90 SE Bridgeford Blvd, Bend, OR 97702 (541) 385-0752
Fire, Restoring

General Cleaning Techniques

Smoke and soot can penetrate paint, carpet, upholstery and clothes. Carpet can be deep cleaned and clothes can be taken to the dry cleaner. However,  properly restoring walls, structures and objects is a different story. Here’s a look at some general cleaning techniques that all Restoration Company’s should be using:
  • 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 Company

Where 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  
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Cleaning
Methamphetamine is not a new drug, although it has become more powerful in recent years as techniques for its manufacture have evolved.

The History of Meth

According to DrugFreeWorld.org, Amphetamine was first made in 1887 in Germany and methamphetamine, more potent and easy to make, was developed in Japan in 1919. The crystalline powder was soluble in water, making it a perfect candidate for injection.
In the 1930s, doctors began using amphetamines in the United States to treat asthma and narcolepsy.
Methamphetamine went into wide use during World War II, when both sides used it to keep troops awake. High doses were given to Japanese Kamikaze pilots before their suicide missions. And after the war, methamphetamine abuse by injection reached epidemic proportions when supplies stored for military use became available to the Japanese public causing post-war Japan to experience the first meth epidemic.
In the 1950s, methamphetamine was prescribed as a diet aid and to fight depression. Easily available, “pep pills” or “bennies” were sold as a nonmedical stimulant to college students, truck drivers and athletes and abuse of the drug spread.
This pattern changed markedly in the 1960s with the introduction of home manufacturing of the drug, worsening the abuse.
Then, in 1970, the U.S. government added methamphetamine to the Controlled Substances Act regulating the drug. After that, American motorcycle gangs controlled most of the production and distribution of the drug.
During the 1980s, Mexican drug manufacturers began producing forms of the drug that could be smoked and towards the end of the decade, new ways to cook methamphetamine began to appear.
In the 1990s, Mexican drug trafficking organizations set up large laboratories in California. While these massive labs are able to generate 50 pounds of the substance in a single weekend, smaller private labs were springing up in kitchens and apartments, earning the drug one of its names, “stove top.” Rural locations became ideal for cooking meth because of geographic isolation.

Meth Today

Today, most of our meth in North America comes out of Mexico or is produced in soda bottles known as the “Shake n’ Bake” method. Most of the contaminated properties become contaminated through usage rather than from production. It is estimated that more than 2.1 million Americans are currently using methamphetamine.
The problem is that users can contaminate anywhere from one to 50 properties per year, leading to an estimated 12 million properties contaminated in the U.S. and another 800,000 properties contaminated in Canada. Users move from house, to apartment, to hotel, to car, to new relationship, to the next motel, etc. Everywhere they go, they continue to use or smoke meth.
Nothing inside this drug is natural. Most of the ingredients contain carcinogens and poisons leaving a dirty trail behind that enters into the cold air returns circulating throughout the property. Studies indicate that just smoking meth two to four times can contaminate a property above habitable standards. Meth residue is sticky and clings to surfaces and inside the ducting system until it is physically decontaminated and removed.

The Decontamination Process

Here’s a quick outline of the process:
  • Remove Porous Materials
  • Dry Clean
  • Wet Clean
  • Rinse
  • Test
Decontaminating a property starts with removing all porous materials including furniture, carpet, carpet pad, soft ducts, etc. Next, the furnace and duct work is cleaned using duct cleaning equipment to remove dust, dirt, and debris.
For more information, call us today 541-385-0752
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Restoring, Uncategorized
When it comes to dealing with a fire there are many challenges throughout the restoring and cleaning process. An even more unique challenge is completing a job where a homeowner has been hoarding, proving all the more complex. There are lots of articles that have been written going in-depth on the psychological side of hoarding and its impact. It would be wise to do your homework if you are going to tackle cleaning jobs that involve a hoarder. This will leave you better equipped to help your client on a psychological level in these types of scenarios. A great place to start might be here. People become hoarders for many reasons:
  • Depression (by far the most common)
  • Trauma (death, divorce, abuse, loss of some kind)
  • OCD/ADD/ADHD
  • 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
  • Dimentia
  • To Push Others Away/Safety
  • Kleptomania/Impulse Control
  • And literally hundreds of other reasons
Understanding these reasons will go a long way in helping you understand your client and how best to handle the cleanup with them. There are many things to consider like sanitation, employee safety, job timelines, etc. It is very important to realize what may look like garbage or maybe even junk (items with no real monetary value) to you as a restorer may hold great value in the eyes of your homeowner. And getting them to allow you to handle these items in the most efficient way can be tricky.

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 Plan

Your 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 Ever

In 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.
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Uncategorized

Here are five easy ways from the book that can help make any tiny room seem larger and look more stylish.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Stretch space: Stripes in any direction create visual movement with the suggestion of more space around the corner or ceiling to floor.
To see examples of these great ideas, click here: 5 Ways to Make Tiny Rooms Larger
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Renovations
 

Beyond DIY: Tips from ‘This Old House’ to save on a home remodel

We can’t emphasize enough how critical a budget is to a successful remodeling project. Too many remodeling regrets are related to the budget. Some come in the form of “we should have gone ahead and done X at that time” as well as “we’re halfway through the project, but we have used up the entire budget already.” Getting budget and project aligned is a step that must be addressed in the planning stage to avoid those regrets. With that said, we all want to save money anytime we can, and this article offers just that. While much of the information is directed at the do-it-yourself individual, there are tips that apply to any type of remodeler. Saving money with manual labor is a given. However, not everyone has the time or skill set to save money with manual labor. Instead, we would like to point out a few of their more general tips.

