Solving Smoke Odor Problems In Your Home

By Justin Gallagher

Smoke damage does not only result from house fires. This type of damage can also create a lasting and negative impact on a home from long-term exposure to tobacco smoke, cooking mishaps, fireplaces, and a host of other factors. It is entirely possible to be a responsible homeowner and discover the smell of smoke in your home without a fire ever taking place. A homeowner had a small rental property on the outskirts of town, and for years, their primary tenant smoked every day. When they finally decided to sell the home, they discovered the thick scent of smoke had permeated the very walls and ceiling of the master bedroom. The owners could not just sell the property like that, but they had no idea how to deal with the problem.

The solution is to address the issue as though the smoke damage had come from a fire. You do not just wash the walls and floors yourself after a fire; you hire a fire and smoke damage restoration company that can clean it up professionally. They called our company, asked us a few questions, and learned what needed to be done. A few days later, we sent our team over with specialized equipment to eliminate smoke odors from the entire home. We used thermal foggers, machines that create a unique odor-eliminating fog that can get into the cracks and corners of their home just like smoke odors. It did not cost much, and the home’s value rose instantly.

A similar solution will work for other forms of smoke damage. I remember staying once in a woodland cottage with a wood-burning fireplace. However, whether it was the fireplace itself or something else, the whole area around it smelled like smoke even without a fire burning. Those types of odors do not just go away; they embed themselves in the materials of the room itself. Moreover, trust me, a simple cleaning job is not going to do much for those more pungent smells. Hiring a professional smoke damage cleanup company makes sure the job gets done, and no odors remain.

 

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Protect Your Investment, Have Drapes And Blinds Cleaned Professionally

By Justin Gallagher

When decorating your living areas and bedrooms, you spent a lot of time and money picking out just the perfect materials and colors for drapes and blinds. Perhaps you splurged and treated yourself to window coverings that were custom made, or mixed blinds with drapes in intriguing and exciting ways. You made a real statement about your style. Now the challenge is maintaining the look while also protecting the expensive materials used to create each piece.

The wisest thing you can do to preserve the integrity of the window covering design you chose is to plan for regular professional cleanings. Allowing specialists to take special care of your drapes and blinds ensures the durability of the fabrics, fibers, and other materials used to make your special window coverings.

Typically lined with a contrasting or neutral color, formal drapes almost always require dry cleaning. The variety of fabrics sewn and pleated together to make draperies often have a tailored feel, a crisp texture much easier to maintain if it is not soaked in water and agitated. The contrasts of different weights of fabric which make draperies look so lush and layered hold up much better when cleaned professionally.

Window blinds can be made of such a range of materials that one size does not fit all when it comes to maintaining their structure and engineered design. Each blind has so many surfaces that collect dust, grease, and dirt that it makes the most sense to clean in a large, immersion tank. Similar to the drapes most blinds have a severe, sharped edged look that is lost if scrubbed with a brush or dropped into a washing machine.

Free of the dirt and dust that accumulates as they hang in an open window, freshly cleaned drapes and blinds are welcoming to friends and family. For individuals who have allergies or sensitivities to dust mites or pollen, a regular cleaning of drapes and blinds keeps those irritants away. The fabrics and other materials last longer when cleaned at intervals, too.

Your initial investment in perfect window coverings deserves periodic professional cleanings to maintain their shape, color, and design. Look for a cleaning company with experience and commitment to training their employees in proper techniques.

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When Document Restoration Is Needed, Lyophilization Can Provide The Results You Need

By Justin Gallagher

When there is a disaster that involves a business or residence, water is often part of either the cause or the immediate solution. Water that affects a building can also come in contact with documents that are either impossible to replace or would be extremely time-consuming to do so.

One solution to the problems that can happen with disasters indoors is lyophilization, which is perfect for many document restoration needs. Water also creates other hazards, such as contamination or mold and mildew growth. Lyophilization, or freeze-drying, as it is more commonly known, can stop any further damage from happening. Documents can come in a multitude of formats, from paper to more high-tech mediums such as film and related components, computer-related media, older audio and video tapes, and x-rays.

Paper items might include children’s artwork, magazines and books, recipes passed down from older generations, legal documents, records of patients, clients, or students, and manuscripts or research notes, among countless others.

