Regardless of whether or not this is your first emergency situation, you are likely at a loss as to what happens next. Top Gun places this process into three critical phases.
Phase 1 – Emergency Response Phase – Average duration is 3 to 7 days
Critical Actions: Responding to the emergency situation and performing work to mitigate the damages as quick as possible. If you haven’t already did so, open a claim with your insurance provider.
Description: The first stage in a fire, flood/sewer back up or storm damage clean up is referred to as “the emergency.” This is the stage whereby the source of the damage is eliminated and/or corrected and the structure and contents are returned to a safe and dry state. The insurance industry commonly refers to the event that caused the damage as “the loss.” The amount of time required for the Emergency Phase depends on the length of time it requires for the structure to dry or be made safe. On average this phase lasts 3 to 7 days unless there are extenuating circumstances.
Phase 2 – Administration Phase – Average duration (2 to 8 weeks)
Critical Actions: Assess the full extent of the damages, fully document the loss and select a contractor to perform repair work.
Description: When the structure is dry and safe, the Emergency Phase is over. At this time, the loss moves into the Administration Phase where the immediate hazards have been handled and the structure has been re-established to a safe and dry condition but NO repairs have been made to the property.
The amount of time for this phase depends on the scope of work and how quickly the insurance responds to your claim. Many times, we are solicited by the insurance company to prepare an estimate and submit for their approval. Sometimes this goes fairly quickly and other times, it has been several weeks before they approve the estimate and scope of work. If your claim is a result of a catastrophic event (e.g. large hail storm or smoke damage from a large fire), additional response time should be expected due to the nature of the amount of personnel that are affected.
Phase 3 – Reconstruction Phase – Average duration (2 to 16 weeks)
Critical Actions: Return the property to pre-loss condition
Description: The Rebuild or Reconstruction Phase is the process by which your property is restored to its original state prior to the loss. During this phase Top Gun works with the property owner to select items such as flooring, paint colors and prepare a production schedule.
Depending on the insurance company, payment may be direct to the contractor or at times they may issue a co-payable check that will require signatures from both parties. In most cases, this does not include the deductible, which becomes your responsibility to pay the contractor directly.
Most people choose wood floors for the ease of cleaning. Regular maintenance includes sweeping with a soft bristle broom or dusting with a dry microfiber mop. If the floor has beveled edges, vacuum with the beater bar TURNED OFF to remove dust from between the floor boards. Clean the floors periodically with a professional wood floor cleaning product recommended by a wood flooring professional.
The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) recommends the following maintenance schedule:
|Daily||Sweep or dust mop|
|Weekly||Vacuum using the bare floor setting|
|Monthly||Clean with recommended wood flooring cleaner|
|Every 3 – 5 Years||Maintenance coat|
|Every Few Decades||Sand and refinish|
To keep wood floors looking and performing well for generations, follow these guidelines. Individual maintenance schedules will vary depending on use, wear and tear, and lifestyle.
There are other steps that can help maintain the beauty of wood floors.
DO NOT USE vinyl or tile cleaning products on wood floors. Self-polishing acrylic waxes cause wood to become slippery and appear dull quickly.
Use throw rugs at doorways to help prevent debris from being tracked in and scratching the floor.
DO NOT wet-mop or steam mop a wood floor. Water and steam can dull the finish and even damage the wood.
Wipe up spills immediately with a slightly dampened cloth.
DO NOT over-wax a wood floor. If a wax floor dulls, try buffing instead. Avoid wax buildup under furniture and other light traffic areas by applying wax in these spots every other waxing session.
Put stick-on felt protectors under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching. Replace these often as dirt and debris can become imbedded on the pad and act like sand paper on the flooring surface.
Avoid walking on your wood floors with sports cleats and high heels in disrepair. A 125-pound woman walking in high heels with an exposed heel nail can exert up to 8,000 pounds per square inch. This kind of impact can dent any floor surface.
When moving heavy furniture, DO NOT slide it on wood flooring. It is best to pick up the furniture to move it and to prevent scratches.
For wood flooring in the kitchen, place an area rug at the kitchen sink.
Use a humidifier throughout the winter months to minimize gaps.
*Information provided by the National Wood Flooring Association
Humidity in Colorado
Colorado and the surrounding mountain states are among the most challenging regions for all wood products because of Colorado’s extremely dry climate. The concerns of relative humidity control have been addressed by all major wood flooring manufacturers and are clearly documented by them as well as the National Wood Flooring Association. Below are some important points to consider before installing:
- It is the responsibility of the homeowner to keep the relative humidity within a constant and acceptable range. Consideration of an appropriate humidification system should be given when a home is designed, or when hardwood flooring is added to an existing home.
