The Importance of Inspecting for Mold When Buying a New Home

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Mold In Home

Mold In Home

What do you do if your new home has a surprise occupant? — mold. You’ll need to remediate this problem, but what’s even better is discovering it, and getting it under control, before you close a deal. Florida requires sellers to disclose property defects that may not be visible (like mold or water damage), but as a buyer, you want to have a potential new home inspected by an expert.

And here’s why: While some molds are visible, or smell, they can also hide under floorboards and inside walls and ceilings. Not all varieties of this fungus are created equally and some strains, like black mold, can cause health problems like asthma, allergies, or even immune issues.

Experts can give you the tools you need to make an informed decision about how to proceed with your potential new home’s unwanted visitors:

Get a realistic picture

A comprehensive mold inspection involves tactics to assess the mold, humidity levels, and water intrusion — which can lead to future mold formation. This might include thermal imaging or other tests that are not included in a standard home inspection.

Some types of mold, like Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as Stachybotrys atra, that dangerous “black mold”), grow on wood and fiberboard. Others breed among carpeting, insulation, window frames, and drywall.

A professional might find that what was determined to be a minor problem in a buyer’s home inspection, has evolved into a serious health hazard. If the home already has known issues with mold or humidity, it’s an even better idea to get a second opinion, to ensure that the problem has not gotten worse since the last inspection. 


Prevent big problems in the future

When mold multiplies, your whole house could be at risk, and that includes its structural integrity. If your potential home has a basement, or bathrooms without windows, it’s an even better candidate for mold.

A buyers’ general home inspection might pick up on surface problems like stains or mold on walls, and ceilings; standing water around HVAC units; and earthy or musty odors. But an expert can tell you when you have a problem that could get worse.

When it spreads, mold can lead to expensive structural issues and healthcare costs for you and your family. A study by the Environmental Protection Agency found that 21% of the 21.8 million asthma cases in the U.S. can be attributed to exposure to dampness and mold.


Mold In Home

Mold In Home

Get it in writing

While Florida home sellers are required to submit reports of any known issues, that doesn’t mean they’ve specifically had a mold inspection done.

A professional will give you documentation that you can use as a bargaining tool if you find something that wasn’t disclosed or is worse than when it was first discovered. This might lead to a price reduction or repairs as part of your deal.

The thought of buying a house with mold is certainly unpleasant, but it’s a situation that you can avoid, or at least remedy to save yourself from a headache down the road.

How To Keep Kids Safe From Mold

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How To Keep Kids Safe From MoldFor most people, buying a home of your own is an essential step towards creating that dream family life. However, along with getting that home comes the responsibility of maintaining it. There are a lot of different elements that come into maintaining a home, but one that often gets missed is mold, at least, until it’s too late. Not only does letting mold get out of control lead to expensive remediation and repair, but it can also cause health issues. In some cases, children can feel these effects more than others.

Mold And Child Health

Statistically speaking, roughly 10 percent of all children have some sort of sensitivity to mold. How exactly that sensitivity manifests can vary. In some cases, it’s similar to your typical allergies. When kids breathe in the mold spores, it causes the immune system to overreact, leading to symptoms like sneezing, irritation, and coughing. However, there can be other concerns. For example, children who are already struggling with asthma can be particularly at risk when exposed to mold. As a result, not only should you try to minimize mold in your home, but also avoid areas likely to have mold outside, like vegetable gardens or freshly-mowed grass.

One of the biggest panics people have when thinking about mold and children is “toxic mold.” We should clear the air on this concept a little bit. Out of the over 100,000 types of mold out there, only around 50 qualify as toxic. Technically, the molds themselves aren’t even toxic, but their spores give off something called mycotoxins. These can be a concern for children, though. Even adults exposed to some of these species of mold can develop respiratory infections, depression, and general lethargy.

Avoiding Mold Problems

As you can see, prolonged exposure to mold can cause medical issues for even the healthiest children, the last thing you want to see as a parent or property owner. The best thing you can do here is try to eliminate mold’s chances to grow. The main way to do this is through keeping a wary eye on sources of excess moisture. For example, bathrooms can maintain a lot of moisture through poor ventilation, leading to mold. Make sure that you inspect these areas daily or consider installing a fan to help keep things dry.

Equally important is tracking leaks. In areas like the basement or attic, which may not be visited often, it’s very easy for mold to grow quickly and lead to problems. After heavy storms or damage to the home, make sure that you have an inspection done. Even smaller leaks can lead to mold and water damage, and they’re only going to grow given time.

Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, there’s no guarantee that you will eliminate mold entirely. For example, in some cases, like heavy water damage or a flood, you may not have enough time to react and get help before mold begins to grow. In these situations, it’s essential to section off the affected area and dispose of contaminated items to prevent any spread. In other cases, mold may develop in an area that’s difficult for you to detect without specialized equipment. In these situations, it’s essential that you look into mold remediation as soon as possible. Getting help here can keep the mold from spreading and make your home safe again for the whole family.

If you’re looking for mold remediation in Miami and South Florida, one of your best options is working with Total Care Restoration. We are IICRC-certified, have a 5-star rating on Yelp and an A+ rating with the BBB.

