Thursday, January 27, 2011

How To Dry Documents After Water Damage

Was your Atlanta, GA or Alabama home recently flooded? It can be a terrible mess to try to pick up the pieces of your home after a flood, but one of the biggest problems is trying to salvage important documents after they have been water damaged. It would be really hard to try to replace old birth certificates and property titles, so how can you save them?

If you need to know how to do document restoration on papers that have been damaged by water, here are a few tips to help you. First of all, you will need to act quickly to save these documents. They will need to be dried within 24 to 48 hours, or else mold might start growing on them.

If they have been damaged by clean water, it will be easier to save them.

Remove these documents from the water with care; since they are wet, they will be really fragile. If the document were damaged by contaminated water, there is a higher likelihood that bacteria or mold will grow on the documents. Carefully remove the documents from the water and gently rinse them underneath cold running water.

Once the documents are clean, you will need to dry them out quickly. If you are drying books that have a strong binding, you can let them air dry. Turning the book upside down every couple of hours will help the book dry out evenly. A dehumidifier or a fan can help make the documents dry faster.

One method that is used by professional document restorers is to freeze the books and documents while they are still wet. Freezing will help stop the ink from bleeding. Just put the books and documents in a zip lock back and put them in a frost-free freezer.

If the document is really fragile, you might want to use absorbent paper to help the document dry. If you are drying a book, put a clean piece of white paper inside the book every ten pages or so. Do not use glossy paper when you do this. Only add a few papers at a time so that you do not stretch out the books binding. After an hour, take out the paper and put in new, dry paper.

Finally, if you are not successful in restoring the documents yourself, you can hire a professional to get the documents as good as new.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fire Damage - Deodorization Of A Home

Home damage such as flooding or fire can create devastating loss and be a nightmare to clean up. And those bad memories can continue to haunt in the form of unpleasant odors. Here are some tips for deodorization and getting rid of the stench for good.

After a flood

Once the moisture problem has been eliminated and mold has been completely cleaned and disinfected, the odor will usually go away, so if it does not, the first step would be to have a professional check for hidden mold such as behind wallpaper and on top of ceiling tiles. Also continue to keep doors and windows open and fans running as much as possible to air-out the house.

If the flooded area was relatively small, one easy, natural way to get rid of lingering smells is to cut up fresh lemons and squeeze the juice liberally over the affected area. Leave the pulp and peels until they dry. Another deodorization method is to add ½ cup bleach to a bucket of water and leave it overnight in a room with the doors shut.

After a fire

Regular household deodorant sprays are generally ineffective on smoke odors, providing temporary relief or even making the scent worse. The first step is to ensure all soot residue has been cleaned. Keep the doors and windows open and fans running as much as possible to air-out the house.

To clean fabrics, soak them overnight in a solution made by dissolving one cup automatic dishwashing detergent in a gallon of water. For items that can be bleached, rinse them with a solution made up of one gallon water, one cup Lysol or chlorine bleach and 4-6 tablespoons of trisodium phosphate. For other surfaces, particularly in the kitchen, use white vinegar, a cleaning agent that also destroys odors. Baking soda is well known to absorb odors very well and can be sprinkled on floors and fabrics before vacuuming. Also, activated charcoal can be placed around the room in bowls to help deodorize the air.

Keep in mind that there may be hidden sources of odor, in which case professional deodorization may be the best option for eliminating the problem. Professionals can use sophisticated treatments such as counteract chemicals or ozone treatments that break up odor-causing molecules. They will also be skilled at applying treatments to high-quality furniture and fabrics without causing damage. They also have processes that will remove trapped odor from walls and air ducts that can cause odor reoccurrence long after the original incident.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cleaning Your Floors And Walls After Fire Damage

Fire damage restoration can be both time consuming and difficult, which makes it a good idea to use a professional when it comes to fire restoration. However, if you want to do it yourself, here are a few tips that can help. First of all, you will need to clean your carpets and floors. For carpets, be sure you read the manufacturer instructions, if you have them, since some carpets can shrink if they are shampooed.

