Fires, floods, sewage back ups and other disasters can leave you with a mess that makes it hard to envision ever being able to move back into your home or business. Even after the emergency clean up is completed and the initial mitigation work has been completed, there is still often damage that needs to be repaired before you can live or work in the building.
Some Contra Costa County water and fire damage mitigation companies that provide immediate assistance after a home disaster event also provide contracting services to repair the damage and reconstruct the home or office building. Others only remove the water and soot, leaving you with floors, walls and ceilings that are in need of structural repair.
Companies that specialize in returning homes and businesses to their original condition after a fire or flood are known as restoration damage contractors. While they may also provide general contracting services or planned home remodels, they are specially equipped to repair and renovate homes that have been damaged in fires and water emergencies.
These fire & water damage rebuilding companies often have specialized equipment to ensure all water, soot, mold, mildew and smoke have been removed from the home. They are also usually skilled in smoothly integrating new and repaired areas of homes with original features so the repairs are invisible.
Your home is a big investment, and you don't want it to lose value after an emergency such as a fire, flood or sewage leak. The following articles will help you find a good fire and water damage repair service in Contra Costa County, including those that serve customers in Orinda, Pleasand Hill, Concord, Richmond, Antioch, Walnut Creek and Pittsburg and other areas.
Hire Good Water and Fire Damage Repair Contractors in Contra Costa County
First, you'll need to take care of the immediate emergency. Once the fire is out, the flood has receded, or the sewage leak has stopped, you'll need to have removed all water and materials that are damaged beyond repair. This includes furnishings, flooring, baseboards, drywall, subflooring and other items.
There are professional companies that take care of fire and water damage removal in Contra Costa County, including the towns of Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Concord, Richmond, Brentwood, Danville, Antioch, Walnut Creek, Pittsburg and San Ramon. These companies have the right equipment and training to ensure all water, moisture and smoke are removed from the home. This prevents mold, mildew and other problems that can appear weeks or months after the initial disaster, causing even more frustration and health concerns.
Next, you'll want to remove as many personal effects from the home or damaged area as possible. Furniture, clothing, art and decorations should be moved to another location. Have them cleaned by a professional before storing them if they smell of smoke, have water damage, are damp or have soot damage.
The final step is repairing the structure damaged by the water or fire. Some water and fire damage removal companies also provide structural repair and construction to renovate homes damaged by fire and water. Others are separate contracting companies that specialize in bringing homes back to their pre-disaster condition. This can include installing new subfloors and flooring, new framing and walls, replacing cabinets and flooring, new drywall, repainting and reinstalling windows and doors.
Regardless of whether you use the same company for the immediate remediation work and reconstruction or whether you hire a separate Contra Costa County fire and water damage contractor to rebuild your home, you'll want to ensure that the company has all of the tools, equipment, licenses, skill and ability to provide the services you need.
Watch Out for Unlicensed Water and Fire Damage Repair Companies
After an emergency like a house fire or flood, some people have reported unprincipled water damage repair or fire damage restoration contractors who have taken advantage of their need for emergency home repair services.
These contractors sometimes accept down payments and never provide the services promised, or provide home reconstruction services that are incomplete or shoddy. In any case, they are not the professionals they present themselves to be, and they can cost homeowners thousands of dollars and weeks or months of delay when it comes to getting back into their homes or businesses after a fire, flood or water damage.
Below are some steps you can take to protect yourself from hiring the wrong home fire and water damage repair contractors.
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Choose a Diamond Certified fire and water damage repair contractor. All certified companies must pass an in-depth ratings process, including a check on license, insurance and customer references among other credentials.
Contractors working on a job that totals more than $500 in labor and material costs must be a licensed contractor on file with the Contractors State License Board. Hire only licensed contractors and verify their license online at www.cslb.ca.gov.
Carefully interview and vet each contractor you are considering. Call references, ask for proof of insurance, double-check licensing and ask to see examples of work they've done in the past.
Think about hiring contractors from your area of Contra Costa County, whether that's San Ramon, Danville, Brentwood, Martinez and Pleasant Hill or another area. Local water and fire damage contractors may be more likely to give you reliable service now and be there for you in the future than contractors that are located long distances from your home. Think twice before hiring an out-of-state contractor or one that does not have a physical address. These can be signs of so-called fly-by-night contractors that may be more prone to leaving customers without a warranty and with no recourse for incomplete or poor construction work.
Require a written contract for all services for which you're contracting. Be sure you understand every word of the contract and that your interests are represented before you sign it.
Never pay more than 10 percent down or $1,000. By law, that's the most any contractor can ask for a down payment.
Your contractor may ask you to pay for the work in stages or as the work is being completed. That is a valid way to make payments; however, you should tie the payments to work deadlines. Never let your payments get ahead of the work progress.
Never pay with cash. Instead pay with checks or a credit card so you have a third-party record of all payments you make.