Kitchen island affected by water damage is being dried using a strong powered fan.

How to Deal With Water Damage

If you are dealing with water damage, make sure you take care of it immediately with water restoration! Waiting can be devastating to your home and can cause additional damage that will end up costing you more. Water restoration is a specialized service that removes water and helps restore your home after water damage. Find out what you can do before a water restoration team goes out, what you can expect and ways that our team can help keep your home safe.

A house in Houston suburb flooded from Hurricane Harvey 2017What You Can Do

The first thing you need to do is to get in touch with an emergency service contact. Many companies will provide customers with emergency services which are available 24/7. Water damage is considered an emergency service because of the damage it can cause if ignored. 

The next thing that you can do is to provide our team or the team you may be working with all of your information such as your contact information, address, insurance information, information regarding the flood (when it started and what caused it). After all of the information is provided it is important that you let the team take care of the rest. 

What You Can Expect: If You Ignore

If you ignore water damage you can expect the moisture to create bacteria and mold growth. Certain materials can be severely damaged due to the bacteria or growth which will cause additional repairs or replacement. Something that is more concerning is that many times, people begin to experience allergic reactions or illnesses because of water damage exposure. 

What You Can Expect: Water Restoration

By being proactive and scheduling water restoration services you can expect the following to be done 

  1. Inspection Assessment 
  2. Water Removal
  3. Drying and Dehumidification 
  4. Cleaning and Sanitizing 
  5. Restoration and Repair

We understand that every water damage situation is different and some situations seem like they can be dealt with by yourself, it is best to trust professionals and schedule a water restoration service or quote before attempting anything yourself. If you have more questions and would like to speak to a specialist, contact us today!

holiday lamp with candles that are lit close to a mirror.

Fire Safety During the Holidays

holiday lamp with candles that are lit close to a mirror.Holidays are prime time for fires; being prepared is the best way to help prevent them. Our team at Classic Construction has put together a list of ways you can be safe during these holidays! We hope you find our tips helpful and that they help you stay safe these holidays. 

Being Alert 

When cooking 

When you are in the kitchen, be sure that you are alert and know which burners are on, keep flammable items away from the heat, and stay in the kitchen while cooking. 

When handling flammables 

Make sure flammables are kept a safe distance from any source of heat. Flammable things include liquids such as gasoline, acetone, and alcohols. Some flammable items are bedding, paper, drapes, and rugs. 

When using heaters

When you are using heaters, make sure that you are in the room where it is being used and once you leave the room, make sure you have turned it off. One crucial aspect commonly overlooked is the surface that the space heater is placed over; always make sure that it is on a non-flammable surface.

Be Proactive 

Do not smoke in the house 

If you are a smoker or someone in your household smokes, make sure they smoke outside of the home. A way to help consolidate the smoking is to have a designated area outside of your home where those who do smoke can safely do so. 

Check all cords and replace frayed wires. 

While reusing lights, decorations with plugs or extension cords, make sure that your cords are not frayed and that they do not have exposed wires.  

Check fire alarms 

Fire alarms are the best way to be proactive! Ensuring that your fire alarm has batteries and is working correctly can help you be ready if a fire does happen. 

Have a plan 

Learn how and when to use a fire extinguisher

Having a plan is about being proactive and safe, and one of the best ways to be safe is by learning how to deal with a fire. Fire extinguishers are only useful if you and a few members of your household are able to use them. 

Fire escape plan 

If your fire isn’t able to be put out by a fire extinguisher, make sure that you and your family know where to go. Having a clear plan of escape and knowing your exit options can help you get out of your quickly if there is an emergency.

Have important phone numbers on hand 

Having numbers saved on your phone if disaster does occur is essential. After a fire, emotions can be everywhere, and if you have one thing less to worry about, the better. Of course, you would call 911 for a fire emergency, but one number to consider saving is Classic Construction’s number. Our team is available 24/7 for emergencies and are quick to reply and help you rebuild. Rebuilding a home is challenging, and our team knows that, and we are ready to make the experience smooth for those experiencing it. 

