Frequently Asked Questions
Your safety is most important, so after a storm be sure your utilities are safe to use and water is potable. After that, inspect the perimeter of your home noting and taking pictures of any present damage to siding, roofing, windows, decks, fences, garage, outbuildings, and landscaping. Inside your home, make sure appliances are working properly and look for signs of water leaks and structural damage (such as warped floors or doorways). Also note any damage caused to personal possessions, such as electronics and furniture.
Every fire is different, and so is the resulting damage. Rely on the fire department to determine when it is safe to enter your home, and thus allow the cleanup process to begin.
Based in the Midwest, the potential for damage can occur all-year long. Weather risks include (but are not limited to):
- Thunderstorms and heavy rainfall can lead to flash flooding and downed trees and power lines
- Lightning strikes can cause home fires and power surges.
- Tornadoes and high winds can lead to downed trees and power lines, and exterior damage to a home’s roof, siding, landscaping, and windows. If strong enough, tornados and high winds could cause a total loss.
- Hail and ice storms can create roof damage, broken windows, and other exterior issues.
- Freezing weather and ice dams can cause water damage inside your home, as well as frozen/burst pipes and damage to your roof, gutters, and siding.
- Heavy snowfall can lead to your gutters bending or pulling away from your home, too much weight on your home creating roof damage, downed trees and branches, and the potential for flooding when snow begins to melt.
- Soot and smoke: While they may seem more harmless than fire, soot and smoke can carry toxins that may be hazardous to the health of you, your family, and your pets. Always wear proper protection, including safety glasses, air purifying respirators, disposable clothing, and nitrile gloves, before entering the premises.
- Structural integrity: Fires can cause damage that can weaken or compromise your home’s structure. Never re-enter your home until the fire department has had a chance to inspect and give the “all-clear” in regards to safety. Once access to your home is available, hire a professional to further inspect your home to make sure all needed repairs are addressed.
- Utilities: Water, electricity, and gas are often shut off by the fire department following a fire. Do not turn utilities back on until they are deemed safe to use.
- Surfaces: Soot and fire residue can contain oils that make floors and other hard surfaces slick. Be sure to take caution when walking through fire-damaged areas.
- Food: Foods exposed to fire or smoke may be unsafe to eat. Be sure to throw away any food outside of the refrigerator packaged in permeable packages. If the heat was close to canned and jarred foods, they may have become spoiled and need to be discarded. If your refrigerator seal allowed smoke to get in, it’s best to throw away all foods affected.
- Chemicals: If chemicals are used during the cleaning process, be sure to keep children and pets away. Also, talk with our fire restoration professional to understand any other safety steps you may need to take.
We rely upon different types of equipment to rid your home and property of mold in a timely and effective manner.
- Dehumidifiers: a unit designed to pull in and collect water from the air in order to remove excess moisture that can create a breeding ground for mold
- Negative air machine: a unit that employs ducting and negative air pressure to remove contaminated air from a contained space without spreading the contaminants further.
- Air scrubbers: a device used to remove particles, gases and chemicals from the air
Werner Restoration has tarping available to protect your home’s roof from further damage, the entry of debris, and the potential for water leaks. Our skilled professionals will install and remove the temporary roofing in the areas affected by the storm.
Mold and mildew, while not the same, have a lot of commonalities. Both are fungi, have similar visual characteristics, are drawn to moist spaces, and make for an unsightly mess in a person’s home. However, that’s where most of their likeness come to an end.
- Color: Mold tends to come in hues of brown, black, and green, whereas mildew is typically more gray or white. While that may seem an easy enough way to decide which is which, it’s not always so black and white–quite literally. Other colors come into play with both, including yellow, peach, purple, and blue. And if it that’s not confusing enough, the colors have the ability to transform over time, depending on how how long the conditions have been present.
- Texture: Mold’s appearance can be described more as fuzzy or even slimy compared to mildew, which can appear more powdery or downy.
- Growth location: Mold grows on living sources, which includes food, drywall paper and wood, making ceiling, window sills, and walls welcoming places. Mildew, on the other hand, is drawn to moisture, so your kitchen, bathroom, and possibly basement, are prime targets. Keep an eye out for spots that form in toilets, sinks, tubs, and showers, and on bathroom walls.
