How to inspect your roof for storm or hail damage.

When it comes to the roof, a heavy storm can leave homeowners scratching their heads as to whether or not they’ve incurred damage. The following are a few easy methods to determine if parts of your roof have gone rogue or remained pristine. And you don’t necessarily have to climb a ladder to do it; sometimes a pair of binoculars and a pair of sharp eyes work best.

Look for missing or creased shingles.

Although these signs are not always obvious and usually require a professional inspection, whenever a gap or unsightly groove in your shingles is in plain view, it’s a telltale sign that it might be time for a new roof.

Look for granules that have been washed or forced off your roof.

These granules normally protect the asphalt layer under your shingles from UV damage, and losing them not only indicates damage, but also speeds the aging of your roof. You’ll spot them in your driveway or your gutters if there’s been damage.

Check if other parts of your home, yard, or car have hail or storm damage.

If they do, your roof most likely needs replacement. The roof has a vast amount of surface area and often receives the heftiest brunt of a storm. Think of any adjacent storm damage on your property as “symptoms” that can diagnose the wellness of your roof.

Look at your own neighborhood.

If your neighbors are having their roof replaced, or roofing contractors are suddenly visiting your neighborhood, there’s a good chance you’ve sustained damage.

While these are a few simple DIY tips that could save you time and possibly alleviate some concerns, you can always call the experts at Total Construction Services for a free assessment and the most capable, experienced craftsmen giving your roof the utmost scrutiny. Serving Omaha, Papillion, La Vista and surrounding areas since 1987.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

Hardboard Siding: Is it on your Side?

The majority of us don’t live in Beverly Hills, so it’s understandable that we install what we can afford when it comes to our siding. However, in the eyes of top construction contractors, this explains the unfavorable trend of hardboard siding that can be seen on homes everywhere that were built new over the past few decades. While this product still has the appearance of real wood and several homeowners who use it have dodged the bullet thus far when it comes to water damage, today’s generation of contractors are receiving a growing number of calls about aging hardboard siding that has fallen victim to rain or water damage, swelling and patches of deterioration.

Smart Solutions to Siding.

The good news? Good contractors. They can make the process of siding selection, repair, or replacement far less daunting—even enjoyable. They understand what modern materials and woods are affordable and best resistant to water. They can adeptly handle your siding complaints, communicate with your insurance, and quickly restore your home’s precious coat of armor.

As siding options are growing—from time-tested woods to newer, modern-day-engineered materials—smart homeowners can explore products that not only look better, but offer greater protection, equity and coverage from insurance. Simply put, there’s an option that can be tailored in the interests of your home and your wallet.

In the storm-prone Midwest, it’s important to remember that when it comes to siding, never just go skin deep—you could be inviting water into your home years later. Hardboard siding may have a nice-looking shell, but underneath you’ll find heat-compressed wood fibers, wax and resin, which require more maintenance down the road and offer less performance than other brands. Ask any professional.

Questions about siding?

Whether you’ve incurred siding damage or you’re looking to upgrade to a better option or receive consultation, you can always call a certified contractor serving homes in Omaha, Papillion, La Vista and Bellevue since 1987.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

Home Improvements Can Lower Insurance Premiums

Whether it’s roof replacement, new siding or simple repair work, improvements to the home not only increase your property’s value and comfort, but can also decrease your insurance rates. Savvy homeowners can take advantage of this one-two punch to ensure that equity is flowing into their homes–while money is flowing back into their wallets. So if you own a home, or if you’re simply scouting for a new home, the following are some helpful pointers to remember.

A simple phone call could do wonders.

It’s important to realize that, while insurance providers try to be accurate, they’re not always able to see and know everything. If you make an upgrade to your home, whether major or minor, let them know. In one case, a homeowner’s insurance rose 30% at renewal time, prompting him to call his provider. In a turn of events, he discovered that they were unaware he’d hired professional roofers to install a new roof. The result? They decreased his rate to 10% lower than it was originally. One phone call made a difference of 40% in his premium, proving that a little communication can really go a long way. When it comes to the house, if you improve it, announce it.

A few good questions might lead to insights.

Even right now one can look at a home for possible savings opportunities. Here’s one good question to ask: Is the roof new? Nothing speaks better to an underwriter than a roof with proof. New roofs are safer for you, but safer for insurance providers to cover. And if a roof is constructed of impact-resistant shingles, you could qualify for further discounts–especially if you live in a region prone to occasional hail or high winds.

Another good question to ask: How’s the siding?
Insurance companies will check a building’s exterior material before insuring the property–and materials such as brick, stone, and concrete or cementitious siding are fire resistant and could attract greater discounts. On the other hand, an exterior such as EIFS siding (which looks like traditional stucco but is actually different underneath the surface) is not as fire resistant, or impact resistant, thereby drawing a higher insurance rate. You can always contact a construction professional to get the clearest answers.

And when you do search for the best contractor, ask them: Are they a Haag-Certified Roof Inspector? Do they hold a current certified installer accreditation from the shingle manufacturer? Choosing the right professional with experience already puts you at an enormous advantage in several ways, including insurance. In fact, that’s worth repeating.

A trusted contractor pays off when it comes to insurance matters.

It’s common knowledge that finding a company with experience and great references is crucial in any roofing, remodeling or restoration project. But here’s a lesser known fact: Working with your insurance provider on any home issue becomes far simpler, and more cost effective, when you hire an ethical construction contractor. They not only work with your best interests in mind, but earn the trust of your insurance company and ensure that all parties are on the same page.