If you have the option to take the carpet out, then it is often a good idea to clean the carpets outside using a high pressure hose to rinse off all of the dirt and soot. Next, using a sponge and and a commercial rug shampoo, scrub the carpets working in two feet areas at a time. If the soot is in the carpet deep, use a brush with stiff bristles. Rinse the carpet well with water, using the least amount of water you can, since the water will gradually weaken the carpet backing.

Once the carpet is finally clean, you will need to thoroughly dry out the carpet immediately to prevent damage to the carpet. If you have hardwood floors, you may have to strip and refinish them if the damage was pervasive. If you have tiled floors, it is likely that the fire did not damage them at all and that you won't have to do anything. Really, your only concern is that if the home was wet down to stop the fire, the water could have leaked into the subflooring if there was cracked grout or missing tiles.

Next, you will find that smoke and soot are incredibly pervasive, and soot will have probably covered most of the walls, staining it in spots. Smoke restoration for walls can be very simple, if the damage is not bad. If the walls were painted with a satin or semi-gloss paint, then the smoke probably did not seep farther into the wall than the paint. So you should be able to just scrub the walls to get rid of the discoloration caused by the smoke. The easiest way to do this is to buy trisodium phosphate cleaner at a hardware store. Mix a tablespoon of the TSP with a gallon of warm water, and use it to scrub the soot off. If damage is worse, you may have to re-paint to get rid of the stains.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Basement Water Damage Cleanup

Water can be the source of the greatest delight that can just be imagined. That is why more and more people are going to the seas nowadays. On the other hand water can be the source of danger and a reason of many problems.

Basement water damage can be a good evidence of it. Water damage can be divided into several categories. Let's divide it into three main ones. The most common thing is the one connected with the pipes leakage. It is a widely spread problem that has to be solved immediately, as not only those who have it in their homes can have a problem but the next door neighbours as well.

The next reason of the basement water damage is a breakdown of any equipment in your house, like the one connected with washing machine, for example. In such cases a lot of water is spilt all over the floor that evokes some further misfortunes. Such water can be slightly contaminated as it has already been utilized before.

Finally, the problems can be caused by water that is highly infected or contaminated. Such type of the basement water damage is considered as the most severe one.

Of course one can try to fix everything on their own. In this way a family budget will be saved. However, there are some situations in which it is highly recommended to ask the specialists for their help. The companies providing suchlike services have their personal web site and contact details so that they could be easily reached by those who are in a great need. No matter how you decided to solve this problem, beware of not walking in water as there may be the risk of electrocution. When disaster strikes not many people turn out to it. However, one has to be ready to any situation and have a list of telephones that can be easily reached. It is better to make such list in advance.

Besides, it is possible to prevent all coming problems sticking to the following recommendations. One has to watch out carefully about any leaks and breakdowns. All tips connected with the basement water damage clean up can be found on the sites of the companies who provide similar services.

All the house owners know that interior basement waterproofing is a very important thing. If you want to avoid or need to solve the problem of basement leakage check out the basement waterproofing cost first, compare it with several companies and choose the best one.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cleaning Fire Smoke Damage Smell

Cleaning fire and smoke smell is one of the most important activities that is required after the fire has damaged your homes and its contents. It is important to take immediate and appropriate action. Carpets, draperies, upholstered furniture and clothing usually can be refurbished after a fire, unless they have been scorched or severely water damaged. The most iportant thing to do is get professional help from a experienced fire smoke damage company.

Smoke odor could remain in clothing, upholstered furniture, carpets and draperies unless it is properly deodorized. Fire restoration professionals and some dry cleaners use a deodorizing process for cleaning fire and smoke smell. They actually break up the smoke molecule to eliminate the odor. This deodorization process is called the ozone treatment. The ozone treatment produces an oxidizing agent that creates the same sweet smelling air associated with a rain storm. The ozone treatment can be done by a fire restoration professional at the home with an ozone generator. Sometimes household textiles are deodorized in an ozone room. If the process is done at home, clothing, upholstered furniture and other textile items are put under a tent while the ozone generator is operating. It is an effective method for cleaning fire smoke damage smell. Clothing and other textile items should be deodorized before they are cleaned; otherwise, the smoke odor could be set in the fabric.

