Monday, December 31, 2012

Water Damage Should Be Handled As Quickly As Possible

There are some people who procrastinate when it comes to getting their water damage issues resolved. It may be due to apathy. It may be because they don't see it as a big deal. It may even be because they don't want to spend the money that it will take to get the issue handled. Whatever the case may be, it's never a good idea to let this type of problem go unresolved for extended periods of time.

One reason that this isn't a good course of action to take is because of how aesthetically unappealing water damage can make a room look. This is especially true if the issue occurs in noticeable places such as the walls, ceilings, or even the floors. A home could be as clean and as nicely decorated as possible, but just one spot or stain could throw everything off.

Imagine going over to eat at a coworker's house for the first time. They live in a nice neighborhood, with manicured lawns. All of the homes are kept and well-maintained. When you finally get to their place, you are even more impressed by their outdoor décor and landscaping. At that point, you can't wait to get inside to see the rest of the home.

After a few moments you are finally able to get inside. Your co-worker leads you to the dining area. As you follow along, you begin to notice their nice furniture and beautiful tile floors. Once you finally get to the dining room and take your seat, your eyes are suddenly led to a basketball sized spot on the wall that was caused by water damage. As much as you were impressed before, you are now just as grossed out. Because the co-worker decided against getting the issue fixed, they have to deal with those types of occurrences every time they have a guest over for dinner.

Another reason water damage should be dealt with quickly is because of the mold that could eventually form. Because mold tends to grow and multiply over time, it's important to get it removed early on or at the onset.

First of all, getting it resolved quickly can help homeowners save money. That's because it's cheaper to get a small amount of mold removed than it is to get a half of wall of it removed. Taking this course of action is also important and beneficial because of how harmful mold can be to people's health.

Not only can water damage diminish the aesthetic appeal of a home, but the mold that it creates can also cause health issues. This is why the issue should be resolved at its onset.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Fire Damage Cleanup - 4 Reasons the Professionals Should Handle It

Fire damage cleanup is never an easy job to get completed and a lot of people like to attempt it themselves. This shouldn't be done if you don't know how to do it right, but instead should be left up to the professionals that know what they are doing.

There are many reasons why cleanup should be left to the professionals. Knowing what the reasons are will allow you to see why the professionals are the ones that should do the cleanup.

Here are the main reasons you must understand.

One: Fire cleanup can be dangerous - Most people don't realize that after the fire has been put out, there is still danger in your home. Most times the fire will cause damage you can see, but it can also cause damage that you can't see.

This could include foundation damage to your house. If you make one wrong step in your home without understanding the remaining dangers, then you can end up with your home falling down and you getting hurt or worse.

The professionals know what danger and damage signs to look for because they have experience with cleaning up after fires. They also know how to avoid the fumes and smoke that linger in your home after a fire that you may not know to avoid.

Two: Run the risk of causing further damage - If you are inexperienced with fire cleanup, then you have a very real risk of causing further damage. This can do you and your home more harm than good.

The professionals have the knowledge to prevent further damage and will get the job done right in a timely manner so you can resume your life as quickly as you can.

Three: Physical and emotional instability - Fire in your house can be very physically and emotionally hard for anyone to deal with.

Cleanup on your own house and belongings is more than some people can handle because it is very hard to deal with the mess left behind.

You can easily avoid this by letting the professionals handle the cleanup for you. They will do the job right so that the fire can be become a part of your past as fast as possible.

Four: The professionals have the equipment to restore your property instead of having to replace everything. This will allow you to save some money and make sure that any traces from the fire are gotten rid of.

Now that you understand why fire damage cleanup is best left to the professionals, you need to decide for yourself if this is the right thing for your cleanup. Just remember that anyone that doesn't have experience with this will have to learn how to do it before it can be done, so if you want it done right and without delay, then hire the professionals for it.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from Easton Construction Group, Inc.!

"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!" 
~Hamilton Wright Mabie

Saturday, December 22, 2012

How to Choose a Water Damage Restoration Company

Water damage after a burst pipe, rising river, hurricane, overflow, or similar situation often impacts more than the immediate area and also the home's content which might be in its path. The process of restoring a property to its pre-damaged state is referred to as water damage restoration, which many companies specialize in. Any water damage to a home can be a destructive and stressful time, but having it repaired need not be a difficult process.

Here are of the several steps which might help in searching for the right water damage restoration service:

Use the services of a specialist water damage restoration company: In an unfortunate situation like this, it is important that you are able to hire the services of a company that specializes in treating water damaged properties, whether this might be from internal damage (burst pipes) or external damage (floods, storms, hurricanes). It is often the case that certain carpet cleaning companies might claim to offer a water restoration service, however they are likely to lack the required expertise that you would need for such a significant job of this type.

Make contact with several local companies: In the process of searching for the right contractor to hire it is important to contact two or three different companies to determine the type of services that might be available to you. Even in such a distressful situation like this, it is still important to invest the necessary time to establish whether a company is a good hire or not. If able, get personal referrals from family members or friends who might have been in a similar situation, or go online and search for local companies that have a good number of positive comments next to their business name. Finding the right highly trained staff is imperative to having a property dried and restored to a high standard.

Obtain multiple estimates: after receiving several estimates for the repair work, you can compare each of those are side by side to establish which he is able to offer a high standard of work at a reasonable price. A temptation might be there to opt for the cheapest estimate; however it is important to consider all factors in the decision-making process, as it is important that the company is able to offer a qualified team that is able to get the job done the right way.

