Common Bad Habits That Can Lead To A House Fire

Unfortunately, everyday bad habits factor into the majority of house fires. Maven Construction Group, a certified provider of Gainesville fire damage remediation services, discusses six common bad habits that everyone should break to prevent house fires.

Fire Damage Restoration In Gainesville, FL

1. Not Cleaning Out Dryer Lint

The next time you remove a load of towels — or any clothes — from the dryer, take a minute to clean the lint trap. Dryer fires cause $35 million in fire damage reconstruction each year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, and more than one-third of those fires were caused by lint build-up. The lint trap collects most fabric lint, but lint can accumulate around the drum and in the dryer vent. When lint collects in these areas, heat is unable to escape, igniting the lint.

2. Leaving Lit Candles Alone

The reason this is mentioned over and over is that candles are responsible for starting an estimated 8,700 house fires each year. Unattended bedroom candles caused 37 percent of fires resulting in a need for fire damage restoration from 2011 to 2015, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Always extinguish candles before leaving a room and never leave even one candle burning if you leave the house. Keep lit candles away from bedding, books, drapes, flammable decorations, furniture, and anything that can catch on fire.

3. Procrastinating On Chimney Cleaning

Fireplaces create a relaxing ambiance but need regular cleaning to prevent house fires. Creosote, a common byproduct of burning wood, is the oily substance that lines many chimneys. If you have a fireplace, it and the chimney should be cleaned along with a yearly inspection. This helps prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

4. Using Damaged Or Worn Power Cords

All electrical cords eventually wear out but many people continue to use them as long as the cords are supplying power. Exposed wires and frayed ends are two signs it’s time to replace the cord. Continuing to use a damaged cord increases the risk of electrical shock and fire as heat from the exposed wires can ignite any flammable material or surface.

5. Overloading Extension Cords

Extension cords can be useful on their own but connecting more than one doesn’t increase the usefulness. Instead, it creates a fire risk by overloading the cords with electricity. Many people use power strips as a seemingly safer alternative to multiple extension cords. A frequent misconception of power strips is that they have built-in surge protection. Yet, many power strips only act as additional outlets and can’t control power flow or surges.

6. Clustering Appliances

It sounds like a space-saving tactic, but clustering appliances side-by-side with little to no room in between is a fire risk. All appliances generate heat which disperses into the surrounding area. That is unless the appliances are tightly lined up and air flow is unable to help the heat dissipate.

Each appliance should be plugged directly into a wall outlet — not into an extension cord or power strip. Multiple appliances plugged into the same location pull a significant amount of electricity which may overload the wiring and start an electrical fire.

Who Should You Call If Fire Damage Occurs?

The devastation of a house fire often goes beyond property damage. Maven Construction Group strives to help every customer regain normalcy in their life as quickly as possible. Because we self-fund every project, our team begins the reconstruction and restoration process immediately. For quality fire damage restoration Gainesville residents can rely on, contact Maven Construction Group today!

How To Recover After A Fire

A property fire can be devastating, both physically and emotionally. Besides the damage to the structure of your home or business, you could also lose personal effects or company assets. And without a plan-of-action, recovering from these losses can be more difficult. At Maven Construction Group Inc., we’ve helped many residents with fire damage reconstruction in Gainesville. If your home or business has been damaged by a fire, contact us right away. We can help you recover, remediate and store viable belongings during reconstruction.

Gainesville, FL, Home Fire Restoration

Contact a Gainesville Fire Damage Restoration Company

After a fire, the costs of property damage may be covered in part or full by a homeowners or commercial property insurance policy. But fire damage claims can be complex. If done incorrectly, a claim could produce less money for restorations than you actually need. For that reason, the first call to make after a fire should be to a fire damage restoration company.

Restoration specialists often deal with insurers, so we know what it takes to process a claim successfully for fire damage. It’s important that you inform your insurance provider about the situation before you start cleaning or rebuilding after a fire, but the claims process is much easier to navigate with a restoration specialist by your side.

