The Steady Digital Transformation of the Construction Industry

At first glance, it might appear that the speed at which most construction companies have been adopting new technological advances has been “slower than dial-up” when compared to other industries such as communications, transportation, and manufacturing. Digitalization has helped those industries transform their business models and generate new revenues. It is only in the last decade that construction firms have begun to employ digital technologies on a grand scale. That’s somewhat understandable when you look at the nature of the construction business.

There Are Unique Challenges to the Digitalization of Construction

Unlike other industries, each construction project is unique and nearly impossible to replicate in high volumes with consistent results. On different jobs, construction professionals might be dealing with shifting budgets, schedule conflicts, accidents, failed deliveries, cybersecurity considerations, or adverse weather conditions – any of which might require changes to the original specifications of their project.

Trends Toward Digitalization Are Happening

Despite these obstacles, the pursuit of higher productivity is driving more and more construction companies to digitalize their operations wherever applicable. For example, drones are being used for site inspection and to locate potential hazards on bridges or buildings, while robots are being used for brick and mortar tasks. Other digital applications include:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

From preconstruction to operation and maintenance, AI is being applied at every stage of the construction cycle. With computer vision, AI can support digital modeling and optimize sequence tasks and blueprint divergences.

Autonomous Equipment

Sensors and GPS have opened up exciting applications for self-driving trucks, helping to fill the gap in labor shortages that are plaguing many construction companies. One such application involves using computerized machines to complete onsite excavation and grading.

Supply Chain Management

More advanced software enables companies to hire workers and procure equipment and materials by matching supply with demand. This improves productivity and transparency in competitive bidding.

Collaboration Between Job Sites and Offices

Communication breakdowns caused by the incompatibility of technology between multiple sites can be solved with mobile applications that enable real-time communication, simultaneous notetaking, and the amending of drawings and Request For Information templates. Building Information Modeling (BIM) also enables real-time changes to 3D models. When combined with virtual reality and augmented reality, BIM can create a virtual construction overlay to simulate the real construction environment.

Rapid Restoration & Construction embraces these innovative technologies as major breakthroughs, helping us in our ongoing quest for safer and more productive work processes, leading to even higher quality results.

5 tips to practicing fire safety in a commercial property

Protecting property and tenants from a fire breakout should be the number one priority of any commercial property owner.

Ensuring property fire safety compliance can be an overwhelming task. Foreseeing fire safety concerns and being proactive can help you avoid major losses and costly repairs.

Here are the five tips to consider when it comes to ensuring fire safety for your commercial property.

Fire safety measures

All the commercial properties, to abide by the local building codes, are required to install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.

Contact your local fire marshal to learn more about any specific criteria your building needs to meet in terms of locality or any other aspects in regards to fire safety.

Installing automatic sprinklers is a smart means to ensure that any fire-related issue is attended at the very instant it arises. Investing in advanced fire safety technologies like water mist systems and wireless detectors can help you efficiently and effectively manage fire-related concerns.

No smoking policy

Enforcing a strict no smoking policy within your commercial property is inevitable for fire safety. Irrespective of what the property is used for, it is an absolute necessity to prevent smoking within the areas of the building.

Use no smoking signs on all areas of the buildings including the emergency/fire stairs and car parking. Ensure that all the new tenants and employees are made aware of the strict no-smoking policies within the premises.

It is not a bad idea to have smoking zones away from the building. Remember to tag these areas with fireproof waste containers.

Educate employees

Irrespective of the size of the building or the businesses that operate within the property, it is important to assign someone to be the fire safety operator.

The fire safety operator or warden, with proper guidance, can easily educate employees regarding emergency procedures and escape routes and meeting places.

Additionally, it is important to ensure that the emergency evacuation building plans and diagrams are properly displayed on all levels in the building. Consider these aspects to planning a fire safety evacuation.

• Plan an evacuation procedure for employees that needs special care
• Choose a meeting point and inform the employees
• Ensure fire escape stairs are well lighted and not used as a storage

Keep an eye on storage

Storing unnecessary combustible materials can turn out to be deadly when it comes to fire safety. Keep the flammables away from your building. It is not ideal to store all the paper and cloth waste within the building, scheduling a weekly cleanup for these items is ideal.