Don't delay in getting repairs carried out. If placed in a situation where significant water damage has been caused to property, it is important that the work is carried out as soon as possible. Water damage if left is only likely to worsen, which can lead to damage to the integrity of a structure as well as the development of a mold infestation.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Holiday Fire Safety Tips : Fire Prevention

Christmas always sees an increase in the amount of house fires reported due to things like lights and trees. Get Christmas holiday fire safety tips with help from a goal-oriented health care provider in this free video clip.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Why You Should Repair Water Damage Quickly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Home Construction - 15 Reasons Why Being Your Own General Contractor Is a Bad Idea

Unless you are a professional builder/general contractor or you have a close friend or relative who is and would be willing to work with you at all times, acting as your own building contractor, more often than not, can have disastrous results.
Countless times we have seen homeowners who have chosen to do their own home construction contracting with the intention of saving money only to spend far more on the construction budget than they would have spent had they hired a builder to handle the whole project in the first place.
The idea of saving money by being your own general contractor is a myth
General contracting is a serious undertaking which requires the services of a licensed professional. The following often overlooked but very important reasons contribute to costly and unfavorable home construction results when homeowners undertake the duties of a professional general contractor themselves:
  1. Lack of knowledge regarding up-to-date building code rules and regulations can result in code violations, failed building inspections and the need for costly reconstruction delays.
  2. Inexperience with the building process and construction procedures will adversely affect scheduling of subcontractors. Work performed out of sequence can result in poor quality and often require the need for expensive fixes and reconstruction.
  3. Inability to schedule subcontractors in a way that optimizes work conditions can be very disruptive. Too many different subs working at once can cause confusion and make supervision more difficult. Workers stumbling over each other and getting in each others' way can result in expensive mistakes and costly damages many of which are not discovered until it's too late.
  4. Unfamiliarity with the in-between job prep necessary to optimize each sub-contracting project can cause construction delays. Each sub-contracting job needs to be properly completed and ready for the next construction phase. Not handling all the intricacies properly can cause delays and unnecessary extra expenses.
  5. Lack of knowledge regarding the proper building materials and supplies can result in delays and re-stocking fees when re-ordering the correct supplies.
  6. Inability to coordinate timely delivery of building materials can also result in delays and rescheduling sub-contracting work.
  7. Poor command of job-site logistics will result in materials being off-loaded to improper strategic areas. This can make access for workers difficult and inconvenient, further adding to the delays and construction budget.
  8. As a non-professional, pricing discounts are not always available from suppliers for a one-time only job. As repeat customers, general contractors and builders receive much better pricing and billing advantages which are then passed on to the homeowner.
  9. As a one-time only job, subcontractors will not provide the same discount pricing to homeowners that they give to their builders. Professional builders can offer their subs a continuous flow of jobs and income.
  10. As a non-repeat job, subcontractors will not provide the same favorable treatment to homeowners that they give to their regular general contractor. It's only natural that they would give preferential treatment to their regular employer, showing up at those jobs first and going the extra mile.
  11. Although they may get recommendations for subcontractors from good sources, homeowners will not have firsthand knowledge regarding the quality of work. Professional builders with at least several years of experience will have weeded-out poor quality subs.
  12. Along the same lines, homeowners will not be familiar with the personality and behavior pattern of a subcontractor, something that is just as important for a good working rapport.
  13. Homeowners don't generally have all the equipment and tools that builders have which are necessary to properly carry out the entire construction project. This can result in the need for expensive purchases and rentals.
  14. For the inevitable call-backs and repairs for which your general contractor is responsible only one phone call will be needed.
  15. General contracting is a full-time job requiring a major commitment of attention and energy over a period of at least six months to one year. Homeowners would certainly have to abandon their regular duties or employment to properly deal with such a significant commitment.
For these reasons the tempting desire to save the customary contractor mark-up by acting as your own general contractor can end up costing you much more money and headaches in the long run. Consider other safer methods such as smaller, value-engineered house plans that use simplified construction techniques to save on building costs rather than put your new home at risk of becoming a disaster.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Fire Restoration Companies - Do it Yourself Or Let the Professionals Handle It?

Fire is a devastating thing that can happen to any family and if it does, then the cleanup process needs to be done right away. Before this can be accomplished, you have to decide whether to hire one of the fire restoration companies do it for you.

Before you can make this important decision, you have to understand why cleanup has to be done right away and why it is necessary that it is done right.

The following are the main reasons that fire damage can't be ignored if you want to get your home back to normal as soon as possible.

1. Fire is the cause of other damages besides burning. The smoke that goes with it can also cause damage to your walls and belongings. Structural damage is also an issue when a fire happens. Your home will not be safe to live in if you don't get this repaired right away.

2. Smoke and fire damage requires more cleanup than just washing down the walls. Smoke can get into hard surfaces like your floors and walls and can linger for years if it is not treated correctly and quickly.

The experts have the equipment that will help rid your home of the smoke damage that will be left behind in your house. This is something that most people will not have a way to access. It is essential that the smoke is cleaned up right so that you can get rid of all traces of the fire from your home.

3. Soot also causes damage that need to be cleaned up. It can cover many areas and cleanup needs to be done using special equipment. This will get rid of the soot and any smells. Again, getting access to special equipment for fire cleanup is not easy for individuals to do, but for the professionals it is easy. One thing to realize is that if the soot is not cleaned up right, then you may end up having to replace whatever items it is on and this can get to be very expensive.

