A.L.E (alternate living expense): Sleep safely, after a small fire

You are entitled to be kept safe in a clean environment, that’s what insurance is for, we say you use it.

you are entitled to be kept safe in a clean environment

You are entitled to be kept safe in a clean environment, that’s what insurance is Yes, we have encountered this situation many times, people choosing to sleep in a house after a small fire or major smoke condition like a puff back. Even when some clients become aware that their insurance coverage would pay for all the cleaning and the policy likely has A.L.E (alternate living expense) coverage that would reimburse them for housing costs. Even when presented with this information, they still choose to stay. Yes, you are entitled to be kept safe in a clean environment, that’s what insurance is for, we say you use it.

We explain the inhalation risks of toxic smoke particles in the air that can’t be seen and that they will be breathing in. These particles, not visible to the naked, eye will remain airborne for up to a week or more. We show them that all surfaces, textiles (soft goods like blankets, drapes & clothes) clearly smell and should all be cleaned immediately so that more toxic smoke particles don’t become airborne when these items are moved or used. In addition, wearing clothing that has toxic smoke particles absorbed into them creates a pathway for intrusion into your body through absorption by physical contact on bare skin. Smoke will penetrate the interior portions of cabinets & closets exposing their food, cups, dishes, etc. During intense smoke conditions even the interior of refrigerators will show signs of smoke intrusion.

A.L.E (alternate living expense) will keep you safe so you don't breath in toxic smoke particles
Don’t expose your family to the risks of toxic smoke particles, A.L.E will cover the costs to stay someplace safe.

Why stay in a toxic environment?

What really makes us scratch our heads is why would anyone expose themselves & their family (pets included) to these hazards when their insurance policy would likely cover all of the necessary cleaning & air filtering to make their home safe? Yes, it will be inconvenient and you might actually have to move out but if you have ALE, there is no cost. Plus, accessing ALE will give you two additional benefits. The first benefit is your insurance carrier will expedite the processing & paying of this claim so they can minimize the ALE costs. The second benefit in moving out is that it will give your smoke damage cleanup contractor full access to clean every square inch of your home with a large crew which should make the project go much quicker.

Use your A.L.E (alternate living expense), stay safe.

With all the above said, wouldn’t anyone & everyone want their project to go quicker? Who would knowingly expose their family to dangerous carcinogens so their insurance carrier could save money?

For more damage restoration related blogs, please visit our website at https://truerestorations.com/blog
The True Restorations Team



Call a Plumber first for pipe burst?

Should you call a plumber first for a pipe burst in your home or business? You can’t go wrong with that, agreed, but you can probably do better. What if you called a “full-service” water damage restoration contractor first? This type of contractor can not only fix the burst pipe but can also assist you with starting an insurance claim, can perform immediate cleanup on credit, can help you with damaged contents, can provide cleaning and storage of salvageable contents, can assist you in a consulting capacity to settle your repair payout & can provide full repairs services for the exact insurance payout and can also coordinate any specialty service needed, wouldn’t that be a better first call?



Fix the burst pipe

full service restoration contractor

Restoration Contractor

Fix the burst pipe
Assist you with starting claim
Immediate cleanup on credit
Assist with damaged contents
Provide cleaning & storage of salvageable contents
Assist you in settling your repair payout
Provide full repairs services
Coordinate any specialty service needed

Call a full service restoration contractor, the best “first call” that you could make

If your home or business is affected by water, smoke, fire or mold and you are in need of emergency assistance, a full-service restoration contractor would be the best “first call” that you could make. These contractors have vast experience in handling every need that arises from these conditions. Their insurance claims experience is invaluable from the start. They can expertly convey the site conditions & cause of the loss to the claims department when the claim is first filed. Many policyholders don’t realize that saying the wrong thing to an insurance carriers claim intake representative can cause their claim to be denied. Additionally, having a plumber come in first to do an emergency repair and not having the plumbers invoice prepared properly can end up costing the unwitting owner a bunch of money that should normally be reimbursed. An experienced restoration contractor would have a plumbers invoice prepared to show one cost for the actual pipe repair and a second invoice or line item for the cost to access the damaged pipe including cleanup costs. Invoicing like this is better because typically the demolition & cleanup needed to access the pipe is reimbursed whereas the pipe repair is not.

Save yourself time, money & aggravation when you chose a restoration contractor

Another reason to call a restoration contractor first is to enjoy a seamless, time saving advantage in having the pipe repaired and cleanup started as soon as the pipe is repaired, often times with both being done simultaneously. The full-service water damage restoration contractors’ services will also expedite all other aspects of the job through completion with net savings of time that could add up to weeks, if not months. Wouldn’t everyone want their home or business fully fixed back to the way it was quicker & with much, much less time, effort & aggravation in coordinating multiple contractors? We think so and so do all of our clients.

