Breathe Life Back Into Fire-Damaged Belongings
Although fires can be catastrophic, often you can salvage a portion of your personal belongings from the ruins. However, even if your belongings are intact and functional, they may have absorbed stains and odors that can be difficult to get rid of. Many people can even grow ill from the smell of heavy smoke absorbed into belongings, and layers of dirt and ash can, if not cleaned properly, leave a mess everywhere.
That doesn’t mean your belongings are wholly lost. There are a number of options for cleaning and restoring fire-damaged possessions to restore their attractiveness and utility while eliminating that unpleasant burning or smoky stench.
Sterilization and Odor Removal
After a fire, many of your personal belongings may be coated in a patina of soot. While you may associate soot with wood ash, that soot can actually be particulates of plastic or any number of other substances that might pose a safety hazard upon contact. Even if touching the items is safe, the odor alone may be unpleasant enough to warrant getting rid of them. Content cleaning can be tricky in these instances and often involves specialized substances designed to cut through smoke residue, ash, and soot. You may consider hiring professional cleaners instead or using content storage services to set the task aside for later.
Dry-Cleaning for Smoke-Damaged Clothing
While not much can be done to restore fire-damaged clothing, it may be possible to restore clothing that simply suffered from smoke or ash. Smoke can infiltrate clothing fibers to leave behind an unpleasant and seemingly permanent smell, while both ash and smoke can leave stains that are difficult to remove, particularly from more delicate fabrics. Dry-cleaning can do a great deal to restore clothing and remove the effects of smoke and ash, particularly if you have your clothing cleaned by Dallas, TX professionals specializing in restoring smoke-damaged garments.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastdallas.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
3 Surprising Things You Can Do To Prevent Space Heater Fires
Did you know that space heaters are estimated to cause over 25,000 residential fires each year? If you rely on a space heater to warm your home or office in Dallas, TX this number can be alarming. Fortunately, you are not helpless and can minimize your chances of dealing with a burned space heater. Here are three surprising things you can do to prevent space heater fires in your living space.
1. Keep Filters Clean
Have you ever cleaned the filters in your space heater? If not, your heater is at greater risk of catching on fire. Dirt and debris collects on the filters over time and can cause the space heater to overheat and ignite. To keep this from happening, clean your filters regularly (preferably before each use).
2. Turn Your Heater Off Regularly
Many homeowners use space heaters just like furnaces to keep specific rooms in their homes warm during the colder months. However, a space heater is designed for only temporary use and can easily overheat if left on indefinitely. To reduce your chances of dealing with a burned space heater (or burned home!) remember to turn your heater off regularly.
3. Never Leave Your Heater Unattended
Life gets busy, and it’s easy to forget you have a space heater running in the other room. For this reason, it’s strongly recommended that you never leave your heater unattended by an adult. You should also place it on a hard, stable surface that’s far away from carpets, fabric and other flammable items. Your heater should have at least 3 feet of space all around it whenever it is operating. You should also keep it away from children and pets that could knock it over and get burned by it.
If you rely on a space heater for warmth, follow these helpful tips to avoid dealing with a burned space heater or home fire. If your space heater does overheat, know the number to your local fire restoration experts in Dallas, TX. They can help with your fire damage and smoke cleanup efforts.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastdallas.com for more information on fire damage.
How To Restore Your Belongings After Water Damage
Water in home settings can be devastating, whether it comes from leaking pipes or backed-up drains or toilets. While there may be nothing you can do to prevent your items from becoming waterlogged in the event of an unexpected water leak, there are some things you can do to restore your belongings after water damage occurs. Here are a few ways you can clean up various items in your Dallas, TX home.
1. Separate Items
Before you officially begin the cleanup process, separate your items into those that are porous and nonporous. Porous materials may include wood, paper, rugs and other types of fabric. Generally, these are more likely to harbor mold and bacteria from broken pipe water, so it’s important to clean them quickly. Nonporous items are usually much easier to clean, since they don’t absorb water and are less likely to harbor bacteria and mold.
2. Dry-Clean Non-Porous Items
Dry cleaning may be appropriate when removing light water residue from non-porous items in your home. Items can also be dry cleaned before floor restoration professionals come in and thoroughly clean your items.
3. Air-Dry When Appropriate
If you’re not dealing with hazardous water, such as sewage, it may be appropriate to gently air-dry most of your belongings. If possible, do so indoors unless the weather outdoors is ideal. You can increase the air flow inside your home with the use of open windows, air conditioners and fans.
4. Toss Dangerous Items
Depending on the nature of floodwater in home settings, it may be dangerous to keep saturated items. If there is a high likelihood of the floodwater containing harmful bacteria, it may be best to throw away contaminated objects. In other cases, professionals may be able to safely clean and salvage some of your valuables.
