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Why Should I Hire a Professional Fire Damage Restoration Company?

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A restoration company can go a long way to correcting damage to your home or business after a fire.  Experienced in handling this type of work, fire restoration professionals can address all of the damage to your home caused by the flames.  In addition, smoke can leave behind its own damage, including a lasting odor that is often hard to remove.  A professional restoration team can remove any underlying odor.

Preventing Fire Damage from Supplemental Heat Sources

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Many of the sources that we use to supplement, or entirely heat, a home in the winter can actually pose a potential fire risk if you are not careful.  These include wood-burning fireplaces, pellet stoves and space heaters.  While they can be great sources of heat, you should take precautions to ensure that there is no risk of a fire, which can badly damage your home and belongings.

Fireplace Safety

  • Keep all flammable objects a safe distance away from the fire, typically a minimum of three feet
  • Place a screen over the fireplace to prevent burning embers from escaping
  • Have the chimney professionally inspected and cleaned annually
  • Ensure that there is appropriate venting
  • Install a chimney cap to prevent leaves and debris from falling into the chimney
  • Burn only well-seasoned, dry hardwood
  • Dispose of ashes safely in a metal container with a lid

Pellet Stove Safety

  • Keep flammable objects, including walls and furniture, a safe distance away from the stove
  • Use only high-quality pellets
  • Inspect and clean the stove regularly
  • Schedule annual maintenance by a professional
  • Dispose of ashes safely, placing them in a metal container with a lid

Space Heater Safety

  • Always turn off and unplug the space heater when it is not in use
  • Never leave a space heater unattended when turned on
  • Do not place the heater under a desk or in an enclosed space
  • Plug directly into the wall outlet
  • Ensure that your space heater has an automatic shut off

Beyond these safety precautions, it is important to have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home.  Fire extinguishers should be easily accessible near any of these heat sources and they should never be left unattended or with small children or pets alone.  By adhering to these safety practices, you can ensure that your home is toasty and warm all winter long. 

If you do experience a fire, Soil-Away has teams on call 24/7 to assess the damage and begin the restoration process immediately.  In an emergency contact Soil-Away at 603-641-6555.

What do I do after water damage?

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , .

If water damage has ravaged your home, you need to know what to do: extract water quickly; dry out your home, but most importantly you should call a professional restoration contractor. Water can be very damaging to your home and you need to act quickly in order to reverse the misfortune. While there are some things you can do on your own; calling a restoration specialist is very important. After inspecting the damage, they will know, better than anyone, what needs to be done. Do-it-yourself methods aren’t really recommended, especially for more complicated work. However, there are a few things you can get started doing on your own that could speed things up. And, for water damage, time is of the essence.

A few things to do on your own…

To begin with – safety always comes first. Be sure to:

  • Turn off the electrical power to your home. If your home is surrounded by water, call an electrician. DON’T ENTER YOUR HOME IF IT’S UNDERWATER.
  • Wear protective clothing when doing cleanup. Make sure to wear:
  • Rubber boots
  • Gloves
  • Eye and respirator protection
  • Avoid cross contamination. For example, this can occur when moving items from affected to unaffected areas.

Second step…

Dry out your home:

  • Remove as much standing water as possible
  • If you can safely use power, use fans and dehumidifiers to dry out your home.
  • It may be necessary to call a professional like Soil-Away Cleaning and Restoration to make sure your home is completely dry

Next…

Call your insurance company to submit a claim. You want to make sure you’re covered for this type of disaster. Document the values of your belongings with pictures and video.

Cleanup…

This next step may require help from a professional. Soil-Away Cleaning and Restoration has the experience and know-how to determine what items can be salvaged. Many items such as:

  • Furniture
  • Contents
  • Flooring
  • Drywall
  • Insulation
  • Cabinetry/fixtures

may be unsalvageable and require removal and disposal.

Soil-Away can also clean clothing and soft contents with their Esporta Wash System. They have professional grade cleaners that can sanitize surfaces that otherwise may be a headache to clean. Drying out a home effectively is also a job for Soil-Away. They can determine best how much water is to be removed safely, without damaging the structure of your home. Drywall and flooring may also need to be replaced – requiring their attention. As restoration specialists, they know best. But that’s not where it stops, there’s also a mold concern.

