Restoration Mistakes… Exposed!
The word “restoration” has many meanings. If you Google “water damage restoration” you might come up with topics such as “iPhone dropped in toilet” and similar unthinkable tragedies. But for the purpose of today’s topic, we are going to concentrate on what the pros call “disaster” restoration, such as from water flooding your basement, pipes breaking, a kitchen fire, mold, and similar restoration projects for your home.
When you have water damage
The mistakes begin when you think you can simply use your wet/dry vacuum and such up the water and put a fan on it. It’s not going to dry out what you can’t see, such as in the walls, the carpet cushion, and other areas where the water has affected. When things are wet, it takes real effort to get it dry, clean, and odor-free. Be smart and make sure you know where the water went, and how wet it really is. Sounds like a job for the pros, right? It is! They have the moisture sensors, meters, and equipment necessary for the job.
When you have a kitchen fire
A house fire is one of the most devastating disasters that can happen to you. But there are some fires that are relatively small and manageable, such as the common kitchen fire, which happens when cooking goes wrong, and flames pop up.
One of the worst mistakes is not having a proper fire extinguisher, one that hasn’t reached its expiration date. Make sure the expiration date is still in the future, and that the class of extinguisher is for kitchen and grease fires and can be used on electrical fires. This means no water extinguishers of any type. Most multi-purpose extinguishers are acceptable, but make sure you have what you need.
When you find mold
Some people are sensitive to mold spores, and others aren’t. The main thing is to get a professional to inspect and give you the advice you need. While cleaning mold from a shower is one thing, finding it in the basement or on a wall is another. Be smart and have a healthy fear of mold contamination. Mold exposure can lead to all types of health issues for some people.
No matter the disaster you face, though, restoration pros are ready to help. Do the right thing and consult with your favorite restoration company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Cleaning Mistakes… Exposed!
If there is one thing you value and appreciate, it would be efficiencies when you clean your home. You want your time to be well-spent and effective as you clean your home and keep it looking great and a safe haven for your family.
And you want your efforts to really count, your cleaning to do just that… clean. Get rid of the dirt and make it all look good. Yet all too often we make mistakes with our cleaning process and can even do more harm than good.
Here are a few cleaning mistakes… exposed!
Carpet spot removal
When you see a spot on the carpet and grab your favorite carpet spotter, give it a squirt or two, you might then scrub the spot. Perhaps with a brush. When the spot doesn’t budge, you might scrub harder. That is a big mistake! When you scrub the carpet you are going to fray the fibers, damage the texture, and can even make the spot worse. When carpet spotting, apply your spotting solution, work it in gently with a white towel, and blot away the spot. If the spot remains, call your favorite carpet cleaning company.
Doesn’t everyone spray their glass, whether a mirror or window, and then use a cloth or paper towel and wipe in a circular motion? We all do. But there is a better way. Spray your solution on the window, use a towel to clean smudges and dirt, spray it again and use a squeegee to remove the liquid. If you don’t have a squeegee, avoid the circular motion with your towel. Go horizontal, and then vertical, until the glass is clean. This helps avoid streaking.
It’s what you don’t see that can be harmful. Some rely on a sensor telling them their vacuum bag is full. Others wait until they can see it is full, to the brim. You should change your vacuum bags when about halfway full, never more than 2/3 full. The longer debris, soil, dander, and other contaminants are in the bag, the greater the odds you will have foul odors from what’s “growing” inside the bag. Spend a little more time and money on your vacuum and keep it happy with a fresh bag.
When you start cleaning, it’s always smart to get good advice. And the best advice comes from your favorite cleaning company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
4 Steps to Finding a Reputable Disaster Restoration Company
When water, fire, mold, or any type of damage occurs to your home, your safe haven is turned upside down and the one thing you want to do is turn back the clock. Since that isn’t possible, let’s look at how to find you some help, and keep it affordable at the same time.
One thing to remember: Unless the issue is minor, such as a pipe breaking while you are staring at it and you turned off the water supply within five seconds, you will probably need help from trained pros — plus the financial support of your insurance company. After all, that’s why you pay premiums.
Here are four simple things you can do.
Call your insurance company
Get the claim on record, give your agent a call and get the paperwork started. If you don’t, you may find down the road issues with coverage and paying for repairs. If disaster happens, call the insurance company.
Search and call a professional restoration company
Your insurance company may have a list of preferred companies or even say you must use someone in their network. That isn’t true. It is your home, and your coverage, and you have a lot of influence on who comes into your home to do the repairs. While you can get a recommendation from your insurance carrier, it’s your decision — look at local companies, analyze their reviews, and if you can, use companies that have been referred to you by someone you trust.
Make sure they are certified
Proper training in water damage restoration, fire and smoke cleanup, mold remediation, and other restoration jobs is a must. This often means certification, and you might look for companies that have training by the IICRC or the RIA, two globally recognized certification organizations. No matter what, you want to use a company that has proper training. This is a great way to do that.
