Is your roof system in poor health?

We all rely on our roofing system to keep our homes dry and direct rain and snow safely away. All of us wish our roofs can last forever, however we all must realize that all roofs degrade over time. With the often-intense weather we see in Omaha, weaknesses in your Omaha home’s roofing system may begin to show. After a heavy rain storm here are a few items to keep an eye on.

Are your shingles loosing ‘pebbles’?

The granules that adhere to asphalt shingles break down over time, eventually losing their sticking power, and can wash off in rain. Check near the end of your downspouts for little stone looking pieces. These little granules can often be seen in the sediment in your gutters. If you see more than a handful of granules, it may be time to have your roof inspected.

Speaking of gutters…

Just about all homeowners know they need to be better at cleaning their gutters. Your gutters should not be overflowing in a heavy rain. If they are, your gutters need to be inspected. Get up on a ladder and see if you have debris stuck, or if your gutters are pulling off the fascia. There should never be a gap between the edge of your roof and your gutters. Any gaps or overflow have the potential to damage your siding, or cause water to sit too close to your home.

Check your basement for signs of water!

When your gutters are working properly, you should never see signs of water in your basement. If the water is not being move away from your house, you should check to make sure your downspouts are attached properly. Water next to your foundation can cause a ton of problems, including the growth of mold.

Total Construction Services has HAAG certified inspectors in Omaha who are able come out and help diagnose any issues with your roofing. We also are mold remediation specialists, ready to treat and prevent mold problems in your home.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

How to Prevent—or Handle—Frozen Water Pipes for Your Omaha Home

Winter might be harsh outdoors, but when frozen water pipes burst, the real emergency conditions are, ever so suddenly, indoors. Whether you’re thinking ahead to protect yourself from this bad scenario—or you’re thinking on your toes in an actual pipe-burst situation—you can use the following helpful tips from Omaha home restoration experts to ensure that you act smart. Choose your scenario below.

Prevention Tips:

1. Insulate your water pipes.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not expanding ice from within a pipe that makes it burst; it’s the remaining liquid water finding nowhere else to go but out. Wherever your pipes are warm to the touch, insulation is likely needed. Insulating your pipes not only serves as a preventative measure for pipe bursts, but also reduces the cost you pay for hot water. Ask a local hardware store for pipe insulation that you can install yourself—quickly and painlessly. You can also receive federal tax credits in the process.

2. Seal those seams.

To keep cold wind away from your pipes, seal cracks and holes in your walls with caulking. Simply walk along the walls of your house and feel for drafts. And for fainter drafts, light an incense stick. When the smoke is offset, there’s a draft.

3. Some doors are best left open.

Did you know? Kitchen and bathroom cabinets can keep warm inside air from reaching pipes under sinks or in adjacent outside walls. It’s a good idea to keep cabinet doors open during cold spells to let warm air circulate around the pipes to prevent freezing.

4. Don’t hesitate to use your taps.

As long as water is running and pressure doesn’t build up, there’s a far lower risk of freeze and pipes bursting. Also, it’s okay to let faucets lightly drip where you believe there could be risk of cold pipes. The slight relief in pressure prevents potential buildup within your pipes.

5. Leaving for a trip? Don’t over-lower the heat.

While understandably it saves money to lower your thermostat when you’re away from home, it’s important to not be overzealous and allow your home to cool excessively in your absence. A home kept reasonably warm will ensure pipes share the same cozy condition.

Emergency Tips:

In the event of a frozen or broken pipe, it’s best to call a certified professional and Omaha home restoration expert immediately. In the meantime, locate the main water shut-off valve in your home.Depending on where you live and your house type, your shut-off valve may be in a utility room (or on an outside wall in a utility area of the house), crawl space, basement or at the meter. Twist it completely clockwise to interrupt the flow of water.

While a pipe burst requires immediate assistance, you can also call a professional any time of year for additional precautionary tips on how to prevent this worst-case scenario. And for the best repair and restoration in the instance of water damage and other incidents, contact a certified, award-winning construction contractor serving homes and businesses since 1987.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

Flooded basement? Water damage? What to do.

If you’re experiencing a flooded basement or intrusive water of any sort, you’re not alone. It can happen for any variety of reasons—whether it’s torrential downpours, broken gutters, leaky windows, foundational damage, burst pipes or countless other issues. Here are just a few pieces of information that can help you get back to normal.

Don’t underestimate water damage.

While you can address minor cases of water damage yourself, unwanted water often requires professional attention. Standing water is among the most obvious and extreme cases of a water damage emergency, which can pose an electrical shock hazard if you set foot in it. Steer clear of standing water and, in this case, call a water damage professional—namely, a qualified construction contractor. Why? Because they’ll not only absolve your water damage issues with the proper equipment and experience, but they’ll do it safely while locating the exact sources of the issue.

That’s not all. They can also help identify any threats of mold or mildew—a potential health and respiratory hazard—and inform you how to best prevent leaks in the future. Remember: merely removing water is addressing the issue on a surface level. Nothing beats a professional when it comes to thoroughly restoring your home to normal.

