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Devices Used to Combat Smoke Damages and Odors

12/31/2021 (Permalink)

Thermal fogger, smoke odor removal Thermal fogger

Smoke Damage and Odor Elimination Devices

After your Bay Port, MN, business has been affected by a fire, you'll learn that not all damages are structural. Some of the longest-lasting damages may include smoke damage. Fortunately, there are several devices professionals could use while smoke cleaning to reduce or eliminate unpleasant odors from your property and furnishings.

Services Provided by Fire Remediation Professionals

Content restoration professionals specialize in dealing with the many types of damage caused by fires and as a result of fire-saving efforts. Some of the methods they use to clean furnishings, equipment, and inventory include:

  • Dry and wet cleaning
  • Foam cleaning
  • Abrasive cleaning
  • Immersion cleaning

Once the cleanup is complete, these professionals will turn their attention to stains and odors left by smoke.

Air Filtration Devices

These air purification devices remove contaminants directly from the air. They are generally made of some type of fibrous material that attracts and traps particulates, such as soot, mold, and bacteria. They are a valuable tool for smoke cleaning in rooms or structures affected by contaminants and when high levels of pollutants are present.

Ozone Machines

Ozone generators are another effective tool for dealing with smoke damage. These devices create ozone gasses and kill or remove airborne particulates. They are effective at deodorizing and disinfecting, so the air in your building won't hold onto an unpleasant smoke odor.

Thermal Foggers

This type of device removes odors by recreating the same heat and pressurization that caused the odors initially. Heat is used to vaporize a solution that penetrates into hard-to-reach locations, eliminating smells that are trapped in porous walls or furnishings.

With a variety of tools available to combat the bad smells leftover after the flames are gone, fire recovery professionals can choose the best method for getting your business back on track. Smoke odor damage may not be the first thing that concerns you when fire affects your business place, but it does present a significant challenge to getting back to normal. Smoke cleaning services are a crucial part of a full recovery.

How Can I Find Mold in My Building?

12/31/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth in the build up on the sheet rock of the outer wall. Mold found in Afton, MN.

Ways To Find Mold In Your Building

You may be concerned about mold growth in your building in Afton, MN. Maybe your concern is due to the nature of your business and the need for a clean environment, or maybe it is for the benefit of your employees. Either way, you want to be sure your building doesn’t have a mold problem and need help finding any source of mold. Since mold is abundant in the environment, indoors and out, but it may be hard to find colonies since they thrive in places where you are not frequenting. Here are some ways you can find mold:

• Consider an indoor environmental specialist. A specialist may also use special equipment to detect hidden moisture, where your mold source might be hard to see.

• Check out all plumbing areas. Look for slow leaks as well as obvious ones. If you suspect a pipe is leaking but can’t see it in action, wrap a paper towel or cloth towel around it and check it later to see if it is saturated.

• Look for old water damage. If you had water damage from a natural flood or an indoor pipe failure, then recheck the area affected. Improper repairs may hide moisture that is still present.

• Follow your nose. Notice any musty smelling areas? Try to pinpoint the source of the moisture.

The indoor environmental specialist may do a mold test. This is especially important to check an area that was thought to be cleaned or that may have been damaged by water long ago.

Mold Remediation

Once the source of mold has been identified, the indoor environmental specialists will work with a professional mold remediator to focus on containment, removal and disinfecting of the contaminated area. Sometimes the mold gets into hard to reach spots and porous building materials that may need removed and replaced, but the right specialist can handle all aspects of your recovery from inspection to rebuild.

What Homeowners Insurance Means For Broken Pipes

12/31/2021 (Permalink)

Four air movers drying a wall Drying process in a Lakeland, MN home after water damage.

What Homeowners Insurance Means For Broken Pipes

A bursting pipe leads to a flood of water and costs. Insurance will reduce the costs once the claim goes through. Understanding the process is essential to know what to expect from homeowners insurance when your home has an unexpected pipe issue.

Determining Fault

First, insurance companies will send an inspector to your home to evaluate the circumstances of the claim. They will evaluate if the break was unexpected and unpreventable. They consider several situations homeowner negligence:

  • An unthawed frozen pipe bursting when a heater could’ve been used
  • Ignoring a long-term leak
  • Tampering with the pipe and breaking it
  • Not attending to aging or rusting pipes with regular home maintenance

It’s the burden of the insurance company to prove fault. Insurance will only cover what’s needed to fix broken pipe if the damage is unmistakably an accident.

