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Water Damage Clean Up Mistakes

Written by Casey Shearns on . Posted in , , .

When homeowners experience flooding or water damage, the first thing they want to do is to clean it up. While this seems obvious and a bright idea, many things can go wrong if you are not adequately knowledgeable about water damage. 

Whether a broken pipe or roof leak, water entering a home can cause devastating damage if not taken care of properly. It can lead to more severe problems such as mold and structural damage. Follow along to learn about the most common mistakes people make when restoring their homes after water damage. 

Downplaying Severity of Damage

While professionals can understand the severity of damage just by looking at the damage, homeowners are not always as well-informed. You tend to simply look at the surface of the problem and clean up only what you can see. What you do not see is where water seeped into walls, flooring, and structural support. The proper restoration and dry-out process is a lot more intense and takes longer than you might expect. 

Waiting too Long

Simply wiping the water away and waiting to take care of the rest can lead to much more damage. A small amount of water does not seem like a big deal, but it absolutely can be. That is why it is essential to call professionals immediately to prevent any further damage from happening. 

Shortcuts

Along with waiting too long to call professionals, some homeowners do not wait long enough to allow their homes and belongings to dry correctly. If you do not wait the proper amount of time necessary, you may experience mold growth and problems in the walls of your home down the line. It is crucial not to take any shortcuts or be impatient when cleaning out water damage.

Not Calling a Professional

Water damage is not something that homeowners should be taking lightly. The biggest mistake made is not calling restoration professionals like the expert team at Soil-Away. Because most homeowners do not understand the severity of the damage water can cause in their homes. Professionals must come out to properly assess, dry, and restore the damage of your home. 

If you have been a victim of water damage in your home and need professional restoration assistance, make sure to call the restoration team at Soil-Away immediately. Give us a call today at (603) 641-6555!

Preparing Your Home for Hurricane Season

Written by Casey Shearns on . Posted in , , , .

According to the NESEC, the Hurricane season in New England begins in June and continues through the end of November, with August and September as peak months (NESEC). Going through a hurricane is incredibly daunting and can lead to devastation. Though they may not be prevalent where you live, it is essential to do your best to prepare and protect your home and your family. Follow along for preventative measures you can take this hurricane season to prepare your home for the storm. 

Trim Trees

During a hurricane, limbs and branches of trees tend to break off and fly into your home easily. It is crucial to inspect the trees and vegetation surrounding your home to properly trim branches and cut off dead limbs to avoid any part of the tree falling or flying into your home. If you know that a hurricane is coming, it is an excellent idea to remove it altogether and get rid of dead trees in your yard, as they are a serious safety threat. 

Secure Doors and Windows

All doors and windows must be shut, locked, and secured. If you own hurricane shutters, it is time to get those out, or if you do not have them, plywood works just as well. Before a hurricane hits, check to see if you are experiencing leaking from any door or window. If you notice leaking, make sure to get them sealed and secured before the time the storm hits. 

Protect Valuables

Valuables are different for everyone, but whatever yours are, make sure they are placed in a waterproof, leakproof, plastic container during a hurricane. If some things are too valuable to risk, you may want to send them over to a friend or family outside of the storm zone for safekeeping. 

Prep Your Basement

If you typically experience flooding in your basement during a storm (as most homeowners unfortunately do), there are precautions you can take to eliminate as much damage as possible. Make sure there is no clear way for water to get in, have a pump handy, and make sure there are no valuables or anything of importance on the basement floor. 

Contact Restoration Professionals

The damage caused by hurricanes can be devastating. The best thing you can do is prepare your home as best you can before the storm and follow every safety tip in the book. If you have fallen victim to property damage due to a hurricane, make sure you call the expert restoration professionals at Soil-Away immediately. 

Common Places Mold Will Grow

Written by Casey Shearns on . Posted in .

Nobody ever wants to see mold in any crevice of their home. Mold can cause severe problems for your health, your belongings, and your home. The worst part about mold? It happens quickly and could be virtually impossible to see in some cases. 

It is unlikely that your whole home is covered with mold, but it is essential to know when mold is in your home. Mold needs a simple combination of temperature, moisture, and a food source to begin wreaking havoc. Follow along to learn more about the most common places in your home that mold tends to grow. 

