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Restoration Tips & Tools

Sewage & Flood Damage

Raw sewage and flood waters contain bacteria and other micro-organisms which are extremely hazardous to human health. These can be transmitted by touching contaminated items or by tracking them into uncontaminated areas on shoes. Children and pets are especially vulnerable. Frequent hand-washing is an important preventive measure. Absorbent materials such as carpeting and drywall may not be restorable after direct contact with sewage-contaminated or flood-contaminated water.

Do. . . .

  • Treat all water-impacted surfaces and furnishings as toxic until properly decontaminated.
  • Keep children and pets out of contaminated areas.
  • Turn off air handlers if ducts are contaminated.

Don’t. . . .

  • Track contaminated material into undamaged areas.
  • Attempt to clean up sewage damage yourself.
  • Try to save carpet and other porous items, such as drywall, that have been contaminated.

In the Event of an Emergency...What’s Next?

There are some steps you can take to minimize the impact of a disaster. They include:

1. Get to safety - Make sure your family is safe and comfortable; go to a friend’s or relative’s home, a hotel or motel, any place where you can catch your breath and gather your thoughts.

2. Call Your Insurance Agent - Agents have extensive experience in dealing with disasters, and they will quickly start working on your behalf.

3. Contact the Experts - You will need a restoration company that you can trust –a company that has experience in dealing with insurance companies, offers reasonable completion dates, and has a local reputation for living up to its promises.

4. Save as Much Property as You Can, If It’s Safe to Do So - Family heirlooms provide a link to the past and will help you recover. Electronics can also often be restored by a qualified restoration specialist. However, no piece of personal property is worth risking your safety; don’t enter an unsafe building for any reason.

5. Don’t Get Discouraged - Your life will get back to normal. Your home or business can be restored to look as good as or better than it did before. Talk to your insurance adjuster and restoration company; they can advise you of your options.


Water Damage

Water damage can occur from a variety of sources. The appropriate treatment depends on the nature of the damage. Some water carries contaminants and should be considered hazardous. Whatever the origin, the prospects for restoration depend largely on the speed with which your building and personal property can be dried, as even clean water can generate mildew and other bacterial growth if neglected.

Do. . . .

  • Eliminate the source of the water.
  • Turn off circuit breakers to wet areas if safe to do so.
  • Ventilate wet areas. Turn on air conditioning to accelerate drying in summer. In winter, alternate cycles of opened windows and heating.
  • Remove standing water from flat surfaces by mopping and/or vacuuming with a wet vac.
  • Take up saturated rugs and carpets when hardwood floors are at risk.
  • Stay out of rooms where ceilings are sagging, or if safe to do so, punch holes in it with a screwdriver.
  • Move electronics to a dry environment and do not turn on if wet.
  • Remove any items from wet furniture tops.
  • Open drawers and cabinets for interior drying, but do not force open if stuck.
  • Freeze valuable books and documents to retard mildew growth until drying can be performed.
  • Have irreplaceable pictures and documents handled professionally.
  • Place aluminum foil squares, china saucers, or wood blocks under furniture legs to avoid carpet staining and damage to contents.

Don’t. . . .

  • Enter rooms with standing water if the electricity is on.
  • Operate TVs, vacuums, or other appliances while standing on wet carpet or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors – serious injury may result!
  • Use heat alone to dry closed building interior; mildew and expanded moisture damage may result.
  • Leave wet fabrics in place. Space them apart and dry as soon as possible.

In the Event of an Emergency...What’s Next?

There are some steps you can take to minimize the impact of a disaster. They include:

1. Get to safety - Make sure your family is safe and comfortable; go to a friend’s or relative’s home, a hotel or motel, any place where you can catch your breath and gather your thoughts.

2. Call Your Insurance Agent - Agents have extensive experience in dealing with disasters, and they will quickly start working on your behalf.

3. Contact the Experts - You will need a restoration company that you can trust –a company that has experience in dealing with insurance companies, offers reasonable completion dates, and has a local reputation for living up to its promises.

