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After a Fire, Both Your Home and Possessions Can Be Restored

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

Personal computer burnt A burned computer in Tempe,AZ

After a Fire, Both Your Home and Possessions Can Be Restored

When dealing with the aftermath of a fire in Tempe,AZ, there's a lot on your plate. One of your top priorities is probably the structure of your house. However, a person's life is made up of all the little things that fill up a home. Can they be saved, as well? With some techniques like dry-cleaning, they can be.

Electronics

Some of the most expensive items to replace are electronics. There's a chance you may not have to. Smoke residue can cause corrosion, but if it is removed soon enough it won't have the chance. You should not turn on any of your devices to check their status, as this could cause further harm. Technology like this can be delicate and complicated, so it is in your best interest to leave all content cleaning to certified fire remediation specialists. Examples of items that can be restored are:

  • Laptops and computers
  • Televisions and DVD players
  • Sound systems and speakers
  • Telephones

Clothing and Woven Materials

You don't want all your clothes and curtains smelling like smoke for months to come, do you? Dry-cleaning is the method of choice for clothes and fabrics. If they only hold a light amount of residue, this should be enough. If they are more heavily inundated with particles, you should follow up with a wet-cleaning, as well. Upholstery or other heavy fabrics that can't be subjected to shrinkage or wet cleaning can go through a foam cleaning process.

Paper Goods

Although delicate, you may be surprised to find out that paper items like documents and photographs can be salvaged, as well. Provided that they aren't mostly burned or blackened, there are a variety of techniques used to restore them to a much better condition: de-humidification, vacuum drying, freezer drying, dry-cleaning or air drying. They might not look brand new, but what's important is that they are visible or usable.
In the hands of a competent fire damage service, there is the possibility that almost everything you own can be saved from content storage. Before throwing things away willy-nilly, call in the professionals.

Protect Your Business Through Proactive Plumbing

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

A glass jar with vinegar Use a hot water and white vinegar mix every three months to prevent clogs

Protect Your Business Through Proactive Plumbing

As a Tempe,AZ, business owner, you are likely familiar with how plumbing problems can impact your location. Leaky or burst pipes, clogged toilets and other issues can impact the integrity of the building, create wasteful downtime and spend money on repairs and remediation. However, you can prevent several of these disasters when you and your staff adopt proactive maintenance practices to detect and resolve minor issues before they escalate.

Prevent Clogs

Clogs are plumbing issues that can severely hurt the function of your business. Check the toilets and the sinks and see if they flush or drain slower than usual. If this occurs after multiple tests, it means there is likely a clog present. You or your crew can use specific tools to unclog a toilet or drain. Use a hot water and white vinegar mix every three months to keep them clear and prevent major incidents.

Check for Drips and Leaks

Preventable plumbing problems also manifest through several noticeable signs.

  • Dripping faucets
  • Puddles near toilets or pipes
  • Water damage
  • Mold and other fungus

These incidents largely hint at a larger problem, which is most often a blocked, damaged or broken pipe. Act fast the moment you see them before greater problems develop and affect your establishment.

Run Plumbing Inspections

Sometimes, there are issues that you or the crew cannot foresee and prevent alone. Plumbing inspection services are easier to run and may be less expensive and intrusive than repair. Contact a professional to run tests on the water main and the rest of the business's plumbing system to ensure there are no hidden leaks, clogs or other faults that can have a devastating effect on your commercial location.
Major plumbing problems usually start out small and appear in minor issues before they grow. Stay aware of these small issues to avoid spending time and money on preventable problems and contact plumbing and water damage repair services for truly unpreventable incidents.

How To Clean Sewage Backup in the Bathtub

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Someones hands using disposable gloves Before you start, make sure to put on goggles, coveralls and rubber gloves and boots

How To Clean Sewage Backup in the Bathtub

Sewer backup can lead to the spread of bacteria and viruses in your home. The problem should thus be addressed as soon as possible.
There are some steps you can take to limit the spread of the contamination. They include:

  • Turning off running water
  • Move un-contaminated objects to dry, clean areas
  • Open windows and doors to speed up the drying process and limit the growth of mold
  • Discard contaminated curtains, carpeting and upholstered furniture

Tips for Cleaning Sewage Backup

If you see a small bathtub backup, you might be able to clean the spill yourself. Before you start, make sure to put on goggles, coveralls and rubber gloves and boots. Do not let your bare skin touch the sewage. You should also avoid touching your nose, ears, eyes or any open cuts.
Once you are properly protected from the sewer backup, and after the contaminated items have been taken out of the bathroom, you can start removing the standing water. Discard any solid waste and apply an initial disinfectant spray to the affected area.
You should then clean surfaces with household detergent to remove any additional dirt and contamination. Next, dry the area with a combination of dehumidifiers and portable fans. Finally, disinfect the area a second time by using a bacteria-killing bleach.