The Bathroom

Your bathroom constantly has two of mold’s favorite things; heat and moisture. Between the wetness of the sink, toilet, and shower and insufficient ventilation, mold takes advantage. To prevent mold from starting to grow in your bathroom, make sure to keep an eye on all sources of moisture, even the pipes under the sink. Ensure that you always allow for proper ventilation after showering or taking a bath to avoid any humidity lingering. 

The Attic

Heat rises, which means one of the hottest rooms in your house is your attic. It is extremely common for homeowners to experience mold growth in their attic. Attics are typically poorly ventilated, covered in dust, packed with storage, and moisture tends to seep through the roof. That combination of things in your attic creates a perfect feeding ground for mold.  You are rarely in your attic, which means mold can be growing, and you may have no idea. Make sure that you check out your attic every so often for mold to prevent it from becoming a massive problem. 

Basements

Like the attic, your basement is dark and damp, perfect for mold. There tend to be small cracks in the flooring and walls of your basement, allowing moisture to seep in and increase humidity levels. Lack of sunlight, moisture, and humidity causes mold to grow. To prevent this, do your best to seal any cracks you see in your basement to stop any moisture from getting in. You should also be checking your basement every once in a while to check it out for mold growth. When doing those checks, it will also be helpful to try to circulate the air down there for a little while. 

Get Rid of Mold with Soil-Away

If you are experiencing mold growth in any room of your home, make sure to call the remediation specialists at Soil-Away immediately. We have over 30 years of experience in mold remediation and are fully ready to come and completely remove the mold from your home. To set up remediation services, give us a call today at (603) 945-8473.

Most Common Causes of House Fires

Written by Casey Shearns on . Posted in .

Fires are probably one of any homeowner’s biggest fears. They are typically unexpected and can be devastating to your home and precious belongings. Fires tend to spread quickly and easily, making them extremely dangerous. Because of the damage a house fire could cause, it is imperative to be aware of how you could prevent a fire from breaking out in your home. Follow along to learn more about the most common causes of housefires so you and your family can be prepared and equipped. 

Cooking

The number one cause of house fires is cooking accidents. Within these cooking fires, many are caused by leaving the food you are cooking unattended, whether it is from the stove or inside the oven. You must be very cautious and attentive at all times while cooking and using your kitchen appliances.

Candles

Candles are so pleasant to have around your home. They bring fresh smells and comfort into whatever room they are in. However, candles account for a significant portion of house fires. Unfortunately, it is very common and very easy to forget about a candle you had lit hours ago that is sitting in another room. They are beautiful to have in your home, but they are quite literally an open flame. It is vital never to leave candles unattended. Ensure that there is at least a foot of space between the candle and any flammable materials. 

Smoking

Smoking anything such as a cigarette or a pipe only accounts for a small percentage of house fires but is a leading cause of house fire fatalities. It is common to believe that your cigarette is entirely out in your ashtray, but it can spark back up instantly without your knowledge. Fires are also commonly caused by those who accidentally fall asleep with a lit cigarette in their hand. Once a lit cigarette or cigar falls on anything within your home, it is likely to burst into flames, leading to a large fire. The best way to prevent this from happening is only to smoke outside. 

Fire Damage Restoration with Soil-Away

The expert restoration team at Soil-Away understands how devastating a house fire can be for everyone involved. It is crucial to get a team of professionals out for clean-up and restoration immediately if a fire has impacted your home. If a house fire has damaged your home, make sure to call the restoration team at Soil-Away as soon as possible. We are certified, fully insured, and our goal is to help you recover from the damage as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you are recovering from a house fire and need professional restoration assistance, make sure to give us a call at (603) 641-6555.

Common Appliance Malfunctions

Written by Casey Shearns on . Posted in .

We all know that appliances do not last forever but appliance malfunctions always tend to take us by surprise. It is crucial to take the best care of your appliances, so they do not end up causing damage, such as starting a fire or possible plumbing issues. We have seen hundreds of residential and commercial fire and water damage situations due to appliance failures. Follow along for a few of the most common appliance malfunctions that can happen to homeowners so you can minimize your risk. 

Washing Machines 

One of the most common malfunctions homeowners come across is with their washing machine. A few different things can cause washing machine failure. If your washer is not sitting on a completely level surface, it could cause problems for your machine. Another common source of the malfunction is draining obstructions. User errors could also cause issues with your washing machine; make sure to read instructions thoroughly and never overload your machine. 

