Water Damage Clean Up

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We are heading into hurricane season here in Florida, and that means preventing water damage should be on every home and property owner’s mind. Navigating what to do right away after a water intrusion event should be a phone call to an expert company, but if you’re curious about getting the whole picture because you have time to check this guide out.    

Many people may be afraid of wind damage but it’s water that’s the most likely to damage your property and valuables. In addition, water damage is a threat outside of the hurricane season as well. Left untreated, a single leak could cost you thousands of dollars to fix. Here’s what you need to know on the subject.

water leaking on floor

water leaking on floor

What Causes Water Damage?

Water damage can include any sort of impact that excessive water contact has with an object in your home. Valuable documents ruined? Upholstery damage with your furniture? Issues with your foundation? Soaked carpet? All of these issues qualify as water damage.

With expense and time, you may be able to repair/salvage some of your items that were damaged by water. However, that depends on the nature of the water.

How so? Condensation around your air conditioner and floodwaters can both cause water damage, but they are different types of water. Damage from floodwater is the most dangerous because of the high amounts of bacteria and other debris that are generally present.

As a result, anything that comes into contact with this type of water needs to be thrown away for your own safety. Something especially insidious about water damage is that some of the effects may not be seen right away. For example, if a water leak happens behind your drywall, you may not notice it at first.

This can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew down the road. Left unchecked, this issue could cause health problems and expensive repairs.

Options For Water Damage Clean Up

As mentioned, the longer that the source of water damage is present, the more effects can stem from it. As a result, it’s important that you put together a plan for water damage cleanup as soon as possible. There are a few ways that you can go about this:

Doing the work yourself

This would generally entail using your own manpower/tools at your disposal in order to get rid of the water and disposing of anything you can’t salvage. However, the situations where handling it yourself is appropriate are extremely limited

Water damage would have to be entirely localized to one small area, where the water present was clean, like from rain or your sink. Even if you managed to clear out the water without the assistance or guidance of a professional, there would still be the potential risk of water damage that you can’t see growing over time. 

Professional water damage clean up

Water damage clean up professionals have access to more effective tools than your average property owner does.   This includes inspecting the property and the tools to remove water/damaged materials. 

Note that companies may use different methods for water damage clean up, from vacuums to dehumidifiers to a combination of these and other options.



The Water Damage Clean Up Process

So, with this in mind, when you’ve experienced water damage, what’s the process to actually get water damage done? Let’s start from when you first contact a water damage restoration professional

  1. Inspection: A professional will begin by examining all applicable areas of your home for water damage to know what rooms they have to work with. Note that you may need a separate professional like a plumber to fix root causes like burst pipes that may still be ongoing.
  2. Drying out: This will use equipment to remove any moisture from the area affected. This effectively halts the spread of water damage.
  3. Removal: Any items that can’t be salvaged will be disposed of after the area is dried up.
  4. Consultation: The restoration professional will explain the scope of the issue and offer advice on what the property owner can do.

No matter which of these options you go with, you want to have proper professionals on your side. That means working with the experts at Total Care Restoration.

We can appraise the situation and point you toward the best course of action. Contact us today if you are looking to get started.


What Leads To Water Damage Restoration

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What Leads To Water Damage

What Leads To Water Damage Restoration

Water damage restoration can be a costly, but essential investment, ranging a few thousand dollars on average to do properly. However, for homes that are damaged by water, heavy rain, or prolonged leaks, there’s truly no way to go other than using these services as an option. However, what does bear mentioning is what leads into a water damage restoration project. That price estimate can vary wildly based on the type of water, breadth of the damage, as well as the work/repairs that need to be done to get rid of said damage. Here’s a closer look at these aspects, and how they impact a water damage restoration project.

Where You Can Find Water Damage

To start the conversation, let’s briefly go over some of the most likely sources of water damage in your home.

Flooding: Technically, any place can flood, even in landlocked areas, assuming that rain is heavy enough and there aren’t adequate places for the water to drain off to. However, homes and properties in flood zones are especially at risk due to their proximity to major bodies of water. Coastal areas, like southern Florida and Miami, have additional flood risk due to rising sea levels.

Plumbing problems: Being the primary system that transports water in a property, issues with your plumbing can lead to water damage. However, this covers a wide span of situations. For example, a small leak from your sink is probably the easiest type of water damage to deal with. The water is generally still drinkable, which lowers the risk, and the water is often confined to one area. However, a burst pipe can be a more serious issue.

Appliance/HVAC problems: Just like any other machine, your HVAC systems and household appliances need maintenance over time. Without them, systems like refrigerators and air conditioners can build up excess moisture, which can cause water damage to the areas around them.

Leaks: Leaks in the roof, foundation, basement, or areas like crawlspaces all offer prime opportunities for water to seep into your home. Because different leaks start for different reasons, there’s no set way to lower the potential risk. The best thing you can do is have a regimen to check your property for potential leaks.

