What is weatherstripping and why do I need it?

Photo of window with 4 window panes and the sunset is hitting them directlyAt its core, weatherstripping is the process of sealing openings such as doors and windows in order to prevent water from entering your home and your air-conditioned air from exiting. The term “weatherstripping” can also refer to the materials used to accomplish this purpose.

Making sure your home’s various openings are sealed is important for a few reasons. 


To prevent water damage

Weathering of living room. One large window with sunlight coming in to the living room. A small table and humidifier and table are set by the window.

Winter and spring are typically wet seasons here in North Texas. Here at Classic Construction, these are the seasons when we perform most of our leak investigations and water tests. Homeowners will report a leak to their property managers after noticing water stains in ceilings or near windows, then the property manager will call us up and ask us to find the source of the leak. 

What we typically find as the cause of these leaks is torn, cracked, loose or missing sealant around windows, chimneys, siding, and flashing. In most cases, repairing or replacing this sealant before the rains come would have prevented this damage to the home. This is why it’s important to inspect and replace your sealants at least twice a year: once before winter and once right after spring.

To keep insects out

We all know if insects have the will, they will find a way into your home. Make it harder for them to find an entrance by making sure the caulking around your tubs, sinks, toilets, and plumbing fixtures are tear-free with no gaps. Inspect the siding around your roof and foundation to make sure it is still in good condition and lays close to the home. If the trim around your doors or baseboards are loose, consider sealing these up as well.

To keep your electricity bill down

Most of us underestimate the importance of properly sealed windows and doors when it comes to keeping our electricity bills down. In the winter and spring, loose or missing sealant around windows and doors allows the hot air out and, consequently, can also let the cold air in. This can cause your HVAC system to work overtime just to keep your home at your preferred temperature.

If you’re not sure if your weatherstripping is in good condition or not, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free estimate.Call us today at 972-437-0909

Coronavirus decontamination and why you should consider hiring a professional sanitation crew

Here at Classic Construction, we know there is a lot of fear and uncertainty concerning the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus in our workplaces. We also understand that preventing the spread of the disease is at the top of everyone’s priority list right now. This is why we’ve come up with a decontamination solution for you.

Decontamination of a room after an incident. Practical exercisesAccording to the Center for Disease Control, COVID-19 is primarily spread “through person-to-person contact through respiratory droplets from an infected person.” However, as scientist continue to learn more about this virus, they have found that it is possible that the virus can also be spread through direct contact with common and frequently touched surfaces such as computer keyboards and mice, phones, doorknobs, sinks, countertops, and tables. All of these are surfaces that are likely to be found in office spaces, schools and common areas of multifamily properties. For surfaces such as these, the CDC recommends daily disinfecting and cleaning.

At Classic Construction we recommend that these surfaces be cleaned professionally at regular intervals for a host of reasons.

The first reason is that preventing the spread of the disease starts with the sanitation crew. At Classic, we simply don’t recommend DIY cleaning for this event. Hospital staff and professional cleaners are equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) that protect them from getting infected with the virus and from direct contact with the cleaning products used. In do it yourself (DIY) procedures, these materials are absent or of inferior quality and might increase the chances of contamination for the person carrying out the procedure.

Most regular janitorial and maintenance staff will not be adequately prepared to protect themselves from contracting the virus while they are in the process of decontaminating. This is especially true now that the Texas government is trying to send all available PPE be to those in required fields and essential businesses, primarily those in the healthcare industry.

Professional contractor in PPE at officeAdditionally, professionally trained cleaning crews understand decontamination best practices. Because there is still relatively little known about the Coronavirus, there is a chance that it might benefit from incorrect cleaning procedures and spread even further. For example, cleaning with the incorrect use of swipes or materials could, in fact, spread the virus to different surfaces, increasing its contamination rate.

More importantly, the disinfection of contaminated surfaces requires handling of potent chemicals, since detergent cleaning is known for not eliminating microbial contamination, and even potentially spreading the contamination from one surface to the next. For this reason, it is important to accurately assess the area and allow for proper personnel to handle the cleaning procedure.

At Classic Construction, our teams can skillfully evaluate potential cross contamination and put in place protocols to prevent this from happening. Our knowledge of the process and procedure improves and increases the safety and the use of the hydrogen peroxides and chlorine-containing agents with quaternary ammonium compound formulations that are required to perform an efficient decontamination of the exposed area.

