Fire Restoration | Fire Damage Repair Near Me

Everything You Should Know About Fire Damage Restoration 

fire damage

A home fire can be one of the most devastating disasters anyone can experience. Our homes provide shelter, yes, but they’re also the primary source of safety and security. Holding memories, keepsakes, and irreplaceable heirlooms. Losing that can be devastating, disorienting, and can leave you with a lot of questions. 

Between the shock, the grief, and the overwhelm, it can be impossible to know where to begin. 

You’ll need to know who to call and what to expect. Where can you stay? What happens to all the furniture? Can we still live here? 

With Affordable Home Works, you don’t have to face it alone. We’re here to help every step of the way while with a team of restoration experts. 

Let’s take a look at the fire damage restoration process. 

What Is Considered Fire Damage? 

The technical definition of fire damage is damage to any physical structure or property caused by burning. But what does this really mean? 

Fire damage includes damage to physical structures inside and outside and damage caused by smoke, soot, or other hazards like lead or asbestos. 

Often, fire and water damage will occur simultaneously. As the fire burns, pipes, faucets, or hot water tanks can melt, causing pipes to burst. As the fire department puts out the fire, the structure is flooded with water, which can cause additional damage. 

Common Damage Caused By Fire 

Beyond the visible damage caused by burning is underlying and sometimes catastrophic destruction, especially if it isn’t addressed immediately. 

Some of the most common damages are:

  • Damaged air ducts 
  • Warped wood in floors, doorways, and frames
  • Plumbing damage
  • Mold from potential water damage
  • Exposure of hazardous materials in the structure 
  • Chemical damage from the fire department
  • Personal item damage to rugs, furniture, etc.
  • Electrical system impairment 
  • HVAC damage
  • Appliance damage

Other types of damage can include damage to outside structures or other parts of the attached property. 

Affordable Home Works is an all in one restoration service that can assess and repair damage to crawl spaces, basements (including sewage backups that can happen from fire damage), mold removal and remediation. However complex the damage from a fire may seem, we can handle it all. 

When To Consider Home Restoration Services

A typical restoration process can take several weeks to complete as a non-professional, and longer if you’re trying to continue working during daytime hours.

Depending on the extent of the destruction, you may not be able to reside in the home during the restoration process either. Plus, proper restoration requires tools that can be costly for one-time use or unavailable for non-licensed use.  

Fire damage restoration can be an overwhelming process for homeowners, even if the fire is small. The extra time invested in clean-up, grief, and the frustration of living out of a hotel can have you at wits end. 

Consider home restoration services to speed up the restoration process, ensure restoration is thorough, and help reconstruction efforts. The last thing you need in the event of a home fire is to discover missed damage months or even years later. One small piece of damage can lead to more expensive repairs and replacements down the road.  

A reputable company will have professional tools like deodorizers, thermal imaging cameras, dehumidifiers, HEPA vacuums, moisture meters, industrial fans, specialized cleaning products to remove smoke smells and soot without damaging surfaces or fibers, and more. 

A home restoration service is well equipped to handle all the ups and downs while also dealing with insurance companies. 

What’s Involved In The Process Of Fire Damage Restoration 

Before restoration can begin, authorities must clear the property for safety. This is usually done by the fire department or first responder team. Without this, no one will be able to access the property legally. The next step is to contact the insurance company. 

Once those steps are completed, a team of professionals can begin the process of fire damage restoration. First, Affordable Home Works will assess the damage. Some factors we consider are the size of the fire, damage to the structure, electrical wiring, water pipes, insulation, mold, and smoke damage. 

Once the assessment is completed, the real work begins. Large debris and remaining household items may be removed. If the fire damaged the roof or burned through external walls, those areas will be boarded up or closed with a tarp. The physical structure and property may be fenced in with caution tape or temporary fencing.  

Next, demolition can start. This includes removal of damaged drywall and other materials that may have fallen during the fire. During this stage, any water caused by the fire or from the emergency response team will be removed. 

Soot will be cleaned from all remaining surfaces with specialized cleaning products. Carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture will be cleaned. Air purifiers and dehumidifiers will be used to mitigate the smoke odor. 