A contractor with a sound insurance claim department can communicate directly and knowledgeably with your provider to reach optimum results. They speak the language insurance companies use, and know which materials will fetch greater cost savings for you. Moreover, a good contractor will work on your behalf and make your satisfaction a top priority–unlike, for instance, a public adjuster who works for a percentage of a settlement which becomes needless money out of your pocket. And by working with a company who has simultaneous expertise on both the construction end and the claims end, you’ll achieve results while avoiding any wedge that a public adjuster can drive between you and your insurance provider, hampering your relationship.

At Total Construction, we’ve served homeowners since 1987 with expertise in roofing, remodeling and repair. We work entirely on your behalf to ensure all projects completed on your home–and the savings you receive–are equally satisfying.

402.572.7457 | mytotalconstruction.com

Total Construction Services – Commercial Contracting Experts

The crew at Total Construction Services doesn’t always focus on residential projects.
We have certified commercial contractor professionals who are ready to help plan your Omaha business remodel, help with your restoration or replace your Omaha business’ roofing.


Our Omaha commercial remodeling and restoration experts recently helped Schmidt Music update the interior of their store, adding some nifty features – including sound proof glass for rehearsal rooms.
Stop by their store and check out some of our handy-work.

The surprise storms that shook eastern Nebraska—and the aftermath

It caused millions of dollars in damage. It leveled nearly half a town’s homes and businesses—including a whole school and a church—and caused grief and suffering for many Nebraskans. It even led federal warning coordination meteorologist, Greg Carbin, to coin the phrase “Nebraska Nasty”.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, the June weather of 2014—with its wildly destructive hailstorms and tornadoes—placed our state on the list of the nation’s most remarkable weather of 2014. It’s a distinction that is as tragic as it is unexaggerated. After all, four EF4 tornadoes occurred in Nebraska in one day. Much of the town of Pilger, NE, was leveled by tornadoes, while other towns, such as Blair, were pummeled by softball-sized hailstones being hurled by winds up to 90 mph.

It’s a disaster still being felt by many nearly eight months later.

But thankfully, progress is returning. A growing number of Pilger’s 73 homes that were destroyed are now being rebuilt, and Blair’s once 550 building permits have skyrocketed to nearly 5,000.

For towns like Pilger and Blair, top-level contractors are more necessary than ever. And that’s why Total Construction is once again on the scene, working closely with insurance companies and homeowners alike to provide solutions and the peace of mind that comes from experience.

When storms hit, we act.

Total Construction Services carries a strong history of expert repair amidst the worst storm damages suffered by Nebraska homeowners. Just as we’ve been widely present in the wake of last year’s terrible streak of storms, we’re also equipped for whatever 2015 can deliver—and ready to combat the Midwest’s unruly storms with decades of hardened Nebraska experience.

We know construction—and insurance.

With an In-House Insurance Claims Center, Total Construction works with adjustors from several insurance companies year-round. We can expertly address every need and concern—down to the slightest detail—with a strong local knowledge of the best materials and best practices to do repairs right the first time. Our job is to make the process seamless between adjustor and homeowner, leaving both parties satisfied.

Nobody wants disaster to strike. But when it does, we’re here to help with our comprehensive approach to service that has twice earned us the Better Business Bureau Integrity Award. We can help you restore the calm after the storm.

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

We handle insurance claims

After storm, water, or fire, damages your home, you should call us at Total Construction Services. We routinely work with insurance companies to provide accurate inspections and estimates, and work tirelessly to get your home back to normal.

In 2013 we handled claims from
• Allstate
• American Family
• Farmers
• The Hartford
• Nationwide
• Travelers
• State Farm
• USAA

In 2013 Total Construction Services handled over 1,500 claims in the metro alone.
Your provider not on the list? Ask your agent about Total Construction Services.

And if you are worried about hiring the right company…

Storm damage? Avoid a waiting list.

If hail or high winds have affected your property, don’t fret—expert repair services are available to you at a minimal wait. Total Construction is operating at fuller strength than ever to address this season’s first wave of major storms. From handling homeowner’s claims across Omaha, to claims across the Midwest including the aftermath in Red Oak, Iowa, our company carries the proven capacity and experience necessary to get you back to normal fast—wherever you live, whenever a storm hits.

Want efficiency? Seek experience first.

To ensure that we can serve you quickly—and complete the job thoroughly—our fleet operates in conjunction with our in-house insurance claims center and veteran estimators. It’s a one-two punch of experience that can expertly address both your property needs and all paperwork that arises. We’re also affiliated with a network of top third party roofers in the nation, giving us greater experience handling emergency situations and providing faster—yet finer—repairs to each home we serve. We can eliminate the obstacles that often cause delays or discrepancies in the repair process. It’s a part of our skillset.

Want more proof? Seek awards.

Total Construction has been serving Omaha and surrounding areas for 27 years. In that time, we’ve been awarded the Better Business Bureau Integrity Award and been honored as a GAF Master Elite roofing contractor—a feat that only 3% of North America’s roofing contractors have ever achieved. Add that to a list of satisfied customer testimonials that continues to grow.

When a storm hits, it’s our duty to inform you that better options are available. Because we’ve seen the grief a damaged home can cause—but moreover, seen the joy when a home is well repaired, on time.

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