Living room in a cabin style home with a fireplace and holiday tree set up

Protect Your Home During the Festivities

Living room in a cabin style home with a fireplace and holiday tree set up

As we approach the last weeks of the year, it is essential to protect your home from the festivities and weather that occur. As you celebrate with your friends and family, plan dinners and gatherings to make sure you prioritize your home’s safety. If you are overwhelmed with all the activities that occur, our team at Classic Construction & Restoration has curated a list of ways you can protect your home during the festive season. Please note that if your home experiences any. 

1. Install and Test Smoke Alarms 

Installing and testing your smoke alarms are vital any time of the year but necessary during the festive season. According to the National Fire Protection Association(NFPA), you should install a smoke alarm in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. If you have more than one level, there should be a smoke alarm on each level. After installing your alarm, you should test it to ensure that it is working correctly. It is suggested that you test your alarm once a month and change out the batteries at least twice a year. If you need help with installing or testing your alarm, feel free to contact our team at Classic.

2. Have Fire Extinguishers 

Choosing a fire extinguisher and comparing each model to see which is the best can be daunting but can save you and your home from damages or losses. We recommend that the fire extinguisher in your home is an ABC fire extinguisher model and that one be placed on every level of your home and a bonus extinguisher in your garage. The reason behind the UL lettering on the extinguisher is that each flame has a designated letter, and your extinguisher should be rated according to the fire it that is effective against.

3. Ensure your Space Heater is Safe  

As the weather drops, we understand there is a need for space heaters, but one of the biggest mistakes is keeping it on all day long. According to NFPA heating equipment is a leading cause of fire in U.S homes. When you are not in the same room or leave the house, make sure to turn the space heater off. Another commonly overlooked item is keeping the space heater at least 3 feet away from curtains or bedroom furniture or bedding, or other combustible materials.

4. Unplug Electric Blankets 

Electric blankets are also a form of heating equipment that people tend to forget to turn off. According to healthine, most electric blankets that are ten years old or older run a higher risk of starting a fire. If you are using an electric blanket, make sure that the blanket is approved by Underwriter Laboratories (UL). If you are finished using your electric blanket, make sure that you store it properly, and as a safety precaution, do not sit or lie on top of it. 

5. Avoid overloading your sockets

Overloading sockets is something that can easily happen if you are using a single socket and extensions. While extension cords are great to have on hand, you can easily overload it and cause a fire due to overheating. One thing that you can do to prevent this is to limit the number of connected appliances to each socket. A rule of thumb that the National Ag Safety Database has is limiting each outlet to two appliances. 

6. Get your chimney/fireplace inspected 

As we mentioned in our previous blog, Winter Checklist for Your Home, it is important to get your chimney/fireplace inspected before turning it on. A clogged chimney can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which is responsible for around 10,000 cases of carbon monoxide-related “injuries” each reported each year.

7. Be cautious of your candles 

Candles are used avidly during this season, and while they provide a sense of comfort and smell, they are often forgotten. If you fail to turn off your candle before bed or leaving the house, it can cost you your home. According to NFPA, candle-caused fires can cause an average of up to $278 million in home damages a year. 

8. Avoid distractions while the stove is on

Preparing dinner for a gathering with friends and family can be a series of ups and downs, but one thing to never forget is to keep collected and be aware of your stove when it is on. If things get out of hand with a kitchen fire, make sure to get out of the kitchen! 

9. Save Classic Construction’s contact information

While you should ALWAYS call 911 if you have a fire emergency, another reliable number to have after the damage has occurred to your house is Classic Construction. We are available 24/7 for emergency services and are ready to help you. You can contact us over the phone (insert emergency number here) or through our website. We are here to help you and when you choose us, know our team is On Time. On Budget. That’s Classic. 

