Friday, September 2, 2016

Hire a Pro or Get a Con

“Hire a pro or get a con”
OK, I know that’s strong language and, of course, everyone who is not a professional is not a con artist but somewhere in between is a well-intentioned "handyman" who kinda, sorta knows how to fix the problem.

In times of disaster recovery, we are blessed to have so many people with a heart to serve -- faith-based organizations, neighbors and friends who want to help. The good news is that the State often suspends or relaxes licensing laws to help expedite the rebuilding of a devastated area.  The bad news is that this opens the door for schemers to take advantage of homeowners who want to put their lives back together. 
SO... what do you do when you need a pro, but there are simply not enough professional contractors to help with renting dehumidifiers, buying effective chemicals, hauling away the debris? It seems overwhelming, but with the correct resources you could become your own Project Manager - be the master of your future and know that you are investing wisely in the rehabilitation of your home.

There are TWO resources that are incredibly helpful in knowing how to do this important work.  The IICRC S-520 (which can be purchased online as an electronic book) and the NORMI DIY Mold Removal Guide (downloadable at www.NORMI.org) are valuable resources and they don’t take long to learn!  YOU could know more than most about how to do this work yourself, so you can put your home and your life back together.

Get informed now.

Doug Hoffman, Executive Director of NORMI
Mr. Hoffman is considered an expert in the construction field on mold and related indoor air quality contaminants and speaks regularly on national radio programs, TV, and through NORMI's YouTube channel at www.YouTube.com/NORMIPro.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tips for Hiring a Contractor

As everyone gets back to their homes and begins to start the process of cleanup and restoring their home one of the first important steps is choosing the right contractor. There are many online resources to guide you through the proper way to do this many of which we have links to in posts at LAfloodresources.com. Here are a few additional tips which aren’t covered as much, but could be really helpful and worthy of emphasis.

The best way to find a contractor is to go to the http://www.lslbc.louisiana.gov/ (Louisiana Licensing Board for Contractors) and search for licensed contractors in your area. Once you have found several contractors you want to talk to it is also a good idea to see if they also belong to their local home builders association. While this is not necessary for a good licensed contractor, this is just an added measure to ensure their reliability.

Once you choose a contractor be sure to get a copy of their license certificate to keep in your files. If for any reason you run into problems with the contractor you can file a complaint with the Louisiana Licensing Board for Contractors so there is recourse for fraudulent activities.

When large flood events like this happen the supply of licensed contractors in Louisiana is overextended. There probably won’t be enough contractors to service the need. There may also be contractors from out of state who come in. Be wary of hiring out of state licensed contractors.

Once you hire a contractor and agree on an estimate, it is standard industry practice for them to require 10-20% of the estimate to cover the costs to get the job started. You may then have to agree upon a payment schedule as the work proceeds.

In regards to estimates, remodeling is very different from home building. In home building estimates can be very accurate because each aspect of the project is controlled by the builder, to a certain degree. In a remodel, things could be revealed during the remodel that the contractor could not account for during the initial estimate. Things like excessive mold or bacteria growth, rotting, original builder flaws that were covered up, damages to electrical, plumbing, a/c, etc.  any extras that a contractor wants to charge you for related to potential mold (and this is typically where the schemers do their work) can be verified by a pre or post remediation clearance inspection.  No contractor unless they are certified in mold should make a determination on potential mold remediation especially those tricky cases.  Direct any odd mold related questions to the pros and let the mold inspectors do their job.

During the process of choosing a contractor it is likely you will talk to 3 or 4 good contractors you like and you will need to look at examples of their work to see if their style and quality fits what you are looking for. Also realize you may have to concede on style and quality if because of the shortage of licensed contractors or the speed in which you want to get your house finished. This is a personal choice you have to make.

Finally, a few red flags that should raise eyebrows and make you ask questions large deposits, really quick or general pricing, aversion to getting a licensed mold professional to inspect the home before closing walls, gutting trying to close the walls within days after gutting, not talking about specific fixtures and selections before giving a specific price, unwillingness to give you specific references locally with contact info. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Mold Remeditation Licensing Organizations

Here is a list of several mold remediation licensing organizations that can help you find a licensed professional to clear your home.

