June 16, 2017
How to Choose the Right Restoration Company
Experiencing a fire, flood, or other disaster is stressful, how to choose the right restoration company shouldn’t be. At Project X Restoration in Denver, we that know losing your home or business, even having it damaged in such an event, can be traumatic. Given the emotions experienced in such a terrible situation, it can be difficult to know who to turn to. Today, we’ll discuss how to take the next step towards putting your home and life back together.
First and foremost, it is very important to choose a qualified and experienced restoration contractor or company who can help alleviate the stress of such a difficult time, not add to it. A restoration company should listen closely to you, keep an open line of communication, and guide you through the entire restoration process.
The following questions will help you sort out what a restoration contractor or company must be able to do for you.
How much experience do they have working with insurance companies?
A restoration company that has successfully completed work for a number of clients, should be very familiar with various carriers. They should have a thorough understanding of the policies and required operating procedures that will ensure each restoration claim is paid.
Should you choose someone you know?
Maybe you have a family member or friend who is a general contractor or who works in the construction business and think it might be a good idea to consider them for your remodeling and construction. This could actually backfire on you. Unless they are genuinely experienced in restorations following a disaster, it is probably not a good idea. Additionally, the restoration process is incredibly stressful and this could put a strain on or even ruin your relationship. It may even cost you more money in the long run if they don’t truly know what they are doing.
Should you consider the contractor or company who built your home or business originally?
Your home or business was probably originally built by a general contractor or construction company. While they are fine choices in most building situations, in a restoration, they are often are unfamiliar with an insurance restoration process. The type of work required, such as mold remediation, water damage restoration, fire and smoke damage, and other specialized work is often unusual for them to manage. Companies that work specifically on restoration projects, such as Project X Restoration, are trained and experienced in the work required.
Couldn’t a cleaning company do the work?
When there has been a fire or flooding, some people wonder if the clean-up could simply be handled by a cleaning service, after all the smoke has cleared and the water has receded. Unfortunately, such damage goes well beyond the superficial cleaning. Microscopic toxins and particulates found in the walls and substructures, as well as other places, can cause hazardous mold and related health conditions if not properly treated.
Knowing how to choose the right restoration company can be difficult, but the above tips will help you navigate the process and avoid some costly mistakes. If you are in need of a restoration company, call us here at Project X Restoration. We can help you through whatever restoration work you need, making the process as stress free as possible. We know insurance companies inside and out and have built our business on delivering quality restorations.
May 16, 2017
Protect Your Home from Common Causes of Fires
At Project X Restoration in Denver, we know it’s important that you understand how to protect your home from common causes of fires. One disaster that is often the most devastating on families and homeowners is a fire. Aside from the damage to your property and belongings, the worst part is that a large majority of such fires are completely preventable. So, we have put together the following list to help prevent it from happening to you.
The most common house fires start in the kitchen and are often caused by leaving something cooking on the stovetop or from careless use of flammable oils and grease.
To prevent this from happening, never leave something cooking in your home when no one is home. There is always a chance that you will delayed in getting home and it may be too late by the time you arrive. Leaving something simmering on the stove while you nap or perform other tasks is also a bad idea. People often think that slow cookers can be left unattended without issue and this can be a surprising cause of fire. Be sure to check your slow cooker, and even your oven, at regular intervals of 15-30 minutes.
In case of a grease fire, the first rule is not to panic. Place a lid over the flame and turn off the heat. Avoid using salt, flour, or baking soda to extinguish the flames. These substances can cause the fire to flare and burn people or it can cause grease to splatter, potentially spreading the fire. A good way to avoid letting it get so hot that it catches fire is to never leave oil unattended.
Careless use of cigars, cigarettes, and pipes lead to some of the deadliest fires in homes. Most of these types of fires are caused by someone falling asleep while smoking. The cigar, cigarette, or pipe falls and catches nearby items, like the carpet or furniture, on fire. To avoid this, be sure to extinguish smoking materials completely. Running water into any ashtray before dumping the remnants in the garbage is the best method for ensuring the contents are still smoldering.
