Many homeowners don’t realize just how devastating water damage can be. When this type of damage goes undiagnosed, it often results in a wide variety of secondary issues including mold, mildew, cracks in the foundation, and pest infestations. Here is a closer look at a few early warning signs that your roof might be in need of repairs. Curled or Cracked Shingles Asphalt and composite shingles usually last for 15 or 20 years, but you should inspect your roof for any signs of damage at least once a month. After a few heavy storms, the shingles might become bent, curled, or cracked. Luckily, replacing old shingles is a quick and easy project as long as the underlayment hasn’t warped, fractured, or worse. A contractor will also need to check the inside of your attic to ensure that the damage hasn’t spread. Sagging Ceiling If water has gotten into the attic, then your ceiling might look like it is sagging or warping. Sagging usually occurs when moisture has damaged some of the joists and trusses inside an attic. When that takes place, you must call a contractor for immediate repairs. Those beams are vital to the structural integrity of your home, and your ceiling could collapse if the damaged wood grows weaker. A sagging ceiling can also be caused by termites, dry rot, and earthquakes. Water Spots Water spots on your ceiling are another warning sign that you must never ignore. Those spots often occur when pinhole leaks in a roof allow a few drops of water in, and the holes must be sealed to prevent further damage. After you repair the damaged area, you will need to have a contractor inspect your entire home for mold, mildew, and other issues. You could have huge patches of mold in your attic or ducts if the pinholes have been there for quite some time. Granules in Your Rain Gutters It is always a good idea to clean out your home’s rain gutters at least once every few weeks. While you are cleaning them out, you need to look for any granules swept off the roof into the gutters. A few granules are sure to come off after every rainstorm, but those piles should be quite small. As a roof gets older, large collections of granules might clog your rain gutters and downspouts. Those buildups are clear signs that your shingles are nearing the end of their lifespan and you need to replace them.Water damage is a significant issue that homeowners should never overlook. If you think that your roof might be damaged, then you need to immediately contact a roofing contractor to explore your options.Featured image source: RSI Roofing Contractors...

As the seasons change, and the temperatures begin to drop, millions of Americans will fire up their home heating system to stay warm. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, 15 percent of all fires are caused by home heating equipment. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure your family is safe when it comes time to turn up the heat. Propane Heat and Safety There are pros and cons to every type of home heating system, but did you know that propane is one of the safest and most cost-effective ways to heat your home? Propane heat produces more heat per gallon compared to other heating fuels.Propane is flammable, but propane companies add mercaptan to propane to give it a distinctive smell. If you smell rotten eggs, leave your house and call your gas company.Having your system serviced regularly will prevent any malfunctions that could result in a fire. Getting your propane delivered on a subscription basis can also prevent risks that occur when your propane levels get too low. Is Natural Gas Safe? Natural gas can be a safe and efficient way to heat your home, as long as the proper precautions are taken. Natural gas is inexpensive and more reliable for the environment than oil or coal. To take the headache out of any future renovation work, mark your pipes the same was as professionals do and it will help prevent accidents when renovating in the future.To ensure that you're getting the most out of your natural gas heating system, you should have your furnace serviced once a year. The majority of fires and explosions involving a natural gas heating system are caused by furnace malfunctions. You should never store flammable materials near your furnace and allows have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home. Avoid Electrical Fires One of the leading causes of electrical fires is space heaters. In fact, the majority of electrical fires occur in December and January when homeowners are trying to stay warm. The biggest concern when it comes to space heaters is their portability. Homeowners inadvertently position space heaters near combustible objects like throw rugs, drapes, and upholstered furniture. Space heater coils reach incredibly high temperatures, allowing them to ignite anything they come into contact with.Space heaters can be safe when used properly, and because they don't require as much energy as baseboard heaters, they're also cost-effective. Space heaters that function as radiators are safer than traditional space heaters. They diffuse heat over their entire surface, instead of just near the coils. Consider an electric fireplace that will heat your home safely and add ambiance to any room.No matter which home heating system you have, routine maintenance and common sense precautions will keep you and your family safe during the winter season. Fire damage to your home can be handled (and handled well), but it’s best to do everything you can to keep your home safe.RELATED: Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Contractor in Ashburn Virginia...