Are they responsive?
If you contact a company and they don’t answer their phone or call you back right away, you might wonder if they will show up to do the repairs. Sure, they may promise on their website they are a 24-hour-a-day company, seven days a week… but if they are, why don’t they answer their phone? You don’t want to be chasing a company to do the work they promised you to do.
When disaster strikes, don’t try to handle it all alone. Get help from a reputable company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
How to Find the Best Carpet Cleaning Company
Keeping your floors clean in your home should be a priority, as a dirty floor is not only unsightly but also unhealthy. A clean floor in your home is a constant challenge because a busy family has plenty of foot traffic to add soil to surfaces.
When you need your carpet cleaned, and other related services such as hard floor care, tile and grout, marble, etc, you have options. Some of them are easier than others; the goal is to keep your home looking great without too much effort on your part — unless you like to clean!
Most homeowners have deep cleaning of floors set on a schedule, often every six months or annually. While you sweep, mop, and vacuum sometimes several times a week, that deep cleaning is a specialized task that really gets the soil out.
Option 1: Do it yourself
Let’s not kid ourselves. Cleaning carpet is tough work and takes a specialized machine to do it. It can be backbreaking work as you are bent over, scrubbing and cleaning, filling, and dumping the solution in the machine. Hard floor cleaning is not much easier if you do it right, such as deep cleaning the grout. You need professional-quality cleaning products and the know-how to do it right.
Option 2: Hire a professional cleaning company
While this will cost money, and you will pay more for higher quality cleaning, you get the very best for your home. Professional carpet cleaning companies typically do it all: carpet and rug cleaning, hard floor care, tile and grout, furniture cleaning, and more. They are highly trained professional, often certified, and can clean all your surfaces in your home with expertise. Besides doing great work, they often move furniture and get the job clean and dry quickly, so you are not inconvenienced at all. There are many methods of cleaning, as well, and a consultation with a professional company can help determine the best way to care for your carpet or other surfaces.
And to find the best company, get referrals, look at online reviews, and make sure that the company you choose has an excellent reputation, not only with cleaning but also with customer service.
Is it time to have your carpet cleaned, or other surfaces? Do the right thing. Call a professional cleaning company today. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Asbestos: Just How Dangerous Is It?
Asbestos is a scary word, much like lead in paint. It’s part of many construction materials, from vinyl floor tiles to the backing materials of building products, to roofing and siding. It has even been used as insulation and wrapping for pipes in older homes, and some oil and coal furnaces have asbestos insulation.
Asbestos is a mineral fiber and can only be positively detected by an expert with a microscope. It is used as a strengthening material and is a natural insulator. It’s also fire resistant, so you can see why it was so popular years ago.
Asbestos was officially banned in July of 1989, by the EPA. A phase-out has made asbestos less likely to be found, but in older homes, structures, and some building materials, it’s still a concern. You want to be safe. So knowing if you have asbestos and how to deal with it if you do is important.
Why is it so dangerous? Because it is a cancer-causing substance. Those who have been exposed have experienced breathing issues. Besides causing cancer, it can also scar your lungs. You might have seen advertisements from lawyers asking for clients who have been exposed to asbestos. It is deadly.
If you do have asbestos materials in or on your home, if left alone, there should be no issues. But if disturbed, asbestos material may release fibers that can be inhaled into your lungs. They remain there and cause health issues.
If you determine there is asbestos in your home, leave it alone. There is no danger unless fibers are released and inhaled into the lungs.
If you decide to do any type of remodeling, especially in an older home, it’s smart to know what materials you are dealing with. A building inspection by a professional is smart, gives you peace of mind, and ensures you are safe.
If you do have asbestos, those trained to handle it are real pros. They will know what to do to correct the issue. Many asbestos professionals can also conduct home inspections. When buying an older home, it is critical to have this done, and while mortgage companies require this, make sure they look for asbestos as part of the inspection.
If you have any type of damage to your home, such as from flood, fire, wind… anything, and materials are damaged, your disaster restoration company will know what to look for and how to handle everything. It’s what they do best — take care of you and your belongings. After all, it pays to call a pro!
How to Remove a Mustard Stain
Mustard, like most condiments, is a slippery thing. When you put it in your sandwich, on your hot dog, or any food that fits the mustard profile, you enter the danger zone. Something is likely to come flying out and splat right on a white garment or fabric.
For some reason, things that stain land on light colored items. Murphy’s Law maybe.
Why is mustard such a tough stain to remove? Because of the natural dye called “turmeric”. It is why mustard is usually yellow, sometimes a light brown. When it lands on fabrics, it goes inside the fiber and stains it. Other condiments, such as mayonnaise and ketchup, can also stain, but not as much as mustard.
Before doing any cleaning, remove or scrape off as much residue as you can. When you start the cleaning process, you are at the point of no return. Once the fabric dries, any further efforts are probably going to produce minimal results.
