Wildfire

5 Wildfire Safety Tips

Wildfire

It’s Wildfire Season Again

You may have heard about the wildfire blazing on the Utah-Idaho border.   This is only one of as many as twenty wildfires that firefighters in Utah have responded to this year.  Already, they have burned up as much as 1500 acres of land.  Smoke from these fires has created a smoggy haze that’s fallen over cities many miles from the fire’s actual location.

Wildfires are destructive and terrifying, but they only happen in forests right?  Wrong! Last year, the most devastating fires in California all happened miles away from any forests despite the focus on forest firefighting in the media.  Urban areas are a prime target for wildfires, most often because people think they’re safe and don’t take precautions.  In the last article, we looked at some general fire safety tips.  Today, we’re going to look at five ways you can specifically protect yourself and your home from wildfires.

 

1. Secure the Area Around Your Home

A common mistake people make with fire safety is having combustible materials too close to their homes. Wildfires generate intense heat and can ignite material from as much as 100 feet away!  Therefore, it’s wise to move firewood, dead plants and dried grass, unpruned and low-hanging branches, and even wood fencing, as well as anything else that could catch fire to a minimum safe distance of at least 30 feet. If you do have a wooden fence, it’s a good idea to separate it from your home with a masonry or metal barrier to prevent a fire from spreading along the fence to your house.

But it’s also important that you don’t go overboard. Some people think creating a buffer zone means clearing out anything that might burn within the 100 foot danger area.  This is actually a mistake.  While you should definitely thin out the vegetation close to your home, be sure to leave some there.  It will help to catch the embers blown by the wind, which is the number one way that wildfires ignite houses.  Live vegetation, when kept watered, is slower to ignite than you’d think.  If enough is there to catch the embers, they are more likely to have time to cool before they can actually ignite anything.

2. Keep the Fire From Getting In

Speaking of embers, a single one is enough to light up any number of things in your home.  You need to do everything you can to keep them out.  The number one place for them to get in is through openings in the eaves and vents on your roof.  Make sure that any openings are screened.   It may seem like a little detail, but a good metal screen is often a surefire way to make sure the fire doesn’t get into your house.

Windows are another overlooked precaution.  Intense heat can go right through the glass and light up anything too close.  Replace your drapes and any furniture near the windows with heat-resistant fabrics.

Combine this with some extra planning for the outside of your house and the chances of your home surviving a wildfire increase dramatically.  And on the subject of the exterior . . .

3. Protect the Outside of Your Home

The best time to start planning on fire protection is when you first start building a house.  From the get-go, you should plan for wildfires, especially if you live in an area prone to them.  First of all, consider the location.  Putting your house near a thick stand of tress is clearly not a smart idea, but it’s also a bad idea to put your house on hilltop, or overhanging any place that a wildfire might sweep through.  These spots are just asking for your house to go up in a blaze.

When designing your home, plan to build it from fire resistant materials.  Avoid complicated shapes in the layout, as these create places for embers to fall and get stuck in.  If you build your homes with these in mind, it will greatly reduce the fire danger.

If you aren’t building a new house, try to buy one that meets these conditions.  And even if you’ve already bought your home, there are still ways to improve on it.  Consider upgrading the roof, for example.  Older homes often have wooden shingles.  These are a big mistake.  Asphalt shingles are better, but steel and tile are the safest.  If you’ve got a wood-shingled house, have the roof replaced with better materials as soon as you can.  Not only will it decrease the fire hazard, but it can also reduce your insurance rates.

4.  Work with Your Neighbors

All of these safety tips are useful, but they might not be any good if your neighbors don’t also take precautions.  In places where homes are closely packed, your house is only as fire-proof as the one next door.

Therefore, it is a good idea to form community fire plans. Get together with the people in your area and make sure everyone understands the basics of fire safety. Help them fire-proof their homes as much as you can, because if their home goes up, yours might, too. Community meetings to discuss the matter will help get everyone on board.  Don’t be afraid to remind your neighbors of fire hazards in their yards, either; chances are, they might not have realized it and will appreciate the reminder.

