5 Steps for Dealing with Water Damage

You were only gone for the weekend, but when you opened the door you were greeting with a soaked carpet and a layer of water coming from the kitchen.  Or perhaps you noticed a strange smell and realized that a small leak under the sink had allowed a mold colony to take hold.  As a homeowner, you want your home back to normal as quickly and safely as possible.

You can clean up small household problems, such as an overflowing toilet or mold around the bathtub, but large amounts of water, sitting water and mold outbreaks larger than 3 feet need professional treatment.  Pooling water and rising humidity can create the perfect storm for mold in your drywall, carpet and crawl spaces.  The moisture can also damage furniture, pictures, and other personal items.  You can read more about how to deal with mold damage at https://idahopropertyrestoration.com/mold

Calling a professional ensures that work is done quickly with specialized equipment.  Technicians also monitor air quality to prevent bacterial growth.

But how can you be sure your restoration company is reliable and efficient.  Check out the 7 suggestions below:

  1.  Consult online reviews.  What do previous customers have to say about the company?  Keep in mind that the comments reflect the personality and emotional state of the consumers as much as they reflect the companies ability.  Look for trends, rather than each individual review.
  2. Ask about their certifications.  Every restoration company should have technicians trained and certified such as those offered by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRCC).
  3. Make sure that the person handling your restoration has a state contractor’s license.  A contractor knows how to oversee all aspects of the restoration.  They also know what has to be done to comply with city, county and state building codes.
  4.  Do not allow anyone to remove anything from your home without your supervision.  It is tempting to allow the company to “take care of everything”, but you can be committed to additional expenditures that are not outlined in the contract.  Make sure the restoration company gives you an exact timeline with times and dates.  If they are giving you vague information, choose another company.
  5. Hire a local restoration company.  They are more invested in your positive experience.  Also, if something goes wrong, you can talk to the owners personally.

A professional restoration company can work quickly to secure your home and protect your assets.  They will help you work with your insurance company and can explain how your policy will affect the restoration process.  They often have financing for homeowners who do not have insurance.  When disaster strikes, it helps to have someone to guide you through the process of getting your life back to normal.

Tips For Replacing Your Roof

Replacing your roof is an important part of maintaining your home. A damaged or improperly maintained roof can result in thousands of dollars in damage to other parts of the home through.  Water can be leaking inside your walls for weeks before oozing out from under flooring or cabinets.  Repairs only go so far, and eventually it will be time to replace your roof entirely. Replacing your roof can be a challenge for the first time homeowner. Choosing between professional roofing contractors can be confusing. Knowing what to expect can make the project more manageable.

The first step in any roof replacement project is obtaining estimates and choosing a contractor. It’s a good idea to research several companies. Make sure they have good reputations and are licensed in your state. Be sure to obtain estimates from several contractors before signing a contract, as there can be a wide range in  roofing estimates. There are many factors that can influence the cost of a roof replacement. It’s good to know a little about them before you get too involved.

The size and slope of the roof, the materials being used, and the region of the country will affect the final cost of the project. A roof that is particularly steep and slippery will cost more to replace than a roof that is more easily accessible. The height of the roof matters as well. Roofs on two-story homes are more expensive to replace than roofs on ramblers or ranchers. This is simply because it takes less time for roofers to access a roof that is closer to the ground. Also, like almost anything, prices vary depending on where you live. Roof replacements cost more in places where the general cost of living is higher.

There are several different types of roofs you can have installed. The materials can range in price anywhere from $1 to $40 or more per square foot. The most common roofing material is asphalt shingles. These are relatively inexpensive and are usually guaranteed to last anywhere between 20 and 30 years. They come in may different colors to compliment the exterior of your home. Another form of roofing is wood shake, which usually costs $6 to $9 a square foot. These roofs are usually made of cedar and can last 12 to 25 years, with proper maintenance. Metal roofing such as copper or aluminum can cost $15-$20 a square foot. Tile roofs, such as terra cotta, are generally used in southwestern architecture and cost $6 to $9 a square foot. (Tiles are not recommended in areas with frequent rainfall, as they have a tendency to leak.) A slate roof is the most durable, though it is also the most expensive, and can cost up to $40 a square foot ($120,000 to replace a 3,000 square foot roof). Slate is generally used on upscale homes and can last up to 200 years or more depending on the quality.