Regular maintenance

Regular maintenance and frequent fire safety equipment tests/checks are mandatory. When doing the fire safety equipment inspection, it is ideal to follow these strategies:

• Replace any items that are warm or hot to touch
• Replace worn or old power cords and consider using cord protectors for these
• Ensure that the fire doors are operational and not blocked with furniture or boxes
• Ensure that chemical and equipment storage rooms are properly ventilated
• Test all the smoke detectors to ensure that they are operational

Fire safety compliance is critical for any commercial property. Even with all the safety measures in place, a fire breakout can still occur. This is where you need to look into a faster and efficient means to rebuild and restore.

Contact Rapid Restoration & Construction for more information.

(303) 412-9999

Understanding Mold is the Basis to Prevent Mold

Understanding mold.

Mold is not a plant and not an animal. Mold is a fungi with its own unique life-style, starting from a tiny microorganism called spore. Not all fungi are as unwanted as mold. Some are great decomposers, where decomposition is wanted. Antibiotics such as Penicillin are fungi, their development is a blessing for people. Even in our food we welcome the distinctive taste of yeast-fungi when brewing or baking.

Mold in buildings is un-welcome, it presents a danger for the building and for the people living in the building.

Mold starts from spores.  Spores have been around for centuries, our environment is contaminated with spores. That’s why mold can develop everywhere under the right conditions, even though nobody put “mold seeds” out.


Let’s take a look at how mold grows: A tiny spore is dormant somewhere, waiting sometimes for years for the right conditions. If the right conditions occur (see below), a spore will develop into a new organism.

The new organism develops into mold by penetrating through and under the surface into the substrate looking for food and growing an ever-extending web along the surface as far as favorable conditions exist. From this web tiny extensions grow vertically up. The ends swell and new spores are produced. When the spores are ready, they are air borne by the millions and dispersed into the surrounding air. The slightest drift can carry the spores far away in a short time, where they will, if conditions allow start a new colony.


Four ingredients have to be present for mold to grow: food, water, air and moderate temperatures.

First red flag:  Food: Contrary to green plants, the food source for mold is carbon, extracted from the material the mold lives on. As mold extracts carbon, it destroys carbon-containing substances: organic materials such as wood, wood-based products as well as plastics made from petroleum products, paint, etc. as well as building materials such as concrete and sheetrock. Mold infestations can have catastrophic consequences by weakening or destroying structural elements in buildings.

Second red flag:  The destruction of materials is not all. While digesting its food, mold releases toxics into the air, which can present a health hazard to humans.

Third red flag: One mold colony can grow countless spores sent into the air and inhaled by people living in mold infested areas. Mold can be a health hazard, depending on the type of fungi very serious health problems have occurred. Plus, the smell is revolting.


Ideal to monitor critical areas, anywhere, anytime. As long as the end of the cable is to be reached easily, this is the simplest way to measure and monitor inaccessible areas.

As mentioned before, in addition to food, the fungus needs water, air and moderate temperature.

In order to absorb food and grow, mold needs a certain moisture in the materials it likes to eat. Not too much and not too little. The fungi will not grow, if submerged in water, the fungi also cannot grow on dry materials. The moisture has to be a moisture content equivalent of 80% relative humidity to 99%, but not standing water. Example, if the relative humidity is 80% and the temperature is at 700F, the equivalent wood moisture content is 16%, which is considered a threshold for mold concerning wood.

And last not least mold will not grow, when it is very hot or very cold.

Summary: Spores are everywhere, ready to develop into mold. Mold needs food which is a main substance of all building materials. Humidity in air and moisture content of the substrate the mold grows on, are critical and have to be in a range from 80%-99%  and Wood moisture equivalent of 16% and above. And, the climate has to be moderate. Considering all these factors individually, we can really only control the air humidity and the moisture content to reduce the danger of mold growth.

If all is well, we live in dry buildings, kept at a comfortable relative humidity and temperature. Mold cannot develop, because the building is dry, the food source is inaccessible for mold and its spores.

moisture meters

Lignomat offers pin meters, pinless meters, and thermo-hygrometers, and combination meters for pin-pinless RH: Ligno-Versatec meter.

This all changes, when a pipe brakes, a roof leaks or a flood occurs. There is a time slot of 24 hours to a few days, when something can be done before the mold gets a foothold. Restoration specialists should be called to assess the problem, dry out or remove the materials, which have gotten too wet.

To assess the damage, the moisture content in the affected parts needs to be measured and the relative humidity needs to be kept under control. Lignomat is a company offering equipment for measuring moisture content and relative humidity. We have developed easy to use effective moisture meters with hand probes to assess water damage. The same equipment will tell you, when repairs are done and later if a leak exists. We also offer a very simple monitoring device for hard-to-reach areas.