Also avoid smoking in bed, especially if you are really tired or are intoxicated. Be sure all smoking materials are completely extinguished. Try to smoke in areas with very few flammable materials or limit your smoking to outside areas.
Every year, there are more that 14,000 fires that stem from clothing dryers. Lack of maintenance and proper cleaning is the number one reason a dryer catches fire. Leaving laundry and storing combustibles near the dryer also contribute to a high number of fires, especially around gas dryers which have open flames. To avoid this type of fire, clean your lint trap or filter after every use of the dryer. Clean the dryer exhaust hose annually. If the lint build-up in the hose is substantial or if it was difficult to remove, it is time to replace the hose with a new one. All combustible materials should be kept at a safe distance (3-4 feet) from any heat generating equipment such as dryers, water heaters, furnaces, and portable heaters.
There are more than 12,000 household fires associated with the use of candles every year. Half of these fires originate from candles in bedrooms. Burning candles are prone to tipping over and setting nearby items on fire. To prevent this, always use a sturdy candle holder that is difficult to knock over. Never leave a candle burning unattended. Be sure the areas around candles are free from any flammable objects and always blow out candles before going to sleep or leaving the room or your home. Be aware that even candles in glass containers can cause fires. The containers can shatter due to overheating which spreads the hot wax and flames.
Electrical Appliances and Wiring
Most people think that faulty wiring inside a home’s walls causes electrical fires. While this is a common reason, more electrical fires are caused by the wiring attached to electrical appliances.
Too many appliances run off of a single outlet can cause wires to overheat and catch fire. To prevent this, only use one extension cord for each outlet. Your extension cords should all have a UL label attached to them assuring they meet certain standards. Be sure to use the correct size extension cord for the device you are using. Cords should not be run under carpets or rugs because traffic can wear away the protective coating and cause them to spark. Never use a malfunctioning appliance and beware of using older appliances.
If you experience any odd smells, odd noises, or sparks, discontinue use immediately and replace the device with a new one. Pay careful attention to any odd flickers or thrown circuit breakers. They can be cause for major concern and it may be wise to have an electrician inspect it for potential problems
Often people do not pay close attention to how they store flammable liquids. Flammable liquids should never be stored in the home. They should be kept in a separate space with good ventilation and moderate temperatures. Always use such liquids for their intended use only. Be aware of any warnings that may be provided.
For example, most people are unaware that the fumes of gasoline are more flammable than the actual liquid. This is an important detail if you are working with gasoline, like cleaning a spill after filling your lawn mower. Any rags that have been saturated with gas should be placed in a metal container. The lid should be tight since the rags can ignite themselves and catch on fire.
Finally, be sure that you have working smoke detectors and that you have fire extinguishers in rooms that are prone to fire such as the kitchen, laundry room, and garage. We hope that these tips inform you on how to protect your home from common causes of fires. We at Project X Restoration want you and your home to be safe, but if you find yourself in a situation, we can be there to assist you with cleanup and restoration, often in less than an hour.
April 16, 2017
What’s the Process of a Hoarder Clean Up?
While at least 1 in 50 people face hoarding issues, our staff at Project X in Denver can help explain what’s the process of a hoarder clean up. We've assisted in hoarding cleanup for many of our Colorado neighbors. Project X is by your side every step of the way. We are committed to being respectful and discrete and will assist you in decluttering, addressing acute cleaning needs such as mold or biohazards, providing structural repairs, and remodeling to return your home to its original state.
A hoarder clean up is not easy, but that's why Project X believes in creating a comfortable and safe space where all needs, concerns, and boundaries are addressed prior to and during the hoarding cleanup. Let’s go through the step-by-step process of a hoarder clean up.