Note that these aren’t the only sources of water damage, just the most common. When you are checking for water damage, some signs are easily visible, like moisture spots or mold. However, you also need to look out for more subtle indicators. For example, even if you can’t see mold because it is hidden behind  a wall or other area, you may be able to detect it by its recognizable, musty smell. Other things to look out for are discoloration on different surfaces, or warping and buckling. This is especially useful for flooring, where the surface water may have dried out or been wiped away, but it is still causing issues below the surface.

What Happens Without Water Damage Restoration

For obvious cases, like a flood, not getting water damage restoration done poses a major health risk to anyone who enters your home or property. But what happens if the cause isn’t as dire? Is it possible to simply “wait it out” rather than pay for water damage restoration? Not likely, and here’s why.  For one thing, flood water isn’t the only type of water that is hazardous for you. There are three main types of water that cause water damage, and the level of risk is as follows:

Black water: This water, generally from outside flooding, is extremely hazardous due to contaminants, and only people with protective gear should be on the property, let alone performing restoration.

Grey water: Grey water tends to come from appliances like your dishwashing machine or washing machine. This water can be slightly contaminated. Some say that you can clean this yourself with basic safety gear, but it’s generally best to err on the side of caution.

Clean water: Coming for rain or leaky pipes, this type of water is generally safe to drink, and doesn’t pose any additional health hazard.

That’s ⅔ types of water that could potentially cause a health risk to you due to present bacteria. The longer that you go without water damage restoration, the greater the risk of you getting sick. However, it also bears mentioning that this isn’t the only hazard with leaving water damage unattended. For example, extended water damage poses a serious threat to the structural integrity of your home. Wood, including the wooden support that strengthens your walls and floors, deteriorates and warps with prolonged exposure to water.

There are several examples similar to this, where prolonged water exposure can end up weakening parts of your home, potentially turning a smaller issue into a major one. For example, a plumbing pipe with a small leak will begin to rust and corrode. In time, this could lead to the pipe breaking down and bursting, leading to more water damage. A similar example occurs with cinder blocks and bricks, especially in colder climates. If water seeps in, it can cause the surfaces to crack and erode over time.

As a final note, even if the water itself isn’t harmful for your health, it can lead to health issues by proxy. For example, many different people have allergies/respiratory sensitivities to mold. This can lead to issues as simple as coughing or as concerning as depression and lethargy. In addition, bugs and other fungus are naturally drawn to standing water. For insects like mosquitos, this can lead to potential diseases spreading, not to mention the general discomfort of having these unwanted guests around. Letting water damage go unnoticed opens your home up for a variety of issues, and these will likely only increase over time.

The Water Damage Restoration Process

With this said, the next step after determining you need water damage restoration is finding a proper professional to do it. During your search, here are some of the key elements you want to keep in mind. The last thing you want to do is risk paying for subpar work and dealing with some of the above hazards and issues even longer while you wait for a replacement job/contractor.

If you’re looking to try and narrow down the amount of contractors out there, one of your best options is to look out for referrals from your inner circle, like friends, families, or coworkers. This is preferable to an online review because you’re not only getting an impression from someone you trust, but also someone who knows the situation you are in and what you prefer from contractors. With this said, it’s not necessarily a bad idea for you to try and use business directories online, like like Yelp or Angie’s List, to look out for water damage restoration providers in your area. These are extremely useful for getting basic contact information or details about their services. When it comes to the reviews, though, you should look out for greater trends rather than a single review’s content.

After you’ve narrowed the field a bit based on location and services, what you want to do is take a closer look at the provider’s website in order to make sure they are a safe choice to work on your home. What safe means, in this case, is that the company has the proper accreditations and certifications for their job. For example, does the company have a certification from a major body like the IICRC? What about liability insurance to make sure that you are covered in case one of the contractors falls ill while working on black water? All of these details should be easily found on the contractor’s website.

The final step before making your decision is actually reaching out to the company to try and talk to them about more specific details. For example, you may want to know what the communication plan is between the contractors and you while you work, or what additional services you can get along with your water damage restoration.

After you’ve made your selection in terms of water damage restoration providers, the next stage is the initial consultation. Some restoration providers offer this for free, and it’s a basic service where the provider looks over your home to try and find the root cause of your water damage and the extent of the damage. Both of these points are extremely important as they factor into exactly how much you can expect in terms of cost. For example, cleaning some water stains on the floor is far less expensive than needing to go behind drywall, or if you need additional mold removal on top of your water damage restoration.