When To Call an Expert

If the contaminated area is large, you should contact a professional cleanup company in Tempe,AZ. Experts should also be brought in if your home’s HVAC system has been contaminated, or if the sewage has been in place for more than 24 hours.
While you may be able to handle a small sewer backup on your own, emergency restoration specialists will know how to clean up a bigger area quickly and safely. They should also be able to dry any belongings that were damaged by the flooding. You should thus contact professionals unless the spill is limited to a tiny section of your bathroom floor

What Homeowners Should Know About Rain and Mold Growth

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

A yellow curtain, ceiling with mold Mold growth on ceiling

How to Protect Your Home From Mold

Many homeowners don't associate black mold growth with rain. However, mold growth is a common issue that affects many homes in Tempe,AZ, especially after rain. To protect your home from mold, it can be useful to understand the association between rain and mold.

Where Does Mold Often Appear in Your Home After Rain?
After rain has fallen, mold can grow in a variety of locations in your home. However, some materials are more prone to mold growth than others. Mold can easily grow on the following materials after rain occurs:

  • Plywood
  • Drywall
  • Cloth
  • Ceiling tiles


Why Does Mold Grow in Your Home After Rain?

A moisture problem makes mold more likely to grow in a home, and a damaged roof frequently causes moisture levels to increase in the home after it has rained. Though there are various ways a roof can become damaged, dead limbs, large amounts of heavy snow or strong winds are common causes of roof damage. Often, it is easy for rainwater to leak into your home if your roof tiles are cracked, loose or missing. Many homeowners whose homes have been affected by black mold or other types of mold growth find it useful to employ mold remediation specialists to assist with the mold cleanup process.

How Can You Prevent Mold Growth After Rain?

Keeping all surfaces of your home clean can help to prevent mold from growing after rain occurs. However, simply keeping your home clean will not prevent mold entirely. Since a damaged roof is one of the primary reasons mold grows in homes after it rains, it's important for your home's roof to be secure and structurally sound. Having routine roof inspections can help to ensure that your roof is able to withstand storms, wind, rain and snow, which can ultimately help to prevent mold growth.

For homeowners, it's often wise to know what materials mold frequently grows on in homes after rain. Additionally, if you know why mold often grows in homes after rain falls, you can take steps to keep your roof well-maintained in order to prevent black mold and additional types of mold from growing in your home.

How Do You React When Your Home's Basement Floods?

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded basement in Tempe,AZ

Steps To Take After Your Home's Basement Becomes Flooded

When your basement in Tempe,AZ, floods, it can be easy to feel panicked. Many homeowners know that they should respond quickly to a basement flood but are uncertain of what to do next. There are several useful steps you can take after your home's basement becomes flooded.

1. Remove Water as Quickly and as Safely as Possible
Removing the water from your home in a timely manner is often a useful way to mitigate the damage to your home's basement after a flood. Though mops and towels can soak up small amounts of water, they are generally ineffective when it comes to removing floodwater. However, installing a sump pump prior to a flood can help to remove water from your basement. A sump pump collects floodwater in your basement and then moves the water elsewhere.

2. Turn Off Your Home's Electricity
A basement flood can affect various aspects of your home, and unfortunately, fires are often more likely to occur after a flood. Fires are particularly likely to occur if items that use electricity are plugged in or if items that use electricity have loose or frayed wires. Though you may be tempted to unplug items that use electricity after a flood, it's often best to avoid coming into direct contact with floodwater. Instead, it can be helpful to turn off the electricity in your home entirely.

3. Contact a Restoration Company
Once you have removed as much water as possible and have turned off the electricity in your home, it's often useful to contact professionals in water damage restoration. Professionals can help to further mitigate the damage in your home, and a quick response can help to quicken the entire process of restoration. Though insurance coverage may vary depending on the cause of the flood, your insurance company will likely help to cover the costs of restoration if the flood occurred suddenly.