State of emergency over pandemia with coronavirus.What Classic offers to you in this uncertain time is the peace of mind that the area and its contents have been professionally cleaned and disinfected with the agreed upon prescribed and accepted method. Our end product is a sterile working or living space that is free of the contaminate. We also realize that in some situations this service may need to be reoccurring based on the area (i.e. a mail room or common hallways).

Contact us today and we can produce a personalized plan to decontaminate these types of areas on a reoccurring bases with different types of pricing.

Restoration vs. General Contractors

If you have to work with an insurance company to make repairs to your home after a storm, fire, or other tragedy, you might hear the term “restoration contractor” thrown around a bit. And you might be wondering, “What on Earth is a restoration contractor?”

Most of us know what a general contractor does. This is someone we typically hire when we want to remodel our properties or make upgrades that we will pay for out of pocket. This person or company is primarily responsible for project management; they make sure all the subcontractors for individual trades do their jobs well and on budget.

A restoration contractor can be equally responsible for these duties, but they also possess a better understanding of how the insurance claim and adjustment process works.

Classic Construction looking at floorplansBecause of this, a good restoration contractor should be able to:

  • Accurately assess the damage to your home due to fire, wind, hail, water, etc.
  • Provide a scope of work that, at the very least, restores your property to its original condition with like kind and quality materials
  • Helping you to navigate the insurance landscape, submitting a detailed and comprehensive scope of work.
  • Estimate a scope of work with accurate pricing for any upgrades you might want that your insurance claim won’t cover

Your insurance company might provide you with a list of preferred vendors to choose from when it comes time to hire your contractor. It is probably not always in your best interest to choose someone from their list though as they are invested more in your insurance company’s best interests than in yours. At the very least, you might want to get bids from a couple of different contractors for comparison’s sake and for an outside point of view.

As the policyholder, you will ultimately be the one responsible for choosing the team that completes your repairs. Below are Classic Construction & Restoration’s top tips for helping you make sure you choose a quality restoration contractor.

  • Get a written agreement of the professional’s work warranty/guarantee including insurance coverage verification before beginning any repairs.
  • Always verify credentials. Conduct background checks, call references, contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and take all necessary steps to vet any service providers before beginning any work to the property. This should be done even if the service provider is on the insurance company’s “preferred” list.
  • Contractors are not licensed or certified to adjust claims. This is called the Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting and can affect policyholders negatively in an already chaotic time. Public adjusters are the only professionals specifically licensed to adjust, negotiate, and settle property claims for the insured.
  • Any upgrades suggested by the contractor need to be approved by the insurance company before work can begin. If the work is out of scope or goes beyond repairing the property to its original condition, then you as the insured will be responsible to pay the difference.

Painter family

 

Contact Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc today for a free estimate or to learn more about how we work with your insurance company to quickly and correctly repair your property.

Concrete Repairs: Who is responsible for repairs or replacement?

For many homeowners in an HOA community, severely cracked and damaged sidewalks and streets aren’t just a nuisance, they’re a safety hazard. And there can be a lot of confusion and drama surrounding the issue of who should be responsible for fixing up these damaged areas and making them both pretty and functional again.

When it comes to the streets, it’s clear who is responsible for the repairs. Many municipalities, Dallas included, take responsibility for street and alley repairs as these are owned by the city. These repairs are done by the Department of Public Works.

Curbs are part of the streets and as such, the repairs are also the city’s responsibility. However, curb repair or replacement is usually only done where the curb is hazardous or is causing a significant standing water problem.

damaged sidewalkAlthough we at Classic would love to give you a straight answer on who is responsible for sidewalks and walkways, the truth is that it’s not this simple. It all comes down to why or how the concrete came to be damaged. And this is where the drama comes into play.

Many homeowners assume that because the sidewalk is public property, it is a public responsibility (aka, the government’s problem). However, the truth is that many cities and municipalities hold the homeowner directly adjacent to the sidewalk responsible for its repairs.

This issue of responsibility for repairs is further complicated in HOA communities if the HOA technically owns the public spaces. Homeowners then think that the Board is responsible for making sure these eye sores are repaired, but the Board might beg to differ.

If the damaged sidewalk is causing or has the potential to cause injuries to community members, of course they want it repaired. But if the homeowner adjacent to the damaged sidewalk is responsible for the damage, they might pursue measures that would make the homeowner financially responsible for the repairs.

