Saturday, September 29, 2012

Smoke Damage: Why Should You Use a Professional for Cleanup?

One of the most important things that you can do after a fire is to act quickly. Because smoke and fire damage can become worse over time, it is paramount that you start the assessment and cleaning process as fast as possible. By doing so, you can avoid much long-term damage and loss of property.

A fire is one of the most catastrophic events that could happen to your home. It strikes when you least expect it, and make your home uninhabitable until you are able to repair and restore the damage that it has done. Fire can leave behind soot and smoke odor, which can do even more damage after the fact, if not properly dealt with. While you may be tempted to begin the restoration process yourself, there are a few things that you consider before making this decision. In most cases, it is more than worth it to employ a professional restoration company to clean up after your fire and smoke damage.

Whenever you are dealing with fire damage, speed is of the utmost importance. Not only do you want to minimize the long-lasting effects that soot and smoke can have on your property and belongings, but you also want to use your home as usual once again. Because of their extensive training and equipment, restoration specialists can return your home to its original state much quicker than you could yourself. To make this decision easier, the cost of restoration is covered by most insurance policies.

Another reason to work with a local restoration specialist is to make sure that you identify and remove all of the smoke and soot that remains in your home after a fire. Because smoke and soot can be very pervasive, the damage that is left behind is not always readily apparent. Restoration companies have the experience, knowledge and equipment to help you find and clean up all of the damage that has been done to your home. This can help recurring odors, and hidden damage from affecting you in the future.

One of the biggest reasons to use a professional company for your fire damage clean up is to save you time. Not only do fires cause total disarray to your home, they can also turn your life upside down. The resulting paperwork, and list of things to do can seem insurmountable. The last thing that you need to worry about is whether or not you are cleaning everything properly. By working with a trained professional, you can rest assured that your home will be cleaned quickly, thoroughly and with the utmost care.

Whether you are dealing with damage from a small fire, or something much larger, the benefits of working with a professional restoration company are numerous. Furthermore, many offer service 24/7, giving you the opportunity to start the process as quickly as you possibly can. The result is a home that is restored to its previous condition quickly, efficiently and as completely as possible.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Some Things to Consider When Remodeling Your Home

With the economy and housing market in a continuous turmoil, home remodeling has become much more popular than ever before. Rather than moving to a new home, or building one from scratch, many homeowners are choosing this route when it comes time to change or expand. When you choose to remodel, you can essentially build the home that you've always dreamed of without having to worry about the sale of your home, finding the right house, paying closing costs, a down payment and everything else that goes with the purchase and sale of a home. That being said, you should consider the decision closely before deciding to move forward with a large remodeling project.

Because a home remodel can make or break your home, it is paramount to ensure that everything is done properly, without cutting corners. Most homeowners are unsure of where to start, especially when it comes to making sure that everything is done properly. Start by considering the following:

· Always hire a licensed and experienced remodeling contractor. Although you may come across handymen who say that they can get the job done right, it will typically pay off in the long run to used a licensed professional. For a project to be completed right, there is extensive coordination, permitting and other factors that must be taken into account. By using a professional team, you not only get a variety of people working on the job, but the reputation that they carry with them. A good, quality contractor can handle the entire job from start to finish, leaving you with time to carry on with your life.

· Know what you want before you start. One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make when embarking on a home remodel is to not know what they want before they get started. Because remodels often involve taking down walls and moving around essential components, it is important to know exactly what your project will be before allowing your contractor to begin. This will not only save you from doubling back on your efforts, but will also keep the project from spiraling out of scope, and out of your budget.

· Expect hangups. Every remodeling project will have a surprise or two along with it. Rather than being caught off guard, just be prepared for everything to take a little longer, and not go completely as planned. If you chose the right contractor, everything will work itself out in the end. If you prepare for it, it's less likely to stress you out.

· Do not cut corners. Your remodel should be safe, complete, valuable addition to your home. By making sure it's done right, you not only ensure your safety and long-term satisfaction, but also the extended resale value of your home if you do decide to move later on.

By starting with the above considerations, you can be well on your way to a successful and satisfying remodeling experience. Don't let the scope of such a project turn you away. You will be thankful once everything is complete.

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

What Does My Contractor Do For Me?

"Next time I'm going to be my own contractor and save a lot of money". "I don't know why I hired a contractor, he just shows up once a day for a quick check on things and then leaves". "What does my contractor do all day, his workers and subs do all of the work".

You have probably heard your friends and neighbors say these things after working with a contractor.

So, what does a contractor do for you?

Before making the decision to act as your own general contractor, let's make sure you understand what they do for you behind the scenes so you understand the responsibilities you will take upon yourself.

Here is a brief rundown of what a professional general contractor does for you:

* Obtains necessary building permits and interfaces with city agencies and inspectors.