Smoke can enter and remain in and between the walls of the living space. If it is not properly removed, the smoke odor reoccurs from time to time, particularly during damp periods. Therefore, action should be taken to properly remove all smoke odors. Fire restoration professionals can help you in cleaning fire smoke damage smell and eliminating the smoke odor with a process called thermal fogging. This process opens the pores in the walls and neutralizes the smoke odor. There is probably no process a home owner could use that would work as effectively as thermal fogging. If the attic has been insulated prior to the fire, it may be necessary to remove the insulation. Insulation cannot be cleaned; unfortunately, it will need to be replaced because insulation retains smoke odors. Also cleaning the walls and ceiling and painting them is a good idea depending on the amount of smoke damge.

Soiled clothing is cleaned by a variety of laundry methods. Cleaning fire and smoke smell from all clothes with same method is not possible. To effectively remove soot and smoke damage from household textile items such as carpet, draperies and upholstered furniture, it is necessary to use the appropriate chemicals, the right equipment and judgment that come from experience. Properly trained fire restoration professionals have the knowledge and materials to refurbish household textiles after a fire.

The most important guideline for home owners to remember while cleaning fire and smoke smell is not to begin cleaning until the visible soil and smoke odor are removed. In the long run, money can be saved by contacting a fire restoration professional immediately. These experts can be identified through friends whom may had to go through this, or in the yellow pages under water and fire restoration and generally are willing to travel several miles to restore a home.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Save Your Wood Floor After Water Damage - The First 24 Hours Is Crucial

The first 24 hours is crucial with any water damage. Here are vital tips to save you money and your insanity when dealing with a flood.

If your wooden floors have incurred water damage, then you must react within the first 24 hours so as to save your beautiful wooden flooring. Damage by water can be caused by pipe leaks, dripping roofing, rainfall, natural floods or even by sewage problems. The good news is that if you react fast within the first 24 hours after the damage has occurred, then you can probably save most of your wood floor after water damage. Here are the things you should do:

1. The first step to saving your wooden flooring is to determine the cause of the water damage. Damage can be easily seen and some of the easiest telltale signs to pinpoint include water puddles on the floor, discolored tile grouts or walls, wet carpets or soggy wooden floor boards. It is important to know the cause so that prompt repair can be applied (for leaky pipes, for instance).

2. The next crucial step to do is to mop up any standing water caused by the leak or the floods. Wood floor can be salvaged if the level of damage is not that serious. That is why it is important to react in the first 24 hours. Use a mop or a rag to wipe up water that has puddled up on the floor. Never let water sit on your wood floor for long as doing so can inflict irreparable damage that can lead you to more expenses. If your flooring is covered by a carpet, make sure to remove the carpet and carpet padding and clean or dispose them accordingly.

3. After you have mopped up the water puddles, you can then start the process of thorough drying. Keep in mind that mopping up water damaged wood floors is not enough; you would need to expose your wood floor to allow air circulation. Open the room windows and doors to promote natural air circulation. The idea is to let the wood dry as naturally as possible and to remove moisture even from within.

4. Aside from letting natural air from the outside circulate, you must also use fans and dehumidifiers to make the drying process faster. Dehumidifiers can lessen the room's moisture so wood can be dried at a faster rate.

5. It would also help if you lessen foot traffic in the particular areas where wood floor water damage has occurred so drying can be faster. After the wood floors have dried up thoroughly, you can then apply cleaning oils evenly.

Frank Catamon loves to write about water damage and how to handle in such situations. He received a lot of credit for his latest two posts entitle: Wood Floor water damage and Drywall Water Damage.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Water Damage Restoration Action Plan

Water damage to your home or business can be caused by a number of ways. It can happen slowly through slightly leaky pipe fittings or a small crack in your foundation, or it can happen quickly with broken water pipes (such as might happen in the winter), or a hole in the roof caused by a storm. Regardless of how it happens, it is a problem that needs to be dealt with immediately. The longer the moisture is left in place, the more damage it is going to do.

The water causing the damage is usually placed in three different categories.

Category 1 - Clean/Sanitary water
Category 2 - Slightly contaminated and could cause illness
Category 3 - Highly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death.

