General Cleaning Techniques
- Personal protective equipment: Gloves, a protective mask, long-sleeved shirts and pants should be worn on site to minimize contact with ash.
- Remove contents: Remove contents from the house. While some contents may have to be discarded, others can be effectively hand cleaned. Cleaning contents in an ultrasonic machine is also an option with some items.
- Ventilate: Open windows and doors to remove odor.
- Beware of other contaminants: Lead and asbestos can turn a fire restoration job into an environmental restoration job if they’ve become disturbed.
- Hand scrubbing: Fire damage work is one of the most tedious types of repair work. It involves a lot of handwork, such as scrubbing walls and structures with sponges — and using chemicals and specialized restoration equipment, such as media blasting tools, in the event of heavy residue.
- Duct cleaning: Following restoration, a duct cleaning is required. That’s because smoke and soot have a tendency to become trapped within a home or business’s duct system. This can spread contaminants — and odors — to other areas of the home when in operation. Hence, a professional duct cleaning is necessary.
Choose the Right CompanyWhere a water damage situation can be restored in as little as three days, it’s not uncommon for a fire damage situation to last several weeks. It can even last for many months if reconstruction is involved. Hence, proper cleaning and handling of a project is all the more important. It is critical that you hire a company that is certified in fire through the Institute of Inspection and Restoration (IICRC). Contact us Today with any questions by clicking here: Fire Damage Restoration
There’s something about autumn that energizes many people, getting them to take on projects and plans that they may have been putting off for a while. So while you’re busy making plans for the winter months ahead, make sure you also take the time to take care of some home projects that are best done during the early fall months. These five projects are under $2000 each, and can help make your home more comfortable for the months ahead.
Furnace RepairYou don’t want to wait until the cold winter months to turn on your furnace and find that it isn’t working. That’s why early fall is the best time to schedule your furnace repair. This off-peak time often costs less than it will in January, and gives you plenty of flexibility to schedule the technician at your convenience. Waiting until winter to tackle this project will mean you pay a higher rate in labor fees, and you risk your furnace breaking down when you need it the most.
- Cost: The average cost to replace the heat exchanger on a furnace is $1000 to $1700.
- Money Saving Tips:
- Make sure you change your furnace’s filter regularly to avoid putting a strain on the exchanger and causing it to burn out faster.
- Call as early in the month as possible before rates begin to go up in preparation of the busy season.
Install a Portable GeneratorIf you live in an area that sees severe weather during the fall and winter months, you may want to invest in a portable generator to help keep your home running in case of a power outage. Portable generators come in many sizes so you can find the right fit for your home. Install one in early fall before costs go up during the colder months, and ensure that you’re ready for the first outage of the year. Once the snow begins to fly, you can expect the demand for generators to go through the roof driving up prices and limiting availability. Waiting too long could mean that you run the risk of not finding one at a reasonable price or that you need to go without power in the event of a storm.
- Cost: The average cost to install a portable generator is $2000.
- Money Saving Tips:
- If you don’t use your whole home every day, get a smaller generator that can power only the essential areas for a significant savings.
- Purchase early in the season before prices begin to rise to meet demand.
Mold RemediationAfter a warm, humid summer, mold is a very common problem in a lot of areas. Basements, attics, and bathrooms are all particularly susceptible to mold growth. Before you spend more time indoors in the winter, you’ll want to ensure that any mold is removed before it can cause health problems. Once the weather dries out in the early fall is the best time to get this done. Mold that began in the summer months will continue to grow right through the winter, so the early all is the best time of year to tackle this job, while the air is dryer and the mold hasn’t had as much time to spread.
- Cost: The average cost of mold remediation for a 10×10 space is $500.
- Money Saving Tips:
- Dry out the room with the mold thoroughly with dehumidifiers and fans to prevent it from spreading.
- Take care of this issue as soon as you see it before it has a chance to spread to more areas of your home and make you or your family ill.
Install Gutter GuardsDuring the autumn months leaves and pine needles drop from trees at a very fast rate. These can collect in your gutter, clogging them up and forcing water back onto your roof. A gutter guard can help prevent this by stopping the debris from entering your gutters. Take care of this issue in early fall when it isn’t too hot to work on your gutters, but before the leaves start falling to get the best results. Wait too long and you may have to pay a higher cost in labor due to demand and the fact that your gutters will need to be cleaned prior to installation.
- Cost: The average cost to install gutter guards is around $200.
- Money Saving Tips:
- You can install the guards yourself to save a lot of money on labor.