Along with being inexpensive, asphalt shingles require little maintenance, making them the most popular roofing choice for American homeowners. While asphalt shingle roofs are often designed to last 25 or 30 years, the actual life span of your roof can vary depending on where you live. High speed winds, hurricanes, heavy storms, blizzards, and dramatic temperature fluctuations decrease the longevity of your roof. Estimates for replacing an asphalt shingled roof can range from $1,500 to $9,000 depending on the size of the roof as well as location.

The final cost once the work is completed may be higher than the initial estimate, as your roof may have some unforeseen damage that will add to the final cost . Underneath the shingles, your roof could be rotted or have water damage. Replacing the roof support system can add thousands of dollars to the bill, depending on the extent of the damage. This is a good incentive to keep your roof properly maintained and have it replaced on time.  Be sure and ask each roofing company how they will handle those costs, because this is an important part of the estimate.  A  company that gives you a low bid on the initial job, but has a clause that allows them to bill a high amount for unexpected materials and labor costs, could end up being the most expensive choice.

When you’re choosing your roofing contractor, ask for references. You’ll definitely want to see examples of their work on local homes. When giving an estimate, a contractor will come to your house to inspect your roof. He’ll come up with a number that factors in the cost of materials and labor, including the cost of stripping and throwing away the old shingles. The estimate should also include the cost of removal and disposal of the old roofing material. If not, ask about this to avoid surprises. There is a chance that there will be some unforeseen costs in the project, so it is good to avoid as many of these as possible. After the visit, a reputable roofing company will send you a written contract. A contract from a roofing company should include a description of what is to be done, as well as when it is to be done and a schedule for payment. Having it all in writing can protect the homeowner later on. Be sure to shop around before settling on a specific contractor, as prices can vary considerably.  Do not make a decision based on a verbal agreement.

Before the workers arrive, it’s good to remove any items that may get in the way of their ladders. Climbing on roofs can be dangerous, even for professionals, so it’s best to stay out of their way. First, the roofers rip out all the old roofing shingles and replace any rotted or damaged wood in the roof. Next they lay a base, and then they lay the shingles. Roof work is noisy. Expect to hear a lot of hammering as well as people running around all over your roof. It’s not really an invasive home repair. You won’t have workmen coming inside your house. As long as you don’t mind the noise, it’s not much of a hassle.

When the old shingles have been stripped, any un-shingled portions of the roof should be covered with a tarp overnight to protect your home in case of rain or overnight storms.

Once your new roof is completed, make sure the workers have cleaned up all the debris that has fallen. When a roof is replaced, the workers usually toss the pieces of the old roof onto the ground or into a dump truck as they’re working. Once the bulk of the old material is disposed of, responsible companies will clean up after themselves to ensure customer satisfaction. They usually have a magnetic broom that picks up all the nails and other materials that can be hazardous as well as unsightly. You may find a shingle or two in your yard afterwards, which is perfectly normal.

When you have roof work done, you should never pay anything up front. You always pay after the job is completed. This is standard procedure. All reputable roofing companies operate this way.

Here is a summary of the main points to be considered when choosing a roofing company created by Bendroofingservice.com from Bend, Oregon.

Need A New Garage Door? Read Now!

To buy a garage door like an expert, here are a few ideas that will help you find the right garage door for your home.
Most people look into cost, appearance and functionality when they select a door for their home. However, the safety rating, warranty, adaptability and value need to be a part of the conversation. The appearance of the garage door should not only match the color and architecture of the home, it needs to also be coordinated with the style and color of the roof.