National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors
http://www.normipro.com/

Institute  of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification
http://www.iicrc.org/consumers/care/mold-remediation/

National Association of Mold Inspectors
https://www.moldpro.org/directory/display/index.html

Indoor Air Quality Association
http://www.iaqa.org/consumer-info

Mold Inspection Consulting and Remediation Organization
http://www.moldcareer.com/

Saturday, August 20, 2016

What Does a Clean Home Certificate Look Like?

Below you will find some examples of a clean home certificate. The ones in this example are from NORMI (National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors). This is just one example from one organization. There are many different types of certificates that can be given to certify that your home has correctly and successfully been remediated. We urge you to go to http://www.lslbc.louisiana.gov/ to search for certified mold specialists in your area. The example given here is actually for two separate jobs. One is a certificate that is a letter of clearance/documentation from NORMI that it gives the homeowner to certify that their home has been cleared. The second document is a lab report that give specific findings and detailed information on the condition of your home. Please join our facebook page tonight at 8pm central time for a live discussion with Doug Hoffman, a NORMI representative, where you can ask any questions you may have about the mold remediation process.

NOTE: In order to prevent fradulent activity we are limiting the size and watermarking these documents so they will not be used to make counterfeit certificates. We apologize if it is hard to read some of the information, but this is just an example to give you a general idea of what the certificate looks like.





IMPORTANT MESSAGE!


What Tools to Bring When You Are Gutting a Home


Andrew discusses the differnt tools you need to have if you are volunteering to gut homes or doing it yourself.

What to do with electricity?

In this video Andrew discusses the steps needed to safely deal with a flooded homes electrical system.

Our Mission and Purpose

Louisiana Flood Resources was founded on the scripture Isiah 43:2 that God is with you in times of turmoil.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” Isiah 43:2

It is the hope of Louisiana Flood Resources to provide tangible resources and free advice as well as the hope of the Lord through prayer and service. Our mission is to provide free, unbiased information to homeowners and business owners to aid in the recovery efforts of the affected areas.

Louisiana Flood Resources is an organization of Christian men and women pulling together for flood relief. The organizations’s founder, RJ Cavalier, is a tenured construction professional that has held multiple state licenses over his career.  He is currently a National Purchasing Manager for an international construction, remodel and service support company.  His passion lies in post disaster support and rebuilding.  He hopes to assist homeowners in making informed and safe decisions in the wake of disasters.

RJ’s personal testimony
“My family and I went through a disaster ourselves.  In 2009, after a rare snow storm in south Louisiana a limb fell onto an overhead powerline back-feeding power into my home.  This caused an electrical fire right outside of my newborn daughter’s room.  As I gathered my family and ran outside, I looked back at the smoke billowing from my roof and all I could think was why would God do something like this to me? I serve in church, I live a good life, why would God allow this to happen?? That experience rocked me to the core, but I now know it was a catalyst for God to launch me into my true purpose and calling.

After 911 dispatched the call to the local firehouse, a local volunteer firefighter pulled up in his truck and ran straight my home with a pair of limb cutters and cut this powerline off of my home.  All I could think was how crazy and amazing this guy was to run in and put himself at risk for me. I didn’t understand his actions at the time but I so admired his willingness to help us in our time of need. I vowed then and there that I would pay it forward and use my knowledge and skills to help others in need just as he had for me.

In 2010, I was able to travel to Haiti for disaster relief and rebuilding with my local church. During my first trip to Haiti, God planted a mission in my heart to help restore communities post disaster.  Since, I travelled back to Haiti in 2011 and to South Africa in 2015 for disaster relief and restoration. I have been involved in every form of support after storms and natural disasters locally since from gutting, boat rescue, informational, consulting, etc.  My heart’s desire is to help recovery after disasters in any way I can.

In March of this year, during the first series of now historic floods we have had in our area,  I was leading a group of volunteers in Tangipahoa parish and the second home I walked into was that firefighter who saved my home!! God used our experiences to allow us to comfort and minister to each other and I was able to help him gut his home.  It was then, I knew I was on the right path!