Finally, repairs and replacements can begin. All water pipes, electric wires, HVAC systems, and gas lines will be checked, assessed, and replaced if needed. 

It’s best to check with your home owners insurance agent to determine what costs may be covered. Almost almost standard homeowners insurance policies cover smoke damage, but they can vary for repairs beyond that. 

Affordable Home Works Is The Premier Home Restoration Service 

Our team of professionals comply with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certificate (IICRC). We provide comprehensive restoration services from water and fire damage to crawl space and basement mold. 

We work with the insurance company and have a structural repair and building reconstruction team in house. With 30 years of expertise, AHW is committed to turning devastating turmoil into organized recovery you can trust. 

We specialize in both residential and commercial property restoration services and are available 24/7 for all your disaster needs. 

Give us call at 951-261-8075 or contact us online for a free estimate or to get started on your home restoration service today. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will make you feel right at home when the unthinkable happens. 

Water Restoration Near Me | Water Restoration | Water Damage

What is water restoration process?

water

Water restoration is a specialized service that removes water from your home and restores it to a livable, pre-damaged condition. Water damage restoration is the process of getting your home back to normal, the way it was before the event that caused the damage took place.

What do water restoration companies do?

Restoration companies are usually the first responders following significant damage to a home from floods and fires, water damage, sew- age backup and other major events. The job of a restoration company is to clean up the mess and to preserve and protect the home and its contents so that further damage will not occur.

Mold Restoration | Mold Remediation | Mold Repair

The Dangers of Mold

mold

A simple pipe leak can create catastrophic damage in your home not to mention mold growth. 

Leaking pipes, large or small, can cause a whole host of problems, including the development of mildew and mold from water damage. Undetected leaks and standing water are a primary cause of moisture build up behind walls, ceilings, windows and flooring, leading to product deterioration and mold infestation. 

Molds, while very dangerous, are very common in buildings and homes. Mold will grow in a high moisture environment especially around leaks in roofs, pipes especially hidden or low traffic areas, windows and specifically where there has been flooding and can grow just about anywhere including dust, drywall, tiles and paint.  Unbeknownst to a homeowner, many building materials provide perfect nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials like paper and wood products create a perfect home and breeding ground for mold.  And something as seemingly minor as a drop leak in a window sill, if left unattended, can create a mold infestation. 

So, a basic fact of a mold infestation is that it can be seen and smelled. If your home has water stains, discoloration on support surfaces like walls, floors and ceilings, bubbling paint or wallpaper, then you are likely dealing with a leak, and in turn, a mold problem. Mold will have a very musty and damp smell. Anywhere with old, sitting water will create a similar odor. If you are experiencing an odor that you are not used to, this is the time to have a plumber check it out. Then call your local mold remediation specialist for home remediation and restoration.

Exposure to damp or moldy environments can cause a variety of health dangers. While some individuals can be asymptomatic, a vast majority of people will have a reaction such as sneezing, itchy watery eyes and as extreme as asthma and there is sufficient evidence that takes these health conditions much further. So, now that you have a fairly good idea that you have a mold problem, what do you do? 

Timing is crucial with leak detection and mold. Immediate action is needed. The faster you act, the faster your leak and resulting mold infestation can be identified and fixed. This is a problem that will not ever fix itself, high quality, expert technicians are your greatest resource. 

Fire Prevention | Home Fire Prevention | Fire Restoration

Tips and tricks for preventing a home fire

fire

House fires and wildfires can wreak havoc and cause major loss. These are extremely difficult situations to have to go through. While we are here for you every step of the way if fire damage occurs, we don’t ever want to anyone to have to go through it. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to prepare your home and make it more resistant to both internal and external fire factors.

  • Keep your landscaping clean and green: remove dead plants on a regular basis and be sure to check that your plants are nicely watered and are not too dry. Dryer vegetation and plants are more likely to catch fire. You can also trim the lower hanging branches of your trees and branches that are close to the home or other structures.
  • Clean your screens: be sure to clean your window screens, window tracks and air vent filters on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is every 3-6 months.
  • Replace single pane windows: stronger, tempered glass windows provide better protection against fires and other external nuisances for that matter!
  • Smoke Alarms: be sure to install smoke alarms in all bedrooms, halls and living areas in your home. You should also test these once a month and change the batteries if they are not working properly.

