A Step-by-Step Guide to the Process of Fire Damage Restoration

Posted September 20, 2017 at 10:50 am
After a fire, dealing with insurance and cleanup is the last thing on most homeowners' minds. Unfortunately, there are some steps that need to be taken as soon as possible in order to minimize damage and restore your home.

Step One: Ensure the Safety of the Home

The first step after a house fire is to ensure that the home is safe to return to. Never attempt to enter a building after a fire that has not been thoroughly examined for safety. From burst pipes to electrical damage, there are a variety of post-fire hazards that can pose a threat during the cleanup process.

Step Two: Document Everything

Once it has been determined that the home is safe to occupy, you should begin by documenting the damage as thoroughly as possible. Creating an itemized list will make it easier to begin the process of filing an insurance claim. Your insurance claims adjustor will need to know everything that was damaged if you plan on filing a claim for the purpose of replacing those lost or damaged items. Clothes, professional gear, computers, televisions and other electronics are just a few examples of the types of property your insurance may pay to replace. Furniture, appliances and large items that are damaged in a fire may be eligible for replacement as well.

Step Three: Decide What Can and Can't be Salvaged

When dealing with the aftermath of a fire, one of the most difficult steps is determining which items are too damaged to salvage. While some things can be easily replaced, other items of sentimental value may be eligible for restoration. A professional disaster restoration service could help you restore items that seem too badly damaged by flame or soot to salvage at first glance. When regular soap and water won't suffice to remove smoke stains and soot, professional chemicals can work wonders. In many cases, it is possible to restore antique furniture, family heirlooms, photographs and decorative items to even better condition than they were in before. Reaching out to a professional restoration service could end up saving you thousands of dollars in replacement costs. If you would like to learn more about the disaster restoration process, call Leaders in Disaster Restoration today at (888) 874-7066. LDR has been helping homeowners in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin restore items that were previously thought lost in a fire since 1991. The knowledgeable specialists at Leaders in Disaster Restoration will be happy to provide you with an honest quote and answer any questions you may have about dealing with the effects of a house fire.

Choosing a Fire Restoration Contractor Janesville and Rockford Residents Can Trust

Posted September 13, 2017 at 10:00 am
A house fire is an incredibly stressful experience, but choosing a fire restoration contractor Rockford homeowners can rely on goes a long way toward making the process easier. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a contractor to manage your home restoration.

Length of Operation

A major factor in determining a fire damage restoration contractor's reliability is how long they have been in operation. While a long service record does not necessarily mean a company is reputable, it does establish a reputation within the community that you can use to determine whether you would like to work with that company. Companies that have been providing fire damage restoration services for years have the experience and knowledge it takes to handle any restoration project.

Customer Testimonials

Customer testimonials are one of the first things you should look at when searching for a fire damage restoration contractor in Rockford or Janesville. Most contractors display these testimonials prominently on their websites and social media pages. You can also ask to speak with former clients to find out more about what the process of working with a given restoration company was like, or to determine if they have worked on similar projects in the past.

Willingness to Answer Questions

A reliable contractor should be willing to answer any questions you have about the restoration process. From a cost estimate to a general timeline, you should feel like you have access to the information to make an informed decision about your home restoration. The right contractor will also make it easy to get in touch with someone at the company when you need to ask questions that may come up later in the process. Due to the intensive nature of restoration after a house fire, services that are available 24/7 are a great option.

Transparency

Transparency is one of the most important qualities to look for in a restoration contractor. Businesses that have built a reputation for honesty and reliable services in their community speak for themselves. If you feel that you are being given the runaround about cost estimates or how much time it will take to complete a project, you should probably search elsewhere. Reputable contractors will never shy away from giving you basic information such as general cost and time estimates once they have been able to properly assess your property and the extent of the fire damage. Leaders in Disaster Restoration has a long history of dependability and quality service in the areas of Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. Since 1991, the company has provided homeowners with the quality restoration services they need to get back to enjoying their homes after a fire. Call today at (888) 874-7066 to receive an honest estimate and to get started on the restoration process as soon as possible.

Preventing Mold in Fall 2017

Posted September 6, 2017 at 11:00 am
Fall is a beautiful time of year with cooling temperatures, family holidays and leaves in brilliant shades of gold and red, but with this time of year comes the increased risk of mold in and around the home. Read on for more tips on how to stop mold in basements Janesville and Rockford residents can trust.