Using TCR For Air Quality Inspections

By | Air Quality | No Comments
Using TCR For Air Quality Inspections

Using TCR For Air Quality Inspections

Many people tend to think of concepts like pollution in a general sense, like saving the environment or cutting down on their carbon footprint. While all of these are noble goals, you also want to make sure that you are taking the time to cut down potential pollutants inside your home as well. A major part of this is air quality inspections. Here’s why you need them, and how Total Care Restoration can help.

Why Do You Need Air Quality Inspections?

One of the major reasons why you want to consider looking for air quality inspections is the fact that potential pollutants can come from just about anywhere. You don’t need to be in the middle of a mold infestation or be a regular smoker for there to be issues. For example, radon, leftover gas, dust, and animal droppings can all lower the quality of air in your home. This can lead to a variety of health problems, from basic allergic reactions to aggravating existing conditions like asthma.

Some may think that it’s possible to get around this problem by using home air testing kits. The problem with these is that there’s not a set standard on what these kits detect and how. As a result, you may catch one issue, but miss another one. It’s a lot like encountering a medical issue. You may have an idea what’s going on based on your history and health, but you always want to have a professional’s opinion. As a side note, just because you detect an air quality issue yourself doesn’t mean you’ll be able to fix it yourself. For example, if you discover heavy mold, you’ll still need to pay for mold remediation.

How TCR Stands Above

Now, with this in mind, why exactly should you go to Total Care Restoration when you do find yourself in need of air quality inspections? For one, we have the experience you need to get the job done. Rather than relying on a home kit that may not catch all the potential pollutants, put your trust in a company that’s served the Miami area for decades. This helps give you the peace of mind you need when it comes to your home.

On the topic of peace of mind, you always want to work with home contracting professionals that are properly certified. A certified professional means that their work holds to a certain standard of quality. In this case, it means that they will thoroughly test your home for any impurities, and offer advice on what route to go next.

At Total Care Restoration, we are certified with one of the most long-standing organizations in the industry: the IICRC. We also have a 5-star rating on Yelp and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. If you want more firsthand accounts from happy customers, visit our website.

We also understand the demand for transparency from today’s contractors, and are happy to keep you in the loop. If you have questions about how our air quality inspections work or how we arrive at our rates and estimates, feel free to ask.

At Total Care Restoration, we understand that maintaining a home can be another job in and of itself. This is why we believe in going to the next level when it comes to providing services like air quality inspections. By working with us, you know you have the experience and expertise to keep your home comfortable and safe. Contact us today if you think you need one of our suite of services, have questions, or want to get an estimate put together.

How To Maintain Air Quality In Your Home

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How To Maintain Air Quality In Your Home

How To Maintain Air Quality In Your Home

For something that we are literally constantly in contact with, a lot of people don’t take the time to really consider the air quality in their home. However, this mistake can be a costly one. Poor indoor air quality has been tied to a variety of health issues, including:

  • Headaches
  • Respiratory issues
  • Allergic reactions
  • Lethargy
  • Trouble focusing
  • Irritation of the eyes, nose and throat

Dealing with any of these on a regular basis can make your house feel like a lot less of a home. The good news is that there are a lot of steps that you can take in order to help upkeep your home’s interior air quality.

Best Air Quality Practices

One thing that can have a surprisingly pronounced effect on the air quality of your home is just stepping up your typical cleaning regimen. Remember, things like dust, mildew, and pet hair that may seem like minor annoyances all contribute to a lower air quality in your home. To avoid this issue, make sure you take the time to vacuum your rugs and floors and clean your sheets. In addition, cluttered items around the home can become magnets for dust.

Equally important when it comes to maintaining the air quality of your home is investing in proper ventilation. A lot of HVAC systems out there may do a good job of keeping your home hot or cool, but not necessarily getting fresh air into the home. Taking simple steps like running your bathroom/kitchen fans can help a lot in this regard, as can just opening windows and doors when weather permits. Also, if you have a forced air system, make sure that you regularly change the filter. The filter can do a great job at lowering air pollutants, but it has a finite lifespan.

One surprising addition that can help when it comes to improving your air quality is investing in a household plant. On top of their aesthetic benefits, they can also help draw certain pollutants out of the air while providing you with extra oxygen. Just make sure that you don’t choose a plant that you may be allergic to, and make sure that it doesn’t draw in any mold from overwatering.

Finally, in some cases, you should try to approach the sources that can impact your indoor air quality. Some of these are obvious, like smoking or harsh household chemicals, but there are other things you should keep an eye out for as well. These include items like certain perfumes or office/craft supplies.

Getting Air Quality Support

There are a lot of steps you can take as a homeowner to improve your home’s air quality, but there are always going to be limits as well. To avoid this from becoming too much of a problem, make sure that you reach out for professional help.

Regular air quality inspections can help you ensure that your best practices are working correctly, as well as catch issues like mold and pollutants before they develop into serious problems. A lot of people try to use home kits and testers to try and track down their air quality issues instead. However, these aren’t as effective as you may think because there’s not a set standard. In addition, some testers may do a better job of catching certain impurities than others.

If you are looking for professional air quality inspections in Miami and South Florida, consider Total Care Restoration. We are IICRC-certified, have a 5-star rating on Yelp and an A+ rating with the BBB, exactly the people you want to trust with monitoring your home’s air quality.

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

By | Water | 2 Comments
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.


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