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Returning Home After A Hurricane.

Preparing to return home after evacuating will keep you safer while inspecting and cleaning up the damage to your home. Before traveling, ensure local officials have declared that it’s safe to enter your community and that you have the supplies you will need. Follow the suggestions below for returning to, inspecting and cleaning your home.

Image result for after a hurricane

(Photo: Survival Life )

Before Returning

  • Find out if it is safe to enter your community or neighborhood. Follow the advice of your local authorities.
  • Carry plenty of cash. ATMs may not work and stores may not be able to accept credit or debit cards.
  • Bring supplies such as flashlights, batteries, bottled water and non- perishable foods in case utilities are out.
  • Create back-up communication plans with family and friends in case you are unable to call from affected areas.
  • Plan for delays when traveling. Bring extra food, water, pillows, blankets and other items that will make the trip more comfortable. Keep the fuel tank of your vehicle as full as possible in case gas stations are crowded, out of fuel or closed.
  • Carry a map to help you route around heavy traffic or impassable roads.
  • Find out if local medical facilities are open and if emergency services are functioning again. Do NOT call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number to do this.
  • Understand that recovery takes time. Focus on the positive and have patience. Others will have similar frustrations.

First Inspection

  • If possible, leave children and pets with a relative or friend. If not, keep them away from hazards and floodwater.
  • Beware of snakes, insects and other animals that may be in or around your home.
  • Before entering your home, look outside for damaged power lines, gas lines, foundation cracks and other exterior damage. It may be too dangerous to enter the home.
  • If you smell natural gas or propane, or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and contact the fire department.
  • If your home was flooded, assume it is contaminated with mold. Mold increases health risks for those with asthma, allergies or other breathing conditions.
  • Open doors and windows. If the house was closed more than 48 hours, let it air it out before staying inside for any length of time.
  • Turn the main electrical power and water systems off until you or a professional can ensure that they are safe. NEVER turn the power on or off, or use an electrical tool or appliance while standing in water.
  • Check the ceiling and floor for signs of sagging. Water may be trapped in the ceiling or floors may be unsafe to walk on.

Cleaning Your Home

  • Be careful when moving furnishings or debris, because they may be waterlogged and heavier.
  • Throw out all food, beverages and medicine exposed to flood waters and mud, including canned goods and containers with food or liquid that have been sealed shut. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Some cleaning solutions can cause toxic fumes and other hazards if mixed together. If you smell a strong odor or your eyes water from the fumes or mixed chemicals, open a window and get out of your home.
  • Throw out items that absorb water and cannot be cleaned or disinfected (mattresses, carpeting, cosmetics, stuffed animals and baby toys).
  • Remove all drywall and insulation that has been in contact with flood waters.
  • Clean hard surfaces (flooring, countertops and appliances) thoroughly with hot water and soap or a detergent.
  • Return to as many personal and family routines as possible.
  • Caution: Carbon Monoxide Kills
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
  • The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.

Items to Take When Returning Home:

  • Government-issued photo ID and proof of address
  • Important phone numbers
  • Bottled water and non-perishable foods
  • First aid kit
  • Cleanser/hand cleaning gel for personal use
  • Hygiene products and toilet paper
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, sturdy waterproof boots and work gloves
    Flashlight, portable radio and extra batteries
  • Cameras for photos of damage for insurance claims

Using Generators Safely

  • When using a portable generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a portable generator to a home’s electrical system.
  • If you are considering getting a generator, get advice from a professional, such as an electrician. Make sure that the generator you purchase is rated for the power that you think you will need.
  • Wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.

Let Your Family Know You’re Safe

If your community has experienced a flood, or any disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well Web site available through RedCross.org to let your family and friends know about your welfare. If you don’t have Internet access, call 1-866-GET- INFO to register yourself and your family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Red Cross. “Returning Home After a Hurricane or Flood” Web blog post. Hurricane Central, The Weather Channel. 19 Sep 2014. 13 Sep 2017

Asbestos In The Home

Even if asbestos is in your home, this is usually NOT a serious problem. The mere presence of asbestos in a home or a building is not hazardous. The danger is that asbestos materials may become damaged over time. Damaged asbestos may release asbestos fibers and become a health hazard.

