Friday, March 30, 2012

Fire Restoration Services - Preventing Fires and Fire Damage

The prospect of dealing with fire damage after your house has been through a fire is a daunting task. Unfortunately, fires are common occurrences that can occur due to natural measures or human error. States that are prone to droughts and southern cities that experience extreme heat such as Atlanta are also also more probable to experience fires. The best way to avoid having to deal with this kind of situation is to learn how to prevent fires from occurring in the first place.

4 tips to help you prevent fires and fire damage from occurring

1. Know where high risk areas are in and outside your home

When it comes to preventing fires it is always better to plan ahead of time. Fires and fire damage to a home are often caused by the placement of certain items in or around the home. Knowing where the high risk areas in your home are located can help to prevent the likelihood of fires or help prevent that area from suffering extreme fire damage. A good example of a preventative measure that can be taken is making sure that the placement of shrubbery around your home is not near electrical units.

2. Always get your home inspected

The history of your home plays a huge role in knowing how to help prevent fires and fire damage. When you purchase a house, you should always have the home inspected to get a good idea about possible dangerous conditions. If you own an older home, it is recommended that you have an electrician inspect the wires to make sure that they are in good condition. Even if a fire was not cause by electrical problems, bad wiring can make a situation worse and cause more fire damage to your home.

3. Keep grills and other cooking equipment a safe distance from your home while cooking

A common cause of house fires are portable grills and deep fryers. When using grills or any other outdoor cooking equipment, it is important to keep a good distance between the cooking apparatus and the house. Another important safety measure is to keep combustible material such as firewood, lighter fluid, or charcoal away from sparks that may shoot from the grill. One simple little spark can ignite a fire that can go out of control rather quickly.

4. Use fire resistant materials when possible

The structure of your home is another preventative measure that can be enforce to minimize fire and fire damage. Materials such as stucco, metal, and brick houses are more likely to survive heavy flames in a fire than homes that are not constructed with fire resistant materials. Making sure that your home is constructed with these superior materials can be the difference between having to treat your home for fire damage and losing your home outright.

A home is way more than just a place of residence. A home holds memories, personal possessions, and certain items that cannot be replaced. The preventative measure you take today can and will make the difference on your chances of saving your home in the future. In the unfortunate situation of having to deal with a fire or fire damage, you should contact a professional to properly treat your home to ensure proper handling of fire and smoke damage.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

NBC TODAY Show: Kitchen Fire Safety

Most home fires begin in the kitchen, and Home Safety Council President Meri-K Appy demonstrates how quickly a kitchen fire can get out of control. With a live fire burning as the backdrop for the segment, Appy offers critical tips to put out stove top fires and demonstrates the slide a lid technique.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Disaster Restoration Services After a Fire

One of the most devastating things a family can go through is a house fire. When a fire strikes it not only leaves your home damaged but your life as well. Fire is one of the most destructive and dangerous forces in the world and when it hits your home it becomes personal. Knowing what disaster restoration service to depend can be one of the best decisions you can make when disaster strikes.

When fire damages your home it is extremely important not to be around the house. When fire strikes it can make your home extremely dangerous to not only be in but around as well. Fire can damage the very structure of your home. Making the very foundation and frame dangerous to be around. It is imperative to only grab your most precious possessions and get your family out of danger as soon as possible. Allowing the restoration services to safely get into your home and start the process of piecing your life back together.

Once the fire restoration service is able to get into your home it is possible to start the cleanup process. The restoration service can get in contact with a representative from your homeowners insurance provider and start the process of getting your home back to it's original look.

Knowing what to do when disaster strikes is the first step to take in not only insuring your homes safety but your families as well. The safety is your family is always the most important thing. So having a fire restoration company in your phone can be extremely beneficial for you and your family.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Water Damage Repair and Restoration Tips

When it comes to water damage what you don't know really can hurt you! Water damage can result in increased insurance rates, decreased resale value of home and property, and even health issues for years to come if not properly - and promptly - repaired. Learn how to protect yourself and your family from water related damage with these quick tips:

1. React Fast. Time is of the essence. When water damage takes place it is imperative to contact a water damage and extraction company as soon as possible. Don't wait until the next morning - search for providers that offer 24/7 support! Mold and mildew can begin growing within 24 to 48 hours!

