When It Get’s Hot In There, Literally [Understanding The Basics of A Fire Damage Restoration Services Company]

By | Fire | No Comments
Fire Damage In Home - Kitchen

Fire Damage In Home – Kitchen

Every now and then, you may hear about a particularly deadly house fire in your local news, but the frightening truth is that these are more common than you think. Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association say that roughly 375,000 homes catch fire each year. Nearly 2,600 lives are lost each year due to these fires, and even if no one is harmed, there is a still a massive price tag, with an $8 billion annual cost. While you can’t predict a fire, you can make the recovery process easier by understanding how to use fire damage restoration services.

When Fire Strikes

When we talk about fire damage, a lot of people tend to get caught up in the obvious impact, where there may be more subtle issues that leave their mark after the cleaning and rebuilding is done. These could potentially leave your house unsafe or end up compromising certain aspects of the home later on, meaning they could need potential further repairs. What also should be mentioned is that there’s also the risk of water damage to your home and belongings from putting out the fire as well.

Fire damage restoration is designed to help with all of these issues, being more than just a general clean-up, but also checking the entire house for more subtle impacts of fire damage as well as repairing the damage that may have been done over the course of putting out the fire. Compared to other restoration services, fire damage restoration is probably the least likely to be performed on your own, due to the scale and the fact that some of the tools in your home you would use for this task would likely be damaged. In addition, there is a sudden nature to house fires that make it difficult to adapt on the fly.

Part of the reason why you may see a lot of this variance going on is that there are a lot of different ways a house fire can break out. Where the fire starts may impact what part of the home sees the most damage, along with several other key components worth discussing. Here are some of the more common ways that a house fire is likely to break out:

  • Cooking equipment: Cooking equipment is the single most common cause of house fires. Part of this is due to flustered homeowners not knowing how to properly handle grease fires, but other issues can include a burning stove or leaving an oven on unattended.
  • Home heaters: These are common during the winter to keep warm, but faulty wiring in electrical ones can lead to a fire hazard. It’s also important to mention that proximity to fabrics and other flammable materials may lead to house fires.
  • Smoking/Candles: We place both of these together because the risk is similar, especially if they are used in bed. A single ash or contact with the candle can light things like a curtain on fire.
  • Chemicals: Certain household chemicals like motor oil or cleaning liquids have the potential to ignite under certain conditions.

In general, a lot of lowering the risk of house fires is being thorough and attentive, making sure that you monitor fire hazards at all times. However, there are situations where a fire breaks out that you can’t contain or while you aren’t present. These are why it’s important to know the ins and outs of fire damage restoration.

Fire Damage In Home

Fire Damage In Home

Fire Damage And Your Home

Now that we’ve covered some of the common sources of fire damage, it’s important to talk about the impact of fire damage. There are generally going to be three main types of damage that you have to deal with as a result of a fire, all of which can ruin different parts of your home.

Fire Damage: This may be a bit confusing, as all three of these types of damage are under the greater umbrella of fire damage. However, part of this includes the actual damage the fire does to your home, like charring, blacking, or disintegrating various parts of the home. Note that depending on the duration of the fire as well as the original material, fire damage may render some belongings or parts of a home unsalvageable. Another offshoot of fire damage is heat damage; naturally, the heat that emanates from a fire. Prolonged exposure to heat like this can lead to different materials melting and warping. While these aren’t destroyed, they are not able to be used any longer.

Water Damage: We mentioned earlier how the act of putting out a fire leads to a variety of different types of damage. Water damage is one of the prime examples. When firefighters use water to put out house fires, the high amounts of water may end up further damaging parts of your home, while also getting unaffected parts of the home wet. Not only does this potentially render furniture and other valuables unusable, water that isn’t dried quickly can help mold grow easily. In some cases, firefighters may also need to break through doors and windows in order to do their job and control the spread of flames. This leads to another type of damage you need to budget for in fire damage restoration.

Smoke Damage: Smoke damage is important to talk about when it comes to fire damage because there are different tiers of damage, including some of the most subtle types. The most obvious types of smoke damage that you will see shortly after a fire are the discoloration and smoke odor. For example, a few days after the fire, you may see a yellowing or peeling of walls and flooring. Rust and corrosion can also appear on metal hardware if they are exposed to smoke. With regard to the odor, smoke smell is actually caused by several different components, from tiny particles of carbon to other components coming off materials in the home that are burned.

The reason that smoke smell can be so difficult to get rid of is because these particles tend to get stuck in the carpet or on other surfaces, either requiring a thorough cleaning or removal and replacement. Simply letting this go and trying to live with it to save money isn’t a viable option, either. Byproducts of the smoke and soot can easily lead to respiratory issues as well as irritation of the skin and eyes. The main reason for this is that these byproducts, caused by different materials like plastics, fabrics, and carpet burning, are dangerous when exposed to the body.

The Fire Damage Restoration Process

At this point, a lot of people may not necessarily know what goes into fire damage restoration, besides why it is needed and the results. Let’s take a closer look at the different steps that are involved. Here’s a step-by-step look at what fire restoration professionals do to make your home safe and secure after a fire.

Step 1: Assessment: This is key for your budget as well as the restoration professional’s planning. Fire damage restoration professionals will look at the extent that fire, smoke, and soot has damaged different components of the home to see how much work is required and provide you with an estimate.

Step 2: Containment: Once you’ve agreed to the price and the proper fire damage restoration begins, the top priority is making sure that the damage and after-effects don’t go any further. For larger fires, this will generally begin with taking care of any holes in the roof or leaks that stem from the fire. For smaller fires, this may mean isolating a room to minimize the spread of soot.

Step 3: Cleaning: When the work of isolating the work area starts, fire restoration professionals will begin by painstakingly removing all the indicators of smoke damage, as well as soot and ash. In some cases, if certain areas are too damaged, the work of cleaning may also include disposing of certain items. Other parts of this process include clearing out any leftover standing water from putting the fire out, as well as cleaning carpets in the affected and adjacent rooms to remove the smoke smell.

Step 4: Restoration: With the fire damage removed, the next step is replacing some of the areas/furniture that was damaged by the fire. This will also often include a consultation to share what you can do to avoid a similar situation happening in the future.

Along with this work, there are also a few steps that you can take as a homeowner to stage your home for fire damage restoration before the professionals arrive. This includes opening the windows and using any fans you have to force out dust and contaminated air before the professionals do it using their industrial tools. Beyond this, though, you don’t want to do too much else. For example, it’s important to wash any bedding, clothing, or items exposed to smoke, but this might be better left to professionals to avoid damaging your machine.

In addition, cleaning is something that is best left to professionals, as to do so, you need to keep yourself safe by wearing protective equipment and trying to avoid skin-to-skin contact with areas that have been contaminated by ash and soot. Most households don’t have the gear needed. In addition, basic home vacuums are a poor choice to try and clear out soot. These can blow small particles into the air where they can get inhaled.

Choosing Your Fire Damage Restoration Services

Every single one of these steps is essential for making your house safe again after a fire. However, in order to execute this properly, it’s essential to make sure that you are putting these tasks in the hands of a company that you can trust to get the job done. There are several factors that you need to account for in this regard.

One thing that you want to do is make sure that the company is following proper safety practices not just for their own workers, but for your home as well. After a fire, exposure to smoke and soot can lead to health issues, so you want to make sure that your fire restoration professionals are staying protected and being thorough to ensure that these issues don’t stay after the work is completed. The best way to guarantee this is take a close look at the insurance and licenses that they have. This will help protect you and your property in case complaints arise during the process.

