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.

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.

Flooding
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.

Fires
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.

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.

 

Top Tech and Tools For Restoration

Home disasters are more common than you may think. In fact, more than 501,000 structure fires were reported in 2015, resulting in nearly $10.5 billion in property damage. A house fire causes more than physical damage; it also causes emotional damage as homeowners sometimes lose everything that they’ve built over the years. With our cutting-edge restoration technologies, we can help you pick up the pieces and restore your home to good health.

Paul Davis Restoration Technologies

Because modern construction materials burn hotter and faster, you may only have three minutes to get out of your home before the flames spread and engulf the interior. Even if firefighters arrive in time, a fire will create widespread damage in just a few minutes. Smoke, an acidic byproduct, corrodes and stains surfaces throughout the home. In addition, the steps that are used to stop the fire can cause more damage than both the fire and the smoke combined.

Paul Davis takes all these factors into account and has created effective fire restoration technologies to recover, reconstruct and restore your home no matter how much damage has occurred.

Advanced Washing Systems

Our affordable yet successful washing systems consists of environmentally friendly detergents for cleaning and restoring clothing, bedding, shoes and other soft contents and textiles. This system also salvages items that could not have been restored using other methods such as dry cleaning.

Water Damage Assessment and Monitoring

We helped pave the way for MICA, a web-based application that’s used in monitoring, repairing and settling water damage claims. It accurately collects data during the drying phase, giving insurance clients a way to access the information at any time. This useful application not only reduces the cycle time but also decreases the costs when settling water damage claims.

Thermal Imaging Technology

What you can’t may cause the most damage. Our thermal imaging technology allows us to check for water intrusion without the need to cut through drywall or to tear up the carpeting. It’s a cost-effective and time-saving tool, which also gives us a way to show evidence of the problem and to ensure validation after we’ve completed the repairs.

Paul Davis: Professional Restoration Services

When Paul Davis technicians arrive on the scene, you can rest assured that everything will be taken care of from the beginning to the end. We not only take care of fire, smoke and water damage but also help with claims while providing the very best service possible. Contact us now to learn more.

 

Full-Service Emergency Restoration

Experiencing a fire or weather disaster is traumatic, and the aftermath can transform even the calmest of lives into stressful chaos. Water, fire and smoke damage is often overwhelming, and structural instability or collapse may lead you to believe that your home or place of business is hopelessly lost. In most cases, this isn’t true. Experienced restoration specialist Paul Davis can quickly assess damages and put even worst case scenarios on a smart and sound path to recovery by restoring normal living conditions, managing secondary problems and helping you find your way through the confusing recovery process. Here are the steps Paul Davis takes to ensure the best possible outcome.

Paul Davis Full-Service Emergency Restoration

1. Emergency Board-Up and Structural Stabilization

As soon as you and your family are safe, stabilizing your property is an essential task. Paul Davis understands the importance of promptly boarding up windows and providing structural stabilization to prevent further destruction caused by hidden damage to framing and walls.

2. Water Damage Control

Whether it’s due to broken pipes, storm damage or fire extinguishing efforts, water infiltration can quickly deteriorate building materials and create conditions favorable to dangerous mold and mildew growth. Addressing water damage quickly can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repair costs. Paul Davis uses industrial-grade water extractors, air movers, dehumidifiers and other professional equipment to efficiently remove water from rooms and damp materials. To prevent mold and mildew disasters, disinfectants and antimicrobial products are used to sanitize affected areas.

3. Smoke and Fire Damage Restoration

Paul Davis uses environmentally friendly methods to conduct fire and smoke damage restoration processes such as soot removal, odor elimination and air purification. All affected items including furniture and personal possessions are removed and carefully inventoried for cleaning and restoration.

4. Reconstruction Services 

Unfortunately, if severe damage has occurred, some areas of an affected building may need to be reconstructed. Paul Davis is fully qualified to conduct reconstruction and meets all state licensing and insurance requirements. A variety of reconstruction services are available for home and commercial projects.

5. Assistance With Insurance Claims

Filing insurance claims can be confusing for the average person, especially when extensive property damage has occurred. In the midst of dealing with the fallout of a disaster, the last thing you need is to be overwhelmed by a complicated claims process or unfamiliar terminology. Paul Davis will help you with the insurance claims process so that you can focus on getting other aspects of your life back to normal.

When Disaster Strikes, Paul Davis Is Here to Help

Disasters happen, but having the right people in your recovery plan greatly reduces the negative impact they have on your life and your future. Don’t let a fire, weather catastrophe or other chaotic event disrupt your peace of mind. Contact Paul Davis for a consultation today.