Mold…

Mold can begin to grow within 24-48 hours and to prevent any damage from mold you need Soil-Away. Mold is not only damaging to your home, but can also be a health hazard. As an experienced restoration company – Soil-Away has been helping families for 30 years. They are quick, friendly and professional. They can do the job, and do it right, giving you peace of mind. Soil-Away is an IICRC certified company and can be counted on to do the best job possible. They are available 24/7. Day or night, they are there to make things easier on you. Breathe a sigh of relief, call them at 1-800-293-6319.

Written by E. Aceves

Who Should I Hire to Remove Mold from My Attic?

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , .

When hiring a company to remove mold from your attic, you should find a company that is affordable, reputable, and has experienced technicians.  Serious mold removal is not typically a do-it-yourself job.  Anticipate investing time and money into getting rid of the mold and bringing your house back to its pre-mold state.  Choosing the wrong company can negatively impact your property and cause mold to spread.  The more mold cross-contaminates your space, the greater you and your property are at risk.  That’s why it’s important to count on a mold remediation company like Soil-Away.

Why should I hire Soil-Away for mold removal in my attic?

Soil-Away is not just like any other mold remediation company.  The company goes above and beyond to make sure your home is safe and clean.  Soil-Away:

  • Is local, family-owned, well known (established 1990) and reputable
  • Offers 24/7 services
  • Has IICRC-trained technicians. Follows IICRC S-520 standards for mold.
  • Includes fire, water and mold damage cleanup and restoration
  • Offers reconstruction and repair services
  • Fully insured and bonded
  • Offers competitive pricing and will warranty work
  • Specializes in insurance claim work (both with local and national insurance companies)

Don’t wait to get mold out of your attic.  Call Soil-Away right away today at (603) 641-6555.

By A. Phelps

What is the Best Way to Clean-Up Water Damage?

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , .

When a flood has affected your home or business, immediately find the source of the water and shut this down.  If there is standing water, prioritize safety to avoid hazards such as slip-and-fall and electric shock.  A wet-shop vacuum or water pump can remove the standing water, and should be done immediately.  You can then ventilate the area, running dehumidifiers to start removing the excessive underlying moisture.

Identify Salvageable Items and Toss the Rest

The source of the water damage will impact the direction of the mitigation process. In a clean water loss, most items can be dried and salvaged. A water loss with contamination, like sewage, items such as carpet and padding underneath should be thrown out.  Removing the carpeting will also help to get the area dried out as quickly as possible.  Drywall and insulation that has been affected by contaminated water should be torn out and disposed of. 

Belongings that have been soaked with clean water may not only require drying out, but will also need to be sanitized.  This is particularly true for soft contents such as clothing, blankets and children’s plush toys.  Soft contents cleaning, available from Soil-Away, can ensure that these items are fully disinfected.

Disinfect the Area and Keep an Eye Out for Mold Growth

After the area has been dried thoroughly, the sanitization process can begin.  This will not only clean the area of any contaminants and bacteria, but it will also help to deter mold growth.  Strong cleaners, particularly those containing anti-microbial elements, can hinder bacteria growth that may be left behind.

Even after a thorough drying and disinfecting, the flooded area may still be at risk for mold growth.  Keep a vigilant eye out for any signs of mold growth, as it can spread rapidly to other areas.  If you do see signs of mold, have a professional address the situation. Trying to remove the mold yourself can cause the spores to travel through the air, affecting other areas of the home.

By quickly and efficiently addressing water damage in your home or business, you can head off any problems down the road as a result.  The restoration team at Soil-Away is experienced in mitigating flood damage.

With teams on call 24/7 contact Soil-Away at 603-641-6555 if your home is damaged by a flood.

Water Damage Cleanup – Salem, New Hampshire

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , .

“Help! I need water damage cleanup immediately!” This is what a Salem, New Hampshire woman yelled to her friend over the phone. She knew that her friend would know exactly what to do. She suffered a water loss recently and recovered quickly with a positive attitude about her experience, so she called to get a referral from someone she trusted.

After hearing the details about the situation, her friend recommended Soil-Away Cleaning and Restoration Services for help. The homeowner was nervous about calling for help. She dreaded the cost of repairs and contemplated restoring the home herself. But a little reassurance and education from her friend changed her outlook.

After the crew arrived on the scene, they worked to identify the source of the water loss and category of water damage. In this case, the damage was a simple category 1 (clean water) loss. The toilet supply line busted causing gallons of water to flood the entire bathroom and hallway of the single story dwelling. For the water damage cleanup process, the team worked to carefully detach baseboard and carpet before drying the hardwood floor underneath. To treat the damaged wood flooring, the crew used air movers and dehumidifiers to drive the moisture out of the material. Lastly, the floors were treated with an antimicrobial solution to reduce the occurrence of potential mold growth.

