Thursday, August 22, 2019

Go Inside This Fireproof Home in Los Angeles


Are fireproof homes the answer for building in high fire zones? Check out what goes into making a home safe from fire.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Alltek Restoration Provides 24/7 Emergency Services


Emergency Services

We are 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.

The 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 affected area is the first step and often most important. How and what steps are taken can have a significant impact on further damages and what is necessary to prevent or limit further damages to a structure. Alltek Restoration, Inc. provides all emergency or temporary services which your property may require.

Board Up Services

Are very common requirements after storm or fire losses. The damages caused by the actual fire and tactics use to extinguish can leave your property with broken or blown out windows, burnt doors or broken doors, ventilation holes in roofs, and structural deficiencies all of which leaves the property open to access, in distress, and insecure. We will secure all loss related openings with temporary measures securing the property and temporary structural repairs to help prevent further damages.

Temporary Weather Proofing

Your property may require temporary weatherproofing as a result of a loss. Both storm and fire damages can leave your property exposed or vulnerable to weather elements which will cause further damage to your property. Preventing additional damages is key as secondary damages can exceed the preliminary damages.

Content Services

Depending on the type of loss and severity will determine what needs to be done.

Services can include the following: manipulation, both salvageable and non-salvageable / total loss inventory, packing for on or off-site storage, cleaning and restoration, and pack back after repairs.


Mitigation Services

Includes initial loss assessment, determination of cause and source, water category/classification, moisture mapping, and determining the affected areas that require structural drying. Removal of both salvageable and non-salvageable building components, and the placement of required drying equipment as well as monitoring the drying progress until completed. After the drying process, repairs may proceed.

Temporary Utility Services

After a loss, a structure's utilities can be interrupted or shut off until safe operation and use can be confirmed. All utilities are subject to interruption which can make your home uninhabitable or unsafe. After a fire, if the electrical system is damaged emergency personnel will have the utility provider interrupt service to prevent the risk of injury and further structure damages. We can provide emergency repair or provide temporary utilities that are required so repairs may begin.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Six Things You Need to Do After a House Fire

Written by Heidi Petschauer on April 24, 2014


You may think a house fire will never happen to you. But what if it does? Are you prepared?

Figuring out what to do after a home fire can be a very stressful and overwhelming process, and it can be hard to decide what to do first. With a little help from your insurance agent, though, you may be able to settle your claim more quickly and get your life back to normal.

Here are the six things you should do after a home fire.

1. Call your insurance agent immediately. You will be getting calls at all hours of the day from public adjusters and contractors who will try to offer you a deal on putting your house back together. These calls can create a lot of stress and confusion. I suggest you speak to no one but your agent to discuss your options at this point in the process.

2. Ask about restoration companies that can help with cleaning up soot, boarding up windows, and other construction. Immediately after a fire, especially if it is a minor one, you’ll need to clean up any soot or water damage. It is important to hire a reputable service to deal with these issues. Ask your agent or insurance adjuster to recommend a few different companies. They deal with these situations more often than you do and likely know of some businesses that fit your needs. Many of these restoration companies have connections to good contractors, engineers, and architects, as well.

3. Separate damaged property from undamaged property. The insurance company will need a detailed inventory list from you after they inspect the loss. Separating your damaged property from your undamaged property will make it easier for you to make a list of your damaged items. This list needs to include the date you purchased each item, the brand name, the price you paid, and the serial number, model, or description of each item. If the item was a gift, be sure to indicate that as well.

It’s a good idea to submit your receipts with this inventory list. If the receipts were destroyed in the fire, or you didn’t keep any receipts, request copies of prior bank statements. This can make obtaining duplicate receipts easier. Keep in mind that photos of any damaged items are always helpful if receipts are not available.

4. Save undamaged property from further destruction. Any items that are not damaged should be put in a safe place, even if it means putting them in storage. Insurance adjusters are typically fair when it comes to adding additional costs for storage.

5. Cooperate fully with the insurance company’s investigation. When a fire claim is reported to an insurance company, it is given top priority. Usually, the adjusters come out to see the loss within 24 to 48 hours. To help settle your claim in a timely manner and to your satisfaction, be sure you are available and on time for all meetings, that you return calls promptly, that any requested paperwork is completed as quickly as possible, and that you contact the company or your agent immediately with any questions.

6. Find somewhere to stay if you can’t live in your home. Most homeowner’s policies include “Loss of Use or Loss of Rents” coverage, which will pay for the food, clothing, and shelter that you and your family may need for a specified period of time. Keep in mind that your policy will pay for “like kind and quality” living arrangements. You may want to save the Ritz for a special occasion and instead stay in a more reasonably priced hotel.

What to do before disaster strikes

• Review your homeowner’s policy to be sure you have replacement cost coverage, loss of use coverage, and adequate dwelling coverage. The last thing you want to hear after a fire is that you were underinsured.

• Save all your receipts and put them in a metal fireproof box or in a storage facility off the premises, such as a safety deposit box. Better yet, scan the receipts and save them to a computer file. Taking a video of your entire home and the possessions within it is the next best thing to receipts. This will show the insurance company what sort of lifestyle you had prior to the claim.