Self-Funding Restoration Company

Claims for fire damage can take a long time to process. As a result, many Florida house fires remediation projects end up on hold until the funds to rebuild become available. One workaround is hiring a restoration company that self-funds its restoration projects. Under such an arrangement, the restoration team starts on the fire damage remediation process before the insurance money is paid out. In the meantime, the company deals with the provider on the claim directly.

We self-fund our fire remediation projects at Maven Construction Group Inc. And based on our experience, property owners prefer this arrangement. Not only does it allow them to return to their homes and businesses faster, but they also have less hassle over insurance claims.

Find Temporary Shelter

Once you have determined a fire damage remediation plan with your restoration specialists, you’ll need to find temporary shelter until the work is complete if your home is not habitable in its current condition. Most property insurance plans cover the costs of hotels and similar lodgings. As part of the claim, make sure that you keep receipts for everything related to the recovery.

You’ll also want to remain in close contact with the remediation specialists. They can provide practical advice as well as offer a timeline as to when your home or business will be habitable again. Realistic expectations for when you’ll be able to return to normal life can help you stay grounded and focused during a fire recovery.

Clean & Store Belongings

In the time after a fire, you’ll need to take an inventory of your items. Damaged items should be documented with pictures and descriptions. That information should then be relayed to the insurance company for your claim. Many of your belongings may have survived but are covered in soot and smoke. These should be cleaned and then packed away for storage before the full-scale property restoration efforts begin. For help with taking inventory and other tasks, turn to Maven Construction Group Inc. We can clean, pack, and store your belongings as part of our fire remediation services.

Demolition & Reconstruction

The extent of the fire damage determines whether a building needs demolition and reconstruction. In cases where damage is superficial, the extent of fire damage remediation may only extend to smoke removal as well as new drywall, paint, and flooring. But when a fire compromises the structural integrity of a building, a complete teardown and rebuild may be necessary. There are ways to keep the total costs of fire remediation in check. One cost-saving measure is to hire a restoration company that handles all of the work itself, from clean-up to reconstruction.

Fire Damage Remediation In Gainesville

Fire recovery can be a difficult road to go down, but Maven Construction Group Inc. can help make the transition easier with full fire damage restoration. Our company has helped countless Gainesville residents restore their homes and businesses after fires and similar kinds of misfortunes. From clean-ups to complete rebuilds, our remediation teams will do everything to return your home or business to its previous condition. We also work side-by-side with you to handle claims for property damage. And we self-fund projects, so you don’t have to wait on insurance payouts just to start remediation efforts.

To learn more about fire remediation and other restoration services, contact Maven Construction Group Inc. today!

What You Don’t Know About Gainesville Restoration Companies

When disaster strikes, it’s important to know whom to call for help. Gainesville restoration professionals with Maven Construction Group have more than a decade of experience assisting home and business owners with residential and commercial property damage restoration.  

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Common Misconceptions About Restoration

When dealing with fire, storm, water or mold damage, it’s smart to rely on restoration companies such as Maven Construction Group. Specialists are highly trained to create customized remediation plans and find the appropriate solution for each case. Nonetheless, being misinformed or skeptical about professional restoration services has led many home and business owners astray. Don’t let that be you! These are some of the most common misconceptions about property damage and remediation procedures.

Myth: Replacement is Cheaper Than Restoration

Not if restoration is done in a timely manner. In many cases, salvaging parts of a home or business is cheaper than replacing them. For example, without timely and proper water extraction, water damage from burst pipes can worsen over time and create the need for new flooring, walls and other structures. What would have cost a few hundred dollars in water damage restoration now costs thousands of dollars in replacements.

Myth: Cleaning Carpets Will Attract Dirt

Remediation techniques and equipment used in the past are inferior to the expertise and advanced technology employed today by experts such as Maven Construction Group. In the past, inefficient carpet cleaning tools sometimes left a soap residue that caused dirt to stick to the carpet. Today, professionals flush, rinse and dry carpets properly to prevent residue from ruining the job.

