How To Keep Water Damage From Returning

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

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

Protect your valuables

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

Know the different sources of water damage

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

Invest in a sump pump

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

Have a flood response plan

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

Set up a sloped yard, if possible

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

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

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


The Water Damage Restoration Process

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

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

The Inspection

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

Water Extraction

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


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

Containment and Disposal

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


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

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

What To Do Before A Water Restoration Professional Visits

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High- Water - Road Blocked

High- Water – Road Blocked

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

Here are some of the things worth considering.

Knowing your coverage

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

Minimizing further risk

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

Set aside time for the inspection

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

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

Take notes

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

Clear out standing water to a point

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

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

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

The 2025 Miami Flood We Thought About

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 Miami 2019

Miami 2019

Preparing for the 2025 Miami Flood

A few years ago, headlines expressing concern over climate change suggested that coastal cities around the world were at risk due to rising ocean waters. Two of these areas of concern included South Florida and the Miami area. In fact, according to the studies, parts of South Florida could be underwater by 2025, which is not too far away at all.

As frightening a concept this is, the best ways to allay your fears are preparation and research. For the Miami area, home and property owners would do well to invest in both flood restoration and flood mitigation services.

Here’s what you can do to prepare for this potential 2025 Miami flood. (4 Flood Restoration Tips On How to Handle A Miami Flood).

Why You Need Flood Restoration Services

The first thing we should talk about is the fact that not all floods are alike. There are a variety of different sources of floodwater that can damage your home or property, as well as different flooding sources. In an area like Miami where conditions are generally humid and moist and there is a lot of water around, you could be at risk of any one of these at any given time.

Here are some of the key different types of flooding that you need to be aware of. In addition, the type of flooding may impact the type of water damage that you see afterward. (4 Tips 

River floods

These occur when the water in a river ends up rising above the river banks, causing flooding and damage to the nearby area. River flooding happens for a number of reasons, including thunderstorms for an extended period of time, combined rainfall and snowmelt, and excessive rain from tropical systems.

Storm surge

This is a type of flooding we see commonly with hurricanes and tropical storms. In general, it represents a flood in coastal areas beyond that of a simple high tide, due to a storm’s combination of wind, moisture, and low atmospheric pressure. Examples like Hurricane Katrina show the potential for damage and loss of life that can occur with a storm surge.

Flash flooding

A flash flood generally only occurs over the course of six hours or so, but it can have a pronounced effect in certain areas. These torrents manifest after excessive rainfall and can rush down streets and riverbeds.

Coastal flooding

There’s also one type of flooding that we have yet to mention, mainly because it’s particularly pertinent to Miami and South Florida in general, and that is coastal flooding. Coastal flooding sounds simple enough on paper. The combination of seasonal high tides and storms can push water towards the shore in coastal areas. Areas like Charleston or Savannah deal with this several times a year.

However, part of the concern about coastal flooding today is that rising sea levels mean that coastal flooding can occur even without heavy tides or stormy weather.  Any sort of coastal flooding becoming a regularity could pose huge issues for any city, and Miami may be at risk.

Miami and Flood Restoration Services

At this point, let’s focus the lens more on Miami and South Florida specifically, as there are a few unique points and concerns here worth mentioning. Recent studies have shown that out of all the areas in the U.S., Florida has the most to lose in terms of flooding and rising sea levels.

One such study suggested that by 2045, nearly 64,000 homes across the state would be underwater, half of those being in South Florida. There is also a potential economic concern. If owners decide that the property is not worth keeping because of the repeated flooding, the properties may end up becoming abandoned. Being able to mitigate flood damage is essential to Miami in more ways that one.

As we mentioned, coastal flooding naturally occurs due to certain tides, and in the Miami area, those are the King Tides, the year’s largest tides that generally send water rushing through the streets and turn parks into lakes.

