How to Save Your Hardwood Flooring After it has been Flooded

Is water the death of your flooring?

It’s no surprise that many property owners are terrified of water damage. Moisture can harm your subfloor and wood flooring, creating soft spots that potentially impair the building’s structure. Even minor water damage can create mold and mildew problems. If your hardwood floors have been involved in a leak or flood, you can take these steps to save them.

Move Quickly

There’s no point in fixing your floors if the moisture continues to mar them. Make sure that you identify and repair the source of moisture as you take steps to save your wood flooring.

The longer you wait to attend to your floors, the worse the damage will become. Wood floors are porous. As they absorb moisture, their fibers swell. This warps the wood and could cause permanent damage.

If you notice flooding or a puddle, dry out the floor as soon as possible. Use an absorbent cloth to remove as much moisture as possible. Then, use a vacuum that is designed to suck up water. Remove as much moisture as possible using the device.

Finally, scrub with a brush and disinfectant to remove dirt. Dirt can encourage mildew growth. Removing it can prevent mold from growing in the future. Finish up with a final vacuuming session.

Repair Options Depend On The Type Of Flooring

Various types of wood can handle different repair methods. Solid hardwood is the most resilient. It is thicker than engineered flooring and can be sanded down to remedy issues with unevenness. Replacing solid hardwood planks is usually easier than swapping out engineered wood slats.

Factory-finished flooring can also be harder to match if you don’t have extra boards lying around. Floors that were finished after laying them in the home may be easier to sand and re-finish for a uniform look.

Refinishing Or Replacing Wood Planks

Strips that have suffered from water damage may be curved. To fix this cupping, you can sand them down. Use a drum or orbital sander to get the boards as flat as possible. This Old House explains how to sand and refinish hardwood floors.

Solid hardwood can withstand losing about 1/4 inch of height. Planks with severe damage may not get completely flat.

Floorboards that have lifted might be able to be nailed down again. If not, you’ll have to replace them. Replacement pieces should match the original wood species. They also need to have a similar grain and texture to blend in well.

For the most seamless finish, consider sanding and refinishing your entire floor. It’s hard to refinish specific spots without obvious lap marks. Even if you’re using the same wood and finish, the old flooring has probably changed in color due to sun damage and regular wear and tear.

A professional restoration specialist can make your floors look like new after they have succumbed to water damage. At Paul Davis, water damage restoration is one of our core specialties. Contact us to find out how we can identify the degree of damage, repair the affected areas and ensure that your room is completely dry.

How to Winter-Proof Your Home Against Water Damage

How to Winter-Proof Your Home Against Water Damage

Seven Ways to Keep Your Property Safe

With winter storms on the horizon, many homeowners are getting furnace tuneups and purchasing emergency power generators. However, water damage from melting snow and leaky or burst pipes can be just as bad as furnace breakdowns and power outages. Here are seven ways to prevent winter water damage in your Fort Wayne, Indiana, home:

1. Invest in Sewer Backup Insurance

Excessive water from melting snow can overtax a sewer system to the point where it backs up into your home. Raw sewage can destroy your home and everything in it. Sewer backup damage isn’t covered under most homeowners’ policies, but it can be purchased as an additional product.

2. Locate Your Water Shutoff Valves

If your pipes freeze or burst, being able to turn off the water quickly can prevent excessive water damage. You can also install a pressure release valve to reduce pressure caused by frozen pipes and keep them from bursting.

3. Have Your Pipes Checked for Leaks

Most plumbing companies offer plumbing inspections and leak detection services. Locating and sealing cracks and leaks in pipes can prevent thousands of dollars worth of damage. Even a small leak could allow up to 250 gallons of water to flood your home in just one day.

4. Insulate Pipes

Keep pipes warm in freezing weather with a plug-in heating cable or with extra insulation. Pipes in attics, basements, behind cabinets and in crawl spaces are most likely to freeze or burst. Drip your faucets when the temps are below freezing and leave cabinets open to keep the pipes behind them warm.

5. Clean Rain Gutters

Rain gutter debris prevent melting snow and ice from draining off the roof. Dirty gutters also cause ice dams to form because water melting on the roof has nowhere to drain. Instead of draining, it forms a dam around the edges of the roof that traps the remaining water on the roof. Trapped behind ice dams, this water can seep into your home and cause leaks in walls and ceilings, damage your insulation and cause mold to grow. 6. Remove Snow From the Roof

6. Remove Snow From the Roof

Snow buildup on the roof can also cause ice dams, so it should be removed promptly. You can purchase an implement called a roof rake or use a push broom to remove the snow. Ice dams form when heat from your home melts the snow in the center of the roof and it reforms into ice along the roof’s perimeter. To prevent this, keep your attic no more than 10 degrees warmer than the temperature outside, and seal any holes in the attic to keep warm air from leaking out.