4. Structural damage is another thing that many individuals don't have any clue how to fix. This damage has to be done right or other problems could occur.

The professionals have the skills and knowledge needed to do it right for you. If you don't know how to do it, then you would have to take time to learn and this can delay cleanup which is definitely not good.

Now that you understand why cleanup needs to be done right away and done right from the start; you just have to make up your mind about whether to do the cleanup yourself or let the experts from fire restoration companies complete this for you. Just don't take too long to decide because cleanup needs to start immediately to be done right.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Professional Restoration Of Damaged Property

When significant damage occurs on a building or home, the restoration process needs to account for numerous things. It does not matter if the home was just mildly destroyed in a minor fire or if there was so much water damage that the foundation is cracked. The work to fix up the space needs to be methodical and thorough to ensure the property is suitable for people to live in again or to work in if it is a business. There are no shortcuts to take here. Rather, the process needs to address all of the concerns of those who will use the facility.

Managing Fire Repair

One of the most common realms where restoration work is needed is where a fire has occurred. A fire can be devastating not just because of the actual burnt areas, but also due to the smoke it leaves behind. The process begins with removal of the damaged elements. Then, the professionals will need to clean out the space thoroughly to remove harmful ash and debris. Once that is done, then a treatment option is necessary to remove the smoke damage. This includes removing the odor that is present.

Water Damage Concerns

In situations where there is significant water damage to a property, it is even more important to call in professionals to handle both the clean up and the repairs required. First, any water present must be removed. Then, debris from the structural damage must be taken into consideration. Only after all of this is done can the process of cleanup really start. Water damage often causes structural damage to various components of the building. There is always the risk of mold being present, too. This is especially necessary in situations where there is any length of time when the surfaces were left wet.

Other Repairs

There are other times when a team is called to restore the damage. For example, if the home needs to be boarded up, this is a time to call in a pro. If there is sewage backup, that could also warrant the help of a professional team. You may or may not have an insurance company to work with in these situations. The right team will work with you and your insurance provider to get the job done properly.

In many cases, restoration work can bring the home or building back into a usable condition. However, this is only possible if a professional team does the work, or at least someone who has ample experience in the area of handling these types of problems. Your health and that of your family or customers is on the line if the wrong steps are taken to improve the conditions.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Water Damage From Storms, Floods and Other Sources

Water damage from storms and floods often appears very minor upon first glance, but can quickly escalate into needless, extensive damage to not only property but also your health. When water travels over the ground and enters the home, rising higher than floors, it is considered Category 3 damage - the highest level of contamination, sometimes referred to as black water. Examples of black water includes sewage backflows, rising water from rivers, streams, runoff and seawater that enters a structure.

When dealing with black water - Category 3 water damage, it is important to quickly contact a professional, certified remediation company.

To clean water damage from flooding, several steps will generally be taken to handle the property damage.

First, it is important that all occupants of the property are safe. Flood water can contain harmful organisms such as viruses, parasites and harmful bacteria. If timely decontamination doesn't occur within 24 to 48 hours, fungi and mold can quickly spread.

Next the professionals will remove any excess water and contaminated porous items such as carpeting, drywall and upholstered furniture. These items will most likely be properly disposed of since it can be nearly impossible to remove all contamination from the flooding.

Finally the environment will be restored to its dry state using several methods. Depending on the level of damage several tools such as a negative air machine and an air scrubber will be used. The restoration company will clean and sanitize all remaining surfaces and materials using approved cleaners and disinfectants.

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Signs That a Home Needs a Remodel

Remodeling a room in a house has many long-lasting benefits. It can increase the functionality of the room, raise the resale value of the house and provide an updated look. Professional custom remodeling contractors are available to help every homeowner walk through the steps of a remodel.

One of the most popular rooms to be remodeled in a house is the kitchen. Kitchens can become out of date and can lose their functionality as the family grows. A small kitchen may suit the needs of a new family, but as the number of kids increase and the children grow up, the kitchen can become too small. Kitchen remodeling contractors can help a homeowner find solutions to the overcrowding. Taking out a wall or moving cabinets are some of the solutions that can be utilized to increase space and function.

The bathroom is another popular room to get a makeover. New and better bathroom fixtures are coming on the market all of the time. The features of these new items can make a big difference in the bath experience. Additionally, a bathroom that was built as part of a spec home or first time home may not have all of the amenities that are desired by homeowner. Adding a new bathtub or tile to the bathroom is a good way to remodel the bathroom that will make it feel like a spa inside of the house. Professional contractors are familiar with the applicable codes and construction methods to ensure that the bathroom remodel is done correctly and quickly.

Living Room
The room used the most in the house is typically the living room or den. The family gathers in that room to enjoy each other's company. The amount of use the living room receives can quickly wear out everything in the room such as the furniture or television. Also, as children grow they will start having more friends over to use the living room. The additional number of people in the room can make it feel crowded. When a homeowner finds themselves avoiding a particular part of the house due because it is unattractive and worn or if the room is becoming over-crowded with nowhere to sit, it may be time to remodel the living room.