Although dealing with a basement flood can be stressful, knowing how to respond appropriately can help you to feel calmer. It's often useful to quickly remove water from your basement, to turn off the electricity in your home, and to contact a restoration company.

Protecting Your Business From Partial Fire Loss

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage to commercial building in Tempe, AZ

Fire damage can be devastating to your commercial building. Even if the blaze was contained quickly and the damage appears minimal, restoration can be costly, putting your business at risk of bankruptcy. Certain steps must be taken to ensure your business is protected from fire loss.

Assessing the Damage

When a building and all of its contents have not been completely destroyed by fire, it is considered a partial loss. This is a term used by insurance companies to determine the proper protocol for working with the client to recover their business. The insurance company will assign their own adjuster to inspect the property, but the business owner should work with a number of other specialists, including:

  • Contractors and structural engineers
  • Plumbers and HVAC specialists
  • Air quality inspectors

Remember that a fire is dangerous for more than its flames. Smoke damage, excessive heat, and mold and water damage can all ruin the integrity of the building and the contents within, so it is imperative to ensure you understand the full extent of the damage before moving forward with restoration.

Restoring Your Business After a Fire

Once the full extent of the partial fire loss has been determined, it is time to work with a qualified fire restoration service. These specialists in Tempe,AZ, have equipment designed specifically to restore walls, furniture, electronics, and other items in the business by eliminating odors and damage caused by smoke, water, and other elements.

Final Tips on Working with Your Insurance Company

After a partial fire loss, insurance companies are expected to restore your business to a uniform and consistent appearance. In other words, every effort should be made to get your business looking and feeling like it did before the fire. As such, pay close attention to your policy should disputes arise. Common challenges may include an unwillingness to pay for new flooring that matches undamaged areas, damage to outdoor landscaping, or air quality concerns. Following a few basic steps and ensuring a solid understanding of your insurance policy will help minimize the damage to your business, both physically and financially after a fire.

Keeping Your Commercial Building Dry During a Storm

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

Building envelope in Tempe,AZ

One of the best ways to minimize damage caused by water or black mold in your Tempe,AZ commercial space is to safeguard the building against leaks and other moisture problems before they occur. Regular maintenance of your building’s major defenses, while costly up front, will be more cost effective in the long run due to the expensive nature of repairing any type of damage. Proactively working to keep water out of your building during storms is one of the most efficient ways to protect your business.

Take Preventative Measures

The overall integrity of your commercial building should be defined by the sum of its parts. This is because weather and the elements, such as rain damage, can occur from a myriad of sources. A comprehensive effort to safeguard the space, known as a building envelope, ensures that equal attention and resources are invested into preventing water damage from all possible sources, including:

  • Leaks from the roof, walls, windows, doors, or other areas in which water is able to enter the building
  • Humidity and vapor that is not properly ventilated through the space
  • Improper or inefficient drainage systems in and around the building

Maintain Your Systems

Rain damage is one of the most common causes of mold and other problems, and is also the most difficult for your building envelope to prevent. You can help the situation by installing and regularly maintaining a comprehensive drainage system. Drainage can also include surfaces and gutters that slope away from the building. Ensure all high risk areas such as windows and doors are protected by proper sealants, and consider installing overhangs and other screens that divert water away. Whenever in doubt, always consult an expert specializing in the prevention and cleanup process of rain damage. Proactive work to prevent water damage will help protect your business during a storm while potentially saving you a fortune in cleaning and repair costs.

Spores 101: An Introduction to Mold

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Basement with mold

Owning commercial property in Tempe,AZ, can be very rewarding, but it's not without its challenges. Chief amongst them is the potential for mold. From mildew to black mold, here's an overview of every property manager's least favorite fungus.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that develops from spores. These itsy-bitsy spores travel through the air and set up shop on organic matter around your building, including the dead skin cells humans leave just about everywhere. The damper and warmer the area, the more enticing it is to mold, so it's commonly found in the following areas:

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Basements

In short, any area of your building that has a moisture problem or has experienced water damage may be prone to mold growth.

What Are the Different Types of Mold?

