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COVID-19: Ready to Reopen

COVID-19: Ready to Reopen?

Asking the Right Questions Before Re-Entry

You can feel the anxiety building in our culture as we seek to reopen our economy and society. The next chapter in the coronavirus struggle is figuring out how and when to re-occupy our buildings safely. Local business leaders are seeking solutions on the best way to do this. When it comes to cleaning and disinfecting your facility, there are several things to consider. This blog is to serve as a guide to asking the right questions as you prepare to reopen.

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Cleaning a Sewer Backup

Cleaning a Sewer Backup

In the event of a sewage backup in your home or business, it is important to evacuate all people and pets from the area.  Personal safety has to be prioritized if contaminated water is leaking into your property.  Sewage backups often come with copious amounts of bacteria that can be harmful if not cleaned up properly, so it is important to contact a restoration professional for help in the event of a major spill.

For All Sewage Spills, Use Caution During the Cleanup Process

For large sewage spills, the area should be cleared and a professional contacted to handle the clean-up.  Sewage contains bacteria that can be harmful to anyone exposed without taking the necessary safety precautions.  If the area is not cleaned and sanitized properly, the bacteria can remain and even spread long after the cleaning process.

If the sewer backup is minor and limited to one area such as the bathroom or a section of the kitchen, many people will choose to attempt cleaning it themselves.  The first step is to isolate the area to prevent contamination to other parts of the home or business.  The sewage water should be removed as soon as possible, all done while wearing protective gear including rubber gloves, rubber boots, protective eyewear and a face mask.

Remove any standing water with a wet / dry vacuum or a pump.  Items can then be removed from the area, tossing the property that was contaminated by the sewage.  If there is carpeting, rip up the carpeting and any padding underneath and dispose of this as well.  You can then begin the process of cleaning the area using a disinfectant solution on the floor, walls and any fixtures.  Don’t hesitate to continuously change the water and cleaning solution throughout the process, as it will become tainted.

Dry the Area after Cleaning and Disinfecting

After the contaminated area has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, you need ensure all areas are properly dried so that mold growth or rot does not occur in the long run.  Depending on the season, you may be able to open windows and setup fans. In most scenarios a dehumidifier and fans will work best.   

Once the work is done, properly dispose of the protective clothing that you wore during the process and immediately take a hot shower, using antibacterial soap.

The process of cleaning a sewage backup can not only be unpleasant, but it can also be dangerous if you are exposed to bacteria that it carries.  The restoration team at Soil-Away is experienced in these types of clean-ups.  Contact Soil-Away at 603-641-6555.

How to Protect a Vacant Building During COVID-19

How to Protect a Vacant Building During COVID-19

Managing commercial properties during the COVID-19 crisis is a challenge. Buildings from schools to offices to churches currently sit empty. A vacant property is vulnerable to theft, vandalism and property damage. The challenge with a vacant building is that any damage can go overlooked for an extended period of time. All commercial building managers must take extra precautions to protect their real estate assets. Thinking of things such as security, inspection processes, utility management and grounds maintenance will go a long way in preventing unnecessary property damage during the COVID-19 crisis.

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The Best Disinfectants to Use Against Coronavirus

The Best Disinfectants to Use Against Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Many people are calling our office (603-641-6555) with questions about how to deal with the coronavirus as it pertains to cleaning and disinfecting their facility. A good portion of the conversation typically revolves around the cleaning process and the disinfectant products used. This article focuses on what disinfectant products should be used against coronavirus (COVID-19) during this current epidemic.

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COVID-19: Top 3 Cleaning and Disinfecting Needs for Your Facility

COVID-19: Top 3 Cleaning and Disinfecting Needs for Your Facility

This article was composed utilizing the most current information available at the time it was written by resources such as the CDC and EPA. The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation. Please understand that information and best practices are constantly being updated by health and government officials. Everything in this article is subject to change. Soil-Away is making every effort to support your facility needs at this time and will continue to monitor changes and adjust its best practices as new information becomes available. At this time, Soil-Away is cleaning facilities by applying EPA List-N approved disinfectants. Clients who engage with Soil-Away understand that no guarantees can be made about cleaning and disinfecting results, and that any information provided is for the purpose of sharing information, and not for providing definitive advice.