The cable-probe system has been proven helpful to monitor inaccessible areas during drying and later-on for leak detection.

For more information contact Rapid Restoration & Construction.

Do you know your flood risk?

According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), everyone lives in a flood zone. Even those who don’t live near water are at risk, because anywhere it rains, it can flood. Heavy rains, clogged or insufficient drainage systems, nearby construction projects, broken water mains, and inadequate levees and dams can cause flooding that put your home and belongings at risk.

Your home is one of your greatest investments. It’s important to prepare ahead should a disaster occur. Here are three simple steps to help make sure you’re ready in the event of a flood.

  • Create a “flood file” and keep it in an accessible waterproof and fireproof container. It should contain a personal property inventory of your home, a copy of your insurance information, copies of any critical personal documents (e.g. social security cards, titles, and deeds), and a CD backup of computer documents and digital photos.
  • Prepare your home by making sure your sump pump works and has a battery backup, your gutters and downspouts are clear, your electronics and appliances are elevated, and any valuables and keepsakes are moved to a higher level.
  • Develop an emergency plan that includes evacuation routes from home, work, and school. Make sure that the plan includes an out-of-town contact list that all family members can call in case you get separated. Also, create an emergency kit with extra drinking water, non-perishable food, first-aid materials, blankets, a battery-powered radio, a flashlight, and extra batteries that can be grabbed easily if you need to evacuate.

It’s important to know that most home policies don’t cover flooding and just a few inches of water damage can cost thousands. To get an idea of what flooding can do, check out this interactive tool

Fall Roof Maintenance

1. Seasonal Fall Roof Maintenance, Protect Your Home From Trees

The first thing to do when it comes to fall roof maintenance is to make sure that no tree branch is within fifty feet of your home. Trees and houses are not friends! If a tree and its limbs are even close to touching your roof, you are asking for trouble. We’re talking insects, critters, even damage to your roof; keep tree limbs away from your home!

2. Inspect Your Roof and Flashings When Conducting Fall Roof Maintenance

Get up on your roof, safely and with the correct personal protective equipment, look for cracks. Pay close attention to where your roof meets your chimney or any other rising or falling parts of your roof. These areas will not be covered with regular roof material but rather a smooth metal called flashings. Make sure there are no wrinkles in the flashings as they can eventually become cracks which lead to leaks.

Even though you could climb up on your roof and play fix it, man or woman, you probably want to get a trusted professional in there at some point. Just to make sure you did not miss something that is an issue. Sure it’s fun to do it yourself, but when it comes to your roof, you may want to be a little less adventurous.

3. Your Fall Roof Maintenance Should Include Cleaning Your Gutters

Clean your gutters; it is a good idea to go into winter with clean gutters.  As the snow melts and runs off your roof, it follows the same path as rain, and therefore you want to bring as much of it off and away from your home as possible while it’s melting. The usual course of snow is that it melts when it warms up during the day and freezes up again as it cools down at night. If your gutters are not squeaky clean, the snowmelt will build up in there and drip over the sides; this will create icicles. These icicles are pretty to look at but present a major risk for tearing your gutters off your roof and even worse, falling and hurting someone.

Fall roof maintenance can help you catch problems while they are still small and can save you a lot of money and aggravation in the future. Call Rapid Restoration if you are in need of a roof inspection.

10 Tips When Water Damage Hits

Water is a powerful element. While critical to meeting basic human needs, water can also be unpredictable, relentless, and destructive. This becomes alarmingly apparent in the face of a natural disaster such as the recent Hurricane Florence. North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner, Steve Troxler, said in a statement, “This was an unprecedented storm with flooding expected to exceed that from any other storms in recent memory.” Property damage is estimated at $17 billion to $22 billion, according to Moody’s Analytics, making it among the 10 costliest hurricanes. And nearly 40 inches of rain fell over North Carolina as experts predicted an additional 2 to 5 inches of rain expected in the Carolinas and Virginia.


To help facility executives navigate the tricky aftermath of significant water damage, this article outlines 10 best practices for water remediation. These practices should be the basis for water remediation within an overall strategic disaster plan, designed to arm facility managers with the strategies, tactics, and critical information needed to respond to emergencies in a timely manner. In addition to following best practices, it is important for facility managers to familiarize themselves with their flood insurance policy and establish a trusted relationship with the insurance company to efficiently and seamlessly assess water related damage and begin the remediation process.

Based on 30 years of experience, these tips will help expedite the remediation process to ensure the safety and security of all those involved.

