Trauma & Crime Scene Cleanup For Nebraska Homes

By Richard Hovanec

While every Nebraska home might not need it, it is always a good idea to know whom to call when you need trauma & crime scene cleanup. After crimes or tragedies, it is often an overwhelming task to consider how to clean up the mess. In many cases, attempting to do this yourself is unlawful and deemed only appropriate for those trained to deal with dangerous materials, debris, or liquids.

Unfortunately, when a crime or tragedy occurs in your home, the homeowner is the one who is most often deemed the competent party in organizing cleanup efforts through a reputable and experienced restoration company. Their involvement takes care of numerous life-threatening concerns that extend well beyond property damages. For violent crimes or tragedies, the threat of bloodborne pathogens, viruses or bacteria makes traditional cleaning methods ill-advised. Blood is only one of the many potential hazards a homeowner might encounter.

The case just got serious

You have to seek out a company that trains and certifies employees with regulations and standards upheld by the IICRC (Institute for Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification). A company that follows these guidelines ensures that all remnants of the incident get removed from your home, from stain removal to disinfecting or deodorizing an area. This restoration allows you and your family to begin the healing process and start to feel comfortable in your Nebraska home once again. Without professional assistance and equipment, it is very likely that there continue to be reminders of what has occurred.

Abatement of the damages or destruction to your home following a death or robbery is not a task to be handed out lightly. Choosing the right company rests on their reputation as well as their proven track record in handling sensitive situations like these professionally and discreetly. An excellent choice is not only a company that follows IICRC certification standards for trauma & crime scene cleanup but one that can also appreciate the emotional implications of the job they are doing in your home.


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Preparation For Winter Storm Damage In Nebraska

By Rick Hovanec

Preparing your home for winter is easier and much cheaper than pumping out stormwater or patching a roof when the temperature is below freezing. Every year, we arrive at a home with storm damage that was preventable.

The first thing we check is the roof. Since tiles overlap, I never rely on a visual check. The best way is still to climb onto a roof and carefully walk the entire area. If I find a soft spot, I mark it with a quick dot of water-soluble spray paint which can be washed away with a garden hose in less than a minute. It provides a good reference point, and if there are multiple dots in a small section, that indicates a major leak where the tiles and the wood underneath ought to be removed and replaced.

Once I finish checking the roof, I perform another walk-around to check the gutters. Much of the water that stains siding and bricks drip down from the edge of the roof when the gutters are clogged or have pulled away from the edge; even just a fraction of an inch. Clearing them out only takes about an hour for most homes. Repairing and reattaching gutters might take a day to complete, but it is much cheaper than replacing them after a blizzard rips them off the roof.

While I am doing all of this, another member of the work crew checks the drain pipes for connection to the gutter system and the side of the home. Water that does not drain correctly tends to pool against the side of a home, which adds to a flooding problem and washes away expensive landscaping efforts.

If water has already dug into the dirt around a house, the basement could be at risk as well. To prevent intrusion, we recommend sealing access to it. Our technicians accomplish that by exposing and cleaning the walls below ground level. We then coat the surface with a thick, rubber cement that resists even extreme weather.

If you want to try and get ahead of the coming winter storm damage, contact a professional storm damage restoration service today. Agents are happy to schedule an inspection and help you save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.


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Searching For Mold Damage In Your Home Or Business

Searching For Mold Damage In Your Home Or Business

By Rick Hovanec

Mold will grow anywhere it can gain a foothold.  Higher levels of moisture can support the growth of mold and other pathogens, including bacteria.  All that is necessary for mold or other microbial to begin growing is for a suitable medium to remain wet for 48 to 72 hours; even less with elevated temperatures. Mold spore can lie in a dormant state for months or even years, but it can grow quickly once the right conditions are met, often surprising homeowners who find prolifically growing mold where it was non-existent only a few days prior.

Discovery of a major mold infestation often begins with someone in the home or business detecting a musty odor and discovering a bit of mold growing in an area that has been concealed for some time.  Behind furniture or inside a cabinet, particularly in the bathroom or kitchen, attics, unfinished basements; places that are visited less often are common points of discovery. A small amount of visible mold can often be just the tip of the iceberg.  Slow leaks in concealed areas can go undetected for an extended period of time.  Moisture can travel under and through building materials, always searching for equilibrium between dry and humid spots. Finding mold in one area can be an indicator that conditions have been right for growth in a larger area for a substantial amount of time.