Dryer Vents

Hot air being exhausted from your dryer needs a clear route to exit your home. The dryer vent provides this path. Over time, dryer vents can become clogged with lint and dust from your clothes. Make sure to regularly inspect and clean your dryer vent as it is a very common source of home fires every year. 

Refrigerators 

Your refrigerator is probably your most essential appliance. It works very hard, as it is never turned off, and works all day every day to keep your food fresh. One of the most common causes of refrigerator malfunctions is dirty coils. It is crucial to clean your refrigerator coils occasionally to get rid of dirt, grease, food, and anything else gathered on the coils. Leaving them dirty and covered in debris may cause the fridge to overheat and break down. Another piece of advice to prevent overheating is allowing for airflow around the area of your fridge. Ensure that it is not pushed directly up against a wall or other appliances; put a least an inch of space between. 

Microwaves 

Old food stuck to the side of your microwave is more than unsightly; it is potentially hazardous. Once the food starts to harden on the walls and you continue to use your microwave, that food can easily catch fire once it starts to heat up. Food being stuck can also cause the turntable and rollers to stop working. It is crucial to clean your microwave well and thoroughly, as they can cause real damage if not taken care of. 

Contact Soil-Away for Restorations

The expert team here at Soil-Away thought it was necessary to share this advice with you because we are all too familiar with the aftermath of poor appliance care. It can go from your microwave not heating your food well to catching your kitchen on fire in the blink of an eye. If your appliance malfunctions have caused severe damage to your home, make sure to call Soil-Away today. We are here to help 24/7/365!

What is Safe to Salvage After a Flood?

Written by Casey Shearns on . Posted in .

No matter the scale of the flood, water entering your home and ruining your things is devastating no matter what. The first thing you want to do after this happens to you is rush inside and save all of your belongings. Proceed with caution and prioritize safety. Consult with building professionals if necessary to eliminate hazards such as electrocution or structural collapse. Once you are back in, you must determine which of your belongings is safe to salvage and which items must be tossed. Here, we will go over what is safe to keep from a flood and what must be discarded for your safety. 

Food 

Any piece of food that has been affected by floodwaters must be discarded immediately. If the flood caused an extended power outage, you might need to throw away any meat, poultry, dairy, and perishable items from your refrigerator. Monitor your freezer contents as well. They may spoil over time due to a power outage. 

While on the topic of food, if there are any porous utensils that you use to make food affected by the water, make sure to toss those. Metal and ceramic utensils can be washed thoroughly and need to be thoroughly sanitized. 

Upholstered Furniture 

Upholstered furniture and mattresses that were contaminated with floodwater must be thrown away or professionally restored. If you have a valuable piece of furniture that you cannot imagine getting rid of, it may be possible to restore it professionally. It is not enough to simply dry them out, as the inside of the furniture is contaminated as well. 

Wood 

Anything made of wood in your home that has been affected by the flood might be salvageable. Whether it is flooring, furniture, or cabinets, there is hope of being saved! It is essential to take extreme caution and sanitize as much as possible. Make sure the wood is dried thoroughly, which may include special drying methods. Then, clean with a wood cleaning agent and disinfect thoroughly. Depending on the damage, you may have to sand down and refinish certain areas or pieces. 

Contact Soil-Away 

Soil-Away is a team of flood restoration specialists. We have years of experiencing cleaning up homes after floods and assisting in the salvaging process, making sure everything is safe. If you have gone through a flood and are looking for restoration assistance, make sure to give us a call today at (603) 641-6555, we are happy to help.

How to Prevent Mold Growth in the Summer

Written by Casey Shearns on . Posted in .

Summer is here in New England, and while we enjoy most of what the summer months bring, there is one thing that we could all do without; mold! Humid, hot, and moist weather are the perfect combination for mold to grow. Because of the structural damage and potential health risks that mold brings with it, it is imperative to prevent mold from growing before it starts. Take these preventative steps this summer so you can focus on the fun parts of summer, not the mold! 

Keep it Cool 

Mold tends to grow faster in elevated temperatures, especially when combined with a moisture source. On hot summer days, if possible make sure your air conditioning is turned on to ensure the indoor temperature does not rise above 77 degrees. 

Look Out for Moisture 

Even if your air conditioning is kicking and it is quite cool in your home, because of the differing indoor and outdoor temperatures, it can cause moisture in your home. Whether it be caused by temperature difference, cooking on the stove, or taking a hot shower, make sure to wipe off any visible condensation you see as quickly as you can. 

