutralize these gases. When choosing a company you will need to know how long it will take to restore the property. If it is your home or business, you will need to make the proper arrangements for temporary relocation while the work is being done.

It is also important to ask whether the remediation agency will handle the insurance claims. Most victims of a fire, usually prefer that the service take care of the claims because it is one less stress factor on their plate to worry about.

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Monday, February 5, 2018

Home Remodeling After a Catastrophe

After a tornado, flood, earthquake or other natural disaster there can be significant damage to a house. This can cause serious need for repairs and restoration but hopefully insurance will be available to cover the costs. Instead of simply putting things back to the status quo, why not take the opportunity to do some long awaited home remodeling and not just fix things but also improve them?

Home remodeling is usually done by demolishing or stripping out the materials in a room or section of the house, so why not just look at the damage as nature's demolition crew. In a way, you might save time and money by having the weather do the dirty work.

After a flood is a great time to look into installing wood floors or renovating a basement. Tornado damage to a wall of the house may be the perfect time to begin that addition or redesign you have been considering. Also, perhaps the loss of many shingles to high wind and heavy rain means that the time has come to re-roof the house. Home remodeling may be the silver lining of the tragedy and catastrophe that has been foisted upon a property owner.

Home remodeling may not be entirely covered by insurance because these liability companies often seek to pay just enough to restore things to the way they were before. That does not mean that a little extra investment or a creative use of the insurance settlement cannot be used to improve things. If the building flooded, it is probably worth paying for shoring to lift it and prevent future problems of that kind. If the windows blew out in a hurricane maybe higher wind-speed-rating units can be invested in. In situations where an earthquake cracked the foundation, it can be assessed, sealed, and perhaps retrofitted to prevent against future shifting. Maybe the building even needs to be leveled.

This is not meant to diminish the severity and upsetting aspects of a disaster. Home remodeling instead offers a chance to focus on something else. It is easy to get tied up in worrying and grieving for what was lost in an unexpected disaster. While nobody should entirely ignore and repress their grief, at some point everyone needs a distraction to help them return to normal life. While it may not be able to repair the emotional damage of experiencing these events, perhaps it offers a diversion to heal and move forward. If nothing else, it is a chance to improve the protection of structures from similar future problems.

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Friday, February 2, 2018

Heartwarming Gathering Brings North Bay Fire Animal Rescuers and Owners Together

Volunteers who hauled large animals away from danger during the North Bay Fires reunited Wednesday night. And many of those animal owners came to say thank you.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

What To Do If Your Pipes Freeze and Burst | Consumer Reports

Whether the temperature dropped below freezing while you were away from home, or your efforts to keep the bitter cold at bay couldn?t save your pipes, here are the crucial steps to take to take if you have a burst pipe.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Finding the Right Water Damage Restoration Company

When your home has been flooded due to pipes bursting, overflowing toilets, or a downpour of rain, you need to find someone to clean up the problem. You need to know what to look for in order to get the best service. It is not a simple task that can be done by anyone; in reality, it is something that should be left to the professionals with the correct equipment. However, finding the right water damage restoration company sometimes can be a bit tricky.

Insurance Knowledge

When you are doing your research, you should look for a company that is willing to help file with all types of insurance. Most of these businesses are adept at knowing who needs to be notified at the different agencies in the area. They will help you find the specialist you need who will go through the claims process with you. By working with them, you can get the money necessary to cover expenses.

Own Their Equipment

A professional water damage restoration company will not have to go rent equipment because they will already own everything they need. They should have truck-mounted and portable water extraction units, dehumidifiers, and blowers. These professionals also have gauges that will help them measure just how humid and moist the environment is to ensure that the right combination of equipment is being used.

Professional Knowledge

Of course, you expect a professional to be knowledgeable in what they are doing. The person you choose needs to have the technical expertise to complete the project effectively. Time is of the essence, and while it will take several hours to find the right company and have them complete the project, you do not want to waste time on someone who is unsure of what they are doing. The right company will be able to come out, do a quick survey of the situation, and set right to work. While they work, they can also point out any problems they see that could potentially turn into bigger issues.