4. Save as Much Property as You Can, If It’s Safe to Do So - Family heirlooms provide a link to the past and will help you recover. Electronics can also often be restored by a qualified restoration specialist. However, no piece of personal property is worth risking your safety; don’t enter an unsafe building for any reason.

5. Don’t Get Discouraged - Your life will get back to normal. Your home or business can be restored to look as good as or better than it did before. Talk to your insurance adjuster and restoration company; they can advise you of your options.


Fire & Smoke Damage

After smoke and fire damage it is natural to want to jump right in and clean the building and contents. Timely action can be a great help, but incorrect action can jeopardize or impede satisfactory restoration.

Do. . . .

  • Clean and protect chrome trim on faucets and other brightwork by washing with detergent and applying a coating of Vaseline or oil.
  • Blow off or brush-vacuum loose smoke particles from upholstery, draperies and carpeting.
  • Open windows for ventilation if weather permits.
  • Empty refrigerators and freezers if electric is off, and prop doors open to allow air circulation.
  • Pour antifreeze in toilet bowls, tanks, sink and tub drains to prevent freezing if heat is off in winter.
  • Call a plumber to drain and blow out all water lines if heat is off in winter.
  • Remove pets to a clean environment if heavy fire residues are present.
  • Call a drycleaner to pick up salvageable items.
  • Retain a contractor to board up open windows, roofs, or other penetrations in order to prevent additional damage.

Don’t. . . .

  • Wipe or attempt to wash fire residues from walls, ceilings, or other absorbent surfaces.
  • Use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residues or debris.
  • Use food items or canned goods exposed to heat.
  • Turn on computers, TV’s, stereos, or electrical appliances until cleaned and checked.
  • Spend time in a potentially toxic environment.
  • Expose yourself to structurally unsafe areas.

In the Event of an Emergency...What’s Next?

There are some steps you can take to minimize the impact of a disaster. They include:

1. Get to safety - Make sure your family is safe and comfortable; go to a friend’s or relative’s home; a hotel or motel; any place where you can catch your breath and gather your thoughts.

2. Call Your Insurance Agent - Agents have extensive experience in dealing with disasters, and they will quickly start working on your behalf.

3. Contact the Experts - You will need a restoration company that you can trust –a company that has experience in dealing with insurance companies, offers reasonable completion dates, and has a local reputation for living up to its promises.

4. Save as Much Property as You Can, If It’s Safe to Do So - Family heirlooms provide a link to the past and will help you recover. Electronics can also often be restored by a qualified restoration specialist. However, no piece of personal property is worth risking your safety; don’t enter an unsafe building for any reason.

5. Don’t Get Discouraged - Your life will get back to normal. Your home or business can be restored to look as good as or better than it did before. Talk to your insurance adjuster and restoration company; they can advise you of your options.


  

What is a puff back?

Many have never heard of a puff back. A puff back occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout your home or business. It can happen all at once (like a balloon popping) or more gradually (as if someone was holding the end of a balloon and letting the air seep out slowly). When a puff back happens, soot covers all areas of the property and may range from light to very heavy. Sometimes the disbursement of soot is so light and fine it appears to be ordinary dust. This “dust” however reappears hours after being cleaned. There is often a strong odor of oil accompanying a puff back.

How can I clean a puff back?

Because the soot contains petroleum, trying to clean the film of soot off of your furniture & walls with ordinary soap & water will actually smear the soot around without removing it. Professional restoration contractors use specially formulated commercial cleaning agents to remove the soot.

How can I avoid a puff back in my home?

Having your oil furnace checked and cleaned annually by a service technician is the best insurance against experiencing this unfortunate event in your home or business. If a puff back does occur, we are prepared and ready to professionally restore your property to its original condition.


The Cardiologists of Construction

5 Things You Did Not Know About Restoration

Restoration services, like cardiologists, are not something customers typically shop around for. Therefore, most customers do not know what to expect since we perform in emergency circumstances. In many ways we are like the cardiologists of construction. If you’ve never suffered a heart attack (and we hope you never do), chances are that you will not understand the process if you are faced with it. Here are some facts about what we do.