Examples of this would be if a homeowner is known for repeatedly driving their vehicle over the sidewalk or has planted a tree on their property where the root system would easily reach the sidewalk. Both of these actions could cause cracks and shifting of the sidewalk, which would in turn cause damage.

These are just a couple of the issues that surround concrete repairs in an HOA community, but another one we should briefly consider is the cost.

Because more municipalities across the country are placing responsibility for sidewalk repairs in homeowners’ hands, homeowners should consider upping their insurance liability coverage. This is especially true of homeowners in older communities where sidewalk cracks and damage are more likely to occur. Regardless of whether or not you are actually responsible for making the repairs, you wouldn’t want to be caught unprepared for a costly lawsuit if someone got hurt right outside your front door due to a faulty sidewalk.

According to HomeAdvisor, it can cost anywhere between $663 and $2,016 to repair a patio, residential walkway or sidewalk. These numbers are not accurate for every location across the country as they will fluctuate depending on the extent of the damage and construction prices in your area.

You should also check with your local Department of Public Works to see what the requirements are and if your city offers a cost/share program to assist with the replacement of sidewalks and driveways. Some places, like the city of Dallas, require a permit to perform sidewalk repairs/replacement, but they will also help to offset some of the costs.

Spring Cleaning: 9 Maintenance Tips to De-Winterize Your North Texas Home

Spring is here! As exciting as warmer weather is, it’s essential that we make sure our home is ready for the change. Below are 9 of Classic Construction’s top tips to help you prepare your home for Spring.

Inspect your roof every springInspect your roof

For your safety, you should perform this inspection from the ground to the best of your ability, possibly with binoculars. Check for dents, loose or torn off shingles, and obvious nails sticking out.

Change all your filters

This includes your water, range hood and air vent filters. Spring brings with it all the allergens, so this will help keep your family safe from these annoying particles.

Additionally, you should make sure to clean out your dryer vent. This is massively important to do because it can help you prevent a fire from destroying part or all of your home. Fire restoration services are expensive and time consuming but cleaning your dryer vent is free and takes about an hour.

Check all window and door seals

Spring is a wet season; checking your caulking will help you catch any areas for potential leaks before they cause damage to your home.

Clean out your gutters

If you didn’t do this between autumn and winter, chances are your gutters are chock full of leaves and debris. When the spring showers hit, your gutters could overflow and cause damage to your home. They could also detach completely from your home from the weight filling them up.

Inspect your foundation

If you have a crawlspace, make sure to clear out and repair your foundation vents as these will prevent mold and critters from taking up residence beneath your home. Look for any visible cracks or shifting.

Inspect any brick or concrete surrounding your home

Moisture is the enemy of brick and concrete. If it seeps beneath your driveway, it can cause cracks and splitting. If water sneaks its way into the mortar between your brick walls, they could crumble and fall apart as well. Check for any signs of moisture seepage in these areas around your home and shop around for an estimate for repairs if you think it’s necessary.

Service your HVAC unit

Despite the costs, we all know our HVAC units are the real MVPs of our homes. They’ve kept us warm all winter and we’ll soon be expecting them to keep us cool during the summer. Therefore it’s essential to have them serviced in the spring by a licensed HVAC professional. You don’t want to wait until the heat of summer to find out you have an AC problem.

Inspect your wood siding, decking, and railing

Winter is harsh on wood. Look for any signs of wood damage or deterioration. If any of your wood is rotted, it needs to be replaced. Also be on the lookout for any signs of termites or other critters. It’s better to have these removed or exterminated before acquiring further damage.

De-winterize your pool

If you have a pool, you’re probably already looking forward to using it again. I’m sure you know about the usual cleaning, brushing, chlorinating and debris removal; these are what you usually handle yourself. Make sure you also clean the filter, check the conditioner levels, test your pool equipment, run the pump during the warmest part of the day, and clean your salt cell (if you have a saltwater pool).

Protecting Your Residents’ Pets During a Construction Project

keeping pets safe during constructionLosing a pet is hard, and the last thing a contractor wants is to know that they are responsible for the loss of a pet. We understand that there is no easy way inform a resident if this is due to a construction project. That’s why today, we’re going to focus on how you as a property manager can help your residents keep their pets safe during major construction projects.

Here’s what you need to do to ensure your residents’ pets are safe.

The Construction Schedule

The best thing you can do for your residents is to know and inform them when construction will be occurring. Don’t be afraid to ask your contractor when they plan on doing the work. If they are a professional, they should have no problem letting you know when they have scheduled interior and exterior work.