Another important thing that we should talk about when it comes to fire damage restoration services is avoiding scams. Many people are desperate for some sort of help after house fires and want to go with a company that can get started the fastest or provide the lowest price. However, this can lead to fly-by-night services that don’t do the job properly or completely. Be sure to avoid this by being patient and asking for references from customers. In addition, if you see a company asking for a large down-payment, it’s good to be skeptical.

Working With TCR For Your Fire Damage Restoration Services

In the wake of a fire damage or smoke damage scenario, it can be a difficult time for you and your family. A major component of helping recover is knowing that your home and property has the right fire damage restoration services to ensure that you are safe and protected. Miami-area homeowners have the perfect option in the professionals at Total Care Restoration. On top of going above and beyond to help our customers, we’re also:

  • 5 Star Rated on Yelp
  • IICRC Certified
  • BBB A+ Rated

This means that we have the skills and expertise to provide quality fire damage restoration services, no matter the nature or extent of the damage. We can also provide you additional guidance throughout the entire restoration process. Reach out to us today for a free inspection.

The Expert’s Guide To Mold Removal Services [A Must Read!]

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Experts Guide To Mold Removal Services

Experts Guide To Mold Removal Services

First Off, When Should You Be Concerned About Mold??

According to national knowledge, mold removal isn’t the type of situation that is limited to homes in certain climates or that have dealt with major issues like floods or burst pipes. In fact, experts mention that nearly 50% of all U.S. homes are dealing with some sort of mold issue. Part of the reason for this is that people don’t fully understand what mold removal services entail. For example, a lot of store-bought cleaners may recommend applying them to the affected part of your home and being done with this. But what does this do about dead spores? Mold in unreachable parts of the home? Nascent mold that isn’t grown enough to be detected? Here is some expert advice in order to handle proper mold removal.

Mold Removal Services Explained

For a start, let’s reiterate some of the consequences of ignoring mold removal services. While health issues are one of the biggest reasons that people invest in mold removal services, it’s important to note that not everyone has the same degrees of reactions. This is due to the different types of mold out there, as well as individual variations of symptoms for different people. Those who are most likely to see a severe impact are those with sensitivities to mold or a history of respiratory issues. Some suggest a link between mold and other health problems, like lethargy or even mental health, but the evidence here is not as strong.

In some cases, the consequences associated with mold don’t necessarily stem from the mold itself but the moisture it comes from. For example, a mold smell in a basement may stem from a cracked foundation allowing moisture to leak in. However, you may not be aware that this is the source of the problem unless you get a mold removal or mold inspection. Leaking pipes and roofs are similar examples of smaller issues that can become bigger ones if left unchecked. Mold may be the warning sign you need.

As a final point, we should cover one question that a lot of homeowners have when dealing with mold removal services: what is mold removal vs. mold remediation?  Some will tell you that these are interchangable, others will tell you that mold remediation is superior to mold removal as a service. In a way, they are both right. What you need to understand is that mold is a key component of the natural world, helping break down plant matter like logs or leaves. As a result, you are never going to fully exterminate mold around your home. What you want to do is minimize the ways that mold spores enter your home and clear out areas of your environment that allow them to grow.

What does this mean for mold removal services vs. mold remediation services? Technically, mold remediation services may be a more accurate label. You can’t fully eliminate mold, but you can lower it down to levels so small that you won’t see any visible effects or health symptoms. In addition, if mold spores enter a home with minimal added moisture that is regularly cleaned, it’s unlikely they will ever grow to those levels. However, there is still a component of mold removal if you have a lot of mold that has grown in your home. Therefore, you may want to emphasize that you need mold removal if you have existing mold, then combine that with mold remediation to better prepare your house to deal with future mold.

Reacting To Mold In Your Home

Mold tends to run on a far more accelerated timeline than you think. In fact, if you can actually see mold somewhere in your home, then it’s likely already been growing in that spot for a week or longer. The initial growing stages of mold take only 24 to 48 hours, during which it is impossible to see with the naked eye. Because of the quick speed that mold can take hold, it’s important for you to have a plan in place if you happen upon mold. This will help your budget and your health, if you have a mold sensitivity. Here is the game plan to start with.

Step 1: Treat excess moisture. In some case, like if you had a minor flood, pipe burst, or leak, it may be obvious where the source of your mold is. The first thing you want to do is get rid of any extra moisture, but if you’re outside that 24- to 48-hour window, mold may already be present. This is why it’s essential to make sure that you invest in safety equipment and clothing. True toxic mold is extremely rare, but carrying it on your clothes could potentially spread mold to different areas.

Step 2: Try and find the source/additional sources. The last thing that you want to do is think that you’ve cleared up all the mold yourself, only to get a rude awakening later. Take advantage of this time to find any other places that mold may have sprouted. Some surprising hidden areas of the home that can become mold homes include the chimney, wallpaper, and appliances like the refrigerator and air conditioners. If you need some help in this area, Step 3 may be what you need.

Step 3: Consider a mold inspection. Some people try to sub out using a store-bought test here, but the results these offer are unreliable at best. Some mold removal services, like TCR Restoration, include free inspections as a part of their service package. If you are still debating about what service you want, you can also pay an independent mold inspector to understand what you are dealing with quicker.

Step 4: Check your insurance. Most homeowner’s insurance policies only cover mold removal under specific circumstances. Take pictures of the mold and related damage if you plan on filing a claim.

After these key steps, you’ll have some knowledge about the nature of your mold and where it is growing and have hopefully slowed the process a bit by cleaning up extra moisture. Next up is looking for the ideal mold removal services.

What To Look For In Mold Removal Services

At this point, it’s important to make a decision about who is going to handle your mold removal services. For mold removal/mold remediation, you’re not just paying to get mold out of your home, but also remove any trace remnants that could lead to growth in the future. This means you want to get the best quality possible. A good place to start is making sure that your mold removal services have certifications with bodies like the IICRC. This ensures that the technicians working on your home are properly qualified to do so.

Another key stage that goes with finding the right mold removal services is the “interview” stage. While technically not an interview, there’s generally going to be a consultation or talk with someone from the service before you formally commit. This is the moment to ask essential questions like how exactly they will contain the area they are working on/disposing of contaminated materials. Other things you want to ask about including liability insurance on the contractor’s part, as well as how you can get documentation on the work that they’ve done for your records.

Let’s close this conversation with a part of the conversation that everyone is probably concerned about: the price. There’s a lot of variances when it comes to these types of jobs but, on average, you can expect to pay a couple of thousand dollars for remediation. We’ll get into exactly what that entails in a little bit, but the majority of professionals out there will charge between $10 and $25 per square foot, to help your estimation and budgeting a little bit. The location of the mold will also play a role here. For example, a crawlspace is less expensive than the attic. Additional costs may be present if you need to address the initial cause of the moisture, like foundation repair or fixing a leak.

While this may seem daunting, the last thing you want to do is find a bargain alternative for mold removal services. The main reason is that these simply don’t work. For example, if you use a DIY cleaner and home testing kit, you may clear off a portion of mold, but the test you use may be ignoring mold in another section of your home. At the same time, there may be dead spores that won’t grow but can still linger and cause reactions in people with mold sensitivities. Professional mold removal services encompass practices like these to make sure you are satisfied and safe.