Film and photos, as well as negatives, can also be affected by water. Electronic media, such as disks and media tapes, can become difficult to access when exposed to only slight increases in moisture, and water can pose even more problems.

X-rays are good candidates for lyophilization, particularly when they have been kept in envelopes and are in bulk. Single ones, or small batches, can be wiped dry, of course, and the envelopes replaced for each patient. For large collections, manually restoring these is a time-consuming task, and lyophilization can also restore the envelopes with the patient information still intact.

When water, rain, and snow, or even sewage, comes in contact with documents that you need for yourself, your family, or for your business’s operations, lyophilization can provide the results you need. This process is simple and is not new. It has been used for several decades in document recovery and restoration. The lyophilization process begins with gathering similar documents because a mixture of various types of materials cannot process evenly. Similar items are placed in the chamber and frozen. While being kept frozen, the temperature is then slightly elevated. As moisture seeps in droplets out of the things in the chamber, these drops of water are collected. This process, called sublimation, thoroughly removes all of the water, leaving the contents inside of the chamber dry.

When it comes to books, magazines, and records, items commonly found in libraries across America, becoming saturated with water, the Library of Congress, as well as the National Archives and Records Administration recommends lyophilization and sublimation to not only protect materials but also to obtain the best possible results. Distortion is minimized when sublimation is used, as opposed to simply allowing the moisture to evaporate naturally. Lyophilization also freeze-dries contaminants, rendering them dry and making them easier to remove from the item in question. Even heavily soiled materials and documents can be restored to usable condition again.

If you have experienced water damage and have important documents that need restoration, contact a document restoration company immediately. They have the equipment and techniques to restore your documents and photos back to new.

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Reasons To Hire A Qualified Company For Crime Scene Cleanup

By Justin Gallagher

Crime and accident scenes are often grisly affairs, and in addition to the scarring on lives and history left in their wake, hygiene must also, unfortunately, become a concern for those involved. Human tissue and bodily fluids, while difficult to talk about or even see for many, must eventually be removed. For this job, a simple cleanup or maid service will not do, for a number of reasons. Instead, a professional trauma and crime scene cleanup company should be hired to take care of the job in a legal, safe, and thorough manner.

Legal Reasons
Perhaps the most objective and commonplace reason to hire a qualified restoration company to handle crime scene cleanup is the legality of the task. Many laws exist surrounding crime scene cleanup and human tissue removal, and it takes dedicated training and preparation to take all of these into account during the cleanup. Additionally, specific cleanup procedures may be needed that require advanced certifications for anyone practicing them.

Crime Scene CleanupSafety Concerns
Safety should also be the main concern for you when considering the particulars of a crime scene cleanup operation. Blood, tissue and bodily fluids can pose a serious threat to anyone unprepared for them. These materials may contain infectious diseases, either carried in the victim or bred in the incident’s aftermath. Improper preparation and training could lead to someone involved becoming seriously and perhaps permanently ill. In addition, if the incident in question was an accident, there may also be additional safety concerns present that could lead to costly lawsuits from the unready.

Thoroughness
If there’s any cleanup operation you will want to be done thoroughly; it is one involving a crime scene. Residents, customers, employees, and anyone else will actively avoid an area with obvious stains and marks related to a crime or accident, out of common sense concern for safety.

Hiring a professional, certified company helps to ensure that these unpleasant visuals and smells are thoroughly scrubbed out, and stay gone permanently.

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Water Damage Can Be Costly – Repairs And Replacement Of Damaged Items

By Justin Gallagher

 

Water damage from melting snow and heavy rain is most likely to take place in the Spring months, but water damage can happen anytime. Leaking water lines or drains, busted dishwasher hoses, and overflowing toilets, tubs, sinks, and washing machines are only some of the sources of water damage from internal sources.

How Can A Professional Help Combat Water Damage
Water damage can continue to affect your personal belongings long after you’ve stopped the flow of water or outside sources have receded. Slow leaks that remain undiscovered are also a cause of water damage in many homes. Professionals have the equipment to detect water flowing or seeping behind walls, and the training needed to use that equipment skillfully. When water is detected, they will stop it at its source, and then begin the measures required to halt any damage already present. Afterward, they will inspect for any damage that may be present but hidden. This damage should be repaired, as it may contain pathogens that can create health effects.Water damage

Water Can Damage Your Belongings and Favorite Things
Water damage can affect not only your home’s structure and safety but also your home’s furnishings. Photographs, mementos, and other items of sentimental value should be noted, and let the professionals know of any damaged valuables. They will make sure the utmost care is given to those items of most importance to you.