Understanding the Hoarder
We know that by simply discussing the cleanup it can be stressful to you. We understand how allowing our Project X team to come into your home will trigger many emotions. That’s why we promise to:
- Help you determine what items are valuable and absolutely essential
- Do our best to identify possessions that can be cleaned and kept
- Be honest about what items pose a health risk and need to be discarded
- Involve you in all decisions and not rush you through the process
- Not judge you or the condition of your home
- Show you respect and kindness at all times
- Encourage you at every step and celebrate your progress
Develop a Plan
Many of the hoarding situations can be dangerous, containing mold and bacteria, pests and dead animals, and fecal matter, and may pose a fire hazard. But no matter the situation, our goal is to restore your home to a safe living condition.
We develop a plan with your well-being in mind as well. We want to be sensitive to your emotional needs and anxieties as we declutter and sanitize your home. Our goal is to show respect for you and your things throughout the process.
Our Project X team will do the heavy lifting. We will be responsible for removing large piles of garbage, repairing property damage, cleaning intensively, and organizing. We will look at the situation and make a work plan that will include a list of tasks with their priorities.
One of our top priorities is to keep everyone safe as we complete our tasks of cleaning the home. We will need you to make some difficult decisions about how to handle specific items of sentimental value, documents, and other things. We will take every precaution to avoid biological contaminants, fire hazards, structural collapses, but don’t worry we know how to handle it.
We will also want to clear a path for safe entry and exit and start to clear the items from the nearest room first. We always use appropriate professional equipment and cleaning supplies to remove the items and disinfect the premises.
We will use a dumpster to throw away all the discarded and damaged items.
There will need to be a staging area which is an open space where we will put the contents in order to sort them out and organize the items. It is best if it is a covered area to protect the things from the weather. The staging area will be used for all of the items that might be able to be saved, sold or given away.
Organize and Make Decisions
We will begin cleaning the house, one room at a time, getting rid of the throw-away items and helping sift through the things that are salvageable.
The kitchen and bathrooms are often the toughest to clean, so we usually begin with those rooms. Starting with the bathroom allows us to have clean running water and soap which will help us stay safe. It is unlikely that there will be items of value found in the bathroom, so it is often easy to get rid of everything including toiletries, towels, and fixtures. The surfaces can be cleaned quickly.
Then it is best to tackle the kitchen where we remove the trash, old food, and clean surfaces. The dishes and cookware can be taken to the staging area and cleaned up or disposed of.
After the kitchen is cleaned, we will move on to another room, leaving the closets and storage areas for last because they take a lot of work.
It’s best to get rid of the trash first. This includes the garbage and the items that can not be saved. Our Project X team knows which medicines, fuels, explosive substances, oil-based paint, and other items must be disposed of in a particular way for health and safety.
Create a recycling area where you can put any items that can be recycled.
We usually begin at the top of the pile and work down, working on removing things stacked on tables, sofas, beds, and chairs. We will continue until we clear it down to the floor. We will ask you to look through your items like clothes, purses, and bags for any forgotten cash, jewelry, or other worthwhile items. Once we clear the room we may even move the furniture out so we can clean the entire room and make repairs if needed.
In the staging area, we will put your items into groups. For example, we may sort them by usable things that you want to keep, usable things you want to donate or give away, and throw away items. Going through the items in the usable categories can sometimes take some time. Deciding what you want to keep and what you want to donate can be stressful and time-consuming. Some items need to be gone through carefully so you don’t miss important items like letters, family pictures, and other important documents. Many things may be sentimental to you like documents, artwork, and items with special meaning. We just want to make sure any of those items are also safe for you to keep.
Once we have the donations determined, you can choose a charity to receive them. Many charities will come and get your donations. You need to know what they will and won’t accept. Any items donated may be able to be used as a tax deduction.
Clean and Repair
Once we have your house cleared out, then begins the intensive and thorough cleaning. This can take some time. There may need to be some repairs done to the home. We can help you with those as well, including mold removal and remediation, water damage restoration, biohazard cleanup, carpet cleaning, asbestos abatement, and remodeling and construction. Your furniture and appliances need to be completely cleaned and disinfected. Those items can then be organized and put back in the home.