Disaster Recovery From Inspection to Insurance Claims

What Does It Take to Complete a Successful Disaster Claim?

There are many factors that go into the insurance claim process during disaster recovery, and this can be seriously daunting for those who have just survived disasters. Fortunately, the procedure isn’t as mysterious as some policy providers might like you to believe.

Seeking insurance revolves around verifying that the damage you want to claim is worthy of compensation. In other words, the inspection is key to whether you actually receive the assistance you need.

What Does a Good Insurance Inspection Involve?

Property-damage inspections are designed to let experts take a firsthand look at the different damaged areas of your property that you’d like to be compensated for. They should also make close assessments of the building materials and components you might not know were damaged.

For instance, if your home was damaged in a fire, it makes sense to inspect the timbers around burned-out walls to ensure they can still provide safe structural support. What many homeowners miss out on, however, is the fact that inspectors also need to examine fixtures like soldered pipe joints in the vicinity, electrical wiring and nearby ductwork.

Because such components are commonly hidden, they’re easy to overlook. Anything is vulnerable to disaster damage, however, so it’s vital that everything be assessed.

Who Should Perform My Damage Inspection?

Your primary inspector must have extensive disaster remediation experience. A friend or relative may indeed be a building expert due to the fact they own a construction business, but they have no business assessing your property damage.

Restoration work commonly involves processes including damaged material removal, deep cleaning and property replacement, and rebuilding. Remediation professionals possess a greater understanding of the associated costs, so they’re more likely to help you make an accurate claim.

Remember that the claims adjuster sent by the insurance company isn’t necessarily there to help you get the coverage payout you require. Their primary function is to confirm that your claim isn’t fraudulent, so you also need an inspector who’s willing to work on behalf of your interests.

When Does My Property Need to Be Inspected?

As with most insurance interactions, inspections should be performed as soon as possible. The quicker you get someone to determine what’s actually damaged, the faster you can commence making effective repairs. Staying on the ball also gives you more leeway to negotiate with your insurers if necessary and clear up any miscommunication before you commit to a costly repair.

Another important reason to inspect early is that doing so minimizes damage and could increase the chances that your claim will go through. If your home goes a week with a gaping hole through its side, exposure to weather and the environment might spread existing damage further. By inspecting sooner rather than later, you limit such possibilities, and the lessened repair costs could make paying your claim in full seem more enticing to you policy provider. If you’re ready to jump on the process with an inspection, contact a Paul Davis specialist now.

Top 5 Severe Weather Events in Indiana History

 

The Midwest attracts people to the area for its ample farmlands, industrious cities and natural wonders like the Great Lakes. Unfortunately, this area is also known for having intense weather conditions, from massive floods to deadly tornadoes. Indiana has seen its share of destructive weather throughout the years. Whether it’s flooding in the summer or heavy snow in the winter, people living here have learned to hunker down when the weather is at its worst.

Recounting Five Severe Weather Events in Indiana

  1. The Great Flood of 1913

Indiana has had many floods in its history, but one of the most infamous floods occurred in March 1913. From Indianapolis to Shelbyville, widespread flooding took place just before the spring and caused $25 million in damages across the state. The floods blocked transportation routes, cut off supplies of food and medicine and devastated homes and businesses throughout the area.

  1. The Great Tri-State Tornado of 1925

On March 18, 1925, a tornado touched down and crossed Missouri, Illinois and Indiana in three hours. It destroyed and damaged nine towns and several villages along the way, claiming hundreds of lives in Indiana alone. Homes were leveled as the mile-wide twister tore through homes and businesses and left many areas from Parrish to Princeton in shambles.

  1. The Great Blizzard of 1978

For four days in January 1978, a historic winter storm blasted the Great Lakes region, dumping as much as 3 feet of snow in some places; Indianapolis officially reported 15 inches. Wind chills dipped to 50 degrees below zero, and 20-foot snow drifts made travel almost impossible in some areas. The blizzard buried many houses, collapsing roofs under the heavy weight of the snow.

  1. Severe Storms of 1998

On July 22, 1998, President Clinton declared a state of emergency for Indiana after a series of storms caused tornadoes and flooding two weeks earlier. Severe weather produced tornadoes that ripped down trees and tore apart houses. Straight-line winds knocked down power lines, and up to 6 inches of rain fell in a short period. More than 10 inches of rain fell in June, and this new rain system led to flood damage in homes and businesses.

  1. Hurricane Ike 2008

Though hurricanes mostly affect Florida and the Eastern states, they sometimes follow a northerly path from the Gulf Coast. In 2008, Hurricane Ike blew into the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, bringing significant rainfall and strong wind gusts as far north as Indianapolis. The winds left many people without power in southern Indiana, and massive flooding took place along the hurricane’s path, damaging numerous homes across the northern half of the state.