However, if we look back to this past year’s King Tides, things were relatively calm. Part of this was simply due to a natural reprieve, with the King Tide bringing in as much as a foot less water inland than usual. However, part of the credit should also be given to smart engineering work across South Florida to help manage the water that did come. To put this in perspective, in 2016, the Kind Tides happened to correlate with a “super moon,” leading floodwaters to fill streets and disrupt traffic.

While 2018 had a relatively harmless King Tide, there’s no guarantee that this will be the case every year. In addition, as sea levels rise in general, there’s a greater chance of the King Tide floods becoming larger and more damaging.

While it’s easy to get swept up by the enormous damage that takes place after a large flood (and the Miami 2025 flood would certainly fall into that category), there are also a lot of examples of more subtle water damage that could make homes and properties potentially unsafe.  (The After-Effects Of A 2025 Miami Flood).

For example, even if there wasn’t a giant Miami 2025 flood, there’s also the potential of repeated coastal flooding. This could lead to issues like saltwater mixing with drinking water, deterioration of infrastructure from the corrosive nature of seawater, as well as exposure to pathogens and harmful chemicals from floodwater. It’s important for people living in the area to know how to respond to this potential threat.

Using Technology for Flood Responses

At this point, it’s relatively safe to say that the threat of flooding for Miami and South Florida is not going away any time soon. As a result, it’s important for home and property owners in the area to use whatever means they have in order to stay prepared and protected.

One of the first lines of defense everyone should consider investing in is a flood alarm. There are a lot of flood alarm options out there, but they all have the same basic functionality. Two metal probes are exposed as a part of the alarm. When water touches the two probes, the increased conductivity triggers the alarm, helping you respond quicker.

In general, the more expensive an alarm, the more added features you get. For example, some alarms can measure temperature and humidity to give more accurate readings or additional functionality.

While a flood alarm is something every Miami resident should have in their home, this should only be the beginning of your flood prep. As a start, it’s a good idea to elevate certain appliances like furnaces, water heaters, and the electric panel to higher floors of the house to minimize the chance of flood damage. In fact, a water heater may be a key source of drinkable water if you are stranded in your home temporarily.

Foundation damage is also a major concern with flood damage, so it’s a good idea for people in flood zones to waterproof their basements as much as possible. It’s also important to arm yourself with information. Know what radio and television stations to tune into for flood updates, and have a plan in place in case you need to evacuate.

As a final note, if you are in an area that is a flood risk, you should invest in flood insurance. The majority of homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from floods or other natural disasters, and due to concerns like rising sea levels, areas that weren’t flood zones in the past may now be.

Technology also plays a key role in the general flood restoration workflow, from keeping professionals safe to making it easier and faster to clear some of the effects of water damage.  (Understanding the Flood Restoration Process).  For example, using technology to detect moisture or mold may catch remnants of water damage that aren’t visible to the naked eye. In addition, items like air movers are essential to actually remove the excess moisture and make a flood-damaged home livable again.

The Future of Flood Restoration Services

With this said, this is only the start of technology potentially helping with flood responses and restoration. Assuming these reports of widespread coastal flooding come to pass, entire countries could need full-scale response options in order to keep both people and property protected. The responses here could seem like something out of a sci-fi movie rather than reality, but the same has been said about many modern conveniences we enjoy today.

Here are some of the items you would see addressing flood-related issues.

Flood barriers

This may be cheating a bit, as some areas around the world are already using these to great effect. However, as flooding becomes potentially more common and widespread, you may be seeing larger flood barriers around major areas like Miami soon enough.

Portable workboats

If areas are completely submerged for a while, it may be essential for both rescue and salvage purposes to deploy boats. Perhaps flood restoration companies will be using inflatable boats that are able to set out for a few days, complete with food and water, allowing professionals to do their work safely.

Future restoration equipment

Larger floods, like the potential 2025 Miami flood, will require larger-scale versions of the flood restoration solutions we see every day. (Miami’s # 1 Flood Restoration Company).  Picture a humidifier the size of a trailer, making it possible to clear properties and get people back in their homes in just a fraction of the time.

