Misery and Michigan Frostbite

January 21, 2012

It doesn’t matter how cold it gets in Michigan in January, there is always someone walking around ill-prepared for the elements. You might see her on the street with a light jacket when it’s 25 degrees out. You might see him shoveling his sidewalk without gloves. Or you might be that person we’re talking about.

At Aaron’s Restoration, we deal in disasters all the time: storms, fires, floods, etc.. But our business involves working around things that can be replaced. It may be flooring damaged by flooding, a dryer burned in a fire or a wall lost to a tree felled by a storm. But human fingers and toes aren’t easily replaced when amputation becomes necessary after frostbite.

It may seem unusual for a restoration company to be discussing a medical condition. After all, you won’t find a doctor blogging about mold remediation. But we understand the need to be comfortable in your home, your sanctuary. It’s difficult to do that when your health and well-being are affected by the impact of frigid weather on your body. Even just adding a hat that covers your ears can prevent you from losing 40% of your body heat when you’re out in these chilly conditions.

Working outside for any period of time makes it imperative to dress properly for the weather. As you’ve certainly felt recently, our temperatures have stayed below freezing quite often, and even a gentle breeze at those temperatures can produce a fierce wind chill. That’s why we make sure our crews are prepared for the weather each and every time they respond to a call.

A little bit of extra time getting dressed for our cold Michigan winter days and nights is always well worth it. It may only take an extra sixty seconds to find those thick gloves and put on a warm hat. Easy enough, right? You want to be prepared for an emergency, not become one.

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Warm Those Pipes, Michigan

January 19, 2012

As January rolls along, temperatures in Michigan are dropping even further. In fact, as daytime highs fail to climb out of the 20s, you’ll miss those warmer winter days when our highs topped 40 degrees. But while you’re dressing in layers outside or covered with an extra blanket inside, your water pipes may not feel so warm and toasty.

There are numerous ways to protect those pipes. For example, you could buy a product to insulate them. Some people recommend leaving a tap on to allow water to steadily flow through the pipes, reducing the risk of a freeze. Yet whatever option suits you best, it’s wise to address the potential problem before it becomes an actual problem.

The extended freeze makes a pipe burst more likely because the daytime temperatures don’t warm up enough to make a difference. And there is a huge difference between a few degrees. 29 is not 33.

A few days of freezing temperatures coinciding with a weekend can lead to a disaster if no one is home to tend to the pipes. A wise Michigan resident who is out of town during these particularly cold spells will contact someone to check on the house in his or her absence. An early observation of a developing problem can become a significant game changer with the right intervention.

A developing problem that gets neglected during a deep freeze can lead to widespread damage, depending on where the pipe burst occurs. It may affect flooring, furniture, walls and much more. By the time the disaster is discovered, the expense of clean-up could have doubled, tripled or worse.

Your best bet is to expect the best but prepare for the worst. That’s pretty much a smart policy to adopt in any area of your life, especially if you’re new to Michigan. Winters around here can pack a pretty cold punch.

Aaron’s Restoration is ready to handle disasters round-the-clock, during even the most chilly conditions. Whether it’s water mitigation, mold remediation, fire and smoke clean-up or virtually any other home disaster, the team of specialists at Aaron’s Restoration can return a home to its original condition quickly and expertly. Visit www.aaronsrestoration.com today or call 888-442-2766.

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MICHIGAN’S MAN-MADE DISASTERS

October 26, 2011

It happened in Grand Rapids and again in Shelby Township. It also took place in Allegan and Georgetown Township. Residents in these Michigan locations have experienced the destructive outcome of a car crash, not on the road, but in their homes. Unlike other potential threats, such as fire, flood or tornadoes, there seems to be no way to prepare for this kind of unexpected man-made disaster. The only response, barring any personal injuries, is repairing and restoring your Michigan home as quickly as possible.

DAMAGE OUTSIDE A MICHIGAN HOME

In some instances, damage to the outside of your Michigan home may be contained to the point of impact. Homeowners and property managers will want to secure the home from unwanted visitors by temporarily sealing damaged walls and windows. Foot traffic may also be directed away from the point of impact if a portion of the structure is deemed unsafe. If the incident occurs during extreme weather conditions, the home may be uninhabitable until repairs are complete.

If the exterior damage is more extensive, the home may be structurally unsound. An expert evaluation will tell you if the home is safe to live in during the repair and renovation process or if finding an alternative location is recommended.

DAMAGE INSIDE A MICHIGAN HOME

Depending on how far a vehicle enters the home, interior damage can vary greatly. In one of the Michigan incidents referenced above, the crash sparked a fire which led to more damage in the home. (Thankfully, no one was home at the time.) Typical interior damage can affect furniture, flooring, appliances, electrical systems, and more.  In some cases, damage contained to one room can allow a family to remain in the house during the repair and renovation process.

If the interior damage is more extensive—the kind that is possible when a vehicle passes through the entire house—the house will likely be deemed unlivable until the repair and renovation process is complete and the structure meets building codes once again.