What Is Covered

Once the policy holder is cleared of any fault, the insurance coverage deploys. Most policies will cover every cleanup and repair service necessary up to the policy’s monetary limit.

There are additional parts of an insurance policy that may be applicable to you. Dwelling coverage is offered to make sure your home is structurally sound by covering the repair of pivotal parts of your home such as walls, roofs and floors. Property coverage insures your belongings up to a limit if they are damaged or lost in a flood. Lastly, additional living expenses coverage pays for a hotel and accommodations if you are not allowed to reside in your home during restoration.

The Process

The pipe will be repaired by a plumbing professional arranged by the insurance. The secondary water damage from the burst or leak will be handled by an expert water damage cleanup crew. Drywall, carpet and paint restoration are included in these services.

A broken pipe doesn’t have to mean going broke fixing your home. An unforeseen flood in Lakeland, MN, is easily remedied by using and understanding your insurance.

3 Mistakes to Avoid During a Workplace Fire

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

Fire in the building Fire in a building.

What Not to Do During a Workplace Fire

Making sure fire extinguishers are accessible and smoke alarms are maintained are crucial steps to take as an employer. If a fire does erupt in your workplace, it’s natural for people to panic. Unfortunately, this can lead to common mistakes that aggravate the situation. To ensure everyone makes it out of the building safely during an emergency, here are a few safety guidelines to remind your staff of during fire training.

Break Windows

Smoke inhalation is a threat to those inside the building. In an effort to access fresh air, some people might open windows or break the glass. However, when oxygenated air from outside rushes in, the intensity of the fire will build more quickly.

As smoke and heat rise, everyone should stay close to the ground and crawl to the exits to avoid fumes. If exits are blocked, put wet towels under the doors to keep out the smoke instead of opening windows.

Fail to Use Emergency Exits

fire extinguishers. When a fire starts, people might try to evacuate the building the same way they got in. However, you shouldn’t open any doors leading to the main corridors, especially if the handles are warm to the touch. Flames could be on the other side of these, and opening them could feed more oxygen to the fire and expose people to smoke.

To keep the fire from spreading, instruct your staff to use only emergency exit doors, stairwells, and fire escapes.

Forget to Alert Others

When they hear the fire alarm protection system, some people may think it’s just a test. If they don’t smell smoke or feel the heat, they might fail to take action.

To protect everyone in the workplace, people who see the flames or smoke should yell “fire” to alert others that it is not a drill. Those trained to use fire extinguishers can try to control the blaze while others call emergency services for help. If anyone in the workplace has mobility difficulties, assign someone to ensure they can get out safely during your safety plan design.

Keeping Your Basement Dry

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

Wet basement Water event in a basement.

During the wet months of the year, we run across homes that have had multiple water events in the basement over the years.  These homeowners have redone landscaping, put up new gutters and downspouts and, still have water, in the basement.  What else can a homeowner do?  The can look into drain tile options:

What is Drain Tile?

Chances are if your home has a basement and has experienced flooding, someone has told you to get drain tile. But what is drain tile and how does it help?

Essentially drain tile is a way to protect your home from groundwater flooding. It redirects water away from your home before it can enter and cause damage. It is one of those things you never need – until you do! Increased run off from urban expansion and more frequent severe weather systems make our homes more likely to flood. Investing in a drain tile system could save you from lengthy insurance claims and expensive cleanups in the future.

How Drain Tile Works

Despite its name, drain tile is actually not tile at all. When used in the construction industry it actually refers to drainage piping. Drain tile is a system of subterranean drainage laid around the footings of a building. Water always chooses the path of least resistance so drain tile offers the easiest path. The pipe used for drain tile is porous so water finds its way into the pipe system rather than your home. Water is then directed away from your home using gravity or an electric sump pump. Once in the pipe the system directs the water to a dry well or releases it above ground to run off into a storm drain or sewage system.

Stay Warm This Winter With These Space Heater Safety Tips

11/3/2021 (Permalink)

Space Heater Space heaters can be a great way to stay warm.