What Goes Into The Mold Removal Process

Part of pursuing mold removal services is using the expertise, tools, and experience of professionals to help your home. With this said, it’s always a good idea to take a closer look at what exactly mold removal services do as a part of their job. This may help you prevent future mold problems and will also give you more of a leg to stand on if you’re not happy with the job your contractor does. While mold removal services take different forms based on the needs of the customers, here’s a general look at what you can expect.

Isolation: When the mold has been pinned down to a certain area, mold removal services will try to quarantine it as much as possible while they work. This will keep the spores from spreading anywhere else and causing further contamination.

Disposal: Right along with this will be testing different objects/materials in the affected area to see if they are contaminated beyond repair. If this is the case, the mold removal services will need to dispose of them to ensure mold doesn’t go to other parts of the home. Getting rid of contaminated parts of the home can drive a lot of the expense of mold removal, especially if the professionals need to do something like get to the drywall to do it.

Drying: Once the area is isolated and things that can’t be restored are removed, it’s time to get rid of any excess moisture. You may have already done this before, but mold removal services have access to far more powerful equipment to remove the moisture that mold needs to grow rather than just lowering it to slow the growth down.

Cleaning: This step can vary a lot depending on the nature of the mold, but there will always be some sort of cleaning component to mold removal. This may also include HVAC cleaning if there is a risk of mold spores getting into those systems.

Repair/Reconstruction: In some cases, an element of demolition is needed to get to the areas where the mold is in a home. Most mold removal services will be able to include restoring the impacted area as a part of their service package.

Consultation: Ideally, mold restoration will talk to the homeowner after their job is done to explain what they’ve done and provide advice to avoid mold problems in the future.

Using TCR For Mold Removal Services

No matter what type of advice you implement for mold removal/prevention, there is only so much that can be accomplished on your own. For example, after heavy water damage or similar situations, the volume of mold may be too much to deal with. There’s also the issue of mold starting to grow in areas where it isn’t easily accessible. To handle this issue, you need professional mold removal services 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

These credentials mean that we have the expertise and experience to help our customers tackle any situation and get their homes comfortable and safe once again. Reach out to us today for a free inspection.

The Need To Know Guide For Mold Remediation Services [Special Edition]

By | Mold | No Comments
Close-up Of A Shocked Woman Looking at moldy room

Close-up Of A Shocked Woman Looking at moldy room

Household mold isn’t something that should be taken lightly, and part of this is due to the sheer variety of different ways that it can impact health when people are exposed to it for a long period of time. In some cases, it may be mild discomfort, indistinguishable from some common allergies. In other situations, it may present a more serious health issue.

No matter how your body reacts to mold, no one wants to take a chance, especially with the different species of mold that can grow in your house if left unchecked. Because of this, it’s essential that you take the time to consider mold remediation services as a solution to your greater issues.

The #1 Question Everybody Asks??

How Do You Know It’s Time For Mold Remediation Services?

Some sources would have you believe that if you see a small patch of mold in your home, that you’re in good shape to deal with it yourself via a few DIY treatments or cleaning products that you can buy over the counter. Not necessarily, and here are a few reasons why.

  1. Store-bought “test kits” aren’t always reliable, and if you try to apply a specific treatment to the wrong species of mold, you may not get the results you want.
  2. This approach only works for mold that is easily visible or detectable. As we will mention later, there’s a variety of ways mold gets into areas that are much harder to see.
  3. There are other elements that you need to keep in mind, including the presence of dead spores and comparing levels before or after your “remediation” process.

With this said, how can you determine the difference between a smaller mold issue and something that requires full-scale remediation? The truth is, it can be difficult to detect the difference. Mold can grow in any situation where there is humidity or moisture. A lot of the horror stories you hear about mold involve flooding or another water intrusion because it adds a lot of moisture at once, but some summers in certain climates should always be accompanied by a mold inspection. If your home is flooded, though, you should include mold remediation as part of your recovery, no questions asked.

Aside from that, the biggest signs that you should look for mold remediation versus smaller-scale efforts is if you see prolonged signs of mold exposure. For example, mold has a distinct smell, and if you apply some DIY methods and see little results, this may mean that you have it in more areas than anticipated. In addition, if you see a prolonged health impact related to mold, it’s better to be safe than sorry and get mold remediation services before these issues go any further.

Finally, there’s the simple matter of confidence. If you can smell or detect mold in a certain area and aren’t confident about your ability to properly remove it or if there may be mold in other places, you’re better off looking into mold remediation services. Even if you save money upfront with a DIY method, if it doesn’t work, you may have to do it again and again, with no guarantee that you will remove all mold. This will erode the price advantage pretty quickly.

One reason why profession mold remediation services are preferable to DIY options is the timeline that you have to work with when it comes to mold. In optimal conditions (dark, damp, humid) mold can grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Note that this is the initial germination. It can take up to a week or longer until the mold is actually visible, which could mean a week of potential health symptoms and issues before you have an idea of what you are dealing with. Going the professional route saves you from dealing with this for even longer.

Sources Of Mold In The Home (and how mold remediation services target them)

One thing you want to do yourself before calling mold remediation services is to get a basic idea of where mold is growing in your home. The biggest reason for this is for your personal and financial benefit. Mold remediation is an essential process but can get expensive if there needs to be additional steps taken to get to the mold, like tearing down drywall or other similar procedures. By knowing how and where mold has gotten into your home, you can budget accordingly.

The easiest way to break this down is by explaining the different components any mold species needs to grow. If any one part of the following list is missing, mold won’t be able to grow.

  1. A food source: In nature, mold will grow on fallen trees or other plant matter. In the home, wood and drywall are some of the most common sources they turn to.
  2. Darkness: Ultraviolet light is harmful for mold, so there needs to be some degree of darkness or cover present.
  3. Oxygen: Although mold can grow without light, it cannot grow without sufficient oxygen.
  4. Warmth: Freezing temperatures and below make it impossible for mold to grow. This is why people in year-round warm climates need to pay special attention to mold.
  5. Moisture: As mentioned before, doesn’t need to be standing water in order for mold to grow. Any moisture can provide a home for mold.

In your typical home setting, there are a variety of different situations that can lead to mold growing. The bathroom and kitchen are always good places to look because certain appliances can lead to more humidity. Combine these with forgotten areas that have shade and aren’t cleaned often, and you have an ideal home for mold.

Aside from these, water leaks of any size are also a prime candidate for mold. For example, if you have a leaky pipe, the dripping water from here provides a constant source of moisture for mold to grow. The same situation applies to moisture from outdoors that comes in through a leak in the roof or attic. In general, on top of acting quickly if you smell mold or have any sudden symptoms that could reflect growing mold, a good practice is to check your roof, attic, and other areas after any rough storm, even if it doesn’t seem like there was major damage. Even a small leak can provide enough moisture for mold to grow, leading to larger issues in the future.

Staging Your Home For Mold Remediation Services

At this point, you’ve established, or at least have an idea, of what is causing your mold and are ready to call in professional help. There are a few steps you can take as a caring homeowner in order to slow the growth and make the work a little easier for your mold remediation professionals when they come.