Understand that a construction schedule can be altered due to the weather. If the construction schedule is changed, alert your residents about any updates or dates that may have changed. Just know that there may be some delay in receiving immediate information regarding the date changes.

Chemicals and Noise

If chemicals are being used, they could be harmful to both the residents and their pets. If the construction crew will be using dangerous chemicals that could be harmful to pets, ensure that your residents are notified. This will give them time so that they can make arrangements to either remove their pets from the property or let the construction workers know where in the unit the pet is located so they can avoid using chemicals in that area.

Additionally, some pets are highly sensitive to loud noises. Unfortunately, construction can’t happen without some unexpected noise here and there. Make sure your residents know so that they can find the best ways to help ease their pets anxiety or make plans accordingly.

Try to Understand Your Contractor’s Point of View

Construction workers are onsite to do a job and most of the time, they will not have direct contact with the residents. They will take every precaution they can to prevent anything negative from happening. However, protecting the pets on the property ultimately should come down to the pets’ owner.

If you want your residents’ pets to be safe and your construction jobs to go as smoothly as possible, please make sure your residents know that it is up to them to make sure their pets are secure and safe.

Here at Classic, our team can meet all your needs and take the necessary precautions to help protect your pets. Contact us today and let us know how we can help.

What is a roof inspection and why should I get one?

According to the Community Association Institution, “having your roof inspected is the single most important thing you can do to ensure its overall lifespan.” I know the roofs over our heads aren’t top of mind most days, but it’s important that we make sure they can withstand the storms that are potentially headed our way this spring.

The purpose of roof inspections is to find any problems as well as gauge the remaining life of the roof. As a roof can be one of a homeowner’s or HOA’s more costly expenses, it’s well worth the minimal price of an inspection to make sure no major damage has accrued over the years.

House undergoing roof inspectionWhile a thorough roof inspection is something that should be left to a professional roofing contractor, you as the homeowner or property manager can perform a basic inspection. This can be done from the ground with binoculars as you circle the property, or from the top of a ladder set against the roof. Slowly circle the property and search for obvious signs of damage: missing shingles, sagging near ridges, or rusty metal where the house meets the roof.

For safety reasons, we do not recommend climbing up on the roof to perform the inspection unless you are a professional. We also don’t recommend this because a professional contractor will be able to notice some of the more subtle damages that can be acquired during the lifetime of the roof.

These subtle damages include:

  • Loose shingles
  • Nail pops
  • Improper air conditioning installation
  • Loose, missing or corroded flashing
  • Proper ventilation to allow roof to breath
  • Depressions near vent pipes, clogged drains or separations in flashing that cause water to pool in ridges

An inspection report from a qualified roofer should let you know how much longer you can keep your current roof or if it needs serious repairs. If you’re on a budget and looking for an inspection and estimate for repairs, call Classic Construction today at 972-437-0909 or contact us through our website. We offer free estimates!

What you need to know about working with insurance companies

Catastrophe strikes at the most inopportune times. Dealing with insurance for repairs as a property owner of a multifamily property or HOA building can become tricky and confusing, making repairs after a storm a daunting task.

Interacting with insurance companies is inevitable and will be necessary to get the repairs started. To help aid through this journey, we have detailed a few things that you will need to know.

The owners will need to notify the insurance company

Construction engineers discussion with architects at construction or building site

The first step is to notify the insurance company that there’s been some damage to the property. Most policies will state a specific time frame for reporting damages and if your people fail to report them within this time frame, it might result in the denial of the claim.

Even if your residents have to leave the property for safety reasons, the owner or HOA Board president will still need to reach out to the insurance company within the specified amount of time.

Make sure your owner or Board member has many photos that clearly detail the damage, as well as comprehensive notes and remarks that they can provide the insurance company with. The insurance world is all about the little details so be very thorough.

The insurance company will likely want to send an adjuster from their own firm to handle that portion of the process, know that this person doesn’t always have the best interests of the owner or Board in mind.

In case you are unaware,  your people have the right to hire a public insurance adjuster. In the case that you decide to hire a public adjuster, make sure they are trustworthy and can help get the most from the insurance company.

Find out what your budget is going to be

The insurance adjuster will let your insurance agent know what needs to be repaired or replaced and how much it will cost. This is why it’s so important to look for an adjuster that has your property owner’s best interests at heart.