Because moisture is also caused by humidity, it is important to keep humidity under 50%. If your home tends to get more humid than normal it may be a good idea to purchase a dehumidifier to assist in keeping humidity levels low. It is important to make sure that bathroom and kitchen fans are working properly as well. 

Monitor Open Windows When it Rains 

Though it is calming to see and hear the rain, it is not a good idea to keep your windows wide open during a summer rainstorm. If your walls and floors get wet during a nighttime storm, it can lead to mold growth the next day. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and monitor your windows if rain is a possibility to prevent water infiltration into your home. 

Watch Out for Roof Leaks 

A leaky roof during summer rain poses a huge threat for your home and for mold. A tell-tale sign that your roof has caught a leak is any discoloration you may see in your ceiling. Even if you do not outright see water coming through, the discoloration means that it is or was wet. It is crucial to get these leaks fixed by professionals as soon as you see it. 

Soil-Away 

As mold removal and remediation experts, we know how serious the damage mold can cause can be. That is why we wanted to share these preventative tips to ensure you do not see mold growing in your home this summer. For any further questions or if you are noticing mold in your home, make sure to call the experts at Soil-Away today!

What to do if Your Basement Floods

Written by Casey Shearns on . Posted in .

Basement flooding is, unfortunately, an incredibly common occurrence in New Hampshire. Whether it is caused by a burst pipe or rainwater, it is something that no one looks forward to finding. When you notice flooding in your basement, you may tend to panic. The most important thing is that you do your best to remain calm and follow these few steps in order to stay safe and save your belongings. 

Proceed with Caution and Prioritize Safety

When your basement is flooded, your immediate reaction may be to run in and gather belongings you want to save. It is imperative that you stop and prioritize safety. Do not going running into the basement without a plan! One of the very first thing you should do when you notice a flooded basement is to consult with an electrician to assess for electrocution hazards. Another safety consideration is the type of water filling your basement. What is the potential contamination level of the water? That will be determined by the source (sewer pipe, clean water line, ground water, etc…). Always proceed with caution. 

Water Removal and Stabilization

Once you are certain that it is safe to enter the basement, it is time to begin the stabilization process. The goal of this is to stop the ongoing damage and reverse the difficult situation. First you must deal with the source of the water. For example, you make need to call in a plumber to fix the pipe or turn of the water supply to the house. Next is focus on extracting the water. Get it pumped out of the basement. After the water is removed, start the dehumidifying process to start removing excess humidity. You’ll also need to address the contents in your basement. Items that have taken on water will likely need to be removed, cleaned and dried. Hopefully most of your items are salvageable. 

Cleaning and Sanitizing the Basement

Basements are damp, dark areas of your home; the perfect situation for mold to grow. You can use soap and warm water to clean your walls thoroughly and set up blowers and dehumidifiers to assist in the drying process. 

If you do notice mold growth it is crucial to take care of it immediately as it can be a threat to your health. If you see mold growing in your flooded basement, make sure to seek professional help like the remediation team at Soil-Away. 

Prevent Future Flooding 

It is important to figure out exactly how and why your basement flooded in the first place to ensure it will not happen again. If it was caused by the weather, make sure to locate where the rain-water was getting into your basement. If it was caused by an appliance leak or burst pipe, it is essential to get them fixed as soon as possible.

Soil-Away 

Basement floods are no easy task to take on alone. If you have experienced flooding in your basement, make sure to call the professionals at Soil-Away to assist you in flood damage clean-up and restoration! If you notice mold growing after a flood, we have expert mold removal and remediation services to take care of it quickly and efficiently. Give us a call today! We are here 24/7/365. We specialize in insurance claim water damage cleanup.

Soil Away Helps a Local Family After a Fire

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“After the extinguishment of a recent structure fire, the Bedford Fire Department learned that a young resident of the home had planned to dance in an important recital the following day. The young lady’s dance gear suffered smoke damage and replacements could not be locally sourced. The fire department set out to find a resource that could restore the dance garments to a usable state in less than 24 hours. After numerous phone calls it seemed that there was no one that could help. That’s when Soil-Away Cleaning & Restoration Services, LLC came to the rescue. “

How to Protect Your Commercial Property From Flood Damage

Written by Casey Shearns on . Posted in .