ALL FLOODING IS NOT THE SAME!!!

Different areas of the country require different methods of cleanup after flooding occurs in
homes and buildings. And that’s because we are not only concerned with the floodwater, but
what’s in the floodwater. And that’s what is not being accounted for in many of the homes
being gutted and then rebuilt. Here’s a short list for those who consider doing the work
themselves: However, when in doubt, call a professional.

TIME IS NOT ON YOUR SIDE!
It is extremely important that you remove all water damaged contents from the
home ASAP. This should be followed by drywall and other building materials
removal. Don’t be concerned with mold at this point, just wear proper
protection clothing; gloves, N95 face mask; goggles, rubber boots etc.

WHAT’S IN THE FLOODWATER?
The water that sweeps through neighborhoods and into homes comes from
miles away. Pesticides, herbicides, raw sewerage, gasoline, and oil just to name a
few, are in the water and when the water dries up the residue remains a toxic
mess in the wall cavities and other areas.

HOW TO CLEAN SLUDGE AND DEBRIS.
If the home has a muddy residue or other coating it will require removal. It
sounds insane but the quickest way to remove is to use a low volume pressure
washer to blast the embedded bio-contaminants out of wood and concrete after
drywall demolition has been completed. Then wet vac all areas.
o Allow wood structural members to dry by forced air to speed up the process to a
point that the wood appears visually dry.

HOW TO DISINFECT STRUCTURAL WOOD.
There are many chemicals available to disinfect building materials during
remediation but the most effective in the event there is heavy soil and other
contamination is a Hydrogen Peroxide solution. There are several different
products on the market available so read the contents before buying to be sure
it contains at least 10% concentration. Higher is better. Apply Hydrogen Peroxide with a pump sprayer in all affected areas.

HOW DRY MUST THE WOOD STRUCTURE BE?
The preferred method of drying is to use forced air throughout the home. This
could take several days or more or until water content is 15% or less in wood
materials after the Hydrogen Peroxide has been applied and dried.

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN TO BUILD BACK?
If you have any doubt as to whether the home has been successfully cleaned and
disinfected, you should call for the services of a professional environmental or
mold inspector. A professional inspector will provide you with a post
remediation clearance report along with photos for your future use. This will
make life easier if or when you sell the home

Friday, August 19, 2016

An Important Message to Homeowners from RJ Cavalier


More Information on the Clean Home Certificate

There have been a number of questions regarding the Clean Home Certificate that we recently discussed.  Depending on the certification that the mold professional has, the certificate or report can be called different names.  NORMI.org is a fantastic resource.  NORMI (National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors) is an organization that trains and certifies mold inspectors.  This is not fake or a scam, it is what is recommended by professional experts.  You can get a pre-remediation report which tells you the proper steps needed to remediate your home and/or a post remediation report which will tell you if your home is clear to close walls. There is a cost for these inspections, however, this is the only guaranteed way to know your home is ready for closing. I do not understand why a contractor would be opposed to this inspection.  As a homeowner, you should want to know that your home has been remediated properly.  We do not promote any particular company, but suggest that you research mold inspectors on lslbc.louisiana.gov or search for licensed mold inspectors in your area with the proper due diligence.  I hope this helps clear any further questions you may have!

RJ Cavalier has been an invaluable resource to many during the recent natural disasters. He is a tenured construction management professional with vast experience in remodel and new construction for both residential and commercial industries, and disaster recovery. His passion is missions work, both locally by serving his community and internationally. He has visited Haiti twice to aid in the rebuild process after the devastating earthquake in 2010 and also South Africa. He has worked in disaster rescue and recovery, assisting hundreds of homeowners after major disaster events such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes.

Cost of Flooding Calculator

This is a great tool which comes from the website floodsmart.gov.  It can give you a very rough idea of how much you can expect to pay to have your home restored after flooding. While not perfect it does give you a good ballpark idea of what type of numbers you can expect to see from contractors to fix your home.

Sealing Exterior Walls That Have Pushed Out from Flood Waters

RJ and Paul discuss sealing exterior walls that daylight is coming through because they have been pushed out by flood waters.