THE BEST THING TO DO WITH ASBESTOS MATERIAL IN GOOD CONDITION IS TO LEAVE IT ALONE!  Disturbing it may create a health hazard where none existed before. Read this before you have any asbestos material inspected, removed, or repaired.

Where Asbestos Hazards May Be Found In The Home

  1. Some roofing and siding shingles are made of asbestos cement.
  2. Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation.
  3. Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints. Their use was banned in 1977.
  4. Artificial ashes and embers sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces may contain asbestos.
  5. Older products such as stove-top pads may have some asbestos compounds.
  6. Walls and floors around woodburning stoves may be protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets.
  7. Asbestos is found in some vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives.
  8. Hot water and steam pipes in older houses may be coated with an asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape.
  9. Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral fiber. It can be positively identified only with a special type of microscope. There are several types of asbestos fibers. In the past, asbestos was added to a variety of products to strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance.

How Can Asbestos Affect My Health?

From studies of people who were exposed to asbestos in factories and shipyards, we know that breathing high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to an increased risk of:

  • lung cancer:
    – mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the chest and the abdominal cavity; and
    – asbestosis, in which the lungs become scarred with fibrous tissue.

The risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma increases with the number of fibers inhaled. The risk of lung cancer from inhaling asbestos fibers is also greater if you smoke. People who get asbestosis have usually been exposed to high levels of asbestos for a long time. The symptoms of these diseases do not usually appear until about 20 to 30 years after the first exposure to asbestos.

Most people exposed to small amounts of asbestos, as we all are in our daily lives, do not develop these health problems. However, if disturbed, asbestos material may release asbestos fibers, which can be inhaled into the lungs. The fibers can remain there for a long time, increasing the risk of disease. Asbestos material that would crumble easily if handled, or that has been sawed, scraped, or sanded into a powder, is more likely to create a health hazard.

Where Can I Find Asbestos And When Can It Be A Problem?

Most products made today do not contain asbestos. Those few products made which still contain asbestos that could be inhaled are required to be labeled as such. However, until the 1970s, many types of building products and insulation materials used in homes contained asbestos. Common products that might have contained asbestos in the past, and conditions which may release fibers, include:

  • STEAM PIPES, BOILERS, and FURNACE DUCTS insulated with an asbestos blanket or asbestos paper tape. These materials may release asbestos fibers if damaged, repaired, or removed improperly.
  • RESILIENT FLOOR TILES (vinyl asbestos, asphalt, and rubber), the backing on VINYL SHEET FLOORING, and ADHESIVES used for installing floor tile. Sanding tiles can release fibers. So may scraping or sanding the backing of sheet flooring during removal.
  • CEMENT SHEET, MILLBOARD, and PAPER used as insulation around furnaces and woodburning stoves. Repairing or removing appliances may release asbestos fibers. So may cutting, tearing, sanding, drilling, or sawing insulation.
  • DOOR GASKETS in furnaces, wood stoves, and coal stoves. Worn seals can release asbestos fibers during use.
  • SOUNDPROOFING OR DECORATIVE MATERIAL sprayed on walls and ceilings. Loose, crumbly, or water-damaged material may release fibers. So will sanding, drilling, or scraping the material.
  • PATCHING AND JOINT COMPOUNDS for walls and ceilings, and TEXTURED PAINTS. Sanding, scraping, or drilling these surfaces may release asbestos.
  • ASBESTOS CEMENT ROOFING, SHINGLES, and SIDING. These products are not likely to release asbestos fibers unless sawed, dilled, or cut.
  • ARTIFICIAL ASHES AND EMBERS sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces. Also, other older household products such as FIREPROOF GLOVES, STOVE-TOP PADS, IRONING BOARD COVERS, and certain HAIRDRYERS.
  • AUTOMOBILE BRAKE PADS AND LININGS, CLUTCH FACINGS, and GASKETS.