  1. Take Care of Water: While it may not halt the growth of mold, you can prevent things from getting too out of hand by taking the initiative for outstanding water. In fact, it’s generally recommended that you wear some sort of protective clothing, including a N-95 respirator, protective gloves, and some sort of apron. Most homeowners don’t have these, so you’re probably better off calling a plumber to handle any leaks, as many mold remediation services can’t start until those leaks are fixed.
  2. Be Ready To Fix Adjacent Issues: As we alluded to before, mold growth can also be a symptom of another problem in your house, like a leak. Depending on what contractors you use, you may be able to get mold remediation services and the necessary other repairs done at once, but it’s good to start budgeting for both now.
  3. Check With Your Insurance Company: In general, insurance companies only cover mold remediation costs if the mold issue stems from what is called a “covered peril.” Generally, this includes sudden, accidental situations, like an ice dam in your gutters causing a roof leak and sudden mold. By comparison, mold that slowly grows in your shower likely won’t be covered. Situations like natural disasters generally require their own insurance.
  4. Test For Mold?: The question mark may surprise you, but remember, we mentioned how unreliable home mold tests can be. You’re better off paying the extra money and bringing in a professional before getting your mold remediation services done. This helps you know exactly what type and how much mold you are dealing with. It’s possible that mold remediation services offer these tests as a part of their package. Choosing the right contractor means one less piece of work for you.

As a final side note, we’ve mentioned how mold leads to different medical issues for different people. Once you’re set with the staging process, it may not be a bad idea to talk to your doctor and mention that you’ve found mold in your home. This can give them additional insight to provide treatment.

The Process of Selecting Mold Remediation Services

After staging your home for mold remediation services, the time has come to choose your ideal contractor. You have a lot of different options as far as this is concerned, so it’s important to know what separates the best from the rest of the pack.

For starters, in the world of mold remediation, you need to take a close look at certifications when looking for who is qualified. Unfortunately, there are a lot of certifications out there that may sound official but carry little actual weight when it comes to showing how skilled an organization is. There are a few standing exceptions, though. For example, at Total Care Restoration, we are fully certified by the IICRC, a long-standing organization that requires in-person training.

Another important thing to keep in mind when it comes to mold remediation services is that racing to the bottom in terms of price rarely works out well for you. The reason for this is that mold remediation can be a prolonged and sometimes expensive process. For example, if it’s just about removing some carpet, it may take a few days, while it can take far longer if mold needs to be cleared from attics or if demolition and rebuilding is involved. Make sure that you are working with professionals who will follow all the steps needed to remove both living and dead mold from your home, as both can cause issues.

When it comes to online reviews, it’s always a good idea to practice some caution. Because of the nature of mold remediation services, there may not be a lot of reviews for a given contractor, which means you need to weigh each one carefully. Look at trends across multiple reviews rather than single responses.

After things are done, it may be a good idea to hire an outside mold inspector to test how well the remediators did their job. Remember, mold remediation services are more about cleaning things up and replacing areas damaged by mold. It’s also about removing mold spores from the environment to make sure that they don’t start growing again the next time there is a little moisture present. Of course, it falls on you to make sure you are hiring a qualified mold inspector.

Why TCR Stands Above Other Mold Remediation Services

There are a variety of mold remediation services out there, so you want to make sure that you are not only picking the right type of services, but also working with a company with a proven track record of not only helping minimize mold, but also properly staging a home to ensure that mold doesn’t get to unsafe levels in the future. For help in the Miami area, be sure to contact professionals like Total Care Restoration. On top of doing the most to help our customers, we are also:

  • 5 Star Rated on Yelp
  • IICRC Certified
  • BBB A+ Rated

This means that we have the skills and expertise to help you with mold remediation, no matter the stage of growth, type, or cause of mold that you are dealing with. Our customers also trust us to diagnose different issues and create a remediation solution that matches their needs. Reach out to us today for a free inspection.

10 Questions For Your To Ask Mold Remediation Professionals

By | Mold | No Comments


Ask Picture

Ask Picture

If you find yourself in a major water damage situation or are beginning to deal with health issues as a result of the presence of mold, you want to get a mold remediation professional at your home as soon as possible. Part of the issue with this, though, is that you want to make sure you have the best option, even if you are in a rush. The nature of mold means that if your professionals miss even one area, you could have mold spread around your house once again before you even know it. Because of this, you want to cut the wheat from the chaff right away, and this list of questions will help you do just that when looking for mold remediation professionals. If you have questions of your own about mold remediation, be sure to look at our all-purpose guide on the subject (Think You Need Home Mold Remediation? )

  1. What Do You Do About Repairs?

Depending on the extent of mold contamination, you may incur some serious damage to your home that is necessary for remediation. For example, mold behind the drywall will require said drywall to be removed to handle the mold. Ask ahead of time whether your remediation company will be able to handle repairs or if you need to find another contractor for this process.

  1. How Do You Isolate Rooms?

One of the most important steps when it comes to mold remediation is isolating the impacted area to avoid any spread during the remediation process. Make sure that your provider has a set standard on how to tackle this important step.

  1. How Long Have You Been In Business?

As is the case with any sort of contractors, unfortunately, there are a lot of fly-by-night operations that offer mold remediation services, especially after hurricanes or flooding where a lot of people need these services right away. You want to work with established companies, not only because they have more experience to do the job properly, but also because it will be easier to follow up with them in case you have issues in the future.

  1. Are You Licensed?

Every state has its own set of rules and regulations to perform mold remediation. You want to make sure that your company of choice has the proper experience and expertise to perform the necessary job, and licensing is a major part of this.

  1. Are You Insured?

You want to make sure that any company that you work with has both worker’s compensation insurance to protect the employees who are working with the mold in your home as well as liability insurance to protect your home and property if something happens during the remediation process.

  1. How Do You Handle Waste Material?

Technically, there aren’t any regulations to dispose of mold-contaminated material, but your mold remediation company should still have some in place. The reason for this is that due to the nature of how mold spores spread, it’s very easy for materials disposed of in the trash to end up spreading spores back in and around the home. Double-bagging contaminated materials and cleaning the bags can do the job in a pinch—just make sure a set plan is in place.

  1. What Is The Cost Structure Of Your Contract?

Depending on the nature of your remediation needs, the process can get expensive. Make sure you know the exact financial breakdown so you don’t end up paying more than you can afford.

  1. Have You Worked In This Type Of House Before?

Different homes have different structures, which means different areas where mold may appear. Ideally, you want a company that has experience with exactly the type of job your remediation will require.

  1. Do You Have A Guarantee Policy?

In general, you want to use a mold remediation company that stands behind their work with some sort of guarantee. Find out exactly what their policy is if you are not happy with how they handle the mold or if some other issue arises during the process. The last thing you want is to go through the entire search process again.

  1. Can You Provide A Post-Remediation Report?

The last thing you want to do is pay for a second remediation before you are ready. A post-remediation report can minimize the chance of this happening by providing information and guidance on what you need to do next to deal with mold before it gets out of control.

A lot of the time, you’re going to need to go through this process to narrow down the different mold remediation professionals to find the best match for your budget and situation. If you want a company that is versatile, make sure to 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 IICRC-certified. This means that we have the skills and experience to help in a variety of mold remediation scenarios.

Common Household Mold Areas

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Window Sill Picture

Window Sill Picture

Part of being a homeowner is being as vigilant as possible, and mold is the perfect example. If left unchecked, mold can easily spread throughout the home, causing health issues for you and your family, and potentially necessitating an expensive mold remediation project. The best asset you have as a homeowner is to check the home regularly to try and catch the issue before it gets out of hand. Here are some of the key areas where you can start your mold inspection.