5. Always Have A Plan

Even with all the precautions taken, there’s no way you can absolutely guarantee your home will be protected.  Do everything you can to protect your home, but be sure that you have a plan for what to do if a wildfire gets out of control in your area.  Develop a plan for what you will do and where you will go if a wildfire gets close to your home.  Make sure that your family knows it and have practice evacuations so everybody in your home knows what to do.  It will help them stay calm if the worst should happen.

Don’t try to stay in your home if a fire gets close. There’s nothing you can do to prevent your house from burning down by staying in it.  A house can be rebuilt, but lives lost cannot be restored.  Do not take the risk.  Taking the above precautions will dramatically increase the chances of your house surviving a wildfire.  If you’ve done them, then all that remains to do is get yourself and your family to safety and hope for the best.

 

We’re Ready To Help You

Alpine 100% No Smoke Smell Guarantee Seal            We all hope that the worst doesn’t happen, but that’s not always in our control.  Even with every precaution taken, your house might still be lost or damaged in a fire. If that happens, the people at Alpine Cleaning and Restoration are here for you.  We’re the best restoration company in Utah.  As soon as the firefighters give the clear to return, you can get in touch.  We will restore your house to as good as new, if not better.  You won’t even smell the smoke!  We’ll work with your insurance agency to give you the best restoration possible.  You can rest easy knowing we’re on the job.

Home buring with fire

Summer Fire Safety

Summer fire safety

The Heat Is On!

 

We’re coming up on the final month of summer, but the heat isn’t letting up just yet.  Many people think that summer is the worst season for fire danger, but according to the NFIRS, summer is actually when the lowest dangers exist.  I know it’s hard to believe that when we keep reading about the huge wildfires in California, but only about 8% of all house fires that happen occur in the summer.  Most house fires happen in December and January – often due to faulty space heaters and wood burning stoves/fire pits.  But don’t let that make you think that summer is a time you can overlook fire safety.  Here are a few things you should consider to make sure your house doesn’t go up in smoke.

 

Cooking Fires

 

By far, the most common cause of house fires is cooking and that doesn’t stop during the summer.  Nearly 32% of all house fires are caused by cooking accidents.  Never leave stoves and ovens on, even briefly, when you can’t be there to attend them.  It only takes a second for them to overheat and start a fire and if you aren’t close enough to stop it, it’ll quickly spread.  Grease and oil are particularly bad offenders on that front.  Dishrags left too near the heat are also a danger. To reduce the risk of danger, make sure you clean the cooking surfaces regularly to prevent grease from building up on them.

 

Air Conditioning

 

While faulty heating systems cause many fires, air conditioning units cause their fair share as well.  Portable and fixed AC units will sometimes have inadequate wiring for their heavy power loads, which causes short circuits.  The peak time for AC fires is between 2 and 8 PM, when they see peak usage.  Be sure to have an electrician check your AC unit to make sure the wiring is properly installed and can handle the load.

Look for ways to avoid needing to use the air conditioner all day so it won’t overheat.  Consider turning on a small fan in the room you’re using rather than running the AC all through the house if you can.  Check the AC’s filter regularly to make sure it doesn’t build up dust or debris.  And never, ever run a cord powering an AC unit under a rug or through a door.  This increases the chances of the cord being damaged, which is guaranteed to start a fire sooner or later.

 

Yard and Vehicle Maintenance

 

You’d be surprised how much this goes overlooked. During the summer, a poorly kept yard is a prime target for fires.  Loose brush and debris are highly combustible.  Be sure to clear them from your yard.  While you’re at it, trim the bushes and trees, as poorly kept branches and brambles are also prone to catching fire.  Check up on your vehicles to make sure that no hot metal parts dangle from under it.  Mufflers and exhaust pipes are chief offenders here.  Keep them raised away from the ground as much as possible and avoid parking your cars near dry brush or grass.  Be sure to avoid dragging chains, or other metal objects that could create sparks.  Keep a shovel somewhere in the yard that you can access quickly to bury a fire if you catch one starting early.