Asbestos Professionals: Who Are They And What Can They Do?

Asbestos professionals are trained in handling asbestos material. The type of professional will depend on the type of product and what needs to be done to correct the problem. You may hire a general asbestos contractor or, in some cases, a professional trained to handle specific products containing asbestos.

Asbestos professionals can conduct home inspections, take samples of suspected material, assess its condition, and advise about what corrections are needed and who is qualified to make these corrections. Once again, material in good condition need not be sampled unless it is likely to be disturbed. Professional correction or abatement contractors repair or remove asbestos materials.

Some firms offer combinations of testing, assessment, and correction. A professional hired to assess the need for corrective action should not be connected with an asbestos-correction firm. It is better to use two different firms so there is no conflict of interest. Services vary from one area to another around the country.

The federal government has training courses for asbestos professionals around the country. Some state and local governments also have or require training or certification courses. Ask asbestos professionals to document their completion of federal or state-approved training. Each person performing work in your home should provide proof of training and licensing in asbestos work, such as completion of EPA-approved training. State and local health departments or EPA regional offices may have listings of licensed professionals in your area.

If you have a problem that requires the services of asbestos professionals, check their credentials carefully. Hire professionals who are trained, experienced, reputable, and accredited – especially if accreditation is required by state or local laws. Before hiring a professional, ask for references from previous clients. Find out if they were satisfied. Ask whether the professional has handled similar situations. Get cost estimates from several professionals, as the charges for these services can vary.

Though private homes are usually not covered by the asbestos regulations that apply to schools and public buildings, professionals should still use procedures described during federal or state-approved training. Homeowners should be alert to the chance of misleading claims by asbestos consultants and contractors. There have been reports of firms incorrectly claiming that asbestos materials in homes must be replaced. In other cases, firms have encouraged unnecessary removals or performed them improperly. Unnecessary removals are a waste of money. Improper removals may actually increase the health risks to you and your family. To guard against this, know what services are available and what procedures and precautions are needed to do the job properly.

 

 

 

Asbestos In The Home. Web blog post. Safety education. American Lung Association, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 12 April 2017

Find Rotten Wood Before it Destroys Your Home.

 

Understanding wood rot is the first step towards fighting it, so take a minute to think about what causes wood to rot. It is actually fairly simple – lingering moisture in wood creates an environment conducive to fungi growth, which in turn causes the wood’s fibers to deteriorate. So, when water contacts an unprotected wood surface for a long enough period of time, the wood begins to rot.

rotten wood

So, how do you actually go about finding wood rot? You’ll need both your senses of sight and touch for this task, as well as a screwdriver, flashlight, and binoculars. Keep in mind that, although sometimes the rot you are looking for may be easily visible, in plain sight, quite often it will be hidden, for instance behind cracked paint or underneath siding. To evaluate the health of the wooden components of your home, you do need to give them a good poke and see how they feel. Be on the lookout for any sign of soft, brittle, or crumbly wood. In extreme cases rotten wood may even disintegrate as you touch it.

Specific Areas to Check for Rotting Wood

  • Wooden Window Frames.

Water tends to remain on window sills longer than on the rest of the window frame.

  • Exterior Doors.

There is a good chance that your exterior doorways contain a lot of wood, which gets damaged over time from normal wear and tear, making it vulnerable to rainwater.

  • Interior Spaces.

Check the floor areas around your water heater, washer, dishwasher, toilet, tub, and the bottom of your sink cabinets.

  • Decks.

First, inspect the wooden components that make up your deck and deck stairs for signs of rot – looking from both above and below. After that, direct your attention to the piece of wood that attaches your deck to the house.

  • Roof.