24/7 Availability

Finally, a professional water damage restoration company should be available 24/7. It is important to start drying and decontaminating an area as soon as possible. It is the only way to reverse the destruction and get your home back to its former beauty. The longer you wait to get a professional into the house, the more loss you are going to suffer. You will also likely face higher repair costs and expenses.

Even though time is of the essence, thorough research should be done in order to restore your home. A professional water damage restoration company should be available to you whenever disaster strikes, own all their own equipment, and know how to help you work with your insurance company to get the expenses covered. Be sure to check the Better Business Bureau website to ensure the company is accredited. Don't be afraid to read the reviews of the company to see how past customers rated their service.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Fast Response Can Make a Difference With Water Damage

How you respond in a water damage emergency can make a difference in thousands of dollars of repair costs. Ultimately, it can also determine whether you save your carpets or not. It can be tough to know what to do when faced with water damage in your home. That is why it is a good idea to be prepared ahead of time. This can help you to act fast and take control of the situation. The number one solution is to always call a professional immediately. They can provide the best guidance for how to handle your specific situation. Follow these tips to help protect your home.

Water Damage Tips

The first step is to identify the source of the incoming water. It may be that you can stop it. There have been times that an entire house has flooded thanks to a faucet that was unknowingly left on. In the case of a pipe break, you may be able to shut off the water at the source. If the water is coming from another source, you may have to call a professional to handle the problem.

If there are electrical appliances in the flooded area, you will also need to shut off the electricity. Do not wade into the water in order to do so. The electricity should be turned off at the source instead.

The next step is to remove any furniture from the area. This can do two different things. First, it helps to protect the furniture from further damage. Second, it protects the carpet from getting stains or rust damage from areas of contact. Something that many people forget about includes closets. Always be sure to empty the closet floors in particular. If there are cardboard boxes stored anywhere, these will need to be taken out promptly. Otherwise they can leave a stain.

Things to Avoid

When a professional arrives at your home, they will begin the drying process. Prior to their arrival, many people attempt their hand at drying the carpet on their own. Unfortunately, this can cause permanent damage. Do not try to rip up the carpet and pad. When done improperly it can damage the carpet. Also, do not use an electric heater to dry the area. The problem with this method is that it is not powerful enough to dry the pad. It will only dry the surface of the carpet. A professional will evaluate your specific situation and will take the right steps to restore your home.

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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Consumer Reports: Refreshing a Mattress | Consumer Reports

Even a mattress needs a good cleaning. Consumer Reports experts show you how simple it is to keep your mattress lasting longer and even keep some pests away.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Restoration After Water Damage

We sometimes take for granted the things that are most important to us like our home. Some of us may never be prepared for a devastating weather to occur. Some even fail to buy homeowner's insurance and may suffer consequences in times when harsh, unexpected weather may occur. One problem that can occur is water damage. Thousands of people are often affected when strong storms move through their areas. Some of these storms, depending on the nature, may leave behind serious damage leaving so much to repair and some temporarily homeless.

So, if water damage finds you, where do you begin to restore the damage and how does it work? There are many local restoration companies to rely on if it is needed. It is a good idea when looking for these companies is to check certification and experience. This will ensure that the job will be done. With water damage to certain elements in a home or business, the damaged areas must be treated immediately to prevent mold and mildew, like with carpet, for example. If restoration is an option, the company you choose for repair may start from the floor up.

Restoring carpet and other flooring is by all means, cheaper but may not be saved without a fast response. In some extreme cases of water damage regarding carpet, the carpet may be removed and treated with fungicide before re-installation. There are options to research techniques and facts about water damage restoration on websites and it may be a good idea in the event that your home, businesses, or commercial property suffers.

Many wonder, how some things are to be restored after taking in a large amount of water. Many companies across the country have created special techniques to help those who pay this consequence. Another common problem, seen often after flooding has occurred is mold. We all know that mold can create numerous problems including exposing us to dangerous bacteria. We should all take precaution not to allow this to happen. Water damage restoration can in fact aid this problem.