After Restoration

Water damage restoration professionals, especially those with the proper credentials we mentioned, are skilled at what they do. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t areas to improve. Every water damage scenario is different. Some of the biggest trends that we are likely to see for the future of restoration is using technology to try and make things more efficient, passing the savings of time down to the clients. For example, rather than using current drying machines, imagine a larger, industrial version that can dry out multiple rooms in a fraction of the time. In addition, while this is further away, there’s potential for modern technology to make it easier to restore areas like under carpets and behind drywall, without the expensive and time-consuming deconstruction/repairs needed to get to these areas currently.

These may make water damage restoration an easier issue to deal with in the future, but for now, your best option is to try and minimize the chances of water damage happening, period. So, after you have a restoration done, what is your next step? The first one will most likely be simply listening to your restoration professional. Many companies include a post-restoration consultation as part of their services, which includes instructions on how to minimize water damage risk in the future, as well as future signs to look out for.

There are some smaller things you can do as well to try and lower the chance of having to deal with water damage. For example, people with homes in flood-prone areas should look to make sure that there aren’t any hills sloping downwards and towards their home. In addition, regularly inspecting the gutters and attic are good ways to cut off any potential leaks before they can lead to serious water damage.

Another thing worth doing to soften the blow is increasing your insurance coverage. Insurance companies won’t provide a payout if you don’t have separate flood insurance, or if the issue that led to your leak or burst pipe was due to a lack of maintenance rather than a freak issue. However, expanding the scope of your policy can change that. Water damage restoration providers are always willing to work with your insurance company to make sure their work is covered, but you need to have the right policy first.

Using TCR for Water Damage Restoration

Water damage can come from a variety of sources, and all of them have the ability to lead to a long-lasting and harmful impact. For those in South Florida and similar coastal areas, the risk is even more pronounced due to the high chance of flooding, as well as the greater likelihood of future floods. While there are steps people can take to minimize water damage risk and impact, none of them are guaranteed, making having a water damage restoration solution prepared that much more important.

For all of your water damage restoration needs, contact professionals like Total Care Restoration. Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also:

  • 5-star-rated on Yelp
  • IICRC-certified
  • BBB A+-rated

This combination of expertise and experience means that we know how to target the various areas that are most likely to take on water damage, approach the root issue, remove the water damage, and give guidance on how you can avoid the damage from reoccurring.  Reach out to us today for a free inspection.

Getting The Most Out of Your Water Damage Restoration

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Getting The Most Out of Your Water Damage Restoration

Getting The Most Out of Your Water Damage Restoration

Water damage restoration can be a costly process, generally being a couple thousand dollars at the minimum. The cost goes up based on the nature and scope of the damage. Because of this, it’s important for home and property owners to not just get the work done when needed, but use it as an opportunity to minimize water damage risk and impact going forward. Here are a few steps that you can take to make sure you fully utilize your water damage restoration.

Before Your Restoration

When you first discover water damage, as frustrating as it can be, you can also turn it into a learning opportunity, especially in terms of layout. For example, if you are recovering from a flood, exactly what was the first area of the home to flood? Depending on what the answer is, you may want to move your valuables or electrical equipment from that space. Even if you are flooded again, that’s one risk factor or potential loss you can avoid.

Along with this, a major part of minimizing water damage risk is understanding where it’s most likely to come from. To see a great example of this, let’s look at gutters. For areas that get a lot of rain, gutters play an invaluable role, ferrying excess water away from the roof and foundation. However, if those gutters get clogged, you suddenly have a major leak/water damage risk. A lot of keeping water damage from happening is targeting issues like these before they have a chance to take place. A seasonal examination of gutters, attics, and other similar areas can help a lot here.

Other than that, you’re best served leaving things for the professionals before the restoration. The reason for this is that certain types of water can be harmful to come into contact without protective wear, so you don’t want to take that risk.

After Your Restoration

After the dust has settled and the restoration is complete, probably one of the first things on your mind is what you need to do in order to make sure that this situation doesn’t happen again. The good news is that a proper water damage restoration company should be able to help you in this regard. Most restorers offer a sort of post-consultation after their work is done, explaining potential reasons why the water damage may have happened and what you can do to minimize risk in the future. It’s always good to listen to this advice.

Another thing worth considering at this stage is upgrading your insurance coverage. For example, flood damage won’t be covered by homeowner’s insurance, even if the home is in a flood zone. In some cases, there’s nothing you can do to avoid this, so the next best thing is making sure your restoration will be covered in case you need it again.

Whether you are staging your home for restoration or making changes to the layout in order to minimize water damage, being a responsible homeowner can help. Doing some prep work is far different than performing a DIY water damage restoration, which rarely works and can sometimes make things worse. So, perhaps the best way to get the most out of your water damage restoration is to ensure that you work with the top professionals in the area.

For Miami and South Florida, that means working with Total Care Restoration. Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers, but we’re also IICRC-certified. This signifies that we have the skills and experience to create a platform that you can use to keep your home safe and comfortable, even if water damage is a common risk.