Mold is a term commonly used to describe fungi that grows on various surfaces, which are not only unsightly but sometimes unhealthy. There are thousands of different mold strains, and there is always some mold everywhere according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). While you may want to remove mold due to smell and unappealing look, potential negative side effects is another good reason.
- Identify the Moisture Source: We must first determine where the moisture is coming from and fix the source of the moisture problem. We will perform a full mold assessment and provide an evaluation of our course of action.
- Containment & Air Filtration: Containing the affected area is critical in preventing mold spores from spreading and contaminating other areas of your home or building. Within the containment, we establish negative air to also prevent aerosolized mold spread.
- Remove Contaminated Materials: Our trained and certified mold remediation technicians are fully prepared to take all precautions with your home or building as well as themselves by utilizing the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Proper safety precautions are taken to prevent the spread of mold spores when removing and disposing of contaminated materials such as ceiling tiles, drywall, insulation, carpet, and padding.
- Mold Remediation: We can now proceed with the mold remediation process. Some non-porous materials such as glass and plastic can be cleaned and dried in-place. Wood and other semi porous materials, depending on the severity of mold damage, can be dried, sanded, and treated with an environmentally safe anti-microbial agent (EPA approved) that is both safe for children and pets.
- Post Remediation Verification (PRV) Testing: The final step to our mold removal process is the Post Remediation Verification (PRV) Test. This test determines the success efforts of the mold remediation within the contained area and if it is safe for homeowners or building occupants to safely enter.
- Reconstruction: Werner Restoration works with you to rebuild your home or building back to pre-loss condition. Let us take the stress out of the reconstruction process by general contracting the coordination of walls, floors, ceilings, carpeting, and other remodeling contractors.
We are with you at each step, from beginning to end, to ensure your home or business is brought back to pre-loss condition.
- Emergency Board-Up Services: Once the property is cleared for a safe entry, we first board up windows to prevent further damages from weather or vandals and construct a safe entry point for authorized persons to access.
- Fire Damage Assessment: We then perform a fire damage assessment to determine what can be salvaged and what needs to be replaced and/or repaired.
- Contents Pack Out: After the assessment, we then remove your belongings or contents that can be cleaned and restored. The contents that are removed and brought back to our facility, are cleaned and stored until you are ready to move back.
- Deodorization and Smoke & Soot Removal: Once the remaining contents have been removed, we then clean the smoke and soot off all ceilings, walls, floors, and other surfaces. After all surfaces are cleaned, the deodorization process starts. Even though the area is clean, it still holds an offending odor. These odors can only be removed with equipment specifically designed to remove all odor contaminants from the area.
- Contents Cleaning & Storage: We are a certified Fireline Contents Restorer. Featuring a full line of ultrasonics and electronics cleaning from the Fireline and Odell Systems. This means we can salvage tools, power tools, household appliances, valuable knick-knacks, antiques glassware, and electronics. Once your belongings are cleaned and verified they are in working order, they are carefully repacked and stored in our climate controlled vault storage containers until it is time to move your belongings back into your home or business.
- Reconstruction: By being a full-service restoration contractor who also handles the entire reconstruction process, we are able to keep tighter timelines as the restoration phase is wrapping up and the reconstruction phase is beginning. We can also keep the costs down to you and your insurance carrier on materials and using our extended service contractors in both phases.
- Access & Authorization: Upon the arrival of our water damage technicians, we will obtain your written authorization to access and begin water damage restoration services on your property. We will determine the source of the damage, outline the affected areas, and determine the initial scope of work.
- Water Extraction: Our technicians will begin extracting water immediately to stop the further spread of water and moisture. Affected insulation, ceiling tiles, drywall, and other absorbent materials will be removed. In many cases, carpet and padding will be removed and disposed depending on the type of water damage.
- Mold & Mildew Mitigation: With any water damage to your home or building, acting quickly can reduce the growth of mold or mildew. We disinfect the affected area with an antimicrobial agent (EPA approved) that is both safe for children and pets.