Eventually, the homeowner will want to make changes to modernize and renovate the house. The best way to get professional results in the least amount of time is to hire a contractor to handle the home remodeling project.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Expert Professionals for the Best Smoke Damage Cleanup

The smell of smoke can really irritate your nose and overwhelm your body's respiration, especially if your home suffered from fire. If your home is foul-smelling, it is easy to eliminate the odor using a room deodorizer. Going natural, dried eucalyptus branches placed inside a pot or vase could also keep off the bad smell away.

What if something is burned inside your house or a part of your house was razed by fire? Surely, it will leave a lot of residues and odors. Could a spray of deodorizer or a pot of eucalyptus bring the magic? Probably not. What is even worse is that the bad smell from smoke will make the repair and restoration more difficult. And since using even the most potent odor-removing techniques and sprays will not take away the smoke from your home, the most practical thing that you-and other homeowners-should do is hire experts who could conduct smoke damage cleanup. Knowing that eliminating the smell of unwanted smoke is often beyond your skill or even that of your most reliable handyman, follow what most insurance companies suggest: hire experts.

But if fire only affected a small part of your home, probably your kitchen or bedroom, and if there is no structural damage at all-just a few soot and an awful smell of smoke-your insurance claim, being limited only to the smoke and soot, might discourage you to hire a cleanup team.

With this, you have only two options: it's either you hire someone and pay for his service at your own expense or do the work yourself.

If you decide to do the work on your home, here are the things that you might need for a do-it-yourself smoke damage cleanup:

• Vacuum cleaner. Choose a unit that can handle wet and dry surfaces.

• Dry, cleaning sponges. Choose sponges that are specially made for cleaning soot. They are available in cleaning and paint supply stores and you could also find one at art suppliers since they are also great for cleaning paintings and other artworks.

• Tri-sodium phosphate (TSP). This is chemical, though caustic, works as an all-purpose cleaning agent that easily wipes grease and soot. Pine cleaners are also effective and they are less caustic than TSP but using them requires longer time before effects come out.

• Bucket. Your bucket should be at least gallon-size so you could mix TSP and other cleaners properly.

• Sponges, rags, and mop. You will use these for cleaning and wiping out hard and stained surfaces.

• Rubber gloves. Use rubber gloves while mixing cleaners and cleaning the surfaces to avoid skin irritation. Oils from your fingers can cause further damage on the surfaces that you have contact with especially when mixed with soot. Thus, using rubber gloves will make your work easier and more effective.

• Vacuum cleaner with edge attachment. This equipment is great for stains and soot on hard-to-reach corners and cracks.

Since most smoke damage are widespread and affects a huge area in your house, you could enlist the help of professional smoke damage cleanup experts. They have better equipment, skills, and expertise than you do that could save you time and money in the long run. If a greater part of your home is razed by fire and it is only redeemable when an expert team of professionals steps in to do the job, then don't think twice. Contact your most trusted restoration professional now and let their expertise save your home from further dereliction.

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing You And Your Family A Very Safe And Happy Thanksgiving, From All Of Us At Easton Construction Group!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Making Your Home Fire-Safe

The following article can be used as a fire safety checklist for your home. By employing all of these great tips you will actually be potentially saving your own life, as well as your families. Here are the best tips to stay fire safe this season.

If you have smokers in your household, make sure that they have a designating smoking area. This doesn't need to be an obvious looking smoking enclosure, it just needs to be somewhere outside that is free from flammable objects and contains clean ashtrays for cigarette butts.

You must eliminate clutter and allow plenty of room for flammable goods. If you have kids around, these places should be out of reach and possible locked. These storage areas must not be exposed to any electricity or heat sources. If flammable goods are kept in a shed outside make sure that there is plenty of ventilation and heat is not trapped.

Make sure that everyone in your household is up to date with the evacuation procedures should there be a need. An evacuation drill should be practiced at least every 6-12 months.

The evacuation process should be aimed at getting everybody out of the house is the fastest possible manner and leaving personal items behind. Following on from this, you should also have all emergency phone numbers clearly displayed next to every phone. The evacuation path must be kept clear and easy to navigate at all times. You must consider any locks, deadlocks, or other obstructions in the path of evacuation and these must be made as easy as possible to navigate.

Ensure that rubbish bins are emptied daily, all clutter is thrown away, and electrical items are put away safely after use. Identifying fire hazards is a skill and you should work on identifying and eliminating all hazards around the home. This is especially easy by removing all clutter in your home that could be considered a threat.

At least two fire extinguishers per average household is usually enough, but these should be clearly marked so that everyone knows exactly here to look. Fire alarms should be carefully placed in fire 'hotspots' around your home. Any fire sprinklers and other fire equipment is advised but not necessary.

You must ensure everything is done to prevent a fire from occurring in your home. A common cause of household fires is due to an electrical issue. Ensure that you have an adequate number of power points available and that you are not overloading them with adapters and multiple appliances if not needed.

Another point to make is that you should check that you have circuit breaker points installed and that they are all working correctly. These will shut off power to a certain section of your home if power is overloaded. They are a great fire prevention tool.

In conclusion, you must build up awareness to fire hazards and act accordingly to eliminate these hazards. If you can get a two in one fire alarm that also detects carbon monoxide in the air you will successfully eliminate two hazards in one. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas which can be emitted from faulty household appliances. It is a clear, odorless gas that can be fatal.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

State Farm® - Turkey Fryer Fire Danger

When deep frying a turkey, make sure you do it as safely as possible. The Illinois Fire Service Institute and State Farm teamed up to illustrate the fiery dangers associated with common deep frying mistakes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Different Home Renovations

Most of the time, when you read articles about home renovations, you see the same ol' advice in every one of them.