INSURANCE COVERAGE

Your homeowners insurance coverage policy—and your insurance adjuster—will help you understand what your particular policy covers in regards to this type of disaster. Maintain a file of all communication with the insurance agent, and help expedite the process by documenting (in writing, photos, video) the damage to your home. Create a list of all damaged or missing items as well. Also, keep in mind, loss of use coverage in a policy may help families forced to live elsewhere during the renovation process cover any reasonable living expenses incurred.

TEMPORARY REPAIRS

Even with insurance coverage, homeowners are responsible for preventing future damage. Make immediate temporary repairs to help reduce the risk of more damages, and save receipts for reimbursement of reasonable expenses. Consider all repairs temporary until the property can be assessed by an insurance agent and a claim is processed. Avoid contracting an individual or crew to make any permanent repairs to the home before the insurance claim is complete. This is especially important as your home may draw the attention of numerous unlicensed and less-than-desirable contractors.

A TURN-KEY SOLUTION FOR MICHIGAN & OHIO

In a world of unexpected developments, choosing the right contractor is one thing that is always within your control. An optimum restoration company provides both 24-hour emergency service and comprehensive solutions for cleanup and recovery in your Michigan home. Immediate board-up service can prevent further damage to your home and your belongings. Careful assessment of the property can minimize overall expense by determining which items are salvageable. Licensed, experienced companies also understand how to work with insurance companies to minimize cost in other ways and return a home to its original condition as quickly and efficiently as possible.

When disaster strikes in Michigan or Ohio—whether it’s man-made or caused by Mother Nature—rely on the experts at Aaron’s Restoration to handle the job. Aaron’s Restoration will erase the effects of car crashes, fire, wind and water, and return your home or business to the livable or workable environment you deserve. With its sterling reputation, it’s no surprise Aaron’s Restoration has been the trusted contractor for homeowners and business owners for nearly two decades. Call 888-442-2766 or visit aaronsrestoration.com.

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Contents Restoration for Michigan, Ohio and the Upper Midwest

After a disaster at a home or business in Michigan, Ohio and the Upper Midwest, home and business owners face a challenging period. There is the disruption of routines. In the wake of a disaster, such as flooding, fire and storm damage, returning a structure and property back to a functional level takes time. Also, the property or business may be uninhabitable. But one of the biggest difficulties for an individual may be handling the reality that important belongings were damaged or destroyed.

Contents restoration aims to minimize the stress for the homeowner or business owner. These people typically have never experienced the impact of a disaster and the strong emotions that follow. By working closely and sensitively with the property owner, the restoration team can determine specific goals for the project, work quickly and efficiently, and provide an excellent value by making cost-effective decisions throughout the process.

The restoration team will identify, assess and restore or remove damaged contents. All efforts are made to salvage items at a reasonable cost, while educating property owners about the expense of restoration and cleaning compared to replacement. When it’s not cost-effective to restore a item, a recommendation to replace the item will be made.

The nature and severity of the disaster and the value of the belongings are criteria to consider at the onset of each restoration project. Items that can be repaired or restored after smoke damage, water damage or storm damage may differ. For example, some electronics and fine art may be salvaged after sustaining smoke damage but may need to be discarded after being flooded. On the flip side, certain clothing may handle flooding but not be worth cleaning after smoke damage.

Much of the restoration work of contents in a home or business does not take place on site. Items that need to be restored off-site get packed for removal, and an inventory list accompanies them to a secure storage location. When the restoration work is complete, the items are returned to the home or business.

Whether it’s due to a fire in Clinton Township or flooding in Grand Rapids, Aaron’s Restoration can provide contents restoration to property owners with 24-hour emergency service. The emergency number to call is 888-442-2766. Non-emergency calls are welcome too.

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There’s Mold in Your Michigan Apartment

October 18, 2011

As a mold remediation expert for Michigan, we often hear from homeowners who discover a mold problem which is both unsightly and unhealthy. But mold can also be a serious issue for people who don’t own their residences. These apartment building tenants, duplex occupants and others may be living with mold issues left unaddressed by landlords and management companies.

Their recourse may not be so simple. In Michigan, no state laws exist that require the clean-up or removal of mold from any indoor environment. Also, tenants will find no existing programs that address mold problems. A landlord can let a mold problem go untreated for months and is not required to report it. That means a new tenant could move into an apartment with an existing mold problem and not be aware of it at the time of signing a lease agreement.

As a sensible practice, new tenants should inspect an apartment thoroughly before signing any agreement or paying a deposit. Signs of mold may not be obvious if hidden in places such as drywall or drop ceiling tiles. Be sure to ask about a residence’s history of mold and flooding incidents that may have been caused by pipe bursts, leaky roofs and faulty appliances.

If a tenant does discover mold after moving in, it’s imperative to contact the landlord or management company at once to ask for the situation to be professionally evaluated. A tenant can even expedite the process by providing the name and contact number of Aaron’s Restoration. If the landlord refuses to accommodate the request, the tenant needs to remember that he or she has the right to expect minimum standards of safe and sanitary housing in Michigan. Consulting Michigan’s guide for Tenants and Landlords can provide some helpful information and direction in response to the situation. We have provided the link below.
http://www.mi.gov/documents/dleg/Tenants_and_Landlords_304581_7.pdf

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