While you may be able to clean some of your belongings that water has damaged in your home, safety should always be your top priority whether you’re dealing with a broken pipe or a sewer backup. For help with dry-cleaning or salvaging contaminated items, it’s best to wait for professional help to arrive. Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastdallas.com for more information on water damage.
Tips To Safely Remove Sewage Backup After Heavy Rains
Sewer backup in Dallas, TX following heavy rains is not uncommon. This can result in just a few inches of standing water or several feet of rain water accumulating. Knowing how to remove this water safely and properly is important. You might also consider putting preventative measures in place to reduce the risk of this situation in the future.
Taking Preventative Measures
If you have experienced a sewer backup once, you know it is definitely something that you do not want to happen again. There are a few ways to reduce your risk:
• Install backwater valves on any basement plumbing fixtures
• On the house trap, ensure that all sewer trap plugs fit properly and tightly
Removing Sewage Backup
First and foremost, you want to shut off the electricity and gas in the space that was affected by the backup. Then, the most important part is to get all of the standing water out as quickly as possible. A sump or trash pump might be beneficial for this step in the process. Once removed, start by opening windows and doors and running fans to air out the space.
Any items touched by the backup or black water should be thrown away due to the risk of them being contaminated. Then, start cleaning. Use appropriate cleaning solutions, such as bleach and other disinfectants. Go over all surfaces multiple times, using clean sponges or cloths so that you can avoid cross-contaminating cleaned areas. Once clean, make sure to use another fresh towel to thoroughly dry the area. As you are doing this, be careful not to track sewage or other debris to already-cleaned areas.
It is important that sewer backup is promptly removed to avoid additional problems. Once it is gone and restoration is completed, consider instituting preventative measures to help to decrease the chances of your home experiencing this issue in the future.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastdallas.com for more information on storm damage.
Understanding Category 1 Water Damage
A damaged water supply line, overflowing sink and surging bath all represent category 1, or clean water, sources. Although this type of water source may not pose a substantial biological risk for your commercial property in Dallas, TX understanding what differentiates category 1 water from category 2 and category 3 is crucial for creating a water damage response plan.
Your property could incur category 1 water damage from the following (in addition to the aforementioned factors):
• Leaking faucets
• Broken water valves
• Clean toilet bowls overflowing from the tank, but not the trap
Sources and severity will differ, but the important criteria to remember is that category 1 water contains no contaminants. As such, the same toilet bowl and leaking faucet can be categorized as more severe threats if they contain chemical or biological contaminants, such as bodily fluids or detergents.
While water from a sanitary source presents the least threat to humans compared to other categories, it’s not without its dangers. The greatest threat from category 1 water damage is the potential for escalation. Indeed, if the water damage isn’t abated rapidly, the clean water on your walls can quickly become the breeding grounds for dangerous bacteria and fungi.
Stopping the source of the damage, often accomplished by shutting off the control valve on a broken pipe, is critical, but only if it can be done without personal hazard. For increased safety, you should cut the power to the affected area to reduce chances for electric shock. If you’re at all worried about the area flooding or are unable to locate the source, reach out to your water company’s emergency contact line for assistance.
After the immediate danger has passed, assess the damage to determine if you need an expert evaluation for restoration. While clean water damage can often be decontaminated easily with diluted bleach, you may need a professional to evaluate your walls and floors for potentially unseen health hazards and secondary damage. Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastdallas.com for more information on commercial water damage.
Learn More About the Basics Concerning Mold
Learn More About the Basics Concerning Mold
Mold needs moisture to grow, so if it is present, the growth can happen quickly. Mold spores are present everywhere in Dallas, Texas. Since it is so common, all homeowners want to know the basics. This helps to ensure that you know what to do to prevent black mold and other types, as well as remove it should it be present in your home.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungi and there are several different types. You have surely heard about black mold (stachybotrys atra), but there are also other types that are commonly found in homes, including cladosporium and aspergillus.
The aspergillus type is considered to be largely allergenic, and it is commonly found in air conditioning systems. Cladosporium is often seen on painted surfaces, the back of your toilet and in fiberglass air ducts.
Detecting and Removing Mold
You now know what mold looks like and where it may start to grow. It can start growing in just a day, as long as the level of moisture is right. Mold also tends to grow rapidly, so as soon as you notice it, you want to take action to get it removed from your home.
If you have black mold, it is a good idea to have a professional come in and tackle the removal since it can be toxic to people. With the other two major types, you can often remove them on your own using cleaners meant for mold.
You can see that black mold, and other types of mold, can be very problematic for homeowners. With this information, you can better determine if you have a moisture problem. It also helps you know what to do to ensure effective mold cleanup should mold start to grow in your home. Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastdallas.com for more information on mold.