* Selects subcontractors to complete the specific portions of your project.

* Coordinates and schedules the work of the specific subcontractors and resolves conflicts between the subs in respect to the technical aspects of the work.

* Safeguards your property and protects you from liability for the project duration.

* Schedules the work of crews employed by the general contractor and orders materials for their portion of the project.

* Coordinates the review and approval of material selections between the homeowner and the vendor providing the materials. This can range from color selections to faucet trim in the bathroom.

* Maintains an overall schedule of the project that allows all subcontractors and vendors to schedule their work and order their supplies on a timely basis.

* Inspects the work of all subcontractors on your project for compliance with your plans and specifications.

* Maintains proper documentation throughout the project including all required insurances, warranties, lien notices and releases. At project completion submits to the owner a project book that includes all information vital to future repairs and warranty issues.

* Maintains project accounting, pays all vendors and resolves money disputes, and verifies the payments from subs to their suppliers to eliminate liens on the property.

* Resolves warranty issues after project completion.

These are the items the general contractor does (or is supposed to do) when you are not paying attention. Not all general contractors are professionals and not all pay attention to their responsibilities on all projects. A professional will consistently handle all of the items above on your behalf and will have earned the fee you paid.

If you decide to hire a general contractor, the items above are what you should expect to be included in their fee for overhead and profit. If you decide to act as your own contractor, the above items still need to be provided by someone if the project is to be successful; that someone is you.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Water Damage Restoration Contractors

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

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

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

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

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

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Monday, September 17, 2012

After the Flood: Water Damage Restoration Goes Beyond Simply Drying Out

Floods can come out of nowhere. Maybe you had a sudden plumbing leak in the downstairs bathroom. Maybe a major rainstorm caused the creek near your house to spill over its banks and into your basement. Whatever the reason--and however much water actually got into your space--you shouldn't delay bringing in a flood damage restoration team to help you deal with the aftermath.
Even a single inch of standing water can end up causing long-lasting problems in your home, if not dealt with properly and quickly. Standing water and excessive moisture in the air can cause aesthetic and structural damage to your building. It can even encourage hazardous mold and mildew growth, which can have a negative impact on your family's health. Luckily, water restoration experts can step in when you're dealing with a water emergency and make the cleanup process less painful.
In general, water damage restoration needs to include a few key steps:
  • Water removal: If you've got standing water in your home after a flood, your first order of business is to get that water out. Water restoration pros can extract standing water and help you dry carpets, furniture, and other surfaces. This step also includes dehumidification to remove excess moisture from the air. Hiring a professional rather than attempting DIY water extraction can help you ensure that every last drop of moisture is gone, which can prevent issues down the line.

  • Mold testing and removal: Mold spores thrive in a moist environment, which is why it's essential to get flood water out as soon as possible after the incident. If, however, you weren't able to take action immediately--for instance, if you were out of town during the flood or you didn't know a pipe was leaking until it actually burst--it's a good idea to get tested for mold growth in the affected area. If evidence of mold is found, a mold removal team can take steps to isolate the outbreak, kill the spores, and keep the mold from coming back.

  • Upholstery and carpet cleaning: Water can damage your belongings as much as your building's structure. Especially if the flood waters came from outside, mud and muck can leave your carpets and upholstery grimy and smelly. Professional upholstery and carpet cleaning can get your surfaces spotless and sweet-smelling again without adding additional water that can lead to more damage. Plus, unlike basic vacuuming or spot cleaning, carpet steam cleaning can remove bacteria, pet dander, pollen, and other allergens.

  • Demolition and reconstruction: Major floods can lead to major damage, and it's possible that some structural elements won't be able to be salvaged. Bringing in an interior demolition contractor to assess the water damage and remove badly damaged walls and other structural elements will ensure that you're on your way back to a home that's clean, safe, and structurally sound.
What's the key throughout the process? Getting professional help. Water restoration companies know the signs of serious water damage and can identify and resolve issues before they get worse--and more expensive to fix. Your family's health and safety depend on inhabiting a space that's dry, clean, mold-free, and sturdy. And while suffering a flood at your home is frustrating and overwhelming, a knowledgeable flood restoration team can ease your burden and help you get back on your feet.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Fire and Water Restoration Services - Let the Experts Restore Your Fire Damaged House