- Experts differ slightly on the range they feel is the most appropriate, but a consensus would be between 30% and 40% relative humidity. Any in-home environmental conditions at the low end of or below this range will likely result in drying and cracking to some extent in most wood species. Without additional humidification, in-home relative humidity can drop below 15% during the heating season because our Colorado winters are so dry.
- Even if the atmosphere is generally controlled within this range, there will still be some movement as the seasons change and the relative humidity moves up or down.
- Wood is a natural product and its limits must be respected. Extremely low humidity has a profound effect on properly manufactured and installed wood flooring. Manufacturers do not consider some plank separation or cracking to be defects that would be covered under their warranty.
- Engineered wood flooring is more stable than solid wood flooring and will not shrink or expand to the same degree. However, it is still an all-wood product that will react to swings in humidity.
- Solid wood floors generally will expand and contract more than engineered floors resulting in larger gaps between the flooring boards during dry times of the year.
- Extremely dry conditions (those below 30%) will result in gaps between solid wood planks. The size of the gaps will depend on the size of the planks. The wider the plank, the wider the gap.
- Extremely dry conditions (those below 30%) will also result in gaps between engineered wood planks. However, they will not be as wide. Extremely dry conditions may also result in cupping of engineered planks. (Dry cupping is caused when the top of the board is dryer than the bottom.)
- Extremely dry conditions (those below 30%) may also result in cracks and checking in the surface of both engineered and solid planks. These are not considered defects and are not covered under manufacturer’s warranty.
Hardwood Flooring Types
There are several types of hardwood flooring available in the market which differ from the variety of wood. When choosing a type, it will depend on many different variables which are dependent on the environment, the home, the subfloor and several other variables. To learn about the types, read below.
Solid Wood Flooring
Solid wood flooring comes in three main types. Each type is available in both an unfinished and a pre-finished version. Unfinished flooring must be job-site sanded and finished after installation. Pre-finished flooring is sanded and finished at the factory — so it only needs installation. The three main types of solid wood flooring are:
Strip flooring – This type of flooring is denoted by the thickness and width of the wood planks. Strip flooring has a set width, but the thickness can vary. Strip flooring ranges in thickness from 5/16 of an inch to 3/4 of an inch wide. It is available only in widths of 1 1/2 inches, 2 inches and 2 1/4 inches.
Plank flooring – Plank flooring only comes in two thicknesses, but unlike strip flooring, the widths can vary. It is available only in thicknesses of 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch and a range of widths from 3 inches to 8 inches.
Parquet flooring – Parquet floors have a very different look from typical hardwoods. They are made up of geometrical patterns composed of individual wood slats held in place by mechanical fastening or an adhesive.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood flooring should not be confused with laminate wood flooring. Engineered flooring is produced by adhering layers of plastic laminate veneer with real wood. The main difference between this type of wood and laminate flooring is that laminate flooring contains no actual wood. Look for more on laminate wood flooring later in this article.
Acrylic-impregnated Wood Flooring
Acrylic-impregnated wood flooring is infused with sealant and color throughout the thickness of the wood. So, what is normally a surface “finish” is actually consistent throughout the wood. This type of flooring is most commonly used in commercial, not residential, projects. This type of floor is very hard and it is highly resistant to moisture and scratches.
According to the World Floor Covering Association, once installed, it is extremely difficult to tell the difference between a solid wood floor and the other wood floors. Solid hardwood strip floors are the most common flooring option, although engineered flooring has become very popular due to its low cost.
Laminate Wood Flooring
According to Floor Shop, laminate flooring is typically constructed with a high-density fiberboard core, sandwiched between a melamine laminate backing, high-quality photographic paper with an image of wood, stone or other natural flooring, and a melamine laminate top. There are a few new hybrid products that replace the photographic paper with a very thin slice of real wood veneer.
There are benefits and drawbacks to both hardwoods and laminate flooring. Hardwood floors can be scratched, but scratches are pretty easy to repair. If a laminate floor is scratched or tears, it is not very easily repaired. Where a hardwood floor can be sanded to remove imperfections, the same is not true with laminate floors. Laminate flooring companies do make touch-up and chip repair kits as well as offer plank replacement. With hardwoods, though, a simple light sanding may do the trick. If you have pets or foresee a lot of scratching and scuffing in your floor’s future, hardwoods may be a better option than laminate.