Heavy Rainfall

Rainfall is often heavier during the Fall months in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, which translates to accelerated mold growth. The first sign many homeowners notice is usually the visible presence of mold, which means that extensive damage may already have occurred by the time the problem is addressed. The best way to prevent mold damage is to prevent mold from forming in the first place. Start by ensuring that your home is properly sealed and treated against the elements. From compromised roof tiles to leaks around doors and windows, even a small leak can lead to serious mold problems. Weatherizing your home may require an upfront investment, but there are many products on the market that are made to stop mold from forming on your walls. Regularly wiping down walls that are exposed to condensation can also help prevent mold growth.

Check Your Basement and Attic

It is important to regularly check your basement and attic for signs of mold throughout the year since these areas often lack proper ventilation. Avoid leaving windows open and check along pipes and appliances stored in these areas for signs of excess condensation. Even a small amount of condensation on the inside of an improperly sealed window can foster the growth of mold and mildew. There are various products you can buy to keep the air in enclosed spaces free of moisture, including dehumidifiers.

Be Aware of the Physical Symptoms of Mold Exposure

Unfortunately, many homeowners first realize that they have a mold or mildew problem when they start displaying symptoms of mold exposure. While toxic mold is rare, homeowners should be on the lookout for symptoms of dizziness, headaches and lightheadedness as these can all be signs of exposure. Less serious symptoms may include nausea, congestion, or a runny nose. Prolonged exposure to mold could lead to serious health issues, so it is important to schedule a consultation with a professional mold remediation company if you believe that your home has a mold issue. Consider making a regular inspection part of your home maintenance checklist. If you are worried about mold growth in your home, call Leaders in Disaster Restoration today at (888) 874-7066. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the restoration process. From scheduling a consultation to complete mold remediation throughout your home, you are in excellent hands when you work with the LDR team.

Common Basement Cleanup Mistakes

Posted August 30, 2017 at 10:00 am
Whether you live in a flood zone or have experienced a flood as a result of broken pipes during a house fire, flood restoration services can help you restore your home to its original state. Cleaning up after a flood is never easy, but by learning about these common mistakes, you can more easily avoid them.

Entering an Unsafe Property

There is more to worry about after a basement has flooded than the water itself. If any wires or appliances were exposed to water, you could be at a serious risk of electrocution if you attempt to enter the area before it has been inspected. You should also have any appliances that were exposed to water inspected before plugging them back in as their electrical circuits may have been compromised. In most cases, the power will need to be turned off before the water itself can be removed, whether by towels or a non-electric water pump.

Failing to Clean Up Supplies

Cleaning up after a flood can be overwhelming, so it comes as no surprise that many homeowners don't bother to immediately clean up the supplies that were used to remove water from the basement. Unfortunately, this can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which could make the situation even worse. Always dry or throw away sponges and towels that were used to clean up water, especially water that has been standing in a basement for a significant length of time.

Waiting Too Long

While it is important to make sure that the home is secure before attempting any cleanup, it is best to address water damage as soon as possible. The longer your flooring, furniture and other items are exposed to water, the more damage will be done. Cleaning up as quickly as possible minimizes the risk that mold and mildew will set into walls, carpet fibers and upholstery. Water that is left to sit also leads to the growth of bacteria and attracts insects and mosquitoes.

Trying to Do Everything Yourself

One of the most common mistakes homeowners make after a flood is attempting the cleanup process alone. In many cases, the water damage is just too extensive to manage on your own. Professional flood cleanup services have the equipment and knowledge required to remove large amounts of water from the home and minimize water damage. The sooner you reach out for help, the easier it will be to contain the damage and restore your property. If you have experienced a basement flood, call Leaders in Disaster Restoration today at (888) 874-7066. Since 1991, LDR has been providing services in flooded basement cleanup Rockford and Janesville residents can trust. We will work with you to develop a restoration plan that is tailored to your home's damage and needs. From restoring antiques to salvaging carpet and other flooring, restoration could save you thousands in replacement and repair costs.

How to Manage After a House Fire

Posted August 16, 2017 at 10:00 am
If your home has been affected by a fire, you are probably wondering what steps to take next. Read on to learn the most important information on what to do after a house fire Rockford homeowners need to know.