Three Classic Construction managers on site after a storm which caused severe damage to the homes behind them

Good Contractors in My Area: What Makes a Contractor Stand Out From His Competition?

When you have a construction project that needs to get done, you want to hire a contractor that can get it done on time, on budget and on a high-quality level. That’s just common sense. But what makes a roofing contractor, a restoration contractor, or really any kind of contractor better than his competition?

There are three key traits that set the great contractors apart from the ones you never want to hire again, and they are:

Likeability

The most enjoyable contractor to work with is the one that you as a property manager, or maybe your HOA Board, actually likes. Construction projects can take a long time and it’s very likely that at least one thing will go wrong, causing problems for you and your residents. Make your job easier by picking a contractor you enjoy speaking with and receiving phone calls from. Most of the time, you’ll find it easier to do repeat business with a contractor you like than one you dread calling, whatever the reason. If you find yourself a contractor that you or your Board “just clicks” with, make sure you also vet them for this next trait.

Excellent Communication

Have you ever met a person you really liked who just never called you back? It’s such a shame when that happens. But this disappointment can quickly become a much bigger issue when it comes to construction. The best contractors will be the ones who take your calls, even when – no, especially when – things have gone wrong. This is a sign of trustworthiness and accountability that you might take for granted until you realize too late how important it is. If you’ve found yourself a contractor you like who answers your calls and emails, hooray! You’re 2/3 of the way to being sure you’ve got a great one. But can he meet the trifecta?

Professionally Knowledgeable

You might think this trait should come before communication skills, but if you can’t get the guy to talk to you, you’ll never get a chance to find out if he knows what he’s talking about. And you definitely want your contractor to know what he’s talking about. A likeable guy can con you into hiring him with his charming tongue, then leave you hanging out to dry when the project goes south. The best contractor for the job will be the one you like who communicates well with you and can demonstrate his professional knowledge for you before, during and after the project is complete. And if he truly is the trifecta of contractors, he’ll be able to explain the trickiest parts of the job to you in a way you can actually understand.

Here at Classic Construction, we believe in the importance of each one of these traits not just individually, but as a combination as well. If you’re looking for the trifecta of contractors, reach out for a free quote for your next project!

Three roofing contractors removing the old tiles before replacing with new shingles on a home

What to Do When a Resident Has a Problem With Construction

Classic Construction, roof being repaired on two story home with yellow tractor and workers below We’ve all had to deal with that one unreasonable resident.

You know the one I’m talking about. He shows up to every meeting, chimes in on every issue, and takes it upon himself to act as the neighborhood watch. Every Board member knows him by name which means that you as the property manager do too. He probably even has your cell phone number!

It can be hard to know what to do when this resident has a problem with construction, but we here at Classic Construction and Restoration, Inc. have over 80 years of experience handling resident/construction conflict.

We’re here to help.

Complaint #1: Noise

Perhaps the biggest construction-related resident complaint is that of the noise. The number one way to help prevent these complaints before you receive them is to make sure your contractor knows that work is only to be done during business hours. Then inform your residents of when work will begin and approximately how long it is expected to last. Most residents understand that when construction is necessary, there will be some loud noises involved. But they do have a reasonable right to expect a quiet, relaxing community after business hours. Try to assure them that you will do your best to provide them this quite time during the construction process.

construction cones blocking walkwayComplaint #2: Detours/Blockades

The second biggest complaint from residents usually involves the inconvenience of having to change up their morning and afternoon commutes. Humans are creatures of habit and having to add an extra 5 minutes to our morning drive is just excessive. (I mean, really!) To help residents adjust, make sure you know in advance where the detours and blockades will be located. Speak with your contractor before construction so that together, you can come to a solution that allows him to complete the work and you to cause the least inconvenience to your residents. And if there’s no way around the inconvenience, let your residents know well in advance about the detours and remind them why it is necessary or why this temporary inconvenience might even be desirable (ie nicer roads, prettier landscaping, etc).