Don’t just make an insurance claim—make inquiries.

When you talk to your insurance provider, ask them about a list of preferred vendors. This can help weed out subpar contractors and ensure you’re receiving a premium list of professionals. Also, ask for contractors who carry an in-house insurance claims division, which can hasten the process and ensure that you’re receiving the most reasonable rates.

Don’t worry.

Water damage happens all the time—especially during years with higher rain volumes. By knowing how to ask the right questions and how to search for the best contractor, you’ll replace your anxieties with answers.

For professional water damage repair or mold remediation, you can always call the experts serving the Omaha Metro and beyond since 1987.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

Is there mold in your household? Telltale signs and what to do.

While mold is especially prevalent in homes during the stormy season—and often dangerous to human health—it’s also a solution easily fixed once the problem is identified. The following are a few quick tips to recognize mold and rid of it fast.

Bodily symptoms. If you’re suffering from allergies, there’s a chance mold is growing somewhere in your home. Whether you’re experiencing sore eyes, sneezing, runny nose or most of all, a spike in your allergies while you’re at home, it’s time to call a mold remediation expert.

Visible signs. While most people can spot mold with their eyes, they can just as easily overlook it, too. Don’t just ignore small growths that may appear as harmless marks of soot or dirt. This could be a sign of a mold growth in your infrastructure and it’s important to take action immediately. Also take note of any discoloration on walls, ceilings and floors, which could hint that mold is dwelling underneath.

Suspicious odor. You know that musty smell that you associate with mold? Well, if you detect it, it’s probably a positive indicator. Don’t dismiss it.

Water problems. With our especially torrential rain season this year running through September, always remember that water is the mother of mold. If you’ve had water problems in the house—whether recently or with past leaks or floods—it’s a fairly good sign you could have mold. Even internal house leaks caused by faulty pipes, for example, oftentimes lead to mold. It’s simple. When water dwells in the house where it should not, so can mold.

What to do next.

If you have mold, it’s time to get bold. Contact a mold remediation expert immediately—even if you’re uncertain. They can help to better detect mold, utilize the right equipment for the job, and remove it fast so your home is restored to a clean bill of health.

For professional mold remediation or water damage repair, you can always call the experts serving the Omaha Metro and beyond since 1987.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

Basement flooding and mold: what you should know.

Given this season’s torrential rains, a majority of homeowners in the Midwest have experienced water in their basements—which also leads to a buildup of mold resulting from the moisture. Thankfully there’s no reason to be concerned if you know what to do. Whether you have obvious sightings of mold or you’re unsure and need a proper assessment, here are a few pieces of wisdom that will help you get back to normal—quickly.

Consult a water damage and mold remediation professional.

Mold is a notoriously resilient, airborne-prone fungus. That’s why it’s important to never disturb any mold growth visible on your home’s infrastructure, and never trust any DIY mold removal kits on the market, which often prove ineffective. In these cases, a professional is best instead of trying to tackle it yourself—namely, a full-service construction contractor who has experience with household mold and water damage repair.

An experienced professional will ensure you receive thorough mold remediation, from a knowledgeable expert that knows how to detect the presence of mold throughout your home and eradicate it using the proper equipment.

Above all, the best option is prevention.

Even if you’re unsure whether you have mold, or your home seems unaffected by this season’s downpours, remember: a professional can also offer a thorough inspection and preventive consultation to ensure that your home is free of unwarranted moisture. A mold-free home is a healthy one.

Unexpected water or mold in the home can lead to further problems. But thankfully, it’s also one of the fastest and easiest issues to alleviate in the hands of proper professionals.

For mold remediation and repair across Omaha, Papillion, La Vista and Bellevue, you can always call the experts serving the Metro since 1987.

Out with the mold, in with the new!

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

Get ready for summer: De-winterize your home.

The summer sun is coming. Get your home ready.Winter is receding and the summer sun is teasing its way in. Now’s a perfect time to prepare your home with a few simple steps to maximize your comfort and minimize any issues this season.

Test your outside water lines. Turn your outside water line back on and check your outside faucets to ensure they’re working correctly. Reattach your hose and test it also. If there’s a small leak, you can easily repair it using a garden hose repair kit available at most retailers.

Check your home’s exterior. Now’s the time to see how your home handled the winter and preemptively address any needs before spring storms and summer swelter begin their annual barrage. Are there any shingles missing from the roof? Are there loose boards in the siding? Gaps in the windows? Torn or bent screens or any cracking in the foundation? Points where the snow leaked into the home? These are all things that can be promptly solved by a professional contractor before the problem grows more intense along with the weather.

Make sure your attic is properly ventilated. An attic that’s properly ventilated by professionals ensures that undue heat is never trapped in your home (poorly ventilated attics can reach 150ºF in the summer) while also preventing unwanted moisture. When moisture builds, it can form into mildew and molds on your infrastructure—which can sometimes become a health hazard. So let your attic breathe. The benefits may surprise you.