 

Attics

 

Attic fires peak in both summer and winter.  While in the winter, the cause is often faulty wiring; during the summer the cause can be just the heat itself.  Attics are often closed-off spaces with poor ventilation. Combined with the insulation surrounding them, they are prone to getting very, very hot.  Do not overstuff your attic with items, especially not combustible ones like paper.  Not only does this increase the number of things that can catch fire if it gets to hot, it provides more fuel for the fire if it does start.

It can also make it impossible for you to get at the fire with an extinguisher if you catch it early enough to stop it.  The summer months are also prone to lightning storms.  While there’s not much you can do to stop lightning from striking, you can mitigate the damage.  Unplug appliances during thunderstorms to prevent short circuits and consider installing a lightning protection system if you live in an area where lightning storms are particularly common.

 

General Safety

 

The general fire safety rules are as good in summer as any other time.  Don’t overload power sockets.  Install smoke alarms and check up on their batteries regularly to make sure they work. Keep fire extinguishers in accessible places near known fire risk areas.  And in case the worst happens, always have a fire safety plan.  Make sure your children know it and practice following through on it.  The more you practice, the less likely you are to panic if a fire actually breaks out.

 

We’re Here To Help

 

We at Alpine Cleaning and Restoration are on call 24/7, ready to respond at a moment’s notice.  If something should go wrong and a fire starts, get in touch.  Fire prevention starts with you, but fire cleanup starts with us.  If your home is damaged by fire, we can not only clean it up, but also restore to just as good a condition as it was before the fire. There won’t even be the scent of smoke to remind you that a fire ever happened.

That’s a promise.

Kitchen remodel

Remodeling Your Kitchen

Kitchen remodel

Remodeling your kitchen is a big investment of time and money, but there are lots of reasons to do it.  It can add value to your house, make the space more convenient, or enlarge it to accommodate a growing family.  Completing a remodel can be rewarding and fulfilling.

When you want the best remodel available – whether you live in Logan, Smithfield, Ogden, Salt Lake City, or even southern Idaho – look no further than Alpine Cleaning and Restoration Specialists.  We are full-service contractors and can help you with every step of the process.  But how will the process go?  Here’s a run-down of the process and some tips to keeping things within your budget.

Planning Out the Budget

A top-of-the-line remodel of your kitchen can run upwards of $50,000 or more.  While this is a lot of money, on average the return on investment can be as high as 67% if you ever resell your home.  These costs are not absolute, however; with proper planning and budgeting, it’s possible to get a high-quality remodeling job for lower costs.

The first step to achieving this is to work out a vision for your kitchen.  Visualize how you want the kitchen to look, how big you want it, what you intend to use it for.  Write these considerations down for future reference.

Once you’ve got the rough vision worked out, it’s time to get to the specifics.  Get yourself some graphing paper and draw out the floor plan.  If you feel you’re lacking in design or drawing skills, you can hire a kitchen designer, or go to your local home improvement store for help. If you intend to hire a designer, be prepared to pay about 10% of your total budget costs to them.  It’s not necessary to hire a professional, but it may help the job go more smoothly.  Think carefully about how sure you are of your own skills before you decide to design it yourself.  Once the work starts, it can be a challenge to rework the design if problems come up, so if you aren’t sure, have a professional try their hand.  Best to get it done right the first time.

Ordering Materials

What do you need in your kitchen?  Cabinets, lighting, and appliances are the main things to consider, as any kitchen needs them to bea kitchen.  But you should also consider what kind of flooring you want.  Wood?  Tile? Linoleum?  Or perhaps you like the flooring you already have.  If it’s good for you, that will save some money.  You might decide not to do the flooring right away.  Holding off on the flooring for a bit can lower the initial costs, which will reduce the interests on the loans you may have to take out for the job. You can always redo the flooring later if you have to.

These items will cost the most and have the most effect on the look and feel of your kitchen.  Take your time on these decisions to be sure the items work well together.  Be sure to consider the time you want the remodeling to be done when you order your materials, because it may take up to a month and a half for everything to arrive.

Generally, the spring and summer months are the best time to remodel your kitchen.  This is when it is most comfortable to eat and cook outside, which will reduce the temptation to eat out.  The cost of eating out while you do the remodeling can add up to a lot, so make eating at home as convenient as possible during the process.