Help with Insurance Claims
Many homeowners do not have insurance specific to flood damage. Having a non-biased third party can significantly improve your chances of having claims settled in your favor if the source of the water is determined not to be flood waters. Internal flooding from sources inside your home, such as overflowing toilets and tubs or broken and busted water lines are often decided in the homeowner’s favor.

Professional Water Damage Restoration Company
Professionals are accustomed to communicating with insurance companies and can provide compelling evidence and statements that your home was water damaged by non-flood waters in those situations. They can also help determine which items are beyond repair, and which ones may be usable once again if restored and refurbished. A professional water damage restoration company wants to help you regain your home’s security and sense of safety again, with the comforts you’ve come to know in your home’s interior.

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How To Tell If You Have Storm Damage

By Justin Gallagher

When severe weather strikes, your home is susceptible to significant damage. Unfortunately, many homeowners are not prepared to grapple with all of the challenges that occur as a result of inclement weather or natural disasters like floods and fires. In many cases, homeowners aren’t certain how to tell whether their property has sustained major damage. Additionally, many individuals will ignore minor damage in order to handle bigger problems that seem more pressing. While this approach may seem intuitively correct, it’s important to note that what appears to be a minor problem could quickly become a big issue. Learn more about the challenges of storm damage and how professionals can assist you by reviewing the information found below:

When severe weather strikes, your home is susceptible to significant damage.
When severe weather strikes, your home is susceptible to significant damage.

How To Tell If You Have Storm Damage
These are the steps you should take to identify damage:

1. Survey the property for debris.
2. Call a team of licensed roofing professionals to discern whether your roof has been subjected to damage from hail.
3. Don’t try to analyze the roof on your own.
4. Look for ceiling stains and leaking water.
5. Search for signs of damage to your windows.
6. If you find any of the problems mentioned above, contact a storm remediation company for assistance.
7. Don’t try to fix anything yourself.

In the event that your roof or house indicates signs of damage, your insurance company will likely pay a part of the replacement costs.

Getting Professional Help
Most restoration and roofing companies provide homeowners with a free hail and wind damage assessment. This assessment is also referred to as a free roof assessment. If your property has endured a big storm, it is a good idea to call the professionals and schedule a consultation as quickly as you can. If you wait for signs of damage to surface before you take this step, your home could become susceptible to more and more problems.

Conclusion
In the event that your residential property has been subjected to storm damage, it’s important for you to attain professional assistance. Licensed remediation specialists possess the experience and tools necessary to identify quickly and resolve any and all issues you may have with your residential property.

 

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Choosing a Restoration Company for Fire Damage Cleanup

By Justin Gallagher

A tedious task, cleaning up after fire damage needs the right time and industrial equipment. A regular vacuum cleaner is rarely all that is needed. Plus, time is of the essence. Immediately after a fire, victims are looking at arrangements for temporary housing, insurance matters, and even possible health concerns, so homeowners are not likely to put salvage efforts at the top of their list of priorities. This could sadly be a costly problem, however. In cases like these, the services of a professional fire restoration company can be invaluable.

A tedious task, cleaning up after fire damage needs the right time and industrial equipment.
A tedious task, cleaning up after fire damage needs the right time and industrial equipment.

When you delay cleanup after fire damage, it could have serious consequences. Besides the obvious devastation caused by flames, heat, water, soot and smoke, there are strong destructors and contaminators left behind. Intervention needs to be taken right away to lower the exposure to these agents which are very damaging to help limit the cost of restoration. It only takes several minutes after the blaze is put out for acidic soot to cause the discoloration of plastics. In just hours this same soot can cause the yellowing of countertops, bath fixtures and tarnish and any protected metals. Furniture as well can become discolored. In days, the walls can discolor permanently, and metals can begin corroding and rusting, plus any flooring of vinyl or wood will have to be replaced or refinished. If cleanup is left for weeks untouched, carpeting might become unsalvageable from discoloration and fixtures that are silver-plate become corroded.

