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Fire

How to Clean a House After a Fire

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When you experience a fire at your home or business, it can feel overwhelming whether it is a small or large-scale fire. It can be difficult to know what the first steps are to take after the fire trucks finish and the fire marshal releases the scene. Here are a few things you can do to clean your house after a fire. 

 

Cleaning Materials and Protective Equipment

Before you enter the home or business, purchase heavy-duty gloves, safety goggles, a safety mask, and heavy-soled shoes. Wear these with thick socks, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants. This protects you from soot and the caustic substances used for cleaning up the aftereffects of a fire.

 

For cleaning, you will need Tri-Sodium Phosphate (TSP), a caustic substance, but the best cleaning agent for soot. You will also need a drop cloth for protecting flooring from further damage.

Laundry detergent, chlorine bleach, vanilla extract, and cleaning rags complete the list of items you will need to clean.

 

Sorting What You Can Salvage

Put on all of your protective gear before you enter your home or business. Start in the rear-most damaged rooms and sort through the items to determine which you might salvage and which you just have to throw away. Bag up the items that you could not salvage in heavy-duty garbage bags. Organize the items you could clean and keep separate.

 

Once you finish a room, take the garbage bags outside. Do this room by room so you clear the area completely for cleaning. Re-enter the room and box up the items you will take with you to clean. Remove them to your trunk or truck bed. You may need to rent a truck for a large number of items.

Move to the second room and repeat the sorting process. Work your way through the damaged home from back to front, emptying the room of the garbage bags as you complete each. Box the contents you will keep and take them to the truck.

 

Cleaning What Remains

Mix your TSP cleaner. Add four to six tablespoons of TSP to a gallon of warm water and one cup of chlorine bleach. Never remove your mask when using this cleaning mixture. It is not safe to breathe. If you get any on your skin, immediately rinse it off with cold water.

 

Cover the floor of the room you want to clean with the tarp. Clean the walls first beginning at the lower sections to prevent streaking. Work your way up to the ceiling, cleaning it last. Remove the tarp from the floor and clean the floor. Continue this process to clean each room. Allow all of the rooms to dry completely before attempting to re-paint. Take your boxes of clothing to the laundry.

 

Wash each load in laundry detergent plus a tablespoon of vanilla extract for the items that cannot get washed in bleach. Wash your white loads in bleach combined with one tablespoon of vanilla extract. Transport these cleaned items packed separately from those you still have to clean. You can clean those items in the bathtub where you are staying using mild detergent and four to six tablespoons to a gallon of warm water.

 

If this all sounds overwhelming, your best bet is to call the experts. At RainFire Restoration we help you recover from the accidents of everyday living. We provide water, fire, smoke and mold remediation services. Our team is trained, experienced, and certified to handle any job. We guarantee satisfaction and provide excellent customer service on all our projects. Call us today at (385)-366-7246.

5 Things To Do Immediately When Your Basement Floods

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You walk down to your basement expecting to see nothing abnormal but instead, you are met with water. Your basement has flooded! Flooding can leave any homeowner feeling overwhelmed and helpless but it’s not something you need to worry about if you take the right steps and call in the experts. Here are the 5 most essential things to do immediately after discovering your basement floods.

 

1. Turn off Electrical

It’s important that you turn off your electricity and gas before walking into the flooded area. It can be dangerous to enter the water while these are still on. If you are unsure how to do this you will want to call a professional before entering the flooded area. 

 

2. Determine the Source of the Flooding 

Next, you’ll want to figure out where the flooding is coming from. Once you identify the source, you’ll be able to shut it off to prevent future flooding. Flooding can occur from rain, burst pipes, and a variety of other sources. You may be tempted to start cleaning up immediately but you’ll want to do this first so you can prevent future damage.

3. Get Water Out When Your Basement Floods

The next most important thing to do is get the water out. This can be done in a variety of ways. You may choose to use a pump such as a pool pump or you may to use a traditional mop and bucket. The tools needed to remove water will depend on the severity of the flooding. 

4. Prevent Mold 

The worst result of flooding is mold so you’ll want to work to prevent mold right away. This can be done more easily in spaces with tile or hard surfaces by spraying the area with warm water and bleach. However, the only thing that can be done to prevent mold in carpet is to dry the area as fast as possible. You will want to set up fans blowing on the affected area and open windows and doors to increase ventilation.

