Reconstructing After a Disaster

disaster reconstruction mesaWhere do you Start?

Hiring the right professionals to rebuild your home after extensive damage might be the most important step you can take after all those terrible, uncontrollable events. So here are some points to consider as you start:

Safety First!

According to Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the re-occupancy or reconstruction phase of disaster recovery presents risks to your family’s health. Structural damage, unstable materials, chemical spills, gas leaks and electrical hazards may pose dangers. Of course, put safety first around obvious hazards like downed power lines, but also around structural dangers like buckling roofs/walls/stairs.

  • Remind yourself often to put people before property!
  • Assess structural stability before you enter; a professional inspection may be needed.
  • Prepare a plan for site work, make a map including disposal, review insurance policies and research disaster assistance resources.
  • Go slow when pumping out water, then act fast to dry out and remove mold.
  • Restore for more than before! Install hazard-resistant materials, connectors, and building systems. Include energy- saving and healthy home improvements.

In addition, a major cleaning prior to re-occupancy is needed so that no toxic chemical or biological health hazards remain.

  • Wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including protective clothing and an approved respirator, every time you set foot in a moldy building.
  • Assume lead-based paint and asbestos are in homes built before 1978 (unless verified.)
  • Control dust, capture debris and contain contaminants – with wet methods, drop cloths, debris bags, HEPA vacuums and workers trained in safe work practices.

Finding and Working with the Right Team

Be patient and ask the questions to screen for professionalism; you need to find the most qualified team. Ask for recommendations, check references, take notes, then trust your instinct and move on to another if qualifications are not met.

HIre only licensed and insured contractors, Lead-Safe Certified Renovators and certified asbestos professionals. Check with your local contractor licensing agency, permit office and health department for requirements and lists.

After you have executed a contract, you move to the actual construction phase.

  • Confirm all permits and approvals before construction begins.
  • Agree with the contractor early about whether restoration work can be completed while your family remains in the residence. Be sure you and your family honor the separation of work areas from living spaces.
  • Before wall cavities are closed up, a licensed/certified mold inspector should look at the work that was done. Use a moisture meter on semi-porous structural materials, like wood, to confirm moisture content.
  • If there is lead paint or asbestos, the contractor will need to have a clearance test conducted by a certified lead clearance examiner, or by a certified asbestos contractor.

Reusing Materials– To Save or Replace

One of the first critical decisions is what you can save or has to be replaced. For example, will the moldy material be able to be cleaned and treated so that mold will not come back? Usually, materials that are soft and porous will need to be replaced. Semi-porous materials like wood and concrete can usually be cleaned and treated. Non-porous materials should be dried and cleaned with a detergent solution or bleach and water.

Consider the possibility of future disaster events. If you are restoring a basement or first floor in a flood-prone area, use moisture resistant building materials like fiberglass-faced gypsum board and spray foam rather than traditional drywall.                    

Why Choose a Full-Service Restoration Company?

A full-service company can turn your loss into an opportunity to rebuild and improve your property. Use high-quality materials and employ skilled carpenters and tradesmen who are committed to reconstructing your property to “better than” its pre-loss condition. Having a single contractor like Valleywide Restoration provides the following benefits:

  • A single point of contact. You’ll have direct access to a dedicated project manager who will work with you from start to finish. You’ll always be up-to-date on the project, and any questions will be answered quickly.
  • Simplified process. We’ll coordinate everything in-house, so you only have to work with one company. We’ll also work directly with your insurance company.
  • Faster results. We’ll coordinate the cleanup and repairs, eliminating any unnecessary delays during the restoration process.
  • Lower costs. Our teams work together to avoid unnecessary labor costs resulting from setup and teardown times.
  • Higher standards. Everyone in our company is dedicated to delivering only the best. You can count on excellent customer service, experienced technicians and carpenters, and high-quality construction services.

Valleywide Restoration is committed to reconstructing your property to “better than” its original status.  Call (480) 535-7077 for 24/7.