Go out to your yard with binoculars and train them on your roof. Make a close inspection of both the roof itself, as well as the area directly below the roof line, for any wear and tear. This inspection could take a little while. It might feel a bit strange to be standing in the yard or out by the road scanning your roof with binoculars, and you might get a few looks from the neighbors, but take the time to be thorough.

 

Preventing Wood Rot.

Now that you know where to look to find rotting wood in your home, here are some tips to prevent it in the first place.

  • Maintain your gutters.
  • Instead of using wood in areas of your house where rot is common, consider using composite building materials with no wood fibers.
  • Next time you re-do your roof, add overhangs and covered entryways if you do not have them already.
  • Keep condensation at bay inside your home.
  • Keep any caulking on your home’s exterior in good condition.

 

When you do find rotting wood on your property, get if fixed right away so it does not turn into a larger problem. Finally, take all the preventative measures you can to prevent rot in the first place.

 

Why you should always hire a licensed contractor.

Being a licensed contractor in Florida is a privilege. Many do not understand the difference in being licensed and why some are not licensed. Obtaining and keeping your contracting license in Florida is expensive and there are requirements you must meet. An unlicensed company is taking the easy and unethical approach to assisting those in need.

Licensed or Unlicensed – Is It a Big Deal?

When you are in need for repairs questions run through your head: What does it mean to be licensed? Why are some contractors licensed and some are not? Does it really matter? Being a licensed contractor means they have passed all required testing, met the minimum experience level of four years, passed a credit and background check, and they must carry insurance to cover liability and workers compensation.

Risks of Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor:

  • No insurance – No liability: An unlicensed contractor typically is uninsured – you unlicensedmay end up being liable for personal or financial injuries to others. If they happen to damage your property, there is no insurance to cover that.
  • Poor qualifications and poor quality work: Unlicensed contractors usually do not have the education or qualifications required of a licensee. Therefore, they usually do poor quality work and do not finish the project, leaving the homeowner to pick up the pieces.
  • Possible criminal background: Unlicensed contractors also pose the threat for having a lengthy list of criminal history. This list may include violent crime, sexual offenses, substance abuse, fraud, and/or theft. Do you want someone like that working on your private property?
  • Scam artists: Unlicensed contractors often disappear after taking your money. The department cannot discipline an unlicensed person or help you with any recovery of repairs or money lost. These con artists usually try to scam those in need or urgent repairs such as hurricane damage.
  • Not covered under homeowner’s policy: Most homeowner policies require any repairs be done by a licensed individual.
  • Limited resources for broken contracts: If you have a dispute with a licensed contractor, you have rights and are able to contact the department who will take disciplinary action. However, this action is not available if the contractor is not licensed.
  • Noncompliance with building codes: Most projects require permits and inspections, unlicensed contractors usually ignore such things. If your project isn’t permitted or doesn’t comply with the building code you may have to remove or repair the work at your own expense and be subject to fines.

Before you agree to any repairs confirm the individual is licensed and has insurance. Below are helpful links for you to use:

Click here to verify a Pinellas County license

Click here to verify a State license

Why Hire a Licensed Contractor?

  •  A licensed person has the required education, experience, insurance and qualifications to obtain a license.  They must pass a competency examination before practicing.hire a liecensed contractor
  • Licensed individuals are screened for prior criminal history.
  • The department can discipline and even revoke a license if the person does not live up to professional standards.  This is a not a total safeguard, but is a strong incentive for the licensee to do good work.
  • You may be able to sue the licensee in civil court for problems related to the work done.

Why Should You Hire PRS?