Trained technicians can sometimes remove mold using scrubbing and sand blasting techniques, not only from large areas but the hard to reach as well. There are even treatments for hard wood floors and tile, debris removal and odor control techniques for that terrible smell left behind by water. To learn more or find information about water damage restoration, check local water damage restoration companies and websites. You never know when you may come in contact with water.

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Why Restoration Services Should Be Done Immediately

Hiring a restoration service as soon as you possibly can after your home has been damaged can be important for many different reasons. It could mean the difference between keeping your house and not keeping it. You shouldn't let water or fire damage sit for too long for safety reasons to your health, and because the integrity of the home can suffer greatly shortly after the damage has been left. Water damage should especially be treated immediately after it occurs because of the complications that arise quickly after a flood has happened.

If you leave water sit in your home, it can ruin the wood, foundation, structure, and livability of your home in a hurry. Drywall is easily ruined by water damage, so getting it removed and replaced to prevent the spread of dampness and mold is very important. Mold can ruin a home and be very unhealthy to breathe on a day-to-day basis, so this is the main reason why when you have water damage that you should get it fixed immediately.

Fire damage and smoke damage can be very serious to a home. As soon as you can, you should call a restoration service to assess the damage that has been done, and get them to fix it as soon as you can. You shouldn't leave your home damaged after any event if you want your house to maintain its integrity. Time is really the most important thing when it comes to fire and water damage to your home. Even after a fire is put out, or water is removed, it can still be damaging your house in ways that you cannot see, so be sure to get things fixed and back to normal in a timely manner.

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Friday, January 12, 2018

How To Find A Reliable Company For Resolving Fire Damage Repairs

Disasters can happen at any moment. They can come in the form of floods, earthquakes, or fire outbreaks. No matter the reason for the disaster, it is essential to resolve the damage to bring your regular life back to normalcy. If you see huge loss due to fire in your home, it might be the time to call a professional restoration company to handle the fire damage repairs.
Unfortunately, many people lack necessary information about choosing the right company. Some homeowners choose the very first company they come across. However, this is not the right way to go about this task. You could end up putting a big hole in your budget if the company charges you exorbitantly for its services. Similarly, you won't be able to enjoy top class restoration services if the chosen company is not a professional one. To avoid such scenarios, it is advisable to stay away from such companies.
Instead hunt for a company that can give quality restoration service for fire damage repairs. Finding such a company is certainly not an easy chore. In fact, it can take a toll of any person to spot the right company. Still, you can ease your search and save time by acting prudently. First and foremost, enquire with your relations and acquaintances. People who have hired any company for fixing their fire damages will certainly come handy in this matter. They can let you know the contact details of the company. Moreover, they will give a brief overview of the company and its services.
Seeking help from your coworkers and colleagues at your workplace is another great idea. If any of these people are familiar with a reliable company that renders restoration services for fire damage repairs, they will direct you to that particular company. Similarly, people living in your neighboring areas are also worth enquiring in this respect. If you are unable to find a reliable company for resolving fire damages through offline sources, hit the internet.
A number of reliable companies you can find on the net that offer restoration services for fire damage. Surf the web using relevant search terms, and pen down the names of trusted companies that are popular for rendering quality services at affordable rates. Obtain detailed quotation from these companies to choose the best one for your particular problem. After comparing different companies, settle with the company that provides effective and quality restoration services for fire damage repairs at pocket-friendly rates.
We all hope to never be there, but when a disaster happens to your home you want to be sure that you have the right coverage on your insurance to help you through those tough times. You don't want to have to think about all of details like fire damage repairs, restoration assessments, and insurance claims. Finding a great company online to handle all of this for you would be the best option for you and your family.

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Water-Related Disaster? Safety First

When it comes to emergency water removal, mold removal, and flood damage restoration, leave it to the pros. Your professional disaster restoration specialist has the industry knowledge, experience, and credentials to guide you and your family through the entire process. The appropriate treatment depends on the specific nature of the damage in your home and will be tailored to meet your specific needs.

