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Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
BUILDING DAMAGE ASSESSMENT & REPAIR
ALLERGEN TESTS for BUILDINGS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN BUILDINGS
BIOLOGICAL POLLUTANTS in the HOME - EPA
BLACK MOLD, HARMLESS COSMETIC
BLACK MOLD, TOXIC & ALLERGENIC
CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
CARPETS & PADDING ODORS IN BUILDINGS
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
CRAWL SPACE SAFETY ADVICE
DIRT FLOOR MOLD CONTAMINATION
DIRECTORY of MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTS
DISASTERS: BUILDING INSPECTION & REPAIR
DISINFECTING BUILDINGS with BLEACH
DUST SAMPLING PROCEDURE
EFFLORESCENCE, Salts & White / Brown Deposits
FLOOR & SUBFLOOR MOLD, HIDDEN
FLOOR TILE ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION
FREEZE-PROOF A BUILDING
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
HEATING OIL EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS
HOME INSPECTOR DIRECTORY
INDOOR AIR HAZARDS TABLE
INSULATION INSPECTION & IMPROVEMENT
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MILDEW REMOVAL & PREVENTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT MOLD
MOLD APPEARANCE - WHAT MOLD LOOKS LIKE
MOLD APPEARANCE - STUFF THAT IS NOT MOLD
MOLD ODORS, MUSTY SMELLS
MOLD TEST METHODS, ACCURACY
MOLD TEST PROCEDURES
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
OIL TANKS INSPECT LEAK TEST ABANDON REGS
OZONE for MOLD OR ODORS
PAINTS & COATINGS ODORS IN BUILDINGS
Particulates & Allergens Indoors
RENTERS & TENANTS GUIDE TO INDOOR HAZARDS
ROT, TIMBER ASSESSMENT
SAFETY for SEPTIC INSPECTORS
SEPTIC BACKUP REPAIR
METHANE GAS HAZARDS
SEPTIC & CESSPOOL SAFETY
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VOCs VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
VOLTS / AMPS MEASUREMENT EQUIP
VOLTAGE MEASUREMENT METHODS
WATER BARRIERS, EXTERIOR BUILDING
WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Building damage assessment & damage repair or restoration procedures. This article series provides residential & light construction building damage assessment procedures for buildings following disasters such as from earthquake, fire, flood, hurricane, tropical storm, or wind damage.
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Earthquake & Other Disaster Damaged Buildings: assessment, damage prevention, safe building entry procedures
FEMA and the ARC as well as home & building inspection associations provide extensive training and written guidance to assist engineers and damage assessment workers asked to evaluate the condition of buildings following an earthquake ot other disaster.
In addition, your homeowners insurance company may, as does USAA, offer an online property risk assessment tool that can check the degree of risk to wildfire or storm surge damage.
We discuss safe building entry procedures, setting the priority for repairs, and we give more detailed building inspection advice for building structures such as foundations & framing, and inspection and restoration of building mechanical systems. We discuss initial or rapid steps to minimize building damage such as proper procedures for water removal, dryout, prevention of avoidable mold growth control, mold cleanup.
We also include links and citations to expert sources for emergency relief (FEMA, ARC in the U.S.), and we cite scholarly books and articles on building damage prevention. Our page top photograph illustrates frequent flooding conditions in Commonfort, Guanajuato, Mexico, in this case in 2009.
Additional References for Prevention of Earthquake Damage to Homes
How to Avoid Disreputable Conractors When Peforming Disaster-Related Repairs
Our insurer quotes the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in offering several basic tips to reduce the risk of being taken advantage-of by unscrupulous contractors who offer repair services following a natural disaster:
Protect your privacy: do not give out personal information before you are convinced that it is necessary. If someone is asking for personal information, check their identification card and certification or authorization. before allowing them into your home.
Identify the contractor's home base: check trucks or vehicles for local addresses and license plates; record the name, address, and contact information of contractors with whom you are considering doing business.
Get multiple repair estimates: it's a good idea to ask for repair estimates from at least three different contractors. And if your home has had a condition of property inspection by a supposedly unbiased independent expert, make double sure that your home inspector has no relationship with the contractors who bid on the work.
Contractors' insurance: check that your contractor carries general liability and worker's compensation insurance.
Watch out for good deals: disasater sales offering discounted goods and services may be providing shoddy, damaged, or dangerous goods.
Do not pay the contractor off completely until you are certain that all of the work has been completed satisfactorily. When we had some plumbing work performed we came home to find leaks all over the place, wet floors, junk and debris not cleaned up. We called the contractor. "I've got your check right here, ready to pay you ..." I began. The contractor was elated. "I'll be right over" he replied. "But I'm really sorry, I just can't pay you ..." I continued, " ... because even though your man left a bill and said he was finished, there are leaks and water and mess all over the place. As soon as the job is actually complete, I'll have your check." The contractor himself came by to fix the leaks and clean up the mess until we were satisfied. Be nice, be fair, be firm.
Fire Damaged Buildings
We have moved our home page for building fire damage information to FIRE DAMAGE - home page.
Our home page for articles giving in-depth information about building flood damage assessment, cleanup & repair procedures, and flood damage prevention & protection has moved.
See FLOOD DAMAGE - home page
See HURRICANE DAMAGE - home page. Excerpts are below.
When to leave your home in the face of a coming storm
See this topic home page - FIRE DAMAGED BUILDINGS.
Also see WILDFIRE DAMAGE PREVENTION
Our photo at left shows a Rhinebeck NY home that was destroyed by fire caused by an electrical cord that had been run beneath the carpeting.
Very basic advice and some simple steps can substantially reduce wind damage to a building includes recommendations to trim back, cable-tie, or remove trees close to the building and have an arborist (tree specialist) inspect the health of large trees near the building.
See WIND DAMAGE topic home page.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions or comments about how to safely enter & assess buildings for damage, how to plan and order the sequence of repairs to a damaged building, & how to prevent new building damage in the future..
Check the FAQs just above, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.