- Contents & Document Drying: Contents are safely and securely stored in our climate controlled vault containers until you are ready to move them back.
- Structural Drying & Monitoring: Our water damage technicians are all trained and certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Werner Restoration adheres to all of the IICRC’s S500 standards of cleaning, drying, and restoring your property.
- Reconstruction: Werner Restoration works with you to rebuild your home or building back to pre-loss condition. Let us take the stress out of the reconstruction process by general contracting the coordination of walls, floors, ceilings, and other remodeling requirements.
De-ionized water (or deionized) is water that has had almost all of it’s mineral ions removed, such as sodium, calcium, iron, and copper, and anions such as chloride and sulfate.
Exposure to indoor mold comes with a variety of health issues and allergic reactions. Those most affected by mold growth and present mold spores are people with allergies, asthma, or weakened immune systems. But that doesn’t mean people who aren’t sensitive can’t become so with prolonged mold exposure.
People living or working in moldy conditions may start out with symptoms such as irritated skin, nasal congestion, itchy eyes, or difficulty breathing. If the exposure continues or increases in severity, reactions could worsen to include upper respiratory infections, chronic lung illness, and chest inflammation, according to the CDC.
We rely upon different types of equipment to dry your home and property in a timely and effective manner, and rid your home of related mold and mildew.
- Water extractor pumps: pumps to remove excess water from your home
- Wet vacuums: vacuums designed to remove moisture from a variety of surfaces
- Dehumidifiers: a unit designed to pull in and collect water from the air
- Air movers: high-powered fans
- Air scrubbers: a device used to remove particles, gases and chemicals from the air
- Thermal Foggers: neutralizes odors in the air, especially in hard to reach areas such as cracks and crevices
Dry Smoke: Fire that is fast burning and at a high temperature creates a dry smoke – it is a fine, powdery-like consistency. Dry smoke is easier to clean but is a challenge when it is trapped in cracks or porous surfaces, this is where it can emit musky smoke odors.
Wet Smoke: Fire that is smoldering and at a low-heat temperature creates a wet smoke – it has a pungent odor is sticky with a smeary texture. Wet smoke creates a thick, sticky film of residue that can buildup on surfaces causing damages and emitting heavy smoke odors. This is the most difficult smoke residue to remove.
Protein Smoke: When food or other organic materials burn, it creates a protein smoke – it discolors paints and varnishes, has an extreme pungent odor and is essentially invisible. Protein smoke is generally light in color and be difficult to see, but easy to feel.
Fuel Oil Smoke or Petroleum Smoke: Furnace smoke from duct returns in ventilation systems and causes a dangerous oily soot. This type of smoke is dark in appearance and will discolor and stain materials.
Water damage is commonly paired with fire damage, which doubles the restoration work needed. As your one-stop-shop for all your restoration needs, Werner addresses both fire and water damage restoration, making sure the area is dry and free of mold, in addition to soot and smoke odors.
Even when flooded with clean water, smells can occur caused by the bacterial off-gassing odor related to items such as old carpet stains, spills on furniture, or smells linked to your building materials. The smell may be stronger when humidity levels are high. As the air and your home dries, the odors should dissipate.
Safety is a priority at Werner Restoration, so we will never use any equipment in your home without first reviewing necessary precautions, as well as any associated risks to consider.
Water damage may all seem the same–after all, wet is wet. But there are actually different categories of water damage according to the risk factors in your water that could lead to disease-causing pathogens.
- Category 1, Clean Water: The water poses no threat to your home as it is water that comes from the supply lines of your home plumbing system. Examples include: burst water pipes, failed supply lines on appliances, and rainwater.
- Category 2, Gray Water: This water contains contaminants, such as detergents from a dishwasher overflow or a dehumidifier leaking. The contaminants are low in risk, but you still want to avoid contact with skin and eyes, as well as ingestion.
- Category 3: Black Water: This water is harmful to your health, containing raw sewage or other pathogens that should be completely avoided. Additional examples include: rising water from rivers and streams and ground surface water flowing (or flooding) into homes.
