Sunday, June 28, 2020

How To Clean Up A Home After A Fire

Dealing with the aftermath of a fire in your home can be a daunting and emotional process. Not only you will need to ensure that your property is safe and to keep a record of all damage to your property but also you have to deal with the clean-up and repair work. But with so many things you have on your to-do list, including the array of emotions you are going through, you might not know where and how to start. This guide will help you deal with the cleanup process after a fire.

Follow this guide to help you recover faster and to know how to clean up a home after a fire.

How To Clean up After A Fire

First off, Inspect Before You Enter

It is important to inspect your property first before entering your home. Fire can wreak havoc your home. Electrical wiring might have been damaged, ceilings may be unstable or show some signs of sagging because of water collection, and walls and flooring might have been weakened. Talk to the responding officials to know if it is safe to enter or you may ask a fire marshal or a representative from your insurance company to have your property inspected.

If the damage is severe, it is best to leave the restoration process with the professionals. They are experienced in removing any excess water and repairing severely damaged wood and building materials.

Document The Damage

Take as many photos and videos as you can of all fire damaged personal belongings and make a list of all your valuables with their monetary value. Your insurance company will ask for proof of the damage to your property. These documents will help with your insurance claim.

Cleaning The Exterior After A Fire

It is best to start cleaning up the exterior of your home to ensure that foundations, entrance, and support of your roof deck are in good condition before cleaning the inside. Start from top to bottom and follow these tips;
  • Check the roof gutters and clean them to remove any debris or ash that is blocking the system and may cause additional damage.
  • Check foundation walls and remove as much ash, soot, or chemical retardants as possible. You can use a power washer to do it. Alternately, if the surface damage is not too big, you can use a stiff brush and a water/borax solution to remove smoke and soot.
  • Clean windows with glass cleaner.
  • Remove any solid debris, soot, and grime on the walkways and driveways through power washing. 

Cleaning The Interior After A Fire

Soot, smoke, and even water that was used to extinguish the fire can quickly damage the surfaces of your home. Do the cleanup process as quickly as you can to prevent further damage.

Once your property is deemed safe to enter, you still have to be extra cautious. You should wear some protective gear like a face mask, safety glasses, work gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants. Also, protect your feet with close-toed shoes. It is also best to keep small children away from the damaged area.

Removing Smoke and Soot From Walls And Ceilings

  • To remove soot and smoke from your home’s walls, ceilings, and flooring, use a mild soap, detergent, or a mixture of trisodium phosphate and a cup of household cleaner to one gallon of warm water. Make sure to wear gloves when using tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) as it is acidic.
  • Start from the top of the area that needs to be cleaned then rinse it with clean warm water. Dry it thoroughly then work on the other sections of the damaged area.
  • Sanitize the damaged area using a bleach and water solution. Wipe down all the surfaces that got wet with bleach solution. This also helps reduce the chance of having mold growth.

Removing Smoke and Soot From Fabric

Make sure to test items first before using any treatment.
  • For soot-damaged fabrics that can be washed, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use heavy-duty detergent and an oxygen-based bleach.
  • If the smoke odor is persistent, dissolve 1 cup of a household dishwasher detergent with 1 gallon of warm water and soak the clothes overnight. Wash the items, as usual, the next day.
  • For other fabrics that cannot be thrown in the wash, get advice from your local dry cleaners. They can give you recommendations on what to do best.

Water Damage After A Fire

  • Remove any standing water using a shop vac or some old mops and towels. Some building materials of your home are porous and can absorb water. This will then lead to water damage that may require costly repairs.
  • Pull out all wet materials including furniture, electronics, and others. Place them in areas dry and safe from water damage.
  • Dry wet items like drapes, furniture and carpet as soon as possible to prevent mold and mildew growth. Or, use aluminum foil or plastic wrap under the furniture legs to protect them against water intrusion.
  • Open windows to increase air circulation and set fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the affected area.