Here are some considerations for the homeowners.


With so many options, the choices can be overwhelming. You don’t have to buy a garage door that matches your home or trim. There are doors with squares, windows, patterns and options. Your garage door can be an accent to your home’s design.

Although most manufacturers have two or three colors, others have dozens of factory baked-on colors. The main focus would be what will look best with your home to bring out the features you think are important.

Material and Design

Embossed, ribbed and flush designs are available in steel doors. Garage doors can also come in steel, copper, glass, and aluminum. Each metal comes with multiple prices and options. When you are in the showroom, ask the salesperson to show you the doors in the same price range to help you compare all the choice.
Continue reading Need A New Garage Door? Read Now!

Selecting the Best Moving Company

Whether you are moving across town or to a new community, choosing a mover is one of the most challenging decisions.  Hidden fees can quickly inflate your monetary commitment.  A dropped refrigerator can mar your new kitchen floor.  Moving companies range from family affairs with flat bed trailers to national companies with large branded trucks.  Even do-it-yourself options are often more expensive than hiring a moving company.


The first step in choosing a company is looking at available companies.  Using your favorite search engine: Google, Yahoo, Bing or Duck, Duck, Go, search for the names of moving companies in the Tuscon area.  There are the organic listings, which are the traditional listings, and the mobile listings which shows three companies and can be opened to show an extended list of options.  Google lists over 100 moving companies in the immediate area.

When narrowing down the choices, ask neighbors, colleagues, even your local cashier for recommendations.  Nothing can replace personal experience.  Look through the yellow pages and the Internet to find movers near your zip code.  The closer the moving company, the lower the passive cost of them reaching your home or company. Companies that refer customers to select companies can be helpful, but make sure you book with the actual company as the referring companies are not bound by the same regulations as the moving company.  As you examine the Internet listings, your first stop should be the About page.  This is where you will learn the background of the movers and their mission statement.

After you have amassed your intermediate list, do a quick background check.  Look for positive Google+ reviews, check Yelp for local reviews,  the local Better Business Bureau would also have a list of any complaints filed through their site. You can also call or email the American Moving and Storage Association for more information.
Make sure the moving provider is bonded and insured.  As for a written document that outlines the complaint process, their policy for replacing damaged items, not just the items they are moving, but also your existing house and items (like the scraped kitchen floor.)

After you have selected three or four finalists, have them come buy for an in house estimate, unless you have a smaller project, then a phone estimate, should suffice, if they email or fax a signed contract that guarantees the offered price.  Clarify whether the time covered in the move is door to door, or if there is an additional cost for the time from their office to your residence.  Make sure the person giving the estimate knows any complications they may encounter at the destination.  Are there stairs, narrow halls, low ceilings.

Make sure you have the following when you have finished talking to the estimator:

  • The company’s full name and any other names under which it does business.
  • The company’s address, phone numbers, and e-mail and website addresses.
  • Names and contact information for the company’s references.
  • USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) and MC (motor carrier) license numbers.
  • The U.S. Department of Transportation booklet called “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” Federal law requires any interstate mover to provide you with this guide, which is the official rule book of the interstate moving industry. For in-state moves, movers are regulated by the state’s department of transportation or its public utilities or commerce commission. Some states publish their own moving-guide pamphlets.

Make sure you  get a written estimate that sets out the hourly rates and any additional costs you may incur (for supplies, tolls, driving time to and from the mover’s facilities). If you’re not sure about anything in the estimate, call and ask. And have the company send you a revised written estimate if necessary―don’t just take someone’s word for anything.

Don’t Choose a Tree Service Before Reading This

Whether you inherited your trees from a previous owner or have selected trees to add to your landscape, trees are a significant investment of time and money,but they bring a wide range of financial, health and emotional benefits.