Choosing The Best Water Damage Restoration Provider

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Choosing The Best Water Damage Restoration Provider

Choosing The Best Water Damage Restoration Provider

One of the frustrating things about water damage restoration is the fact that many people don’t really give it any thought until they absolutely, desperately need it. This is a poor method to use. For one thing, there are many ways that people can determine whether or not they are at risk. For example, if you live in a flood zone or area with heavy rainfall, own a basement, or have landscaping that slopes towards the home, you should have a water restoration professional in mind, even if you don’t need one right this moment.

Part of the issue with waiting until the last minute to choose your water damage restoration professionals is that it often narrows the amount of companies you have to choose from, due to a lack of time and possibly money. The last thing you want to do is end up with a company that does a poor job at the time you need it most. Here’s what you should be looking for.

Where To Look

So, you’ve decided to be proactive and choose a water damage restoration company. Where should you look? Ideally, especially if you are in an area where water damage is common, the answer won’t be too far away. Referrals are almost always one of the best ways to find contractors, especially from friends, families, or coworkers. The reason for this is, not only are you getting a recommendation from someone you trust, but also someone who knows your situation. Some water damage restoration companies may be a better match for certain homes or certain-scale jobs. People keep these things in mind when providing a referral.

If you’re on your own, while the “water damage restoration near me” Google search does have its use, you may want to go elsewhere to refine things. For example, there are many business directories online you can use to specifically look for different contractors. Some of these are common, like Yelp or Angie’s List, while others are more specialized. Another benefit of using these types of resources is that you can generally see reviews from other people on the services and professionals. Just be sure to take them with a grain of salt – you don’t get the context that you would with a personal referral.

What To Look For

Now that you have the resources to pick out your water damage restoration provider, what exactly will set your final choice apart from the pack? The first thing you should look for is some type of professional accreditation, like from the IICRC. Unfortunately, especially after major storms, there are unscrupulous individuals who take advantage of people with subpar work, then disappear before the homeowners can take recourse. Finding someone who has their proper licensing, certification, and insurance will ensure you don’t have to deal with that problem.

Aside from this, you’ll likely need to schedule a consultation or phone discussion with the company in order to narrow things down further. Different factors like price, communication, as well as the suite of services will all determine the best match for you. Another thing worth looking at is the equipment the company uses. Having modernized equipment not only helps the job get done faster, but more effectively. Finally, there is something to be said for the personal element. You want a restoration company that is willing to take the time to explain the work they are doing and the situation your home is in to help put you at ease, especially after major water damage.

As you can see, there are a lot of different elements that go into choosing a solid water damage restoration provider. The stakes are high if you choose poorly. The best thing you can do is try to find a provider that has a strong combination of concrete proof, like accreditations and certifications, as well as social proof, like a strong set of existing customers that can attest to their services. At Total Care Restoration, we offer both. Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also IICRC-certified. Combine this with a 5-star rating on Yelp and an A+ rating with the BBB, and we are the standout water damage restorers for Miami and South Florida.

Tips On When You Need Water Damage Restoration

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When you need water damage restoration

When you need water damage restoration

As a homeowner, you always want to take every step possible to try and protect your property and valuables. Water damage can be a threat to both, and manifest in several ways. For example, a small drip of a leak may end up causing a water stain on the floor, or piece of furniture, if left unattended over time. A leak from the roof going into the drywall could end up becoming a home for mold. Flood water from outside could bring all kinds of dangerous bacteria in the home. All of these are water damage, and yet, all require different approaches.

With this said, when exactly do you need a full-scale water damage restoration, and when is it enough to simply let things dry out? Here’s a guide on when to know the difference.

The Signs

In general, a good rule of thumb when it comes to water damage restoration is if you wouldn’t drink the water that is causing the damage, then you want to bring on professionals. There’s a big difference between water coming from a sink in your home and black water from a flood. In some cases, you need specialized equipment to even be in the house, let alone do any kind of work. If you can pinpoint exactly where the water came from and know that it’s no threat to you, you may be able to move some valuables around and do a little bit of drying work yourself.

However, this only applies to the smallest of spills. If there’s uncertainty on the source of the damage or exactly where the water is coming from, always opt for water damage restoration. Or at least a consultation. Part of this, again, is about making sure that you are safe. However, you don’t want to use a half measure also. If you have a leak that leads to a water stain, and you just clean the stain, you’re not really fixing the problem. Part of water damage restoration is being provided a thorough look at your home to determine the cause, as well as fixing the effects.

The Next Step

After you’ve decided that water damage restoration is what you are looking for, the first thing you should do, even before looking for a provider, is taking a look at your insurance policy. Different home insurance policies provide causes for water damage from different sources. For example, if there was a sudden pipe failure, your restoration may be covered by insurance. However, something like a flood would require separate flood insurance. Taking this extra step will give you a better idea of the true cost of your water damage restoration.