7. Inspect Your Home’s Exterior

If your Fort Wayne, Indiana, home has sustained water damage, the pros at Paul Davis Restoration offer 24/7 emergency water damage restoration service. The faster the problem is treated, the less damage it will cause.

The Art of Commercial Remodeling

How to Prepare for Improving Your Workspace.

 Economic growth and affordable interest rates have encouraged many American businesses to remodel their buildings. The number of commercial remodeling projects rose by about one-quarter between 2013 and 2015, according to Commercial Construction and Renovation Magazine. Your business could greatly improve its appearance and functionality through remodeling. However, it’s vital to avoid expensive pitfalls by carefully planning numerous aspects of a project.

Building Types

Many different kinds of commercial establishments benefit from remodeling. When health care providers modernize treatment and waiting rooms, patients feel more confident that their physicians use up-to-date techniques and equipment. Remodeled hotel rooms, lobbies and restaurants can create more distinctive and memorable lodging experiences. Shopping centers often attract more tenants and boost rental earnings when they remodel. Renovations may also improve energy efficiency.

Target Audience

In addition to the business owner, a commercial renovation project needs to satisfy a wide range of people. Be sure to think about the desires of customers, visitors, tenants and future owners. The new design should also respect local residents’ wishes. For example, it’s best to avoid unconventional colors or ultramodern styling in a historic district. Experienced remodelers can provide helpful personalized advice.

Building Codes

Indiana and its local governments enforce strict rules about commercial remodeling. The authorities might overlook a code violation in a private home, but you’ll probably face penalties if your shop or office breaks these rules. Only hire a contractor who has comprehensive knowledge about commercial building codes in your area. Consider asking a building inspector to check for existing violations before you start a project.

Remaining Open

Numerous businesses continue to serve customers while contractors perform remodeling work. If you temporarily close your establishment, some clients may try competitors’ products or services. This could affect your earnings even after the project has come to an end. On the other hand, contractors can complete the work more quickly if you close the business. This approach also improves safety.

Getting Prepared

Before you launch a project, it makes sense to perform thorough research and inspect various parts of a commercial building. Evaluate its structural integrity, materials, wiring, plumbing and ducts. Try to determine if the building contains any hazardous substances. Things like lead paint or asbestos may force contractors to suspend a partially completed project and cause major business disruptions.


Renovations provide an excellent opportunity to enhance your building’s efficiency and reduce its environmental impact. Try to avoid synthetic materials that produce unpleasant odors. Ask contractors about recycled building supplies, Energy Star appliances, water-saving fixtures and insulated components. Remodelers might find ways to reuse existing materials that remain in decent condition. You could also add more double-paned windows to cut lighting costs.

When you’re ready to renovate a business, you can rely on Paul Davis Restoration and Remodeling to provide expert advice and perform top-notch work. We remodel apartment buildings, motels, warehouses, offices, shopping malls, assisted living communities and other businesses. Our company has 51 years of experience in this field. For a free consultation, please get in touch with Paul Davis today.

Are You Ready for the Next Storm?

You can’t dodge the weather, but you can control the potential damage to your home.

A severe storm or a fire can make you feel helpless, robbing you of your ability to protect your home and your family. Such destructive forces can cause significant damage, both inside and outside your home. Severe weather cost Americans billions in 2016, according to the National Weather Service, and if recent storms are any indication, costly damage is on the rise. However, if you are proactive in taking the following steps to get ready for the next storm, you can contain the damage and lower the risks to your family.

1. Purchase a generator

Before you shop for a generator, get a clear idea of how much power you will need to keep essentials like your lights and HVAC system up and running. You can find examples of power consumption for various home appliances online. Make sure you have enough fuel to weather an extended power outage, but store it in a place where it won’t become a fire hazard. Most importantly, select a dedicated spot for your generator in an outbuilding or garage where carbon monoxide emissions cannot endanger your family.

2. Regularly maintain the exterior of your home

Get into the habit of regular exterior maintenance to eliminate any areas ripe for storm damage. For example, check your roof and rain gutters periodically, securing any loose shingles and tightening any brackets as necessary so that everything is battened down.

3. Declutter your space

Keep your yard, porch and deck free of clutter that could fuel a fire or break a window in a windstorm. If you see any tree limbs that are getting dangerously close to your house, trim them back. Prior to storm season, store your patio furniture safely in the garage, and make sure you don’t leave ladders, garden tools or other unsecured items scattered around.