You cannot prevent the rain, but you can prepare to deal with flood damage. It is imperative for commercial properties to be equipped with preventative measures when it comes to flooding. Follow these tips to prep your property for flood damage prevention and recovery. 

Assess the Property Location

The first step to preventing flood damage would be to assess the building location. Are you in an area the is more prone to flooding? What bodies of water are you near? Is the building in a lower spot related to the surrounding structures and streets? Does the building or area have any history of flooding? These are all important questions to address when analyzing your flood risk. 

Building Envelope Inspection

Work with structural professionals to deal with vulnerable areas of the exterior of your structure. Have the roofing, siding, windows and foundation inspected. Some basic maintenance to the building envelope can go a long way in preventing water infiltration during a rainstorm or flooding situation. You may need to make a larger capital investment (i.e. basement waterproofing or roof replacement) in the short-term, but the long-term benefits should make it worth it. 

Landscape

You cannot change the physical location of your property, but you can enhance your landscape in a way that will assist in the prevention of flooding. Ensure that your landscape is allowing water to run away from the property and always have your downspouts facing away from the building. You may also utilize native plants and other vegetation that can help with the drainage of water. 

Get Covered

If you feel as though your commercial property is in an area that is prone to flooding, make sure that you get reliable flood insurance. Many insurance plans do not include flood insurance, so make sure to be aware of the possibility of flooding and get insured accordingly. 

Be Prepared

It is always the best idea to prepare for a flood before it ever happens. Prepare your building for floods well in advance of one ever happening. Be sure to set a plan for everyone in the building to know what to do and the best route to take if there is ever an instance of a flood.

Soil-Away

For any further information on how to properly deal with flood damage in your commercial building, call our team at Soil-Away today at 603-641-6555! We are experts in flood damage cleanup and restoration. If you have experienced flood damage to your property and need assistance with restoration, we have incredible services that will ensure your property is back in pre-flood condition.

Restoring Your Home After a Natural Disaster

Written by Casey Shearns on . Posted in .

The damage natural disasters cause to homes is devastating. There is no definitive way to go about restoring your home after natural disasters; everyone will take it in differently and begin restoration their own way in their own time. Thankfully, there are very helpful tips to help guide you through it. We are going to go into more detail about some steps you will need to take when restoring your home after a natural disaster. 

Gather Your Emotions

Losing some or all of your home to a natural disaster can take a toll on you mentally. Make sure you are taking the proper steps to prepare yourself. Take all the time you need to be able to walk into your home with a clean mind and clear restoration goals. 

Safety

Clean-up after natural disasters can be dangerous. There are many hazards around your home, like broken glass from windows, pieces of wall and ceiling hanging down, rotting floors, and so much more. It is essential that you wear proper protective gear when entering your home. Make sure to wear a hardhat, clothing that covers your skin, gloves, respiratory protection, safety eyewear, and protective boots. You may also need to make accommodations for temporary lighting to see in the event you have no electricity. 

Disinfect 

Anything left in your home that can be restored or saved must be cleaned and disinfected intensely and immediately. For any furniture you believe can be restored, you need to remove it from your home into a dry area as soon as possible. If you leave it, it could start to rot and grow more harmful bacteria. Remaining salvageable surfaces and building materials, must be cleaned thoroughly with a strong, reliable cleaning solution to rid any germs or dirt. 

Proper Climate Control

Make sure there is proper climate control and airflow throughout the house when restoring your home. In some cases, it is beneficial to keep all possible windows and doors open while inside. This can help with drying under the right circumstances, and also exhaust harmful airborne particulates outside the property. If you are looking to speed up the drying process in certain areas of the house, commercial dehumidifiers and air movers may be a good investment. 

Soil-Away

If you have gone through the terrible reality that is natural disasters and need assistance with restoring your home, call Soil-Away right away at 603-641-6555! We have an expert team of home restoration professionals that are ready to help. Our goal is always to return your home to pre-loss condition. Give us a call today! We are here 24/7/365.

Water Damage Cleanup at a Church in Bedford NH- Commercial Case Study Soil-Away

Written by Casey Shearns on . Posted in .

Listen to Josh Solloway from Soil-Away talk about a successful case study where the Soil-Away crew was able to help a church in Bedford NH re-open on a Sunday after receiving an emergency call at 4am! We were able to safely and effectively clean up water damage to allow the church to continue operations without disruptions. Soil-Away specializes in restoration services to help get your commercial building up and running quickly after a natural disaster.

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