Know Your Mold: An Overview of Common Household Mold
Know Your Mold: An Overview of Common Household Mold
You’ve undoubtedly heard of black mold and the havoc it can potentially cause in the average home in Dallas, Texas. However, unless you’ve had experience with mold before, odds are you actually know very little about this common household threat. The key to preventing any issue is having the facts, and mold is no exception. Some of the bare basics you should know include:
1. It’s Everywhere
The first thing you should be aware of is that mold spores are absolutely everywhere. Fungal spores use air currents and water to spread, which is how they get inside homes and other buildings to begin with. The key to prevention is to ensure the atmosphere required for mold spores to mature and spread cannot be found in your home.
2. Mold Loves Moisture
The fact is, if you have a moisture problem in your home, you’re likely to develop a mold problem if it remains unchecked. Mold primarily uses moisture as a means of spreading and tends to develop as a result of long-standing water leaks or other forms of household water damages. Furthermore, low temperatures are your friend when it comes to preventing mold, as warm air tends to trap moisture and cause moisture to condense on your home’s walls and other surfaces.
3. Cleanup is Difficult
If you do develop a mold problem in your home, it’s always best to leave mold cleanup to the professionals. Some forms of mold – such as black mold – are incredibly difficult to treat and require special tools and chemicals in most cases. To ensure you get the job done right, you should never attempt doing the cleanup job on your own.
With a little knowledge about black mold and other potential mold threats, you can work toward preventing the start of mold growth in your home with just a few easy steps and a few checkups here and there.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastdallas.com for more information on mold damage.
Cleaning Up After the Storm
Cleaning Up After the Storm
If your business has been hit by severe weather or serious plumbing issues, you may have a flooding situation on your hands. This means there is going to be a lot to clean up. From water removal to content cleaning, you need a qualified professional service in Dallas, Texas to help you restore your commercial property to its previous state. No matter what disaster has occurred, clean-up efforts should be started immediately to avoid additional damage and loss.
Don’t Lose Sales to Lost Products?
Damaged products mean lost revenue, so of course you want to minimize that with content cleaning. Not everything will be salvageable, but what is may need to be cleaned and inspected for damage. Preserve Furnishings? Furnishings and display cases should be dried and cleaned right away so as to prevent warping, mold, or other unsightly consequences. You’ve most likely invested a lot in business fixtures and you don’t want to lose them to water damage.
Clean the Floors and Walls?
Flood damage can cause costly damage to floors and walls. Mitigate the damage to the building of your business by getting the content cleaning done right away. Don’t allow black water from the plumbing system to destroy your floors and walls.
Check Electrical Appliances ?
Sensitive equipment like appliances and electronics are especially vulnerable to flood damage. Caution must be exercised to ensure these types of items pose no threat to you or your employees.
Whether your flood damage is due to torrential rains or plumbing problems, it’s important to have a trusted professional you can count on to help make sense of the mess. Take care of your investment by preserving as much of your merchandise as you can, as well as your building and fixtures. You’ve worked hard to build your business, and there is no reason you can’t overcome a disaster like this with the help of trained professionals in Dallas, Texas. Visit http://www.SERVPROnortheastdallas.com for more information on mold.
Water Damages Are A Science
Using Sophisticated Instruments to Find Water
Many times moisture is present and causing damage to your property. In order to find the water that might be behind walls or tile SERVPRO of Northeast Dallas uses moisture meters, hygrometers and/or infrared cameras. These instruments allow us to assess a moisture situation and determine a plan of action.
The goal of SERVPRO is to find the water and remove as much as possible. However, there is still some water left in the materials that can only be removed through evaporation. Using air movement and dehumidifiers we can get the bound water to evaporate quickly.
Holiday Care to Reduce Fire Risk
Most Homeowners are aware that holiday decorations should be used with care. Each year, statistics tell the story of fire danger resulting from frayed wires, proximity to heat sources, and left on unattended. But, SERVPRO of Northeast Dallas wants homeowners to know that the danger of fire caused by holiday decorating, and by Christmas trees specifically, actually increase after the holiday. Research from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says while four out of five Christmas tree fire happen in December and January, the 10 days with the highest average number of fires were all after Christmas Day.
For many families, preparing for the holiday season is a very busy time. Come December 26, it is tempting to relax and stop watering the tree, replacing bulbs in outdoor lights and tucking indoor garlands back into place. Dry greens, open sockets and decorations that slip dangerously close to light sockets or fireplaces can all increase the risk of fire in the days after the Christmas holiday.
The American Christmas Tree Association quotes Nielsen research that says Americans purchased 21.06 million live Christmas trees in 2011. That number is significant because according to the NFPA, Christmas trees remain the number one culprit in holiday fires. Forty – three percent of Christmas tree fires happen in December, but January is close behind, claiming 39 percent – numbers that demonstrate the danger of allowing Christmas trees to dry out during and after the holiday season.
As the holiday season moves into full swing, SERVPRO of Northeast Dallas reminds homeowners to take common sense precautions based on a clear understanding of the potential danger to help prevent holiday tradition from turning into a holiday nightmare.