4. Prepare supplies

If the storm causes flooding, your water supply may become contaminated, so it is a good idea to have containers of fresh water available at all times. You can also stock up on dry and canned foods in case stores are forced to close during a storm. Other items to have on hand include flashlights with fresh batteries and a well-stocked first aid kit.

5. Make an evacuation plan

Don’t be caught off guard by the next big storm. Create an evacuation plan for getting your family quickly and safely out of danger. The plan should include a pre-arranged destination, a list of necessities you need to bring along and a breakdown of tasks each person is responsible for to help make your evacuation orderly and efficient.

6. Recovery

Despite your best efforts, you can never completely shield your home from the damages caused by weather, fire, smoke or mold. We can help you get your home back in shape with professional recovery, reconstruction and restoration services. Contact Paul Davis of Northeast Indiana today.


4 Tips to Protect Your Home from a Flooding Disaster

A significant flooding event in your area can bring destruction to your home. Rising floodwaters can sweep through your home, destroying your possessions and damaging your home’s structure. Although making your home immune to flooding isn’t possible, there are ways to minimize the damage from a catastrophic event.

Retrofit Your Home

Making some structural changes to your house can protect it during a flood. Some homeowners who live in areas with high flooding risks choose to elevate their homes onto columns. However, a task of this magnitude can cost you significantly. Other options including installing vents in your foundation. These vents allow water to flow through the foundation instead of rising up through your home. Sealing your home’s exterior by applying special coatings to the walls can also minimize flooding damage.

Keep Your Roof in Good Condition

Your roof is an essential part of your home’s structure; failure to keep it in good shape can increase the damage your home bears during a major storm. Check your roof for issues regularly, and have a professional roofing team fix problems promptly. Make sure that your home’s gutters are installed properly as well. Don’t forget to keep your gutters clear of debris.

Protect Major Appliances

Elevating your home’s appliances above the flood level can prevent the need to replace the appliances after a flood. Even a one-foot elevation can give your appliances protection from all but the most catastrophic floods. Cinder blocks can serve as a temporary pedestal, but you may want to build a permanent solution in the future.

Use Water Alarms

Placing water alarms around your home can immediately alert you to a flooding issue. To effectively protect your home, place water alarms near sources of water, such as by your water heater and the bathroom plumbing. Put several in your basement so that you’ll know if flood waters have entered your home during a storm.

For our neighbors in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Paul Davis Restoration is here to help you get back on your feet after a major catastrophe in your home. We offer services in a range of areas, including storm and fire damages. Contact us today to get help putting your home back in order.

How to Prepare for Possible Disaster

Disasters often occur swiftly and without warning, and their effects can be devastating. However, there are ways to minimize the damage and heartache that follow a fire, flood or other natural disaster. By taking some time to plan a survival strategy with your family today, you can protect your loved ones and your belongings if disaster strikes.

Here are a few tips for protecting yourself against natural disasters:

Know what to expect

Here in Indiana, common disasters include heavy snow storms, tornadoes, flooding and house fires. Knowing this, you can create a strategy that will defend against these common threats without worrying about less likely scenarios.

Maintain your home to protect it against damage

In cases of severe wind and weather, home damage may be inevitable. Nevertheless, you can reduce the damage sustained by keeping your home in good repair. Deal with weakened or dying trees before they have a chance to fall, and be sure your roof and windows are maintained appropriately.

Plan to go without power for a few days

Major weather events can disrupt power. Plan in advance with a stockpile of non-perishable food and bottled water so that you will have something to eat even if the refrigerator stops working. Also be sure that your flashlights have new batteries, or invest in candles and water-proof matches. Depending on your needs, you may also benefit from buying a back-up generator to provide power to your home in the event of a disaster.

Make a plan with your family

Sit down with your spouse and children to discuss what to do in the event of an emergency. Come to an agreement about where family members should go to meet up in the event that the house must be evacuated, such as during a fire. Be sure that everyone knows how to access emergency supplies like flashlights and blankets.

Know who to call when you need help

Keep a listing of important phone numbers in a safe place. You’ll want to have numbers for emergency services, your insurance company and a damage mitigation or recovery service. Looking up these numbers in advance and keeping them stored in a safe place will ensure you don’t have to struggle to find the right person to call in the wake of a disaster.

If you’re looking for an Indiana restoration company that can help you with damage after a storm or other disaster, you can count on Paul Davis. Visit our website or contact us for more information about our services and to learn about how you can protect your home from damage during a disaster.

