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.

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.

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

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.

Renovation

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

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.

 

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.

 

Renewing Your Home Inside and Out

Top Remodel Tips for Safety and Structural Integrity

Your home is one of the biggest investments that you will ever make, but keep in mind that it also provides one of life’s basic necessities: shelter. It has to withstand both freezing temperatures and sweltering summer heat. The weather might be dry one minute and pouring rain the next. Over time, weather will exact quite a toll on your home, but just like your vehicle and personal health, taking care of your home will keep it safe and sound for decades to come.

Prevention Is Key

The best defense against fires, leaks, and other accidents is prevention. When it comes to remodeling, basic construction and utilities — electrical, plumbing, heating and air, and properly sealed exterior walls — are just as important as aesthetic or functional upgrades such as new kitchen cabinetry. We understand that most people have a limited budget and a dream bathroom or kitchen in mind, but if some of your electrical outlets are sparking or a shower is slow to drain, those issues ought to be addressed before any finishing touches such as new flooring or molding are added.

Put Security Above Your Head

One of the very best structural remodels in which you can invest is a brand new roof if your current shingles are curling, the plywood sheathing sags when you walk on it, or the roof is simply at the end of its life expectancy. Roof leaks always get exponentially worse with time — water damage, mold, and rotting insulation are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to headaches you’ll encounter with rain making its way inside your home. A new roof can cost thousands of dollars, but it’s a fraction of what you could end up paying for reconstruction.

Windows of Opportunity

Leaky windows can make you uncomfortable when it’s hot, cold, or humid outside, and you’ll end up paying more for utilities, but most people don’t realize leaky windows can also make their homes more vulnerable to high winds. Some of the newest research into tornadoes and hurricanes shows homes with properly sealed windows and doors fare better than homes with porous exteriors.

Other common structural remodels include:

  • Upgrading electrical and plumbing to meet modern codes
  • Installing underground drains to channel water away from your home
  • Repairing footers and strengthening your home’s foundation

What to Do After a Fire or Flood

Fire damage often looks worse than it actually is after a small blaze. Even if your home’s studs are exposed and slightly charred, we can often save your home’s original structure, which saves you money. Smoke damage on drywall typically requires nothing more than a fresh coat of primer to seal the odor and then two top coats of paint to match your home’s existing colors.

Accidents still happen, and if you have a leak or fire in your home, first make sure that you and your family are safe. Turn off all water to your home in the case of a leak, and contact the restoration professionals at Paul Davis.

After the Disaster: Restore and Remodel

How An Indiana Weather Event Can Translate Into A Home Improvement

If your Fort Wayne home has been damaged by water, fire or smoke, you’ll need professional help. Home disasters are traumatic events that you shouldn’t try to fix yourself. Fortunately, home restoration specialists like Paul Davis can help you get your life back on track. The sooner you call for help, the easier it will be to correct the problem. Without prompt professional treatment, the situation will rapidly get worse.

From Home Disaster To Home Restoration To Home Improvement

Most of us have visions of what we would like to change in our homes if given the opportunity. A home disaster can be a stepping stone to making those changes. While your home is in the process of restoration, take some time to consider whether this would be a good time to implement one or more of your home remodel ideas.

Benefits Of Remodeling After A Home Disaster

Focusing on a home improvement project instead of on water damage, fire damage or smoke damage is a great way to recharge your spirit and turn your lemons into lemonade. Consider all the things you’ve been wanting to change in your Northeast Indiana home but kept putting off because of the disruption and inconvenience involved. Here are just a few good reasons to implement those home improvement ideas now instead of later:

  1. Starting a home remodel project after a disaster won’t make the chaos any worse.
  1. Upgrading your property with energy-efficient improvements can save you big money in the long run.
  2. You can perform the residential repair work you’ve been putting off without causing additional disruption.
  1. You’ll have water, flood, fire or other insurance money to work with.

Combine The Home Reconstruction Process With The Home Remodeling Process

If you decide to remodel your home after a disaster, it helps to have just one reputable contractor handling both projects. At Paul Davis, we can help you to clarify the home improvements you wish to make and to incorporate those improvements into the home restoration process. We can provide total project management services from initial consultation to finished product. We will work within your budget to turn your home improvement dream into a reality.

Why Paul Davis?

The team at Paul Davis has been helping Northeastern Indiana property owners to clean up after water damage, fire damage and smoke damage for almost 25 years. Because we are a local franchise, we have the advantage of being close to your home while also having access to the resources of over 300 Paul Davis locations nationwide.