Myth: A Home is Dry When Carpets Are Dry

One of the worst mistakes home and business owners can make during the water damage restoration process is to remove drying equipment before the structure is completely dry.  Carpets tend to dry faster than other materials, so the equipment shouldn’t be removed until all structures and materials, including walls and non-carpeted floors, are completely dry.

Myth: There’s No Rush to Address Fire Damage

When structures with fire damage aren’t attended to as soon as possible, the damage can become irreversible. Failing to clean smoke residue immediately after a fire can result in the loss of irreplaceable valuables. On the flip side, if done promptly, fire damage reconstruction can save home and business owners thousands of dollars in replacement costs and secondary restoration costs.

Myth: It’s Cheaper to Do It Yourself

In some cases, especially when the damage is minor, do-it-yourself repairs can be successful. However, bigger projects such as mold removal in Gainesville are better left on the hands of professionals. If done incorrectly, the mold could grow back and spread to other areas of the home or business, leading to secondary remediation costs. For mold remediation Gainesville home and business owners recommend, call Maven Construction Group.   

Restoration Services in Gainesville, FL

At Maven Construction Group, we strive to provide the highest quality of restoration services in a timely manner. Whether your property experienced a major disaster or you want to inquire about early leak detection Gainesville, FL, residents rely on to save thousands of dollars on water damage restoration, our team of professionals is available around the clock to assist you. Contact us today to speak with Gainesville restoration experts you can trust.

Fire, Water & Mold Damage in Gainesville, FL? Call Maven!

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Emergency is one word home and business owners dread hearing. Whether it is caused by fire, water or mold, an emergency is a stressful situation. Fortunately, no matter the time of day, Maven Construction Group responds to calls and begins assisting property owners with damage restoration.

Remediation After a Fire Emergency

During a property fire, the flames may seem to cause all the damage. But many times, the smoke, soot, ash and water used to extinguish the flames can be just as destructive. Maven Construction Group, a Gainesville restoration company, offers 24/7 emergency service and self-funds all recovery projects. This means we arrive promptly and work tirelessly until your home or business returns to pre-fire condition.

Contact Your Insurance Company

You’ll most likely need to be in contact with your insurance company throughout the remediation process, so it’s best to call it as soon as possible. Maven Construction Group has more than a decade of experience advocating for property owners during the claims process. Once the fire marshal gives the go-ahead, we’ll make an inventory of items damaged and/or lost in the fire.

Start Fire Damage Reconstruction

The next step is repairing the smoke, soot, ash and water damage from items in the home or building. Unless the items are professionally treated, these fire by-products will linger and possibly cause respiratory and other health issues with long-term exposure. Fire damage reconstruction begins with demolition and removal of the affected property. The licensed general contractors at Maven Construction Group are skilled in completing reconstruction projects while meeting local building codes.  

Restoration After a Water Emergency

Unfortunately for many properties, fire and water damage go hand in hand. To put out flames engulfing a building, the fire department often needs hundreds, if not thousands, of gallons of water. Other homes or businesses need water damage restoration after flooding caused by burst pipes or a natural disaster.

Gainesville Water Damage Restoration

Whatever the cause, Maven Construction Group follows the same six-step process to return your home or business back to its pre-damage condition as quickly as possible. During the first inspection, our team learns the class and category of the water damage. This determines whether and how personal belongings and areas of the property can be repaired or need to be replaced.

Water Damage From Burst Pipes

Walls and flooring are especially susceptible to water damage from burst pipes. If the damage occurs when the home’s or business’ occupants are away for a few days on vacation, for instance mold and mildew may begin to form. This happens often in Gainesville and other areas with a humid climate.

Mold Damage? Do This.

Even if you discover mold damage long after a fire- or water-related emergency has been taken care of, call Maven Construction Group. Our team uses professional mold containment and air filtration procedures for effective mold removal in Gainesville. This includes inspecting the property to find the source of the mold. Call us for leak detection Gainesville, FL, residents know and trust.