- Opt for gutter screens if you have easily accessible areas; they cost less, but will need to be rinsed on occasion.
Clean Your RoofYour roof can become the home to a lot of dirt and debris during the summer months, including algae, mold, moss, and leaves. The more debris that lands on your roof, the bigger the problem, because things like moss and leaves can trap water beneath them, weakening your shingles. When snow falls, this problem will become worse, potentially causing leaks. September or October is the best time of year to clean your roof; it’s not too hot to work, and you’ll want to get the bulk of the debris off before the leaves begin to fall, making it harder to clean.
- Cost: The average cost of cleaning a roof is around $250 to $300.
- Money Saving Tips:
- If you’re comfortable on your roof, you can clean it yourself with a mixture of bleach and water and a soft-bristled scrub brush.
- Schedule your roof cleaning early in the fall, as this is a busy time of year for roofers; the earlier you make the call, the less it will potentially cost.
Get Your Home Ready for FallSeptember and October are great times of year to work on your home. The heat and humidity are over, but the cold winter months are still in the distance. Take care of these five projects as early in the fall as possible to get the best results and savings. Read More Here: 5 Home Improvements You Should Tackle in Early Fall
The History of Meth
The Decontamination Process
- Remove Porous Materials
- Dry Clean
- Wet Clean
- Depression (by far the most common)
- Trauma (death, divorce, abuse, loss of some kind)
- Heredity (grew up in a hoarding home) and Genetics
- Fear of becoming poor
- Fear of forgetting (items hold memories)
- Perfectionists (until they find the perfect spot for something….)
- Don’t want to be wasteful
- Brain Injuries/Stroke/Anneurysm
- To Push Others Away/Safety
- Kleptomania/Impulse Control
- And literally hundreds of other reasons
Developing trust is vital:A hoarder has a fear of losing their belongings. When there has been a fire or other loss that affects these contents, the hoarder will be forced to deal with the loss that is often times quite substantial as cleaning most of these items may not be economical. Sometimes you may even find yourself in a hazmat situation due to mold and unsanitary conditions you may find in the home due to excess garbage or rotting materials. The first thing you need to do is establish a workable relationship with them by gaining their trust. Ask them what their concerns are and what items are most important to them. Listening to their concerns is vital if you want to gain their confidence and trust so that they will give you the ability to handle the job the way you will need to. If the hoarder feels their concerns are validated they will feel confidence in you and your ability to help them thru the loss. Be sure to have a conversation with the adjuster on the job and ideally ask them to do a walk thru with you. This way they will understand the magnitude that you are dealing with. If a hoarder doesn’t feel that you understand them and their concerns about their items, they will not trust you in their home. Once you have your homeowner’s trust, they will feel comfortable trusting your judgment. This will allow you to take control and make decisions about what is destroyed and what is restorable.
Coming Up With A Clear Game PlanYour homeowner in a hoarding scenario needs to feel reassured that you will make the right decision when it comes to salvaging their contents. Sometimes this means convincing them to let things go that are of no real value i.e. magazines, papers and keepsakes. Remember that this is an overwhelming situation for the average person to deal with let alone someone who suffers from this type separation anxiety when it comes to their “stuff”. Make a plan of action they are part of. Enlist them to help go thru items that may be able to just be thrown away. Such items are not even logged on a destroyed list due to no monetary value. The biggest fear these types of homeowners have is losing items that will be thrown out or destroyed and not knowing what those items were. Having them involved in destroying such items will go a long way in helping them process their loss and deal with these emotions on the spot. Allowing them to let go and facilitate in the restoring process. Having a game plan will not only put them at ease knowing what to expect, but it will also make sure that you are both on the same page with the final result that you are trying to accomplish. This way there are no surprises. A game plan will give you and the homeowner clear timelines. After all, an insurance company isn’t necessarily going to want to pay you to take a ton of extra time to handle this type of job over several weeks so boundaries are important.