Contact Professional Fire Damage Restoration Company

While there are many ways you can take to clean up your home after a fire, keep in mind that hiring a professional restoration company is your best option for certain tasks. A professional restoration company, like Superior Restoration, is skilled and equipped in getting your home back to its pre-damaged condition.

For fire damage and water damage restoration services, contact Superior Restoration today.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Difference Between Water Damage Mitigation And Restoration

Every homeowner may have to deal with water damage. A pipe can burst while you are away. Rainwater can seep into your basement which can lead to flooding. Whatever the cause of water damage is, repairing your home both requires water damage mitigation and restoration. Water mitigation should come first, followed by water damage restoration.

Understanding Categories of Water Damage

Before you move on to the definition of water damage mitigation and restoration, let us first identify what type and class of water damage you are dealing with. Knowing this helps you understand the severity of the damage and the hazard you might have to encounter.

There are three categories of water damage;

Category 1 or Clean Water – This type of water damage does not contain any contaminants and is not harmful. The common source of category 1 water damage is a burst or broken pipe.

Category 2 or Grey Water – Unlike category 1 water damage, “grey” water damage is slightly serious as the water contains some contaminants that can pose health risks when you come in contact with it. The source of the damage can be the overflowing water from a sink.

Category 3 or Black Water – This is the most dangerous type of water damage. The water involved has different kinds of contaminants like microorganisms, human waste, sewage, and chemical waste which can pose serious health issues like allergies, infections, and difficulty of breathing when exposed to it. The most common sources of this damage are floodwater and sewage backups.

Classes of Water Damage

Class 1 water damage involves a minimal amount of water. Only a part of a room is affected and will just require simple repairs. An example of class 1 water damage is a toilet or sink overflow in a toilet.

Class 2 water damage involves a significant amount of water. The entire room might have been affected, including the carpet or the cushion. In some cases, water has already seeped into building materials and has wicked-up some parts of the walls. The most common cause of class 2 water damage is a burst pipe.

Class 3 water damage has the fastest evaporation rate. Usually, the source of the damage comes from above and may have saturated the ceiling, drywall, insulation, carpet, furniture, and flooring.

Class 4 water damage requires professional water damage removal and restoration procedures. The water may have seeped into the bricks, stones, and hardwood floors.

What Is The Difference Between Water Damage Mitigation And Restoration

Water damage mitigation is an emergency service that is designed to prevent further damage to your property and protect your belongings. Water, when stays longer in your property can cause more destruction to the materials that absorb it. For instance, wood can rot, laminate floors can get damaged, and mold will eventually thrive. Water damage mitigation contractors will try to salvage belongings as much as they can in the fastest way possible. Though the mitigation process prevents more consequences after a water event, know that it is only a temporary repair.

On the other hand, water damage restoration is a service that is designed to repair and restore everything that has been damaged by water and bringing things back to its normal condition. The length of the process and the applications may vary depending on the severity of the damage. For instance, if category 3 water damage is involved, all affected areas need to be fully disinfected. Furthermore, though water restoration is the process of rebuilding your home, it can’t be done until all water damage issues are properly addressed.

Examples Of Water Damage Mitigation Services

During the mitigation process, contractors will need to use specialized equipment like air scrubbers, dehumidifiers, and air movers and advanced techniques to reduce the consequences of water damage. Here are some examples of the mitigation process;

  • Remove all objects or items from the affected area, including furniture, drywall, and flooring.
  • Clean and disinfect all materials that can be salvaged.
  • Ensure that the structure of your home is stable.
  • Extract standing water and dry out the home using professional-grade equipment
  • Install tarp, board up windows and other necessary precautions to protect the property.

Examples Of Water Damage Restoration Services

When everything is completely dried out and disinfected, restorers will then proceed to repairing damaged materials. Here are a few steps of the restoration process;

  • Replace damaged walls and roofs.
  • Repair damaged roof.
  • Eliminate mold colonies.
  • Perform humidity and moisture testing to ensure that all issues are completely fixed.