  1. The Bathroom: Remember, mold requires moisture to grow, and there are few areas that get as much moisture as a bathroom. The major contributors that can lead to mold are a lack of ventilation within the bathroom, and this can lead to mold growing on obvious areas like the shower tiles, as well as in less common areas like the surface of the sink and toilet or even within the walls.
  2. The Basement: Many home basements are naturally dark and can occasionally get some slight flooding or leaks in heavy rain conditions—the perfect combination when it comes to breeding mold. Be sure to check your basement regularly to ensure that mold doesn’t have a chance to grow.
  3. The Attic: Many mold issues in the attic stem from roof leaks. The reason for this is twofold. First, leaks in the roof allow rainwater to be absorbed into the various layers of the roof. However, leaks also make it easier for the humidity naturally occurring within the home to go into the attic. This combination allows mold to grow, and it could potentially spread to other rooms if you move items in storage within the attic to other parts of the house.
  4. Windowsills: Again, the main reason that mold appears on windowsills is that these are natural sources for condensation, which provides the moisture that mold needs to live. Take a moment to wipe sills and sashes after each rainstorm so that mold doesn’t have a chance to grow.

One area where you need to be especially careful when checking for mold is flood/water damage scenarios. This can include a prolonged leak in the gutter/foundation or burst pipes. When these issues happen, it makes it possible for moisture to get into hidden parts of the residence, leading to mold growing in areas that can be difficult to reach, such as behind the walls. Here is some basic guidance that you can use after one of these issues takes place to keep an eye out for mold.

For starters, if you’re dealing with flooding, make sure that you follow basic safety practices for re-entering a home, like making sure the electricity in the home is turned off and that you wear protective gear before entering. Floodwater brings a lot of different contaminants into the home. If the waters have receded, you can begin looking for mold in earnest.

Mold can grow as early as 48 hours after initial contact with water, so the sooner you act, the better. Good areas to start looking are on and under furniture as well as floors. However, just about any surface exposed to moisture can grow mold. This is why when dealing with flooding, it’s best to pay professionals for a full inspection.

After you’ve identified the areas where mold may develop in your home, you want to make sure that the remediation begins as soon as possible, but this is easier said than done. If you have more questions about mold remediation, be sure to look at our all-purpose guide on the subject (Think You Need Home Mold Remediation?).

Certain areas can be extremely difficult to reach on your own, and you want to make sure that you handle the situation properly. The perfect resource for these needs is Total Care Restoration. Not only do we believe 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 with mold remediation in even the hardest-to-reach parts of your home.

Why A DIY Mold Remediation Doesn’t Work

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Caution Picture

Caution Picture

Mold remediation costs can vary wildly, mainly because, depending on the spread of the mold, you may be trying to either clear out a few affected areas or trying to remediate several large rooms in your home. Because of this, you may end up paying anywhere from $500 to $15,000 for remediation, and it’s difficult to narrow down that range until the extent of contamination is discovered.

Because of this problem, a lot of people may be tempted to try and get rid of mold themselves. The presence of DIY mold remediation tutorials online tends to make the idea even more appealing. However, for the most part, trying to get rid of mold yourself is a big mistake. Here are some key reasons why.

Misconceptions: There’s a lot of false knowledge that gets handed out in the DIY world, and with something that has health impacts like mold remediation, you want to make sure that this isn’t the case for you.

For example, a lot of people may suggest that bleach is the  proper way to kill mold, but this isn’t the case at all. To truly get rid of mold, you will need a proper biocide, and while you can purchase these yourself, you may not understand which product to buy based on what type of mold is in your home.

Cross-Contamination: If you see professional mold remediation in action, you’re going to see professionals wearing protective gear as well as taking the time to isolate the affected area before the remediation process starts. This is an area where a lot of DIY approaches don’t take the time to prepare. The result could mean putting yourself at risk as well as giving the mold a chance to spread to other areas of the home.

Hidden Mold: This is probably the biggest place where DIY Mold Remediation falls short. Generally, what people do to get rid of mold themselves is seek it out based on sight and smell, but this isn’t always going to help you find all the mold in your home. Mold in the foundation, attic, or behind the walls won’t be detected in such a way, meaning that it can spread further. In addition, in some cases, you may need to remove parts of the home to get to the mold, and you may not be comfortable doing that.

With this said, there are a few active roles that people can have when it comes to dealing with mold in their home. For example, while waiting for mold remediation professionals to do their work, you can use humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and other tools to maintain a proper humidity level in your home. This can help curb mold from appearing in other areas.

However, your best asset is being an alert homeowner and doing regular checks around your home for mold. This means you can pay a lot less for remediation when you need it. If you have more questions about mold remediation, be sure to look at our all-purpose guide on the subject  (Think You Need Mold Remediation In Your Home?).

There’s nothing wrong with the DIY impulse, but as a homeowner, you need to understand that there are situations where this just doesn’t apply, and mold remediation is one of them.  A major reason for this is that mold and water damage are not the type of situations that you want to let progress because you either missed a location or didn’t do something properly. This could lead to permanent damage to your furniture or even the foundation of your home, and you want to make sure that you solve the problem by bringing on professional help.

If you are looking for a place to start, 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 IICRC-certified. This means that we have the skills and experience to properly see your mold remediation to its conclusion.

Knowing Your Mold Types

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Mold Growing

Mold Growing

Technically, we don’t have complete knowledge about all the different types of mold and fungi out there in the world, though there are believed to be roughly 100,000 types of mold, many of which have a decent chance of appearing in your home. The good news is that there are a few specific species that are a lot more likely to appear in a home, whether they’re stemming from humid conditions, excess water damage, or flooding. Here are some of the key examples.

Aspergillus mold: This very common type of mold can be found just about anywhere and is known to cause allergic aspergillosis when its spores are inhaled. This generally causes minor allergic symptoms for healthy adults, but can lead to more pronounced issues in children, the elderly, or those recovering from surgery and serious illnesses.

Cladosporium mold: Another of the more common types of mold you can encounter in your home, Cladosporium is a black or green “pepper like” substance that is often seen on the back of toilets, as well as fiberglass air ducts and painted surfaces. This mold is non-toxic, but it can cause allergic reactions like a sore throat and rashes.

Fusarium: This mold is similar to Cladosporium and can survive in both warm and cold conditions. Generally, it is found in carpeting, wallpaper, and other types of fabric. The major difference is that in time, Fusarium can become toxic. This means that its impact is far more severe, including bone infections and even internal bleeding.

Aureobasidium mold: This allergenic mold is generally found behind wallpaper or on painted surfaces, which can make it hard to locate. When you do see this, it has a pink, brown, or black color that gets darker as it ages. It can lead to eye, skin, and nail infections.

We should take some time to discuss the concept of “toxic mold” as part of this conversation. To be clear, mold can be hazardous to your health, but there are a lot of misconceptions. For example, only 50 species of mold out there truly have components that can be considered to be “toxic.” Toxic, in this case, doesn’t necessarily mean that the mold is toxic, but that it creates toxic compounds known as mycotoxins.

The most prominent example of this is Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as black mold. Black mold is commonly seen in flood-damaged buildings and areas. While some non-toxic molds can trigger allergic reactions, common symptoms of toxic molds include wheezing, chronic sneezing, coughing, eye irritation, and even regular serious headaches. Left unchecked, it can also cause issues like fatigue, depression, and breathing problems. Black mold is generally found in air conditioning pipes and ducts.

