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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