Utility Bill Savings: Weatherproof, Restore & Remodel


Saving Money by Keeping Your Home Up-to-Date

If it seems like your utility bills keep rising, odds are that it’s not just because the utility companies have raised their rates. It’s far more likely that much of the conditioned air that your heating and cooling system generates is escaping through tiny cracks and crevices–and that outside air is likewise seeping in. Weatherproofing doors and windows makes a massive difference to your home energy efficiency; just one of many small projects you can use to save on utility bills in the future.
Top Tips for Saving on Utilities

  • Weatherproof All Entry Doors – When you stand near an entry door in your home on a cold day, do you feel cold air? If so, it’s time to update the weatherproofing. Use caulk to seal gaps around the frame; for large gaps, cut a backer rod to size to fill the space, and then add caulk to hold it in place. Remove and replace any old weather-stripping.
  • Buy a Programmable Thermostat – If you aren’t already using a programmable thermostat, it’s time to get moving. A programmable thermostat will let you regulate the temperature in your home, and some will even allow you to regulate each room. Being in control of how and when your system turns on can save you a bundle by not heating rooms that are not in use.
  • Switch to LEDs – Like most homeowners, you probably swapped out your incandescent light-bulbs for CFLs years ago. LED bulbs provide even more savings than CFLs, and they last considerably longer too. Best of all, they have become very affordable. A standard incandescent bulb lasts around 1,200 hours. Over the course of 23 years, it costs about $201 to operate. Meanwhile, an LED offers more than 25,000 hours of operation time, and it costs around $30 over the course of 23 years.
  • Adjust Your Water Heater – In most homes, the water heater is the third most expensive component to operate. You can slash your costs considerably by setting the temperature to 120 degrees, which is more than warm enough for a nice shower. If possible, you might even switch to a tank-less water heater, which offers exceptional efficiency by only heating water as-needed.
  • Upgrade Insulation – Finally, even the best insulation degrades over time. What was top of the line a few years ago is probably middle of the road now. With these points in mind, consider swapping out the insulation in your home to improve its energy efficiency. This is especially important in the attic, but it should be done throughout the home for optimal results.

Most of these tips can easily be handled by an everyday homeowner. However, if you really want to slash utility costs while making your home as energy efficient as possible, major improvements may be in order. In northeast Indiana, Paul David Restoration can help. Contact us today for a consultation.

Extreme Weather Damage


Dealing With Extreme Weather Damage to Your Home

When winter weather gets more extreme, so do the consequences of not preparing for the worst. Small issues like an overhanging tree can turn into a tree in the living room after a cold-snap and strong winds. Foundation cracks can turn into foundation failures when exposed to freezing ground-water. Pipes can burst in winter, leaving you without hot water, or causing damaging flooding, which can be incredibly dangerous in cold weather. Regardless what kinds of catastrophes you face, a disaster restoration plan are something that no homeowner should be without. Here are some of the risks that you could encounter and ways to cope effectively.

Don’t believe that Indiana homeowners are at risk of high-water events in the midst of cold weather? Just look back to 2005, when severe winter storms and flooding in the state prompted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to declare a major disaster that lasted for the entirety of January and much of February. Or consider the fact that the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program says that floods are the number one natural disaster in the country.

With dangers like ice jams that cause rivers to spill over and snow-melt that can overwhelm normal drainage channels, flooding hazards are real. Even if you follow FEMA’s advice by purchasing flood insurance, you’ll need to consult with restoration experts right after your disaster to get the most out of your policy.

Indiana winters can make you think of moving somewhere much warmer, but the frigid cold doesn’t protect your property from blazes. For a variety of reasons, such as increased cooking and heating activities, house fires are more common in winter than at any other time of year.

Fires can be worse in inclement weather because they eradicate your property’s barriers against the outside world. For instance, flames that burn through roofing or exterior walls subsequently allow moisture to get inside and cause additional damage by freezing. Without expert disaster management assistance, repairs may also take longer.

Ice and Snow
Ice storms don’t just cause water to freeze uncomfortably close to your home. While these events can indeed result in the formation of ice dams that tear roof shingles apart or make gutters fall, they can also impact the trees and power lines around your property. When these features collapse, the aftermath may be even more catastrophic.

In some cases, snow buildup itself damages homes. This is especially concerning with older properties that may not be quite as structurally sound as they once were. Heavy snow that causes your roof plane to bend or warp can create weaknesses that worsen with every passing season. No matter how minor the problem seems now, failing to take immediate action is almost certain to cost you down the line.