This is the most expensive and will cost you around 45% of the total budget.

The Nitty Gritty

Now comes the messy part.  This step is where you pull out all your appliances and fixtures and set up a makeshift kitchen elsewhere in the house.  Your garage and laundry room are some possibilities, if you’ve got enough space.  If your garage is too cluttered, perhaps you could clean it up.

This step will cost you around 25% of your budget. You will need to hire a professional to tear out old plumbing and electrical lines and install new ones. This part can take up to two and a half months.

Installing Everything

If you took our advice and bought everything ahead of time, this step should roll along smoothly.  You can now pull out all of the materials you’ve been storing and have them installed.

Expect to pay 20% of your budget on this step.  This will be the most exciting part, because you get to see all of your hard work come together.  Feel the thrill as the pieces fall into place one-by-one.

Enjoy Your Kitchen!

Now that you have your new kitchen, it’s time to invite guests!  Show it off to friends, or just enjoy your new kitchen with your family.  With the hard work done, feel free to continue making improvements on it.  The upgrades will be cheaper and will make your kitchen feel comfortable and look lovely.

Now that you have a bit of an idea about how the process goes, get in touch with us.  Here at Alpine Cleaning and Restoration, our team is always ready to help you out.  If you have any questions, or would like some advice, or are ready to begin and want a price quote, give us a call. We’re ready to help you with all your kitchen remodeling needs!

Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs: What To Do

“Good night.  Sleep tight.  Don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

This was something my mother used to say to me every night before bed when I was a child.  For a while, I actually ended up thinking that bed bugs were just an old wives’ tale, something mothers would say just because they said it.  But no, bed bugs are real and they are one of the biggest nuisance pests in the world.

 

What is a Bed Bug?

Bed BugsBed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on blood. The species Cimex Lectulariusin particular is known for feeding exclusively on human blood.  The insect requires blood to complete each of its stages of metamorphosis.  They use body temperature, moisture, carbon dioxide, and visual cues to locate a sleeping host to feed on.  Bed bugs were almost completely eradicated in the developed world in the 1940s, but began to reappear in the mid-90s, mostly likely because of increased international travel, bans on certain pesticides, and increasing poison resistance.

 

What’s The Danger?

If you’re worried about diseases, you can relax – at least a bit.  So far, all research indicates that, although they can carry a number of human pathogens, they do not transmit them.  While this makes them less worrisome than fleas or ticks, they are still a nuisance.  Their bites are known to cause swelling, redness often mistaken for rashes, and scarring.  Most bites show no symptoms at all, but occasionally they can cause moderate to severe allergic reactions.  If the bites are left untreated, or are scratched, it is possible for them to become infected.

 

How Do I Spot Them?

bed bug eggsIf you suffer bites during the night, it’s a pretty obvious sign that you might have an infestation.  The bites will appear on exposed skin, most commonly the neck, shoulders, arms and other areas of the upper body.  Occasionally, there will be multiple bites in a tight line or cluster.  If you experience any reaction, it will usually occur within 1-10 days.  If you experience bites, they will usually heal within a few days if you don’t scratch them.  Speak to a pharmacist or doctor about getting some anti-itch cream to help.

Since bites often don’t get reactions, you may need to look for other indications.  Look carefully in your mattress and linen for eggs.  They will look like small, pale poppy seeds.  You might also recognize them by their droppings, which will be small rust-colored or dark brown stains.  Droppings will either bead up or be absorbed into the material they fall on. Large-scale infestations also begin to give off a noticeable odor described as being like coriander.  At higher concentrations, this odor becomes highly unpleasant.

 

Can Alpine Get Rid of Them?

We get asked this question a lot. Unfortunately, Alpine Cleaning and Restoration does not have the proper training to get rid of bed bugs.  That requires an exterminator.  We personally would recommend 5 Star Pest Control (https://www.facebook.com/5StarFacilityServices/).  They have the know-how and tools to get rid of infestations of all kinds, from rodents, to biting insects.  Bed bugs won’t stand a chance.  It is best to call a pest control company rather than try to do it yourself, as bed bugs can easily stow away on clothing, moving from one room of the house to another as you try to get rid of them, and they can go for days and sometimes weeks or months without feeding, depending on the stage of their life cycle. Without professional assistance, it is very difficult to get rid of them.