Besides the structural damage from the fire itself, acidic soot can cause damage to a home’s belongings and interior that are irreparable. However, the problems do not end there, as odor removal can be another issue, and box or ceiling fans by themselves do not have enough power to disperse the smoke smell. Water damage caused by firefighters to put the fire out can complicate things even more.

Homeowners might be able to save some of their belongings with a sponge and soap or by laundering and vacuuming. Extensive water damage, heavy soot, corrosion control and removal of odors, however, are best left to professional technicians. These technicians have all that is needed to clean up the damage and restore the inside of your home to a condition like it was before the fire. A general contractor can always be contacted for any structural damage.

When choosing a restoration company to do the cleanup after fire damage, you should make sure that they have up-to-date training which they can back up with formal documentation. Plus, the technician’s or company’s safety and health certificates should be up-to-date as well. The technician ideally should have a lot of experience in a variety of different skills for restoration, and be able to give you the proof of their professional license, plus the applicable insurance needed.

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All About Mold

By Justin Gallagher

 

One of the most challenging obstacles that a homeowner may have to face is a mold invasion. In some cases, homeowners lack basic knowledge regarding how mold arises and what steps should be taken to eliminate it from the property. However, learning more about mold and the importance of attaining professional mold removal services can help you keep your home in pristine condition. Attain the information you need by reviewing this short outline:

Mold Basics
Mold is a fungus, and it grows and reproduces within natural settings. The fungus can come in numerous colors, some of which include black, green, white and orange. Mold thrives best in areas that are dark, moist, and contain no moving air. Mold is minuscule and reproduces by releasing spores into the air.

One of the most challenging obstacles that a homeowner may have to face is a mold invasion.
One of the most challenging obstacles that a homeowner may have to face is a mold invasion.

Mold And Your Health
If you have mold and fail to address the issue, ongoing exposure can lead to a broad range of unwanted health symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:

• dizziness
• coughing
• wheezing

What Causes Mold?
There are a vast variety of factors that can give rise to mold on your property. Some of those factors include:

• Poor ventilation
• Roof leakages
• Flooding
• Damp carpets
• Excessive condensation
• Humidity
• Damp basements
• Leaking pipes

How Mold Removal Experts Can Assist You
Once you recognize that mold is growing on your property, it is imperative that you attain professional mold remediation services. Restoration specialists can provide numerous services to help get your property back in incredible shape. One of the services offered is the assessment. Through the assessment, remediation experts can determine the depth and scope of the mold invasion. The assessment will also empower them to select the ideal treatment plan. In many cases, contractors will take a mold sample and send it to a lab. This is another measure that professionals use to determine which solution will be ideal to eradicate the mold.

Don’t Delay-Get Great Mold Remediation Services Today
If you find that your residential or commercial property has been subjected to a mold invasion, there’s no time to waste. Acting immediately and efficiently can help prevent your susceptibility to health problems while also limiting structural damage. IICRC-certified professionals are passionate about working with precision and professionalism to eradicate unwanted mold, and they’re ready to assist you immediately.

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Mold Testing And Control

By Justin Gallagher

Mold is a naturally-occurring type of fungus, and it is a simple fact that wherever people live, you will find microscopic mold spores. They are part of the normal dust circulating through the air, and can grow in our homes, schools, and workplaces if conditions are favorable. The critical factor for excess mold growth is excess moisture: control moisture, and you will control mold.

While not all mold is entirely harmful–penicillin can be extracted from mold cultures on cantaloupe or bread–by and large, it is destructive to buildings, belongings, and general health, and the spread of mold should not be allowed where people live or work. In addition to rotting away wood and other building materials, mold is proven to be hazardous to people with conditions such as allergies. Even people without particular health issues have reported sinus problems, eye and skin irritation, and wheezing after being exposed to mold.mold

If your home or building has endured any water, flood, storm or sewage damage, get a professional mold or bacterial-related examination. Do not wait for occupant complaints or visible mold growth. Professionals have the authority to carrying out mold, associated biological hazard evaluations, and environmental sampling. They gather specimens from air, carpet, floors, walls and other sources to test for any biological contamination possible at that specific site, and under the particular circumstances. They check for mold and yeast, dangerous bacteria (including E.coli, Legionella, and Mycobacterium), allergens and endotoxins.