But homeowners, often feeling helpless in these situations, may ask what they can do to help during this time. The answer is simple but important: safety. Taking measures to ensure the safety of your family and your home is advice to heed. Let's take a look at some safety do's and don'ts.

Is The Home Safe?

Determine whether the house is structurally safe to enter or live in; professionals may refer to the structural integrity of the home. If you're unsure, don't enter the house and make arrangements for shelter with the help of local agencies, neighbors, and friends. Contact your insurance company, too.

If it's determined that the home is safe to enter, turn off the power by disabling the main circuit breaker; turn off the main water supply as well. A flooded basement could damage your furnace if the water reaches a dangerously high level. If you have a natural gas supply line, turn that off also; better still, leave that for a professional.

Of course, keep children and pets away from flooded areas; you don't want accidents from slippery, wet floors.

Don't operate televisions, computers, vacuums or other electrical appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially concrete surfaces.

Be sure your valuables are safe. If you will not be living in the house due to the unsafe conditions, remove your valuables including documents and treasured items such as photographs and other keepsakes; store them with a trusted friend or relative. If you are able to stay in your home, move valuables to a dry, safe location.

Is There Mold?

Mold growth is often one of the ensuing problems created by flood damage. The damp conditions in your home after a flood are an ideal breeding ground for these microscopic organisms that spread by producing airborne spores. Those mix with the air inside your house and can lead to health and safety concerns for you and your family. Typical symptoms resulting from mold exposure include everything from respiratory problems and nasal and sinus congestion, to skin, eye, nose and throat irritation.

(Be on the lookout for signs of mold. They vary considerably but may include a smelly odor, a white and thread-like growth, clusters of small black spots; mold can be grayish-brown, grayish-green or white in color.)

Do treat all flood water as contaminated. The water and water-impacted surfaces may not be contaminated but until determined by a professional, don't take chances. Don't track contaminated materials and items into undamaged areas. Do keep children and pets, who are especially vulnerable, out of suspect areas. Absorbent materials such as carpeting and drywall may be unsalvageable after contaminated.

Implementing these tips will put you into action mode versus feeling helpless. More importantly, it will ensure the safety of your family and your home.

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Emergency Restoration Checklist

Here is a helpful checklist to minimize damage to your property following a fire, flood, storm or other disaster event.

  • Alert your insurance company immediately. Your insurance agent is your partner during this stressful time. He/she will guide you through the claims and clean-up process.
  • Take photos of the damage prior to the property being cleaned-up, boarded-up or demolished. Having photographic documentation of the damage could be helpful for insurance purposes.
  • Determine whether your house or place of business is structurally safe. If not, you will need to evacuate the facility and make alternate arrangements.
  • Shut down the electrical and water supply and close the main gas valve, after the threat of physical danger has passed. These steps will help you avoid further damage, so it is important to know in advance where these important systems are located.
  • Protect and secure property assets and/or personal belongings.
    • Relocate all valuables to a safe and dry place.
    • If there is standing water, try to remove as much of it to the outdoors as possible and run the air conditioning, a dehumidifier or a fan to help dry out the area. WARNING: Standing water will begin to produce dangerous mold within 48 hours, making it imperative to remove all standing water.
    • If conditions allow, cover broken windows and doors as well as damaged walls and roof areas with plywood or plastic sheeting to prevent additional moisture entry and to protect the property from the elements.
  • Inspect the property thoroughly. Your observations and comments will help speed up the restoration process when professional help arrives.
  • Determine if there are roof shingles missing or if there is any damage to your home's exterior, including to the gutters, windows, siding, chimneys, etc.
    • Inspect the property for any signs of water infiltration.
    • Determine if the insulation is wet or damaged. Be sure to check the insulation around your windows and doors and in your attic, crawl spaces and walls.
    • Look closely to verify that your foundation walls are intact.