Flood damage cleanup Goffstown NH

Flood damage cleanup – Goffstown, NH

Floods are quite a force to reckon with. They come upon us suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere. The once blue sky darkens; it begins to rain; the rain increases and soon it seems there is no end. Thankfully, most of the time we’re warned at least a little ahead of time. The media can alert us to these types of situations. Be on your guard! Listen; and prepare yourself in case you have to evacuate; move to higher ground.  If you chose to ride out the storm, be prepared. Floods are one of the most destructive forces of nature. Remember – no one is safe from floods, not even the residents of Goffstown, New Hampshire! Where there’s rain; there is the likelihood of flooding. If, by chance, you find yourself a victim of flooding, you are probably going to be in need of flood damage cleanup.

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Smoke Odor Removal

How Do I Remove Smoke Odor?

To remove the odor of smoke, ventilate the home as much as possible.  This includes opening windows and doors and strategically placing large fans to circulate the air.  Baking soda can also be very effective at removing smoke odors.  Place several small bowls filled with baking soda around the room for 24 hours, allowing them to absorb the odors.  You can sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda onto rugs and carpeting.

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Soot Damage repairs Pelham NH

Soot damage repairs – Pelham, NH

Cold weather temperatures are here causing many people to find ways of warming their cold homes. This can sometime lead to an increase in fire damage and the need for fire and soot damage repairs. Space heaters, candles, overloading extension cords are just a few of the causes of these fires. Dirty, or poorly ventilated fireplaces, old or defective furnaces, and unattended stoves are some other culprits. In any case, care must be taken to protect yourself.

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sewer damage cleanup Exeter NH

Sewer Damage Cleanup – Exeter, NH

Sewer damage at an apartment complex in Exeter, NH left several residents troubled when they saw dirty water push up through the pipes into their living spaces.  Several residents complained when they were unable to use clean water and everyday appliances.  Worried about their health and living spaces, the residents called the apartment manager and demanded that there be a sewer damage cleanup.

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How Do I Clean Up Mold

How Do I Clean Up Mold?

Borax, a white powder that can be found in with laundry detergent is a good option for DIY mold removal.  Mix the borax powder with one gallon of hot water.  You can then apply the mixture to the area, scrubbing until the mold disappears.  The borax does not need to be rinsed off, as the residual will act as a deterrent to keep the mold from reappearing.  Other substances that can treat mold include baking soda, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Make sure areas are properly dried so that residual moisture isn’t left to assist with more microbial growth.

Identifying the Mold

As a homeowner, at some point you will probably have to deal with mold, which typically thrives in warm high-moisture areas such as the bathroom, basement or attic.  Once mold growth has begun in an area, it can grow exponentially so it is important to address the problem immediately.  Mold that has accumulated into big colonies can be harmful to the health of anyone living in the home. 

Properly identifying mold should be done by a professional. Industry experts, such as industrial hygienist, are trained in proper mold testing techniques. They can take both air and surface samples and send them to a lab for results. A report will then be generated to list out the volume and types of mold present. Depending on the testing results, professional mold remediation may be necessary.  Some types of mold are toxic and should be removed by a professional mold remediation team such as Soil-Away.

Wear Protective Gear and Secure the Surrounding Area

Cleaning mold can be tricky business, as the spores can travel through the air contaminating other areas.  The mold spores can also adhere to clothing and other areas, unseen to the naked eye.  Wearing the appropriate clothing and gear (personal protective equipment) can help to prevent this spread, while also protecting you from any harmful effects that can be caused by the mold.  Wear gloves, goggles, respiratory protection and loose clothing during the removal process and be sure to discard or immediately wash these items after.

Containing the workspace is also critical to a successful mold cleanup project. Cross contamination is a big threat during this process. Properly isolating the workspace and using HEPA filtration will drastically manage mold spores migrating to unwanted areas of the property.

By addressing a mold situation immediately, you can ensure that your family and your home are protected.  If you suspect that toxic mold is in your home, you should seek the help of a mold remediation professional.  

Soil-Away is experienced at helping homeowners remove mold from their home safely and effectively.  Contact Soil-Away at 603-641-6555.

Winter Storm

Post-Winter Property Inspection Checklist

With the snow and freezing temperatures behind us, it is time to assess any damage that your home and property may have incurred over the winter months.  The following is a spring checklist to inspect your home or business to determine if there is any damage that needs to be addressed.

Gutters.  Snow and ice can damage gutters, preventing water from running through properly.  This damage can cause the springtime rainwater to build-up around the building, leading to flooding indoors.

Roof.  It is important to inspect the roof for any damaged, missing or lifted shingles.  Addressing these problems now can head off any problems that a leaky roof can cause inside the property, including flooding and mold.