Contact Superior Restoration For Professional Water Damage Mitigation and Restoration Services

When water damage strikes, trust Superior Restoration. We provide both water damage mitigation and restoration services. Our technicians are available 24/7 and equipped with proper knowledge and equipment to help you get your home back to its pre-damaged condition. Contact us today to know more about our water damage services.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

What To Do When Your Basement Floods

Basement flooding can happen anytime. Flooding in a basement mostly occurs in spring, when it rains heavily or snow starts to melt. It can also occur during dry weather because of unexpected blockages in the sewer system. Basements can be prone to flooding because they are, by its definition, located at the lowest part of a building, commonly partly or entirely below ground level.

As a king or queen of home maintenance, meaning you are in charge of cleaning and maintaining your home, you may get panic with this unexpected event in your home. But fear not, we are here to help. We have outlined the things that you should do when you notice flooding in your basement and some preventative tips for future flooding.

If your basement has flooded, keep reading to know these restoration tips.

What To Do First?

First, shut off power supply. Basement flooding can do more than property damage. It can pose a threat to you and your family. Electrical wires, including electrical appliances and devices, can become dangerous when they come in contact with water. Thus, before entering your basement make sure to turn off any power sources associated in your basement. Or, you may contact an electrician if you are unsure how to turn off the power supply in your basement.

Then, find the source of the water. If flooding is caused by heavy rain or storm water, wait until it has passed before getting started. But, if the cause of the flooding is something else, like a burst water pipe in your home, shut off the main water supply valve.

How To Clean Up Flooded Basement

Remove The Water From Your Basement

Once your basement poses no harm like electrocution, you can start removing the water. Use a sump pump, a pool pump or a wet/dry vacuum to suck up the water and a mop or towels to clean up the remaining water.

It is important to remove the water as quickly as you can. Damp environment, like a flooded basement, can be a perfect place for mold to grow and thrive.

Move Your Damaged Items Out Of Your Basement

To effectively dry your basement, remove everything that got wet, and place them in a well-ventilated area. If it is sunny outside, you may place them somewhere they can easily be dried out. Remove them as soon as possible and allow your items to dry out for about 24 hours. If they remain wet after that, it may be best to discard them to prevent mold and mildew growth. Cardboard boxes should be discarded immediately as they are especially susceptible to bacterial infestation.

If you have carpet in your basement, make sure to rip it out immediately to properly dry out the floor underneath. If the carpet has been soaked up from the water for more than 24 hours, it should be thrown away.

Dry Out Your Basement

Allow your basement to dry for several days. Open doors and windows for proper ventilation and set up fans or industrial blowers inside your basement to increase air circulation and speed up the drying process. You can also place dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture and prevent mold growth.

Clean and Disinfect The Area

After you have completely dried out everything, clean and disinfect basement contents and structure like walls, drywall, foundation floor, and others. Do not use bleach as bleach only kills live mold, not mold spores. Instead, use regular detergent. Remove and replace damaged drywall, wood, and insulation to prevent existing mold from spreading.

How To Prevent Basement Flooding

Take some steps to prevent future basement flooding.

  • Make sure that your gutter and downspouts are clean and free from any debris.
  • Direct downspouts at least five feet away from your home to prevent water pooling around the edges.
  • Regularly check the landscaping surrounding your property. Make sure the ground slopes away from your foundation.
  • Install a sump pump that automatically redirects the water from your basement.
  • Inspect trees that are close to your home as the roots can cause basement flooding if they break the foundation of your property and crack.
  • Seal cracks and openings in the foundation, floors, walls, and windows of your house.
  • Make sure that the drainage system in your basement is clear and unclogged.
  • Regularly check plumbing pipes to ensure they are in good condition.

Ask Help From Temecula Water Damage Restoration Experts

When flood cleanup seems difficult to tackle, it is best to ask help from a water damage specialist.