The unplanned guest – It is safe to say that most customers do not anticipate our services more than an hour in advance. There is nothing more uncomfortable than having someone in your home when you are not ready. Although this circumstance is highly unavoidable if you need emergency services, fear not, we are not grading you. Inasmuch as a cardiologist does not care if you combed your hair before you arrive in the emergency room with a heart attack, we are indifferent as to whether or not the laundry and dishes have been put away. We are focused on your needs.

Someone you can trust – You need to know that you can trust the restoration team just as you would your cardiologist. Employees go through an intense vetting process before being put on the team. We know that your home is sacred which is why we perform due process to make certain that you and your home are safe with our team.

The living home – Homes to us are a complex living organism just as your body is to a cardiologist. It is important that we understand the mechanics of building systems to make certain that we are focusing on the right affected areas and making sure that no other areas become unnecessarily affected.

Understanding symptoms – A cardiologist will tell you that not all heart issues are the same. We would also say the same about water and fire losses in homes. When this happens, we say that we have a sick home, and to properly treat it, we need to identify and correct the symptoms. Mold and soot are particular symptoms that we look for and correct.

Putting you back together – You would not expect your cardiologist to walk away from the table after he opened you up. If we have to open up our patients (your home), we understand how important it is to put you back together. We quickly formulate a plan to replace walls, ceilings, floors, and other affected areas of the home so that when we are done, your home looks like it did the hour before your loss happened.

In the event your home or business has a heart attack, call the cardiologists of construction to make you well again.

Submitted by Aaron Jacobs, Business Development Consultant, Compleat Restorations  


What the ‘Hurri’ in ‘Hurricane’ Should Mean To You

The eye of the hurricane is staring at us. This eye, from a distance, sees where we are vulnerable and many times will steer directly to where it can do the most damage. That is how it feels when we experience the devastating effects of the wind and rain that caught us unprepared. Compleat Restorations can help you before, during, and after a storm event should your business be at risk for a property loss. An Emergency Response Plan (ERP) is a smart solution for being prepared. Here is what the ‘Hurri’ in ‘Hurricane’ should mean to you:

  • "Hurri’ and have Compleat issue an ERP – Our ERP is pre-disaster planning so that we understand your buildings and business. Business continuity and contingencies are not often considered when planning your business’s future, but we can help. It is like having a restoration company on retainer without the fees.
  • An ERP means that we will ‘Hurri’ to the scene – Our ERP clients are ranked as premier customers. That means that you are assured a fast priority response.

Be prepared by having an ERP in place. Contact us today to become a Compleat Restoration ERP VIP.

Submitted by Aaron Jacobs, Business Development Consultant, Compleat Restorations


APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS…AND WET BASEMENTS

The Importance of Sump Pump Coverage

We share these basic steps you can take to reduce your risk exposure this spring:

1.Check your gutters and drains – Malfunctioning gutters and drains tend to be the number one issue for wet basements in our industry during the spring. Make sure that gutters are flowing freely and that downspouts are directing water away from the house into the appropriate drain field (not your neighbor’s yard). It is good practice to observe your gutters and downspouts during a rain event to make sure that they are functioning properly.

2.Test your sump pump – This can be as simple as adding water to the drain crock (no more than 5 gallons) to make sure that the pump activates and drains the crock.

3.Install a sump pump alarm – An alarm will alert you when the pump is not properly functioning. There are models that can alert you via your smartphone. This feature earns our highest recommendation as most water losses occur when residents are not home.

4.Are you covered for sump pump failures? – Many water losses in basements are not covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.  Sump pump failure is a specific rider that must be on a policy in order to be covered for a loss from water coming from outside of the home into the basement. Many homeowners believe that they are covered for these issues, and are devastated to find out that they are not covered when they experience substantial damage. The cost of this rider is usually marginal relevant to the cost of a homeowner’s policy and certainly nominal relevant to the costs of mitigation and repair. Check with your agent today to see how you are covered and what is available.

This April, let the showers water your flowers, and not your basement!

Submitted by Aaron Jacobs, Business Development Consultant, Compleat Restorations