5. Call the Professionals 

After you take care of these immediate essential steps, you’ll want to call the professionals. Professionals know how critical when your basement floods and how to restore your flooded area so that people will never be able to tell it was previously flooded. 

 

We Are Here For You When Your Basement Floods

 

Rain Fire Restoration offers flood restoration services. Our team is trained, experienced, and certified to handle any job. We guarantee satisfaction and provide excellent customer service on all our projects. We’re here to help you feel empowered as a homeowner and feel at home in your house again. Call us today at (385) 336-7246 to get a free quote

Burned home

Utah Flood and Fire Damage: 5 Ways to Recover From a Disaster

By | Fire, Flood | No Comments

Disasters have a way of striking unexpectedly like flood and fire damage. The simple truth is that much of the time there is no way to predict with water or fire will damage your home, which is why it’s excellent to have a reliable Utah flood and fire remediation service in your local area.

1. Certified and Quick Remediation

Having a certified and speeding remediation service is important for two reasons. First, a certified team is well-trained in making the repairs you need, which means having your repairs done correctly the first time. A quick team also means you’ll be able to return to your home sooner.

 

2. Repair and Restore

A skilled team knows how to repair and restore. Although your home may be damaged by flooding or fire, there is sometimes part of the original architecture that can be restored to good-as-new condition.

 

3. Smoke Odor Removal

A fire has a habit of leaving the scent of smoke behind, but skilled teams know how to remove smoke odor from the wood and insulation of your home.

 

4. Identifying and Removing Mold

Flooding inevitably creates the perfect environment for mold to grow. However, expert eyes know how to identify multiple types of mold and remove that mold from your home permanently.

 

5. Treat Water Damage

Water damage, such as warped wood or water-logged sub-floors, needs to be removed before repairs can begin, which is why expert teams with specialized equipment will find, treat, and remove water damage.

Damage caused by flood and fire can be difficult to overcome: unless you’re using the right remediation company. Contact RainFire Restoration  to learn more about Utah flood and fire damage – and rest assured your disaster can be repaired.

Getting Rid of Smoke Damage

By | Fire, Uncategorized | No Comments

After enduring a fire in your home or business, the last thing you need is a reminder of the tragedy. Although removing the smell of smoke damage is challenging, it’s possible. Below we look at the most effective steps for bringing fresher scents back into your space.

How To Get Rid of the Smell of Smoke Damage

After a fire, the lingering smell is often the most difficult part of the experience to deal with, because smoke particles seep into any porous surface. Smoke particles are smaller than microscopic bacteria when a fire burns wood, which allows the smell to enter almost any surface.

Call a Professional for Removing Dangerous Soot

If soot remains in the space, please contact a professional for cleanup. Soot contains residue from plastics, chemicals, and other harmful materials that can be very dangerous to expose yourself to or handle. Make sure to wear head-to-toe protective gear, including a respirator and gloves, if you choose to clean soot yourself.

Air It Out

Open up all windows and doors to allow fresh air to move into every room. Encourage airflow by placing fans throughout the area. Do not use your central air or furnace during the cleanup, as this may circulate harmful soot.

Clean or Replace All Fabric

Fabric items will retain the smell of smoke more than anything else. Wash anything that will fit in the washer, including clothing, rugs, pillows, curtains, and blankets. Have your furniture professionally cleaned. Sometimes leaving baking soda on carpet overnight will draw the smell out of it. For excessive smoke, you may need to replace the carpet.

Scrub Hard Surfaces

Use products like rubbing alcohol, vinegar, wood cleaner, and commercial degreaser to scrub all hard surfaces. Doors, countertops, cabinets, windows and windowsills, light fixtures, and all other hard surfaces are susceptible to smoke smells after a fire.

Need Help? Call a Professional

Smoke damage is a difficult task that many people don’t have time for in the aftermath of a tragic event. Let our quick and efficient professional crew remove the evidence of smoke for you. We provide 24-hour emergency service for all your cleanup needs. Contact us today at RainFire Restoration in Midvale, UT, to remove smoke odor from your home or business.