One of the benefits of laminate over hardwoods is that laminate flooring does not yellow or fade from sunlight or other elements. Most stained wood floors will change color over time. Unlike laminates, though, wood floors can always be restored to their original beauty. On the other hand, laminate floors never need wax or polish. Both hardwood floors and laminates can be affected by excessive moisture, but it is only laminate flooring that can really hold up to being put in a kitchen or bathroom. Rooms that get a lot of moisture are not ideal for hardwoods. Finally, a special padding is required under laminate floors to reduce the floor’s potential for noise. Ultimately, the decision to go with hardwood floors or laminate flooring is best made by examining what’s best for your personal needs.
So, which type of wood floor would be best for you? There are several things to keep in mind when choosing the appropriate type of wood flooring for your home. Solid hardwoods may require a little more upkeep than engineered wood flooring, but they can always be re-sanded and refinished. If maintained, solid wood floors will retain their value better than engineered woods. In addition, deciding between strip, plank or parquet is, for the most part, a question of taste. If you like thin, long planks of wood, you should choose strip flooring. If you prefer the aesthetic of very wide planks of wood, then plank flooring may be your best choice. And, if you have a more decorative look in mind — perhaps a geometric design — parquet floors will be a perfect match for your taste. Remember that plank flooring may require some extra work during installation, and its cost can be higher than strip flooring.
Information provided by howstuffworks.
In most circumstances, unlicensed contractors offer lower quotes because they do not pay a licensing fee, or obtain the necessary insurance to protect their work or their personnel from injury. The major issue for hiring an unlicensed and uninsured contractor transfers the risks to the homeowner. Here’s where you expose yourself to the greatest risk:
Lack of Basic Protection
For contractors to acquire a license demonstrates they have a minimal level of competence in that field. Many different industries have licenses so they have creditability. Would you see a doctor without a license? Would you hire a lawyer that didn’t pass the bar?
Protecting Property Values
Failure to pull a permit doesn’t allow the county or city to help protect you from faulty work. Therefore, when you go to sell your home, specific facts must be disclosed to the buyers. Unpermitted work, especially if it is not to code, could impact the value of the property and failing to disclose information could lead to liability of the seller. If the work isn’t to code, you will have to ensure it complies before a buyer will purchase your home.
Many unlicensed contractors also fail to carry workers compensation insurance. Without workers compensation insurance, the property owner then becomes the employer and is responsible for any injuries or accidents that occur on their property. If someone is injured, a simple project could turn into tens of thousands or dollars in claims.
Protection from Damage to Third Parties
When you hire an unlicensed and uninsured contractor, in addition to the risks mentioned above, the owner also becomes liable for the contractor’s negligence. So if another neighboring property was damaged, the owner may be responsible for the contractor’s actions while they were performing work at their property.
As a Pikes Peak Regional Building Department (PPRBD) licensed contractor, you are hiring a company that has the expertise with understanding building codes and has been approved. Since permits are required for most home improvement projects, Top Gun, as a General Contractor, is able to pull these permits so that your project is filed with the county or city and documented correctly.
We highly suggest keeping the traffic to a minimum and always wear shoes for safety.
The most dangerous thing is allowing it to remain in the home or business. If the water cleanup does not take place immediately, the water causes more havoc in the dwelling by starting to soak into the surfaces such as floors and walls. There is also a risk of mold developing and creating an infestation which may result in the compromising the health of the occupants.
Depending on the location, you should automatically turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock. Avoid walking on wet carpets and flooring, raise curtains and raise furniture using foil or plastic containers on the legs to prevent wicking. Avoid coming into contact with flood waters or sewage as they may contain bacteria, viruses and other hazardous materials. Call us at (719) 572-5130 immediately as we have trained technicians that specialize in this type of work.
A water or sewage leak can create havoc and a lot of damage very quickly. Even though it may appear you have cleaned up the water, there may be a significant amount of non-visible water damage under the floor, inside the walls and other placed not seen by the naked eye. We have specialized equipment that provides us readings to ensure the water has been mitigated and not causing more damage. Our drying equipment and state-of-the-art air movers and dehumidifiers remove the water and help prevent further damage and problems down the road.
Water Mitigation is our specialty! We show up to your location, remove the standing water or sewage and then use our specialized equipment to dry your property. The earlier you call us, the more likely we will be able to salvage your belongings.
Find the water source and turn it off and then call Top Gun immediately (719) 572.5130. We specialize in water mitigation and usually can be there within 90 minutes. The longer you wait the more damage takes place. If you can’t find the water source, we will take care of that also.
A supply line from an appliance, pipe break or blockage in the sewer system are the most common. Other causes are forgetting to properly close the taps, rain storms or improper drainage outside the structure which also may lead to flooding. If the home or business is left unattended for a period of time, it may give an appearance of drying but this might only mean the water has seeped deep into the floors and wall which ultimately causes severe internal damage.