Complaint #3: Jobsite Cleanliness

This complaint is not unreasonable for any resident to have. Messy jobsites are not only displeasing to the eyes, but can also cause problems in the community. Debris in roads and driveways can cause flat tires. Trash could attract nocturnal critters. Carelessly placed equipment can block roads or access to community amenities….the list goes on and on. When you receive a complaint from your residents about the mess the contractor’s crew is leaving behind, take it seriously. Let your contractor know about the issue and ask him to make sure that his crew is cleaning up after themselves daily. Contractors worth keeping should take this complaint seriously as well and strive to improve the condition of their jobsites.

Complaint #4: Quality of the Work

Again, this complaint is not unreasonable at all. Heck, you might even have the same concerns as your residents! If you notice that the work performed by your construction crew is of inferior quality, don’t be afraid to make him aware of it immediately. This is true at each stage of construction. It is better to ask your contractor about the work as you go along and catch some tiny mistakes now before the project is completed. This will save your contractor lots of money and will shorten the length of time you and your residents must deal with the construction. Before releasing final payment to your contractor, you should also make sure you or your residents are satisfied with the work. Most contractors accept this as a business process; if yours doesn’t, you might seriously consider hiring a professional contractor next time.

Classic Construction condo fire restoration project, new windows, roof and doors have been replaced.

Managing Construction Projects During COVID-19: HOA Tips

Construction project for Classic Construction HOADue to the nature of the Coronavirus quickly changing the world we live in, the way our residential communities are managed has changed drastically. These days, community managers must determine if a service is essential before they can decide whether they and the board want to move forward with it or not. While determining the nature of needed services as either essential or non-essential is not easy, it is important that these decisions be based on official stay-at-home orders and COVID 19 construction guidelines.

At the time of this writing, residential construction is still considered essential. This means that repairs that need to be made to homes, whether they be single or multi-family, can still be scheduled if certain social distancing and PPE protocols are followed. While this process sounds simple enough – keep 6 feet apart, wear face coverings, gloves, etc – it is easier said than done. Some smaller construction companies might not be able to acquire the gear necessary to perform the work according to these guidelines as the demand for these supplies steadily increases. Or on the other hand, some homeowners might not feel comfortable letting workers into their home without being able to supervise from a close distance.

Again, once the board has decided to move forward with a construction project, you might run into issues with scheduling. Many homeowners might be working from home and do not want to be disturbed by the noise construction crews often make while working. Others might be at high risk of contracting the Coronavirus and therefore not give workers consent to enter their home. In either of these circumstances, the board then has to decide if the construction project is urgent or serious enough to override the desires of the homeowner, if this is even within the board’s power to do so.

All in all, scheduling and performing construction projects is no easy feat in these trying times. Some tips to help you determine whether you and your HOA board should press forward are:

  1. Look to your bylaws and guidelines

If your bylaws state that certain projects must be done yearly, monthly, etc, then it’s probably best that you look into whether you can schedule these services or not. In this event, you should just follow the next tip which is to…

  1. Make sure you comply with CDC guidelines and local ordinances

If you or your board believes that a project must get done, then make sure it gets done in accordance with the law. Just be sure your construction workers understand and follow these instructions as well.

  1. Work with your residents

If you have set forth community guidelines and protection protocols for the safety of your residents, then they will better be able to trust that you are doing all you can to protect them while maintaining their home and community. If you find yourself dealing with a particularly difficult homeowner, try gently explaining to the importance of completing the project and the measures you are taking to ensure their safety. If this fails, you might have to start back at tip number one and determine if this really is an essential job or not.

Classic Construction employee standing next to a ladder outside of a brick Texas home which is going through a roof inspection due to heat damage.

The Top 3 Ways the Texas Heat and Humidity Can Cause Damage to Your Home

heat damage to Texas home going through inspection with brick layer, Classic Construction employee standing next to a ladder outside of the homeIt’s no surprise to anyone who’s lived here from May to August that North Texas summers are hot and humid. What might surprise you is the damage that the summer heat and humidity can cause to your home. That’s why today, we’re going to share with you the top 3 ways that heat and humidity damage your home – and what you can do about it.