• Be sure to have smoke detectors in every room of your home to ensure that everyone gets out of the house or apartment safely in the event of a fire. Have exit ladders and fire extinguishers handy, and know how to use them.

• Discuss escape strategies and plans with your family prior to a fire, and consider a fire drill to help ensure everyone’s safety.

Article Source: https://blog.equifax.com/credit/six-things-you-need-to-do-after-a-house-fire/

Monday, August 12, 2019

Questions To Ask Your Water Damage Contractor


When homeowners are navigating the unfortunate circumstance of major water damage in their home, it is critical that they choose a qualified and competent water restoration contractor. After all, this is their home and most likely the most valuable asset that they own, so it is a must to make sure that the water damage company that they choose is capable, reputable and trustworthy. In many cases, emergency water mitigation service involves a high level of specialized knowledge and scientific methodology. Water damage occurs fairly simply; various structural materials and personal property become saturated by water. However, the cleanup and dry down process can be quite complex depending on a multitude of variables that make up each unique flood emergency equation. Now, let's go through some important questions that you should ask any water restoration contractor you are thinking of hiring when flood damage befalls your home:

Does your company hold water mitigation certification with the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification)?

The IICRC is the training and certification agency that is the foremost authority for the water restoration industry's best practices and guidelines. If the flood services contractor you are talking to doesn't have IICRC certification then there is a very high probability that they are not going to properly clean up and dry down your home, and it will only be a matter of time until you have an even bigger mold/microbial problem on your hands. Properly trained technicians will know how to thoroughly dry all affected structural materials, which will eliminate the chance of unwanted microbial growth.

Do you have a state general contractor's license?

This is a question that applies only to water restoration companies that not only carry out the water mitigation (cleanup, extraction, demo, drying, sanitizing) but also the re-construction (all repairs to deliver pre-loss conditions). If your contractor is only providing the mitigation, then they don't need a GC (general contractors license), but if any repairs are going to be made, then yes, they need it.

Do you have de-humidifiers as well as air movers (fans)?

Although not every single flood damage restoration job requires de-humidifiers, it is only a fraction of them that are small enough in scope that doesn't need them. Furthermore, if the company trying to earn your business doesn't own any de-humidifiers then that would indicate that they are most likely not a serious or fully qualified water restoration company. Ultimately, the answer to this one should be yes if you are dealing with a reputable restoration contractor.

Do you bill me or my insurance company?

As long as your water loss claim has been approved by your insurance carrier, then any legitimate and certified water restoration contractor should send the final bill to your insurer using Xactimate. Sometimes you may have to settle the deductible with your contractor, but all other billing should be issued to your insurer. Any discrepancies on the bill should be settled between your contractor and the insurance adjuster handling the claim, without the involvement of the insured.

How long will it take for the property to become dry?

Generally speaking, the dry down process should last 3-4 full days for most residential flood losses. Unless there are abnormal or extenuating circumstances, you should be wary of unethical practices if your contractor is trying to justify longer than the 3-4 day time period for dry down. In most water mitigation bills, the drying equipment (air movers, de-humidifiers) are the main driver in the overall cost, so this is the area that dishonest contractors will try to inflate.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jevon_Watson/2118341

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Friday, August 9, 2019

Water Damage Restoration - What Are Your Options?


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

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

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

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

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

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


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Gary_E_Smith/426120

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

What to Do After a House Fire

These four steps can help you and your family recover.


After suffering a house fire, it might be difficult to determine what to do next. These steps will help you get back on your feet.

  • Find a safe place to stay. No matter the amount of damage, you likely can't stay in your own home. If staying with friends or family isn't an option, talk to your local disaster relief agency, such as the American Red Cross or Salvation Army. These organizations will help you find a safe place to stay temporarily.
  • Contact your insurance agent. You'll need to start a claim and address your immediate needs. "Loss of use" funds from your insurance policy will cover living and other daily expenses. If you receive these funds or an advance on your claim, save all receipts and keep a detailed record of all purchases. Your insurance agent should also be able to help you secure your property and offer recommendations for cleaning up or restoring salvageable items.
  • Address your finances. You'll still need to make mortgage payments — even if your home is destroyed. Your insurance policy, which should cover your home's value and mortgage, will make payments to you and your mortgage lender. Remember: Pay the bank first and put leftover funds toward rebuilding or purchasing a new home. You'll also need to continue any car payments and replace any credit or debit cards that may have been destroyed in the house fire.
  • Recover your possessions. Items destroyed in a house fire are usually covered by insurance. Typically, the homeowner's policy is a replacement cost policy. When a loss occurs, you will receive the actual cash value of your damaged items at the time of settlement and may recover the replacement cost once the items have been replaced. To help ensure everything is accounted for, keep an inventory of your possessions. This inventory should include the date of purchase, cost at purchase and description of each item, wherever possible.

Before you find yourself dealing with a loss, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with your insurance policy and its coverages. You can understand ahead of time what will be taken care of if a loss occurs — and what your responsibilities are.

Article Source: https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/residence/what-to-do-after-a-house-fire

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Home Remodeling After a Catastrophe


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

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

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

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

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

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Aaliyah_Arthur/663273

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7014676