Increase Efficiency

• The first way the article suggests to save money on a remodel is to increase efficiency not size. That saying is practically a mantra around our office. Less square footage will always save money on the overall budget. We always tell our clients that the basic remodeling formula is Size x Finish = Cost. If you can reconfigure existing space without building an addition, you can save a lot of money. Plus, using space differently within your home can change your life. Moving walls within your home — even structural bearing walls — is more cost-effective than adding on. Just having more space is not the answer to a home that doesn’t have a functional floor plan. When clients come to us asking for a new room out back or over the garage, we step back and discuss how they use their current space and how they intend to use the new space. Often their goals can be reached within the confines of their existing walls or with an addition that is considerably smaller than they originally imagined.

Consult an Architect

• Another suggestion from “This Old House” is to consult an architect. We love it when an outside source sees value in what we do. We can endlessly preach that consulting an architect will save money in the long run, but it will always sound self-serving. Glave writes that not every remodeling project requires the full participation of an architect. However, a homeowner can certainly benefit by at least consulting with one at the beginning of the project. An architect can help them get on the right path, and he or she can consult with them throughout the project as needed.

Make Decisions Beforehand

• Another great “This Old House” tip: Make decisions early. How often have we heard, “But we don’t have to decide that (choose that) yet, do we? Can’t we wait until we get closer to that?” One of the benefits of working with an architect is that we are great nags; we will always urge a homeowner to plan everything possible as soon as possible. This not only helps keep the budget in line, it will make for a smoother, more successful end result. If a homeowner creates accurate and thorough specifications for the project, then he or she will be able to balance the budget and schedule the project successfully. This includes listing all finishes (such as flooring, countertops, etc.) and fixtures (such as appliances, plumbing fixtures, etc.), as well as selecting all building materials (windows, doors, siding, etc.) up front.  This is a great reality check that should not wait until the project is underway
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Renovations, Uncategorized

Use These Tips to Make Living Through a Remodel Easier

Allergies will most likely be triggered when construction dust is everywhere in your home during a remodel. Demolition and drywall sanding can cause airborne dust that can be hard to keep under control. If you are planning on living in your home during a remodel, you must be prepared for due diligence and what you are willing to tolerate if you are planning on living in your home during a remodel.
Unless you are tearing your home down to the studs, most people who choose to live in their house during construction can survive the process with careful planning. Don’t wait until the job starts to assign your designated living space and get situated within your home. You also have to be prepared to get ahead of the dust before the remodel begins. Here are some of the ways I help contain the dust and keep my clients’ homes clean. Use these tips and pass them onto your general contractor.
  1. Pack Like You’re Moving
  2. Create a Zone
  3. Zip Up The Walls
  4. Set Up a Temporary Kitchen
  5. Broom Sweep Clean
  6. Spray Down The Dust
For Even More Details, Click Here: Surviving a Remodel
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Renovations, Uncategorized

Get Inspired with this Kitchen Transformation

When they bought their home, Kelly Goldman and her husband Jonathan knew that every single element within its kitchen needed updating. The Goldman’s wasted absolutely no time getting to work. In fact, they started the DIY demo the very day they closed escrow! Then they found that various portions of the project took considerable time — and they also paced everything in order to pay for it. So it wasn’t until a year and a half later that the family would be able to enjoy the fruits of their fully DIY labor. In the end, they created a spectacular transformation on a fraction of a traditional remodel budget that was so worth the wait. Read More Here: Kitchen DIY Transformation
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Renovations

Renovation Techniques to Help you Save

Homeowners and homebuyers alike have the struggle of deciding if they should renovate a home. A renovation can cost thousands of dollars and be very time consuming – making buyers cringe and sellers groan. How can you avoid these headaches?
When thinking of potential renovation projects it is important to consider if the costs are going to outweigh the benefits. If you’re hoping to sell your home soon – one to two years – you want to prioritize projects that are going to give you the most return on your investment. Ultimately you should make decisions based on your budget, time constraints, and the type of home you are renovating. A modern kitchen can look out of place in a historic home just as wood paneling looks dated in a newer, updated home. The projects below can be adapted to many different styles and budgets, making them a good starting point for those looking to both upgrade their home and spend wisely. 1. Entry Door Replacement/Remodel 2. Insulating the Attic 3. Adding an Attic Bedroom 4. Remodeling the Kitchen 5. Siding Replacement To Read More: Renovating your Home with the Best ROI
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Fire

A New Technique for Fire Damage Restoration

Having part of your home on fire is something you never want to face. However, statistics show just how often this can happen. Nearly 370,000 home fires occur each year according to the National Fire Protection Association. The estimated costs for this were close to $7 billion in total property damage. Many times, these fires may start in one part of your home or business but are able to be contained . Even though containment eliminates the necessity for complete demolition and reconstruction, it is still necessary for proper cleaning of soot and smoke in order to restore the property to a pre-loss condition. Contractors have long relied upon ozone, foggers, masking agents, filters and chemicals for deodorization. But the hydroxyl generator is a new technology that may be preferable to all of these methods. In most instances, the hydroxyl generator has now become an essential tool for many disaster cleanup contractors. Learn More Here: Effective Hydroxyl Cleaning
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Mold
  When Mold Becomes a Problem As you can see, molds play an important and friendly role in maintaining a healthy ecology. But they can, at times, become a foe instead of a friend. While mold spores are everywhere, when the kinds, location and quantities reach levels that have the potential to cause harm to humans they become a foe. The potential adverse reactions from exposure to molds include sensitivities, allergies, asthma, disease and toxic reactions. Read More Here: More About Mold
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