Mold Remediation in Gainesville, FL

If your property has suffered from fire, water or mold damage, you can count on professional restoration service from Maven Construction Group. Our team has the training and skills necessary to bring a property back to pre-damage condition in a timely manner. We will communicate with you through every step, from contacting the insurance company and filing a claim to planning the property’s reconstruction and getting your life back to normal. Call Maven Construction Group today to begin!

How Frozen Pipes Can Lead to Fire Damage

When winter arrives and temperatures drop, some plumbing fixtures need a little help adjusting to severe weather. Among the many things homeowners and commercial property owners can do to prepare for freezing temperatures, taking care of fragile pipes is one of the most important. Most people know that when pipes freeze, they can burst and create the need for water damage repair. But fewer people make the connection between frozen pipes and flames before it is too late and they have to call for fire damage restoration.

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Floods vs. Fires

There is a fine line between frozen pipes causing floods and leading to fires, and this line is the process of thawing. Put simply, thawing pipes can prevent floods by reducing the likelihood of the pipes bursting, but thawing carelessly or using inappropriate methods increases the risk of flames igniting. Fire damage repair companies can offer tips on how to insulate the pipes in your home or business to reduce the risk of them freezing, as well as how you can properly thaw them to minimize fire hazards.

Preventing Pipes From Freezing

Insulating water pipes can prevent wasteful heat loss, freezing and breakage. Pipes located in exposed areas of the home or building, such as pump houses and garages, are especially vulnerable. To insulate small lengths of pipe, you could use pipe wraps made of materials such as fiberglass, plastic, foil-backed fiberglass, rubber or foil-backed natural cotton. If more pipes need to be covered, consider tubular sleeves. Remove dirt and grease from the pipes and make sure they are dry before you install the insulation. Nonetheless, if even after these efforts you notice the pipes leaking or bursting, call a home restoration company immediately for professional water extraction. The sooner you identify leaks and flooded areas, the better chance you have of saving your belongings from water damage.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

  • If you realize your pipes have frozen, turn off the water valves to reduce pressure and minimize flooding if the pipes burst.
  • To warm the area and slowly melt the ice, you could use a hairdryer or heat lamp.
  • Also, wrap and secure a heavy towel around the pipes to concentrate heat to the areas that need it the most.
  • Place a bucket underneath the pipes to collect any sweat, and then pour warm water over the pipes.
  • When you are finished thawing the pipes, look carefully for any leaks and damp patches on walls, ceilings and floors.
  • Avoid using heat guns and propane torches to thaw pipes, for they are known fire hazards that could easily melt piping elements if placed too close to the pipes or left on for too long.

Water & Fire Damage Restoration in Gainesville

Fire and water damage restoration companies recommend home and business owners to find a professional organization in their area to help them develop pre-loss contingency plans and take preventive measures that could help the people, property, services and products involved. In Gainesville, FL, and surrounding areas, you can trust  Maven Construction Group. Our services include leak detection, emergency water removal, mold cleanup, storm damage, fire and water damage restoration and more. Call us today!

Common Causes of House Fires in Gainesville, FL

Nobody thinks a house fire will happen to them, but unfortunately house fires are common. Equally common are the causes. Maven Construction Group provides quality fire damage restoration Gainesville residents know and trust.

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Cooking

Whether you cook once in awhile or routinely host dinner parties for friends and family, cooking presents many fire hazards. Unattended pots and pans on the stove or in the oven, using hot oil to fry food, and cooking equipment with frayed electrical cords can all cause a fire. If your home’s kitchen or cooking area needs fire damage reconstruction in Gainesville, call Maven Construction Group.

Grills

Grilling is a pastime for many people, but it’s easy to become complacent. Remember to keep the grill at least several feet away from your home, deck, and trees. And even if your grill doesn’t get as much use as you’d like, remember to regularly check it for rust, corrosion, and proper gas line connections.

Fire Pits

Fire pits are common in backyards throughout North Central Florida, but these landscaping features pose a risk to your home. A fire pit should be placed and/or installed in a flat, open area and always have a fire screen. Before wrapping up an evening around your fire pit, make sure all embers are extinguished.