If you are looking for ways to restore your fire or water damaged property, your best bet will be to hire the services of a fire and water restoration company. This article will briefly show you the importance of hiring professionals who will save you a lot of money, stress and effort that will otherwise take its toll while you restore your house to its normal self.
What are the typical services provided by a fire and water restoration contractor?
For fire damage
  • The fire and water restoration company will first assess the extent of damage caused by the fire. They will then determine the best possible methods that will be effective to clean and restore the house. Every fire damaged house is different and only a professional will be able to quickly ascertain the best possible restoration approach for your house.
  • Even after a fire has been put out, you will still need to cover other unprotected areas of the house. If you haven't called a professional fire and water restoration contractor already, we recommend that you do it immediately as they will quickly be able to minimize damage that might be happening as you read this article.
  • There are various kinds of smoke that will need to be treated differently. Only a professional fire and water restoration company will be able to distinguish between wet smoke, dry smoke, protein smoke or residues and fuel oil smoke. They will also be able to identify and potentially reverse the damage that could be potentially caused by fire extinguishers that might have been used to put out the fire.
For Water damage
  • Fire and water restoration contractors will have high quality power equipment such as pumps, water extraction units, moisture detectors; hygrometers that will help them remove water and assess moisture damage that will result from water damage.
  • Drying your house is no easy joke and it is not as simple as you think. Various construction materials such as drywall, plaster, carpets, insulation and even cement floors absorb a lot of moisture that will result in damage. A professional fire and water restoration company will be able to use different types of dehumidifiers to ensure that your house will be dried in the best possible manner.
Apart from offering the above services, a fire and water restoration contractor will also be able to assist you with confusing insurance forms that you will have to fill out to claim insurance on fire or water damage.
Some people make the mistake of restoring their fire or water damaged properties with do it yourself efforts. Unless the extent of the damage is small, it is highly recommended that you use the services of an expert fire and water restoration contractor that will save you money in the long run even by minimizing your damage, restoring damaged items and by using the best restoration practices and techniques that you might not be aware of.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Most Common Home Renovations

If you are a home owner, then there is a good chance that your home is the biggest investment that you have ever made. However, one thing that it is important to realize is that your home is a continuous investment that you should put money into over the years to preserve and even increase its value over time. By doing this, not only can you enjoy having an updated home, but if you ever decide to place your house on the market, you can ensure that you can make a profit off of it upon selling it. Making sure that you make the most out of your home investment means making renovations over the years that will improve its overall value and make it a better place in which to live. So what are some of the most common home renovations that smart home owners are doing these days?

Perhaps the most common home renovation that you may want to consider is updating your kitchen. This involves adding new appliances such as stainless steel, as these are very popular these days. In addition, replacing older cabinetry is a must. A lot of times, counter tops may also be replaced with something newer and more modern, such as granite. Other updates that can be done during a kitchen renovation include adding new floor tile, a back splash, and even a simple new coat of paint on the walls. Light fixtures may also be added or replaced to give the kitchen a more modern appearance. Kitchen renovations are especially popular because kitchens are a space most valued by home owners these days.

Another common renovation that can be done in your home to improve its value is a bathroom renovation. Over the years, bathrooms can become very outdated and downright dirty with soap scum buildup, mold, and other issues. A renovation can take care of this and give you a brand new space to start with. A typical bathroom renovation includes replacing tile, repainting walls, and even having new plumbing fixtures installed, such as a new toilet and sink. In some cases, a new bath tub or shower may even be desired. Updating plumbing fixtures is also a great way to save on energy costs, as many of them these days use less water than those of the past.

Finally, those looking for a great home renovation may also want to consider having a deck or patio space added on to their home, if they do not have one already. These are typically not very expensive but can add a significant amount of value to your home. Plus, they give you a great place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

So if you are looking for some great home renovations to try, be sure to keep the above list of the most common home renovations in mind and figure out which ones might be a good option for you. From there, you can enjoy an updated home with a higher resale value down the road.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fire Damage - Help From Fire Restoration Services to Resurrect Your House

It is hard to see your hard earned money turn to ashes in a fire. However, instead of not knowing where to begin to address the problem, get help from professional fire restoration services. They will help restore your belongings, plus clean and make it livable again. Read on for more information.

It's hard to face a disaster. Depending upon the intensity and nature of the damage, it can cause many recoverable and unrecoverable damages. Be it a hurricane that brings down destruction on the whole city or a fire that causes severe damage to your house and affects you in several ways. After a disaster, like a sudden outbreak of fire, people are often shocked and do not know how to react or cope up with the effects of the disaster and go on with their life again. Be it a small fire or that of a greater intensity, it is not easy to deal with the after effects of the disaster and where to begin when all you can see is soot everywhere and your belongings in a burnt condition. Along with the destruction part, the foul smell of burnt materials makes it almost impossible to enter the house.

The best thing to do in this case would be not to try and clean it on your own. The damage resulting from even a small fire can be too great and it requires an enormous amount of both time and energy to clean it. Even the articles that are not burnt get a dark black coat of soot due to the smoke in the house. Once you begin with the cleaning you would realize how time consuming it is to get a house back to living conditions. However, as far as restoration of articles and cleaning of the house is concerned you can get some help. Contact professionals who can work efficiently in cleaning the house completely and taking every possible measure to make it livable again.