Tips To Prevent a Burned Space Heater

Space heaters can be a great way to stay warm over the long, cold winter months and save money on heating costs, but they can also be dangerous. Though small, space heaters can wreak havoc if their owners aren't careful. Here are a few safety tips you may want to keep in mind to prevent a burned space heater accident:

  • Pick the right place to put it.
  • Plug it directly into an outlet.
  • Shut off and unplug your heater when it's not in use.
  • Perform routine inspections.

If you keep the above tips in mind when heating your home, you should be able to enjoy a nice, cozy and event-free winter.

Pick the Right Floor Space

The number one cause of burned heater accidents is proximity to flammable objects. Curtains, table cloths, blankets, and other fabrics can, when they get too hot, burst into flames. You can prevent this from happening by placing your mini heater in a spot all by itself.

Plug Directly Into an Outlet

Another common cause of burned space heater accidents is overheating via a power source. Space heaters use up a lot of energy. If you use a power strip that cannot support that kind of energy, you risk overheating, electrical shock and fire. Prevent this by plugging your heater directly into a wall outlet.

Shut the Heating Unit Off

When you leave your apartment or house, turn the heater off. You should take extra precautions to do so if you have animals in the home that can knock the heater over.

Maintain Your Heating Unit

Finally, keep your unit clean and free of dust and other pollutants. By regularly wiping down the heater you can ensure that it always performs to maximum capacity and does not go up into flames because it is clogged and overworked.

Burned space heater accidents are, unfortunately, all too common. You can prevent such an accident by taking precautions. If your heater does happen to catch fire, contact your Mahtomedi, MN, smoke cleanup crew for immediate remediation assistance.

Securing Your Business After a Fire

10/26/2021 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in Lake Elmo, MN

After a Fire, How to Protect Your Business

When a major fire shuts your business down in Lake Elmo, MN, it can result in additional damage and losses unrelated to the original accident. Fire damage may leave large holes in your walls and roof, exposing inventory, equipment and other valuables not only to further damage from the elements but also to theft. Unfortunately, disaster can attract the worst sort of people and looting is common when a business has been compromised by fire. Even worse, most insurance policies will not cover losses due to theft after a fire so it’s up to you to secure your property.

Preventing Fires

The best thing you can do is prevent fires from occurring in the first place. The following precautions can reduce the chances of a fire and minimize damage if one occurs.

  • Keep electrical cords in good condition
  • Turn off electrical appliances before closing for the day
  • Keep work areas free of flammable materials
  • Check smoke detectors to make sure they’re working
  • Don’t place flammable materials near coffee makers, heaters, computers, or copiers
  • Install a sprinkler system

What You Can Do After a Fire

Once a fire has already occurred, there are still things you can do to protect your investment. Boarding up large openings in the structure can prevent invaders from entering. Sheets of plastic placed over these areas can further ensure that rain, snow and wind don’t wreak havoc on the contents of the building. You don’t need to do the work yourself. The fire damage remediation company in Lake Elmo, MN, you contact to handle fire cleanup and restoration should also offer boarding up services. They can usually get to work as soon as the fire department has assessed the safety of the building.

Fire damage is difficult enough on a business without adding theft or water damage to the original problem. As soon as a fire takes place, contact a fire remediation company to perform boarding up services so that your investment is safe from further harm.

44 - How To File an Insurance Claim After a Home Fire

10/17/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen cabinet burned Kitchen damaged by fire in Stillwater, MN.

Fire Insurance Claim

Suffering a home fire in Stillwater, MN, can be emotionally devastating. You may have lost a lifetime’s worth of possessions and been forced out of your home. As difficult as this time is, it’s important you act quickly to ensure your insurance company pays for the fire restoration process. Follow these basic guidelines to file an insurance claim after a home fire.

1. Document the Damage

Your fire insurance provider will require proof of the damage to your home. Take photographs or videos of everything that was damaged. Don’t just focus on the areas directly affected by the fire. Smoke can cause damage throughout your house and you should document this so that you can be reimbursed for smoke cleaning. You should also try to make a list of everything you lost in the fire.

2. Call Your Provider

Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. It can take as long as 15 days for a claims adjuster to arrive at your home to inspect the damage. The sooner you file your claim the sooner you can begin the fire restoration process.