There are also practical concerns that could affect the future of flood restoration services. In one survey of restoration professionals, the single largest concern was a difficulty in finding skilled labor. This is an issue that could potentially grow even larger in the future, considering that some of the hypothetical technology that we’ve been talking about will require not only expertise to develop, but also training to use effectively.

At the same time, though, the potential increase of flooding will likely mean more work for flood restoration companies. The key will be effectively communicating that these companies are great places to start a career.

Another secondary concern that the restoration professionals brought up was working with TPA (third-party administrators), the professionals they have to interact with when working with insurance companies. This is largely because of a perception that insurance companies are becoming more difficult to work with regarding payment for remediation and restoration work.

In addition, many professionals reported that TPA were demanding more monitoring technology for different services. Perhaps, in the future, flood restoration services will have technology to help them report their work schedule and developments to better satisfy insurance companies.

Using TCR for Flood Restoration Services

For many people in South Florida and coastal areas, dealing with flooding is more and more of a common reality. It’s essential not just to test your home for structural inadequacies, but also take a modern approach to flood restoration to minimize the impact of water damage.

For your flood 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 means that we have the skills and expertise to provide flood restoration services, not just to help protect your home and valuables, but also to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to mitigating flood effects. Our customers also trust us to diagnose different issues and repair foundation, leaks, mold infestations, and other side effects of flooding. Reach out to us today for a free inspection.

Miami’s #1 Flood Restoration Company

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As wonderful as it is to live in Miami, there are pros and cons just like everywhere else. Living by the water is perhaps one of the best examples. While you can relax at the beach or just look at the ocean on a whim, being so close to the water also dramatically increases the risk of flooding for your home or business.

The best thing for Miami residents to do in situations like these is take a twofold approach:

  1. Make sure they have a plan in place on how to react to flood warnings and announcements.
  2. Partner with the best local flood restoration company on the market to deal with the damage floods bring.

For the second approach, you need to look no further than Total Care Restoration. Here are some of the benefits we offer for flood restoration services.

Experience and expertise

If anyone tells you that you can do DIY work to get your home looking like new again, this is a big mistake. Not only is there no guarantee that you will fully dry out your home with the tools at your disposal, but you’re also taking a serious risk by exposing yourself to flood debris, standing water, and other hazards.

We’ve been around for decades, which not only gives us plenty of experience with helping people in the Miami area, but also the best practices to get the job done and keep everyone safe.

Proper accreditation

Recovering after a flood is a sensitive time for any family or business owner. Not only have you incurred potential serious financial loss, you now also need to put your trust in strangers to get your property up and running again.

To put you at ease, we’ve taken the effort to get all the necessary certifications, including certification with the IICRC. This shows that we have the skills and credentials to help with all your flood restoration needs. You can also visit our website for testimonials from some of our happy customers.

Free evaluation

When it comes to flood damage, one of the most overwhelming things you may have to deal with early on is figuring out exactly what the extent is and how much it is going to cost you. We shoulder some of that burden at Total Care Restoration by offering a free water damage examination.

Have a better understanding of the work you need done with our help. From there, you can work with us to get the quick but thorough service we’ve become known for throughout the Miami area.

Care and transparency

Some people hesitate to reach out for professional restoration because they’ve heard horror stories about restoration scammers who provide subpar service then disappear before you realize what happened. At Total Care Restoration, it’s a top priority for us to make all customers feel at ease.

If you have questions about what we are doing or how we arrive at our prices, just ask and we will be happy to explain.

At Total Care Restoration, we work hard to do the most for all our customers in the Miami area. This not only means working to provide support after a flood, but also working to take care of tangential issues, like mold remediation that can stem from water damage. By being a one-stop-shop to take care of all your home restoration needs, we hope to be a valuable resource to homeowners and property owners alike.

Contact us today for an estimate or if you have additional questions regarding our services.

Miami Flood Restoration Tips

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wIf you were to ask an insurance professional the difference between water damage and flood damage, they would make a very clear distinction between the two.