Water Damage Temecula of Superior Restoration provides cleanup and water damage restoration services in the entire area of Temecula. We are available 24/7 and our team of trusted and certified professionals are ready to provide the best cleanup and restoration in any kind of basement flooding situation. Call 951-221-8265 today to get started.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

How To Handle Water Damage From A Toilet Overflow

Whether it is a malfunctioned pipe or a clog in a bowl, a toilet overflow can cause massive destruction and inconvenience in a home, especially if the water contains waste or contaminants.

There is no need to panic, yet it is important to take necessary actions immediately to prevent further damage and danger to your home and health.

What To Do If My Toilet Overflows

1. Turn Off The Water

The first thing you have to do to lessen the potential for more severe damage is to stop the water from overflowing. Look for a shut-off valve, which is usually located underneath the toilet tank and near the floor and turn off the valve. If the valve is not available on the supply line, you can stop the flow of the water by pulling up the float inside your toilet tank.

Once the flow of the water stops, drain the water from the toilet bowl completely and slowly release the float. However, if there the water continues to overflow, you may need to turn off the main water supply line and consider that the problem may be a backup from either the main sewer line or a drain pipe.

2. Use A Plunger To Remove The Clog

In most cases, a toilet clog occurs in a toilet bowl or trap. A plunger is the most effective tool in fixing a clogged toilet. The up and down movement of a plunger can create pressure that forces the clog to get out of the bowl and pass through the trap to go into the drain pipe.

Avoid using a basic plunger because it might lack the seal necessary in producing the required pressure. Instead, use a bell plunger that can create a more suitable seal for a toilet bowl. Furthermore, apply some layer of petroleum jelly to the plunger to help it create more pressure.

Still, if the water continues to overflow even using a plunger, you should stop plunging. Remember that a plunger works efficiently only in clearing out a clogged drainpipe or toilet bowl. Other than that, a plunger may just make a bigger mess.

3. Use An Auger or A Drain Snake

If using a plunger did not unclog your toilet, you should consider using an auger or a drain snake. Both of them work similarly. Toilet augers are designed to work accordingly with the shape of the toilet and the s-shaped trap. They crawl through the drain pipe and snag the clog. However, in some cases, an auger can break the clog. The clog then directs to the sewer from the toilet.

4. Remove Excess Water And Waste

In the event of a toilet overflow, acting fast is crucial. The longer water and waste sit on the floor the more damage they can cause. Water can seep through the surrounding cabinets and walls and allow bacteria to flourish.

Use a wet/dry shop vac to remove standing water and waste. You can also towels and blankets to remove water. Just make sure to wash them properly after use.

4. Call a professional plumber to fix the problem.

5. Call a professional water damage restoration company to safely and thoroughly clean toilet water damage.

Is Toilet Water Dangerous

Potentially. The water from a toilet overflow may contain microbial or contaminants that can be harmful to you. If the water involved contains some amount of urine, it may be somewhat contaminated. On the other hand, if the water has some solid waste, the contains a significant level of contaminants and that you should wear proper protective gear when attempting to clean up the damage.

How To Prevent Future Toilet Overflows

The most effective way of preventing toilet overflows is the proper use of your toilet. Avoid flushing things like flushable wipes, paper towels, tissue, fabric, soap and sanitary products in your toilet bowl. Do not flush fatty and oily liquids like lotion and cream down your toilet. Oils and fats can accumulate in your drain pipe and eventually cause a blockage.

Furthermore, make sure to perform regular maintenance of your toilet. Check the valves, chains, fill and other components of your toilet to ensure that they are in good condition.

Need Help With Water Damage From A Toilet Overflow?

In the event of a toilet overflow, it is necessary to take immediate action. Even it is possible for you to clean up the damage on your own, at times, it is best to leave it to professionals. The water may contain contaminants that can pose harm to you and your family. The damage may require a safe and thorough cleanup procedure.

