Cleaning Up After a Fire

The Fundamentals of Soot Damage

Fire DamageFire residues such as smoke odor and soot are tough to take care of. Soot is a by-product of smoke, which is the oil that is expelled into the air when a non-natural material is burned. Nowadays, a large part of homes is made of non-natural materials. Thus, during fires, expect to have a lot of soot. Soot is a menace to the house and its content because it can be entrenched into the materials of the items affected. You have to deal with this as soon as possible. After a fire you must act quickly so that the smoke will not further permeate into the fabric and the materials of your furniture and fixtures. By and large, only a professional restoration company can effectively deal with soot damage because they know how to do this type of restoration well and because they have the industrial strength equipment and cleaning agents that can help them do the job efficiently.

The Best Way to Deal with Soot Damage

Hire a professional fire and water damage restoration company. Where there is fire, there will be smoke, and smoke remediation is one of the significant aspects of fire restoration that a homeowner has to deal with after a fire. Despite the cost, the homeowner should seriously consider hiring the services of a professional restoration company to do this task for a lot of reasons. First, there is the time element. The contractor will be able to multiple jobs simultaneously, such as clean up, repair, and restoration of fire, smoke and soot damage. Secondly, they have the expertise to do the job. They have the right equipment as well that will ensure that all the aspects of restoration are safely and efficiently addressed.

Soot Damage on Surfaces

Taking on the cleaning and restoration of soot-damaged surfaces personally can pose a significant challenge. Here are some guidelines to be able to do it effectively:

• Get a dry chemical sponge from your local hardware shop.
• Wipe off the soot from surface ever so gently so as not to scatter it and affect more areas
• When a sponge is fully saturated with soot, cut off the saturated layer using a sharp blade
• Repeat the process until you have covered the entire surface

However, this will work effectively on small areas only, such as small pieces of furniture. When large-scale soot damage is involved, such as the entire span of walls or ceilings, it will be better to get the services of a professional who can do the job more effectively and much faster.

Clothes Affected by Soot Damage

Clothes damaged by soot have to be taken to a unique cleaning shop. The customary laundry shop will not be able to effectively clean the clothes. If only a tiny part of the clothing material was affected, you could use a high-powered vacuum cleaner to clean it. Take care not to touch the soot with the nozzle so as not to push the soot deeper into the material. By and large, large-scale soot damage is best handled by professionals not only because they have the experience and the skills to do the job, but also because they have specialized equipment specially designed for this kind of cleanup and restoration jobs. Soot damage is one of the aspects of fire restoration. You can contact your local professional restoration company for more information on dealing with soot damage.

How to Save Water Damaged Carpet

Wet Carpet Can Be a Challenge

Experiencing carpet water damage can be devastating; the carpets are a challenging piece of your home to clean up after a flood or spill properly. Water damaged carpets can make excellent breeding conditions for dangerous molds and bacteria. Make sure to follow these simple steps to keep your home safe and clean.

  • If you see mold, treat the carpet with a disinfectant as soon as possible. Use chemicals that will kill any mold that would thrive in the Water Damaged Carpetwet carpet.
  • Make sure to remove or repair the source of the spill or leak. This may require the use of a professional if the leak is from a pipe inside of the wall, an appliance or leaky roof.
  • Use towels or dry cloths to soak up all of the remaining liquid. Any remaining liquids in your carpet will damage the floor, ruining the carpet and the padding underneath. Apply pressure to dry towels to help remove the liquids.
  • Use a dehumidifier in the room with the water damaged carpet.
  • Remove any furniture, area rugs, or other belongings that might be damaged by the spill or leak. If the water or liquid is spreading, make sure all belongings are out of the way of the discharge.
  • Use a steam cleaner over the whole carpet. Concentrate your efforts on the damaged spots, but make sure that you clean the entire surrounding area as well.
  • Use a professional carpet cleaning service. Make sure to tell the profession carpet cleaning company about the type of spill and the affected area.
  • Replace the carpet if the spill was sitting for more than 48 hours. Any large water spots that have been settling in your carpets may not be able to be cleaned.