Documentation Is More Important Than EverIn any property loss cleaning job, emotions are high and there can be stress. Particularly for a hoarder, stress levels can be off the charts. Having good documentation can be key in keeping everyone on the same page. This documentation should include a detailed logged destroyed authorization, returned items sheet, and delicates and collectibles release forms that are all signed and dated by your homeowner as well as a representative from your company. You will also want to be sure your photo inventory and job photo documentation is very thorough and detailed. When dealing with such a mass of items, your homeowner may likely not remember some of the items they own. It’s vital that a good photo inventory be taken before anything is processed or packed out. Imagine having a complete stranger handling all of your personal belongings, memories and keepsakes. For anyone, this would be difficult to go thru. To be able to perform the cleaning and restoring job efficiently, you have to gain control of the situation. This is only accomplished through communication, gaining trust and documenting everything. Often times, we hear back from previous hoarders in which we performed a job for. The cleaning and reconstruction after the loss, such as a fire or flood, was actually a blessing. It forced them to deal with the situation and get help. With a little extra care and attention to detail these types of content cleaning and restoring jobs can not only go smoothly but you can play a vital role in changing someone’s life for the better in the process.
Here are five easy ways from the book that can help make any tiny room seem larger and look more stylish.
- The bigger the better: Conventional wisdom suggests using dainty furnishings in snug quarters, but designers often recommend the opposite strategy: Use bigger pieces — an optical illusion that makes the room read larger. But avoid the urge to overfurnish, and use just a few larger-scale items.
- Arrange furniture to create a room-within-a-room: People have a tendency to push their furniture up against the walls, but floating the furniture makes a room bigger – even though it doesn’t feel like you’re maximizing space.
- Fake a view: Create the illusion of a more loft-like environment. Consider adding an over scaled mirror. A larger mirror becomes a virtual window.
- Hang curtains, floor to ceiling: Hanging curtains floor to ceiling creates an elongated line that makes windows — and thus rooms — appear taller. Matchstick blinds hung just above the windows complete the effect.
- Stretch space: Stripes in any direction create visual movement with the suggestion of more space around the corner or ceiling to floor.
Tiny House Space Saving TricksLooking for a few space-saving, clutter-reducing, design enhancing, tips and tricks for your home? Many of the same clever hacks that can help a 200-square-foot micro apartment or shed-sized tiny house feel livable translate beautifully to more average-sized living spaces. Pack in an extra guest bed, create a movie theater in your living room, organize your kitchen and hide stuff you don’t use often like the tiny house pros! The Minim House by Minim Micro Homes puts a bunch of high-impact yet simple and affordable tricks to work. This results in a compact, portable home that doesn’t rely on a loft to save space.
Tuck Away your Sleeping QuartersLofts are a common feature in most small homes and apartments for a reason. They really do make a world of difference when the ceiling is high enough, taking full advantage of vertical space. A bed isn’t needed for most of the day, so there’s no reason to let it commandeer a huge swath of valuable floor space 24/7. However, lofts aren’t accessible to everyone. Even the slimmest of ladders and narrow, double-duty stairs can still get in the way. The Minim House was built to fit within the constraints of a road-legal trailer, so it has a relatively low ceiling. The solution? Tucking the bed beneath a platform that serves as the floor to a music studio. The low-profile bed is on casters, so it’s easy to pull out when you need it. This concept could easily be adapted so that home offices and studios can do double-duty as a guest room. In this case, the end of the mattress is left exposed, but you could modify it with the addition of an end panel, and even add a step that functions as a side table when the bed is pulled out.
Use Window Treatments as a Movie ScreenThink you don’t have room in your living room for a projection screen to create your own private movie theater? If you have windows, you have more space than you realize. Minim anchored this screen just above the four large windows that line one side of the tiny house. Not only is it unobtrusive when it’s not in use, it functions to block out daylight if you want to watch movies while the sun is shining. Mounted on a single pedestal, the portable table can be placed in front of the couch as a dining surface, lowered for use as a coffee table, moved to the window as a work surface or placed off to the side to free up floor space.
Mount a Shower Head from your CeilingThe entire bathroom is clad in stainless steel. The reason for this? To fit a shower into the stall-sized space, with the shower head mounted on the ceiling. When the water is on, you just pull out the shower curtain to keep the toilet from getting wet. Able to go entirely off-grid, the Minim House has a 900-watt solar array on the roof. The home is also equipped with a battery storage system. This system primarily runs 12-volt appliances like LED lights and a marine refrigerator. It’s clad in cypress, gathers its own rainwater. The original is located at the Micro Showcase in Washington D.C., if you get a chance to check it out in person. See Pictures Here: Get Space-Saving Ideas From This Clever Tiny House
DIY Copper Pipe Mini CabanaThis cabana might not be a full sized one, but it is perfect to create a private seating area for two. Just add a shade curtain across the top to act as an awning in sunny areas, or leave it uncovered in shady areas to enjoy the sky above. Add your favorite lounge chairs, outdoor sofa, or dining table beneath this free standing cabana, and enjoy!