Smoking

Almost all smoking-related fires beginning in the home come from upholstered furniture, bedding, and/or mattresses catching fire from someone who fell asleep while smoking. Another cause of smoking-related house fires is throwing a cigarette butt into a trash can without soaking it in water first.

Heating

Though we don’t have extreme cold during winter months as northern climates, many homes use home heating equipment when the mercury drops. If you rely on a portable space heater in a room or area rarely used, keep it at least three feet from combustible objects like drapes and furniture. Any space using a space heater should also be well ventilated.

Fireplaces

Fireplaces can make a home cozy, but if not properly maintained, present a fire hazard. Use or install a spark screen and/or glass door to prevent stray sparks or logs from rolling into the surrounding area. And before lighting your fireplace with the first winter breeze, have the chimney checked, and if necessary, cleaned to prevent buildup of flammable creosote.

Wood Stoves

Though modern wood stoves are more efficient and safer than their predecessors of yesteryears, they aren’t the set it and forget it type. As with a fireplace and space heater, wood stoves should be operated with supervision, kept away from flammable objects, and in a well ventilated area.

Appliance Cords

Thin, flexible, and usually out of sight, appliance cords are often overlooked until there’s an issue. An appliance cord at the end of its use will fray around the connection and expose internal wires, posing a fire risk. Appliance cords are common in homes and businesses, but should never be put under rugs, carpeting, or furniture. However, if your business experiences a fire due to a frayed appliance cord, let Maven Construction Group it back to normal through our commercial fire damage restoration.

Candles

Candles add a layer of ambiance any day of the year, but are more prevalent during the holidays. Unfortunately, candles are often left unattended and caused more than 9,000 house fires from 2009 to 2013, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Flammable Liquids

Most homes have at least one flammable liquid on the property, such as propane for the grill or gasoline for a lawn mower. Any flammable liquid should be stored in its original container outside and in a safe location.

Faulty Wiring

A constant stream of blown fuses, resetting circuit breakers, or the lights dimming when the air conditioner turns on are common signs your home’s wiring is faulty. If your home is older, the wiring is likely older and unable to handle the demands of modern life. A licensed electrician can inspect the wiring and let you know of any issues with the wiring, possibly preventing the need for residential fire damage restoration.

Lighting

A poorly installed light fixture can do more than just insufficiently illuminate a room. Hanging lights should be insulated if hung from wood paneling or ceiling joists. Moveable lighting, such as a floor lamp, should have a sturdy base which can’t be easily tipped or knocked over. Bulbs used in any lighting should always be the correct wattage for the specific lighting to reduce fire risk.

Children & Pets

Children and pets are often curious by nature, but if left alone around candles, open flames, and any other potential fire hazard, that curiosity can cause a disaster. Matches and lighters should be kept away from children. Also, teach children fire and/or flames are not a toy.

Call Maven Construction Group For Gainesville Fire Damage Remediation Services

A house fire is two-fold stressful and scary. If your home suffers a fire, Maven Construction Group will restore it to pre-fire condition through quality craftsmanship and a professional approach. Call us today to begin putting a house fire behind you.

Tips to Prevent Water & Fire Damage This Holiday Season

Disasters Don’t Take Holidays — Prepare For & Prevent Damage From Water, Mold & Fire

Disaster can strike when you least expect it, and certain safety hazards tend to spike during the holiday season with so many preoccupations surrounding us. Fire and water damage are two of the most common and troublesome mishaps that occur. The Gainesville restoration specialists of Maven Construction Group would like to offer our advice on how to prevent and prepare for the unimaginable this holiday season.

Structure Fires & Restoration

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), structure fires were responsible for $10.3 billion in property damage in 2015. At Maven Construction Group, we specialize in fire damage restoration to restore your property after a disaster, however, it’s always best to try and prevent disasters.