PRS logoProfessional Restoration Services of Tampa Bay, Inc. holds 4 state licenses, multiple certifications and the experience to get the job done right. We strive for customer satisfaction and believe in ethical work. We are dedicated to people in need and we are available 24/7 365 days a year to assist you. We are certified to handle all stages of home restoration. Please take a look at our licenses and certifications below:

State Certified Building Contractor CBC #1258546
State Certified Mold Assessor #MRSA236
State Certified Mold Remediation Contractor #MRSR102
State Certified Home Inspector #HI907
State Certified Radon Measurement Technician #R2257
Crime & Trauma Scene Clean-Up
BBB Accredited Business
CMI #79154, CMRC #79178, WRT/ FSRT #135042
Clean Trust Certified Firm #187012 (formerly IICRC)
EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm, Lead-Safe Renovator #NAT-50994-1
FEIN# 270863221
Knight of Columbus
Community Associations Institute member

Asbestos in your home.

What is Asbestos? Asbestos is a mineral fiber. It can be positively identified only with a special type of microscope. There are several types of asbestos fibers. In the past, asbestos was added to a variety of products to strengthen them and to provide heat insulation and fire resistance. Why asbestos? Simple: It was cheap, durable, flexible and naturally acted as an insulating and fireproofing agent. The construction and manufacturing industries fell in love with its potential and used asbestos-containing products whenever possible.

Where Asbestos Hazards May Be Found In The Home

1.Some roofing and siding shingles are made of asbestos cement.

2.Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation.

3.Asbestos may be present in textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints. Their use was banned in 1977.

4.Artificial ashes and embers sold for use in gas-fired fireplaces may contain asbestos.

5.Older products such as stove-top pads may have some asbestos compounds.

6.Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves may be protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets.

7.Asbestos is found in some vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives.

8.Hot water and steam pipes in older houses may be coated with an asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape.

9.Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.

 

How Can Asbestos Affect My Health?

From studies of people who were exposed to asbestos in factories and shipyards, we know that breathing high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to an increased risk of:

 

 •lung cancer:

– mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the chest and the abdominal cavity; and

– asbestosis, in which the lungs become scarred with fibrous tissue.

 

The risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma increases with the number of fibers inhaled. The risk of lung cancer from inhaling asbestos fibers is also greater if you smoke. People who get asbestosis have usually been exposed to high levels of asbestos for a long time. The symptoms of these diseases do not usually appear until about 20 to 30 years after the first exposure to asbestos.

 

Most people exposed to small amounts of asbestos, as we all are in our daily lives, do not develop these health problems. However, if disturbed, asbestos material may release asbestos fibers, which can be inhaled into the lungs. The fibers can remain there for a long time, increasing the risk of disease. Asbestos material that would crumble easily if handled, or that has been sawed, scraped, or sanded into a powder, is more likely to create a health hazard.

 

If you think asbestos may be in your home, don’t panic! Usually the best thing is to LEAVE asbestos material that is in good condition ALONE. Generally, material in good condition will not release asbestos fibers. THERE IS NO DANGER unless fibers are released and inhaled into the lungs. Check material regularly if you suspect it may contain asbestos. Don’t touch it, but look for signs of wear or damage such as tears, abrasions, or water damage. Damaged material may release asbestos fibers. This is particularly true if you often disturb it by hitting, rubbing, or handling it, or if it is exposed to extreme vibration or air flow. Sometimes, the best way to deal with slightly damaged material is to limit access to the area and not touch or disturb it. Discard damaged or worn asbestos gloves, stove-top pads, or ironing board covers. Check with local health, environmental, or other appropriate officials to find out proper handling and disposal procedures.

 

If asbestos material is more than slightly damaged, or if you are going to make changes in your home that might disturb it, repair or removal by a professional is needed. Before you have your house remodeled, find out whether asbestos materials are present.

If you have a problem that requires the services of asbestos professionals, check their credentials carefully. Hire professionals who are trained, experienced, reputable, and accredited – especially if accreditation is required by state or local laws. Before hiring a professional, ask for references from previous clients. Find out if they were satisfied. Ask whether the professional has handled similar situations. Get cost estimates from several professionals, as the charges for these services can vary.