Water Damage Cleanup Process

A water damage cleanup process will not be the same for everyone. Some property owners need extensive restoration while others do not. Also, the category of water, which refers to the level of contamination, will determine what the cleanup process will look like.

There are three known categories of water losses, and the source of the water loss determines the category. Category 1 is clean water or water from a sink/faucet, hot water tanks, and supply lines. Category 2 can be described as contaminated water. This can come from fish tanks and washing machines. Category 3 water loss is dangerous and can pose harm to residents and unprotected individuals. This is described as black sewage contaminated water. The remediation of category 3 damage requires a special level of remediation and protection. Special PPE suits should be worn to protect against harmful pathogens, and unlike the other two categories, the use of dehumidifiers and fans can cause airborne toxins to cross-contaminate the property.

Water Damage Specialist in Salem, New Hampshire

Soil-Away Cleaning and Restoration Services is an experienced service provider that has helped New Hampshire residents fight major water losses for 30 years. Their in-depth knowledge of restoration and water damage cleanup has helped the community after major tragedies from water and mold to fire and smoke damage. The IICRC-certified team of experts is there to help you. Water damage cleanup is no match for the team of professionals. The restoration crew is not only equipped to handle any category of water loss, but they are at standby to help transform your damaged personal heirlooms and materials into clean and sanitized momentos and personal treasures. If you have soft materials or textiles that have been harmed during a disaster, the Esporta-certified crew is equipped to cleanup and restore the damage. Don’t hesitate to call Soil-Away for emergency water damage cleanup at 603-641-6555. You’ll be glad that you did!

Fire Damage Repairs: Where to Begin

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , .

The damage of a fire persists long after the flames are out.  There is often water damage from extinguishing the fire that needs to be addressed.  Smoke and soot can both leave behind a residue on belongings, as well as the walls and ceiling.  Before the area can be considered livable again, these will all need to be addressed, including the sanitization process.

Smoke Odor Removal – Hudson, NH

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Smoke odor – no one likes the smell of smoke odor. It’s a thick, choking smell that seems to permeate throughout your home or business. The terrible smell seems to stick in your nostrils wherever you go. The acrid odor of cigarette smoke is bad enough, but on a larger scale, it’s almost unbearable. If your Hudson, NH home has been the victim of a house fire, the smell can get intense. During a fire, smoke travels through minute cracks and crevice’s in your property. It can even seep in through the AC system and air ducts. It can land on, and stick to, furniture, carpets and upholstery. It leaves odor on everything it touches – which can be just about anything. After breathing this pungent smell for a while, you become anxious for clean air. You need to find someone who is good at smoke odor removal. Smoke odor is difficult to remove and is comprised of harmful chemicals so it’s important to get help.

Winter Water Damage Woes: Protect Your Home from Damage this Season

Written by WSI Genesis on . Posted in , , .

The winter months can be particularly hard on homes, as the cold temperatures, ice and snow can leave behind devastating damage.  Being vigilant can help to prevent winter damage, ensuring that your home comes out of the season without any lasting problems.


Frozen Pipes

This is a common fear for any homeowner in New England.  Frozen pipes can quickly lead to flooding, as the pipe swells to the point of cracking.  Frozen pipes often occur during extreme cold weather in those pipes that are on the exterior of the home or in unheated areas. 

The following are some tips to prevent frozen pipes:

  • Insulate piping that is at risk for freezing, including those that are in the basement, attic and garage.
  • Keep the garage and exterior doors securely closed.
  • Seal windows and doors with weather-stripping.
  • Keep the home’s thermostat consistent throughout the day and night.
  • Even when away, do not set the thermostat lower than 55 degrees.
  • If you lose power and the indoor temperature is dropping, let the faucets drip to allow water to continue running through the pipes.

Ice Dams

Snow and ice that builds-up on the roof and gutter of a home can melt and refreeze, creating drainage problems.  With nowhere to go, the water can leak into the roof causing significant damage and flooding in the home. 

Follow these tips to prevent ice dams from damaging your home:

  • Use a roof rake to clear heavy snow.
  • Keep gutters clean and free of debris.
  • Ensure that the attic has good ventilation to allow for continuous airflow.
  • Eliminate any heat sources that are located in the attic.
  • If ice has begun forming, apply calcium chloride (or any ice-melt product).