Attic.  As the weather warms, check the attic for any signs of mold or mildew forming.  These areas can have a high humidity level, making these optimal conditions for this growth.

Vinyl siding.  Just like roof shingles, a loose piece of siding can lead to big problems during the winter.  Take the warmer weather as an opportunity to inspect the exterior of the building, checking for loose or missing siding.

Pipes.  Frozen pipes can be a big problem during the winter, but very small cracks and leaks may go unnoticed.  Doing a visual inspection of the home’s pipes, checking for any leaks can prevent this from becoming an even bigger problem. This is especially important with your exterior water spigots. When you turn them on for the first time in the spring, make sure to monitor for flooding in your basement.

Basement.  During the winter months, humidity levels are typically lower.  Springtime not only brings warmer weather but also increased humidity.  The basement can quickly become a breeding ground for mold as a result.  Check humidity levels and set up a dehumidifier to regulate this.

Boiler and Furnace.  Spring is a good time to visually inspect the boiler and furnace, checking for any leaks around the area that may indicate that the unit needs to be serviced.

Walkways and steps.  The winter months may cause cracks or damage to the property’s walkways and steps that should be corrected.  Be sure to also make sure that any outdoor railings remain secure and stable.

Foundation.  A quick visual inspection of the foundation of the home now that all of the snow has melted will show any cracks in the foundation that need to be filled.  If left unattended, moisture can leak into the home through these cracks.

Yard.  As the snow melts and the spring rains arrive, check the yard for any standing water.  This could indicate that you have drainage problems that need to be addressed, particularly if the standing water is close to the building.

Taking the time now to visually inspect the property will ensure that any winter damage is addressed before it can become a problem.  If you do have flooding, mold or other damage in the home, Soil-Away has teams on call 24/7 to help.  Contact Soil-Away at 603-641-6555.

sewer damage restoration - londonderry nh

Sewer Damage Restoration — Londonderry, NH

A Londonderry mom was distraught to wake up and find contaminated black water in her home. Her sewage line broke, and she knew that her family was in immediate danger. She quickly evacuated her family to a safe location until the damage was repaired. After researching a few restoration companies in the area, she hired Soil-Away Cleaning and Restoration Services. She gave them a call and scheduled a time for an emergency sewer damage restoration cleanup. The crew quickly arrived on the scene in their special PPE suits and inspected the property for damage. They were kind, reassuring, and thorough, and they left the home owner with a comprehensive remediation plan so that the family was aware of the cleanup process beforehand.

Sewer Damage Restoration Services

Unlike the restoration of category one and two water loss, category three water loss is filled with harmful contaminants that could pose a threat to your health. Because of the level of risk, a higher level of precaution should be taken during the remediation process. The cleaning crew will arrive on the scene in special PPE gear, gloves, and masks to protect themselves from the pollutants in the water. Once all excess water is removed the sanitization, drying and remediation process can begin.

Unfortunately, during a major category three water loss, all affected porous and semi-porous material must be properly disposed of to prevent cross contamination from occurring. Carpet, drywall, insulation, and hardwood floors will be completely removed and discarded along with any porous items. The non-contaminated areas of the building will also be separated from the areas that have been impacted by the contaminated water and the drying process will take place. Once the previously wet areas have been sanitized and completely dried, the damaged structure materials can be replaced.  After every step has taken place, and the moisture meter readings are consistently reading within a safe range, the property would have undergone a successful sewer damage restoration cleanup.

Black Water Damage in Londonderry

Don’t let black water dampen your life! It’s dangerous and can pose a health risk to those you love. You do not want to try and clean it up yourself. Be smart. Call a professional for help. There are many professionals who are trained to handle dangerous situations like sewer damage restoration, fire damage cleanup, and mold removal, but why not choose a company that cares.

Soil Away is a family-owned and operated business that has worked hard to service the New England community for over 30 years. Their amazing customer service and positive attitude has helped turn a disastrous situation for their customers into a rewarding experience. Sewer damage cleanup is a big job, but you can leave it in the hands of qualified experts.

Soil-Away is there to turn your disaster situation around for you by delivering a clean, safe home! From sewer damage restoration to mold, smoke, or fire damage, the Soil-Away crew handles it all! The IICRC and Esporta-certified team is there to clean and restore your property damage as well as your soft contents/textiles. Don’t hesitate! Call the experts in sewer damage restoration at (603) 641-6555.  

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PCA
NADCA
Indoor Air Quaility
EPA
IICRC
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