 

To read more click here

 

Renovating with Mold

According to some experts, mold is present in up to 60% of the homes in the United States! 

Since mold could be in 6 out of 10 homes, if you are considering a renovation or remodeling project, then it is very important that you understand what to do if you find mold.

Mold spores are allergens and can both cause and exacerbate breathing issues such as asthma and year-round allergies. Mildew produces an unpleasant odor that can be hard to get rid of, especially in persistently damp environments like basements. Mold can make the home an unpleasant, and even unhealthy, place to reside. Mold-Spore-Contamination-300x200

Mold presents structural and indoor air quality issues. Structurally, mold and mildew undermine the building by rotting wood and inviting pests that eat away at supporting walls, beams, and flooring. A home infested with mold and vermin will not stand strong and will require larger, more expensive renovations the longer the problems persist. The challenge during renovation is to eliminate the mold and mildew before building and to make changes to the remodeling plan to ensure that moisture does not build up again and cause similar problems.

If you find mold during the tear down process of drywall, removal of carpet or flooring, and/or during the removal of bathroom fixtures such as the tub, shower liner, etc. your first priority is to determine the extent of the problem. Hire a mold remediation specialist, like PRS, to determine the extent of the damage and re mediate the damaged areas. Since PRS is a one-stop contractor, you will be able to use us for the remodel after the damage has been re mediated

Mold remediation works, but to remove the mold problem permanently, renovation plans should be tailored to prevent further mildew issues. You can propose the following additions to homeowners to help reduce the likelihood of repeat mold infestations:

  • In bathrooms and kitchens, install an exhaust fan, preferably one with a 90 CFM (cubic feet per minute) or higher. Route it to the outside of the home using a wall or roof vent. Be sure to caulk the area between any two meeting joints and any areas where standing water could make its way beneath the surface. Create a watertight seal using silicon or another approved caulk.
  • Allow framing to dry before putting up drywall so that mold does not begin to grow before the renovation is complete.
  • Particularly in bathrooms and kitchens, use mold-resistant drywall and paints.
  • Prevent bulk water intrusion by waterproofing the home, using flashing on the roof, and French drains in the basement.

mold

http://nwrenovation.com/bathroom-articles/troubleshooting-mold-issues-during-home-renovations/

http://moldbgonega.com/is-mold-a-concern-during-renovations/

 

The Fire Damage Restoration Process

The process of fire restoration can be very involved. Private homeowners and companies can oftentimes be devastated by the damage caused by this kind of event.  One aspect that gives peace of mind involves knowing when the right professional has been hired. That is one of the reasons why it is important to hire a firm that is associated with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

The process of fire damage restoration is neither simple nor easy. It doesn’t help either that homeowners are usually already traumatized enough by the fire itself. Nevertheless, restoration must begin from day one. Otherwise, you place your home at risk of even greater damage.

download

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call PRS, which is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Our Professionals will carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, PRS can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. They will then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

PRS uses specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

They will clean all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. They’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

download (1)The fire damage restoration process is fairly complex and time-consuming. If done yourself, expect it to take several weeks minimum. Keep in mind that every day that passes only further worsens the damage that’s already present.

 

 

 

 

http://www.watermoldandfire.com/how-the-fire-damage-restoration-process-works/

https://www.servpro.com/fire-repair-process

http://www.iicrc.org/have-professional-handle-the-process-fire-restoration-a-4.html

The Cost of Mold Removal

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

How to determine if you have a mold problem:images

  1. Signs of water problems
  2. Smelling a mold odor
  3. Seeing signs of mold growth
  4. Water leaks, past flooding, condensation
  5. Medical problems such as allergies, headaches, dizziness, etc…

It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.

Mold inspectors have three key goals when they are inspecting a property:

Goal 1: Determine the Cause of the Mold Problem.

Mold is caused by moisture. For this reason, the inspector will start with an interview asking about past moisture problems caused by flooding, leaks, seepage, humidity, etc. The inspector will also likely check humidity and moisture levels using specialized tools.