With garments, it’s possible to wash them and mustard may come out. It may not. In the washing machine, some use chlorine bleach, although there is always a chance of removing other colors. The big picture here is do not put anything in the clothes dryer if the stain is still visible. The high heat may set that stain.
For carpet and upholstery, carefully wiping off the mustard and using a neutral spotter may help. But professional cleaning is recommended. If you start working on a mustard stain and you don’t remove all of it at one time, it makes it much more difficult to remove later on. It is always best if the pros do the work from the very beginning.
As with all cleaning projects, presoaking is important. Allow your cleaning solution, spotter, whatever you are using time to work. Use warm solutions, not hot.
Using peroxide on mustard stains often works as the bleaching agent in peroxide will either remove or at least lighten up the stain, while usually not affecting the natural colors in garments or fabrics. Wet out the area, and if you can, cover it up with plastic or foil, to keep it wet for an hour or two. The longer the peroxide solution has to work on the stain, the better the results. Rinse completely when you see good results.
Mustard is tough. No way around that. Besides being careful with your next hot dog, if a mustard disaster strikes, do the right thing. Call a professional cleaning company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Real Issues Behind Lead Paint
When it comes to the health and safety of your family, you do all you can to protect them. That’s why when a water damage occurs, you call your favorite restoration company because you know that without proper remediation, more damage can occur and even mold growth, which is potentially dangerous.
One aspect of home maintenance that many aren’t aware of, and that can be dangerous to health, is when you work with old paint. Perhaps you are remodeling. Or just working on stripping off old paint and repainting. What you are working with could include some element of lead paint.
We all know lead paint can be deadly. What some don’t know is how long lead paint has been with us. Some reports indicate that lead was used in some paint as early as the 4th century BC, and it was used as a thickening agent.
In modern times, lead paint was popular and known to accelerate drying, increase durability, resist moisture, keep a fresh appearance over time, and is easy to clean. But because of the health effects from lead poisoning, it was banned in 1978 for consumer use by the federal government. What was once accepted and embraced and even used in children’s toys was now poison.
One danger of lead paint is that it causes nervous system damage, stunted growth, kidney failure, and more. Children like the taste because it is sweet, so they might put lead chips or flakes they find on the ground, or toys with lead, in their mouths.
If your home was built before 1978, an inspection for lead paint should be done. It has probably already happened, but you need to verify that. For a visual inspection, lead paint will display what is called “alligatoring”. This happens when the paint cracks and wrinkles, so the painted surface look like it has scales. This doesn’t guarantee you have lead paint, but it is a sign. You can also obtain a lead paint test kit from a home improvement or paint store. They are easy to use. You can also have a professional home inspector or restoration company check for lead paint. You want peace of mind.
If you have lead paint, or suspect you do, the best thing to do is call your favorite restoration company. They know what to do with any restoration situation, and lead paint is something that must be handled by the experts. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Unplugging the Showerhead
Isn’t a nice, hot shower a wonderful thing? Whether you get up in the morning and shower to prepare for the morning or stand under the hot welcoming spray at the end of a long day at work… a shower can not only clean but also refresh.
But then, over time, the shower experience starts to fade. You aren’t sure why. You use the same shampoo. The water still seems hot, the exact temperature you like. Then… you figure it out. The water just isn’t coming out of the showerhead like it used to? That’s right. Your showerhead has an issue. Something is wrong. The water flow just isn’t there like in the past.
Showerheads have small holes in them that create those tiny strong streams of water. We know this. We also know that when you plug a hole, nothing comes out. With showerheads, it’s not like all the holes get plugged up at once. It happens over time. Mineral deposits natural in all water just builds up.
Here's how you fix this issue.
If you have a smaller profile showerhead, some have found a really easy way to do this. Simply get a small bowl of white vinegar and hold it up and immerse the showerhead in the liquid. You will have to hold this pose for a while, several minutes at minimum. Since some clogs are at the tips of the showerhead holes, the vinegar just might dissolve the minerals. It can’t hurt to try this method. All you are looking to do is dissolve the minerals, and vinegar as an acid solution will do it.
If that doesn’t work, it’s time to take things apart. Using the proper tools, which may include a wrench or pliers, and be sure not to scratch any of the finish on the showerhead, remove it from the pipe. Take it all apart. There should be parts inside, such as a small filter. Get it all apart and then soak it all in a vinegar solution. Give it plenty of time, and since you aren’t holding a bowl awkwardly above your head, maybe a couple of hours. Before, during, and after this process, inspect the holes. You may need to poke them with a safety pin, to help physically remove some of the deposits.
If vinegar doesn’t work, a stronger solution made for removing mineral deposits can be used but be sure to wear safety gloves and eye protection if you do this. The same procedures can be followed as already detailed.
Of course, for all your cleaning needs and advice, do the right thing. Call your favorite cleaning company. After all, it pays to call a pro!