Dealing with Insurance After a Fire

One of the first steps you should take after ensuring that everyone is safe is to call your insurance company. Your insurance claims adjuster will want to know as many details about the fire as possible in order to establish a case. It is important to take pictures of the damage to show what will need to be covered in your claim. The insurance adjuster will likely want to take his or her own pictures as well, but the more you can document on your own, the better. Contacting your insurance company as soon as possible after a fire is important since it allows you to establish a claim history immediately. Most homeowners want to begin making repairs so they can return to their lives as soon as possible, and filing a claim with your insurance is the first step toward this goal.

Know Your Options

Many homeowners mistakenly believe that all hope is lost when it comes to salvaging items that were damaged in a fire. While insurance may cover the costs of replacing appliances, furniture and other items that were damaged, there are some possessions that cannot be replaced. As a professional disaster restoration service with more than three decades of experience, Leaders in Disaster Restoration understands how much photographs, heirlooms and other sentimental items mean to you. LDR will work with you to restore as much as possible after a fire at an affordable rate. It is often a shock for homeowners to learn how many items can be salvaged that they otherwise would have assumed were a lost cause. Working with a professional fire damage restoration service could save you thousands of dollars in replacement costs as well.

Act Preventatively

After a fire, you should always take an assessment of any fire risks that persist in your home. Once you learn how the fire began, you can use that information to prevent another disaster in the future. Take this time to establish sound fire safety practices, from educating others in the household about fire hazards and proper escape procedures to getting rid of faulty appliances and overloaded power strips.

Have a Home Inspection

Call Leaders in Disaster Restoration today at (888) 874-7066 to schedule your home fire restoration consultation. You can also fill out our convenient online contact form and one of our friendly representatives will be happy to provide you with the information you need to move forward with fire damage restoration. After a fire, it helps to know that all is not lost. From restoring your home to your most valuable possessions, LDR offers honest estimates and decades of experience every step of the way.

Basement Flooding Cleanup Supplies

Posted August 9, 2017 at 10:00 am
A basement flood is the last thing any homeowner wants to have happen, but flooding is especially common during the spring and summer months. Even after a winter snowstorm, melting snow and ice can lead to flooding. Professional restoration is the best way to address water damage in and around your home, but there are a few steps you can take on your own to minimize the damage. Here are the best supplies to have on hand when a basement flood strikes.

Water Pumps

The first thing you should do after your basement floods is to ensure that the area is safe for occupation. If there are any doubts as to the electrical hazards posed by wires or appliances exposed to water, avoid entering the area. Once you have been assured that it is safe to clean up the basement, a water pump is the easiest way to remove large quantities of water from an area. This is especially true for uneven basements or any other area without a natural drainage system. Choose a non-electric water pump for safe and convenient use in any flooding situation. Often, the electricity in your home will need to be shut off in order to prevent further damage or electrical hazards. In such cases, a non-electric water pump makes it possible to remove water from the basement without power.

Towels

One of the first lines of defense after a flood is a set of used towels or other absorbent cloth that can be used to wipe up the excess liquid. Many homeowners choose to have a supply of extra towels in their basement in case of a flood. It is important to remember that wet towels should be properly disposed of after a cleanup to prevent the formation of mold and mildew.

Fans

Once the water has been pumped out of the basement and the excess moisture has been dried, fans can be used to speed the drying process. This is especially important if the flooded area has carpeting. Keep any basement windows open while the fans are on in order to speed the process even further. Open airflow is the best way to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Be sure to avoid the use of electrical fans in an area that is still flooded as exposure to water could lead to serious electrical hazards.

Basement Flooding Clean Up Rockford Homeowners Can Trust

If you have experienced a home fire, Leaders in Disaster Restoration is here to help. We have been serving homeowners in Norther Illinois and Southern Wisconsin since 1991 and will work with you to develop a water damage restoration plan that works for your home. Call today at (888) 874-7066 to learn more about our comprehensive restoration services or fill out our convenient online contact form to schedule a consultation.

The House Fire Risk Checklist

Posted August 2, 2017 at 10:00 am
No one wants to experience a house fire, but the truth is that many home fires could be prevented with some simple steps. Read on to learn essential tips on how to prevent a house fire Rockford residents can trust.