However, as flood restoration professionals, we see things a little differently. When a flood happens in your Miami home or business, flood waters can surge through your home, not only causing damage through the impact, but also with the water that remains. Here are some of the key ways that a flood can damage your property, and how you can react.

One particular concern that happens with a flood versus other sources of water damage is what is brought into the home. Coastal flooding or river flooding can bring sediment, chemicals, and anything else the water has come into contact with into your home. This poses a huge contamination hazard, and is part of the reason why flooded areas are considered unsafe well after the waters recede. Something else that can happen is erosion. The loss of soil and rocks is one thing, but heavy floods can also erode foundations, potentially leading to expensive but necessary repairs.

There are also other concerns after the fact, like added moisture bringing mold into your home. Left unchecked, mold can lead to health issues, ranging from basic allergic reactions to serious respiratory issues.

Depending on the nature of the flood, knowing how to react properly could not only make a major difference for protecting your home, but also protecting yourself and your family. This is why it’s important for Miami and South Florida residents to have a flooding prep checklist. Here are some key elements you should incorporate.

Move items to higher locations

If you have an attic or an upper floor to your home, as soon as you hear there is a potential flood risk, move all valuables to the higher levels. These can include important documents, family albums, or anything else that you want to ensure gets preserved. It may also be a good idea to invest in a safe deposit box for some of these items.

Shut off electricity to affected areas that may flood

One major threat is flood waters coming into contact with electrical appliances or other areas. It’s important to make sure that these are shut down at the fuse box or breaker panel. In some cases, it may be impossible to elevate certain appliances like a washing machine, so wrap them in polyethylene film, if possible. This will keep a lot of the silt from flood water from getting in, making it easier to clean afterward.

Planning for evacuation

In severe flood conditions or hurricanes, it may be essential for you to leave the area to guarantee your safety. Much of the steps that we’ve discussed so far still apply, but it’s also important to make sure that you decide what you are going to bring with you, as well as what the ideal path is to get to where you plan to wait out the flooding/storms.

Invest in flood insurance

Bringing things full circle, flood insurance is generally a separate policy from traditional homeowner’s insurance, which may cover other sources of water damage like a water heater leak or burst pipe. It’s well worth it for anyone living in a flood zone to buy.

Water damage right after a flood can be scary for home and property owners, but the best thing you can do is approach this in a calm and collected manner. By enlisting professionals who know the effects of water damage, it’s far more likely you’ll be able to mitigate it before it gets out of control.

Total Care Restoration is flood restoration services company that believes in doing the most for customers in the Miami area. We’re also IICRC-certified, which means we have the skills and experience to help you take care of all key aspects of flood restoration to make your home safe and liveable once again.

For additional questions about our services, feel free to call our experts today.

Understanding the Flood Restoration Process

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Surreal Flooding

Surreal Flooding

When you first come back to your home after a flood, it can be difficult to take in the sheer scope of damage to your property and valuables. The one silver lining in all this is that there is an opportunity for you to have your home looking its best again, given time.

This is due to the painstaking flood restoration process that professionals put in to remove all visible signs of water damage after a flood. Here’s a breakdown of all the different steps in this process.


Every flood restoration starts with a general inspection of the area. This is essential for contractors to get a basic picture of exactly what they need, as well as provide an estimate of the payment required for their services. The reason why this step is so essential is that there are subtle signs of flood damage that the untrained eye can’t see at first glance, but still need to be attended to.

Removal of standing water

Standing water can be a major hazard in a flooded home, and can also prevent contractors from working in other areas until it is removed. Generally, industrial shop vacuums are used for this purpose, and the length will depend on the substrate as well as the amount of standing water present.

Containing the area

This goes hand in hand with the flood restoration drying process. In order to ensure that the heat and dry air stays in the rooms where they are needed, the area will be taped off. This allows for more efficiency, as well as the chance to dispose of items that may not be salvageable.