Flooding

Despite your best effort, your home may experience flooding damage during the winter.  If you do experience a flood in your home, remove the water as quickly as possible.  This will ensure the best chance of preventing mold growth, which can lead to big problems in the future. 

Even after the standing water has been removed, the humidity levels are often very high, with underlying moisture in the walls, flooring and other areas that cannot be seen by the naked eye.  Soil-Away can ensure that all of the moisture is removed after a flood has damaged your home.  This will not only restore your home to its pre-flood state, but you can also be confident that the area is not a breeding ground for mold growth.

After a flood has damaged your home, contact Soil-Away at 603-641-6555.

Water Damage Cleanup Company – Hollis, NH

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , .

Excessive rain in Hollis, NH, left a farm in need of a water damage cleanup company.  Upon inspection of the property, the owners of the farm realized massive ground water flooding was damaging the inside of their barns and farmhouse.  Because there was so much flooding in their yard, many crops were ruined. The property owners were dealing with damage to both their terrain and buildings.

Routine Maintenance Limits the Need for a Water Damage Cleanup Company

There is no way to avoid flooding completely.  Flooding will always happen, especially in rainy New England weather.  While floods cannot be fully prevented, they can be limited.  Limiting floods starts with proper maintenance.

The reason the owners of the farm in Hollis, NH experienced so much external flood damage is because their yard wasn’t routinely maintained.  The gutters on the structures hadn’t been checked and several areas of the farm had been built up with residue and debris.  Listed are several ways one can maintain their landscape and limit the need for a water damage cleanup company:

  • Improve drainage by creating runoff ponds or sediment traps
  • Remove sediment that accumulates over time
  • Loosen soil so water can soak in
  • Use low-ground pressure tires to avoid soil compaction
  • Routinely check and clean out gutters
  • Clear debris from channels, culverts, and trash screens
  • Invest in sandbags to prevent water from entering structures
  • Use plywood to board up windows
  • Use pallets to raise items above floodwater level
  • Add mulch and grow grass in bare areas

Drainage may seem like a tiresome task, and it is.  But proper drainage to one’s yard is critical for maintaining well managed landscapes.

Benefits for Properly Maintaining One’s Yard

Whether it’s a farm, a small garden, or your child’s playground, there are benefits for a yard that is cleaned and maintained.  Sure, the reduction of flooding will limit the need for a water damage cleanup company.  But that’s just the beginning.  Maintenance also goes a long way in making your yard, farms, and gardens more profitable and healthier.  Proper maintenance of one’s yard can yield these benefits:

  • Improved water infiltration, which replenishes groundwater
  • Increase in the amount of water held in soil
  • Reduced runoff and erosion
  • Save resources and money in the long run

On the contrary, if your yard isn’t properly maintained, erosion could occur, and runoff can carry away nutrients needed to make your gardens grow.

Find the Right Water Damage Cleanup Company

While flooding was certainly a concern, the farmers in Hollis, NH, were even more relieved to learn about ways that they could prevent water damage on their own.  It’s one thing to clean up water damage, but it’s another to prevent it numerous times to save your business.  Soil-Away Cleaning and Restoration Services, LLC does it all.  They were able to come and clean the flooded areas in the buildings. Ground water flooding that entered the farmhouse and barns were no match for Soil-Away.

Keep in mind, yard maintenance doesn’t just apply to farms.  Although it seems like farms may have the most costly consequences, anyone’s backyard, gardens, and even public parks can cause water damage to surrounding structures.  An efficient water damage cleanup company like Soil-Away won’t stop until your home or business is free of water damage and full-service repairs have been made.  Call Soil-Away today at (603) 641-6555.

By A. Phelps

Emergency Water Damage Cleanup – Portland, ME

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , , .

A laundromat in Portland, ME had a washing machine that overflowed, leaving a large puddle of water on the newly installed wood floors.  When one of the workers saw it had overflowed, they quickly turned the appliance off.  But damage had been done.  The floors were now flooded, and the owners of the laundromat realized that they needed an emergency water damage cleanup.

Mold Remediation in the Attic – Bedford, NH

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , , .

You enter the attic in your Bedford, NH home and turn on the lights. While you try to look for an item, something catches your eye. You can’t pull your gaze and decide to have a look at it. The black specks, up close, alerts you to the presence of mold in the attic. There are various colors of mold in the attic: White, blue-green, gray, and black. While black mold is commonly labeled as toxic, it mostly indicated poor air quality. Mold remediation in the attic can easily be done. Before that, however, there are a few things to note.

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