Finally, remember these key facts about mold and how to fight it:
1. Mold is pervasive; spores can grow on almost anything as long as moisture is present.

2. Mold and mold spores cannot be eliminated, but their spread can be controlled by eliminating the excess moisture that allows them to grow.

3. Mold exposure is proven to be a health risk; it can aggravate asthma and often triggers allergic reactions.

4. If mold is growing on your property, you must remove it, regulate humidity, and reduce sources of excess moisture.

5. Fixing leaks promptly will help prevent mold from finding a home.

6. Indoor humidity is mold’s friend. Reduce it 30 to 60 percent by using air conditioners, de-humidifiers, and vent or exhaust fans in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens.

7. If building materials or furnishings get wet–even damp–they must be cleaned and dried within 24 to 48 hours.

8. Hard surfaces can be stripped of mold with detergent and water, then dried thoroughly. If ceiling tiles are made of absorbent material and show signs of mold growth, they should be replaced.

9. Adding insulation to your pipes, windows, floors, roof, and exterior walls will help prevent condensation when these surfaces get cold.

10. Do not install carpet where moisture is a constant issue (such as bathrooms, near sinks, drinking fountains, or areas with leaks or prone to condensation).

 

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How To Prevent Winter Roof Leaks To Your Boulder Home

How To Prevent Winter Roof Leaks

Each cold season the winter can abuse the exterior of your home with snow, ice, and wind, leaving behind a number of costly repairs. In order to avoid this expensive damage to your home, it’s crucial to thoroughly learn about typical winter roof issues so you can immediately take action and save both time and money.

Common Reasons Why Roofs Leak During the Winter

• Structural Water Damage

Man-removing-snowIce buildup and heavy snowstorms can prevent your house from heating properly and efficiently and can potentially cause significant damage to your trusses and roofing shingles. If you reside in a region with typical severe winter-like weather conditions, consider talking to an expert roofing contractor about installing a new attic ventilation system. An attic vent will help to adequately circulate the air flow in and out of the attic of your home, which works to eliminate interior condensation along with preventing ice and snow from staying on the roof for an extended amount of time. Another bonus of installing an attic vent and incorporating sufficient roofing ventilation is the amount of money homeowners will save throughout the year on their energy bills.

• Flashing and Drains

Roofs are more prone to leaking in certain areas:

1. Flat Roofs
Homes with flat roofs may show signs of leaking at various drain locations. These specific leaks generally occur if a drain hasn’t been maintained properly. Therefore, when it eventually becomes clogged with enough debris, the drainage process significantly slows down. To prevent this, perform a drain inspection at least once a month and also check any terraced areas as well that may possibly clog and result in bigger structural issues later on.

2. Sloped Roofs
Regarding sloped roofs, homeowners sometimes notice a roof leak after a harsh storm in certain flashing areas where there’s installed aluminum that’s intended to protect the corners and edges of roofs. Subpar installation or strong rains and wind can potentially loosen flashing making it pull away. It’s best to inspect the flashing prior to the winter season to make sure it’s well attached in order to prevent any water from seeping in. Luckily, flashing is somewhat economical to replace. And so, replacing the flashing prior to a major storm can literally save you thousands in possible home repairs.

• Damage from Ice Damming

When ice and snow start to accumulate in your home’s gutters and along the ridges of the roof, water that continues to melt can’t properly drain. And so, as water keeps backing up behind the damming ice, it can eventually seep underneath the flashing or even penetrate your roofing shingles, tiles, walls, and ceilings resulting in extensive water damage to your home. In order to prevent ice dams from damaging both the exterior and interior of your home, remove as much snow as possible from the roof of your home with a roof rake, taking careful safety precautions.

Overall, it’s critical to properly seal any air that’s leaking between your attic and roof and install the right amount of roofing insulation to make sure your home’s ceiling is as air tight as possible.

Other Tips

If possible, try adding deicing cables to the roof of your home in the fall or winter. These unique cables are designed to warm up if necessary, successfully melting ice and snow until it safely melts off the roof.

Check your roof and gutters both before and after the winter season in order to maximize its overall efficiency, avoid costly repairs, and potentially save a great deal of money.