 

Good Luck!

While we can’t help you get rid of them, we get asked this question enough that we felt it might be a good idea to give some basic information on how to spot them and what to do about it.  For all your other cleaning and restoration needs, feel free to get in touch (https://www.alpinecleaning.com/contact-us/).  We will be glad to help you out with any problems we’re qualified to deal with. If it’s a pest problem, contact a local extermination company.

Flood Damage Restoration

Flood Cleanup Services

Flood cleanup

Water Damage Restoration

It’s always discouraging when a flood invades your home.  Water damage can be disastrous to your home or office, especially if it is not treated quickly.  Here at Alpine Cleaning, we have the knowledge skills and professional equipment to put your mind at ease.  From roof leaks to pipe bursts to toilet overflows, we can take care of it all when it comes to flood cleanup and water damage.  We work quickly and efficiently to ensure that water damage doesn’t ruin your walls, floors, or furniture.  We also work closely with your insurance company to cover your claim and make sure that your water damage restoration needs are hassle-free for you.  When you hire Alpine, you can rest assured that everything will be taken care of; We clean up, deodorize, and quickly reconstruct your home or business when water damage occurs

What is the flood cleanup process?

Many people experience flooding in their basement.  When this occurs, the carpet is usually the first thing that is ruined.  Walls and sheet rock can also be damaged.  Alpine Cleaning and Restoration is a full service disaster company. We work closely with your insurance company to help you with your water damage restoration needs.  We clean up, deodorize, and quickly reconstruct your home or business when water damage occurs.

Fast Response to Water Damage

Response time is critical when dealing with flood cleanup and water damage.  The brick, hardwood, and concrete will absorb water quickly.  This can cause the materials to rot and warp.  This secondary damage occurs rapidly, potentially causing thousands of dollars of damage.  The longer water sits in a structure, the more damage it will cause.  That’s why here at Alpine, we guarantee a 60 minute response time for all emergency service calls in Utah and Idaho. We will do everything we can to save your structure and also guarantee that your house will pass all meter and monitoring tests, verifying your home is completely dry.  Your satisfaction is very important to us!

Rentals for Water Damage Mitigation Equipment

While we are perfectly willing to help you out, sometimes you want to tackle the job yourself.  For the DIY enthusiast, we also rent out our innovative, top-of-the-line, easy-to-use equipment.  We’ve got everything you need to take care of water damage and get your home or office looking great again.

Get In Touch

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any problems with flooding or water damage.  The longer you wait, the more damage it will do and the more it will cost you in the long run.  Give us a call right away at at 1-855-4ALPINE.  We’ll give your flood restoration job top priority and get a team out there immediately.

deep cleaning

Deep Cleaning Your Carpet

Deep cleaning

Deep Cleaning

Carpets can get very dirty without us even noticing.  One day we might look down and ask ourselves, “how did this get so dirty?”  Many people hire a professional to come and do the cleaning for them, others prefer to do it themselves.   But whether you do it yourself, or hire a professional, deep cleaning is important for making your carpets last

It’s Important to Have Your Carpet Cleaned Professionally

You might be wondering why you should hire a professional.  After all, you vacuum once a week, right?  Doesn’t that take care of the problem?  Well, not really.  Over time, it’s normal for carpets to fill with dirt, oils, and dead skin particles.  Even the best vacuum cleaners can leave a lot of this debris behind.   The shampoos used by professional equipment penetrate deep into the fibers to break up and dissolve all those trapped impurities.  

Have you ever been on a long hiking trip or a campout where you didn’t have a shower?  Do you remember the oily, grungy feeling in your hair? Do you remember how good it felt once you got in the shower and lathered up with shampoo?  That’s what it’s like for your carpet if all you do is vacuum.  Even if we take our shoes off, there are dead skin cells, food particles, and other impurities to deal with.  

Once the deep cleaning is done with professional equipment, it will feel refreshing and soft again, just like it was when it was new.  When done on a regular schedule, you will ensure that your carpet will last as long as possible and you will have the peace of mind that the dust mites and every other impurity will be shampooed out with our professional cleaning equipment.