After this, you can start looking for a provider. Note that when it comes to making a final decision, there are three main things to look out for:

  • Professional certification
  • A strong background of past clients
  • Experience dealing with your type of water damage.

No one wants to try and end up paying extra for services that they don’t need, but there’s a fine line between a small water stain and serious water damage, with serious ramifications. If you find that the situation in your home or property is a borderline one, you’re better served to get a consultation from water damage restoration professionals to figure out the nature of the job.

At Total Care Restoration, we not only believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also IICRC-certified. This means that when it comes to water damage restoration, you’re getting the top options in terms of handling both small and major water damage incidents.

Water Damage Restoration Pricing Explanation

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What Goes Into Pricing For Water Damage Restoration

What Goes Into Pricing For Water Damage Restoration

Common sources of water damage, like a heavy rainstorm or a flood, generally represent a financial hardship for home and property owners. For one thing, water damage restoration is usually accompanied by different services that you may need at the same time, like repairing siding in heavy winds or removing mold after flooding. Because of this, one of the biggest barriers that keeps people from doing restoration work (even if they really need it) is the price.

However, even for those in financial straits, you don’t want to cheap out on water damage restoration. Here’s a guide on what you can expect to pay, how contractors arrive at those numbers, and what you can do to try and save money in these scenarios.

The Numbers

Every water damage scenario is different. Sometimes, you may just be paying for a minor stain fix in an easily accessible area. In other cases, you may need to go deep into the drywall in order to do the restoration work. Because there is a lot of variance, the average price of a full water damage restoration for one basement (roughly 700 ft) is going to be $2,700. However, that price could go under $2,000 or as high as $7,000. How can one job change its costs so much? Here are some facts to consider.

Square footage: This is a pretty obvious factor? The larger the room or space that you need to have restored, the more you have to pay.

Where the water is: As alluded to before, in situations where water damage is behind a wall or in a place that’s not easy to reach, the contractor may need to remove portions of the room to effectively dry things out. This additional process may be reflected in the price.

Additional repair: A lot of the times, the biggest expense driver when it comes to water damage restoration is repairs for what the restorers need to do to access that water. For example, you will need to pay to get your drywall or carpet restored if the contractor needed to go through it to get to the water.

Hazard equipment: In some cases, like heavy flooding, dangerous water, like black water, may be present in the home. Anyone doing work in the home needs to wear protective equipment, and generally take a longer, more cautious process before the drying can begin.

If this sounds overly expensive, it’s important to remember exactly what goes into a water damage restoration. A full restoration generally includes multiple contractors working in your home, to remove standing water, decontaminate the area, dry out the area, and remove anything that is beyond salvaging. This means you are paying multiple professionals for their time, as well as for their specialized drying equipment to dry out the room.

Is There A Way To Save?

Unfortunately, a lot of the time, you’re at the mercy of how water damage started in your home when it comes to how much you actually have to pay. A clean burst pipe where water only gets on the floor won’t cost you much. Recovering after a flood in your basement can be a great deal more expensive. The best thing you can do is try to react quickly.

For example, after a rainstorm, be sure to look around your gutters and foundation to look for leaks. The faster you act, the less time you have for water damage to develop. Similarly, if you suspect a flood is coming, try to move as many valuables to higher ground as possible.

While it’s always important to adhere to a budget when it comes to home projects, for something like water damage restoration, you never want to race to the bottom. It’s well worth it to pay a little more for the peace of mind and protection of working with a company that has a proven body of work, as well as past customers that can serve as references.

For those in the South Florida and Miami areas, Total Care Restoration makes a perfect match. Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also IICRC-certified. Along with affordability and free consultations for those on the fence, we also provide the expertise to make sure your money is well-spent.

The In’s and Out’s of Water Damage Restoration

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High- Water - Road Blocked

High- Water – Road Blocked

As a resident of Miami or South Florida, chances are that you’re quite used to the water, whether it’s due to plenty of summer rain or simply enjoying the ocean. However, this proximity to the water and the balmy Florida conditions come with a greater risk of water damage compared to other parts of the country.

Water damage can have a variety of potentially dangerous side effects, whether it comes violently through a flood or subtly through a roof leak. The silver lining here is that there are a lot of tools and options at your disposal, as well as water damage restoration professionals to help in the areas you can’t work on yourself.

Water Damage and Why You Need to Act Quickly

One thing that we should talk about when it comes to water damage is the fact that not all types of water damage are alike. For example, there are different classes of water that can come into your home, each requiring different approaches:

  • Category 1 – water generally comes from broken or leaking appliances and is generally safe for human contact. While you may still need professional restoration help, you can clear out standing water before the professionals arrive.
  • Category 2 water can come from areas like broken water or sump pumps and should not come into contact with the skin without protective gear due to microorganisms.
  • Category 3 water, also known as black water, is extremely dangerous due to the presence of bacteria. Floodwater and sewage water are common class 3 examples.