Mold-Removal-Kansas-CityGoal 2: Find Out If The Causes Of The Moisture Problems Have Been Fixed.

Once moisture issues are identified, the next goal of the inspector is to ensure that the causes of the moisture issues have been fixed because mold removal should only begin once the moisture concerns are addressed properly.

Goal 3: Determine The Level of Mold Infestation.

To verify that you have mold, the inspector will first do a visual inspection. It is also important to realize that areas where mold is growing will usually have a mildew or urine like smell. In cases where there is visual mold, then samples will be taken using tape or a swab. In cases where there is no visual mold, then an air quality test may be recommended to measure the spore count and help identify the species of mold.

Once the samples are gathered, they will be sent to a third party lab which will identify the species of mold which will help determine the potential health impact that the mold will have. If an air quality test is done, the spore count will also be reported which will determine the level of spore infestation in the home.

Once you choose a mold removal contractor, they will provide you with the following:

1. Detailed mold removal estimate.
2. Mold removal action plan (scope of work).
3. Mold removal contract (authorization to proceed).

What will mold removal cost?download

The cost can range from $500 to $30,000. There is such a huge variance because the cost will depend largely on the area infected by mold. For instance, a small crawl space could cost $500 to $4,000, but a flooded home could cost between $10,000 to $30,000 or more. In addition to the area, the other consideration in determining cost is what materials are infected and the ease of access to cleaning the mold.

Generally speaking, the average cost of a professional mold remediation project will range from $2,000 to $6,000 and higher if it is a commercial property.

It is important to remember to not go with the cheapest mold remediation specialist. It is also important to check licensing, as some contractors do not have the appropriate licenses to conduct remediation services. Choose a reputable mold remediation specialist such as PRS of Tampa Bay for your mold inspections and removal services!

 

http://blackmold.awardspace.com/mold-signs.html

http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html

http://www.asbestosmoldct.com/mold-removal-cost/

What Do Restoration Companies Do?

A restoration company is a company that specializes in structural and content repairs after a fire, smoke, water, sewer, bio hazard, textile, content or crime scene loss has occurred to a home or business. Restoration Companies are usually the first respondents following significant damage to a home from floods and fires, water damage, sewage backup and other major events. Th e job of a restoration company is to clean up the mess and to preserve and protect the home and its contents so that further damage will not occur. Once the emergency work has been completed, usually within two days, the restorer begins the involved process of working with the home or business owner and their insurance adjuster to write a comprehensive repair estimate and begin work to restore the property. Some restoration companies also provide textile, household/business content and fine art cleaning as well as storage services for these type items.

Water Damagefeature-img1

When dealing with a sudden water loss that originates from a flooded tub, toilet, sink, dishwasher, clothes washer, water heater or a broken pipe, the restoration crew will make every effort to mitigate the standing water and dry the home or business, usually within 3 to 5 days, prior to the onset of mold and extensive structural damages. Often times ceilings have fallen, floors have buckled and walls will need to be removed, thus most restoration companies are well versed in content inventory and pack out procedures.

Fire Damageindex_2_0_1

When dealing with a devastating fire to a home or business, a restoration company is capable of emergency content protection and structural board up services. Once the emergency work has been completed, usually within two days, the restorer begins the involved process of working with the home or business owner and their insurance adjuster to write a comprehensive repair estimate and begin work to restore the property.

Step by Step Process

  1. After the major catastrophe, you need to contact your insurance agent right away.
  2. The insurance company will typically provide you with information about restoration companies who will remove the water or other contamination.
  3. Review your responsibilities under your insurance policy for cleaning up the home to prevent additional damage. Discuss any questions you have with your adjuster or insurance representative.
  4. When the Restoration Company arrives, thoroughly walk through your home with the Restoration Company representatives and discuss the areas that need cleaning.
  5. After the Restoration Company evaluated the work and equipment needed, they will provide you with an estimate for their services. Most insurance claims will cover the cost of restoration. However, if you are denied by your insurance, you will be responsible for paying the Restoration Company.

before-after-fire02Flood-Damage-Restoration1

http://www.amrest.com/what-is-a-restoration-company-and-what-services-do-they-provide

https://www.oag.state.md.us/PIC/resto.pdf

Why Should You Hire a Licensed Contractor?