How Often Do I Need To Deep Clean My Carpet?

Every home has different circumstances that determine how often your carpet should be professionally cleaned.  A general rule on warranties is to professionally clean them every 12 to 24 months, depending on use and how many kids or pets you have.  Some families should clean their carpets even more often.  It also depends a lot on personal preference.  Just know that regular deep cleaning is important to making your carpets last longer, which will save you money in the long run.

Our Process

Alpine’s deep cleaning procedure includes many steps that other carpet cleaners overlook.  We balance the ph levels in your carpet to give you a long lasting clean. Without balancing ph levels your carpet will become dirtier faster. We focus on the details to ensure the highest quality carpet cleaning in the industry. From corner guards to spotting, the details are what set us apart. Alpine pre-spots at no extra charge, uses Citrus Solv that leaves your carpets smelling fresh, and several other important steps that others charge extra for. In order to get the most longevity out of a carpet we suggest using professional equipment that extracts the gunk and deep soils that nest in the base of your carpet.  The reason carpet prematurely wears, is because of these impurities that start ripping apart the fibers in the carpet.  It’s kind of like using a face scrub to get dead skin cells off, except for carpet doesn’t reproduce its own fibers back after being worn off.  Our process of deep cleaning a carpet is very simple and effective.  We use state of the art machines that deep clean the carpet and remove stains.  We can go as far as moving furniture and everything else out to get your entire carpet clean.  we can also rent out our equipment to save your hard earned cash.

 

DIY Process

Those who do the DIY process can get good results if they are willing to put in the elbow grease necessary.  There are several ways to do this but one of the most popular ways I have heard of is to purchase a few cans of foam carpet cleaner from the local store as well as a hand held bristle brush.  There are just a few easy steps.

  1. vacuum – make sure to do a thorough job, the more you suck up now, the easier the next steps will be.
  2. spray down the entire carpet – with the bottled foam carpet cleaner, spray everywhere, especially high traffic areas.  By doing so, this will soak into the carpet and start dissolving the deposits.
  3. scrub – This is where good work ethic comes in handy! scrub the floor in a circular motion form one side of the room working towards the other.
  4. Let it sit – It’s important to let the carpet sit because this will give the cleaner to break down the grime deposits and allow them to work their way up.
  5. Vacuum again.  This is the most important step because you don’t want your hard work to go to waste! Vacuum again to suck up all of the dried impurities that your scrubber and carpet cleaner brought to the surface.

If this sounds like too much, but you still want to do it yourself, we also rent out our professional equipment for very affordable rates!  Get in touch with us today if you want to know more.

Upholstery Cleaning

Upholstery Cleaning

Upholstery can be an expensive investment and you want to take care of it as best you can.  If you want your upholstery to last, regular cleaning, either by a professional, or with professional equipment is important.  How often you should have it professionally cleaned varies, but the recommendation is every 12-18 months.  Depending on how much you use it, and how many children or pets you have, you might need to clean more often.

Vacuum

The first step in the cleaning process is to vacuum.  You want to remove debris that might be disolved into the couch fibers themselves.  I would suggest you vacuum thoroughly for several minutes with the upholstery brush tool before going into any cleaning.  This will prepare the fibers and help you get ready for the more deep cleaning.

Spot cleaning  your Upholstery

The next step to cleaning your upholstery is to do some spot cleaning.  It’s important to use a spot cleanser that doesn’t change the original color of your couch.  Before spot cleaning, test the formula in an discreet area of your couch first.  Once it dries, check to see if there is any discoloration.   Once you’ve tested the solution, feel free to treat the other spots in the areas that need to be treated.

Cleaning Your Upholstery

You can now dive into the actual cleaning part that will leave it feeling fresh and clean.  If you are on a tight budget, some simple clear dish soap in warm water will work great.  For microfiber-suede, a 50% alcohol-water spray works well to clean and dry quickly.  You will also need some clean white dish cloths or sponges.  Work up some suds and gently scrub in a circular motion over the entire couch.