  • Plug in only one high-wattage appliance at a time to avoid overloading.
  • Do not pinch extension cords between furniture and other tight areas to avoid shock or damage to the wires.
  • Remove any flammable objects on or around a chimney when in use.
  • Turn pan and pot handles inwards to prevent accidents in the kitchen and never leave cooking appliances unattended when in use.

Have A Plan For Fires

No matter how many precautions are taken, it is important to always be prepared in case things take a turn for the worse. According to the NFPA, only one-third of Americans have prepared for a fire by both developing and practicing an escape plan.

  • Test smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries yearly.
  • Set up at least two escape routes from every room.
  • Designate a meeting area away from any danger.
  • Practice escaping a fire at least twice a year.

Water Damage & Prevention

What is easier than hiring water restoration companies that have extensive training with water damage restoration? Preventing water damage! Maven has the tools and experience necessary to offer cost-effective clean-up solutions due to water damage but we want to help you avoid any unnecessary disaster restoration this holiday season.

  • Clean out roof gutters to avoid uneven spillage around your foundation. This can be done before you hang up your holiday lights or host your annual bash.
  • Inspect and repair any missing or damaged shingles on your roof.
  • Check for any dark stains under pipes, sinks and ceilings that could be caused by dripping water.
  • If leaks are found on water heaters, air conditioning units or pipes, repair them immediately or contact a professional.

Mold Assessment & Removal

Mold is caused by moisture and is often a consequence of water damage. Mold is also a prominent issue in humid climates such as Florida, even in the winter months. Be alert for signs of water leakage, such as water spots, peeling paint, rust or an irregular water bill, that could result in the creation of mold. Maven offers mold assessment and mold remediation services for both residential and commercial buildings.

Disaster Restoration Specialists in Gainesville, FL

The holidays are a time for enjoyment, not for worrying about repairs and restorations. Take some time from your busy schedule to take precautions to avoid fire, water and mold damage this holiday season. Maven Construction Group is Gainesville’s one-stop service for disaster restoration with experts on water & mold restoration, fire damage, storm & wind damage, and roof repairs & reconstruction. Contact us for 24/7 emergency service.

Don’t Let Christmas Lights Become a Fire Hazard

fire-hazard-christmas_lightsChristmas is a wonderful time of the year…for most us.  We love the decorations and lights but how much though do we put adorning our houses without causing a fire hazard?  Firefighters and law enforcement will tell you – not enough.
Already this year, in Eatontown NJ, a family was left homeless by faulty Christmas lights that burned down their house at night, while they were sleeping. Luckily for the residents, everyone was able to get out safe. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.  

What can you do to ensure that your holiday decorations don’t cause the “Nightmare before Christmas”?  Here are a few tips from the fire damage restoration experts at Maven:

  1. Always use Power Strips – power strips almost always contain a circuit breaker that will automatically shut the power strip off.  This helps prevent a particular circuit from being overloaded.
  2. 3-in-1 Rule of Thumb – a great rule of thumb provided by an electrician friend of ours is the “3-in-1” rule.  Never bring more than 3 strands of lights into one circuit.  Plus, the newer LED lighting uses even less electricity which will help ensure the circuit’s integrity.
  3. Install Weatherproof Outlets for Outdoor Lighting – picture your outdoor socket all loaded up with plugs from various Christmas lighting displays.  What would happen to that socket if your sprinkler systems can on at 5am (like mine does) and sprayed a stream of water all over those connections?  How would that outlet fair if a cold front pushed a steady drizzle of rain in?  Weatherproof outlets are simple to install and eliminate one of our main lighting related fire hazards here in Florida.
  4. Inspect Repeatedly – make it a habit to check your plugs, cords and bulbs frequently.  Feel bulbs, especially bulbs around flammable materials like curtains and wreaths.  Are the bulbs hot to the touch?  Are cords frayed or worn in any way?  Are they hot to the touch?


Christmas time should be about fun and family…not about fires, damaged property and most of all injuries.  Following these 4 tips will help ensure that you and your family stay safe and happy for many holiday seasons to come!