Being a licensed contractor in Florida is a privilege. Many do not understand the difference in being licensed and why some are not licensed. Obtaining and keeping your contracting license in Florida is expensive and there are requirements you must meet. An unlicensed company is taking the easy and unethical approach to assisting those in need.

Licensed or Unlicensed – Is It a Big Deal?

When you are in need for repairs questions run through your head: What does it mean to be licensed? Why are some contractors licensed and some are not? Does it really matter? Being a licensed contractor means they have passed all required testing, met the minimum experience level of four years, passed a credit and background check, and they must carry insurance to cover liability and workers compensation.

Risks of Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor:

  • No insurance – No liability: An unlicensed contractor typically is uninsured – you unlicensedmay end up being liable for personal or financial injuries to others. If they happen to damage your property, there is no insurance to cover that.
  • Poor qualifications and poor quality work: Unlicensed contractors usually do not have the education or qualifications required of a licensee. Therefore, they usually do poor quality work and do not finish the project, leaving the homeowner to pick up the pieces.
  • Possible criminal background: Unlicensed contractors also pose the threat for having a lengthy list of criminal history. This list may include violent crime, sexual offenses, substance abuse, fraud, and/or theft. Do you want someone like that working on your private property?
  • Scam artists: Unlicensed contractors often disappear after taking your money. The department cannot discipline an unlicensed person or help you with any recovery of repairs or money lost. These con artists usually try to scam those in need or urgent repairs such as hurricane damage.
  • Not covered under homeowner’s policy: Most homeowner policies require any repairs be done by a licensed individual.
  • Limited resources for broken contracts: If you have a dispute with a licensed contractor, you have rights and are able to contact the department who will take disciplinary action. However, this action is not available if the contractor is not licensed.
  • Noncompliance with building codes: Most projects require permits and inspections, unlicensed contractors usually ignore such things. If your project isn’t permitted or doesn’t comply with the building code you may have to remove or repair the work at your own expense and be subject to fines.

Before you agree to any repairs confirm the individual is licensed and has insurance. Below are helpful links for you to use:

Click here to verify a Pinellas County license

Click here to verify a State license

Why Hire a Licensed Contractor?

  •  A licensed person has the required education, experience, insurance and qualifications to obtain a license.  They must pass a competency examination before practicing.hire a liecensed contractor
  • Licensed individuals are screened for prior criminal history.
  • The department can discipline and even revoke a license if the person does not live up to professional standards.  This is a not a total safeguard, but is a strong incentive for the licensee to do good work.
  • You may be able to sue the licensee in civil court for problems related to the work done.

Why Should You Hire PRS?

PRS logoProfessional Restoration Services of Tampa Bay, Inc. holds 4 state licenses, multiple certifications and the experience to get the job done right. We strive for customer satisfaction and believe in ethical work. We are dedicated to people in need and we are available 24/7 365 days a year to assist you. We are certified to handle all stages of home restoration. Please take a look at our licenses and certifications below:

State Certified Building Contractor CBC #1258546
State Certified Mold Assessor #MRSA236
State Certified Mold Remediation Contractor #MRSR102
State Certified Home Inspector #HI907
State Certified Radon Measurement Technician #R2257
Crime & Trauma Scene Clean-Up
BBB Accredited Business
CMI #79154, CMRC #79178, WRT/ FSRT #135042
Clean Trust Certified Firm #187012 (formerly IICRC)
EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm, Lead-Safe Renovator #NAT-50994-1
FEIN# 270863221
Knight of Columbus
Community Associations Institute member