Creating a Dry Environment in Your Home

RJ and Paul discuss how to create the driest possible conditions in your home so it will dry faster.

Drying Time and Obtaining a Clean Home Certificate

RJ and Paul discuss how long it may take to dry your home to acceptable levels as well as how to obtain a clean home certificate once it is dry.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

How to tell if your home is dry enough.

In this video RJ Cavalier and Paul Lagrange talk about the importance of letting your home fully dry before closing the walls with sheetrock.

Debris Removal Guidelines

This graphic from FEMA is a good example of how you should organize you debris as you are cleaning out your homes. Often in the rush to get things done we are tempted to just start throwing things out in a big pile for disposal services to come pick up. This is very dangerous as some appliances and electronics contain hazardous materials which can leak undetected in the piles and can become a danger to you or those around you. It also makes it easier because different services come to pick up different types of items. It makes it easier and faster to get these things disposed of for everyone.

Portable Generator Usage Tips

By: Paul LaGrange, LaGrange Consulting

Many people turn to a portable generator for a temporary solution without knowing the risks.
  • Each appliance should be connected to the generator with its own dedicated extension cord. Use the grounded type of extension cord. Do not combine multiple appliances on one extension cord with a splitter.
  • Match the correct gauge extension cord and length to the appliance. 
    • The lower the gauge rating - the heavier the extension cord wiring. Large appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers, and large window AC units require 10 gauge extension cords. 
    • The length of the cord is just as important as the proper gauge sizing. The length of the cord should equal or near equal to the distance between the appliance and the generator. If you have an extension cord that is too long, stretch the cord out instead of leaving large excess all coiled up. Stretching the cord out will allow proper heat dissipation.
  • Generators should be operated in well-ventilated locations outdoors away from all doors, windows, and vent openings.
  • Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the overhead door open.
  • Place generators so that exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors or other openings in the building. Make certain that your neighbor’s generator is not exhausting fumes into your home via an open window or door.
  • Make sure to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.
  • Never plug your generator directly into your home outlet. If you are connecting a generator into your home electrical system, have a licensed electrician install a Power Transfer Switch.
  • Generators produce powerful voltage - Never operate under wet conditions. Take precautions to protect your generator from exposure to rain or remaining flood waters.
  • Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is running.
  • After 48 hours of usage, the oil in a portable gas generator should be changed. Turn the unit off and allow it to cool down. Then, change the oil per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Store fuel for the generator in a container that is intended for the purpose and is correctly labeled as such. Store the containers outside of living areas.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Addressing deeper water flooding

FEMA Fact sheet for Individuals and Households

Click here to download this fact sheet from FEMA.

How to remove cabinets that have been flood damaged.

What to do about conduit in the slab?

Can we use DIY mold test kits instead of getting a pro for mold certification?

I would recommend using a pro.  While this may save you money, if you ever intend on selling your home after a flood, you will need a Clean House Certificate.  You will not get that from a big box store!  This is a place where saving money is definitely not worth it.

RJ Cavalier

MOLD REMEDIATION

Mold can develop within 24 to 48 hours of a flood, says Ashley Small of FEMA, so remove wet contents, including carpeting and bedding, as soon as possible. If an item has been wet for less than 48 hours, it may be salvageable. However, you’ll need to decide whether it holds enough monetary or sentimental value to try to do so. And notify your insurance company before removing items to ensure that you’re not affecting coverage. Always photograph the flood-soaked items.
Rugs, for example, may be dried and then cleaned professionally, which could cost $100 to $500 or more, depending on the size and number. Large pieces of furniture that are saturated will likely be difficult to dry effectively, and should often be discarded.

Mold growth can be controlled on surfaces by cleaning with a non-ammonia detergent or pine oil cleaner and disinfecting with a 10% bleach solution. (Caution: Never mix ammonia and bleach products, as the resulting fumes can be highly toxic.) Always test this solution on a small area of the item or area you’re cleaning to be sure it doesn’t cause staining or fading.

Take photographs before removing wet wallboards and baseboards because insurers will want to see the height of any water damage to walls.  Carefully poke holes at floor level in the drywall to allow water trapped behind it to escape.