Should a fire occur, be sure to have practiced, rehearsed escape plan for the whole family. Remain as calm as possible and exit the building. Never go back in for anything. Give us a call! We can provide victim assistance packages and once the fire is put out, we can secure the property by boarding up any entrance points to the home that may have occurred due to damage. We will also respect your time and we empathize with your loss. We will work with your insurance company to help facilitate the claim and make it as easy as possible to navigate the challenges of a fire loss.

Mold Remediation | Mold Damage | Black Mold

Moisture and Mold: What’s the problem?

mold

Mold comes in all shapes and sizes from the black specks on your shower curtain, the white spots that grow on your cement floors or the orange patches that grow in the corners of your shower or on the drain. Mold is a fact of life but it can be a dangerous one. Mold may be present but as a homeowner you need to know just how it can make you sick and why it is a problem that needs attention.

Some people are allergic to mold, some are not. Whether you are allergic or not , it is important to know that it can and will make you sick;  severe or mild if left untreated. Mold exposure can aggravate your skin, eyes, nose, throat and lungs and in some if not many cases cause allergies and even asthma. For those that have susceptible immune systems, exposure and inhalation can immediately cause a respiratory reaction like sneezing and coughing as well as moderate to severe skin rashes and sensitivity. And in more serious cases a reaction to mold can cause shortness of breath and ultimately which can lead to asthma attacks. The more susceptible family members are infants and children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. Exposure to mold can lead to substantially severe reactions within these groups, reactions that over a short period of time can be deadly. 

So what do you do if you notice mold in your home? While it is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores from your home, there are many easy tips to control mold growth. Mold spores cannot grow without moisture so that is a good first place to start. A reduction in moisture within the home is the best way to prevent further mold growth within your home. If you already have mold present and growing in spaces within your home, it is important to clean that space and then eliminate the moisture problem and source. For a large-scale issue, a qualified mold abatement service is important. Additionally, there are some useful tips for around your home to eliminate excess moisture:

  1. The use of dehumidifiers and air conditioners in hot weather and especially in hot, humid climates will help reduce moisture levels in the home. 
  • Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and dry, paying close attention that no standing water is present. 
  • Keep the home warm in cool weather
  • Open doors in the interior of the home, between room to encourage proper circulation between rooms. 
  • Check for leaks around sinks and faucets throughout the home and if a leak is discovered have it repaired immediately.

The bottom line is that in life you are exposed to mold in the environment everyday. The moment you step outside you come into contact with microscopic organisms and spores continually. The difference though is that you are exposed in passing, you are not experiencing a constant contact with mold. If there is presently mold growing in your home, it is crucial to attend to the mold and fix the problem that is responsible for the dampness. If you clean up the mold but don’t fix the problem, the mold will most likely return. 

Water Restoration | Water Restoration Riverside | Water Damage Repair

Emergency water damage repair: Call the team of professionals at AHW!

water

When water damage occurs, whether it is from a storm, an accident or a broken pipe, it is crucial to act immediately before larger issues arise. Without immediate water damage restoration, spaces in your home that have been flooded, can pose some serious, if not severe, risks to you and your family. Time is truly of the essence. The benefits of water damage restoration simply cannot be understated, it is critical to both you and your home’s health. 

Prolonged exposure and the connection to health issues is the primary focus with cleanup.  The secondary concern is the certainty of serious structural damage that can come with any water damage and flooding. The longer you wait, the more extensive the damage will get—and the longer the water cleanup will take. There is no time to weigh your options, qualified, professional resources are necessary. 

Removing standing water can be extremely challenging and should only be left to a professional. Water damage repair is much more than just mopping up or vacuuming up the water you can see. You have a lot of porous materials in your home which can quickly absorb excess moisture. The areas you cannot see can be the greatest risk and cause the greatest scope of damage to your home.  Since water damage restoration is performed after the damage has occurred, it is usually in an emergency service capacity. During the restoration process, highly trained, well qualified specialists will assess damage, repair or replace materials that were destroyed, and return the home to its former livable state. 