If you are looking to invest in a home, it is probably important to you to be able to protect your investment. As a new homeowner, however, you might not really be sure of what you need to do in order to protect your new home. These are a few tips that can help. Make Sure You Buy in the Right Area For one thing, when buying your new home, it's important to be careful about the area that you buy in. Consider checking the crime rates in the area first. Additionally, you will probably want to make sure that you purchase a home that isn't in a flood zone. Check your home’s risk by visiting FloodTools.com. Refinance When Possible You have invested a lot into your new home and you are still making payments for it. Part of being able to protect your investment is being able to refinance at the appropriate times in order to improve your payments and make it a better investment in the long run. Invest in Insurance Coverage Insurance coverage is there to help you protect your investment. First of all, you will need a good homeowners insurance policy. Not only is this probably required by your home lender, but it can help you in the event that something goes wrong with your home, such as if it's damaged due to a fire or a natural disaster.When purchasing your policy, make sure that you carefully check over your coverage to ensure that you and your home are covered against the various things that can go wrong. For example, you may have to add additional flood coverage, since many homeowners insurance policies do not include it. For many homeowners, it's worth the extra cost to make sure that their homes are protected against floods. You'll also want to make sure that your home is protected against fires, break-ins and more. Lastly, make sure that your homeowners insurance deductibles are low enough that you will be able to pay them quickly, without putting yourself in a bad financial situation, in the event that something goes wrong. Install a Security System As ADT-FL puts it, “A home is supposed to be a safe place. However, with the possibility of home invasions, fires, hurricanes, and other emergencies, a state-of-the-art security system is required.” Home security is very important if you want to protect your home, family, and belongings. Working with a home security company and installing surveillance cameras and a security system is an important thing to do if your home is not already equipped with these things. If you work with a professional, he or she can help you with choosing and installing your system.As you can probably see, there are a few things that you can do as a new homeowner if you would like to protect your home. Follow these tips, and you can gain peace of mind and feel good in knowing that your home is as protected as possible.RELATED:https://www.johnbrooksrealty.com/Home Remodeling Services in Washington, D.C....

Having a finished basement is a great way to create more space in your home. It also adds value to your house if you ever decide to sell. However, adding drywall, flooring, and plumbing is just a small part of having a finished basement. Safety is always a concern in any part of the house and the basement is no exception. Here are 4 safety upgrades for families with basements to help keep you, your family, and your home safe and free from hazards. Prevent Flooding Even finished basements are at risk of flooding. Especially in areas that have frequent rain falls. You can help prevent your basement from flooding by keeping your gutters clean and free of debris and extending gutter downspouts. Gutter downspouts should divert rain water away from the house. Fire Escapes Fires happen. Make sure your basement allows for escape if a fire happens in your home. You can prevent a family member from being trapped inside the basement during a fire by installing egress window wells. In fact, the state of Virginia requires emergency escape and rescue options for a finished basement, as well hardwired smoke alarms with a battery back-up. An egress window well will satisfy the state laws while providing a safety option for your family if a fire should ever break out. Light it Up Safety begins with good lighting. Be sure to clear out shrubbery, plants, or any other obstacles that prevents natural light to come through the basement windows. Track or recessed lighting is a great option for providing light in an otherwise dark space. Laws require at least one switch light in each basement room and hallway. Breath Easy Good ventilation in the basement will protect your home as well as your health. When humidity levels reach 100%, any additional humidity will deposit on the basement walls and floors as condensation. This will cause unhealthy mold and rot one of the top ten ten causes of breathing problems. A good ventilation system will sense when the humidity is too high which will trigger the fans, keeping your basement safe and dry. If you sense something is wrong, a mold test or other inspection of the home might be necessary to determine the problem.  If you have or are planning on having a finished basement, following these safety rules will keep your family and home safe. The state of Virginia requires egress window wells, smoke alarms, and many other codes to be followed when it comes to finished basements. Your contractor can help you decide the best safety options for your finished basement while making sure the legal codes are followed....