You may also wish to hire a flood restoration service.  Please do your due diligence before hiring.  Paulshouse.com is a great resource.  I have personally used AllDry at  504-952-3030 and have had fantastic results.

RJ Cavalier

A Message from the Northshore Home Builders Association

Gutting solid wood molding

When removing solid wood molding, you can potentially reuse.  If you remove carefully, and a re willing to mitigate the individual pieces as well as removing all nails, it may be a cost savings center for you.  Please refer to other articles on lafloodresources.com on how to ensure that you are not reinstalling a contaminated molding.  It is critical that all door jambs and window sills (if flooded) are removed.  This video is especially good for informational purposes for volunteers gutting homes who may be unsure of what to do in these situations.

Gutting walls with foam insulation

Here is another great video on removing sheetrock.  On walls with foam insulation please call a professional to determine the type of insulation you have in your home.  My usual rule of thumb is if it is squishy insulation, it is definitely open cell and has to go.  If it is hard, it may be good to call a professional to confirm before closing the walls back up.  Please note that if you do leave the closed cell insulation it will need to be mitigated just like any other affected area in your home.  Please refer to our post on how to do that!  Another helpful hint is on interior walls, once you have removed the tape seem, if you press carefully from the backside of the sheetrock to remove, you can get most sheets out in a whole piece and save yourself clean up time!

Removal of interior and exterior doors

This is a great video on removal of doors.  Please pass around.  You  can remove hinges with a drill if you have one handy!  Also please remember that if you save any doors they need to be mitigated as discussed in our post on mold mitigation.

What do you suggest for those trying to match new bottom cabinets with old upper cabinets?

I have a ton of thoughts here.  First you should figure out whether you have prefab cabinets or custom cabinets.  

If they are custom, finding the same cabinet company to build the lowers and a simple revarnish of the top cabinets could have you looking good as new.

If they are prefabbed cabinets, you may be able to find the manufacturers information on the backs of your drawers or other odd places within the cabinets.  If you cannot find them, going to a big box store who carries many different brands with samples would be a good way to find the best match.  Get multiple estimates because cabinets can be one of those things that a similar item can vary in cost by thousands of dollars dependent on who you are paying to install.  Also take this time to think about your layout, add the drawers that you have been wishing for!!!


What if you cannot find a good match?  You have a few options here, getting unfinished cabinets in a similar style and painting both to match is a good bet.  I ran into this situation in my own home and decided to get creative!  We painted our bar with an accent color, then did the upper cabinets painted and lower cabinets stained.  It turned out beautiful.  I would also suggest to use apps like Pinterest to find the right combination for you.


How long should I leave the windows open after the storm?

Ultimately you are looking to get the moisture out of your home as fast as possible, fans, dehumidifiers, a/c, anything you can do to move air.  If your A/C is back running, and you have gutted, and you start noticing that the puddles on the floor, and deep wet areas on the plywood are gone, it is time to close those windows and rely on the A/C.  You do not want to freeze your air conditioner by running it nonstop, so be careful!  Good luck!!!

Salvaging Irreplacable Photos

Information to help salvage those irreplaceable photographs submerged in floodwater
https://www.nedcc.org/free-resources/preservation-leaflets/3.-emergency-management/3.7-emergency-salvage-of-wet-photographs

How You Can Help.

The outpouring of donations is amazing!! Know that 100% of you donation is going to relief efforts - no CEOs or overhead!

Four Things You Can Do Today:
1. Volunteer with NorthShore Relief Volunteers
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1071598852959516/

2. Go get an UMCOR bucket at St Timothy UMC http://www.sttimothyumc.org/ and fill it with supplies for flood victims.

3. Make a donation here - tax deductible & 100% of the donation are going flood relief efforts.
https://stumc.infellowship.com/onlinegiving/givenow/noaccount
Click on the Give To Menu, Select Relief For Flood Disaster 2016 and make your donation.