If a home is affected with category 2 or category 3 water, it’s no longer a safe place to live due to the presence of contaminants in the air, as well as on whatever the water has come into contact with. In these situations, you need to invest in water damage restoration to be able to enter the property and use it again.

But what about category 1 water when the water isn’t a source of danger?

While it may not be a health issue in and of itself, even these lesser instances of water damage can cause problems. For example, it only takes a few days for mold to grow in moist areas. Mold in the air can potentially cause health issues over time, especially for people with sensitive respiratory systems. There’s also the risk of things like furniture or carpet needing to be replaced after prolonged contact with water, even relatively safe water.

For home and property owners caught in this situation, it may be tempting to try and save money when this happens by doing the job yourself, but the truth is that this mentality causes more issues than it solves (What To Do Before A Water Damage Professional Visits). This is why it’s important to determine the methods you can do ahead of time to reduce the impact of water damage versus what happens when the damage occurs and you need professional help.

Methods to Mitigate Water Damage

If it’s not safe for people to work around water-damaged areas on their own, what options do they have to protect their home? There are a few ways: in some cases, lowering the risk of common water damage issues, and others, lowering the risk of the impact that water damage can have when it does happen.

If you are a home or property owner, your best bet is ensuring you are regularly inspecting your home. Most of the time, water damage can be avoided. For example, if a gutter is clogged due to plant matter, this can cause leaks in the foundation or roof, which, in turn, can cause water damage. However, simply taking the time to inspect the gutters and make changes every now and then can be enough to keep this from happening. Similar attentiveness can lower the risk of other issues like burst pipes or roof damage after a storm.

Depending on your home, you may even be able to creatively landscape your home in order to minimize the risk of smaller-scale flood damage. Setting your yard to slope down and away from your home will keep excess water from pooling against your foundation during heavy rains. Granted, this may not be possible for every homeowner to do, but for people who plan on settling in South Florida for a long time, it may be worth looking into.

Besides lowering water damage risk, you can also work reduce its impact. Examples of this include taking the time to protect your valuables by bringing them to elevated levels of the home or putting them in a waterproof container. If you have a basement and the necessary funds, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a sump pump. These won’t completely remove water damage in the area, but they can cut down on the amount of standing water and the potential health hazards it causes.

Finally, for South Florida residents, there is a greater risk of heavy water flooding compared to other parts of the country. What many home and property owners may not understand is that your average homeowners’ insurance policy does not cover flood damage in many cases. Note that some insurance policies can cover water damage such as a burst pipe, or other sudden issues that don’t stem from neglect or lack of maintenance. So, for example, a long-time leak caused by a clogged gutter would not be covered by many insurance policies.

This is why it’s important to make sure that you invest in a proper flood insurance policy. Flood restoration professionals will work with your carrier in order to get insurance to cover their services, but only if you have a proper policy. It may be a good idea to talk to your insurance carrier to figure out what type of water damage you are qualified to have covered.

Preparing to mitigate water damage does not mean neutralizing it. In some cases, you are going to need water damage professionals regardless, so you want to make sure you and your home are ready for their help if needed(5 Quick Tips You Need To Know In Staging Your Home for Water Damage Restoration).

Choosing Your Water Damage Restoration Professionals

The water damage restoration process involves a lot of important components, and you want to make sure you have professionals that can take care of all of them.  (The ABC’s of The Water Damage Restoration Process). The number one reason for this is there isn’t a lot of regulation in the water damage restoration industry, and in areas where flooding is common, there is a risk of water damage restoration scams. These providers generally offer a lower price to people in need, do a subpar job, and then disappear before there’s any chance of reprisal. How do you avoid that happening to you?

One of the best places to start is to look for accredited professionals and only work with them. For example, at Total Care Restoration, we are certified by the IICRC, one of the most prominent and respected organizations for restoration professionals. If you’re looking for a baseline for professionals, an IICRC accreditation is a good start.

In addition, depending on the scope of your water damage, you may want to work with a company that has a variety of different related services rather than just one specialty. For example, after a heavy flood that resulted in you needing to leave a property for a while, you not only will likely have dangerous standing water but also heavy mold. Many restoration companies can dry out the home as well as provide mold remediation, but you want to check first. 

Other things that you want to ask about when looking through water restoration professionals are things like their liability insurance or past clients they can refer you to. These are all about making sure you choose a professional who is transparent and will protect your property.

Finally, when it comes to pricing, you need to understand that there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. After all, water in your drywall requires a lot more effort to get to and fix compared to a waterlogged carpet. When you work with a professional, it’s important to make sure that they only give you a price after a proper inspection.