2. Remove. Until all the water is extracted and the humidity levels returned to normal, it may be necessary to remove furniture and other items from the area even if they aren't in direct contact with the water. High humidity and general unsanitary conditions may contaminate other items. Work with a reputable water damage repair service that provides relocation and storage assistance for your belongings.

3. Report. Extensive water related damages often require the financial support of insurance - after all, that is what insurance is for. Don't risk the health and security of your family and investments by trying to do it yourself; instead, locate a reputable water damage and restoration company that works with insurance to help you begin the process of restoring your property.

4. Renew. Sometimes it is necessary to eliminate contaminated items - especially If the water damage is due to sewage overflow, flood waters or other potentially harmful water sources. The rule of thumb is "if in doubt - throw it out". A qualified water restoration expert can assist in providing valuable information on whether or not your belongings are safe to keep and capable of being cleaned.

5. Review. Water damage can impact the entire home including air quality, drywall, upholstery and even hardwood flooring. Save time and money by dealing with a company capable of providing full service when you need it. When searching for awater damage repair, Water damage restoration and Water damage extraction company, consider a full service company that provides carpet, wood floor restoration, air vent cleaning and upholstery cleaning with just one call. It saves valuable time and money so you can get your home - and life- back to normal.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Water Damage Restoration by a Professional Contractor - It Will Be a Wise Decision

Almost every household in America will experience some sort of water damage at some stage over the life of the property. Small accidents such as an overflowing sink or a leaky faucet can easily be fixed with the help of home equipment such as a dry/wet vacuum and a hairdryer. However, when the water damage relates to more complex forms of damage such as backed up toilets, broken pipes, flooded basements, rainwater flooding and so on, it is best that the homeowners calls for the services of a professional water damage restoration contractor.

Here are some examples of situations where a professional water damage repair company might be able to do a much better job than homeowners who will try to attempt restoration on their own.

Water damage repair arising out of a broken pipeline - Sometimes, you can be clueless about the source of water leak in your house. You may or may not know that there are several pipes that are concealed in the construction of your home. They can suddenly crack for various reasons. A professional restoration company will be able to use infra red cameras to identify the cracked pipe without having to break down walls or other construction materials. It would be very difficult for you to properly identify this leak without the right equipment that only a restoration contractor will carry.

The four categories of water damage restoration - There are essentially four different types of water that can cause damage to your property. Category 1 and category 2 are the least problematic as they are water from relatively clean sources such as an open faucet or a broken washing machine or dishwasher. Category 3 and 4 are very problematic because the water will be infected with a lot of microbes, bacteria and fungi. Category 3 and 4 water, otherwise known as black water will come from sources such as backed up toilets, sewer lines, sea water, river water etc. Only a professional contractor will know how to treat each category of water. Some will require the use of chemical based agents that will remove the bacteria and fungi from your property. If you attempted restoration on your own by just drying out your property, you could run the risk of exposing your dear and loved ones to dangerous levels of bacteria that will obviously not be visible to the naked eye.

There are several other advantages to hiring a professional restoration company, some of them being fast response times, help with the insurance claims process and cost effectiveness when it comes to restoration results.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reasons for Hiring a General Contractor

When it comes to home remodeling projects general contracting can bring about a lot of changes in running the project. A few common remodeling jobs include kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling and office remodeling. When planning to remodel your kitchen your requirements generally will include setting up new cabinets, creating extra counter space, creating space for appliances etc.

Bathrooms are another area where we would like to see changes every now and then. Changing the tiles, repairing leaking pipes, changing sanitary wares and fixtures are some of the remodeling works that we consider while renovating bathrooms. Whatever the project is hiring a general contractor can make your work a lot easier. You can literally find a huge difference in the total cost on hiring a general contractor for all your remodeling jobs.

If you have very little knowledge on interior and remodeling tasks then a general contractor is the one whom you should contact as they can simplify your task and give you ideas, completing the task for you just as you wanted them, perfectly and flawlessly. You can share your views and ideas with your contractor who will help you execute your ideas and vision into reality.

Expert advice can help you shape your plans flawlessly. Experienced and professional General contractors know exactly how to execute remodeling projects without affecting the structure and safety of the house. They have got better insight on things that will work. They know well what type of material will suite your needs and budget.

Based on the remodeling work you may require different workers to work on the project. Hence once you plan to start the project you will require the service of any one or all of the following workers - electrician, plumber, painters, carpenters etc. If you are entrusting the task to a general contractor then you need not have to deal with all these workers but just one person, the general contractor himself, who will make the necessary arrangements and will deal with the workers without your intervention. All you have to ever bother with is to pay the contracted amount.