It can be difficult to identify different types of mold, and if you want to get technical, mold doesn’t have to be “toxic mold” to cause discomfort for any occupants. This is why, no matter what type of mold you are dealing with, it’s best for you to start mold remediation as soon as possible to avoid any health issues in your household. In addition, the quicker you act, the less expensive your remediation project could be.

If you have more questions about mold remediation, be sure to look at our all-purpose guide on the subject (Think You Need Home Mold Remediation?).  The best way to start the remediation process is by using 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 IICRC-certified. We have the experience and expertise to figure out what type of mold you are dealing with and help bring it down from potentially dangerous levels.

Think You Need Home Mold Remediation? Read This…

By | Mold | No Comments
Man shocked to mold in kitchen cabinet.

Man shocked to mold in kitchen cabinet.


Chances are, you could have some form of mold in your home without even knowing it. Experts suggest that roughly half of the homes in the U.S. have some form of mold problem. Compounding the issue is that 28% of the population has some sort of genetic factor that could leave them at risk for mold-related health issues. In addition, people in certain regions of the country may be at greater risk of mold in their homes, generally in areas with high humidity. In these situations, you need to make sure that you are ready to utilize mold remediation.

Mold Remediation vs. Mold Removal

At first, you may be confused about exactly why the term is called mold remediation vs. mold removal. Part of the reason for this is that mold remediation is a more accurate label. Mold, to some degree, is going to occur wherever there is any sort of water or moisture, including heavy humidity. As a result, you’re never going to technically remove every single iota of mold in a home, and even if you could, it would come back pretty quickly. This is where the legal definition of mold remediation makes a lot of sense—being: “the removal, cleaning, sanitizing, demolition, or other treatment, including preventive activities, of mold or mold-contaminated matter that was not purposely grown at that location.”

Mold remediation does not completely remove mold forever, but it brings it back to healthy levels. So, with this in mind, what exactly leads to mold in the first place? In nature, mold has a very important use—to break down organic matter like dead trees and fallen leaves, but indoors, it can lead to issues.

Mold grows in areas where there is moisture, and it continues to grow and reproduce by expelling spores that are invisible to the naked eye. There are a variety of different types of mold out there, and all of these require moisture to function. This is part of the reason why so many companies that help with water damage also offer mold remediation services—because the two go hand-in-hand. Water damage scenarios, like flooding, hurricanes, or burst pipes, are some of the areas where mold remediation is often needed most because the sudden influx of moisture leads to the greatest risk of mold causing health issues.

When You Need Mold Remediation?

To be clear, we should address the commonly held concept of “toxic mold” in the home. A lot of restoration services may use this in their marketing, but it’s a bit of a misnomer. Very few molds actually produce true toxins. However, those same spores that we mentioned earlier can cause health issues if they are ingested, and this applies to a variety of different species of mold. However, only roughly 50 species out of the 100,000 types of mold out there truly qualify as toxic (Knowing Your Mold Types).

Woman Sneezing

Woman Sneezing

Just because exposure to mold isn’t poisonous doesn’t mean that it can’t be serious, though. One of the most common negative health reactions to mold is mold allergies. These, like other allergies, are caused due to an overreaction of the immune system when someone inhales mold spores. This can happen even with some of the milder mold species out there. Typical signs of mold allergies include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny/stuffy nose
  • Cough/postnasal drip
  • Itching in the eyes, nose, and throat
  • Watery eyes
  • Dried skin

Like other allergies, there can be a lot of variance in the severity of different reactions, as well as the duration of said allergies. For example, your mold allergies may only happen at certain times of the year or occur year-round. For the most part, mold allergies will make you extremely uncomfortable but don’t necessarily threaten your health. However, the issue may be further compounded for people who are dealing with asthma. Asthmatic people with mold allergies can easily have an asthma attack if they end up being exposed to mold that triggers an allergy.

While mold allergies are the most common health issue that will require mold remediation, there are some other more dangerous health conditions that can occur. These can include respiratory infections and conditions like bronchitis, especially among people who have compromised immune systems.  In some cases, post-flooding mold can be especially dangerous due to the other contaminants that are often brought in by floodwater.

With this said, even if mold is rarely life-threatening, constant allergic reactions can cause a serious impact on your quality of life. Because of this issue, it’s essential that homeowners have the means to detect mold as soon as they suspect that it’s present. There are a few ways that you can do this:

Check by sight: While you don’t want to use just this option, certain types of mold are more visible than others, like the infamous Stachybotrys chartarum, known as black mold, which has a distinct greenish black appearance.

Check by smell: One of the most common ways people first detect mold in their home is by the very distinct damp, musty smell that stems from substances naturally produced by mold as they grow.

Health issues: Because mold allergy symptoms can resemble other allergies, it may be difficult to pin health issues on mold at first. However, if you recently had a flood or humid season and are experiencing issues out of the blue, mold may be the culprit.

Technically, there are mold kits out there, but most of the time, you don’t really need those. If you have even a suspicion that there is mold in your home, the best course of action is to prep for mold remediation rather than delay the process. The longer it takes for you to get started, the more time the mold has to grow and spread.

If you’re struggling to find a place to start looking, remember that mold is naturally drawn to places where moisture is present (Common Household Mold Areas). This means that bathrooms and the kitchen are a good place to start, but you may want to also look in areas that may have come into contact with heavy rain or leaks. Windows, air conditioning vents, humidifiers, and even indoor plants can become a home to mold. This is part of why pipe bursts and floods can be so dangerous when it comes to mold, as water and moisture can get into areas that are difficult or impossible to see or check. This is why you want to start looking for mold remediation professionals who can get the job done shortly after returning to your home after these issues take place.

Mold Remediation – Step By Step

The beginning of the mold remediation process, no matter what the size of the project or the location in the home, is going to be attending to the underlying water issue. Because the water is the root of all the major problems, it’s essential to clear out any excess moisture to avoid mold growth. At this point, you’re typically going to use the following steps:

  • Isolating the area. If the mold is limited to one area, mold remediation professionals are going to close all windows and doors to try to stop the spread of mold, and they should also be protecting themselves by wearing protective gear. Depending on the size of the remediation, they may also have to cover the doors and openings with sheeting to ensure there is no additional spread.
  • Removing wet/damaged items. Many areas that have been contaminated by mold or soaked by water damage will need to be disposed of. However, your mold remediation company should be following best practices to dispose of these items. Generally, this includes using double-bagged thick plastic bags. After the exterior of the bags are cleaned, these can be treated as regular trash.  
  • Cleaning the affected area. Different professionals will use different tools, but the basic concept stays the same. All affected areas need to be brushed and scrubbed using a cleaning solution until all mold has been removed. At this point, the cleaning materials need to be disposed of and the surfaces need to be rinsed with clean water.
  • Drying the affected area. The cleaning process will generally lead to some leftover moisture, and many mold restoration professionals will speed up the drying process by using dehumidifiers and fans, as well as raising the air temperature in the home. After things are dried, the homeowner can begin replacing anything that was discarded during the remediation process.

Depending on the location of the mold and the nature of your home, the exact process of remediation will vary, but this list gives you a basic principles behind remediation—isolating the affected area, clearing out any water, disposing of contaminated material, and then an effective clean and dry.  It may be worth it for you to ask the mold remediation company exactly what type of biocide/fungicide/moldicide solutions they use to kill any remaining mold during this process.

The Ideal Path Towards Mold Remediation

With all these steps in mind, is there anything that you can do as a homeowner to stage your home before your mold remediation starts? In general, it’s not a good idea to start your own DIY mold remediation because there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about clearing out mold that may cause issues. However, there are a few things that you can do, like turning down the humidity in your home. In general, you want indoor humidity at approximately 55%.

