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Renovation 101: 3 Types of Damage You Might Encounter

Who wouldn't get excited about home renovation? Transforming old rooms into something new or adding elements to create your dream home is part of the reason anyone becomes a homeowner in the first place.

But there's a caveat to renovating a home, even as a professional home renovator. There's a good chance you might find some unexpected damage you didn't anticipate dealing with. If you discover some problems lurking beneath the surface, what's a savvy homeowner to do next?

Here are three types of damage you might encounter through renovations and how to handle them:

  1. Mold and Mildew
  2. As you merrily rip and tear through your home's infrastructure, one of the likely issues you'll find is mold. Mold grows wherever there's moisture. Humid homes or homes that might have had past leaks are prone to developing mold in some of the most inconspicuous places, like beneath flooring or behind drywall.
  3. What is the first step if you find mold? Don't ignore it — it won't go away if you don't address it. And depending on how dire the situation is, you may want to have some mold remediation professionals take it from there. Mold can be toxic and cause respiratory issues or exacerbate existing allergies, so it's not something to take lightly.
  4. Should you find mold in your home, the first step is to consider how much mold there is and it's color. If only a touch of mold exists, you could address it with water and bleach.
  5. However, bear in mind that where there's smoke, there's fire; it's common for homeowners to find small pockets of mold at first, only to uncover the real problem later.
  6. If there's a lot of mold or if it's black, this isn't a DIY project—call for professional assistance. If you aren't careful, you might get sick or accidentally spread the spores and worsen the problem. Always wear the right gear if you're handling mold. Masks, gloves, goggles, and old clothes are essential if you're dealing with mold yourself, and you should always ensure the space has enough ventilation.
  1. Water Damage
  2. Unfortunately, if you're finding mold or mildew, you're also likely to see signs of water damage somewhere in your home. Water damage can cause mold and threaten your electrical work and home infrastructure. Standing water also breeds germs and bacteria, so leaving it be isn't wise.
  3. Water damage can progress quickly, so act soon if you notice it. However, you may be out of options if you see damage during renovation. Restoration isn't much of a solution if the water damage exists for over a week.
  4. Water damage remediation will become crucial to your renovation efforts unless you find fresh damage.
  5. However, the water damage could also be ongoing, so it's wise to contact a remediation company immediately when you notice an issue. You should also contact your insurance company, remove valuables from the area if they become damaged, and check your home for any possible leaks.
  1. Fire Damage
  2. Fire or smoke damage is probably the least common, but it can still throw a major wrench in your renovation plans. Fire and smoke damage varies significantly, but fires rarely leave your home's infrastructure in good condition. You'll want to make room in your budget for a full-scale fire remediation cleanup.
  3. Part of the reason professional help is so important is because they'll determine what's worth salvaging and what isn't. These services could save you money in the long run since their goal will be to restore your home while doing their best to keep it intact.
  4. But since this is a renovation, consider whether replacing anything fire-damaged would make more sense. A fire remediation professional can help you make these decisions, so don't worry about making the call yourself.

Renovation Can Mean Restoration

Homes often hide secrets beneath the floors and between the walls, telling stories of previous disasters. If you want to truly renovate your home into the comfortable haven you've promised your client, addressing the damage from the past has to come first.