Foundation Damage

Perhaps the biggest threat the Texas heat poses to your home is the threat of foundation issues. Your foundation is designed to gather moisture from the soil around it to help it maintain itself. In the heat, the soil around the base of your home dries up and shrinks away from the foundation, causing an imbalance in the delicate foundational support system. Furthermore, having large trees with large root systems near your home can cause further foundation damage as the roots spread out in search of water. A good way to keep your foundation damage-free is to make sure the soil around your home is continuously moistened by a sprinkler system and to remove any large trees from near your home. You might also consider bringing in more soil if you find that the soil or mulch around your home is already receding.

Roof Damage

heat damage to roof, cracked shingles Here at Classic Construction, we are unusually passionate about regular roof maintenance, and for good reason. Your roof is your first line of defense against the elements, and the heat and humidity in summer can cause damage to your roof that can affect other areas of your home as well. The heat can cause shingles to crack, making them more likely to leak. A good summer shower can come along and then cause unbearable humidity in your attic which, when combined with the heat, can cause the shingles to deteriorate at an even faster rate. The humidity can also cause the insulation in your attic to breakdown. To help prevent damage to your roof, we suggest scheduling regular roof maintenance to keep it properly maintained.

Sealant Damage

heat sealant damage to home roof flashing damage causing the roof to lift up from heat damage to the home. Roof raised a bit to see damageSealant essentially prevents moisture from entering your home or escaping your plumbing. Areas in your home that require sealant include your roof, pipes, windows, doors, tubs, and any openings that lead to the exterior of the home or are near the plumbing. Sealants typically have only a 6-month shelf life before they start peeling or become cracked enough to become ineffective. With the Texas heat and humidity, this shelf life becomes even less. Once moisture enters your home, you can have interior damage from the leaks such as stains on your ceiling or even more serious damage such as rotted wood or buckling hardwood floors. Furthermore, the humidity created by the combination of the leaks and the Texas heat can cause mold and mildew to grow. To prevent any of this from occurring in your home, we (again) suggest regularly scheduled maintenance and a healthy dose of vigilance.

If it’s been a while since you had someone come out and inspect your home for signs of heat damage, reach out to us here at Classic Construction today for a free quote!

Summer home maintenance on a home with the sun shining down on home roof.

Maintenance Tips to Prepare Your North Texas Home for Summer

summer home maintenance, sun shining down on home roof Summer is here! As exciting as warmer weather is, it’s essential that we make sure our home is ready for the change. Below are some of Classic Construction’s top tips to help you prepare your home for Summer.

Inspect 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. Summer 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

Summer is a dry season; checking your caulking will help you catch any areas for potential leaks before they cause damage to your home. Consider looking into weather-stripping.

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 be expecting them to keep us cool during the summer. Therefore it’s essential to have them serviced 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.

Prepare 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).

Man repairing wood floor with a hammer his right and a pencil in his hand.

When should I hire a contractor for my construction project? 

person-holding-pencil-1388944If you find yourself with a construction project that needs doing, you might be wondering when you should hire a contractor. This can be difficult to know since different types of projects will have different needs. If you’re a property manager or landlord with an angry or persistent tenant, the answer might be “yesterday.” But if you’re a homeowner looking to make upgrades or non-essential improvements, you’ve got time on your side.

In any of these situations, there are 3 main tasks you will need to add to your to-do list before you hire a contractor.

Determine when the work must be completed

Is this an emergency or a wish list project? Emergencies obviously require repairs today, while wish list items can wait. In any event, determine when the work should be completed. If it’s an emergency, you’ll need to move through these steps quickly. But if it’s a wish list project, determine which season would be best to have this work completed.