4. Share this Post with your friends.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Vendor Recomendations

Here is a link for those of you asking for recommendations on local contractors and subs.  These have been vetted and are reliable local vendors!

http://paulshouse.com

A Message from Allan Alongi, ADA rep

Anyone in need of insulin during the current flooding in South Louisiana, please email me aalongi@diabetes.org

Our office is located just an hour away from the flood zone and our active sponsor, Novo, is assisting in getting type 1 diabetics the insulin they need during these hard times. Stay safe!

 Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the flooding in Louisiana. If you are in a shelter which has medical staff, and you are in need of insulin, please call our office at (225) 932-9511 or email louisiana@jdrf.org. We are in contact with a local Novo Nordisk representative who may be able to deliver insulin to your shelter's medical staff.

Exciting News!

First time gutting?

Here is a quick guide to gutting walls. A few helpful tips for those volunteering or doing this for the first time.

What does flood insurance cover?

Volunteer Efforts and Giving

What do people need and how can we help? 
 This is a very common question. To start people need boxes, garbage bags, lunches (since they may not have refrigerators), waters, and people. Most of the time the work of gutting, and cleanup does not take any skill. Just packing up items from cabinets and closets and pulling wet items to bring them to the street. Please if you are helping wear gloves, dust masks and boots. Also people being there so the person going through the flood doesn't feel alone and feels hope. 

Proof for Insurance and FEMA

Do we need to wait for insurance before I do anything? 
  NO!!!! Insurance has to make you whole. Do your job, file your claim, take pictures and get bids. Keep all receipts!!!! You do what you need to do to get your home whole as fast as possible and give them the evidence a sad long as you can prove that the work was justified by having 3 bids by licensed contractors, you have the right to use whoever you want. What insurance will not cover is if you do not do your job and let mold take over your home. They will not pay for that! I cannot over emphasize enough, get a licensed mold remediation company out to your home and have it mold tested before closing the walls. ALWAYS have a different company do the test than the one who remediated. I have used Servepro, Service Master, and many others, but All-Dry came through at the last flood event when other could not. I am getting nothing for saying this. Ask people who used them, they were great!!!!! Tell Paul at All-Dry I sent you and he will put you at the top of the list! (504) 952-3030. 


Do you recommend leaving a couple inches of Sheetrock for proof for insurance?
No, just document with photos, try to get time stamped.  I believe most phones now encrypts time stamp of the time and date in the file. Date/time as well as GPS location in most cases is encrypted in the descriptive meta data of the photo. There are some apps you can use to see it.

Air Conditioning and Mechanicals

Should you run your a/c if it is still partially under water?  
Typically the condenser is pretty water proof. I would rather get the humidity out of your home with dehumidifier than your a/c due to spreading mold spores throughout your duct work, but if all you have is a/c, I would say go for it. When asking an A/C professional, they said "let a service tech make the call when he looks at it. I can't tell someone it's OK to run it without putting my eyes on it, for safety and liability reasons. If water is just touching the bottom of the coils I don't see a problem. When it starts getting close to electrical wires, bad things can happen. Once the water is not in the unit I say run it. It will help dehumidify the house." Also please buy the best filter you can buy and change regularly for the coming weeks. You want to prevent spreading contaminants and dust as best as possible.

Mold Mitigation

If your home gets flooded, it's imperative that you ripped out all your carpeting bedding and Furniture as soon as possible. Get a sheetrock knife and cut off sheetrock if a four foot level even though you may have had one foot of damage. Rip out the sheetrock to get the insulation out of the wall. The installation will act as a sponge and the water will creep up the wall. Get fans in every room if possible turn on your air conditioning system and crack your windows. Do not under any circumstances leave the house closed up. Get a licensed mold professional to test you home BEFORE you close the walls back up. Bleach is NOT the cure all!!!!! Get a clear mold test before re-rocking!!! Use a local GC, and get referrals!!! If you need recommendations for mold remediation and gc's, please call or PM me. Get on the list now so you are not waiting forever for someone.

How long before I should start gutting my home?
In March we came across homes that after 2 weeks had not been gutted because people were on a list waiting for their GC. Let me start by saying that if you have a GC that says it's okay to keep your home wet for 2 weeks or more than 48 hours waiting on him, get another GC!!!!! Once you have gutted, and started he drying process you can wait as long as you want, but until then, don't wait on a contractor because he is costing you money every hour you wait!!!!