If you need funds to pay for basic living expenses during this time, such as a hotel, food, or clothing, you can also request a cash advance from your provider. This comes out of your final settlement, so don’t splurge.

3. Secure Your Home

Your insurance company will only pay for damages caused by the fire, not by damages incurred after the fire. That means if the fire burned a hole in your roof and it rains, they won’t pay for water damage caused by the rain. Most companies specializing in fire damage restoration offer boarding and tarping services. They can secure your home to prevent any further damage.

4. Keep a Record of Your Communications

Filing an insurance claim in Stillwater, MN, can be a complicated and lengthy process. Keep careful records of all your phone calls, emails and meetings, including dates, times and the names of people you spoke with. If there is any dispute about payments for your fire restoration costs, these may come in handy.

When Nature Becomes an Art Critic

10/12/2021 (Permalink)

Expert restoring artwork Expert restoring artwork.

When Nature Takes on the Role of an Art Critic

When mold begins to overtake your paintings, it can feel like nature is criticizing your taste in art. What’s actually happening, though, is that the paint – particularly in older paintings – and canvas are fertile breeding grounds and food for mold to devour, and the climate in Oakdale, MN may even be contributing to that. So is it possible to save your paintings with mold remediation and mold cleaning, or are they lost forever to the ravages of time and mold damage?

You Can Save It – But Stay Away from Chemicals and Water

Your first instinct may be to attack your paintings with bleach and soapy water. This can ruin your paintings even worse than the mold. Acrylics are water-soluble and will begin to dissolve; oils can react poorly with bleach and other chemicals. You might save the canvas, but you’ll lose the art. Cleaning a painting suffering from mold damage is a delicate process involving:

• Dry brushing. A soft bristle brush can be used to dry brush and remove multiple types of mold, although one should be gentle.
• A mild mix of alcohol and water applied only to the back of the painting; applying to the front can dissolve the paint.
• Careful wiping with a barely-dampened cloth with water and no chemicals. Don’t use a cloth wet enough to cause damage to the paint.
• Sunning to destroy the mold. Be delicate with this, as sun exposure can also ruin paintings. Use sunlight as a deterrent in short periods before returning to cleaning with dry brush methods again.

Prevention Is the Best Measure

Mold cleaning is difficult when it comes to a prized piece of artwork. While some can be restored, it’s better to avoid altogether by preventing mold exposure with your precious art. Keep your art stored in a cool, dry place above any normal flood levels for your area. If necessary, contact art preservation specialists about mold cleaning and prevention.

Mitigation Vs. Restoration: What You Need to Know

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Flood cut performed on drywall Putting a stop to the progression of water damage to the frame and drywall.

What You Should Know About Mitigation vs. Restoration

When a flood damages your Oakdale, MN, business, taking immediate action can mean the difference between salvaging the building and suffering a total loss on your commercial investment. Contacting a flood cleanup company can be an effective first step to take, especially if it offers both mitigation and restoration services. Working with a restoration company can help you learn the difference between these two actions and allow you to form a useful plan when it comes to recovering from flood damage.

Mitigation Is the First Line of Defense

Flood waters can cause a great deal of damage to your business and effect both systems and inventory. To reduce the risk of loss, the cleanup and restoration company you work with may offer you mitigation services as a way to prevent ongoing harm to the building. Mitigation is performed quickly and might include the sealing of windows and doors to keep water and debris at bay, as well as the removal of water from areas that need immediate protection. A flood cleanup company will usually perform mitigation before advising you about any long-term repair options.

Restoration Can Provide Repair and Cleaning Solutions

Once flood waters have receded, a restoration company can help you move forward with repairs that might include water removal, the tearing out of damaged walls, carpeting and machinery, and checking for structural soundness. Restoration typically takes longer than mitigation but can ensure that your business is repaired and cleaned properly for the safety of your employees and customers.

Which Do You Need?

Whether you need mitigation or restoration services may depend on the extent of the damage and the severity of the flood. However, investing in both services can prevent immediate damage and remove water, mold and unpleasant odors afterward. A storm cleanup and restoration company can advise you about which services may best benefit you.

Flood waters can cause serious damage to your Oakdale, MN, business. However, working with a flood cleanup company and understanding the difference between mitigation and restoration can help you choose the services that will help your business get back on track.