The process of water restoration can be tricky, which is precisely why it is crucial to act immediately. Once you contact a professional service the following steps can generally be expected with very little variance:

  1. Initial site visit will determine the scope of the damage. Inspection and testing will be the opportunity to assess how far the moisture has traveled. 
  2. Removal and extraction begins immediately. Large scale powerful pumps and vacuums will extract the standing water. 
  3. Once the water has been removed, then begins the removal process of damaged, unsalvageable materials within the structure. 
  4. Once the removal process is complete, then comes the drying and dehumidifying protocols. Oftentimes this can be a lengthy process and will be determined by the amount of damage within the home. 
  5. Once dry, the home will be fully cleaned and sanitized.  This is one of the primary objectives of the restoration process. This will ensure that the damage will not cause further, unforeseen problems. 

The restoration process is, in its entirety, the process of restoring your home or business to its pre-loss condition. It may involve minor repairs, or it may entail major repairs and reconstruction.  The job of a restoration company is to clean up the mess that has occurred and to preserve and protect the home and its contents so that further damage will not occur. A trusted resource will be a homeowner’s greatest line of defense. 

Fire Damage | Water Damage | Restoration Specialist

5 SURPRISING & UNCOMMON CAUSES OF FIRE AND WATER DAMAGE

fire
home safety – smoke detector on ceiling detecting house fire

We know that you want to keep your family or employees, and property, safe from harm. And although you can’t control a natural disaster that brings about floods or fires, there are a few things to take note of around the house or office that can help you avoid potential property damage.

Many items or bad habits you employ can possibly lead to fire or water damage. And since we already know the obvious issues, we have decided to look at some of the uncommon causes of fire and water damage in this post.

5 UNCOMMON CAUSES OF FIRE DAMAGE

It’s pretty common knowledge that the most common places that fires occur in the home are in the kitchen, usually from cooking. But what are some of the more uncommon causes of fire damage? We have a look at a few here.

1. GLASS ITEMS

You’ve done the science experiment as a kid. You know that when light passes through a magnifying glass, a fire can start if the glass is pointed to a flammable object. Even though this may sound like a stretch, light passing through an empty jar or crystal object can also start a fire.

If the light is refracted by these items towards, say, paper or curtains with enough time, a fire can start. Where do you keep your glass items? Time to take stock.

2. DISHWASHERS

Although dishwashers are our handy helpers in the kitchen, they can also be dreaded fire starters. And not just because they are electrical appliances. When a faulty dishwasher has water dripping onto the machine’s internal wires, it can cause a fire.

The trick with all your electrical devices is to include them on a regular maintenance schedule to keep them in tip-top shape. This will ensure you have no surprise fires starting in and around the house.

3. 9-VOLT BATTERIES

Although 9-volt batteries aren’t very powerful; if you don’t dispose of them properly, they can be hazardous.

If the battery’s posts somehow come in contact with a piece of metal and the piece of metal then touches an item that’s flammable, like a piece of paper or magazine, you’ll find a fire can start.

Before disposing of your old batteries, place a piece of tape on the posts; that way, you can be sure that you should be safe even if they find their way next to a piece of metal.

Also, be on the lookout for a local recycling depot or company that will dispose of batteries correctly.

4. COMPUTERS

Not our trusty work companions! As we’re sure you’ve felt for yourself, laptops create quite a bit of heat when operating for several hours, and actually, most PC’s and even gaming equipment are prone to overheating.

No matter whether it’s dust, a malfunction or even an electrical shortage that is the cause, these devices can start a fire if close to a flammable item due to the extreme heat they create.

5. DUST

Okay, now we know you think we are crazy. But think about your dust bunnies. Come on; we know you have some – they’re in those hard-to-reach places like under the beds or sofas. If these dust bunnies travel close to a wall socket or a heating appliance, they can ignite.