Have floods and severe weather damaged your home or business? Contact Paul Davis Restoration of Northeast Indiana for information on how we can help reclaim what Indiana’s storms have tried to take away.

5 Tips You Can Use to Storm Proof Your Home!

tree

What Dorothy and Toto Should Have Known

You don’t have to take a trip to the yellow brick road know how quickly a beautiful day can spin into dark skies and damaging winds. Advisories and watches keep you up to date, but they can’t make your house storm proof. These five smart tips help Hoosier State homes weather the worst.

Review the Roof

Shingles should stand strong between you and the elements. Replacing loose or missing shingles will help minimize damage. Keep an eye out for missing or crooked nails along areas that connect to rafters. Take on a little DIY roof restoration by applying roofing cement under shingle edges and construction adhesive along rafters at points where they connect to the roof’s deck.

Shutter Your Windows

These exterior additions combine good looks with protection against storm damage, so go for curb appeal that works hard when the winds howl. Storm shutters can be easily closed and secured to prevent debris from flying through your windows. You can also up the ante on safety with double-paned window installations. An investment in these rugged windows pays off year-round by holding down heating and cooling bills.

Double Down on Doors

Front and back entrances stand up stronger to high winds when you install additional dead bolts. This strategy fends off fierce Indiana storms while it beefs up home security. Don’t let rough weather blast through your garage and raise the roof. Check with the door’s manufacturer for a bracing kit, and install horizontal reinforcement along door panels.

Prep Gutters and Downspouts

They pave the only way for torrential rain to get down off the roof and away from the house. Keep those hard-working gutters clean, and they’ll do their job without buckling under pressure. Check for leaks that can turn into waterfalls down exterior walls, and position downspouts to direct rushing rapids away from your home’s foundation.

Tame the Tree Line

Windswept branches banging against the windows add atmosphere to scary movies, but they pose a serious danger to your property during a storm. Keep tall shades trimmed back away from the roof and electrical lines. Give large shrubs against your home the same attention. Seasonal trimming protects the house, reduces cleanup after storms and keeps your landscape healthy.

Dorothy and Toto eventually made it back home, and we hope your bad weather experiences end safely too. If you ever need help dealing with storm damage here in Indiana, Paul Davis Restoration stands ready. We don’t supply ruby slippers, but we can put your house back in order for a happy ending.

The 5 Most Common Forms of Home Damage and What You Can Do About Them

home damage

Unexpected property damage can wreak havoc on your finances. Find out which budget-busting home emergencies are the most common and what you can do if they happen to you.

As a homeowner, your instinct is to protect your investment at all times, but external factors sometimes make that a nearly impossible task. Emergencies, whether natural or manmade, are generally unpredictable. Even storms that are mapped out by forecasters can behave very differently – for better or for worse – when they hit ground.

While the idea of confronting a serious emergency can make you feel powerless, you’re more in control than you think. Combining disaster awareness with a smart recovery plan can make all the difference. At Paul Davis, we specialize in just that: helping homeowners in Indiana get back on their feet after disaster strikes. Here, we want to share the home damages we see most often and their aftermath so that you can be empowered, informed and ready to take swift action if it becomes necessary.

1. Water

Water emergencies can cause a tremendous amount of damage. For a smaller restoration bill, it’s important to call a professional restoration service as soon as possible. Because moisture can attract mold and make electronics dangerous, the longer you wait, the tougher and more expensive the task will be.

2. Mold

Although more of a consequence of water damage than a traditional disaster, mold is just as much of an emergency as fire or storm damage. That’s because exposure to mold can be a serious health risk. To eliminate a recurrence, our techniques involve removing both the existing mold growth and its original source.

3. Fire

Because flames are capable of engulfing entire rooms in a matter of minutes, household fires are especially destructive. While your first order of business after a fire should be to call your insurance company, the next step is to start home restoration. Working closely with insurance companies to make the necessary repairs, our fire restoration services cover everything from smoke odor removal to reconstruction.

4. Theft and Vandalism

Crimes like theft and vandalism can be just as destructive as conventional emergencies. Since every case is different, the restoration process in this instance depends largely on the extent of the damage and your insurance coverage.

5. Storms

Natural storms can cause many different types of damage, from electrical fires to massive flooding. Preparations should be focused on general issues, like better maintenance and investment in storm protection. The more you can mitigate the potential risks, the less home restoration experts like us will need to do to get your home back in shape.

Do you have any questions about emergency preparedness or need help fixing property damage? Contact Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling directly or visit our homepage for more information and a rundown of our home restoration services in Indiana.