After you’ve cleaned your entire couch, you’re done!  Just let it dry and you have cleaner brighter furniture!  If you want a deeper clean, we offer top of the line equipment that not only cleans the fibers on the surface but also deep cleans your upholstery fibers for a fresh new living room!  Feel free to give us a call anytime for help with your upholstery.

We Can Help

If you’d like to have the assistance of a professional, we are always available.  Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

house fire

What to Do After a House Fire

What Should You Do After a House Fire?

house fireHow many times have you doubted whether or not you left the stove on? Curling iron? Did you leave any candles lit? Did you put out that cigarette all the way? We try to be as careful as we can when it comes to fire safety but unfortunately accidents do happen. It can take a while to get over the loss you suffer if you become a victim of fire damage. It can be very emotionally draining but there are things you can do to make the recovery process easier when disaster strikes.

Don’t Go Back In After a Fire

Safety is the most important thing when it comes to the moments after fire damage.  You’ll be tempted to run inside to see what can be salvaged. Don’t do it. Only fire fighters and emergency responders will be able to tell you when or if it’s safe to return to a fire damaged structure. Nothing is worth risking your life for.

Call Your Insurance Agent

Before we talk about this step, it’s important to note how important insurance is.  It’s a good idea to be fully covered. Make sure to get a policy that will cover you in case of a fire. If you have coverage, contact your insurance agent first.  Not only will they tell you what you need to do in order to get money to repair your damages, they can help assist you with immediate action.

Immediate Fixes

Once the fire crew has given the all clear, you will want to do a few specific things first.  If you had a sprinkler system go off you will need to start pumping out water. Cover any damaged windows and doors.  If the damage leaves you feeling overwhelmed, get a hold of your agent.  They can guide you through the process.

Make a List of What Needs Replaced

Many insurance agents will ask that you do make a list of your valuable belongings before any type of damage happens. It is a good idea to keep an up to date list because it will save you a headache if the worst happens. If you didn’t already have one, take a survey of your belongings so you can know the amount of loss you need to report to your insurance agency.

Save Your Receipts

Anything that you buy to repair your home after fire damage has the potential for reimbursement from your insurance company but you do need those receipts. If fire damage has made your home unlivable ask a friend or family member for a safe place to store all of your documentation. It will come in handy later.

Start Replacing Valuable Documents

There are a lot of things you’ll be thinking about after the fire.  Family heirlooms, jewelry, furniture; these are all things to worry about, but they might not be as important as you think.  Don’t forget about important documents you owned.  Look for birth certificates, social security cards, passports, credit cards and other important documents.  You don’t want to end up needing them only to find you don’t have them anymore.  Replacing them is very time consuming.  You want to get started as soon as possible.

The most important thing to remember when recovering from fire damage is to try and stay calm.  The safety of you and your family come first.  You can replace anything else. Rely on professionals like insurance agents to do the hard stuff for you, after all it’s their job.  And when you’re ready to get your house restored, be sure to get in touch.

what to save

What to Save

What to Save After A House Fire

Before a professional fire damage restoration team can clean up after a house fire, the first and possibly the most difficult task to do is to figure out what can save and what needs to be thrown away.  If the fire was put out with water, make sure to read the water damage guides as well.  Most of your belongings that were not completely destroyed can be salvaged and cleaned.  Just make sure to follow the safety rules before you throw anything away.

Food items

Its important to be cautious while dealing with the food situation.   If any is burnt at all, just throw it away.  Any food items that have been exposed to heat, smoke, or ash should be trashed as well.  Any food that has been exposed to heat may turn bad.  Its better to be safe then risk getting food poisoning.  Make sure not to use any canned foods if they are rusted, bulged out, or dented.

Refrigerated Food

Even if the electricity was turned off, your refrigerator will keep cold for about four hours if it is well sealed, so you might be able to save the food in it.  If your refrigerator was not damaged in the fire, check its contents. Confirm that the food is still cold and that no soot got into it. Otherwise, a good rule of thumb is simply, “if in doubt, throw it out.”

Frozen Food

Any food that was in the freezer can be used if it still has ice crystals on it and if it still feels cold and hard. If not, discard it. Again, whenever in doubt, discard it.

