WE LOVE OUR CLIENTS!

Such a good reason to wake in the morning and go to work!  Anne P Letter Anne P 2

Children’s Home Society – Beach Music in the Park

HP Beach Music Logo

 

Back for another month!  Those who know us are familiar with our close connection to both the Children’s Home Society of NC and Beach Music!  Check out September’s schedule and information below!  SEE YOU THERE!!!

September 4-September 25

Ilderton Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep 

701 S. Main St. 

High Point, NC  27260

*Free parking is available at the Zaki Rug building and the Atrium.  Both lots are on S. Main Street next to the beach music venue at Ilderton Dodge.

Thursday Evenings, 5:30- 8:30 p.m.

Tickets are $7.00 and can be purchased at the gate

No pets or coolers are allowed inside the gate

2014 CONCERT LINEUP

 

September 4 The Embers featuring Craig Woolard
September 11 JayBird and Soul Central
September 18 Band of Oz
September 25 Special Occasion

Do I Need a Licensed General Contractor for a Fire?

Let’s discuss a major problem, be it large or small – FIRE!

Small Residential  Fire:  The homeowner left a pan of grease heating on the range unattended for only a moment and that’s all it took. The range hood was damaged, adjacent cabinets were damaged beyond repair and required replacement.  The refrigerator was burned on its side and had to be replaced.  Unfortunately, the entire home was impacted by smoke residue. Everything visible had to be cleaned in every room.   Cleaning included the ceiling, light fixtures, walls, window blinds as well as the windows, doors and all room contents.    Draperies, rugs, clothing and pillows required dry cleaning.  All upholstered furniture, carpet and hard goods needed cleaning.  Paint was required in some rooms even after cleaning as smoke residue left some staining on the walls and ceiling. All in all, for just a little grease pan fire, this job took about 4 weeks to complete:  Initial estimate -> reaching an agreed price with the insurance company -> execution of the job -> a satisfied customer.   Thankfully, no one was injured and we always try to help the homeowner see an opportunity in a tragedy –  a small remodel/update perhaps? 

Large Commercial Fire:  Picture this – a 22,500 square foot facility with 7,500 square feet used to warehouse paper products. The remaining 15,000 square feet dedicated to office/computer space and the life blood of a national company.  Faulty wiring in a parked truck located in the warehouse caused the warehouse to be completely gutted, steel structures cleaned, primed and painted with new insulation and interior finishes.  Even though a fire wall separated the warehouse from the office areas, the impact from smoke was substantial. These folks had a choice to make – some serious business interruption (loss of income and customers) or, relying upon our expertise, we could call in a small army of people and equipment – which was their choice.  With a team of 8 technicians responding on a Friday morning, power was returned to the facility just after lunchtime and the computer network servers were turned back on by close of business. On Saturday, our 26 technician team worked through the weekend to process 15,000 square feet so that work could resume on Monday at its normal pace. Every desk, every computer station, every chair, every personal item was cleaned.  We deployed our specialized equipment which reduced the odor from smoke to an almost non-existent level.  This fire had the potential to affect all employees at every corporate level.  We were able to minimize the impact and help this company return to work in the space of a few days. Although this project was well into six figures, the cost of returning the facility to working order was priceless.

So even from something seemingly small to something of major magnitude it is CRITICAL to have competent and qualified people getting you back to “normal.” Getting rid of the smoke odor is the primary goal and a thorough cleaning is the actual benefit. We often tell clients their home or place of business will never be as clean again. But that’s only part of the solution. It’s important to understand what repairs are necessary and to perform the repairs correctly. A licensed General Contractor well versed in this kind of work, like 1st Aide Restoration, Inc. can easily provide this service.

Our bottom line:

Please make sure you use a

LICENSED GENERAL CONTRACTOR

for

ANY STRUCTURAL DAMAGE.

Humpty Dumpty Put Back Together Again!

Big tree removed - no chimney.

 

As many of you know, we take not only a professional interest, but personal interest as well in many of our customers and we have a new favorite customer to add to our list!  As these photos reflect, a massive storm passed through and left a huge tree in the middle of the living room – what was outside was now inside and what was inside was either covered in rafters, insulation, attic items or roof.

