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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