Maintain Smoke Alarms

Many homeowners make the costly mistake of forgetting to change the batteries in their smoke alarms, or failing to plug these life-saving devices in at all. While it may be tempting to unplug a screaming smoke alarm while making dinner, experts warn homeowners never to take that risk.

Combat Clutter

Household clutter can cause a fire if boxes are left to sit against heating vents or high-heat appliances, such as water heaters and furnaces. Anything flammable left near an electrical device or appliance can pose a serious fire risk, especially if left unattended for an extended amount of time. Not only can clutter cause fires, it provides kindling for a fire to spread as well. Banish clutter to reduce fire risk by always keeping boxes and other storage items in a safe, temperature-controlled environment away from any appliances or heating systems that could malfunction. Reducing clutter is just as effective at preventing house fires outside the home. Boxes stored in the garage or debris left propped against the side of the house can easily catch fire under the right circumstances, resulting in extensive damage.

Poor Wiring

Poor wiring is a major fire hazard, but it is also one of the hardest to spot. In order to address any issues with faulty wiring your home may have, it is crucial to schedule an annual home inspection. Professional inspectors have the expertise to identify outdated or damaged electrical systems and address these issues before they result in a fire.

Candles

If you regularly burn candles and leave them unattended, you could be putting your home at a serious risk for fire. Even small candles, such as votives and tea lights, can result in raging house fires if left unattended for a shockingly short amount of time. Flame can jump randomly, catching onto any nearby flammable surface. While fire-retardant curtains and tablecloths can help minimize the risk of a fire, the best preventative step to take is to avoid leaving candles unattended for any length of time. This is especially important to remember during the holidays and colder months, when scented candles are often part of the festivities. Call Leaders in Disaster Restoration today at (888) 874-7066 to schedule a consultation and speak to one of our friendly technicians about your home fire concerns. From inspection to restoration services, we are here to help you minimize the risk of fire in your home and address any damage if a house fire does occur.

Preventing a House Fire in 2017

Posted July 24, 2017 at 8:58 pm
As the summer of 2017 is well underway, it is important for homeowners to be aware of the risks that come with rising temperatures and longer days. From outdoor activities and fireworks to indoor hazards, here are the most important tips to prevent fire Rockford homeowners can keep in mind.

Conduct a Fire Risk Audit

Every year, make a fire risk audit part of your annual home maintenance checklist. The best fire risk assessments go room by room to assess the potential hazards associated with the layout of your home, storage, appliances and other issues that could lead to a fire. The basement and attic are particularly high-risk areas, especially if they are unfinished. Homeowners tend to use these areas for storage, and the accumulation of furniture, boxes and debris means that fires in these areas can spread rapidly. Search the rest of the home for signs of faulty wiring and improperly connected appliances and equipment. Also take care to check the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home to ensure that they are properly installed and replace the batteries as indicated by your system.

Upgrade Old Appliances

From ancient water heaters to refrigerators with damaged wiring, old or faulty appliances can pose a serious fire hazard. While replacing or repairing these appliances may require an upfront investment, this step can help minimize the risk of a home fire and save big on restoration costs in the long run. Also check electrical decorations, such as hanging lamps and Christmas decorations, for any shorts in their wiring.

Avoid Overloading Power Strips

Overloading power strips and outlets is a leading cause of fires in the home. Avoid plugging more than one power strip into an outlet, and never connect multiple power strips. Also remember to avoid plugging appliances such as air conditioners and heaters into power strips, as a single medium-to-large appliance is often enough to overload a strip meant for computers and small electrical items.

Schedule an Inspection

An annual inspection is a great way to address any issues or concerns you may have after conducting a fire risk assessment on your own. Professional inspectors can tell you if there are any threats to your home's fire safety that need addressing.

Home Fire Prevention and Restoration

If your home has been damaged in a fire, Leaders in Disaster Restoration can help. We have decades of experience in home fire restoration and remediation, and we will help you develop a comprehensive plan to address the damage to your property at a reasonable rate. Call today at (888) 874-7066 for more information on scheduling your consultation. We offer a zero-pressure consultation and estimate to help you get a better idea of the options available to you after a fire.

The Most Common Locations for a House Fire to Begin

Posted July 19, 2017 at 10:00 am
A house fire is something every homeowner fears, but understanding how and where fires in the home occur goes a long way toward preventing them. Read on to discover the most common locations where house fires originate, including some you might not have considered.