Following these simple steps, you can save your carpet from water damage, if its small to medium size damage.  If you are experiencing flooding or significant water damage, make sure you properly clean the entire area. Generally, it best to have your carpets professionally steam cleaned if you want the best results.


Recycling Brick

Red Bricks

Well known red brick that has long been the preferred material of construction after the WWII. Since then red clay has lost some its popularity to make room for colored glazed bricks or cement. With the renovation of old houses and new insulation needs, the old brick walls were demolished to be replaced with more modern materials (aluminum, vinyl, concrete …). Now tons of used bricks are found in landfills. You have a pile of clay bricks used; you plan to sell through classifieds sites, to get a few dollars. However, what else can you do? In several European countries, recycling of the brick is systematic. They are reintegrated into new buildings to give them the same patina as the older buildings. However, the use of this material in construction is risky because it is difficult to ensure the quality and strength of the used bricks.

Cleaning Used Brick

Also, cleaning the used brick is difficult. To remove the old mortar, you use a mason’s hammer and goggles for the hours of fun. Renovation companies are reluctant to build with a used brick because the cost of labor connected with the professional cleaning of the bricks makes the cost of the used brick often higher than the new brick. That’s one reason people prefer to give away their used bricks instead of reusing them.

Brick Cleaning Tools

Size and pattern

Generally, a brick measuring 20 x 6 x 9.5 cm (8 x 3.75 x 2.5 inches), a format that allows it to fit well in all directions. By cons, you will often deal with broken bricks that will serve you for the corners, or go around an obstacle. I wanted to avoid having to cut my bricks. So I forgot the herringbone pattern complicated that require lots of work adjustment. I let myself go with the inspiration of the moment, alternating the bricks a little in every sense. I could be more rigorous in respecting a predetermined pattern. However, anarchy is it not proper to nature?

Hollow brick or full brick?

The solid brick is the only one that can you’ll want to use for sidewalks. It is becoming increasingly rare especially in the cold country since it now the area prefers the hollow brick. The brick “with holes” is a recent invention. The holes are mainly used to form insulating air spaces, in addition to being lighter and less expensive. They are challenging to recycle as sidewalks because all the holes are different sizes. For my part, I use them in places not visible as the inside of the shed for my firewood.

Brick Roads

It is also possible to lay the bricks vertically. However, you need 33% more for doing the same job. Several European countries use brick this way to provide for roads because they can withstand the passage of heavy vehicles.

Building a Sidewalk

It is essential to fill the joints of your solid brick with dry sand which stabilizes and prevents the grass from growing. You can also use polymer sand for pavement joints, more expensive, but more resistant to ant nests ($ 22 for 22 kg). You can use the same sand as you sweep to fill the many holes in your bricks. Moreover, the effect is quite pleasant.



Installing Metal Roofing

Metal Roofing is Expensive

Metal roofing is one of the things you might want if you prefer an efficient and long-term cost-effective solution for your Houston home or commercial building needs. Although you might think it is a little costly, remember that longer service will go a long way in justifying the additional cost.

Metal Roofing Is a Good Option

Installing metal roofing in Houston is a good option, experts say that they withstand weather and the sun better than other types of roofing. As a metal roof will have less wear and tear, you can usually expect it to have a long service life, but your experience may vary, depending on the area’s weather where you install your metal roofing. Your first option is the hire a Houston metal roofing contractor to install your new roof.  But, you may prefer to take on the installation your self. Here are some things to consider.

A Couple of Caveats

There are plenty of sources on the web you can obtain instructions on how to install a metal roof. One area you want to pay close attention to is the safety precautions you need to take. Falling from the roof can result in serious injury or even death. Never try to do it yourself on a steep roof. This is a job best left to the professionals. If you are comfortable with the safety precautions and feel you have the skill to do the job the next step is acquiring the proper tools.

The Tools

To get started, you need these materials or the equivalent.  A drill, marker, hammer, appropriately sized nails, step ladder, different sized screws, measuring tape, metal cutting snips, and excellent protection equipment for the job.