The category of water causing the water damage plays a major factor in the water damage restoration process.
Additionally, how water damage is addressed varies according to the area or item that is wet.
- Floors: Water on hardwood flooring or wood subflooring can cause the wood to warp, buckle, or crack if exposed for too long. We take every restoration effort to salvage what we can, but some flooring may need to be repaired or replaced.
- Carpet: Even when carpeting may feel dry, the padding can hold water. This excess moisture can cause mold growth, as well as negatively affect the subfloor. If carpet padding cannot be sufficiently dried, our mitigation technicians will need to remove it.
- Walls and ceiling: When drywall becomes wet, it can weaken its structural integrity. Water damaged drywall can be removed and replaced. If areas behind the drywall are also wet, the area will be thoroughly dried before new drywall is installed.
- Furniture: Because of their size, upholstered furniture can be tricky to clean and dry. With this in mind, wet fabric can be pressure treated to remove harmful bacteria before being placed in a room with dehumidifiers and air movers to remove moisture.
- Electronics: Water and electronics don’t mix. The O’delle Cleaning System utilizes de-ionized water and special electronic detergents to clean the inside and outside of electronic and mechanical devices. This could save you and the insurance carrier thousands of dollars on a water damage restoration project.
Extracting water immediately due to storm damage, flooding, or a burst pipe is crucial to stop the further spread of water and moisture to other areas of your home or business. Damaged materials such as insulation, ceiling tiles, drywall, and other absorbent materials will have to be removed. In many cases, carpet and padding will be removed and disposed of due to the type of water damage that has occurred. If the latex backing hasn’t incurred too much damage, we may be able to dry them in place. Our professional water damage professionals will assess the damages to update you in real-time. Our premier mitigation company is trained in the drying and dehumidification process to get your home or business back to pre-loss condition. We have invested in the latest drying technologies and equipment, including a specialized infrared camera that can track moisture in most situations.
Not necessarily. Common household molds can come in a range of colors, including green, white, orange, and black. Color is not indicative of toxicity level. While Toxic Black Mold is rare, having it tested by a mold remediation professional is always the best way to determine the risk factors.
The black powdery or flaky substance left by a fire is called soot. It is typically made up of very fine particles, which can move as easily in air as dust. Before odor can be tackled, soot must first be eliminated as it is one main source of the odor. Removing soot can be complicated, because though it looks dusty, it contains a lot of oils which can stain textiles.
If you aren’t sure what to look for or if you know your neighbors experienced damage from the storm, it’s always best to bring out a professional to properly inspect your home. Damage, especially to roofs and home structure, may be hard to spot with a quick look. Werner Restoration can help you respond to any potential issue quickly before causing bigger problems for you and your home in the future.
That depends on the extent of the damage to your home and property the fire caused. Be it a small oven fire to a total loss, rest assure knowing our certified technicians and experienced estimators will properly assess the damage, walk you through the restoration process, and completely restore your home to pre-loss condition as efficiently as possible.
Drying times vary according to the conditions and level of damage. Your project manager will keep you up-to-date and informed during the process and the drying progress. Every water loss is different, made up of various effected areas and contents, so in-turn, each water restoration job varies in drying time.
Mold remediation times vary according to the conditions and level of damage. Our certified technicians and experienced estimators will properly assess the damage, walk you through the restoration process, and completely restore your home to pre-loss condition as efficiently as possible.
Damage to your home or business from storm damage, flooding, or water leaks could lead to structural damage on your property. Structural water damage can include your roof, attic, ceilings, walls, floors, carpet and padding, garage, basement, and/or other areas to your home or commercial property. Werner Restoration will assess the damage and develop a restoration plan to restore your home to pre-loss condition.
Because mold simply needs moisture and organic matter to grow, every home is prone to mold no matter how clean you keep it. If mold is in your home, you will likely smell a musty odor and/or see a discolored patch growing in your home in areas such as window frames, shower tiles, and areas exposed to increased humidity.
There are a variety of tips to remember when removing odor and smoke damage from fabrics and upholstery.