Rock wool insulation - EVERYWHERE! This room did NOT have an open cathedral ceiling prior to the storm  Dangling ceiling light - scary

This type of major damage, unfortunately, causes great consternation for both the homeowner and the insurance company.  Although the homeowner’s clock starts ticking, some insurance companies are less than rapid to respond, creating an even greater problem when waiting on adjusters and prices and work to get started!

Once the insurance company decides a claim is warranted, an adjuster (maybe several)  examines the damage, a cost is agreed to and the contractor can begin the repairs.  In the interim, we performed a complete pack-out of the home, cleaned all items and moved them to storage without a guarantee of payment from the insurance company – a risk we often take.

In many cases, the repair agreement can take a while to reach, depending upon what the insurance company feels is justified, such as a consultation with structural engineers, building code upgrades, and believe it or not, a firm quote from us regarding how many dumpster hauls will be required for the repair!

For two months, our customer was living in temporary housing and an agreement was still in negotiation without repairs starting.  Please understand, the goal of many insurance companies is to provide customer service.  Some insurance companies would prefer the homeowner to fix the damage themselves free of charge.  Thus the conundrum.

Good news cometh in drips – we began repairs without an agreed price and eventually worked out the details with the insurance company.  It’s often hard to believe that someone behind a desk hundreds of miles away thinks they can run a project better and more efficiently than the contractor on site while the homeowner is temporarily “homeless.”  It can happen.

Once approved, actual repairs took about 2 months and our customer is back home!  A few updates were performed to boot and we think the home turned out great!!!  Take a look at some of the “before and after” photos below!

For the patience, time and effort, blood, sweat and tears required, we thank you and…

HAPPY THANKSGIVING and a MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS

to

Leslie and Tom!!

Notice the cracked ceiling drywall...  We like the look of the new inset over the sink - Thank you Danny!

There went the den...  Yea!  A clean den!

Here goes the update!    Looks brand new!

Yes, that's part of the ceiling and a magnitude of insulation covering everythng!    Nice new bookcase area

 

MOLD – WHY ME and WHY NOW?

Summer months in the South bring lots of heat, droopy hair, lazy dogs, sunburns and humidity.  Enough said? Your property can have moisture intrusion through condensation on ductwork in attics or crawlspaces, condensation drain pan drains can become clogged, and if you are availing yourself of the opportunity to open your windows on less than hot days, you are letting moisture/humidity from the outside into your home.  We all know that homes built in recent years are much better insulated than older homes and when warmer weather returns and the air conditioner is turned back on, moisture is already in your house. GOOD IDEA?  While on vacation, turn your washing machine valves off, keep your HVAC running at an acceptable temperature and have someone check your place on a regular basis.

The photo below reflects only a very small ceiling area of a recent project where a water heater from a condo unit above leaked into a unit below while everyone was on vacation for two weeks.  The results are obvious.  The entire project was EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE to remediate. Don’t let this happen to you.  Call us!Black Mold - another ceiling

 

GROUND WATER and TROPICAL STORM ANDREA

If you have water intrusion and it’s NOT a plumbing leak or from a roof damaged by a storm, and it’s a result of the excessive rain we’re having, it’s probably not covered by your homeowners insurance.  You can always call your agent for advice.  Depending on what gets wet, a finished basement, for instance,  you still need to have this problem taken care of by a professional.  You do want to avoid a possibility of mold or fungal growth, as this can affect your health.    Call us if you need a professional – we can make suggestions and help you determine the right course of action.  Stay dry!

 

CHILDREN’S HOME SOCIETY – Beach Music in the Park

ok folks – Back again by popular demand!  Our VERY FAVORITE VOLUNTEER/SPONSOR EVENT starts TONIGHT and runs through the end of June!  Please bring a lawn chair and support one of the most genuine and heart felt causes in North Carolina!  Dancing, Food and Drink – what better way to spend a Thursday night under the stars and support the children!

TYPES OF FIRES

Fire requires a fuel source and oxygen.  If combustion is incomplete, smoke and smoke residue are the results.   The type of fuel source will determine what type smoke residue remains behind.  When natural materials burn such as wood and paper the soot residue tends to be fairly dry, light and is easily removed.  However, with heavy residue, some staining can remain.  When plastics or synthetics burn (wire insulation, PVC pipe, etc.) hydrochloric acid is formed and can be particularly damaging to metals (think door knobs, hinges, faucets, etc.). It’s a good idea to neutralize this corrosive action by wiping things down with an alkaline balanced cleaner.