What will happen is sparks will fly towards them, and then once they catch fire, they may spread to nearby furniture or other flammable objects. Make sure you are checking under your furniture for dust bunnies and vacuuming them up regularly.

UNCOMMON CAUSES OF WATER DAMAGE

Of course, the most common causes of water damage are severe weather conditions, burst pipes, sewage backups and problematic HVAC units. But let’s take a look at the more unexpected causes of water damage here.

GUTTERS

How often do you check that your gutters are not blocked or damaged? We’re guessing the answer is not too often. I mean, who can even see their gutters or even notice them.

But another critical item to be on a regular maintenance schedule is gutters. If your gutter is clogged, water can pool up on the outside and inside of your home or building. This can lead to water damage and mold growth.

FIRE

Using water to contain a fire is essential. But this in itself can cause a lot of property damage. And the mix of soot and water is quite damaging to your furnishings and property. We are often unaware of how extensive this water damage can be, and if unlucky, this water damage can lead to mold growth.

TURN TO THE FIRE AND WATER RESTORATION EXPERTS IN A TIME OF CRISIS

Finding fire and water restoration companies that provide you with all the tools and options that you need to get your property back to its original state, whether dealing with fire or flood damage, is essential.

At Affordable Home Works, we take care of the entire fire water restoration process beyond what can be seen at a glance.

Contact us today for a free consultation and learn why homeowners and big businesses trust us to restore, rebuild and recover their property after damage.

Flood Clean Up Tips | Flood Damage | Flood Water Damage

In years past, very few of us have ever had to deal with flood waters, especially here in Southern California. However, other areas of the country and state, aren’t quite as fortunate. If you ever find yourself dealing with flood water damage, watching the below video will assist in providing some clean up tips.

Then, after you’ve done all you can, call the water restoration professionals, AHW and they’ll handle the rest. AHW, the water restoration professionals you can trust! Call AHW today!!

Fire Safety | Home Fire | Fire Restoration

fire

House fires and wildfires can wreak havoc and cause major loss. These are extremely difficult situations to have to go through. While we are here for you every step of the way if fire damage occurs, we don’t ever want to anyone to have to go through it. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to prepare your home and make it more resistant to both internal and external fire factors.

  • Keep your landscaping clean and green: remove dead plants on a regular basis and be sure to check that your plants are nicely watered and are not too dry. Dryer vegetation and plants are more likely to catch fire. You can also trim the lower hanging branches of your trees and branches that are close to the home or other structures.
  • Clean your Screens: be sure to clean your window screens, window tracks and air vent filters on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is every 3-6 months
  • Replace single pane windows: stronger, tempered glass windows provide better protection against fires and other external nuisances for that matter!
  • Smoke Alarms: be sure to install smoke alarms in all bedrooms, halls and living areas in your home. You should also test these once a month and change the batteries if they are not working.

Should a fire occur, be sure to have practiced, rehearsed escape plan for the whole family. Remain as calm as possible and exit the building. Never go back in for anything. Give us a call! We can provide victim assistance packages and once the fire is put out, we can secure the property by boarding up any entrance points to the home that may have occurred due to damage. We will also respect your time and we empathize with your loss. We will work with your insurance company to help facilitate the claim and make it as easy as possible to navigate the challenges of a fire loss.

Water Damages Covered By Insurance | AHW | Water Damage Restoration

What types of water damage are covered by insurance?

water damage

We all pay towards our homeowner’s insurance policies every month, but are you aware of precisely what they cover? Especially when it comes to water damage, it is important to know what your insurance does and does not cover.

Water damage is a common problem in households, and it’s good to be aware of what will and what won’t be covered, so you know whether you will be paying costly damage bills if you have an incident at home.

In a nutshell, most homeowners insurance cover water damage that is sudden and accidental, while they won’t cover damage due to a lack of maintenance or even neglect. Although this sounds simple, it’s a rather tricky area to navigate.

In this post, we look at the different types of water damage, what is and what is not covered by insurance policies, and the process of filing a claim with your insurance company.

