The clean up after a disaster can be overwhelming. Professionals will be
needed for handling a great deal of the clean up. Their technology will
ensure a safe, effective cleaning job. However, it can be difficult to
stand by and let the professionals handle things when you want to take
control and restore your environment.
If your home is filled with books and papers, you can take specific
measures following a flood to lessen the amount of damage caused by
exposure to water. The restoration of bound materials can be expensive.
There is a lot of controversy among professionals regarding the best way
in which to dry and restore books. Some believe restoring the books is
not worth the cost. But others find simple, cost-free methods often work
The Beginning Phase of Drying
The initial condition of the book will determine the flood’s effects.
Different types of paper absorb water at different rates. So some
restoration methods will work for some books, but not for others. The
first step is to ensure you will be working in a safe environment.
Restoration efforts should not begin until flood waters have subsided
and the home has been officially declared structurally sound.
The professionals will help manage the overall environment of your home
so you will not have to be concerned with health and safety of the
environment while taking care of the restoration of your personal
library. Speak with them about creating the ideal environment for book
restoration. Temperature, humidity, and bacteria will all play a role,
and they will have the technology and experience to help you control
these things. You will want air flow to help with drying, and you will
want to reduce the humidity in the home. The dehumidifiers used to dry
the carpet and other damaged areas should be enough to help with the
books. While the books are still wet, do not open them, separate the
sheets of paper, or remove paper covers. This can result in further
damage and increase the cost of the restoration.
If the books have been exposed to dirt, debris, and mud damage, cleanup
will be more complicated. The safest time to clean them is once they are
completely dry. The outside of books can have their mud damage lightly
scraped or wiped away. Avoid rubbing and brushing the pages. In extreme
cases, wetting the books to remove the mud prior to the extensive drying
process may be advisable. Holding the book tightly closed, you can
submerse it in water to remove the mud, and then compress the book to
remove the saturation of water.
How Freezing Will Help
One of the most widely used methods of restoring water damaged books is
by freezing. This can be done in your home freezer. However, if your
collection is too large, speak with neighbors and family members
concerning their available freezer space. Remember that freezing is not a
drying method and it does not kill mold spores. It is effective in
controlling the mold growth, and gives you time to determine which books
can be cleaned in the home, which may need professional methods of
cleaning, and which can not be restored. Freezing may also help keep the
structure of the book intact. It stabilizes dyes and inks which may
otherwise bleed and make the book unreadable.
Following the freezing and stabilizing of your book collection,
additional restoration may be required. As you sort through your book
collection and other items, determine which of your belongings are worth
the effort of restoration. While most homeowners will want to save
everything, it can be costly to pay for restoration of all items in the
Those who have experienced disaster in their homes and places of
business understand that the first few minutes of response are critical.
If the appropriate measures are taken in the immediate moments
following an emergency, it can ensure the safety and well-being of the
entire family. Those involved will also find that an organized response
will save them money and time in the long run, possibly allowing things
in the home or office to be saved that otherwise may be damaged or
Whether you are dealing with the crisis at home or at work, many issues
are the same in an emergency. Common occurrences include weather-related
and natural disasters, human error and terrorism, and a variety of
issues brought on by broken appliances and shoddy maintenance. Any of
these issues may lead to flooding, fires, collapsed roofs, and a variety
of other unfit living or working conditions. The situation could be
just an inconvenience, or it may be extremely dangerous. In dangerous
situations, the authorities need to be called so determine whether the
police, fire department, or an ambulance are needed.
Once everyone on the scene is safe and the proper authorities have been
contacted, begin thinking about a plan of action. In some cases, you may
have already planned for an emergency. There may have been fire drills
or plans of escape established ahead of time. In the case of an
evacuation, you may have a designated area where everyone can meet and
be accounted for. It is important to consider everyone involved in the
ordeal. If anyone has special needs, or is too young or old to transport
themselves, another adult will need to take responsibility for this
person. Again, this is something which should be determined ahead of
time. Caring for another person during a crisis is a big responsibility.
Be sure whoever is chosen understands their duties and is physically
and emotionally capable of handling them under duress.
Finances During a Crisis
An issue no one wants to deal with at the time of a crisis is financial
difficulty. If you require the assistance of a cleanup company, but you
are concerned about their fees, it can be stressful to determine whether
or not to contact them. In many cases, homeowner’s insurance will cover
the damage in your home. However, it can be difficult to coordinate the
various entities needed to deal with an emergency.