In winter, rapid emergency restoration needs to be one of your primary concerns. The risks of waiting around after an incident are undeniable, and your real estate’s equity will suffer for every second you delay. To learn more about extreme weather disaster restoration, contact a Paul Davis expert now.

Renovate, Remodel or Restore?

When you’re recovering from property damage, it might be the perfect time for a little home improvement.

Dealing with the damage left behind by a flood, storm or home fire is never easy, but you have some important decisions to make if you find yourself in such an unfortunate situation. For example, should you renovate, remodel or restore the damaged area?

Many contractors are guilty of using these words interchangeably, but they actually describe three different processes. Sometimes recovering from property damage presents an opportunity to increase your home’s value by renovating or remodeling instead of just restoring. Keep reading to learn about your options, and find out how to make the best of your circumstances.


Restoration means returning a structure to its original state. Filling holes in the walls, replacing old carpet with new carpet and refinishing hardwood floors may all be categorized as restoration projects. When recovering from property damage, restoration usually requires less resources than a renovation or remodeling, and therefore it is often the simplest option. If your living room floods, and you want to make it look exactly like it did before the incident, then restoration is what you need.


Renovating a home involves making changes by adding new features or upgrading existing ones. Homeowners often increase their property value by making renovations. In some cases, it may actually be more cost-effective to renovate a room rather than restore it after a disaster, depending on the cost of the original materials. If you’ve been thinking about making your previously flooded basement cozier by adding a bar and a refrigerator, you should ask your contractor professionals about a renovation.


Remodeling a room entails changing its entire structure. If you have a fire in your attic, and you decide to turn it into a separate living area by removing a wall to make more space, raising the ceiling and installing a new bathroom, then you want to remodel your attic. Many homeowners choose to use a disaster as an opportunity for home improvement. Remodeling obviously requires more materials and money than restoring or renovating, but the value it can add to your property, and your quality of life, may be worth it.

Paul Davis Turns Property Damage Into Home Improvement Projects

The aftermath of a fire, flood or storm can be a tense time, so let the professionals at Paul Davis help you find a silver lining. Our company has responded to the disaster recovery needs of homeowners in Indiana for over four decades. All of our technicians are thoroughly trained in property loss management and certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration. Paul Davis can do more than make your home as good as new; we can make it even better. Contact us now to get started.

Should I Attempt DIY Restoration on My Home?

Even the Handiest Homeowners Need to Know Their Limits

Repairing things with your own two hands is one of the greatest pleasures of home ownership. You get to let your creativity run free while you make modifications that modernize and personalize your living space, and there’s nothing like the satisfaction of a job well done. There’s also no better way to impress your spouse, in-laws or neighbors.

Of course, some repairs are forbidden territory no matter how capable of a DIY expert you are. This is especially true after fires, flooding and other disasters. Here are a few restoration jobs that should be left to the pros instead of your own to-do list.

Electrical Work

Under normal circumstances, there’s usually nothing wrong with installing a new electrical outlet or dimmer – as long as you know what you’re doing. If you’ve experienced a disaster, however, even the act of flipping a switch could be seriously hazardous.

Consider a flooded or fire-damaged home. Material deficiencies inside structural components like walls and beams commonly impact wiring, appliances and even breaker panels.

Burnt-out connections might leave electrical components floating at dangerously high voltages instead of being properly grounded. Moisture left behind in the wake of high-water events could increase the risk that you’ll get shocked by touching something you didn’t expect to be powered on. It takes an experienced restoration professional to anticipate and deal with these unusual situational hazards.

Fixing Material Damage

After a fire or flood, it may be tempting to try to replace paneling, drywall and other obviously damaged components yourself. It’s far better to ask for expert help.

What makes material damage so complex? The burnt, moldy or soaked building materials you can see may be just the tip of the iceberg. If you perform a mere cosmetic fix, you could be overlooking serious structural deficiencies that eventually lead to significant dangers, such as partial or complete building collapse. These repairs should be completed by experts who have the tools and experience to determine the true extent of problems.

Water and Smoke Smell Removal

Cleanup isn’t a simple task either. Sure, you can run fans for a few days after a flood, but without industrial blowers and accurate humidity detectors, you’re just inviting unhealthy mold infestations to take root. Smoke smells may persist until you replace all of your furniture, which is a huge undertaking.

Rapid response is the best way to fight home disasters effectively and minimize losses. You need to be able to manage highly involved restoration tasks, deal with insurers to claim reimbursements and perform repairs in a manner that keeps your building compliant with local codes and regulations.

If there’s one major idea to take away from all this, it’s that while DIY has many uses, disaster restoration is not one of them. To learn more about getting your life back on track, contact Paul Davis today.