Instead of stressing the importance of light paint colors or the importance of the perfect kitchen, we've come up with 5 home renovations that are totally nontraditional -- but will still give you awesome results:

1. Forget the kitchen cabinets

They can make your kitchen look a whole lot more dramatic, but let's face it, new cabinets are expensive! You can save money and get even more storage space by building a pantry instead. As an added benefit, pantries are a whole lot easier to use. Instead of organizing everything in small cabinets, you can simply walk in and get whatever you need!

2. Split up your spare bathroom

Whether it's where your kids get ready for school or where guests get dressed while they're staying over at your house, you can do everyone a favor by splitting up the room -- specifically, by putting the toilet and shower in one part and the sinks in another. By separating the room up with a door, you won't have to worry about your son's steamy shower interfering while your daughter dries or hair, or worrying about how guests are going to balance using the toilet with brushing their teeth.

3. Get rid of the bathtub

Be honest -- how many times do you actually take a bath? You may want to let Calgon take you away on a regular basis, but everyday life always seems to get in the way! In the end, your bathtub becomes a huge chunk of wasted space.

By eliminating the bathtub and replacing it with a stand-alone shower, you can make your bathroom look huge. Even a giant shower will take up less space than the tub. And, as an added benefit, it uses less hot water.

4. Hang bathroom lights on the wall, instead of from the ceiling

Those fluorescent lights in your bathroom ceiling aren't just outdated; they're also unflattering. The last thing you want when you're getting ready for that big business meeting is to look in the mirror and see hair that looks green and skin that looks pasty.

Instead, you can create a much more relaxing vibe by installing several lights on the wall, around the mirror. By having several of them, you can get all of the light you need, without installing super-bright bulbs.

As an added benefit, setting up your lights like this doesn't cost any more than it would to get rid of those awful fluorescent lights and replace them with a more modern ceiling fixture.

5. Think about what you really want

Lots of people take on home renovation projects because they think they "have to" -- like they're "supposed" to have a spare bedroom for guests, or that they "need" a home entertainment room.

Instead, give some thought to what you want to do with your space. If you want to turn your spare bedroom into a library, a gym, or a workshop, do it! Your guests can make do with a sofa bed in the library, or crashing on the couch because your old guest room is full of exercise equipment.

After all, how often do you really have guests over to spend the night anyways? By having an entire room set aside solely for guests, you're ignoring a big part of your home! Instead, make the most out of it by turning into a place that you can enjoy day in and day out.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Water and Fire Damage Restoration Calls for Professional Service

According to statistics from 2009 published by the National Fire Protection Association, in the U.S. a total of $12.5 billion in property damage was due to 1.3 million fires throughout the nation. In 2003, every 20 seconds a fire department was called to respond to a structural fire. When faced with the unfortunate and frightening experience of a fire in your home or business, water and fire damage restoration needs are immediate and demand professional services.

Water and fire damage restoration is best left to the professionals with years of experience. Fire and water damage is progressive and affects more than just the items on the surface of your home or business. Smoke residues are acidic and will cause surfaces to corrode and stain permanently. Smoke residues pressurized during a fire will permeate every crack and crevice of your home or building and deposit odor causing residues as well.

Water - whether through natural disaster, home accidents and even from fire departments putting out a fire to save your home can also cause a great deal of damage. Mold can begin to grow in as little as 24-48 hours and can cause severe health issues. Respiratory illnesses, asthma and severe allergic reactions are all known risks from exposure to mold. After a fire, try to stay calm and call in a professional water and fire damage restoration service.

Do NOT enter the damaged building until cleared to do so by fire authorities in your area. Once allowed back in the building, take an inventory of your home's contents and open all the windows. Empty the refrigerator and freezer - especially if the electricity is turned off and be sure to remove all pets to a clean environment. Do NOT begin to wipe down or wash walls and other surfaces and try not to use any upholstered furniture if possible. Also, do not use foods or canned goods which have been exposed to extreme heat or excessive smoke. You will also need to avoid use of the TV or any other electrical device until they have been cleaned and the electrical system has been checked. When taking your garments to be cleaned, you will want to ensure they are taken to a dry cleaner that specializes in cleaning smoke damaged garments as improper cleaning will only set in the smoke. Be sure you do not turn on any heating or air conditioning units until those have been checked, cleaned and cleared as well.

A professional water and fire damage restoration service will provide cleaning for all upholstery in the home as well as drapes, carpets, walls, ceilings and all contents. They will clean and protect the trim and hardware in your kitchen and bathroom as well as cleaning and protecting all fixtures from smoke damage. They will also deodorize the entire home to permanently remove all smoke odor as well as musty water damage odor caused by mold and mildew.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fire Damage Restoration - Get Your House Back To Good Condition

When there has been a fire in your home, the most important thing you need to do is to get your home back to good condition. The best way to achieve that goal in a short amount of time and with the least amount of stress for you is to hire a company to do fire damage restoration for you.

There are many ways that a good company can help you get your home back in good condition in a short space of time. So that you can decide if hiring the experts is the smart choice to make or if you should do it yourself, you need to understand how they can do this for you.

The following are the most important ways that a fire restoration company can help you.