Business owners in Virginia sometimes face the grim task of caring for a company in the aftermath of a fire. If you find yourself in this unwelcome position, how should you proceed? What steps should you take as you contemplate the challenges of making insurance claims and receiving compensation? While this article indeed cannot supply comprehensive information in this situation (every firm faces unique circumstances), following these general tips may offer valuable assistance: Maintain a Positive Mental And Emotional Outlook Keeping a positive outlook is incredibly important, and will help you visualize where you want to be after this incident (Under30CEO). First, remember your most challenging duty at this point involves a large measure of self-care. Don't allow the recent fire to consume your effectiveness! Living through a conflagration in any setting consists of some degree of trauma. Make sure you arrange for anyone directly impacted by the blaze to speak with a trained counselor. Your local fire department may offer useful resources as you locate this type of assistance. By demonstrating support for your employees at this point, your company sets an important precedent. Work Closely With Your Advisors During the critical hours following a company fire, you'll likely want to consult with several professional advisors: your attorney, your public relations team, your marketing department, and your human resources department supervisor may all offer critical insights in helping your firm address the situation. Most company fires today, fortunately, do not result in deaths or the total loss of company facilities. Yet since every incident maintains unique elements, you'll want to meet with your advisors to learn about their recommendations under the circumstances. One key contact to get in touch with is your insurance agent, as they can be a game changer. Although, keep in mind that unfortunately, the primary concern of insurance companies is limiting their own liability (Greenberg Law Offices). So you just might want to anticipate some issues with that. Consider Hiring a Professional Fire Remediation Service During recent years, specialized fire remediation services have arisen in many locations. Your insurer may recommend you consider retaining the services of one of these firms if you do not already have one available for consultation. By taking this step, you'll typically enjoy a much easier time documenting your company's losses and obtaining fast remedial assistance. Fire remediation experts help businesses develop a comprehensive fire loss mitigation and remediation plan, in addition to initiating rapid site cleanup and restoration measures. Professionals will examine your business’s surface, building materials, and contents to identify damage and create a plan to effectively restore your building (Flooddoctorva). Finally, Revisit Your Company Business Plan After taking these steps and arranging for site cleanup and remediation, you'll find yourself in a much stronger position to address any required changes to your business plan. You will likely need new facilities and better fire suppression technologies. Before you find a permanent solution, you may want to set up a virtual office space, which is a physical address you can rent without signing a long-term lease (Davinci).After a fire, you will have a lot of matters to attend to before you can resume business as usual. Revisit your company business plan so you can address these types of long-term issues....

If you recently experienced a situation where flood water had gotten into your house, taking action immediately to ensure damage is minimal is best. Here are some steps to follow if you are dealing with this scenario. Contact A Restoration Service It is best to let a water restoration service clean your home's interior, especially if the flood is the result of a nearby water source overflow. Professionals will use high-powered pumping equipment to remove all moisture from your home. They will then dry the areas affected with commercial-grade fans. If drywall or carpeting became wet, these items will be removed and replaced so mold does not grow as a result of moisture. The service will then conduct a cleaning process of the structural areas affected by the flood to ensure mold growth does not occur. Get Personal Items Out Of Water If Possible As soon as a water damage service is contacted, grab any personal items that have a chance of being salvaged. This needs to be done while wearing appropriate clothing if bacteria is a concern. Plastic gloves and waders will protect the skin appropriately. Place any items you are trying to salvage in a dry location and consider using a fan to aid in removing any moisture left behind. All items will need to be wiped down with a cleaning solution made especially for the stopping of mold growth. It is best not to bother with trying to salvage food items, plastic kids toys, or paperwork. Find An Area To Stay During Renovation Work If floodwater is present in areas where bedrooms are located in the home, or if there is a worry about structural damage to the house, staying off-site is a must. You will be responsible for finding your own housing, even if you are a renter. Find a friend or loved one to stay with, if possible, or consider options such as a hotel, corporate housing, or a short-lease apartment rental. A restoration service will give those living in the home an estimated date that people can return to the abode. Get A Hold Of Your Homeowner's Insurance Company If you have flood insurance, call your provider at the first signs of a problem. An adjuster will come to the home to do an assessment of the damage and will help in the expediting of compensation to pay for repair work that needs to be done. Some homeowner's insurance policies will cover moisture damage, so it is best to contact your agent to find out if the flooding situation is covered if you do not have a separate flood insurance policy. Resources: American Red Cross, St. Louis Corporate Housing, Bankrate, WAFB, The Nest...