Strategic planning when you add trees to your landscape can lower your energy bills and improve air quality. Planting deciduous trees with a large crown on the southern side will provide shade all day for windows and roofs.  Trees with lower crowns block the afternoon sun on the west side.  Small evergreens protect your property by acting as a wind breaker on the north and western sides of the property.

Did You Know…

  • The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • If you plant a tree today on the west side of your home, in 5 years your energy bills should be 3% less. In 15 years the savings will be nearly 12%. Dr. E. Greg McPherson, Center for Urban Forest Research
  • A mature tree can often have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000. Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers
  • In one study, 83% of realtors believe that mature trees have a ‘strong or moderate impact’ on the salability of homes listed for under $150,000; on homes over $250,000, this perception increases to 98%. Arbor National Mortgage & American Forests
  • Landscaping, especially with trees, can increase property values as much as 20 percent. Management Information Services/ICMA
  • One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people. U.S. Department of Agriculture

Trees not only add to a property’s aesthetic value, they also provide visual and sound barriers to increase your privacy.  Fruit, beautiful foliage, flowers, and
shade are other reasons homeowners choose to add trees and shrubs to their landscape.

When selecting the proper trees and ornamentals (shrubs) for your situation, you will need to consider the growth patterns of the tree, how hardy the tree is in different temperatures, its fall colors, and its watering requirements.  You can check out the blog at boisevalleytreetrimming.com to find more information.

Although many people maintain their own trees and ornamentals with proper fertilizing, pruning and watering.  There are times hiring a tree professional makes sense.  Removing large limbs, treating a tree that is not doing well, removing dead trees and remaining stumps are all jobs that are best completed by someone well versed in tree service.  The equipment and expertise needed makes completing these jobs successfully as a DIY project impractical.

Once you have determined that you need a tree service, how do you select the best company.  Companies reach the top of search engines because they have Internet knowledge, which does not always equal tree knowledge.

What questions should I ask a tree service…

  1.  Are they licensed to do business in your state?  Do they have all proper certifications?

2.  Do they have a certified arborist on their staff?  An arborist voluntarily takes a national certification test that focuses on the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining individual trees.

3.  Is the company properly insured?  If there is damage to your property, utility power lines, or a neighbor’s fence, you could be liable, if they are not insured.

4.  Can they give you a recent reference?

5.  Make sure the estimate includes the exact services that will be provided, the time frame, and the cost.  Just a note though, estimates do not allow for the unexpected, so if additional problems are found, the document may have to be adjusted.

6.  Do they use spikes to climb living trees that are not going to be removed?  Spikes can damage your trees and should not be used in pruning.

7. Do they advertise “topping” your tree as a service?  This term can have different meanings in the industry.  It can mean crown thinning, which removes limbs that are crossing or that are blocking light from the other branches. It can also mean removing live sections from the top of the tree, which should only be done in extreme circumstances as it diminishes the health and beauty of the tree.  This is often done to accommodate power lines and other structures.  Chosing a company with a certified arborist will ensure your tree is pruned properly.

8.  Who cleans up the debris?  Often crews will take the larger branches and leave the owner with a mess of smaller branches, leaves, and twigs.

9.  Will the crew be using hardhats and other personal protective equipment while on your property?  Attention to safety reflects the overall practices of the company.

6 Reasons to Hire a Plumber

The plumbing system in your home is the most unappreciated asset you own.  We want our showers hot, our toilets to flush and water to flow from our faucets.  When that doesn’t happen our daily schedule is completely disrupted.  Repairs can also put an unexpected strain on the budget.

fixing shower

Choosing the best plumber will ensure you have a quality repair at the best price.  You can trust that the price given in the estimate is what you will actually pay at the end of the job.  A dependable plumber will stay on the job from start to finish, so your life can get on track as soon as possible.  Finding the right plumber will begin a relationship that will last over the years, ensuring you know who to call for every plumbing emergency.

Here are six points to consider when selecting a plumber.