- (5) ¾ in. x 10 ft. Copper Pipes
- (4) ¾ in. x ¾ in. Copper Presser T fitting
- (10) ¾ in. x ¾ in. 90-Degree Copper Elbow (or buy a bag of 10 and save money)
- (1) 4 in. x 4 in. x 8 ft. Pressure Treated Lumber (cut into four 24-in. pieces)
Tools and Extra Supplies
- ⅞ in. Spade Drill Bit
- Wood Glue (designed for metal and wood)
- Rust-Oleum Triple Thick Glaze
- (8) 84 in. Curtain Panels
- Compound Miter Saw (optional)
- Pipe Cutter (optional)
- (3) 2 in. x 4 in. x 96 in. Lumber OR (4) 4 in. x 4 in. post anchors
For full instructions, click here: DIY Mini Cabana
Get the FactsTo prevent another panic, always turn to credible sources for information about public health concerns. One of the most reliable is the CDC.
Establish a Chain of CommandEnsure that one person is responsible for staying informed regarding the public health concern and instructing and implementing the response to it. This will involve what cleaning solutions to use, how to use them, and what protective clothing cleaning workers should wear in an emergency, such as gloves and protective eye gear.
Understand Solutions Before UseWhile we use them every day, we may not know exactly what to expect from our different cleaning solutions. An all-purpose cleaner, for instance, is designed to remove soils from a surface; it does not sanitize or disinfect the surface.
Increase High-Touch Point CleaningOne of the lessons we learned from SARS is just how many surfaces people touch in a facility every day. In addition to light switches and doorknobs, we can add elevator buttons, vending machine controls, remote control devices, railings, copy and fax machine controls, straps and railings on public transportation, ATM screens and keypads, coffeepot handles, etc.
Know When to Introduce DisinfectantsIn a health scare, there are typically three stages that impact cleaning. Stage 1 is when there is the potential for a public health concern in a community. Stage 2 is when there is a public health scare in a community, and Stage 3, the most critical stage, is when the pathogen is infecting a specific property or properties. At each stage, cleaning frequencies should increase; introduce sanitizers and disinfectants at Stage 2. There is no question that sanitizers and disinfectants are necessary in a Stage 2 or 3 alert. What we need to realize is that these are very powerful cleaning solutions, and in the United States, there are currently no EPA-registered disinfectants that are green-certified. Because of this, we need to take the following precautions:
- Make sure the disinfectant is designed to kill the specific pathogens causing the health concern. This is spelled out on the product label.
- Ensure cleaning personnel read and understand the label instructions, including dilution rates and surface dwell time to maximize product efficacy.
- Use portion-control systems with concentrated disinfectants. This will help reduce environmental impacts and cost.
Save Time and Effort by Learning What you can Clean Less OftenMany people pride themselves on keeping their living space clean. It may be surprising that there are certain items and spaces that actually don’t require as much washing and scrubbing as some may think. These 9 things that may not need to be cleaned as often as once though:.
PillowsPillow cases need to be washed once every other week. Pillows can go three to six months without being cleaned. When ready to be washed, most pillows can be placed in a washing machine and tumbled dry.
ComforterSimilar to pillows, comforters need only to be washed four times a year. This does not include duvet cover.
SmartphoneThough tempting to clean a smartphone every day, it is not necessary. Instead, washing hands before tapping on the touch screen, then cleaning the phone once a week with antibacterial wipes will be sufficient.
OvenAuto-cleaning an oven takes it out of commission for a number of hours. Still, it should be done at least once a month. However, a deep clean once every three to four months is a great way to get rid of drips or drops that may cause excessive smoke or smell when using the oven.
PantryIt may be common to reorganize the pantry after each visit to the grocery store. Purging the pantry once every season is a good plan. Dry and canned goods last a long time. Instead of focusing on the pantry, place more efforts on cleaning the refrigerator more often, where food tends to spoil…fast.
Bath ToysSqueeze out any liquid after a toy has been used, then once a month soak the toys in a bucket filled with a gallon of water and a half cup of vinegar.
BooksIt is not necessary to clean the spines of books as often as the shelves are dusted. A good wipe down on the book spines once a season is enough. This will help protect the condition of the books.
Furniture SlipcoversTwice a year is good enough for slip covers.
TowelsStretch the lifespan of towels by using the same one for up to a week. As long as towels are hung up so they can properly air-dry without getting mildewed, there should be no problems.