In most cases your insurance agent will make clean-up/restoration contractor recommendations. However, in some situations, you may be advised to hire a restoration company of your own choosing. The following are tips for hiring the best professional restoration company:

  • Look for a professional restoration company that specializes in working with property owners after a fire, flood, storm or other disaster. These companies are a better choice than general contracting companies that may offer restoration services.
  • Be sure that the company you choose is licensed, bonded and insured in the state where the work will be performed.
  • Do not sign a contract unless the job is described in detail including what will be done, a price estimate and what materials/tools will be used.
  • Ask for a list of references. Also, look at before and after pictures of the company's work.
  • Do not hire a company that requires a larger than normal deposit in order to start work.

The most effective way to recover from a fire, flood, storm or other disastrous event is to take action quickly Carefully following the Emergency Restoration checklist will help the disaster relief experts restore your home and property to normal as quickly as possible.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

An Overview of Water Damage Classifications and Categories

Water damage comes in a variety of forms that can be merely annoying or potentially dangerous, depending on the source of the flow. Today, we will go over the general categories of water leaks, the type of damage they can cause and the recommended steps to treat them. Water damage is split up into various categories and classifications according to standards set by the IICRC.

Category 1 (Clear Water)

This type of water damage occurs when a pipe or appliance springs a leak or overflows when left on unattended. Fortunately, in these types of situations, the water is usually clean and does not pose any real risk to you immediately. Clean water damage typically is an issue for the surrounding environment, such as carpets, books and other belongings which are not waterproof and may need restoration work done if the flooding happens over a long period of time. Additionally, water damage can potentially lead to more severe issues such as mold growth that will need the attention of a professional mold inspector and remediator.

Category 2 (Grey Water)

Gray water damage involves some degree of contamination, whether it's physical, biological or chemical. In layman's terms, gray water is dangerous but not hazardous and needs some form of remediation in order to ensure that the environment is properly restored for human inhabitation. The most common household gray water situations come from toilets, dishwashers and washing machine leaks, where detergents or food particles are mingled in with the water supply. Gray water, like clean water, may also cause mold damage in unattended situations and can also potentially lead to other structural issues depending on the type of contaminant in the water.

Category 3 (Black Water)

This is the most uncommon form of water damage as well as the most dangerous. Black water contains extremely unsanitary agents including bacteria and fungus, and contaminate all surfaces it touches. Black water damage is usually caused by natural disasters such as storms and floods, where debris is washed into the water, or from ruptured sewage lines or septic tanks. This type of water damage must be handled by a professional restoration firm and potentially the state environmental protection agency, as the consequences of leaving the situation untreated or improper treatment can be devastating to many others besides the property owner.

In addition to the types of water damage, there are also various classifications to specify the rate of evaporation for a water damage scenario. This information is subsequently utilized by the technicians to determine the proper method of dryout and an approximate timeline.

Class 1 (Slow Evaporation Rate)

This is the most benign level of water damage in which only a part of a room or area is affected, or the materials involved are relatively low permanence or porosity such as particle board, structural wood or plywood. In these situations, there is usually a minimal amount of moisture absorbed by materials and restoration time is typically fast.

Class 2 (Fast Evaporation Rate)

This class generally involves an entire room, or flood damage where water has wicked up to 24 inches on the wall. Moisture can be present in the structure as well. These scenarios are middle of the road as far as the work and time involved.

Class 3 (Fastest Evaporation Rate)

Class 3 situations commonly involves water that comes from above, either from an upstairs room or outside during heavy rain. In these scenarios, water has saturated more than 24 inches above the wall, posing severe structural risk and potential damage if not immediately addressed.

Class 4 (Specialty Drying Situations)

In this class, the surrounding structure and materials have very low permance/porosity, causing water to remain in saturated pockets throughout. Examples include hardwood, brick, concrete or other materials that do not have a high amount of absorption rate for moisture. These scenarios require very specific low humidity and ventilation solutions in order for water to be effectively removed.

While the class and categorization of a water emergency can usually be quickly inferred, be sure to double check with your water technician when they arrive on site to get the full scope of the situation after a professional inspection has been conducted. Your technician should be able to provide you with an approximate estimate of the timeframe, as well as details on the exact work that needs to be done to bring everything back up to speed. We will cover the various methods of water damage restoration in our next article so be sure to stay tuned!

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