Companies assist you in organizing the most qualified professionals to
help with your crisis, and they will offer those who need it a discount
for their services. Companies should have the smarts and integrity to
help customers who cannot afford home or flood insurance. Good companies
are proactive and work with the community. When needed, they usually
offer a good will discount ranging from 5% to 20% for their services.
This means home owners can relax, knowing they will be able to afford
professional clean up and maintenance in emergency situations.
Often, it is the days and weeks following a disaster when the highest
levels of stress are felt. At the height of a crisis, a community often
pulls together to help those affected. But as time passes, people return
to their normal lives. Those affected by emergency situations may no
longer have the option of returning to normal. It is important the
restoration process continue. While it may not be possible to return
everything involved in the emergency to its original form, professional,
experienced service will do everything possible to return your life to
No one can ever be completely prepared for emergencies in their homes
and places of employment. Having a plan in action helps to ease stress
and lessen danger, but you may still find additional support is needed.
Should your family or company require emergency clean-up services, you
can contact contact many companies 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Fire is one of the greatest fears of homeowners. The damage left in the
wake of a fire can leave an emotional scar long after the home is
cleaned and the property restored. Once a fire emergency has passed,
call on a reputable restoration company to assist you with the safety
and aesthetic aspects involved in the clean up of a fire.
While it may be tempting to jump in and begin clean up procedures
following a fire, there are a lot of things to remember. Most fires are
not small and people realize they can’t do it. People should give the
authorities a chance to see if it’s arson, and insurance company will
want to know if the situation was an accident. It is important to allow
the authorities to do a thorough inspection of the property. Not only
will your homeowner’s insurance company require a report, it will give
you piece of mind to understand the cause of the fire. Once the premises
have been inspected, you will want to contact a professional cleaning
and restoration service. Even if it seems possible for you to handle the
clean up, there may be hidden dangers only a professional can
Following a fire, do not wipe or attempt to remove residue from the
walls or absorbent surfaces. Do not use any food that was exposed to the
fire or smoke. Avoid walking on carpeting and do not use upholstered
furniture that was impacted by heavy smoke. Finally, do not turn on any
appliances, computers, or other electronic equipment until they have
been cleaned and checked for safety.
Effects of Smoke
It is important to realize a fire can create smoke damage that may not
be seen by the untrained eye. Smoke can get into the duct system,
jeopardizing the air quality throughout the entire home. It may also
have seeped into the plumbing system or into the other areas of the
home, like the attic or crawl space. Smoke also comes in a variety of
types, creating different types of damage and risk.
A trained professional can test the smoke type and determine how much
risk is associated with it. Once he has identified the smoke type, he
can create a treatment plan that will best combat the effects of the
damage. He will understand what has the potential to be restored, what
will need to be replaced, and what cleaning method will be most
effective. Eliminating the odor of smoke damage is one of your main
concerns, but keep in mind, it may not be the only issue.
Extent of Damage
While a homeowner may have the ability to surface clean a smoke and fire
damaged home, there may be a number of issues associated with the
damage they are not able to see. Aside from smoke damage, there may be
structural issues. In order to feel confident your home is structurally
sound following a fire, you need to have a thorough inspection performed
by professionals. There is no reason to invite additional problems
following a fire. Many companies will provide you with the services of
professionals who can assess the safety of your home and recommend
needed repairs during the restoration process.
What You Can Do
You, no doubt, will feel helpless following the tragedy of a fire.
Following the inspection by authorities, a few things can be done to
ease your anxiety while awaiting professional recommendations. Wipe the
chrome on faucets and fixtures by washing them down with detergent, and
protect them by applying a coat of petroleum jelly. Blow off or vacuum
loose smoke particles from upholstery, carpeting, and draperies. Create
as much ventilation as possible by opening windows. If electricity and
heat have been shut off during the winter, pour antifreeze into toilet
bowls, tanks, sinks, and tub drains in order to prevent freezing. You
will ultimately want to contact a plumber to blow out the water lines
until everything is repaired. Take some clothing to the dry cleaners so
you will have an idea of what can be cleaned successfully and what will
need to be replaced.
Following a fire, you will face a variety of issues. While the emotional
trauma of a fire can not be alleviated, a professional emergency
company will work to ease the burden of clean up and restoration. It may
be impossible to save all of your belongings, but you will have peace
of mind knowing professional services have been provided, allowing you
to return to a safe, clean home.
Home ownership is the dream of many people. Owning your own property and
having a home where you can relax, unwind, and leave the stress of the
world behind is a benefit that is worth the risks and responsibility
associated with it. Many homeowners jump into the experience with both
feet, only to find themselves surprised at how many things can go wrong.