- Act quickly: The longer smoke odor is left to linger on fabric or garments, the harder it can be to make it go away. Smoke damage restoration efforts should begin immediately to avoid related costs from escalating.
- Reduce the odor: Before the cleaning process can begin, start by removing as many items holding the smoke smell as possible. This includes anything that is not salvageable, such as carpet, wallpaper, building materials, and insulation. If items can be cleaned off site (furniture, clothing, linens), remove them from the premises. The less smoke objects holding the smoke smell, the easier it is to rid odors.
- Air it out: If weather permits, open the windows and use fans to circulate the air. The ventilation will help to decrease the odor, while also dry out any moisture damage that occurred in the fire extinguishing process.
- Remove soot: Soot, or the black particles left behind after a fire, can contain acids and chemicals that can further be of damage to fabrics. Since soot holds odor, the deodorization process must begin by using a heavy duty or industrial vacuum to eliminate the oily residue. Be sure to hold the nozzle above the fabric, carpeting, or drapery to avoid the soot from further staining or destroying the material.
- Deodorize textiles: To help break down the smoke molecules causing the odor, fire restorers often rely upon “smoke odor counteractants.” For best results, always follow manufacturer specifications when using.
- Dry clean: While not exactly a DIY approach, professional dry cleaners can be a less expensive option to respond to smoke odor cleaning for smaller items.
- Contain it: Werner Restoration offers cleaning via ozone treatment generator, which when combined with containment can help to eliminate odors.
- Get foggy: Another process Werner Restoration relies upon for smoke damage is “thermal fogging.” This deodorizing process uses pressurized force to disperse deodorant droplets in a similar manner to how smoke is spread.
Sight and touch alone are not enough to ensure a water damaged area is dry. Instead, our mitigation experts rely on moisture readings to monitor the progress and adjust drying equipment as needed.
Werner Restoration takes every effort to maintain the integrity of your home when taking preventative measures to protect your home. When boarding up windows, the inside frames are used to secure the boardup wood so that your home’s exterior is not left with unsightly screw or nail holes after the storm passes.
While the noise and placement of equipment may be cumbersome, it does not create an unsafe living environment. Unless otherwise directed by your insurance company or a medical professional, you can remain on the premises.
Even if the fire department says it’s safe to enter the premises, that doesn’t necessarily mean your home is habitable. Toxins and other debris may be airborne, making it unsafe to breathe. Furthermore, activity in the home could actually increase the cleaning efforts needed. Unless the fire is within a contained area, it’s best to find temporary residence until the fire restoration process is complete.
While you may be tempted to start the cleaning process yourself, fire restoration is often a job best left to the professionals. Soot, the remnants of a fire, can be filled with acids, chemicals, metals, and other hazardous materials. If not handled properly, the tiny toxins can easily become airborne and inhaled in the lungs. Working with fire restoration professionals can help ensure the safety of you, your family, and your home, while providing the thorough cleaning and odor-removing process needed to return to normal life.
Mildew, which is seen as less of a threat than mold, can be cleaned with over-the-counter products, or a one-to-one bleach/water solution. However, you should consider a mold remediation specialist be brought in when treating mold as disturbing mold spores without proper ventilation and containment can be a health hazard.
To further damage to your home during a storm, Werner Restoration offers:
- Temporary Board Up: Your home or business will need to be secured so that further storm damage will not incur. With our Temporary Board Up services, we will be onsite within 1 hour to secure your property. We will begin clearing debris away from the affected areas and secure your windows and doors from additional damage due to rain, snow, or vandals.
- Temporary Roofing: Werner Restoration will provide temporary roofing repairs and tarp areas of your roof or home that were affected by a storm. Storm damage that causes trees to fall, shingles to tear away, or extremely heavy snow to collapse into your home or commercial property needs to be dealt with right away in order to not incur additional damages.
When smells linger, extra steps are needed to restore clean, fresh-smelling air. To do so, our mitigation experts use antimicrobials and disinfectants to rid your home of bacteria and mold growth. These products are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are not hazardous to your family or pets. If any occupant has chemical sensitivities or questions, be sure to let your mitigation expert know so that it is considered in your water damage restoration plan.