For category 1 water damage, the home/business owner may be able to handle it themselves if it is in a small area. However, if it is in a large area, or is a Category 2 or 3, it may be time to call in a professional. The potential for more damage, or even illness, is a possibility. However, if the home/business owner still wishes to handle the problem themselves, here are a few things that need to be done immediately.

1) The first thing to do when water damage is encountered is to turn the power off. Water and electricity are a deadly pair. Stop the flow of water if it is still occurring. You can't start cleanup until this is done. You might have to cut off a main valve.

2) Next, start cleaning out the water. It is essential to get all the water removed as you possibly can as quickly as you can or you will have an ideal location for mold to grow and cause even more problems. If you feel it is a category 2 or 3 you should be wearing rubber gloves and a mask.

3) Once you have as much water out as you feel you possibly can, you need to bring some heavy duty fans into the area and put them to work drying up the moisture. They need to be kept running for as long as there is even a slight amount of moisture.

4) If you have damage that you know can't be repaired such as soggy drywall, warped or damaged flooring or carpet, it needs to be taken out; it still has a lot of moisture content and it is only in the way.

5) Once you are sure the moisture problem is solved and all the damaged goods are outside the building and the area is clean, it is time to overview the damage. You still may need to call in some expert help to inspect for mold, deodorize and disinfect, and inspect wiring if it was damaged

Keep in mind throughout this procedure that the KEY to restoration of water damage is getting all the moisture out so more damage can't occur.

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Effective Smoke Damage Cleanup For Your Home Using 5 Tips

Did you have a fire in your home that left behind a lot of smoke damage? Then you have to know some important tips that will allow you to do effective smoke damage cleanup.

These tips will help you ensure that the cleanup is done right from the start so that there are no lingering problems because of it. Below are the most essential tips that you have to know.

1. There are many things in your home that have to be cleaned thoroughly in order to get rid of the smell of the smoke and the soot caused by it. The following are the things inside your home that have to be cleaned as quickly as possible.

- Carpets
- Clothing
- Curtains
- Bedding
- Pictures
- Appliances
- Floors that are not carpet
- Knick knacks and room decorations
- Walls
- Ceilings

You have to ensure that all of these things get cleaned right. If you are unsure about handling this job yourself, then you may want to consider hiring a professional restoration company to handle it for you.

2. It may not be possible to get the carpets cleaned correctly and this may lead to you having to replace them. If this is the case, then get them changed as soon as possible because the smoke smell can linger in the carpets and make the air in your home unsafe to breathe.

3. Your air conditioning and heating ducts have to be thoroughly cleaned and sometime replaced. This is a job that may be best left to the experts if you don't have the experience of cleaning these ducts.

That way you can be sure that it is done correctly from the start so that the air in your home becomes safe to breathe as soon as possible.

4. Get new furniture or have them professionally cleaned. This is important because smoke will linger in everything in your home and on every surface. The only way to get rid of it is with the right cleaning or replacing it.

5. Be sure that a thorough cleanup is done to your home. Smoke and soot will stick to many different surfaces in your home. Every place in your home has to be cleaned thoroughly to remove this problem and to ensure that the air in your home is again safe to breathe for you and your family.

These are the most important tips for effective smoke damage cleanup that you need to be aware of. You may want to consider letting the experts handle the cleanup for you because it will make it easier for you not to have to see the devastation that the fire left behind day after day until the job is done.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Flood Damage Prevention Methods

Protecting your home against flood damage is far less expensive than repairing damage, and after the nation witnessed and/or experienced the horror left in the path of Hurricane Katrina, most are quicker to be preventative, and though in levee failure situation of that natural disaster, even the most detailed prevention would not have halted the tragedy, most situations are not catastrophic, and a few relatively inexpensive hazard mitigations can save your home and your belongings in the event of flood conditions.

Start on the outside of your home with the intent of stopping water from even getting into your residence. If we are in the midst of another Deity invoked great flood or another Hurricane Katrina, an ounce of prevention is worth nothing, but in most circumstances, some minor adjustments can be made to combat the water.