When you get this report, know that the adjuster is only going to repair or replace what was already on the property with comparable materials. If the owner or the homeowners of a HOA want any upgrades to the property, these will likely be coming out of their own pockets.

It will be your job to find a contractor

Not all contractors are equal. You might be tempted to go straight to your preferred vendor list when looking for someone to help you fix up the property, but that might be a mistake.

When it comes to insurance claims, you’ll need to look for a contractor company that is used to working with people in the insurance industry. Typically, these contractors are known as restoration contractors.

Restoration contractors have years of experience and the knowledge necessary to repair homes that have been damaged by fire, water, smoke or wind. In these situations, it is essential to keep in mind that there is a distinct difference between restoring a damaged home as opposed to remodeling or renovating an existing home. General contractors are not nearly as familiar with the insurance claim procedure.

Classic Construction & Restoration Inc. is one of North Texas’ most well-known restoration contractors. If you’d like more information on navigating an insurance claim or on restoration project, please give us a call today.

 

Sources:

https://www.adjustersinternational.com/newsroom/hiring-a-contractor-for-your-property-damage-insurance-claim-tips-for-home-and-business-owners

https://www.adjustersinternational.com/newsroom/how-to-file-a-homeowners-property-damage-insurance-claim

https://www.insurance.wa.gov/hiring-general-contractor-homeowner-insurance-claims

https://www.millerpublicadjusters.com/free-property-insurance-claim-advice-blog/insurance-company-contractor

https://www.builtrighthomesolutions.com/about-us/news-and-events/22281-whats-the-difference-restoration-vs-general-contractors.html

National Radon Action Month

Radon Awareness MonthThe month of January is National Radon Action Month. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) strongly encourages homes and buildings to be tested for radon. Exposure to high concentration levels of radon can cause serious health risk. Prolonged exposure to radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among non-smokers in the United States.

 

WHAT IS RADON?

 

Radon is a radioactive gas that naturally forms by the ongoing decay of uranium in soil, rocks, sediments and well or groundwater. Radon that escapes into the atmosphere is not harmful but can become very dangerous in highly concentrated, enclosed areas. Continued exposure to high concentrations of radon are harmful and can lead to health risks.

 

Common symptoms to radon exposure include:

  • Persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest Pain

 

In extreme cases, continued exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer.
PREVENTION

 

Radon gets into homes through openings or cracks in foundations or floors. Areas such as spaces between gas or water fittings provide an opportunity for radon to enter a building.

 

The best way to help prevent radon and reduce risk of health risks is to have a radon test done. Classic Construction can test for radon and come up with a solution if a high concentration of radon is detected. By contacting Classic Construction, you have the ability to find a solution and help prevent harmful damage.

Prevent Frozen Pipes this Winter

frozen pipes

 

You can prepare and prevent frozen pipes, which are a threat to your business-related, including losses resulting from cold temperatures such as leaks and flooding, with enough information and prep time. Cold temperatures can reach areas of your facility that you don’t even think twice about, such as:

  • Isolated storage areas
  • Crawl spaces
  • Closets
  • Enclosed spaces
  • Warehouses

Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes this Winter

In frigid conditions, your water pipes may break from extreme cold. If possible, make sure pipes that are located in exposed or poorly insulated spaces are shut off and drained, or externally heated by an outside heating element.

  • Properly insulate and/or provide an external heating element to prevent any pipes from freezing
  • Drain any pipes that are not utilized during winter
  • Maintain an indoor temperature of at least 40° F

Your Fire Protection System Can Freeze, Too

Fire prevention sprinkler systems only work if water can actually make it through undamaged systems. Make sure that potentially damp systems, potentially subject to frigid conditions, are properly heated to prevent freezing. In severe cold weather, the response time of the local fire department may be delayed, making a functional sprinkler system even more important.

If you lose heating in a building protected by water sprinklers, try to address the issue immediately. If not easily accessible, shut off your sprinkler system and notify local authorities immediately, to maintain safety in your building.
Ensure that anti-freeze sprinkler systems have the appropriate amount of antifreeze to operate and hold through freezing weather

Insulate and inspect branching lines on water sprinkler systems exposed to extreme cold weather
Check fire pump test headers to make sure they have been properly drained
Routinely check fire pump and dry-pipe sprinkler system equipment rooms to make sure the heaters are in good shape.

Remember, it’s important to Prevent Frozen Pipes this Winter to save your company money~