TYPES OF WATER DAMAGE

Category 1: This water damage involves ‘clean water’ damage from broken pipes, an overflowing sink, or rainwater. This means health risks are low, granted the situation is dealt with in less than 48 hours. If it is not treated within this time, the water-damaged materials can get exposed to various contaminants, moving the water damage from a category 1 situation to a category 2.

Category 2: This water damage category comprises greywater from equipment discharges, or chemical wastes like detergent, laundry, and soap. This water damage category can pose mild to severe contamination risks for those involved because greywater can foster microbial growth.

Of course, with all water damage, the severity of the situation will intensify with time. Ensure that you, and your family, are wary in this instance, as both direct and indirect exposure to greywater damage can be harmful to your personal health.

Category 3: The most dangerous category, category 3 water damage, involves black water from sewers or water containing grease, oil, urine, etc. The type of water damage quickly acquires bacteria, viruses, and other toxic allergens, making it contagious.

Research says that the vulnerability of getting an infection or illness after direct, or indirect, exposure to black water is more than 90%. It is necessary to be extremely careful when dealing with black water and get the professionals involved.

WHAT TYPES OF WATER DAMAGE ARE COVERED?

When it comes to covering water damage, you’ll find most standard home insurance policies cover it when the damage is sudden and internal. The stipulation here, though, is that the water must not have touched the outside ground.

What does this mean? It means the water damage must come from sudden and accidental tearing, cracking, burning, or bulging of steam, heating, AC, or fire protection systems.

Other instances of water damage covered by homeowners insurance include heavy rain, snowstorm, water from extinguishing a fire, and vandalism. With plumbing problems, insurance will cover burst pipes, frozen plumbing, faulty plumbing, and accidental overflow.

If your roof is leaking, the damage to the inside of the house will be covered, not for the roof itself. You’ll be happy to know that one of the most common household water damage issues, the accidental overflow of an appliance or fixture – like a toilet, washing machine, or bathtub – is covered. And, lastly, mold is covered if it began due to the above types of water damage.

WHAT TYPES OF WATER DAMAGE ARE NOT COVERED?

Now that we know what is covered by homeowners insurance, let’s look at what is not. Coverage includes unexpected occurrences or accidents, so that means non-coverage would consist of neglect or lack of maintenance. In other words, avoidable problems.

So although your insurance will cover the water damage from a washing machine overflowing, they won’t cover this damage if this was due to an unresolved maintenance issue. In other words, if the damage was caused by a continuous leaking faucet or other regular plumbing issues that you did not repair.

Also, insurance won’t cover the cause of the water damage, just the damage itself. So, it won’t cover the cost of fixing your washing machine, just the damage to your floor.

And, as we mentioned, coverage won’t include water from the outside. So, if water backs into your home through an outside drain, or your community experiences a flood – be it from a storm or over-saturated ground – you won’t be covered.

However, you can purchase additional water backup coverage or specific flood insurance. This, of course, is an excellent idea if you live in a high-risk area prone to flooding. There are many other additional coverages you may be able to add to your policy, so be sure to ask your insurance agent.

THE PROCESS OF CLAIMING FROM INSURANCE

  • Call your Insurer: Once you come across water damage, give your insurer a call to check whether you are covered for the damage and to file the claim. Don’t start on your repairs until you know for sure what is included in your coverage.
  • Document the Damage: The more proof you have of the water damage and what caused it, the more likely you won’t have any problems with your insurance company.
  • Keep the Damaged Items: It’s also a good idea to keep any water-damaged things if the insurance adjusters want to examine them. This often helps them decide on the cost of replacements or repairs.
  • Find a Vendor for Repair: Most insurers will give you a list of pre-approved vendors to help make the repairs to your damage, but you can always do your own research and find a more reliable vendor yourself.
  • Negotiations: Remember you can negotiate with your insurance provider if you don’t think the amount they offer is fair.

HOW WE CAN HELP

Hiring a professional water removal and restoration company to tackle water removal makes sense. Affordable Home Works offer water damage restoration services that have helped thousands of residential and commercial customers recover from water damage – both big and small.

Find out more about how we work with residential insurance agents, and their customers, at www.affordablehomeworks.com