Fire Damage Hazards: 3 Reasons to Call the Experts

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If your house has been damaged by a fire, you are likely facing a growing list of things you need to do, all while wondering about the fate of your home. When it comes time to start cleaning up, it is important to address all the issues that come with fire damage. Before you start scrubbing, consider these three reasons to bring in expert help.  

Fire Damage Hazards: 3 Reasons to Call the Experts

 

1. Damage Can Be Hidden

Even if the fire damage appears to be minor and superficial, you still want a professional restoration expert to assess the situation. This way, you can be assured that there are no structural concerns hidden from sight.

2. Smoke Can Linger If Not Treated Correctly

One of the most difficult odors to remove completely, smoke is absorbed by porous surfaces and lingers in insulation, fabrics, carpeting, and walls. Unlike surface treatments that temporarily mask the smell of smoke, professional smoke remediation services extract the odors, so they don’t come back.

3. Water Can Lead to Mold

A lot of fire damage is actually from the water used to put out the flames. Drywall, framing, and furniture may be soaked in the process. When water is left to sit, it can cause mold to grow and spread, possibly even into spaces inside walls and throughout insulation. Water damage resulting from firefighting activities must be addressed right away. The quicker it is cleaned up, and the area is allowed to dry, the less likely you are to have problems down the road. Problems like mold growing inside the walls and furniture that can be avoided by taking action early.

Leave Fire Damage Cleanup to the Professionals

If your Utah home has been damaged by fire, leave the cleanup and repair to restoration professionals. Contact the knowledgeable and experienced folks at RainFire Restoration to learn how we can help.

smoke

Is That Pesky Smoke Odor Just Annoying Or Is It A Red Flag?

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The human body is truly amazing. When we experience a house fire the average human nose has millions of sensory neurons and that fire triggers those olfactory nerves which trigger the area of our brain that sets off emotional reactions. Our body has an alert and response system. The neurons in our nose remember smells and our emotional reactions to them, so even when a house fire appears to be out our noses can sense any lingering unseen flame or coals that still have a spark.

What causes the odor?

When we continue to smell smoke after the fire is out, what we smell are minuscule particles of incomplete combustion (PIC) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). To give you a visual of these small particles, the larger, visible fragments are called “soot.” The majority of these PIC and VOC fragments, however, or less than ten microns in diameter. To give you a reference for that measurement, picture a dime. Ten microns is 1/1,000 the thickness of a dime.

Other than carbon particles, what else can be in the soot?

 It depends on what was burned in the fire. Wood from the house’s walls and furniture release carbon dioxide. Exposure to Carbon Dioxide (CO2) causes a multitude of health detriments like headaches, difficulty breathing, asphyxia and that pins or needles feeling.

When plastic is burned, it releases chemicals like hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, dioxins, furans, and other heavy metals. These kinds of emissions can cause respiratory ailments, they stress human immune systems, and they are potentially carcinogenic. 

Our clothes and other fabrics in our homes are often covered in chemicals such as formaldehyde. Formaldehyde can irritate your skin and other body parts like the eyes, nose, and throat.

 Depending on what is in your house during the fire, there might be other particles floating around as soot but these are some of the common ones. 

What steps need to be taken to completely remove the smoke odor?

1.   Removing the Source

The first step, and arguably the most important one, is to remove the source. This means removing any charred/burnt items including drywall. 

2.   Detailed cleaning of all salvageable items

3.   Cleaning the Air Ducts

Next, you need to clean out all of the air ducts within your home or business. Dust carries these particles and odors so cleaning your HVAC system early on in the restoration process is important. 

4.   Removing Airborne Odor 

Since the VOC’s and PIC’s creating the smoke odor remain airborne, the next task is removing them from the air.

Our teams of professional restoration technicians are here for you in the case of a house fire. Please call us to help you start getting your life back together and to clean up any fire damage, to effect any smoke remediation that is needed, and for smoke odor removal. We are here for your property restoration needs

 

Firework Fires in Utah

Firework Fires in Utah

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Firework Fires in Utah

The 4th of July is right around the corner.  You know what that means — Fireworks! Fireworks are a fundamental part of the celebrations of our freedom.  But that doesn’t mean we are free of potential hazards.

Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires every year! These fires have lead to an average of $43 million in direct property damage every single year. Last year, 2018, in the Salt Lake City area alone there were 45 calls, generating 85 responses from the Salt Lake City Fire crews.  We know that these fireworks are an integral part of the holidays, but we need to make sure we are exercising caution! Below are a few reminders to hopefully bring down that number of fires we had last year!

Make sure to Obey Local Laws

If fireworks have been listed as illegal in a certain area, this is for a reason! The state is not trying to spoil your fun by limiting the areas where you can light off your fireworks.  They are trying to ensure that those areas which are drier and more susceptible to fire are protected.

Keep Buckets of Water

Make sure that you keep buckets of water on hand at all times.  It is great to be able to throw sparklers or other hot fireworks into a body of water to cool them down rather than throwing them into a trashcan or on the ground where they may catch something on fire.

Don’t relight “dud” fireworks

It may be a little disheartening to spend large chunks of money on fireworks only to have them not go off after lighting them.  Do not attempt to relight a “dud”. You should wait 15-20 minutes and then soak them in the previously mentioned bucket of water.  These are not to be messed with.

Do not Alter or Make Homemade Fireworks

Fireworks should not be altered or combined with other fireworks in an attempt to make them bigger, louder, more powerful, etc.  In addition, you should never try to create your own homemade fireworks or explosives. These can be very dangerous and are the number one cause for fires during this time!

Ensure that you are being safe, wearing shoes, and using common sense and you shouldn’t have any issues.  Make sure that you are only using fireworks in the areas where they are legally allowed. Following these simple rules should allow you to safely enjoy your holiday celebrations and firework shows!

Family watching their house burn.

Top 5 ways to prevent house fires

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Top 5 ways to prevent house fires

 

1- Make Sure Your Smoke Alarms Are Working Properly

37% of deaths related to house-fires came from homes which did not have smoke alarms.  23% came from homes which had smoke alarms, but that were not working properly. We get it, sometimes when the battery is low and your fire alarm starts making that annoying BEEP it can be tempting to just take out the fire alarm until you have time to replace the battery.  While it may seem tedious, it is worth it to make sure that your Smoke Alarm is working properly at all times.

 

2- Pay Extra Attention to the Stove and Cooking Equipment

Leftover food particles can get too hot and cause a fire, whether left on the stove or on a pot for too long.  It’s important to watch these surfaces and make sure they are cleaned regularly. Similarly, it is important to make sure that nothing else is left on these surfaces! A paper towel or dish rag left haphazardly on the stove, or curtains too close, can easily get too hot and start a fire!

 

3- Watch Your Electrical Equipment and Wiring

Frayed cords or faulty wiring can spark and cause a fire.  Check your cords before plugging them in to make sure that they are not frayed or broken in any way.  Pay attention to your outlets as well and ensure that you are not overloading them. Some extension cords can cause fires as well with overuse of electricity going through them.  If you notice that some circuits are shorting frequently, or lights are dimming when you use another piece of electrical equipment in your home, this may be a sign that you are at a greater risk for a fire.

 

4- Ensure that Bedrooms Also Have Smoke Alarms

Many people believe that most house fires start in the kitchen. While the kitchen is a very likely place for a fire to start, bedrooms are also a high-risk area! Curious kids may experiment with matches or lighters in their bedrooms so it is important to keep those out of reach for young ones.  Many people will light candles in their bedrooms as well which increases the risk of fire! Smoking is another thing which is commonly done in bedrooms but is best left away from the carpeted bedrooms. In any case, it is smart to make sure that all bedrooms also have their own smoke alarms!

 

5- Keep a Fire Extinguisher on Hand and Have a Safety Plan

A fire extinguisher is your best weapon when a small fire first breaks out so ensure that you have AT LEAST one in your house at all times, but preferably to have one in any room with a higher potential risk of fire.  It may be worth your time to make sure that everyone in the family knows how to properly handle the fire extinguisher as well, in case something happens while you are not home. We recommend having a fire safety plan as well.  Include training on “STOP, DROP, and ROLL”, safety evacuation plans, and practice drills with your family to avoid any questions they may have in case of a fire.