You’ll also want to be mindful of the construction industry’s busy seasons. The summer season is when many large projects are typically taking place because the lack of rain makes it easier complete a large amount of work in a short amount of time.

Contractors who can get large jobs scheduled are likely to do so in the summer. Large jobs are more difficult to schedule in the spring, fall and winter seasons, so smaller jobs such as leak investigations or interior repairs are more likely to be scheduled during this time.

Determine your budget and scope of work

This is pretty straightforward advice and probably the single most important item on your to-do list before hiring a contractor.

Before a contractor starts demolition on a property or making repairs, they need to have a plan for the work to be done. This is commonly referred to as a bid or an estimate and is where these two items come into play. A bid clearly outlines the work that the client (you) would like to see completed and lets you know how much the contractor expects to be paid for that work. Without a clearly defined scope of work or a budget on your end, you’re likely to overspend and not get what you thought you paid for.

Do your research


contractor renovation project gray-standard-color-book-near-green-eraser-159045Before starting a job, most contractors will submit a formal bid or estimate based on the scope of work and budget you’ve provided them. A good one will work with you and educate you on the price of materials and type of work you’re asking for to make sure you understand why they can or cannot do a certain type of work for the price you’re asking.

When doing your research, make sure you solicit bids from at least 3 different contractors. This will give you a range of price points to choose from, as well as introduce you to a few of the types of contractors you’re likely to encounter. You’ll learn a lot about the values, attitudes, professionalism and knowledge of the contractors while discussing or negotiating their bids with them.

If you don’t know where to start looking for a professional contractor, try the Better Business Bureau.

If you’ve already accomplished these three to-do items, give Classic Construction a call…we provide free estimates and we can do it all on time and on budget.

That’s Classic!

Community Pool Hoa, blue pool and a railing to enter the pool

Suggested Community Pool Guidelines for HOA Leaders During COVID- 19

 Community Pool Hoa, blue pool and a railing to enter the poolAs local governments across North Texas start lifting stay-at-home orders, many property managers of HOA and apartment communities are feeling pressure from their residents to open their community’s amenities. This particularly applies to community pools as summer is now upon us.

But there is some trepidation amongst community leaders to do so, specifically
because of the liability issues that arise with their insurance companies. Most
insurance policies are probably unclear on their standards of liability when it
comes to national diseases such as COVID 19 as this is a trial unprecedented in our lifetime.

While we here at Classic Construction do not presume to be experts on what
insurance policies will and will not cover, we can say that we encourage you as a
property manager to speak with the insurance company and determine these
things.

In the meantime, if the pressure from your residents to open the community pool
becomes too great to resist, we have some guidelines that should help you stay in
compliance with the CDC pool guidelines and with social distancing.

First, consider setting up blocks of time for pool access that your residents can
sign up for. This will help you control the number of residents who enter the pool
area at one time and comply with social distancing. Additionally, you might be
able to further mitigate your liability risk by having residents sign a release of
liability waiver before entering the pool area, as well as posting signs reminding
citizens of the social distancing protocol.

Second, consider how you will adjust your sanitation policies to accommodate the
new pool policies. Will you reduce the amount of pool furniture available so that
it can be spaced approximately 6 feet apart? And will you clean and disinfect the
furniture between each time block, or periodically during each time block while
residents swim?

lifeguard at community pool sitting in white chair with red flotie in his lap Lastly, consider the staffing requirements you might have were these policies put into place. While the community might already have a staff of trained lifeguards, we do not suggest asking your lifeguards to perform multiple tasks in addition to watching the pool. This means you might consider hiring staff to document who enters the pool according to your time blocking chart, to collect the liability waivers, and who clean and disinfect all pool furniture and equipment.

If you find that you are able to withstand the pressure from residents to open the community pool, take a moment to consider what repairs can or should be made to your pool area before you do open it. The most common projects we at Classic have performed over the years include repairs to the wrought iron or other
fencing surrounding the pool, as well as surfacing and deck repairs.