Fire damage restoration services have the expertise and experience in dealing with the problems caused by a fire and can deal with it more effectively. They assess the damage caused by the fire; evaluate all the areas carefully including the structure of the house, flooring, insulation and so on. They also separate the articles that are not damaged or partially damaged and can be restored from the ones that cannot be restored. The house is also a place full of chemicals, gases and water used for extinguishing the fire. Thus, the area must be dried and cleaned, allowing for ample air and letting out the gases that have accumulated inside. The soot should be completely removed. Finally, it is essential to get rid of the awful odor that fills the whole house. They apply disinfectants in the whole house for that purpose. They have all the essentials needed for restoration and know quite well how to do it best.

If you are in need of a restoration service for fire damage, you can get in touch with a professional company providing this service via the Internet. While you may have a hard time dealing with the problems of essentials and cherished items being destroyed, a professional company can help relieve an awful situation to make your home how it was.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fire Damage Repair Is Always Available

Fires are often destructive, life-changing events. What many people don't realize is that there are very effective methods for cleaning up the aftermath of this terrible event. No matter how much smoke and debris is left behind, fire damage cleanup services can make a difference. Hiring the right help can take a load off the customer who will also be dealing with other frustrations during that time. It is only right that a damaged home be properly assessed to determine what needs to be done inside.

Fires are dangerous. Many lives are risked when these disasters take place. But even for those who may survive fires, there are still plenty of heart-breaking consequences following the vicious flames. Homes and property are destroyed as well as personal items. Sometimes things cannot be salvaged or replaced. This causes even more hurt and pain. People can become displaced from the only place they've ever known as home. In some cases, people have to start their entire lives over again. Another thing that can cause damage is the process it takes to put out the fire; water damage can easily result.

One of the most obvious consequences of fires is the smoke that they cause. Even days after the flames have disappeared, the strong smell of smoke can stick around. This smell is unhealthy and unpleasant. Only the most skilled and experienced professionals will know how to get rid of it. These professionals will know exactly how to operate the equipment that will blast this smell away for good. Things like air scrubbing and deodorization processes can make any building smell just as clean and fresh as before.

When it comes to fire damage, a lot of reconstruction may be needed to repair a home or business. From roof repairs to total demolition, workers who have resolved flame disasters before will know the perfect solution for each situation. The destroyed building will be carefully evaluated to determine how to move on from such a devastating event.

Inferno destruction can be such a huge event that it takes knowledgeable experts to complete the tasks involved in truly repairing a place. Nobody can complete these tasks alone. There can still be hazards after a building has gone up in flames, and only the most skilled person will know how to go and build up a place to be as safe as before the disaster. A devastating event does not have to mean the end of a place. These types of unfortunate disasters can happen to anyone at any moment and this is why fire damage repair services are readily available to those in need. Cleanup can be hard work. It's good to know that a helping hand isn't hard to find.

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Water Damage Causes: Pipe Break

Pipe breaks are very common causal sources for water damage and can happen any where, at any time, and in any condition. The damage caused by a pipe break is in direct relation to where the pipe is and how long the pipe has been leaking before it was discovered. An internal pipe crack that leaks a small, study stream of water, for example, may not be noticeable or found until such time as the inevitable mold smell occurs whereas a break in a toilet pipe is immediately visible and can be controlled reasonably quickly.

Old and aging pipes are prime candidates for breakage as are newer pipes that are under undue pressure or simply not installed or secured properly. Blocked pipes can also wreak havoc and cause water damage. Such potential sources include a blocked toilet, a clogged dishwasher, and excessive hair stuck in the bathroom sink. Although not technically pipes, other common breaking points include the washing machine hose, the ice maker water hose, and the garbage dispenser waste valve. Unfortunately, this quickly complied list is far from exhaustive as these sources are only a few common sources of water damage.

Here are some easy bullet points to prevent or limit potential water damage:
* Inspect your utility bill religiously as any unexpected cost increase could be a sign of hidden leakage
* Pay attention to slow drains and have them cleared of blockage
* Regularly inspect all water hoses for signs of wear and leakage
* Ensure that all filters and appliances are free from blockage
* Monitor any appliance overflow valve for water and address as necessary
* Have old pipes replaced

The bullets presented herein serve only as a guideline for routine maintenance and should be adhered to the best of your ability and time. Hopefully these points can help you prevent, stave off, or limit any water damage but in the event that you are in need of a remediation expert, your best bet is an independent, professional water damage restoration company.

An independent, professional water damage restoration company is customer focused and operates in the best interest of the customer as the financial viability and permanence of such company is symbiotically intertwined with customer satisfaction and customer referrals. There are a lot of potentially destructive alternatives and biased dissenting opinions out there but there is only ONE best method for returning your asset to its preloss condition and that is by using an independent, professional water damage restoration company for your restoration.

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