Each of the above source materials can be affected by whether there is plenty of oxygen or a lack of. And it is almost always the case that you will have a combination of materials burned so a knowledgeable and professional approach is necessary. The primary objective of getting rid of smoke is not just the smoke residue but the odor that accompanies the residue.  Remember though, staining can remain even after all residue has been removed. Painting may be required.

Electrical fires can be truly devastating as the source may be within your walls and not visible until wires are burned, inside studs are burned, sheetrock is burned and BAM – you see fire.  Because the combustion has affected both natural materials as well as plastics and synthetics, the result can be two-fold with corrosive action as well as smoke residue.

Fuel oil furnaces can also be a source of soot residue although these type heating systems are slowly being updated with more modern HVAC systems as they age out. This type of smoke or soot residue is old soot not driven by heat but can be distributed throughout the home simply by way of the system itself. This usually occurs when there is a crack in the heat exchanger and too much oxygen enters into the fuel/air mix. Areas around the windows and particularly draperies can be heavily affected.

Candle soot can also be a large source of smoke and soot residue. All that romance, all that soot, all that discoloration on the walls and ceilings. Candle soot is very fine with uniform particles and tends to accumulate where the air is stagnant but will respond to small air disturbances.

A protein fire can produce the worst kind of smoke, soot residue and odor.  Imagine a typical beef stew simmering away all day and you fall asleep watching the ballgame.   All the moisture cooks out of the pot and when you finally wake up to a putrid odor, you find that all that’s left of that hunk of meat is a small charred, carbonized stinky thing that looks like a piece of charcoal. The smoke residue is usually invisible or light in color so there’s no contrast to see if you have removed it from a wall or other surface. The only way to tell if you’re doing your job is if the odor improves as the job progresses. It can be challenging but very rewarding when you finally accomplish your goal.

Whew, that’s enough for this week. Thanks to all of you who are following our blog and think we have something interesting to say. We just want to inform and educate our friends – knowledge is power. The more power we have as consumers, the less likely we are to be taken advantage of by the big bad guys.

FIRE DAMAGE – WHAT TO DO WITHIN MINUTES

Last week we talked about a small fire and a very large fire.  This week we’ll discuss some of the things that you can expect to happen at the point of occurrence.

Of all the different types of problems, emergencies and devastating occurrences a property owner can encounter, fire damage may be the worst on both the pocketbook and the psyche.

Depending on what type of fire you have, there may be a substantial amount of smoke.  It doesn’t take much burned material to generate a lot of smoke.  Stay low to the floor and get out of the house.  Most deaths attributed to fire are a result of being overcome by smoke.  A fire can go from smoldering to inferno in just a matter of seconds – SO TIME IS CRITICAL.

Of course, you want to call 911 and then stay a safe distance away – making sure everyone got out safely.  Keep in mind that everything in the house can be repaired, restored or replace – except you and your family.  In the scheme of things, it’s just stuff.

So now you’re standing in your yard in your pajamas and the fire department has left.  Now what?  It’s likely that the fire department put a John Wayne on your front door and now it needs to be boarded up or secured if they didn’t do it.  You will want to call your insurance agent and ask for a referral to a contractor who you can trust.  If you can safely retrieve some needed items (extra clothing, medications, etc.) you will want to go ahead and do that.

The fire department will call the power company and the gas company to turn off those services if the damage is severe enough and it will require permits and interim/final inspections to have those services restored.  Thus, another reason to have a licensed general contractor working in your best interest.

You may have to move out to a temporary location until repairs are complete, especially if the power or gas is turned off.  The insurance company should pay for this – as well as meals, so be sure to keep any receipts until you get a check from them.  Some insurance companies are more “customer service” oriented and some are just downright stingy.  Don’t let them make you feel like you did something wrong.  It could happen to anyone.

As mentioned earlier, if it can be repaired or restored, then the insurance company will want to go that route if it will save money.  There are specialty dry cleaners who can achieve remarkable results, conservators who can clean fine art objects of all types – please see our Facebook page and notice our “likes.”  Of course, our trained, skilled and experienced technicians can handle all of your needs from cleaning the general content items to repairing the entire structure if needed.

Next week, we will go through the different types of fires and the particular challenges each one presents…