Working Through Water Damage Restoration 

Part of the reason why we go through all these steps in order to help find the right water damage restoration professionals is to make sure the job gets done correctly. When you are talking to different companies and deciding what you want, it’s important to understand all the major steps of water damage restoration, and make sure that restoration professionals are doing their due diligence here.

This all starts with the initial inspection, where water damage professionals assess the condition of your home to determine the extent of the water damage as well as come up with an estimate for the restoration. At Total Care Restoration, we offer free inspections in order to help our clients at this stage in the process.

After the inspection, the next step is to remove any standing water. This is particularly important in the case of flooding, where there may be a lot of category 3 water remaining. Not only does this remove the excess source of moisture, but ensures the home is safe for people to work in.

At this point, we get into the nuts and bolts of the restoration. Depending on the scope of the restoration, the affected room or rooms will be sectioned off, then treated with dehumidifiers and large fans in order to dry out the excess moisture in the room. As this goes on, professionals will also be looking at damaged items like furniture, and either work to dry them off or dispose of them if they are beyond saving. When the drying process is over, there is generally a final cleaning that includes sanitizing and odor treatments to get rid of the last remnants of the water.

As a final step, many water damage restoration professionals will offer a consultation after their work is over. The purpose of this consultation is to go over exactly what led to the water damage if it’s something more subtle like a leak or foundational issues. In addition, your water damage restoration professional will go over things you can do to minimize the risk of water damage and its impact returning (How To Keep Water Damage From Returning In Your Home).

Using TCR for Water Restoration Services

When the time comes for you to work with water restoration services, it’s essential to make sure that you are working with the best. Not only do you want to make sure that your home is completely covered, but you also want the insight and expertise to ensure that this won’t become a recurring issue for the property. This is especially important for many people in South Florida and coastal areas. Dealing with flooding is becoming a more frequent occurrence, and this is compounded by the many other potential sources of water damage, like leaks or burst pipes.

To fix existing issues and lower future risk, contact professionals like Total Care Restoration. Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also:

  • 5-star rated on Yelp
  • IICRC certified
  • BBB A+ rated

This means we have the skills and expertise to provide water damage restoration services for property owners, as well as help them prepare for some of the causes of water damage for future instances. Our customers also trust us to diagnose different issues and repair foundation, leaks, mold infestations, and other side effects of flooding and severe water damage. Reach out to us today for a free inspection.


5 Tips For Staging Your Home For Water Damage Restoration

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By deciding to use water damage restoration versus clearing out the damage yourself, you’re making the smarter choice. However, while drying out your home and clearing out any contaminated items is best left to the professionals, there are a few things you can do ahead of time to make the process easier for everyone involved.

Here are some of the things worth considering.

Knowing your coverage

All water damage is not alike, at least, not in the eyes of insurance companies. For example, your general homeowner’s insurance policy may cover something like a sudden burst pipe, but not a leak that slowly develops over time. In addition, water damage from a natural disaster like a flood generally requires an entirely separate policy. Water damage restoration professionals will work with your provider to help cover some, if not all, of their services, but you need to make sure that you’re adequately insured.

Minimizing further risk

If you know the source of the water damage and have the ability to cut off water to the offending appliance or area, make sure that you do it. There’s no need to run the risk of additional water pooling or causing further damage while you wait for the initial inspection.

Set aside time for the inspection

In general, the more thorough the professional is with their initial inspection, the better it is for you and your home. This additional effort ensures that they catch every single area that’s taken on extra moisture, and also discover the cause of the water damage if it isn’t obvious (a leak in the roof or foundation, for example).

However, depending on the size of your property, this can be a time-consuming process. As a result, make sure that you give them enough time to do their work, as well as ask any relevant questions about the inspection and restoration process.

Take notes

Take note of things that strike you as sources of concern before the professionals come to your home for the inspection. Letting them know about something means they can take a look right away. For example, the mold has a very distinct, musty odor. If you enter a water-damaged home and detect the smell, make sure to bring it up when restoration services arrive.

Clear outstanding water to a point

We put a major emphasis on the maybe here, as not all water is alike when it comes to water damage. In general, if you’re absolutely sure that the source of the water damage is from a sink or bathtub, and nothing else, then you can use something like a wet-dry vacuum to do a little bit of clearing up ahead of time. Anything other than that is best left to the professionals. Floodwater and similar types of water are often rife with contaminants, so you don’t want to risk becoming sick by trying to clear it out yourself.

Of course, when it comes to preparing your home for restoration after a flood, burst pipe, or other cause of severe water damage, the single most important step is choosing the right company to work with.

Total Care Restoration is a water damage restoration company that not only believes in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also IICRC-certified. This means we have the skills and experience to take care of all key aspects of water damage restoration, bringing your home or property back to its regular functionality and appearance.