One: Equipment - Getting fire damage cleaned up right requires professional equipment. The fire restoration companies are going to have the right equipment needed to do the job right.

You will have to buy or rent the right equipment if you try and do it yourself. This can get to be even more expensive than hiring professionals to handle it for you.

Without the right equipment, damage that is caused by the fire can go unfixed and this can cause problems in the future with your house. Prevent this by letting the people that have the right equipment do the job for you.

Two: Experience - Do you have experience cleaning up after a fire? Many people don't, but the companies that provide restoration do. You want to be sure that you ask each company about their experience before deciding to hire them because each one will be different in how much experience they have.

Three: Knowledge - Did you know that entering your home after a fire can still prove to be dangerous? Most people don't ever realize that there is still danger in their home.

The restoration companies have the knowledge needed about fires and the aftermath that they know there are still dangers. They also know what those dangers may be, while this is not something that most people are even aware of, but which is important to know.

Four: Time to do it right - Can you find the time needed to ensure that the cleanup is done correctly and fast so that you will end up with the least amount of damage from it? Most people don't because they have a job they need to work in order to support themselves and their family.

The company that you hire will have the time needed to do it right since this is what they do for their living. You don't want a rushed cleanup because important things may be missed.

By hiring professionals, you can be sure that the time is taken to ensure that everything is cleaned up from the beginning.

These are the most essential ways that a professional company really can help you with fire damage restoration. Now you just need to decide if you want to attempt the cleanup yourself or if you are going to hire the experts that know how to do it right from the start.

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Water Damage Restoration Process

Water damage restoration is a complicated task that requires a variety of techniques and equipment in order to ensure that the job is properly done. Depending on the size and scale of the emergency, different steps are taken in order to remove the water and remediate any contaminated areas. Today, we will continue from our previous article and go over the various things that are typically done on a water damage job as well as the scope of the equipment used.
The essential steps to any water damage restoration job can be broken down as follows:
* Flood Water Removal
* Moisture Mapping
* Mold Inspection and Removal
* Water Drying Techniques
Flood Water Removal
Removing the source of the water is the first important step on any water damage restoration. Professional technicians should have a variety of equipment available at their disposal when they arrive on the scene. Usually, portable submergible water pumps are used to pump out water accumulation in structures. These pumps have a high threshold for extracting water and can usually dry out an entire submerged area in a short time, which is essential to stop the damage from spreading.
Moisture Mapping
Moisture mapping involves using detection equipment in order to obtain an approximate map for the moisture values on your property. Infrared is one of the more common methods used to obtain accurate readings, and properly trained technicians typically take high-quality digital photos as well to assess the extent of the damage. This step is crucial in order to get an idea of how bad the water damage may be and to take preliminary steps to prevent mold growth.
Mold Inspection and Removal
Residual water can lead to mold damage if unaddressed. Water damage professionals will use special detergents that sterilize the area and make conditions unfavorable for mold growth. Additionally, some restoration firms can use deodorization and ventilation as part of the process to get rid of any lingering odors and airborne contaminants.
Water Drying Techniques
These are some of the most common water drying techniques utilized by IICRC-certified professionals. Each technique is used according to the severity of the situation.
Air Movers
Also known as evaporators, air movers help the drying process by controlling humidity in a region and promote circulation of air. This helps on a broad level by removing liquids from porous materials - carpet, wood, drywall, plaster and more - leaving the more difficult trying to specialized equipment.
Dehumidifiers / Desiccant Dehumidification
Dehumidifiers remove the moisture from the air so lingering water in the area can be extracted from the area. These can be categorized broadly under refrigerant dehumidifiers and desiccant dehumidifiers.
Refrigerant dehumidifiers work under the principle of cooling the surrounding air. When this happens, the air loses its ability to retain water, causing condensation upon the cooling coils of the equipment. High-grade dehumidifiers work like a powerful version of consumer dehumidifiers, rapidly pulling the excess moisture from the air.
Desiccant dehumidifiers do not need cooling to remove water; instead, they use materials that naturally absorb moisture. When applied on a large scale, these machines can quickly extract humidity from the air in as effective a manner as refrigerants. The type of equipment uses depends on the company you hire and the conditions of the restoration job.
Additional equipment specific to the homeowner's region may be utilized, depending on the size of the restoration firm. Each water damage job is completely unique and requires proper analysis of the situation at hand to apply the proper equipment and techniques for removing water as quickly as possible.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Considerations for Your Home Remodel

