Education Corner

When Appliances Attack

  • 07/15/2019
  • 06:13:57

When Appliances Attack

The washing machine is leaking! The dishwasher has overflowed! The icemaker is spewing water across the kitchen! Walking into your home or business to see water covering the floor can be a truly horrific experience, but it doesn’t have to be.  Knowing what to do, what you can take care of yourself, and when to call a professional can ease your worries and help keep panic at bay.


 

First Steps
 

•The very first thing that needs to be done is stop the flow of water.  This usually means determining the source of the water and either turning off the source itself or cutting off the water flow at a nearby shutoff valve or at the water main.  At this point, unless you’re a very good handyman, a plumber needs to be called. Mitigation can’t begin until the water has been stopped.  
 

•There are a few things that can be done immediately to lessen the damage to the structure.  The first is to extract as much water as possible as quickly as possible. The faster the standing water is removed, the less time it has to cause damage.  Extraction can be done any number of ways, including using towels, shop vacs, and carpet cleaners. The next step is to remove as much content as possible from the affected area.  This includes furniture, knick-knacks, and anything else that’s not attached or nailed down. After extracting the water and clearing the area, it can be helpful to set fans if they’re available.  


 

Professional Help 
 

•With any kind of water damage, it’s important to call an IICRC certified professional to come in and scope the loss right away.  Water is tricky. Because it’s not possible to see inside wall cavities and under layers of floor, it’s necessary to have a professional take a look and properly assess the damage.  

•At this point, the restoration professional will ask a series of questions to get an idea of the loss.  This will include finding out if the source of the water has been determined and fixed or turned off, what you’ve done to start cleaning up, what type of materials have been affected, how far the water traveled, what type of foundation you have, and how much content there is. 
 

•An appointment will be scheduled for a project manager or certified technician to do an initial scope to assess the damage to the property.  They will be able to work directly with you or with your insurance company to come up with a solution and plan of action to restore the property to its pre-loss state.  


 

Frequent Concerns
 

•Mold: With perfect conditions, it takes 24-48 hours for mold to begin growing and 72 hours for it to colonize.  This means that as long as professional mitigation starts within 24 hours of the loss, mold growth can be prevented.  Going past those 24 hours does not guarantee you will experience mold growth, but it does increase the risk. Setting personal fans to begin the drying process can also be helpful in preventing mold growth because mold needs stagnant moisture to grow.  
 

•Time Frame: It typically takes 3-5 days to complete the drying process depending on the materials that were wet.  The entire job, including drying, demo, and cleaning usually takes 5-7 days to complete. Bear in mind that this does not include the time it will take to put everything back.  Staying in the home while mitigation takes place is largely dependent on the size and type of loss. Most insurance companies consider a home to be “habitable” if there is access to a kitchen and a bathroom, although it’s necessary to check your policy for specifics.  

•Pets:  It’s best to keep all pets away during mitigation because the air is so hot and dry.  Fish tanks and exotic pets such as birds and reptiles must be removed to unaffected areas of the home or removed from the home completely if there are no unaffected areas.  


 

Experiencing a water damage in your home or business can be stressful and scary.  Being confident that you know the appropriate actions to take to reduce the extent of the damage is the first step to easing your mind.  

What Makes a Good Restoration Company?

  • 06/17/2019
  • 11:08:40

What Makes a Good Restoration Company?
 

A good restoration company provides professional restoration services to residential and commercial properties. Services may include repairing or restoring property damage related to fire, smoke, or water. Trusted restoration companies understand it’s a burden to deal with damages when associated costs could be expensive, especially if you don’t have insurance. Repairs may be expensive and when damage occurs unexpectedly you need to know who you can trust fast.


Property owners seeking the right restoration service should know what to look for to ensure they get the most for their investment while acquiring services they need. Here is what to look for in a good restoration service provider.
 

  • Proper credentials. An experienced restoration contractor will have necessary licensing, insurance, and certifications required by law to perform job duties. A company with licensure in good standing is less likely to have complaints filed against them. Having insurance protects technicians and property owners from damages or injuries that may occur as a result of services performed. Required certifications show technicians are extensively trained to completed requested services. All of these components show the company is dedicated to providing quality services to customers.
     

  • Understands industry expectations and standards. Technicians working in the restoration field are expected to meet industry standards set by recognized entities such as the ANSI/IICRC Standard and Reference for Professional Water Damage Restoration. Standards may vary based on the type of restoration service provided. Such standards help the customer understand what to expect when requesting services. These standards offer insight for customers to consider when looking for restoration services based on the type of damage experienced by the property. Companies will also take time to provide services or work orders in writing so customers know what to expect.
     