A major challenge homeowners may face are weather-related events. As
much as they prepare, weather emergencies can wreak havoc on homes and
personal property. Depending upon your location, there are a number of
weather events you can anticipate such as California is susceptible to
earthquakes. But, if the proper precautions are taken, you may lessen
the damage inflicted on your home.
Those living in an area prone to hurricanes will want to be sure they
have the materials on hand to protect their homes with relatively short
notice. They may have to board up their windows, or use sandbags to
prevent water from flooding into their homes, so they should have a
supply of necessary items on hand. They should have an evacuation plan
and ensure that all members of the family know where to meet, should an
evacuation occur. Assembling an emergency preparedness kit is a great
way to ensure the appropriate materials are on hand, should the need
In parts of the country where hurricanes are not an issue, tornadoes may
cause problems. When shopping for a home, those in tornado-prone areas
will want to ensure there is a cellar or other safe option should a
retreat be required. Be aware of the surroundings on your property
including trees, other buildings such as garages and barns, and
free-standing items like patio furniture and children’s toys. During a
tornado, any of these items can create unnecessary damage. Ensure
structures such as garages and barns are in good shape before they can
be affected by tornado conditions and be sure you have places to stories
larger on your property like patio furniture. Taking the proper
precautions before there is a tornado will save homeowners a great deal
of damage and money in the long run.
No matter where you are in the country, your home and property will be
at risk for damage from thunderstorms. During extreme storms, wind can
tear off roofs and bring trees down onto buildings; lighting can strike,
creating fire damage; and torrential downpours can create flash
flooding, which may allow water to seep in through the foundation of the
house. Overflowing sewer drains may back up into your home, creating a
toxic environment. All these situations are emergencies and must be
dealt with using proper protocol. “(It is important for homeowners to)
follow environmental company protocol. (Those facing an emergency
should) use the services of an industrial hygienist, if there is time.”
An industrial hygienist will ensure proper protocol is being followed,
and thoroughly check the conditions of the home. While an untrained
professional may recognize damage visible to the naked eye, an
industrial or environmental hygienist conducts tests that may reveal
harmful chemicals in the environment. They are also able to determine if
the current crisis could lead to problems in the future if not handled
If the unexpected should occur, it is important to deal with it promptly
and professionally. The first thing homeowners need to do in the event
of an emergency is to contact the necessary authorities. In the event of
a fire or vandalism, an investigation will need to occur prior to any
clean up or restoration. In any incident, you will need to take
photographs of the damage for insurance purposes. Once you have
everything under control, you will want to begin the clean-up phase.
Good companies will ensure that clean-up procedures follow protocol and
work to protect your home and your family, with the goal of restoring
your property to its original form. They work with the most
knowledgeable and experienced professionals in several industries,
ensuring you will get the services you need to restore your home.
Preparation is your first line of defense.
leaving almost the entire city submerged under ten feet of flood water.
It has also recorded six tragic drowning deaths. Though severe flooding
is extremely rare, significant property losses, tremendous destruction
and loss of lives often loom in the aftermath.
Natural disasters such as floods brought by heavy storms, do not happen
on an instant, though but it is better to be prepared more than anything
else. Avoid placing your chances for survival in the hands of another
person. This will be like going to a war without any weapons at all.
Thus, arming yourself and preparing for the worst is crucial to your
survival. It is top priority that you have the telephone numbers of the
different evacuation centers and rescue centers in your area or even
neighboring towns and cities if you already know that you live in a
flood-prone area. Prepare an emergency bag that has some emergency
medical kit, bottled water, flashlight, cellular phone where it will
come handy in case of evacuation. What are the things that you have to
do and remember when you are stranded in flood-stricken land?
The very basic that you should have first and foremost is presence of
mind. This will keep you at your feet while panic attack clouds your
decision-making abilities thus hinders sound judgment especially in
life-threatening situations. Try to take deep breathes, compose yourself
and focus on the situation when panic attacks. Taking deep breathes
during panic attacks have been proven to decrease the severity of panic
thus helps one to think wisely.
Since fire often times simultaneously occur during flashfloods, be sure
to unplug all electrical equipment and make sure that the main source of
electricity is switched off and the gas pipeline outlet is shut off.
This will not only prevent electrocution but also minimize the danger of
potential fire, totally damaging your home.
Transfer your valuables as well as furniture to the highest and safest
part of the house keeping them away from the door. Place your valuables
inside a deposit box if you have one where possible looters will not
Once the flood warning is released, immediately leave your building but
do not walk on flooded area as floodwater as shallow as six inches deep
will definitely push you away. Drive to safer and higher grounds as
water current can push your car uncontrollably downstream if you are in a