All mold isn't created equal. Mildew, for example, is a very common type of mold that's commonly found in bathrooms. It takes the shape of small, black spores, and it's usually easy to clean up with a commercially available cleaner or a 2:1 mix of white vinegar and water.

Another type of mold that’s commonly found in commercial buildings is black mold. This is actually a catch-all term for a variety of different strains of mold, some of which will provoke a response in humans, some of which won't. All of them should be treated promptly by a mold cleanup company that has the expertise and equipment to rid your location of mold once and for all.

How Can I Tell If I Have Mold?

Visible mold usually looks like dark spots. Picture a spray of ink, for example, or a dusting of chocolate cookie crumbs.

You may smell mold before you can see it, however, given its affinity for out-of-the-way places. It's usually identified by an odor that can be described as musty, damp, or woodsy.

Knowledge is power when it comes to mildew and black mold. If you think you have mold growth at your commercial property, the smartest course of action is often to contact a professional mold remediation company that can return your building to normal as soon and as safely as possible.

How To Remove Smoke Odor From Your Home

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

Thermal fogger

Whether you’ve experience a small home fire, had a smoky fireplace, or another issue that caused your home to endure smoke damage in Tempe,AZ, effective smoke cleaning can be very difficult to fully remove the smell and get your home back to the way it was, “Like it never even happened”. It often requires using advanced techniques or equipment that many fire remediation companies have.

Air Filtration Devices

The first thing that can be done for smoke cleaning is to use an air filtration device to completely filter all the air in your home and make it safe to breathe again. Some filter options include:

  • True HEPA Filter: High Efficiency Particulate Arresting is the highest quality air filter available and is certified to remove 99.97% of all particles down to 0.3 microns in size.
  • Activated Carbon Filter: Often used along with a HEPA filter, this is most useful in removing gases, chemicals, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
  • Ionizer: Using electricity, an ionizer emits negative ions which causes airborne particles to collect into the air filter or onto the floor or walls. This can reduce allergens in the air to as small as 0.1 microns.

Ozone Machines

Ozone machines can be plugged in anywhere and release ozone into the air. The oxidation that occurs changes the chemical structure of smoke, other odors, and even bacteria, viruses, mold, and more. After a few hours, the smell is usually completely removed from the room.

Thermal Foggers

Using this type of equipment, a deodorizer is heated and sprayed in fog form. Because of this delivery method, it is able to penetrate very small areas and is incredibly effective in eliminating even the most stubborn odors.
Individuals living in the home that have a compromised immune system, young children, and the elderly can be very sensitive to smoke. There are many options on the market to clean smoke smell from your home., but if you’re not ready to purchase new equipment for smoke cleaning, most fire restoration companies are well equipped. An expert can remove the smoke odor from your home, to the degree that you’ll forget it was ever even there.

How a Security Fence Can Protect Your Business After a Fire

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Fire loss in a Tempe, AZ building

In the unfortunate event of a fire, you want to do everything you can to protect your business in Tempe,AZ, from further damage. Installing a security fence can help keep your building safe from various types of harm in the aftermath of a fire. Below are some key benefits of having protective fencing installed on your commercial building’s property.

Keeps Building and Property Clean

After a fire, some visitors might attempt to help out during the recovery process. While they may have good intentions, allowing them to step onto your property or into your building can create additional damage. Some ways people could cause further harm include:

  • Bringing dirty water into building
  • Spreading soot particles throughout property
  • Bringing traces of smoke into building

These factors can aggravate the damage already caused by the fire and make the recovery process more difficult. Having a fence surrounding your property helps to prevent this behavior from occurring.

Alerts Visitors

When you have a security fence preventing access to your building, it can thwart intruders and other unwanted visitors. Some people may see your damaged building as an indication that no one is inside and use that as an opportunity to vandalize the property or steal valuable items. Fencing also tells your employees that they aren’t yet permitted to enter the building in case they wish to check the condition of their personal belongings.

Helps Support Insurance Claim

If you plan to make an insurance claim for fire damage, your policy will likely require you to take reasonable measures to protect your property from additional damage. Having a protective fence installed is an effective way to prevent further harm, and it shows your insurance company that you’ve made an effort to keep your property safe.
When your commercial building is guarded by a security fence, you can be one step closer towards a full recovery. Be sure to have a fire restoration specialist assess your property to ensure that all damage is properly taken care of.