Whether you have owned your home for a few months or many years, all homeowners can benefit from a home remodel. Remodeling projects greatly vary - are you looking to spruce up a fireplace surround, or is your home in need of a complete home makeover? If you feel its time for a home overhaul, a remodel can make your dreams come true and help you turn your house into the home you've always imagined. Before you get started however, know that the remodeling process itself can give you nightmares. You should proceed with caution if you are thinking about a home remodel. Read on for more guidance on this endeavor.
Before you even start the process, you must first set aside a budget for this project. How do you know you have enough? Put together a list of your desired remodel projects and get an estimate from several contractors; this will give you a good idea of what your home remodel will cost. How do you look for good contractors? Begin by checking the phone book and websites for contractors in your area. Ask friends, family and coworkers if they have any personal experience working with a contractor they would recommend.
When searching for the right contractor, remember to check their experience and expertise. Have they been in business for a long time? Do they specialize in particular remodel projects? It is also a good idea to ask for references. A good contractor will have many references to share with you. Be wary of those who don't as this could be a sign of inexperience or a contractor who doesn't have a good working relationship with clients. If they have one, ask to view their portfolio of past home remodels to see what the contractor has accomplished. Work with someone you trust. You want to get quality results within your budget.
Next step is knowing what you want to be accomplished. If you aren't sure exactly what you want, work closely with your contractor; they will be able to give you technical insight and experience-based knowledge that will help you decide where to spend your remodeling budget. Get a blueprint of your house and determine which parts will need the renovation. Are there things that need immediate structural repair? Perhaps there are cracked walls, or weakened beams, or damaged sidings. These things should get the foremost attention.
Be certain of the new look that you want to have for your home. You may want to get suggestions from a professional so they can help you realize your home remodel ideas. Planning and design always come first before any work is begun. Keep in mind that kitchen and bathroom remodeling add a lot of value to your home, but they are also more difficult and more expensive due to added plumbing and electrical requirements.
Here are some questions to ask yourself in a home remodel project:
• Do you want a good landscape for your lawn?
• A nice façade for your home?
• How big is your living room and what type of furniture do you want for it?
• Do you wish to have a separate entertainment room for your latest home theater system and other electronic gadgets?
• What theme do you want for your kitchen and how big should it be?
• What appliances will you get for your cooking needs?
• How spacious should the dining room be?
• What kind of lighting do you want for it?
• How many bedrooms are in the house?
• What specifications do you want for each?
• How many bathrooms are in the house?
• Do you want a consistent look for them?
• Would you consider getting a bathroom suite for this?
Remember that besides the aesthetic features that you may want to improve, note also the soundness of the functional features of the house like the electrical, plumbing, and air conditioning systems.
Know the timeline for the home remodel to be finished. Work closely with the contractors. You should be updated with the progress as frequently as possible. Ask questions about the remodel should you have any. Remember, once the work is finished you should come home to the house of your dreams!

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Fire Damage Remediation Is Crucial For Your Safety

Since fire was invented, man has benefited from it enormously. The cave man used fire to cook food, keep him warm and it also protected him against predators. This definitely made his life easy. But fire also had the power to burn down everything to ashes. Since the beginning of time there have been several events where fire has swallowed families, houses and other structures. But, of course man has found answers to every challenge and fire is no exception. Today, we have special agencies and people who are fire damage remediation experts. Whatever the extent of the damage they promise to restore the fire sites to their normal condition.

If someone ever becomes a victim of fire accidents, it is traumatizing and devastating. This condition does not allow him to restore his place. And even if he might want to do it, he did not have the necessary knowledge on how to do it. This gives way to fire damage remediation experts. The y train the remediation workers to fix things up after a fire accident. Once they arrive at the site they take a comprehensive assessment of the reason for the fire accident and its extent. They assess the structure's stability and check if the structure has integrity to stand by itself or not. And all this is one using special instruments and trained workforce.

After the assessment they start working on the cleanup and restoration part. They use special chemicals to remove the soot. They would remove all sort of soot, including the one caused by protein smoke. Thy remove the odors caused by smoke from the site. They devise extreme clean up, sanitizing and deodorizing solutions to restore the place. In fire accidents time is everything; so the faster the restoration starts, the better.

The first thing that people must do after a fire accident is call up the insurance company and make fire insurance claims. Explain the entire problem to them. These agencies have 24-hour call lines, so getting to talk to them at any point of the day is not a problem. Once the agent has all the details of the accident, ask him what your coverage is under the fire insurance policy. Getting to know this gives a fair idea of getting things fixed. Fire damage remediation restoration is a job best done by professionals, so victims must leave to the experts to fix things and not doing it themselves.

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 remediation, damage repair 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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Friday, October 26, 2012

Categories and Classes of Water Damage Mitigation

Water damage mitigation means to control or contain / make smaller. It's to control the cost of the loss and prevent further damage from occurring by taking reasonable and prudent steps to secure and protect the property from on-going damage.

Water damage is generally arranged in 3 different categories. Scope of work and remediation process depends on category of loss. There are 3 categories of water damage restoration.

Category 1: "Clean Water" water source that does not pose substantial harm to humans. Example of category 1 includes water damage caused by a pipe, washer machine, etc.

Category 2: "Gray Water" water containing some degree of contamination. Has the potential to cause substantial discomfort or sickness.

Category 3: "Black Water" grossly unsanitary. Contains pathogenic (disease causing) agents.

Example of category 3 include water from the outside (flood damage), sewage, etc.

In addition to the water damage category, there are also different classes of water damage.

Class 1 is considered as "Slow rate of evaporation" which affects only a portion of a room. Materials have a low permeance/porosity. Minimum moisture is absorbed by the materials.

Class 2 is considered as "fast rate of evaporation" which means that water affects the entire room of carpet and cushion. May have wicked up the walls, but not more than 24 inches.

Class 3 generally is the "fastest rate of evaporation" water generally comes from overhead, affecting the entire area; walls, ceilings, insulation, carpet, cushion, etc.

Class 4 is "specialty drying situations". This involves materials with a very low permeance/porosity, such as hardwood floors, concrete, crawlspaces, plaster, etc. Drying generally requires very low specific humidity to accomplish drying.