Kitchens

The kitchen is by far the most common place for house fires to start. Unattended food left on the stove is what most people think of when it comes to a kitchen fire hazard. Fires in the kitchen can easily get out of control, especially if grease is involved. Pouring water on a grease fire is a dangerous mistake. Always keep a fire extinguisher under your kitchen sink and remember that a kitchen fire should be starved of oxygen. Water can cause hot grease to splatter, leading to serious burn injuries.

Laundry Rooms

The laundry room is a surprisingly common place for household fires to originate. Washers and dryers both pose a fire hazard if they are improperly hooked up. Lint left in a dryer trap can easily catch on fire under the high temperatures of a drying cycle. Because laundry rooms are usually only occupied when changing loads, it is easy for a fire in this area to spread and go unnoticed.

Basements and Attics

Basements and attics tend to be where homeowners store most of their clutter and old appliances. This means that if a fire does break out in one of these areas, there is plenty of fuel for it to consume. Old boxes, clothes and furniture stored in an attic or basement can easily become kindling if a fire gets out of hand, so it is important to keep these areas as clutter-free as possible. Always maintain a clear path of exit through stored items and avoid leaving appliances plugged in without supervision.

Outdoor Fires

Many people fireproof their homes and forget to fireproof their yards and other outdoor areas. From tool sheds to piles of wood kept outside the house, outdoor areas are often even more prone to fire during the summer months. If anyone in your home smokes, dry grass and brush can easily catch fire, especially during times of warmer temperatures. To minimize the risk of a fire starting around your house, keep your yard clear and hydrated throughout the summer. Avoid leaving large piles of natural materials around. Not only do they pose a fire risk, but they invite termites and other pests to congregate as well. Call Leaders in Disaster Restoration today at (888) 874-7066 for more information on what to do after a house fire Rockford homeowners can trust. If your home does experience a fire, there are steps that can be taken to salvage your most treasured belongings after the fact. Before you throw important items away, schedule a consultation to find out if fire damage restoration is an option.

Fire Damage 101

Posted July 12, 2017 at 10:00 am
Fire damage can lead to stress and significant expenses for affected homeowners, but knowing the steps to take after a fire will make the process easier. Read on to learn more information about how to prevent a house fire Rockford homeowners can trust.

How Fire Damage Happens

Fire damage occurs when property is either burnt or damaged by smoke during a house fire. The extent of damage can range from minor to severe, leaving damaged property unsalvageable. Even if an item has not been touched by actual flames, smoke and soot can render it unusable. It is incredibly difficult to get set-in smoke odors out of fabric and many other items, so addressing fire damage as soon as possible is the key to successful restoration.

Surprising Causes of Damage

In many cases, fires in the home start because of a faulty electrical appliance or a small, contained fire that is left unattended, such as a lit candle. Candle flames can easily surge without warning, catching nearby curtains, fabric and furniture on fire. The best way to prevent fire damage is to avoid leaving candles and electrical appliances unattended and to always maintain your smoke detectors for early detection of a fire.

Recovering from Fire Damage

House fires can lead to extensive structural damage in the home, but most of this type of damage should be covered by your homeowners' insurance plan. Many homeowners worry most about the items that can't be replaced, such as family heirlooms and photographs. The good news is that there are fire restoration services available that can help you restore and reclaim your most valued possessions. Leaders in Disaster Restoration offers extensive fire damage restoration services. Scheduling an inspection as soon as possible after you have contacted your insurance company is important. Many restoration services are covered by insurance, and LDR technicians are equipped and trained to handle even the most extensive types of smoke and fire damage. The first step to restoring your property is to assess the extent of the damage. Set-in smoke odor is more difficult to deal with than property that has recently been exposed to smoke. Even fire-damaged photographs, clothing and furniture may be salvaged with the right techniques and products. A professional restoration service has access to products and expertise that most homeowners do not possess, meaning that even if you are unable to salvage an item, hope is not lost. Call Leaders in Disaster Restoration today at (888) 874-7066 to schedule your consultation. LDR has been serving homeowners in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin since 1991, and all staff are thoroughly trained and certified to deal with complex restorations. Getting an expert opinion will help you save money by salvaging property you might otherwise have to throw away and replace, and it will also give you the peace of mind you need after a fire.

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