The workers will not contact you for payment or for leave but will contact the general contractor who will deal with their issues and payment matters. The work will be managed by the contractor who supervises the work and ensures that the work is completed on time. It will be very difficult for you to manage a remodeling project involving multiple workers. You can make things simpler and less stressful by hiring a general contractor to complete the task for you.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Fire Restoration - Fix Your Smoke and Fire Damage

Fire damage and smoke damage can leave a home and its occupants feeling pretty hopeless and depressed. Though fire accidents are unfortunate, one will need to think positively and begin rebuilding their home in the quickest way possible in order to move on with their life. If you happened to experience a fire hiring a fire restoration company will be the best course of action.

A professional fire restoration company will use their expertise and modern equipment to go about the restoration process in your house in the most efficient manner. Here are the broad steps that a fire restoration company will follow in assessing and carrying out the work related to fire damage and smoke damage.

The restoration company will first analyze the type of smoke and soot that has been left by the fire. Smoke and soot will prevail well after the fire has been put out and it will help the experts determine the nature of fire. This will in turn allow them to assess the seriousness of the damage and will also allow them to make a decision on what can be restored and what will have to be discarded. This can be a tricky thing to do on your own if you are a home owner as not everything that looks OK will necessarily be salvageable. In the same way, not everything that looks burnt or scorched will have to be discarded. Some of the materials in your home, even if damaged, can be restored by a professional fire restoration company.

Smoke damage often goes hand in hand with fire damage in the sense that smoke can be absorbed by various materials in your house if they are porous in nature. For example, drywall, carpets, and certain types of furniture are made out of porous material that will contain the odor of smoke. A smoke damage removal company will use EPA approved deodorizer products and ozone to restore the materials in such a way that they are free of smoke odor.

There are many different types of smoke damage that can occur and it mostly depends on the type of smoke that was released during the fire. For example, wet smoke will result from a low heat fire and will leave a very pungent odor and very thick soot in the affected area. There are also other types of smoke such as dry smoke, fuel oil smoke and protein smoke that will have to be treated in an appropriate manner.

Fire damage needs to be approached by professionals as certain materials can have a very adverse reaction to fire. For example, asbestos and lead are hazardous materials that can have very adverse effects when exposed to fire or smoke.

Fire damage also presents the added problem of having to clean up the extinguisher used to put out the fire. If you used a commercial foam extinguisher, it will need a certain type of treatment. If you used water to put out the fire, it will need a different fire restoration approach that will involve the use of dehumidifiers and blowers to dry out traces of water.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Why Do It Yourself Fire Restoration and Water Restoration Is Not Recommended

Many homeowners who are confronted with water or fire damage often try to take up restoration efforts on their own. Though it might seem like a great idea at the beginning, one will often find that fire restoration and water restoration is actually quite difficult once they have begun.

Homeowners will often find themselves lacking in two different aspects. They will be found wanting in terms of technical expertise and will secondly be shorthanded when it comes to quality equipment that will be necessary to carry out fire restoration and water restoration. This is explained in more detail below.

Technical aspects of fire and water restoration that might not be common knowledge,

•When it comes to fire damage, parts of the house that never came in contact with the fire can still be affected by the smoke emitted from the fire. There are different types of smoke such as fuel oil smoke, protein smoke and a few others. Each type of smoke will have to be treated with different compositions of chemicals if the odor has to be removed. A homeowner might carry out an incomplete restoration process where the odor of smoke will be temporarily eliminated. It can however come back after a few weeks and will require another restoration effort to be carried out.

•Water restoration is also equally tricky in the sense that parts of the house untouched by water can still be damaged from the moisture released by the stagnated water. If there is standing water, the water will start to evaporate and turn into moisture that will start to be absorbed by porous construction materials such as ceilings, carpets etc. A water restoration company will use hygrometers to detect moisture levels. They will then use a range of equipment such as water pumps, dehumidifiers and blowers that will rid the property of potentially damaging moisture.

•Fire restoration will need the use of various EPA approved chemicals. For example, ozone and other chemicals will have to be used to treat smoke odor. Ozone has to be handled properly and safely and the affected area will have to be isolated before fire restoration with ozone is carried out.