  • Flexible availability and responsiveness. When you need emergency services for damages you need to know you can trust a professional restoration contractor to be available upon request. Many make it easy for customers to contact them anytime with a special 24-hour service number. Property owners are encouraged to learn about restoration services in their area offering this feature in advance so if the need arises you know who to call immediately. Companies with quick response times are more likely to accept your insurance or they may be listed as an in-network provider through your insurance carrier.
     

  • Will work with your insurance. Learn before you need to file a claim if the company works with your insurance provider. Things are easier if the company has experience working with your insurance because they will know the filing and claims process to get things going sooner. Experienced restoration companies will have relationships established with different insurance carriers and other professionals part of the claims filing process such as insurance agents, house inspectors, adjusters, and various types of contractors that will work on your property. You’ll quickly learn what damages your policy covers.
     

  • Will work with your budget. If you don’t have insurance or you’re expected to pay what the insurance doesn’t cover, you should know what options are available for services. Companies may be willing to work with you or refer you to another restoration service. Even if your budget is limited you shouldn’t settle for cheap services. Good restoration companies provide competitive rates while completing the job thoroughly. Investing in quality services now should prevent problems from reoccurring in the future. Prices may vary so compare rates and do your research before hiring.
     

  • Provides references upon request. Restoration companies may provide reviews and feedback received from customers. Social media and review sites may also give insight into a company through company pages and posted reviews including customer experiences. Family members and friends may refer services if they are a previous customer. Reputable companies will provide services with honesty, value, and good customer support.

     

A good restoration company will make sure you get the help you need when you need it most. Customers should get clear answers to their questions about services and procedures. A restoration company should provide reliable services in emergency situations. Trusted companies will provide detailed information about the services they provide and how they are performed. Positive feedback from customers helps others know what to expect when selecting their services.

Preparing for Thunderstorms and Tornadoes

  • 05/15/2019
  • 8:04:29

Preparing for Thunderstorms and Tornadoes
 

Most property owners are no strangers to severe weather, but when it occurs we encourage people to prepare for the worst. Every year, severe weather causes costly damages from flooding, hail, and strong winds. Understanding the most common forms of severe weather where you live can help you prepare. Once you know your risks, create an emergency plan and practice it before disaster strikes.


What to know about thunderstorms and tornadoes
 

Thunderstorms develop year round. When classified as severe they may produce strong winds over 50 mph, hail, and torrential rains increasing the risk for flash flooding. Lightning strikes may damage trees or power lines. These elements increase the chances of experiencing property damage to structures such as roofs, siding, and windows.  Severe thunderstorms may also produce tornadoes.
 

Tornadoes are common during spring and summer but can hit any time conditions are favorable. They can create enough strength to topple trees, power lines, vehicles, and pull building structures out from their foundations. A tornado is a funnel cloud that moves on the ground in a violent rotation. They can throw debris miles away and make loud noises that sound like a rushing train. Local communities may use a blow horn or special tornado siren to warn people when a tornado is sighted so they can take cover.
 

How to be safe and protect your property
 

When experiencing either a severe thunderstorm or tornado threat, here are things you can do to prepare before the storm:
 

  • Download a weather app to used to track severe weather in your area. Local news apps may provide additional information about breaking weather news in your area.
     
  • Sign up to receive weather alerts from trusted sources such as NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather radio, National Weather Service (NWS), and the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
     
  • Know the difference between a weather watch and a warning. A severe thunderstorm watch means conditions are favorable for severe weather.  A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted on the ground or by weather radar and may be in your vicinity.
     
  • Know where to go to take cover such as a closet, basement, or strong structure to reduce risk of injury. Consider where you can go if flooding occurs.
     
  • Trim tree branches or cut down trees to reduce property damage risk. To minimize damage risk from electrical wiring, invest in a lightning protection system, surge protectors, or lightning rods to protect electronics and appliances.
     
  • Learn warning signs of a tornado. Things to be aware of include low-lying or a funnel-shaped cloud, flying debris or debris cloud, dark greenish sky, and loud sounds like a freight train.


Conduct practice drills with your family, so everyone knows what to do during severe weather. Create a safety plan with important phone numbers and any directions for action to take after the storm passes. Make a safety kit with items such as non-perishable foods, flashlights, batteries, medications, and essentials for anyone with special needs. Talk to your children about severe weather situations and make sure they understand where safe shelters are when at home or at school.
 

Additional tips, advice, and resources to know
 

Be on alert when weather watches or warnings are issued for your area. Pay attention to local news broadcastings for updates. Heed warnings issued by local law enforcement when severe weather is imminent. Let people you trust know about your weather preparedness plan. Check with your insurance carrier to learn additional tips on keeping your property safe. You should also review your policy details to understand what damages are covered.
 

People may not expect to be a victim of storm damage, but it is important to know who you can call for immediate assistance with property damage. Working with an experienced restoration company puts your mind at ease. Such experts know how to get your home or business repaired so things can get back to normal.