Get your HVAC system checked. Make sure you’re prepared when you revive the AC for another season of cooling. Professionals can check your unit to ensure it’s running correctly, locate any leaks and tune it to run most efficiently.

Test all of your outside electrical outlets. Are they working correctly? Again, a professional contractor can assist if you locate a dud, which may indicate a greater problem.

Know your market. It’s wise to be prepared. With the seasonal changes on the horizon, be sure to have a trusted contractor on hand in the event of a problem or emergency. You can ask your home insurance provider for a list of trustworthy names. But above all, look for someone who receives local awards and real testimonials indicating overall excellence and customer service.

A well prepared home decreases the likelihood of issues during the hot months, but more importantly, enables you to more easily enjoy the summer. After all, isn’t that the point?

If you have further questions on de-winterizing your home, or for anything home-related, call Total Construction any time to speak with a friendly representative.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

6 useful tips to prevent pipes from freezing

Where there's frozen water, frozen or burst pipes can follow.

It’s no mystery in the winter: the main culprit of bursting pipes is frozen water. Namely, how frozen water blocks the normal flow of liquid through the pipes, causing backup and pressure to build. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not expanding ice that actually makes a pipe finally burst: it’s the remaining liquid water finding nowhere else to go but out. Using this knowledge, there’s a few simple tips you can follow now to prevent any watery disasters in the future.

1. Ensure your pipes are insulated. Sure, homes in the north are often equipped with well-insulated pipes. But regardless of latitude, homes throughout the Midwest, especially farther south, should ensure their pipes are properly insulated—especially in vulnerable areas such as attics, crawlspaces and outside walls. If this year’s frigid cold has taught us anything, it’s this: where the cold is less commonplace, so is preparation. So don’t be a victim: avoid costly emergencies by adopting a mindset of better safe than sorry. For advice on insulation, you can always contact a construction contractor.

2. Seal those seams. To keep cold wind away from your pipes, seal cracks and holes in your walls with caulking. Simply walk along the walls of your house and feel for drafts. And for fainter drafts, light an incense stick. When the smoke is offset, there’s a draft.

3. Some doors are best left open. Did you know? Kitchen and bathroom cabinets can keep warm inside air from reaching pipes under sinks or in adjacent outside walls. It’s a good idea to keep cabinet doors open during cold spells to let warm air circulate around the pipes and prevent freezing.

4. Unfasten your hose. If a hose is hooked up to your backyard or the side of your house, remove it and shut off the valve that leads to your outdoor hose. By shutting off your valve and ensuring all water has dripped out, it removes the risk of a freeze.

5. Don’t hesitate to use your taps. As long as water is running and pressure doesn’t build up, there’s a far lower risk of freeze and pipes bursting. Also, it’s okay to let faucets lightly drip where you believe there could be risk of cold pipes. The slight relief in pressure prevents potential buildup within your pipes.

6. Leaving for a trip? Don’t over-lower the heat. While understandably it saves money to lower your thermostat when you’re away from home, it’s important to not be overzealous and allow your home to cool excessively in your absence. A home kept reasonably warm will ensure pipes share the same cozy condition.

Aside from the obvious pipe burst, a telltale symptom of winter creeping into your infrastructure is lowered water pressure—or worse, no water activity whatsoever when you twist your faucet on. While this requires immediate professional assistance, you can also call a professional ahead of time for additional precautionary tips on how to prevent this worst case scenario.

For the best repair and restoration in the instance of water damage and other incidents, contact a certified construction contractor serving homes and businesses since 1987.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

Attention Midwest: Pipe or water damage from the cold? What to do.

A burst pipe can happen to anyone in the cold months. Be prepared!

Due to the recent freeze grinding its way through the midlands, Total Construction is ramping up efforts to be available region-wide for any homes or businesses that need emergency repair, restoration or any expert assistance from a qualified construction contractor. If your infrastructure has been hit by the cold, fret not. We can help.

We’ll get your home back to normal—fast.

While busted pipes have especially seen a spike in the past few days, we understand that the damage doesn’t stop once the pipes are repaired. Water damage has a way of escalating into greater problems and fast becoming an eyesore. Our team has addressed water issues countless times and knows how to quickly, seamlessly restore your space to its original condition. No matter what type of damage you’ve incurred, call us and we can provide the answers you need.

We’ll work with insurance.

Our insurance claims department can work directly with your insurance providers and adjustors to make the process faster and far simpler. We remove confusion from the process and ensure numbers are more exact—instead of excessive.

We’re trusted across the Midwest.

No matter how urgent or casual a damage situation, a certified construction contractor is crucial to ensure the job is done right. Total Construction received the Better Business Bureau Integrity award in 2010 among many other distinctions, and we continue to receive real testimonials from satisfied customers.

Right now, the bitter cold is working hard to disrupt homeowners.

Thankfully, we’re working harder and swiftly dispatching teams across the Midwest. Remember, when disaster strikes, always get two estimates—and make sure one is from Total Construction.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com