Do you recommend leaving a couple inches of Sheetrock for proof for insurance?
No, just document with photos, try to get time stamped.  I believe most phones now encrypts time stamp of the time and date in the file. Date/time as well as GPS location in most cases is encrypted in the descriptive meta data of the photo. There are some apps you can use to see it. 

Should we take out wood flooring if it lays back down after dried? 
 Although your wood may look fine, under your wood floors if there is any moisture, mold will grow, it may take months to show it self and you may never see it but just find your allergies and sicknesses get more frequent. I recommend taking out all carpet, and wood. Tile can stay because there is no organic material for mold to grow on. 

If you had roof leaks, there is similar problems. Attic insulation, especially if it jean or cellulose insulation, will mold. You have to get the wet insulation out ASAP. Once complete, make sure anything wet is dried and follow the other recommended steps in my previous post. 

What about cabinets? Should they be removed?
Unfortunately this is a question that is hard for people. I say ALL lower cabinets need to go. If someone says different, you are more than welcome to take your chances. Sheetrock wicks moisture, and in doing so it gets between the Rock and the back of the cabinet as well as below the cabinet. This is a perfect breeding ground for mold. Many cabinets can be saved if you are careful and then the kick plates and sides can be re-skinned once dry. It is very difficult to get most counters off in one piece though. I know this is a place many people try to save money and really fight to not do, but you should remove them. 

Should I mitigate the mold myself?
I already see a bunch of posts that talk about how to mitigate mold yourself, and some that talk about not taking out cabinets. (Just take out swollen shelves and open doors to dry out). BE CAREFUL!!! If you will mitigate yourself, do yourself a favor and get your home tested before you close the walls. Lower cabinets SHOULD come off. Even if you save them, they should come off so the area between the cabinet and wall dry. Don't believe everything you read.

Proof for Insurance.

Do you recommend leaving a couple inches of Sheetrock for proof for insurance?
No, just document with photos, try to get time stamped.  I believe most phones now encrypts time stamp of the time and date in the file. Date/time as well as GPS location in most cases is encrypted in the descriptive meta data of the photo. There are some apps you can use to see it.

About Cabinets

What about cabinets? Should they be removed?
Unfortunately this is a question that is hard for people. I say ALL lower cabinets need to go. If someone says different, you are more than welcome to take your chances. Sheetrock wicks moisture, and in doing so it gets between the Rock and the back of the cabinet as well as below the cabinet. This is a perfect breeding ground for mold. Many cabinets can be saved if you are careful and then the kick plates and sides can be re-skinned once dry. It is very difficult to get most counters off in one piece though. I know this is a place many people try to save money and really fight to not do, but you should remove them. 

I received a call saying that an insurance adjuster told a family to NOT remove cabinets. And it would be a week before he could get there. I need an insurance adjuster to comment to this. Leaving cabinets will leave you exposed to mold. My recommendation would be to have a licensed GC or mitigation company write a letter saying they need to come out then remove them. I suspect this is an adjusted that doesn't have a clue!!! I have NEVER seen a claim for cabinets counters or appliances denied after a flood even if it was low water!!!!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Applying for Disater Assistance


This addresses a few things I haven't talked about.



https://www.houselogic.com/finances-taxes/home-insurance/what-do-first-24-hours-after-flood/

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

To all those that are flooding or know people who are dealing with this horrific tragedy, I am so sorry!!!! I am praying for you all (especially the repeat homes). I know it is horrific, frustrating, and disheartening. I have served through multiple storms, floods, disasters and have a ton of helpful suggestions for you to get back up on your feet as soon as possible. I have hugged countless people with blank stares, who had no idea what they were going to do next. THERE IS A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!!!! If you need any advice or help, please let me know! PM me and I will help you in any way I can. There are a ton of things that can be done now to save you headaches later. You will have so many questions about how to remediate that you should be asking now. Getting on a good contractors list now for the appropriate repairs is critical. Please PM me and I will walk you through as much as I can!!! Please share this. THIS IS NOT SALES, I am not selling anything other than help!!!!! Prayers!!!