Air movers and dehumidifiers are some of the products that flood restoration professionals use in order to clear out moisture from a flood. In some cases, carpet may need to be taken out and drywall may need to be removed to ensure that all flood-damaged surfaces are properly exposed to the hot, dry air. While this is going on, flood restoration professionals will regularly check the humidity levels in the room and see how the drying is progressing. This takes place room by room until the entire building is dry.

As a closing note, when it comes to home projects like flood restoration, the temptation to take a DIY approach will always be there. The problem with this is that the stakes are far too high to leave flood restoration work in the hands of a well-meaning amateur. Here’s a chart of some of the potential issues:

DIY Flood Restoration vs Professional Flood Restoration

DIY Flood Restoration vs Professional Flood Restoration

As you can see, when it comes to handling flood damage and its after-effects, doing the job yourself is a recipe for disaster. As a result, anyone who lives in an area where floods are a risk should look for the top flood restoration professionals well before the waters start to rise. We, at Total Care Restoration, not only believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also IICRC-certified. This signifies that we have the skills and experience to help you take care of all key aspects of flood restoration to make your home safe and liveable once again.

The After Effects Of 2025 Miami Flood

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Flood From Ocean Picture

Flood From Ocean Picture

Recent reports on the impact of climate change have brought about concerns labeling Miami and South Florida as prime areas set to be impacted by the steady rise in sea levels over the last few decades.

When people hear about these reports, they may instantly think of clips in Hollywood movies where homes are swept away under the ocean, but there are other concerns worth mentioning. In low-level coastal areas around the country, it’s common for high tidal seasons and storms to cause some level of coastal flooding. In Miami, we see this yearly around the time of the King Tide.

However, as water levels rise, coastal floodings happen more and more often, sometimes without warning, from storms or high tides. This adds another layer of concern for Miami residents and business owners, as they may see repeated instances of flooding throughout the year instead of one massive one.

This means that your Miami property is exposed to some of the more subtle effects of flooding and water damage. Here are some key examples.


Where water damage and moisture go, mold is sure to follow. Mold can begin developing as quickly as a few days after a flood, and can spread in areas that are difficult to reach, like behind drywall. On top of its unsightly appearance and smell, being exposed to mold over long periods is detrimental to your health. People who are sensitive to it may experience eye irritation, stuffiness of the nose, or skin irritation.

Foundation damage

Flooding or other heavy water damage causes soil to expand. This pushes against the foundation of homes, and given time or enough water, can end up causing cracks in the foundation. This foundation damage can also manifest in other ways, like leaks or bowed walls.


Unlike other sources of water damage, flooding brings debris, silt, and other various materials into your home from the outside. This causes a number of potential issues. For one, you don’t know what that debris has come in contact with, and the presence of pathogens or chemicals may render your home temporarily unsafe, even if the floodwaters aren’t very deep.

In addition, there’s the potential financial burden of having to pay to get the debris removed, as well as any of your items that may have been contaminated by it.

Saltwater presence

This is an issue that’s unique to Miami because of its geographic location, but it poses major issues if flooding becomes more common in the area. Much of the ground underneath South Florida is made of limestone and compressed ancient reefs.

What this means is that as the water rises and floods become more common, saltwater comes up through the ground as well as from the ocean. This is a major concern, as saltwater can get into drinking-water reservoirs or kill plant life intolerant to salt, including Miami’s famous palm trees.

Statistically speaking, climate change and other issues are increasing the chances of Miami home and property owners to deal with flooding on a regular basis. This means that the chance of the flooding after-effects happening on your property is only set to increase.

As a result, make sure you know who you can reach out to for help and support. Total Care Restoration is an IICRC-certified flood restoration services company serving the Miami area. This means we have the experience and skills necessary to help you take care of all key aspects of flood restoration to make your home safe and liveable once again.

Call us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Understanding The Basics of A Fire Damage Restoration Services Company

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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.

Expert’s Guide To Mold Removal Services [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.

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