In my line of work, I find mold infestations more common in older homes and businesses, where plumbing may have been modified or extended over a long period of time and then concealed behind walls or above the ceiling.  It is also more common in homes that have a number of indoor planters, or that were built on sites that were not properly graded to carry ground water away from the foundation. Businesses that employ water in their processes or have extensive landscape watering systems are also more commonly affected with mold problems. 

Eliminating the source of the moisture problem is key to any mold remediation, in order to prevent it from recurring. Professionals who repair mold damage employ a number of methods to detect moisture in concealed areas, such as non-penetrating and penetrating moisture meters, and infrared cameras. These instruments can help detect the source of leaks.

For mold damage repairs and remediation, a professional company with extensive experience and training should be sought. Doing so can protect your home by having all of the repairs needed to completely remediate mold conducted at one time.

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Recovering Fast From Fire Damage

Recovering Fast From Fire Damage

By Rick Hovanec

The fear and uncertainty you feel after a fire is all too real. Cleanup and restoration following fire damage are not easy nor intuitive tasks. You need to partner with an experienced fire recovery company that earned a spotless reputation in your community for delivering speedy and superlative service. Fire damage is often a complicated set of issues, with many secondary or collateral damage possibilities. Sign up for a fire damage repair and restoration service that does it all to focus on returning your life to normal as soon as possible.

Home and business owners who resist the temptation to orchestrate cleanup, repair, and restoration tasks themselves make a smart decision. The smoke and soot are notoriously difficult to clean efficiently without the training and certification the personnel from a top level restoration company receive before arriving at your crisis. Assessing for safety when charring is present, or utilities are compromised, is a job for fire damage professionals. Water damage or chemical residue from fire extinguishers, or both, go hand in hand with the harm fire brought upon the structure and contents of your building. These complicating factors make each fire damage recovery scene unique and in need of individualized restoration planning.

You want a restoration company that has a proven track record of success with all the types of damage facing you after the fire. Look for a company that shows commitment to your community but has the resources to take on even extensive damage. Technicians on staff who trained to meet or exceed Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (ICRC) certification standards are a must for you when contracting with a particular company. This internationally recognized certification process assures that the best practices used to offer you a first-rate outcome every time.

Immediate response times improve the long-term restoration process so accept only local companies with the ability to scale efforts to meet your needs. Fire damage has emotional as well as financial impact upon your life and property, so the sooner, the better to move toward a rollback of all the consequences following the blaze. Go with a company that does it all. From repairing significant structural damage to saving precious heirlooms or one-of-a-kind documents endangered by smoke, soot, chemical residue, or water saturation. Deodorization expertise is also welcome as even a minor fire creates compounds that linger in the air and within surfaces that are unpleasant and an unsettling reminder of the blaze.

Water Damage – Drying Wood Floors

By Rick Hovanec

Hardwood floors provide a beautiful addition to a house that doesn’t fade when color fads change. They also survive flooding and other disasters better than other kinds of flooring or floor coverings due to their dense composition. They are not invulnerable though and do require certain maintenance if you wind up with water damage in your home. If this happens, you need to call an established water damage restoration company to make certain they are cared for properly.

Hardwood does not rot from exposure to water, and it resists picking up odors. Prolonged exposure causes the floorboards to buckle, cup and warp. This doesn’t mean they have to be underwater either. If the air moisture content (relative humidity) is too high, the effect is the same, just slower.

First, a restoration specialist will extract any visible water on the floor, then use a specialty floor drying system that utilizes mats to create a suction on the floor, drawing out trapped moisture. This will halt further damage. If possible, they will be placed underneath the floor to speed up the process. These specially designed fans will also remain in place until the humidity is reduced to at least 20 percent. This prevents mold growth if any spores are present on the wood.

All of this is needed to achieve the goal of getting the moisture content down to under 12 percent. This level has to be met before the wood can be properly sanded or refinished. If not, the wood will continue to buckle, cup and warp. The difference is that it will happen at a slower rate that you may not even notice until the floorboards begin to separate from the sub-flooring. Once this happens, the floor will have to be completely replaced.

Hardwood floors are much more resistant to damage from flooding than other types of flooring. Even with that, you cannot simply allow hardwood to dry on its own. It is important to call in an established water damage restoration company to inspect your flooring to determine if you need their services.