The experts at Superior Restoration have proper sanitation procedures and equipment to ensure that your home is back to its original condition and free from any harmful bacteria. Contact our professionals and get a free quote today.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

How Can Water Cause Structural Damage To Your Home?

Your home should be the safest place you can have where you and your family can rest well. But any kind of intruder can leave damage to your home, just like water damage to the structure of your home.

What Is Structural Damage?

Structural damage is any type of damage that weakens the integrity and safety of your home, both interior and exterior. Any type of disaster can cause structural damage to your home, but the most common culprits of this type of damage are high winds and water. In case of water damage, any sorts of water events like flooding, burst pipes, and others can all damage your home’s structure. Knowing how water can cause structural damage to your home can prevent you from dealing with severe damage and can keep you and your family safe by taking action immediately.

Here are the types of structural damage water can do.

Roof Decking – Your roof should be made sturdy but overtime roof shingles and flashing become weak and broken. Any missing or broken shingles and flashing can cause water to seep into your home through your roof and into your ceiling. Water leak from your roof can deteriorate roof decking, joists, and beams. When water continues to seep into your home, wood can crack and even warp, eventually causing your roof to collapse.

Ceilings and Walls – Most ceilings and walls in homes are made of either gypsum drywall boards or lathe and plaster. Both of them are made for long-lasting and solid coverings. However, both of them can become soften and crumble when wet. While metal studs won’t be a problem because they are resistant to water damage, wood studs can swell and warp when they stay wet. As a result, walls crack and crumble faster, and ceilings eventually break down because of the force of gravity that causes water to move downward.

Subfloors and Floorings – Floorings are usually built with different materials. Some of them are water-resistant, but any kind of floorings eventually becomes damaged by water. For instance, carpeting easily gets deteriorated if the water stays on the surface for a long time. Moreover, vinyl tiles usually pop out of the floor, laminated flooring and hardwood swell, warp and even crack.

Support Beams, Joists and Columns – These support systems of your home are very important to keep it standing. The beams, joists, and columns of your home are the ones holding the majority of your home’s weight. While beams and joists are placed horizontally across your home to and from as the base of your ceilings and floors, support columns are placed in basements and crawlspaces to hold the weight of your first floor. Any of them can become deteriorated and can even cause ceilings and floors to sag or collapse when they remain wet for a longer time.

Home’s Foundation – This can be the most important structure of your home, yet it can experience water damage in many ways. Over time, when water is uninterruptedly seeping into the foundation of your home, it can become weak. Water can seep through cracks and gaps and if left unaddressed can cause your foundation to crumble and even collapse.

Repairing Structural Damage Due To Water

Any type of structural damage due to water should be addressed immediately. Thus, it is necessary to remove any standing water and dry out the affected area right after flooding or water damage.

If you choose to do the cleanup on your own, you may rent professional pumps to remove the water. Then, place dehumidifiers or air movers to dry up the area. Moreover, even clean water can become contaminated when coming in contact with contaminated materials or when left standing for some period of time. That is why you should wear protective gear like gloves, boots, and masks to protect yourself during the cleanup procedure.

When water is completely extracted, remove the water-damaged materials and dry the area using fans or dehumidifiers.

Hiring A Water Damage Restoration Contractor

In some cases, fixing structural damage due to water can be complicated. Repairing on your own sometimes does more harm than good. Sometimes, you might put yourself in danger while doing the cleanup and repair. Thus, hiring a professional water damage restoration contractor is highly recommended.

They are experts in dealing with water removal and structural drying. A professional water damage contractor, like Superior Restoration, is well equipped with advanced tools and techniques that ensure complete restoration. They will make sure to eliminate any potential issues and prevent mold growth, which is the usual aftermath of water damage. You can rest assured that your home will be back in its same condition before the water damage occurred.

If you are now dealing with structural damage because of flood or any type of water event, don’t hesitate to call us. We respond quickly to any type of disaster. If you want to know more about our emergency water extraction services, you may contact 951-221-4695.