For more info on similar damage restoration topics, please visit our blog on our website https://truerestorations.com/blog/
The True Restorations Team


Ice Damming, is this worthy of an insurance claim

ice damming in gutter
Radiating heat will thaw the growing ice sheet and cause water to drip onto the ceiling or floor system and down & within the outside wall affecting the framing, insulation, sheetrock, windows, doors, electrical wiring, etc.

Ice Damming, is this worthy of an insurance claim? First, let’s understand what is occurring with an ice dam. Your typical ice dam will occur when the underside of a sloped roofs snow layer melts from the radiating heat within a structure below. That melted snow (water) will run down the roof shingles to the lowest portion of the roof, typically the uninsulated, unheated roof overhang and into a gutter or off the roof. During times of extreme cold, that water runoff will rapidly freeze at the overhang, before it exits into the gutter and forms into a growing block or dam of ice. The ice dam allows more runoff to collect and rapidly freeze into a sheet of ice that will continue to grow & expand back up the roof. The ice will grow under the roof shingles & even under the membrane below the shingles, which is typically called felt paper or tar paper on older roofs. Once the growing ice sheet grows high enough to reach the outside wall of the house, the radiating heat below will thaw the growing ice sheet and cause water to drip onto the ceiling or floor system and down & within the outside wall affecting the framing, insulation, sheetrock, windows, doors, electrical wiring, etc. This leak could be the entire length of the exterior walls, 30-50 feet or more.

mold behind kitchen cabinets
Ice dam leaks occur often in kitchen areas. When this occurs, the wall cabinets, base cabinets, countertops & backsplashes need to be removed to access the wet walls behind them.

Ice damming is a serious condition that can result in hazardous mold & expensive repairs

Ice damming is a serious condition that will need to be addressed ASAP, especially with the likely trapped water and moisture within exterior walls, ceiling & roof systems. The trapped moisture can and will cause hazardous, unseen, harmful mold to grow if left unaddressed. Water infiltrating electrical devices within these hidden cavities is another major concern that should be investigated and dealt with. An experienced water damage restoration contractor will seek out the trapped moisture with a host of specialized tools including, non-invasive moisture meters, thermal imaging cameras, invasive moisture probes to check for wet insulation. Once insulation gets wet, it won’t dry out naturally and will need to be physically removed. Sadly, the proper way to mitigate this condition is to strip the walls down to the studs to expose the wet framing members & exterior wall/roof sheathing. The wall, ceiling & roof cavities can be dried with air moving equipment coupled with industrial strength dehumidifiers. Exposing the hidden cavities also gives access to the potentially compromised electrical connections for inspection & replacement, if needed.

To make matters even worse, these ice dam leaks occur often in kitchens areas that have cabinet runs on the exterior walls. When this occurs, the wall cabinets, base cabinets, countertops & backsplashes typically need to be removed to access the wet walls behind them. This will make living in the dwelling during the cleanup & repairs extra challenging for inhabitants.

File a claim

gutter damageBased on our field experience in dealing with these situations and the snowballing costs to not only properly mitigate & cleanup the damages but coupled with the repair costs to replace the demolished items, it really is a “no brainer” to file a claim. Stopping the ice dam causing the leak is tricky and not likely covered by your insurance policy. That work should be done before you mitigate & should be done by a competent roofer with the use of a more modern roof membrane called “rain & ice shield”. Newer roofs should already have this membrane and if installed correctly should prevent a leak from an ice dam. Stopping an ice dam from even occurring is another ball of wax that would require a more exotic intervention such as heating the roof overhang with heating elements, which is rarely done and likely very costly to install.

If you see water stains or dripping water in many locations along an exterior wall or floor / ceiling at an exterior wall, suspect an ice damn & call a water damage restoration contractor for an immediate assessment. Early intervention can help minimize the damage which will minimize the overall amount of needed demolition, disruption & cost to you.

We hope you found this information helpful. If interested in viewing more damage restoration information please visit our blog at https://truerestorations.com/blog/
The True Restorations Team

Why you should use a “full service” restoration contractor

You just experienced a water damage event at your home and are searching for a restoration contractor. Do you know not all water damage restoration companies perform the same services? Many only perform the emergency mitigation/cleanup services and not build back / restoration. In fact, for companies that advertise themselves as a restoration contractor while not offering the repairs seems disingenuous, if not misleading – don’t you think?

Exactly what services do full-service restoration contractors offer and how can that benefit you? A list of full services would include insurance claims assistance, on-site consultations & communications with the insurance companies field adjuster, content cleaning and pack-out services of salvageable contents in the affected areas, mitigation and clean up services, complete repairs of all affected finishes….everything.

The benefit of utilizing a full-service restoration contractor as compared to a “mitigation only” are many. The major difference is time and effort to settle the claim and get rebuilt back to pre-loss condition. Having a full-service restoration contractor to assist you in the entire claim will easily save you weeks if not months of delays and aggravation. Trying to settle your claim while simultaneously getting quotes from typical contractors that match up to the insurance adjusters estimate is a daunting task. What is a month of your time and aggravation worth? Go with a full restoration company.

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