Best Practices For Water Remediation

1. The most important factor, when faced with water damage, is safety. Align yourself with appropriate local resources including fire and police, mechanical contractors, insurance, utility, and restoration companies and alert immediately.

2. Familiarize yourself with water shut-offs for quick access and label accordingly. Swift action is critical to minimize loss, mitigate risk, and protect assets.

3. Electricity presents the greatest danger. Look for water coming through light fixtures or electrical boxes.

4. Immediately shut off the following if affected by water: electrical box, circuit breaker box, and meter panel. Once the electricity is shut down, cord off the affected area with caution tape.

5. Identify the source of water damage. Assess degree of contamination to determine remediation plan. Be aware of associated health effects depending on the contamination level to update emergency personnel when they arrive on-site.

6. Identify potential environmental hazards such as lead or asbestos. Prolonged exposure to asbestos and/or lead can cause serious illness and significant health problems.

7. Relocate or protect valuable contents from affected areas including electronics, computers, furniture, artwork, files and documents, clothing, etc.

8. Have basic items on hand such as plastic garbage bags for use in covering items noted above and for the disposal of items, caution tape, duct tape, and basic hand tools.

9. Contain and/or isolate the area(s) of damage to protect staff and on-site emergency personnel. Create a plastic barrier around the perimeter of the contaminated area and cord off with caution tape.

10. Begin mitigation with restoration partner on-site to preserve, secure, and restore your property to good working order.

Whatever the source — natural disaster, leaking pipe, backed up sewer, or broken sprinkler line, water can wreak havoc on your property, putting your most important assets in danger. Having a strategic disaster plan in place, a partnership with a trusted restoration company and familiarity with the flood insurance policy is paramount to long-term success. Taking the time to review these best practices will help ensure swift action when needed, to get your property in good working order once again.

For more information contact Rapid Restoration & Construction.

Restoration vs New Construction: Advantages and Disadvantages

There are advantages and disadvantages for every piece of commercial property from hospitals to hotels when it comes to deciding whether restoration or new construction is the best choice.  All of the pros and cons need to be thoroughly evaluated before you can make the right decision.

Technology is progressing at a rapid pace, some of the companies who are not up to date on the latest technology attempt to continue to be applicable but they generally have a difficult time and are passed by when it comes to specific large corporate jobs. Specifically, when it comes to being able to comply to the state and industry guidelines.

That’s why it is so important to look closely at the advantages and disadvantages of restoration vs new construction, especially if the company you want to do the work doesn’t meet some of the guidelines set forth.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Restoration and New Construction

The following take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of restoration and new constructions however, several other factors may play role in your final decision.

Cost – The budget will be a deciding factor in your decision to restore or build it new. Once you take into consideration the total cost for both of your options, you will know whether or not you can afford to build it new or if a restoration is more cost effective for your budget. If you only need a few updates, then ideally a restoration is the more reasonable and cost effective option.

Outdated Technology – If you have considered updating specific areas in your building to bring your technology up to date to meet the current standards, both a restoration and new building construction can be very costly. This is the type of scenario where you and the building contractor need to discuss what needs to be done and how much you can afford, and together the two of you should be able to come up with a reasonable solution that satisfies both your needs, as long as you are working with an honest contractor and not a shyster.

There are so many factors to take into consideration when trying to decide if you should restore or build new, take your time deciding and discuss your options with others who have been in your situation before you decide what to do.

Contact Rapid Restoration & Construction for more information

Should You Remodel or Rebuild Your House?

Choosing whether to remodel your rebuild your house is like none other in the world of home improvement because of its finality. Lay the wrong bathroom flooring, even one as permanent as porcelain tile, and you can always back out of it. Tear down your entire house and you have no recourse.

You might own a house that “needs a little love,” as the real estate flier put it, but really it needs truckloads of love. Like loving a child, you might be wondering if yours should be the tender love of respecting and working with what’s there–or the tough love that comes in the form of a wrecking ball and excavator.

In any case, you know that the house where you reside (or an investment property) needs so much work that you cannot take half measures. Spiffy exterior paint, whole-house flooring, toilet replacements, and everything else like that will no longer do it. You have come to the point where it is either a whole-house remodel (the kind where you have to move out) or a rip-it-down-and-build-it-new project.

Rebuild Wins Long-Term by Resetting the Clock

If you plan to be in the house for the long-term and then sell it, it is usually wiser to tear down and rebuild, at least from a purely financial perspective.