5 Things You Need to Know About Water Damage Are you experiencing a flood or water damage to your home? 5 steps to take to keep it from getting worse. When a pipe bursts, a drain backs up, or a flood occurs in your home, it can be hard to see past the mess. A million questions will run through your mind.What do I do now?What’s going to happen?Is my stuff ruined?And the most important question of all: Will my homeowner’s insurance cover the damage?[ Water Damage Cleanup and Restoration FAQ ]There’s no doubt about it, Water damage is extremely stressful, and the more you know about it, the better you’ll be able to decide how to address it. Here are five things that every homeowner needs to know about water damage. 1. There are different insurance policies for flood damage and water damage. You might think that water is water, whether it’s from flooding or a burst pipe, but flood damage is not covered by homeowner’s insurance. If you live in an area likely to experience flooding, you will probably already have a separate policy through the National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP). When you report the claim to the insurance company, make sure to specify whether the claim is for water damage or for flood damage, so they can begin adjusting your claim correctly. 2. Not all water damage is covered by your insurance. It's a good idea to look at your insurance policy and familiarize yourself with any exclusion to your water damage coverage. For instance, most policies cover sudden damage, like water damage from a really bad storm or from an overflowing washing machine. On the other hand, any water damage that happens because you didn’t maintain the property may be excluded, as well as gradual leaks that caused water damage over time. 3.The Clock is Ticking. When your property has been water damaged, you don’t have the luxury of waiting around for a convenient time to start the cleanup. Secondary damage from mold growth can present serious health risks associated with mold in the living environment.Mold spores are everywhere, but they need moisture and a nutrient source to grow. And that is exactly what your wet carpet or drywall offers.There is a 24 to 48-hour window from the time something gets wet until mold can begin to grow. After that time, mold will multiply rapidly. When mold growth is widespread, you may need the services of a professional mold remediation company to safely treat and remove the mold.To prevent mold growth, you will need to get your property completely dry again. To do this, you’ll need to contact a company that specializes in water damage restoration and emergency water extraction. They will have the professional water removal equipment and drying equipment to get the job done as quickly as possible. Many have 24-hour a day emergency hotlines, so you can start recovering your property almost immediately. 4. What you need to know before filing an Insurance Claim[ What you need to know before filing a Water Damage Insurance Claim ]It’s a good idea to call your insurance company right away when you discover water damage. Your insurance agent can start the claims process immediately, as well as guide you through the first steps you will need to take to protect your property from more damage, like stopping the source of the water at the main water valve.Your insurance company may also direct you to a water damage restoration company that they have worked with in the past. Keep in mind that you do not have to call the company that they recommend. You may choose any reputable restoration specialist to restore your property.5. The different Categories and Classes of Water Damage Water damage is categorized as one of three levels by how polluted the water source was that caused the damage.Category 1: Water from a clean water source, like a freshwater line for a dishwasher. This water will not cause illness or any ill effects.Category 2: Water that may cause illness through contact. It may have bacteria in it,Category 3: Water that is highly contaminated. Contact can cause severe illness or death. Think sewage backup, an overflowing toilet, or storm waters.Even though water may start out as Category 1, that doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Any contamination that the water touches, such as dirty carpeting or soil from the ground, can change water damage Category to 2 or even Category 3. And since standing breeds bacteria, the longer the water is around, the worse the contamination of your property.More contamination can mean that the restoration team will have to use more aggressive measures to clean your structure and property, and it might mean that soft furnishings, like your carpet and the carpet pad, may have to be discarded for your safety.Water damage can be dangerous and expensive, so preventing water damage is an important part of home maintenance. But if you know the basics of what to do once it happens, you can prevent it from doing its worst.[ Categories of Water Damage ]  ...

When a fire is just starting, it could be small enough to be extinguished with a fire blanket or a fire extinguisher, but if you see that is scattering fast or taking longer than five seconds to be defeated with a fire extinguisher, then you must pull a fire alarm, evacuate the building, and call 911.Electrical FireAlways remember to turn the appliance off or to pull out the plug. Do not use water because it can cause an electrical shock. Use a fire extinguisher or a fire blanket.Cooking FireShut off the stove, gas supply or oven. Use baking soda on food to smother the fire, use a lid or keep the oven door closed. DO NOT use water or turn on the exhaust fan since that will draw the flames onto a concealed space.Grease PanNever leave unattended the cooking oil on the stove on. Hot grease can spatter and ignite any paper, cloth, or wood materials nearby.Fire in OvenMaintain the oven grease free! A greasy broiler or meet can catch fire even during preheating.Gas FiresShut off the gas supply. Smother with a rug, blanket or Type B extinguisher or cool with water. Call 911.Leaking GasNever enter an area with a lighted match or cigarette if you smell gas from a pipe, heater or stove. DO NOT turn light switches on or off. The smallest spark or flame could cause an explosion.No matter the type of fire, we always recommend calling 911 or the Fire Department even if you have extinguished the fire. Is better to be safe than sorry, right?Source: www.vbg.org/ “Different ways to Extinguish Different Fires”   10 Best Mold Prevention Tips From the Mold Removal SpecialistsWATER DAMAGE INSURANCE CLAIM TIPS AND WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW   ...