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Getting Life Back in Order After Fire Damage

house fire

One of the most devastating things that can happen to you as a homeowner is fire damage. Even minor damage can be overwhelming and costly. When disaster strikes, here’s what you can do to get your life back in order after a fire.

After the Dust Settles

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the most common causes of home fires are caused by cooking, heating and electrical mishaps. Once the firefighters are gone, you are left with the after-effects of the fire and smoke damage. What the fire hasn’t destroyed, the smoke or water has. Not only have you possibly lost irreplaceable items of sentimental value, but more than likely incurred damage to the inside and structure of your home. After contacting your insurance company and taking inventory of the damage, the restoration process can begin.

Fire Restoration Process

It’s at this point when a fire restoration company comes in to conduct a thorough inspection of the damage and give you a cost estimate for restoration work. During the preliminary assessment, the restoration company will be better prepared to return with the proper equipment and game plan for returning your home to its safe, pre-fire condition.

Water Removal

After windows are boarded up for security purposes and other health and safety precautions are put into place, work is ready to begin. The first course of action is to remove any water remaining in the home. Once the water is removed, powerful drying equipment is used to completely dry out affected areas of the home. Some tools of the trade include industrial vacuums, fans and dehumidifiers to thoroughly complete the drying process.

Smoke Damage Removal

Special equipment is used to remove the smoke damage, dirt and soot left behind. All surfaces are treated for smoke damage including ceilings, walls and everything covered with soot, stains and overall smoke damage.

Cleaning, Sanitizing

After smoke and soot have been removed from the majority of salvageable areas and items, the deep cleaning and sanitizing process begins. Depending on the location and extent of damage, several different options are used for cleaning and sanitizing. That smoky smell is eliminated by using industrial strength cleaning solutions and equipment.

Restoration

This final step is the light at the end of the tunnel. It involves repairing or replacing any damaged structural components in your home and finishing it all off with new drywall, paint, or flooring.

Conclusion

There’s no question that a home fire is a devastating blow. By reaching out to the seasoned restoration professionals at RCS, you have our guarantee to make the fire damage restoration process as smooth as possible so you can get your life back on track. In Sonoma Valley, call the fire restoration professionals at RCS.

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Is Your Crawlspace Contaminated?

crawlspace under home

Odds are, you probably don’t spend a whole lot of time in your crawlspace But if you find yourself sneezing, coughing or noticing a musty smell coming from an unknown source, it’s time to check out your crawlspace for contamination.

How Crawlspaces Become Contaminated

There are several ways your crawlspace may become contaminated:
  • Insufficient Insulation
Over 1/3 of your indoor air rises up through the crawlspace. If the crawlspace is not properly insulated, expect to pay higher energy bills. Non-insulated spaces also tend to attract more insects, rodents and mold.
  • Improper or Missing Vapor Barrier
Since vapor barriers protect from excess moisture and humidity, they significantly decrease the odds of mold growth. Vapor barriers also provide protection from insects and rodents, while keeping indoor temperatures more stable and comfortable.
  • Excessive moisture, humidity, and/or water
  • Condensation on plumbing pipes
  • Insufficient vents and air circulation
  • Rodent excrement, nests, or infestations 

Signs of a Contaminated Crawlspace

When checking your crawlspace, look for these signs for what could result in potential contamination:
  • Visual inspection for damaged or missing insulation, vents, or vapor barrier
  • Damage to wooden joists, structural or support beams
  • Rodent damage caused by chewing through electrical lines or insulation
  • Standing pools of water
  • Visible mold
  • No encapsulation of a dirt floor crawlspace

Negative Effects of a Contaminated Crawlspace

As long as the crawlspace goes unchecked or stays as is, the odds of contamination increase.  Here are some of the negative effects of a contaminated crawlspace:

Poor Air Quality

Since air from the crawlspace rises up and into your home, breathing in air particles containing dried rodent excrement or mold spores and mycotoxins on wooden beams, walls or the crawlspace ceiling can cause or aggravate existing health conditions such as asthma or allergies. The air can literally make you sick.

Higher Energy Costs

If your crawlspace lacks adequate insulation, you’re losing money every month on your heating and/or cooling bills. The furnace and air conditioner have to work longer and harder to keep your home comfortable due to conditioned air escaping through the crawlspace.

Structural Damage Inside the Home

If mold and water damage the ceiling of your crawlspace, it will eventually affect the integrity of your home’s subfloor and flooring above. Additionally, damage to wooden support beams and posts compromise the very foundation of your home.

Rodent Damage

From using insulation for a nest to chewing through electrical wires to leaving behind urine and feces, critter proofing and protecting your crawlspace as much as possible helps keep rodent residency and destruction to a minimum.

Conclusion

To prevent the damage and negative impact of a contaminated crawlspace, take a look to see what’s going on down there. If you spot problems with insulation, structure, water, mold, or any other potential contamination factors, don’t hesitate to bring in professionals. To identify and eliminate contamination and restore your crawlspace to a clean, healthy condition, call the crawlspace cleanup experts at RCS to schedule an inspection today.

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