A Guide to Property Damage: Water, Fire, Mold, Biohazard
The key to restoration is a quick response by a professional restoration specialist who is qualified to perform the mitigation services in a professional manner. An expedited professional response can help you minimize your costs and lessen a multitude of problems that could come about throughout the loss. Drywall can often be dried; carpeting and pad can be dried and cleaned; hardwood flooring can be dried; and furniture and other content items can be dried and cleaned.
During a disaster, many homeowners can become confused and distraught and often feel they are in a very vulnerable position. A professional restoration specialist knows this and is able to help the distraught homeowner. They can help educate the homeowner by continually keeping them informed about what work needs to be performed during the mitigation and repair process. The goal is to return the property to its pre-loss condition as quickly as possible. Communication is an important part of the process. To prevent problems from arising, a professional restorer will assure that all parties involved will be informed in a timely manner of the progress and any concerns of the loss.
More and more people have become aware of the potential health risks created when water-damaged structures are not dried out quickly and correctly. Mold may be responsible for a “sick building syndrome,” allergic reactions, and other health problems. Mold growth is often invisible to the naked eye and confined to crawlspaces, the interior of wall and ceiling cavities, HVAC ducting, and other inaccessible locations. Most molds require high levels of moisture during initial growth but can mature and reproduce at much lower moisture levels. A professional restoration specialist can help prevent mold growth by providing rapid response and efficient drying utilizing the most appropriate, state-of-the-art equipment for the job. Moisture must be removed before mold gets established. If mold has already established a foothold, a professional restorer will be able to take the necessary actions and steps to prevent further contamination and to eliminate the problem. He/she has trained personnel that are able to mitigate the damage properly and quickly since they know that time is the enemy!
Mold growth is not the only concern with water-damaged structures. Rapid response by a professional restoration firm that has been properly trained and equipped can help to prevent other problems. Furniture stains; color bleeding or transfer in fabrics; cracking, splitting or warping of furniture components; rusting in metals; corrosion of electronic components; and secondary damage to wallpaper, photos, papers, upholstery, drapery and clothing are a few of the potential problems that need to be addressed as rapidly as possible. A trained, professional restoration specialist can prevent these concerns with a timely, rapid response.
Fire or smoke damage to property, regardless of the “size” of the fire, also requires an immediate response. Soot residue is highly acidic and can cause irreversible damage if it is not treated as an emergency. Soot residue can cause the metal in doorknobs, plumbing fixtures, light fixtures, etc., to pit or corrode. Glass in windows, mirrors, and cabinets can be etched by soot residue, causing them to look cloudy and soiled. Plastics, appliances, vinyl windows and fabrics can be discolored by soot residue. A properly trained professional restoration specialist can inspect for these problems and is able to perform the necessary actions to prevent damage from occurring.
Another area of concern in all disaster restoration situations must be safety and security. Windows and doors may be compromised. Valuable possessions may be at risk for secondary damage. The collapse of wet and damaged materials (heavier when wet and weaker when damaged), electrical issues (mixing of electric and water can be hazardous to your health), and liabilities from slips and falls are all concerns in a disaster setting. A trained professional restorer will be able to identify these perils and respond appropriately to eliminate these risks.
Professional restoration specialists must be experts in handling all structural components and content items in the event of water, smoke, fire, or vandalism. Such a professional is well aware of the urgency involved in responding to disasters because he/she and all of his/ her staff recognize that time is the enemy and rapid response is essential to successful restoration. Accordingly, he/she has a strong “service” attitude that provides 24 hour, 7 days a-week response and commitment. With a properly trained staff and the appropriate equipment and supplies available to service any and all emergencies that arise, a professional restoration specialist is the firm to call in all loss situations.