Medicines and Cosmetics

It’s tempting to try and save medicines because they’re so expensive, but you have to be careful.  You don’t want to put anything harmful in your body.  Be sure to inspect medications and cosmetics carefully to make sure that they are clean of soot, dust, and all other chemicals that might have been used to extinguish the fire.

Clothes and Textiles

Clothes and textiles the easiest to save and can often be cleaned and disinfected. Discard these materials only if burnt. Be extra cautious with clothing for babies and children.

Other Contents

All other content can be reused after you make sure that it is well-cleaned and disinfected and that it is dust- and soot-free.

Let Us Help

Alpine Cleaning and Restoration are experts in fire damage restoration and are there to help you if you need it.  Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you need any help.  Our staff is on call 24/7 to help you.

mold removal

Mold Removal

Mold removal

Mildew and mold removal is extremely significant  because it could cause severe damage to your home and your health. It can also grow and spread very quickly if it is not taken care of immediately. If you think mold in your home is making you sick, you should definitely have a professional test it as soon as possible. Mold and mildew can develop in your kitchen, bathroom, basement, cabinets, and walls. It can even get under the foundation of your home.

Mold could be expensive to remove, however, it could be even more expensive not to remove as soon as possible.  Here are some tips for mold removal and hopefully for keeping it from returning.

Steps For Mold Removal:

    1. Investigate your home or office to see if you have any leaks. If you find any moisture leaks, make sure that you clean them up with a dry towel immediately. Next,  find where the leak is coming from. Last, consider hiring a professional Plumber if the leak does not stop or if you have a plumbing issue that you were unable to fix. Controlling ALL moisture leaks in your home or place of work, will reduce the chances for mold or mildew to thrive off of.
    2. Mold & mildew multiplies and spreads in warm and wet areas. In areas with 70% humidity or higher, mold prevention is a constant struggle. One suggestion that we would have is to invest in a high-quality dehumidifier and test your home regularly for mold & mildew over-growth. It is best to keep the area as dry as possible always, because preventative steps will keep  your home or office free from musty molded rooms or areas.
    3. When the temperatures in your home or office are above 75° F, the  room is poorly lit, and consists of stale unmoving air, this could create more mold & mildew. Keep fresh air moving in your home, as well as bright sunlight coming in through your windows. This will help reduce toxic mold and mildew from growing.
    4. When you take a shower, turn on the bathroom fan and/or open a window, if possible. Just by doing this it would help significantly reduce mold & mildew in the bathroom.
    5. Make sure to change the air filters regularly in your heating and air-conditioning vents. This will help to keep the air in your home or office free from dust, mold, mildew, etc.
    6. For the best results in cleaning the air, invest in a quality air purification system, which includes both a HEPA filter & UV which contains negative ion technologies.
    7. Always keep your home or office at a balanced temperature.  69-73°F is a perfect middle temperature to keep the humidity level at 54% and below.
    8. Check to make sure that your clothes dryer contains an anti-humidity vent.
    9. Closets are mold and mildews favorite place to live. Check your closets regularly to make sure that there is NO mold and mildew growth.  If you have ever placed wet or damp clothing in your closets this step is extremely important for you to follow. If you happen to find mold or mildew in your closet, make sure to wash your clothes immediately. This will help to prevent the spread of mold spores.
    10. DO protect your breathing passages if you are attempting to remove active or dead mold. It is extremely important to wear a mask, eye protection, and protective gloves that filter mold. This will prevent you from breathing in the toxic air and getting sick.
    11. Sometimes, it is better to dampen the mold before cleaning it.  It could lessen the amount of airborne spores in the breathing atmosphere while you are cleaning.  Soak a wash cloth in warm water and dab the infested area a few times before wiping it off.
    12. For certain surfaces, mold removal is impossible.  Carpeting, drywall, wall-paper, fabric, or other porous surfaces MUST be completely removed and replaced with new product.
    13. Remember, the most important things to remember for mold prevention is to KEEP THINGS DRY.

If you have any questions, or would like some professional help, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.  Our experts are on call 24/7 to help you with all your cleaning needs.