How To Keep Water Damage From Returning

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After the dust has settled and your water damage restoration is done, probably one of the first things on your mind is how you can avoid being in the same situation again. Not only is there the obvious expense of paying for the restoration (unless you have insurance that covers it), but there may also be the quieter toll of seeing your property and valuables potentially damaged or destroyed.

The silver lining here is that there are a variety of different steps you can take to reduce the risk of this happening again.

Protect your valuables

Most of the time, irreplaceable items like family photos or other valuables are lost to flooding or water damage because of a lack of knowledge that water could even get to them. This is why it’s important to take the time now to make sure they are as safe as possible. Make sure that you invest in a waterproof container for these documents, and try to keep them on a higher level of your home.

Know the different sources of water damage

Situations that cause water damage can be avoided if the property owner takes the time to take yearly inspections of their property. For example, roof leaks can commonly be caused by gutters getting clogged or damage to the roof. Checking these areas minimizes the risk of large leaks developing, which can lead to water damage.

Invest in a sump pump

For people who live in areas like South Florida where flooding is a risk, it’s not a bad idea to consider buying a sump pump for the basement. While this may not completely negate the effects of water damage, it is a way to mitigate it, which could lead to less costly restoration next time.

Have a flood response plan

People who live in flood zones should take the time to come up with a plan in case they are in the path of the rising waters. For smaller floods, this should include a plan to protect any valuables and wait out the storm safely (shutting off electricity, keeping food where it can’t be contaminated, etc.). For more serious occasions, an evacuation plan and checklist is also worth coming up with.

Set up a sloped yard, if possible

In some cases, creative landscaping can cut down the risk of water damage. For example, by setting up a yard that slopes downward and away from your home, you lessen the risk of excess moisture seeping into your home’s foundation during periods of heavy rain.

One essential step that everyone needs in order to prevent water damage from reoccurring is education. While professionals are needed to restore water damage, much of what we’ve been talking about are best practices you can implement yourself. After paying for water damage restoration, it’s often common for the contractors you work with to provide a brief consultation about what the root cause of your problem was in the first place.

However, not all water damage restoration companies offer this service, so you want to make sure you work with the best.   is a water damage restoration company that not only believes in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also IICRC-certified. This means that we have the skills and experience to help you take care of all key aspects of water damage restoration, bringing your home or property back to its regular functionality and appearance.


The Water Damage Restoration Process

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Right after a heavy Miami flood or instances like a burst pipe or water heater leak, it can be difficult to fully take in the scope of the water damage. Expensive items and irreplaceable valuables may be damaged, and the only step that’s left is to try and bring your home or property back to its original state.

When skilled water damage restoration professionals do their work, they take a painstakingly detailed and thorough approach. Here are some of the key steps that they use in order to make this happen.

The Inspection

If you are looking for water damage restoration and someone gives you a flat price without an inspection, look elsewhere. This first step is also one of the most crucial, when professionals look at your property to determine the full scope of the water damage. This is done not just through visual inspection, but via a set of specific tools that fully measure moisture content. These include hydrometers and even infrared cameras, in some cases. An inspection may also include an additional check for issues commonly associated with water damage, like mold or leaks.

Water Extraction

Depending on the source of the water damage, you may still have standing or existing water in the home that needs to be removed. Certain sources of water, like seawater or sewage, can be dangerous to come into contact with without proper equipment, which is where this step comes in. The tools used here can vary, from industrial wet-dry vacuums to pumps in cases where there is an extreme amount of water. By removing all existing water, it’s possible to move on to the next step of the restoration safely.


With standing water removed, the next step is to dry out the remaining moisture in the water-damaged areas. This is generally accomplished with a combination of dehumidifiers and air movers to keep a constant flow of hot, dry air into the room. The dehumidifiers are especially important because they can minimize some of the common side effects of prolonged water damage, like swelled and warped furniture and walls. While this is going on, professionals will continually look at the moisture levels to ensure the room is properly dried out.

Containment and Disposal

This step goes hand in hand with drying. As water damage restoration professionals go through room to room, they will work to keep the dry, hot air restrained to the room they are working on. This helps it dry more efficiently. In addition, if there are debris and damaged items inside the room, this will give them time to see what is salvageable and what is contaminated. Garbage and unsalvageable items will be properly disposed of to ensure no one comes in contact with potential contaminants.


After the water is fully removed, some parts of the room may still need formal cleaning, like furniture, clothing, and other items. The final step of a water restoration will generally include sanitizing treatments as well as odor removal.

As you can see, a full water damage restoration process is not a quick fix, but something that requires state-of-the-art equipment and painstaking attention to detail to carry out properly. This is why it’s essential for you to partner with the top companies to have this work done. Total Care Restoration is a water damage restoration company that not only believes in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also IICRC-certified. This means we have the skills and experience to take care of all key aspects of water damage restoration, bringing your home or property back to its regular functionality and appearance.

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