Physical elements of a home are on a timer. The minute the hammer strikes your house for the last time, that timer starts ticking. Exterior paint might last up to seven years, but more like five years in inclement climates; dishwashers, less than a decade; central A/Cs, 10 to 15 years; three-tab composite shingles, about 20 years.

On top of that, while some elements’ lifespans are staggered, many others expire at roughly the same time. In terms of cost, replacing a dishwasher is nobody’s idea of fun. But imagine having to do that in the same calendar year that you replaced your roof, gutters, and central air conditioner.

By rebuilding, you reset the clock in terms of the house’s physical nature: everything from the appliances to the house’s envelope (roofing, siding, etc.). When it comes time to sell 15 years later, you’re selling a 15-year-old house instead of one that is 40 years old. As a bonus, you had the pleasure of living in a new house during those 15 years. Buyers are intimately attuned to the age of houses. And if they aren’t, their real estate agent and house inspector will make them well aware of this fact.

Take Control of How Much You Spend

If you’re tight on money, remodeling is always the way to go. The issue is scale–your ability to scale your spending up or down (or freeze it), according to your needs.

  • Remodel: When you remodel a home, you have control over your spending. Remodeling is perfect for those who are hesitant or unwilling to make a big leap. You can remodel a small bathroom, then stop when finances are tight. Are you the recipient of a big tax refund?  Now it’s time to fix that roof. Money tight again? You can scale the roof purchase itself up or down, from a price efficient composite shingle roof to a pricier standing-seam metal roof. Money gets distributed in drips or in gushes, your choice.
  • Tear Down and Rebuild: This option is all or nothing. After your first big purchase–the demolition–you’re left with a vacant lot, committing you to build the new home. Unless you want to be the owner of a vacant lot, you must keep moving forward. Worse is to have the house that is partially complete. Structures left exposed to the elements age quickly. At a certain point, your rebuild would have to be rebuilt.

Choose If You Want Better or Cheaper

If you want better, tear down and rebuild. If you want cheaper, remodel. Even a wide-ranging whole-house remodel will still be cheaper than tearing down and building anew.

Roger Greenwald, RA, AIA, says that most of the time

the cost of tearing down and rebuilding will be about 20% higher than engaging in an extensive whole-house remodel. But the architectural benefits of tearing down and working with a clean slate can be huge: Better fundamental architectural design, all new systems, clean circulation, high quality windows, new and efficient heating and cooling systems, tall ceilings, and space designed for your personal living patterns placed where you need it.

Remodel Wins by Giving You Neat Bells and Whistles

Proponents of tearing down/rebuilding stress the coolness of new houses, with their mobile device-controlled heating systems, radiant heat flooring, master suites, and dedicated home offices.

That argument holds water, as long as you have the additional money to spend. Where that argument breaks down is that it fails to recognize that the house first has to be built. With remodels, basic elements of the house are already in place and paid for.

So, the extra cost for rebuilding mentioned above is what the person remodeling gets to spend on flashy things, like spas, man caves, and home movie theaters.

Determine the Ultimate Condition of the House

While all houses can be remodeled, not all houses should be.

Industry professionals generally agree that the following conditions merit a tear-down/rebuild, or at least swing the argument further in that direction:

  • Desired improvements cannot be contained within the existing house footprint. Thus, you want an addition. The need for additional space is certainly not the only reason for building anew; additions get built all the time. The issue is that it happens in conjunction with extensive, expensive remodels of the existing house: a double draw on your funding.
  • Foundation is bad and requires a lot of work before the house can be remodeled.
  • Are ceilings too low for your liking? Because it’s no simple matter to raise a ceiling–unless there is a plenum or empty space up there–the floor above must be removed and then rebuilt.

Be Aware of Community Restrictions

One influence on your decision comes from outside. In years past, a homeowner was free to tear down and rebuild with relative impunity. Any kind of building was always subject to zoning and permitting, but these influences were far more lenient than they are now.

Since the late 1990s, the tide has been turning toward recycling rather than throwing away, and this trend includes housing, too.

Local building departments now cast a more critical eye on aspects of rebuilding such as size. The word McMansion did not even exist until the latter part of the 20th century. Now it is bandied around all the time by city councils intent on preserving the character of cities through the preservation of its housing stock.

Even Los Angeles, traditionally the most “tear down and rebuild” area in the U.S., has begun to enact building moratoriums designed to limit the size of houses. And because few rebuilds are content to remain within the same footprint as before, they are affected by these bans, as well.