In addition, while you may not be able to eliminate mold completely, there are certain best practices you can put in place to avoid issues in the future. For example, get in the habit of looking for cracks in the foundation or leaky gutters at the start of each major rainy season. A lot of the time, areas that are difficult to detect can suddenly become havens for mold due to rain seeping into the home.  In general, if you live in a humid area or one with a lot of moisture, the best thing you can do is get into the habit of checking common areas of the home for mold. By acting quickly, you may only need remediation for a small space as opposed to a large swath of your home. Another good practice is to make sure that your home is properly ventilated and insulated to avoid mold in unexpected areas like the attic. However, your own efforts can only go so far (Why DIY Mold Remediation Doesn’t Work).

When the time comes to find a mold remediation professional, the best course of action is to be an attentive consumer (10 Questions To Ask  Mold Remediation Professionals). Take some time to look at the online reviews and look over the company website to make sure that they are properly licensed. Ideally, you’re going to want a company that is not only experienced in mold remediation, but also going through the process in your region, and even in your type of home, if possible. You can always ask the potential company for clarification about these details outright.

Using TCR For Mold Remediation

At this point, we’ve established that it’s essential for you to act quickly when it comes to mold remediation and that half-measures won’t work when it comes to keeping your family safe. This is why it’s important to recruit professional help for mold remediation rather than trying a DIY solution. For the right company, 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 that we have the skills and expertise to help you with mold remediation, no matter where the mold is in your home or how much has grown. Our customers also trust us to diagnose different issues and create a removal solution that matches their needs. Reach out to us today for a free inspection.

A Step-by-Step Comprehensive Water Damage Restoration Guide

By | Water | 13 Comments

The Basics of Water Damage Restoration

Dealing with water damage in a home or business can be confusing and frustrating; the water damage restoration process is just a pain! Water causes a lot of damage and makes a huge mess that can turn into a major headache.  It may seem like all hope is lost and the house or office will have to be gutted, but that’s often far from the truth.

Water damage comes in various shapes and forms, from small leaks to all-out flooding. [Water Damage 101] They all have the potential to be remediated, but understanding the categories of water damage is important. It’s also important to know that water damage is broken down into classes depending on the methods it will take to fix the problem.

Categories of Water Damage

Water Damage Categories

Water Damage Categories

Classes of Water Damage

Water Damage Classes

Water Damage Classes

Causes of Water Damage

Water damage can occur at any time and anywhere. It doesn’t discriminate and will more than likely happen when the homeowner least expects it. Some of the most common causes of water damage in Miami include the following:

  • Broken pipes
  • Backed up drains or toilets
  • Flooding

If any of these common water damage occurrences happen, you may need to call a professional to help remediate the situation. They have the expertise, experience, and equipment to ensure that the process is done right, with minimal health risks to the occupants of the home or office building.

Water Damage Restoration Equipment

There are some common and expected types of equipment carried by water restoration technicians. They often include detection equipment, air moving equipment, deodorization equipment, and generators. They each have a specific purpose and are used to get your house or office dry and back to pre-damaged condition. [Before The Restoration]

Detection Equipment: Moisture Sensors and Meters

These are used by technicians to discover how wet an area is so they know exactly what will need to be done to remediate the situation. These sensors and meters display the moisture content of floors, ceilings, walls, and other materials so a plan can be developed to get them dry or tear them out—whichever is needed most for the situation.

Air Moving Equipment: Fans and Dehumidifiers

Getting an area dry requires removing the moisture not only from the affected materials but also from the air. Fans will blow air across the surface and cause the water to evaporate, then the dehumidifiers will draw it out of the air and drain it so that it won’t settle back into the material and cause further damage to the room.

Deodorization Equipment

Air Scrubber: This machine works by removing chemicals, particles, and/or gasses from the air. It draws in air from the surrounding space and pushes it through various filters to remove the contaminants that contribute to odor.

Foggers: These machines turn a chemical into a fog to eliminate odors from a room. They can also be used to kill bacteria or as a way to reduce or discourage mold growth after water damage has occurred.

Thermal Foggers: These machines work by using a solvent-based deodorizer that is heated and turned into a dry smoke/fog, which is blown into a room. The vaporized cleaning solution clings to the odor molecules and absorbs them, ridding the area of the smell. When combined with cleaning, this is an effective deodorizing technique.

Generators: In the case of water damages that cause the loss of power, it’s important for the technicians to have a power supply. They generally have generators so that the equipment can be used properly to repair the damage.

What to Expect Before and After a Water Damage Restoration Cleanup Process

No two water restoration jobs are the same. They are each unique and require different techniques and cleanup methods. It’s possible to clean water damage yourself, but there could be deeper issues that you are unaware that a professional would be better able to handle. Finding a professional Miami restoration company that will work with you is important, and there’s a process to ensuring you find one that will restore your property to pre-damage condition.

How do you choose a reputable restoration company?

Having your home damaged by water is an incredibly stressful and emotional experience. Getting it back to a pre-disaster condition is important, and finding a restoration company that can do that is a top priority. But how do you choose a reputable restoration company?

  1. Look Locally

Finding a company who works locally in the Miami area will mean that they’ll be able to get to your house or business as soon as possible to assess the damage and get started on the restoration process.

  1. Check Credentials

Restoring a home or office after water damage is accomplished by following industry standards. A good company will send their technicians to training to get them certified. The business itself should also be certified. When looking for a restoration professional, look for one that has been IIRC certified and has the skill and expertise to deal with water damage in ways that are nationally recognized and approved.

This will also ensure that the technicians are trained in the proper use of all water restoration equipment and can employ advanced water restoration methodologies. Since no two water restoration jobs are the same, you need someone who can think on their feet and complete the job satisfactorily and within industry standards.

  1. Works with Insurance

When a major disaster like a water damage strikes, the cost for restoration can be expensive. Very few people will be able to pay for the damage out of their pocket, so they’ll rely on their insurance to help cover the bill. A good restoration company will work with insurance to get your home or office back together. If they don’t, you need to keep looking.

In addition, you may also consider contacting your insurance agent to see if they have a restoration company that they recommend. This will ensure that you are getting a reputable company that you know will work with your insurance to get the job completed.

  1. Check References

It’s easier than ever to check reviews and references online. Finding these for a restoration company shouldn’t be difficult. While no company will ever have all positive reviews, make sure the company you’re looking to hire has more positive than negative reviews.

Water Damage Restoration Timeline

  1. Inspection

The first step in the restoration process is knowing exactly what has been damaged and what needs to be fixed. This is when they will use their moisture sensors and meters to see how far the damage goes and how wet the area is, including the ceiling, walls, and carpet/carpet pad or other flooring. It will also be determined whether or not the electricity is in jeopardy or has been shorted out by the water. Turning power sources off at the electrical box may or may not occur depending on the extent of the damage.

During this time, it’s important to talk with the technician and find out exactly what needs to be done to correct the water damage issues. There may be tear-out that will occur, and it’s important to know beforehand who will be doing repairs at the completion of the job.

  1. Remove Standing Water

If there is standing water in the area, this will be removed. No other work will be able to continue if the water remains in the area. This will also allow the technicians to find the source of the issue (if it’s coming from a broken pipe or backed up drain) so that the issue can be taken care of. [During The Restoration]

  1. Prevent Further Damage

Taking care of water damage needs to be done in a timely fashion. If it sits for too long, there’s a chance that more damage will occur or a Category 1 water damage will turn into a Category 2, which can have impacts on your health.