Here are a few clear steps to install the metal roofing:

  • Measure the quantity of roofing, add the needed size and calculate for the overhand, the usual size of overhands range from 2 to 4 inches. Measure the length and height of the required roof, head to your roofing supply store to get the needed items; also, you need to include 3 to 6 inches additional for overlapping on each layer.
  • Whether you chose r-panel or crimped roofs, you need to put some tar paper of approximately 30 lbs or good roofing felt to be the base of your roof. If you have an old roof, you need to put some slat board using 3 inch screws. They should be used every 2 feet lengthwise.
  • Put them down, nail them with a one ¼ inch nails. The rule is to overlap the first sheet. If it’s a crimped type of roof; you need to overlap one crimp on the sheet below, If its r-type of the panel, one lip will overlap the already installed one. Do them across and cut the rest on both ridges with tin snips and screw the very last sheet of roofing.
  • Install lap 5/16 screws if you are using the r-type of a panel on every 4 feet to where they overlap. The metal trim will cover the edge of the roof and the ridges on top. This trim will go on to the edge, notch them in the middle to let it bend over the ridge, screw them with a ¼ inch metal screw every 2 feet. On r-type panels, you need to install the closures, they are a foam type of rubber that is usually on 3 feet long that follows the r-type- panels design, and this prevents animals from getting inside the ridges.
  • Screw them all down and put a 5/16 metal lap screw on both sides of the ridge. On the v-crimp, you a ¼ inch metal screw to each side to the high point and do them every two feet.


If you have the construction experience and skills necessary, you can save on the installation of your new metal roof. However, if you lack the essential skills you should have your roof installed by a roofing contractor. Just remember, a poorly or incorrectly installed roofing can result in the need for repairs not only to the roof but the damage the leaking roof has caused.




Sewage Clean Up Advice

Sewage Damage

When sewage enters a home living space it is particularly troubling and dangerous.  You will need to clean up and sanitize all areas that a sewage spill may have entered, including crawl-space areas. If you have any carpet or rugs affected you’ll absolutely need professional carpet cleaning.

Sewage Overflow

Avoiding Sewage Backup And House Sewage

Having regular sewer line cleaning or inspections typically does the trick.  However most sewer pipes are below the living spaces, so as the saying goes- “out of sight, out of mind” gives way to the possibility of sewage damage happening.  Sewage water can pool up in pipes bound by pipe obstructions waiting for that next flush to be released into the home or office.  Having an expert remediate a sewage backup very important, this is due to the pathogenic and bacterial nature of sewage.

Sewage Damage Professionals Are Unique

Cramp spaces like crawl spaces where sewer damage is likely to cause sewage problems is best remediated using a uniquely small individual to best move around in these cramp spaces. The only way to clean up wastewater, in fact, is to use a small individual to crawl around to clean sewage out of the many pockets of contaminated sewage backup pools, that each, in turn, flows into the next lower pocket that becomes a raw sewage pool. Disease from this type of contact and exposure can be eliminated by the proper microbial treatments and application that was pioneered some twenty-three years ago.

Dumping Lime (Calcium hydroxide) Onto Sewage Backup is Wrong!

Many people believe that dumping Lime onto ground areas that have been contaminated by raw sewage is a viable solution.  Not True!  The fact is that the next guy who enters a cramp crawl space like the plumber or cable guy gets burnt by this harsh chemical.  Lime is a Toxic Hazardous Material that requires specific recommended applications and usage. Sewage backup isn’t one of them.

Sewage Damage Professionals Remedy Sewage Problems

Sewage repair restoration personnel require special training, protective gear, God-given small physical size and abilities to adequately perform waste water removal from confined spaces.  Sewage water is nothing to fool around with, it will turn your business or home into a health hazard if not treated properly.  It is best to contact sewage removal experts at the first signs of sewage odors. Sewage damage professionals are usually available 24 hours a day, every day! Best advice… the pros.