What to do when you do have water damage? Thorough extraction along with contents protection is necessary in order to decrease overall drying time and reduce the possibility of rust and furniture stains. Do make sure that the water damage source have been stopped and repairs have been made. Turn off electrical power to affected areas - Only if safe to do so. Wash hands after handling any wet items. Remove all small furnishings out of the affected area, making ready for the restoration technicians. Remove any paper products off the floor; books, wrapping paper, etc. to prevent damage both to the flooring materials and to the paper products. Check everywhere a remote chance of water may exist somewhere. Check all adjoining areas to the obvious affected areas, behind baseboards, under and behind cabinets, vanities and built-ins, crawl spaces - most often missed. Remove a portion of the floor insulation under the affected area and check for moisture. You will probably be surprised what you find.

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After water damage has occurred, leave the clean up process to the Easton Construction Group, Inc. We specialize in property and structure restoration. ECG INC is a full service restoration provider. We provide a Single Claim Solution (SCS) for all property and structure damages resulting from fire damage, water damage, smoke damage, storm damage, vandalism and structure damage caused by vehicle impacts.  We are here to help when you need it. Providing first response to your needs 24 / 7. 

925-757-6000 Corporate
510-473-5070  Alameda
209-910-5070  San Joaquin

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Water Damage and How to Avoid Common Mistakes

If you're a homeowner looking at a house filled with water damage, you have two options. One, you can try to restore the place yourself. This is going to be difficult, as you have no experience working with what can be a very delicate situation. Your other option is to call in a professional. The benefits of doing this are numerous, but it can be expensive. Then again, losing most of your belongings (and potentially your entire house) is expensive as well. Whichever path your choose (or if you decide to go somewhere in the middle, doing what you can and then calling professionals for the rest), here are some common mistakes you'll want to avoid.

The Vacuum Cleaner

There are two important reasons to avoid using a vacuum cleaner to remove flooding from your home. One, you need to be very careful about using electricity of any kind when your floors are wet. Water damage experts advise turning off the electricity to any rooms that are affected by the flooding. You should also wear thick rubber boots to insulate yourself from any potential shocks. But the main reason you don't want to do this is that it simply won't work. Vacuums aren't meant to work in this kind of situation. You need a specialty tool, such as a Shop-Vac, to pick up moisture.

Structural Problems

When people think of water damage, they usually think about ruined furniture and books that have been waterlogged beyond salvation. These are real problems and you'll almost certainly have to deal with them. But a far more insidious issue involves the weakening of your home's structural integrity. Be very careful that you don't put yourself in danger. Look for signs of ceiling sag. If there are any, stay out of the room where it is an issue. You'll want to do the same for your flooring. If things have reached the point where the house is simply unsafe, stay out and call in the professionals.


If you intend to save your carpeting, don't start lifting it up yourself. Many a homeowner has found that this is not easy to do once water damage has set in. With the help of a professional team, your carpet may be salvageable. But if you start pulling it up without the right experience, you risk tearing it and subjecting it to shrinkage. Leaving it as it is and simply hoping it dries out will almost certainly lead to mold growth and other assorted problems. Make sure you get the help you need.

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Emergency Service Response

Easton Construction Group is here to help when you need it. Providing first response to your needs 24 / 7. Our team will be dispatched to your loss, will assess the damages, explain the course of action required and with your approval start immediately preventing further loss and damages.

Post loss condition of a structure or dwelling can vary and is specific to each type of loss and the severity of the damage that has occurred. Determining the cause of the loss and the effected area is the first step and often most important. How and what steps are taken have can major impact further damages and what is necessary to prevent or limit further damages to a structure. ECG provides all emergency or temporary service solution which your property may require.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fire and Water Damage? Leave It to the Hands of Disaster Restoration Companies

During heart attack, time is muscle. But during fire and flood, time is your home. That is why it is very important to act upon the damage as soon as the fire is put out or the flood has subsided. The wisest and most practical thing that you could do to successfully restore your home is to choose the right disaster restoration companies one as soon as possible.

About Fire and Water Damage

Fire and water damage is not only a form of structural damage. It is also a potential threat to your health, not only for the accidents that you and your family might encounter, but also for the diseases that you might acquire along the way. Before you re-enter your home and assess the damage on your personal belongings, check out your home first and see if the walls, roof, stairs, ceiling, electrical wiring, pipes, sewage, and floor are damaged. If you want to play safe, hire disaster restoration companies. After all, they know more than you do when it comes to assessing your home and in taking measures that will restore back to its normal state.

Hiring Disaster Restoration Companies

Fire and water damage does not only affect your home's structural integrity, it also makes it filthy and a breeding ground for molds and mildew that cause airborne toxins. Getting exposed to these harmful particles can cause respiratory illnesses and even if the fire or water damage is only concentrated on a certain part of you house, the bacteria could still spread through your home's HVAC system, which could put your home under jeopardy in no time. That is why it is very important to contact a disaster restoration company 24 hours after the damage has occurred.

Benefits of Hiring Disaster Restoration Companies

Tapping the services of efficient and reliable disaster restoration companies is always the best and wisest decision that you could do to restore your house after a serious fire or water damage.

Specifically, hiring the services of an expert will help you assess the actual extent of the damage, thereby giving you the accurate condition of your home. A professional restoration expert will also be generous in telling you the steps that need to be done not only to restore your home back to its former glory but also to prevent damages in the future.

Using the most up-to-date techniques and equipment, disaster restoration companies can do job quickly and efficiently. This greatly reduces the burden of restoring your home as well as the stress that comes after this job.

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