This step may include calling a plumber (if one hasn’t already been called) to discover and stop any leaks. It may also require the removal of affected flooring, walls, and ceiling. Water damage can weaken the integrity of certain structural materials, making them a hazard if they collapse. In some cases, this material may not be able to dry properly, so to prevent water remaining trapped in the area, it will be removed.

  1. Drying

After the standing water has been removed and materials that could pose a drying or structural hazard have been removed, the drying process will begin. This often involves placing fans and a dehumidifier in the area. In some cases, it might also involve putting up plastic sheeting and using heaters so that the water can evaporate.

If walls have been impacted, it may be necessary to remove baseboards or drill holes so that they dry properly. A section of the carpet may also have to be lifted so that the carpet and the pad will dry. If these processes aren’t conducted, the chance of odor and mold growth increases. There’s also a chance of structural damage happening from excessive moisture.

  1. Monitoring

Throughout the entire process, the technicians will monitor how well the drying is going. They’ll use their meters to test the moisture content in the affected areas and ensure that their equipment is working properly. Depending on the severity of the damage, this process may take from one day to several.

  1. Completion

Once the meters read moisture levels equal to the previous dry state of the room, the technician will remove the fans and dehumidifiers from the area. At this point, the water remediation process is considered to complete.

  1. Repair Additional Damage

As mentioned, sometimes ceilings, walls, or flooring have to be torn out, baseboards might be removed, or holes might be drilled into walls to ensure proper drying. The water restoration company may do these repairs themselves or they may subcontract the work to professionals they use for this type of job. They may also recommend contractors for the homeowner to contact. Owners may also be able to use their own contractors if they so choose.

Having this conversation during the inspection phase of the process will let the homeowner or business owner know what to expect when this phase is finally reached.

Health and Safety During the Water Damage Restoration Process

Ways to keep yourself safe in the event of water damage.

Health & Safety During The Water Damage Process

Health & Safety During The Water Damage Process

Health & Safety During The Water Damage Process

Health & Safety During The Water Damage Process

What to Expect After the Cleanup Process

Depending on the severity of the water damage, what happens after the cleanup process will vary.[After The Restoration]  If the water damage was caused by clean water, the only thing that might be required is drying the area and then putting things back in their place. If the water damage was large or involved grey or black water, the following might occur.

Sanitation and Cleaning

Once the water has been removed and everything is dry, the restoration company may go through and do a final cleaning that involves sanitizing to remove the possibility of bacterial growth and deodorizing to rid the home or office of any unwanted odors due to the water damage.

Mold Growth

After any type of water damage, the possibility of mold growth increases. Ensuring that the area was properly dried and then sanitized should reduce this likelihood. However, it’s not always possible to prevent all growth, but a good restoration company will have the skills and expertise to remove any mold that grows as a result of water damage.


If anything was torn out such as flooring, walls, or the ceiling, these will need to be repaired and/or replaced. The restoration company may have the expertise to take care of small jobs, but they may also recommend or have subcontractors that will complete reconstruction.

Insurance Claims

Most insurance companies and restoration companies work well together when it comes to addressing water damage in Miami. They are often in contact to get information about how the job is progressing and if there are any issues that need to be addressed. Some restoration companies will even send the invoice and work orders directly to the insurance company so that the owner doesn’t have to worry about that. In some cases, the insurance will also pay the restoration company directly. Talking to your agent will let you know how this process will be handled.

Should You Hire an Adjuster

Deciding whether or not to hire an adjuster for your claim will depend on a variety of things, including if you’re actually going to file a claim and  if the damage is covered by your insurance policy. There are benefits from hiring an adjuster, but there could also be downsides as well, and you’ll need to determine if one outweighs the other.

At Total Care Restoration, we have the expertise and certification to help you with your Miami water damage needs. We are available 24/7 and 365 days a year, so give us a call so we can help you get your life and your home or business back to pre-disaster condition.

Tips, Advice, and Checklist

Emergency Drying Tips

Emergency Drying Tips

Emergency Water Damage Tips

Emergency Water Damage Tips

Water Damage Insurance Tips

Water Damage Insurance Tips

Water Cleanup Checklist

Water Cleanup Checklist

What Happens After The Water Damage Restoration Process

By | Water | 2 Comments
After The Water Damage Process

After The Water Damage Process

The length of time it takes to restore water damage in Miami will depend on the severity of the destruction and how many rooms were impacted. Some losses are small, only impacting part of a room and involving little to no water. Other losses could affect an entire home and involve large amounts of standing water.

If the damage was caused by clean water, efforts that might be required include drying the area and then putting items back in their place. If the destruction was large or caused by grey or black water, the process might be more involved and include the following.

What to Expect After the Cleanup Process

Sanitation and Cleaning

After the water has been sucked out and the area is dry, the restoration company may do a final cleaning that involves sanitizing so that bacteria can’t grow and ridding the home or office of any unwanted smells due to water damage in Miami with a deodorizer. This may involve cleaning the affected walls or flooring, including a carpet cleaning for any impacted carpet and carpet pad.

Getting rid of bacterial growth and other substances that may have been present in the water is important for the health of the occupants. If these pathogens aren’t removed, it could lead to illness and continued bacterial growth, which could contribute to a foul odor in the area. 

Mold Growth

Mold thrives in moist environments, and those are created after water damage. To prevent this from occurring, it’s important that an area is dried properly and then sanitized. Unfortunately, preventing all mold growth may not be possible, but a good restoration company will be able to remove any mold that grows and inform the home or business owner about the likelihood of this occurring.

There are a variety of different molds that exist in the world. The most feared is black mold. There have been studies and tests that have shown this mold can cause health problems. In reality, any type of mold can have detrimental impacts. If an individual is allergic to mold, it will impact their health. Various types of mold can grow in places that are damp—conditions that are certainly created after water damage in Miami. Taking care of all mold growth is the best way to protect people’s health.


During some water losses, the flooring, walls, or ceiling may have been torn out due to damage or the inability for it to dry properly.  Eventually, these will need to be repaired and/or replaced. It’s possible that the restoration company will take care of small jobs, but they may also leave any and all reconstruction to a subcontractor they work with or recommend one for you to contact.

This is often discussed during the first stage of the mitigation process so that you know exactly what’s going on. If an insurance claim has been filed, it will also be discussed with the insurance agent, and they may have a say in whether or not things will be torn out or dried to the best of their ability. Open communication and asking questions are the best ways to get answers for this process.

Insurance Claims

It is common to find insurance companies and restoration companies working together during this process. They remain in contact to obtain information about the job and if any issues have arisen that need to be fixed. In some cases, the restoration company will send the invoice and/or work orders directly to the insurance company. It’s also possible that the insurance will pay the restoration company directly. Talking to the restoration technician or your agent is the best way to find out how this process will be handled for water damage in Miami.

When all work has been completed, there is generally a walk-through that occurs with the home or business owner, the insurance adjustor or agent, and the technicians. This will ensure that all work has been completed satisfactorily and meets the expected standards. [A Step-by-Step Water Damage Restoration Guide]  If it does not, a plan will be put in place to correct any issues. If it does, the job will be finished.

Total Restoration Care has certified experts who want to help you with your water damage in Miami. We are on call 24/7, 365 days a year.

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