The Paul Davis Difference 

We are experts in loss management and have been certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Your home emergency will be resolved efficiently and effectively. With over 260 years of combined experience in residential and commercial property restoration, we can consistently deliver excellent results in accordance with the highest industry standards.

Want to learn more about transforming a damaged Fort Wayne residence into a new and improved home? Visit the Paul Davis homepage or contact us directly for more information.

5 Steps: Remodeling After a House Fire

Unfortunately, fire damage and smoke damage go hand in hand

Learn what steps you should take to start rebuilding your home after a house fire

House fires are serious business, and if you’ve just lived through one for the first time, you know how hard the road to remodeling looks. From smoke damage to structural ruin to financing, there are a lot of things to cover in the days after the embers die out. The good news is that with a lot of hard work and a little help from professionals, it’s possible to fully recover from disaster and even turn it into an opportunity to build your dream home. Here are the five tips you need to know to get started:

1. Get Your Insurance Agent on the Line

The majority of home insurance plans cover house fires, but because of the complex nature of assessing disaster damage, financial help can be slow. The sooner you call, the faster you can begin the restoration process.

In the meantime, be careful when talking to public adjusters and anyone else who offers you unsolicited deals on remodeling. After your insurance agent gives you a rundown of your options, you’ll have a much better idea of where to look for help.

2. Separate the Saved From the Lost

Your insurance agent will need to get an inventory of items that were damaged beyond repair. Plus, organizing everything involved in the fire into two simple lists will make it easier to plan restoration and prioritize replacements.

3. Make Time for Your Insurer’s Investigation

While filling out paperwork, meeting for appointments and returning frequent calls can feel overwhelming when you already have so much on your plate, communicating with your insurance company throughout the investigation process will help you maximize and speed up reimbursement.

4. Find the Right Temporary Housing

If your home was severely damaged, chances are that you’ll need to stay someplace else, at least in the beginning stages of restoration. Hotel rooms, the traditional go-to for displaced homeowners, can be expensive and not very convenient. Staying with friends or family would likely be the most affordable option, but if you want all the comforts of home while you wait, consider use an online booking service such as HomeAway or Airbnb to find a short-term vacation rental instead.

5. Hire Experienced Contractors

There’s so much more to house fires than lost property. The first sparks start a chain reaction that affects everything from plumbing to electrics. Working with a professional crew is the best way to get damaged home systems back up quickly and safely. To take stress and extra expenses out of the equation, screen your team for licensing, experience and reputation.

Are you looking for contractors you can trust? Contact us at Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling or visit us online for more information about our services in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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.

What’s That Smell? The Benefits of Professional Odor Removal

Getting to the bottom of a stinky situation

Having a smell in the house that you can’t seem to get rid of is more than a simple annoyance. Some unpleasant odors can be caused by hazardous substances or may be signs of a serious underlying problem with your home’s infrastructure.

Where’s That Stink Coming From?

Trying to locate the source of something smelly in your home can be tricky since there are many potential underlying causes. If you’re being bothered by an odor you don’t recognize, ask yourself:

• Has there been fire, water, or smoke damage to your home in the recent past?
• Does the house have a history of pest infestations?
• Did your pet soil the floor or carpeting?
• How long has it been since you had your home heating and cooling system serviced?
• Is there excess humidity in the house that could be creating condensation?

Other potentially serious causes of home odors include aging electrical systems and improperly stored household chemicals that are spilled or leaking. Any one of these sources could be causing more than just an annoying stink.

Hazards of Unidentifiable Odors

If you smell an “off” odor in your home, don’t ignore it. Not only could it be a sign that something’s wrong, it could also be causing health problems for you and your family. Water damage often leads to mold and mildew, both of which exacerbate the symptoms of allergies and asthma. Pests leave behind feces and other byproducts or die in the walls, leading to contamination. In some home heating systems, aging equipment could lead to gas or fuel leaks that can be deadly if they’re not fixed. Sensitive individuals may experience cognitive, gastrointestinal, and/or upper respiratory symptoms from odors, some of which may be severe enough to interfere with quality of life.

Why Call in the Pros?

Many home odor control products just mask the sources of smells, doing nothing to fix the problem. Professional odor removal services are performed by technicians who are trained to track down the sources of unpleasant smells and eliminate them or point out where important repairs need to be made to correct hazardous situations.

If you find yourself dealing with persistent odors in your home, contact us at Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling. We offer an array of home and commercial services to the Northeast Indiana area including odor removal, remodeling, construction, and cleanup from water and fire damage. Whether your home has an odor problem due to damage or you just can’t find where the smell is coming from, you can trust Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling to take care of it.