  1. Is the plumber licensed?

There are technicians and there are plumbers.  They both can do many of the same jobs, but the quality of work and the ability to correctly diagnose the problem is very different.  A master plumber has attended at least 4 years of schooling and has over six years of experience.

  1. Is the plumber bonded?

You also want to make sure the plumber is bonded.  This is another term for insured.  This means that if something is broken or damaged during the repair or installation process, the plumber has insurance that covers the cost of repair or replacement.

  1. Experience

How many years has the plumber been in the trade?  This would reflect their educational experience and their years on the job.  Every plumbing system is different.  Sometimes contractors or do-it-yourselfers create plumbing nightmares that require a professional who has seen it all.

  1. Solid Estimate Upfront

A reputable plumber will always come onsite and look at the problem before giving a solid estimate.  Make sure the plumbing company combines the standard visit fee with the cost of the repair or you could have a surprise in the bill.  Also, make sure that the quote or estimate includes the cost of the materials.

  1. Make sure that parts and labor have a written warranty.

There should be at least a one year warranty on both materials and labor.  Some companies will only give a 30 day warranty on labor.  You will have to decide whether or not that is adequate, depending on the service you need.

  1. Can the plumbing company provide you with references?

Any successful plumbing company will be able to provide you with reference customers.  By checking the references, you can be more confident that you are selecting the right plumber for the job.  You can also check on Yelp, Google +, and other online reviews.

The following video by Ocean Plumbing give you more tips for choosing a plumbing service.

Choosing a Carpet Cleaning Company – What All Should You Look For?

Most people who own a house will agree that maintaining a house can be quite expensive. Of course, it is very overwhelming to maintain a house. We all tend to find the quick, cheap and best deals available for our house cleaning tasks.

Source: Choosing a Carpet Cleaning Company – What All Should You Look For?


Certification is one of the key factors you should consider. Without certification, a company is not a company in reality. Instead, they are a team of cleaners claiming to be a company. A certified organization has a certificate to operate in a particular area. Certified providers provider best services at lowest rates. Without certificate, the working of the organization will be considered illegal and you cannot even claim against the organization if you are not satisfied with their work.


Besides certification, the company you are going to choose must be insured. This is important if you want guaranteed work. Another benefit of the insurance is that you can hold the company liable and recover compensation in case their cleaners cause damage to your carpets. This is indeed a great benefit as you will have peace of mind.

If you are hiring a carpet cleaner because of water damage, you need to find a company that also has experience with restoration.  Water leaking into the carpets can cause warping in the underlayment, if not dried quickly and thoroughly.  Carpet companies specializing in restoration will have large dryers that also pull extra moisture from the air keeping the humidity down.  They will use special equipment to gauge the moisture content of the flooring.  This helps prevent mold, a frequent complication of flood damage, from growing in the damp areas.


A few years back, you need to take your carpets to the carpet cleaning company, but now you can schedule an appointment with the cleaners by just making a phone call to them. There is no need to visit their office in person. They will come to your place as soon as possible after you have made a phone call. Some companies even allow you to fix an appointment through a text message, while others enable you to set up an appointment through their website. They will get back to you as soon as possible once you have shot them an email. This can save you a good deal of time.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7513573

How to Find a New Babysitter

Moving to a new community, you cannot find a babysitter, nanny, or caregiver in the traditional way. You used to be able to ask people you knew for a trustworthy person they knew or had used. Asking around the community, you could check out the prospective candidates to find out more about them.

Once, I even called the husband’s boss to find out more about my potential baby sitter. Here are three simple steps to hiring a babysitter, nanny, or caregiver when you are new to the community. When you have relocated that is not so easy.


There are several ways you can get the word out that you are hiring. Several ways are available to put the word out that you are looking for a sitter. There are community bulletin boards at the local grocery store, church, library, bank and community center. Finally, you can put an announcement in Craigslist and the newspaper.
Continue reading How to Find a New Babysitter