Beginning with the most minor repair, be sure to take notice of leaks, cracks, and incurring water damage to your home, fix it promptly. Water spots on the ceiling, cracks in the foundation, and cracks of any sort anywhere in the home are open places for water to flow. Water is a natural force that will find entry, and allowing these things to go without repair are open invitations for entry into your home.

Moving on to the outside of your home, make certain that you maintain your gutters. Check them annually, especially before the rainy season in your area, for cracks, holes, missing connectors, or just plain wear and tear. Replace all needed parts, and periodically clean out debris. Clogged gutters will prevent them from doing their job and can lead to flood damage, creating a run off of water from your roof that can easily saturate your yard, especially the area close to your house.

Once the area is saturated around the house, nature will force itself into areas that can hold moisture, and that area will be inside of your home. It is also important to check your neighborhood's storm drains. If they are filled with debris, water will back up on your streets and then, guess where? Even though the city is ultimately responsible for the storm drains, do yourself and your neighbors the favor of keeping an eye on them.

If flooding is a major concern on and around your land, consider building a flood wall. This wall will keep runoff water from flowing into your house, and even though it may seem costly, it surly is less expensive than repairing flood damage and rebuilding repeatedly.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tour Of Fire Damage Shows Lessons Learned

Carol Reed's family lost their home to a house fire. She's letting others tour it to learn from their mistakes. KMBC's Maria Antonia reports from Merriam.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Water Damage Insurance Claims: Critical Tips Water Damage Public Adjuster: Critical info for homeowners filing water damage insurance claims!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Water Damage Prevention

Water causes billions of dollars of damage to American homes. A little preventive maintenance and a 10-minute checkup can protect your home from water and mold.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fire And Smoke Damage - Cleanup And Restoration

No one wants to experience, let alone suffer from a house fire accident. But let us face it, no matter how much we avoid it, we have to be ready in case we are the unlucky victims of this common household hazard.

According to the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, a house fire accident is listed as one of the most common residential threats in the United States. Apart from the traumatic experience that homeowners may endure, there is also the difficulty of cleaning up the damaged area and restoring items, such as draperies, furniture, clothes, and carpets. Thus, it is really important to know the SOP should our home fall prey from fire and smoke damage.

Fire and Smoke Damage Cleanup and Restoration Preparation

Before doing any cleanup and restoration work, see to it that you wear protective gears, such as long gloves, face mask, safety goggles, and appropriate clothing. Even if the fire is completely extinguished, dust, soot, and hazardous fumes are still present in the room. Inhaling these particles, together with abrasive cleaning chemicals, is harmful to the skin and lungs. Since prevention is better that cure, wearing safety gear is one way of keeping you safe from the risks of these harmful particles.

Cleaning Process

Before getting started, decide on the type and amount of cleaning supplies that you are going. You may choose between gentle or abrasive cleaners depending on the level of fire and smoke damage.

One effective cleaner for fire and smoke damage is the Trisodium Phosphate (TSP), A chemical commonly used for cleaning exterior surfaces. Since TSP can cause abrasion, skin burn, and eye damage, don't start cleaning unless you wear appropriate clothing and protective gear. Make sure that rags, sponges, buckets, bleach, and warm water are ready. Read and follow the directions indicated on the bottle and mix the chemical with the right amount of bleach or warm water. Take a scouring sponge and scrub areas one at a time. After scrubbing, rinse the small section with a clean rag and water to. Never let the TSP stay on the surface for long because it could damage and discolor the wall or flooring.

Call a Professional

Fire and smoke can get anywhere, and cleaning up the damage can be more challenging than expected. All the areas of the house, from the ceiling and the walls to floors, carpets and furniture, should be cleaned thoroughly even if they don't look dirty or damaged. Ask the help of friends or relatives to help when cleaning up. But if the damage is more extensive and severe, it would be more practical to contact a professional to get the job done.

Restoring your home is possible if the paint is peeling or the wallpaper is bubbled. If the wall and ceiling is beyond repair, they still need to be cleaned to eliminate the dust, soot and harmful fumes. Either way, the smartest route for post-fire damage is to consult a professional who assess the damage and provide you with an cleanup and restoration service that will make your battered house the home that you've always wanted.

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