•When it comes to water restoration, it is not enough if the water is merely removed and the area just dried up. The source of the water leak will have to be identified and stopped. In some cases, this source might be hard to find and only a contractor will be able to use an infrared camera to find a hidden broken pipe that cannot be seen by the naked eye.

In addition to the above points, hiring a water and fire restoration company is always a good idea as they can also do a very good job in assisting you with the insurance claims process.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Protecting Your Home and Belongings From Fire Damage

Fire damage to a home or belongings can be devastating. In addition to the havoc flames can wreak on the structural aspects of a house, they can destroy treasured possessions that can never be replaced such as photographs, artwork, and sentimental items. Many objects that become charred or destroyed may not be restored. It's always easier to prevent than repair, so rather than taking a risk, all homeowners and even renters should take necessary precautions to protect themselves as well as the exterior and interior of their dwelling from a potential blaze.

Whether you live in a house or apartment, one way to help prevent fire damage and discourage the spread of flames is by keeping the yard clear. Trees, or at the very least branches should be cut away from the exterior of the property. This is especially true for any dead ones as these are usually dried out and can incinerate quickly. Having a generous border of gravel, concrete, or just plain soil can also deter approaching flames from engulfing the exterior of your home. Those extra few minutes may be just what is required until help can arrive and extinguish the problem, or will give you the opportunity to gather a few important belongings and any pets.

Do you live next door to messy neighbors or smokers? A yard full of junk or dead plants is much more likely to go up in smoke than a neatly trimmed and living garden. Likewise, careless smokers can fall asleep with a cigarette in mouth, and that small spark on a bedspread is enough to destroy an entire neighborhood. While you can't necessarily change their habits, you can make some suggestions or call the city if their yard is potentially hazardous. Building a sturdy stone or brick wall around your property is another possible preventative measure.

On the interior, the first and most obvious fire damage preventative measure you can have is a working alarm. Too often people don't change the batteries or ensure that it is working properly. Many people even have knocked them straight off the walls if they accidentally go off, never bothering to fix them again. A smoke detector is crucial and can save your life. Additionally, remove hazards such as that electrical octopus behind the computer. Electrical faults can cause tragedy to strike.

In addition to prevention, there are some things you can do inside of your home to make it easier to grab essential possessions in case of an emergency. Keep a small, lightweight box of sentimental items under your bed within easy reach. Store some notes, favorite photographs, jewelry, or a few other small trinkets that are irreplaceable. Having these can be a great comfort to you, even if you are unable to save anything else. Also, keep a small pet carrier nearby if you have animals. If they are panicked because of smoke or flames, you may not be able to hold onto them tightly enough. If you can manage to get them into a carrier you can safely escape with them.

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Categories of Water Damage

Many restoration companies are dedicated to helping insurance agents who have water damage claims. Many are capable of handling any type of water loss, big or small any time of the day or night. Techs are on call 7 days a week and 24 hours a day including holidays. There are many variables involved in deciding the appropriate restoration steps when it comes to water damage and you need to find a company that is highly trained and ready to take on any claim.
It is important to begin the loss mitigation process whether a claim is insured or not. It is not recommended to put off any type of mitigation for water damages. The faster a claim is handled the better the chances are of restoring the structure and contents in the most cost effective way.
Loss mitigation is defined as "reasonable and prudent measures designed to preserve, protect and secure property from any further damage."
There are three categories of water loss and they are as follows:
  • Category 1 Water is clean at the releasing area and does not give hazard if consumed by humans. This type of water loss may become progressively contaminated as it mixes with soils on or within floor coverings or structures. Time and temperatures that cause the growth and amplification of microorganisms in the water can cause this category to upgrade.
  • Category 2 Water is when it begins with some type of contamination and could case someone to get sick or be in discomfort. With time and temperature this can also become contaminated.
  • Category 3 Water is highly contaminated water that can cause death or serious illness if consumed by humans or animals. One example of this would be sewage or even rising flood waters from nearby rivers and streams.
It is important to know the categories of water loss and be able to determine them with inspection. It is going to depend on the company you choose and their quick response time to get the category under control so that further contamination is not fast approaching. To get the situation under control, look for a company who is prepared to help with any claim so that the job can be done right and back to pre-loss condition. A good call would be one to a company familiar and trainied, as they care about not only the customer but helping the agent get the claim under control and ready to be restored.
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