Once you understand what’s the process of a hoarder clean up and the clutter is gone, our Project X Restoration in Denver experts can provide your home with all necessary cleaning and repair services in order to restore it to a safe, livable condition.
Please contact us today for more information.
March 28, 2017
Water Damage Restoration Part 2: Saving Books and Papers
When disaster hits, Project X can clean up the damage while you focus on what matters. Today, let’s cover Water Damage Restoration Part 2: Saving Books and Papers. Just know that when you call our Denver restoration experts, we will respond immediately. When your home floods, we are there for you, cleaning up, restoring, and remodeling. That leaves you free to rescue things like letters, tax and legal papers, marriage licenses, wills, birth certificates and old books that could be irreparably damaged if you don’t take action to save them.
In addition to the damage water can cause, mold can create a real health issue from keeping damaged items made from paper. So how can you save your water-damaged important papers and special books? If you begin the process quickly enough, they can be cleaned and dried. Here’s how to do it.
Remove the Books and Papers
Gently remove the books and papers from the water.
Rinse the Items
You may need to carefully rinse the papers and books with cold, clean water in a sink or bucket. If the papers are fragile, lay them out on a flat surface and rinse them with a light water spray.
Lay Them Out
You should lay the papers by themselves on a flat, clean surface, or hang them on a string. Keep them out of the sunlight. Sometimes they may need to dry out a little bit before pulling them apart.
The water-damaged papers and books should be placed on blotter paper, like plain white paper towels, so the moisture can be absorbed. Avoid newspaper and printed paper towels because the ink can bleed onto your paper items.
Now you need to dry the books and papers. Some people like to use a fan to speed it up. For books, absorbent paper can be placed between the soaked papers and laying the books flat. Change out the blotting paper when they get soaked.
Just like restoring photos, if you are short on time or there are too many papers to deal with, you can seal them in Ziploc bags and put them in your freezer. This stops more damage to the paper and books until you can get to them.
Sometimes just being in the location of a flood and the humidity can cause mold to grow. So, even if the books and papers aren’t wet, they should still be air dried with fans if possible.
Get Rid of the Smell
After they are dry, do the papers and books still smell musty? If so, keep them in a cool, dry place. If after a few days they still smell, put them in an open container with a box of baking soda. The baking soda should absorb the smell. Make sure the baking soda does not touch the papers.
The papers and books should be checked for mold. If there is mold, copy or scan the papers and then throw them away.
If you act quickly, salvaging important documents is possible. Hopefully you learned something from our guide, Water Damage Restoration Part 2: Saving Books and Papers. If you ever find yourself in need of our help, call our experts at Project X Restoration in Denver when your home has water damage and we will get to work immediately. We’ll develop a complete restoration plan and get your home back to its pre-loss state.
March 8, 2017
Water Damage Restoration Part 1: Salvaging Photos
If you suffer a flood, Project X Restoration can help restore your home and life. Today, we present Water Damage Restoration Part 1: Salvaging Photos. Sure, water damage can ruin expensive items like televisions and furniture, but our clients often focus their energy on saving sentimental possessions such as photos. While “things” can be purchased again, we know that it may be impossible to replace these precious mementos. Today, we offer some suggestions on how to save your photos from water damage.
After you’ve located the water damaged photos, very carefully remove the photos from water. If they are in albums or stacked on top of each other, separate them. Do your best to not rub them or touch the wet surface of the photo.
Try to take out any photos that are in frames when they are still wet. If you don’t, the picture can stick to the glass when it dries. If that happens the photo will most likely be damaged. Keep the glass and photo together as you rinse them with flowing water. The water will usually separate the photo from the glass.
It’s best to begin saving the pictures within two days of the water damage or they can start to mold or stick together. After that happens, saving them becomes more difficult.
You can prioritize which photos to do first. You might want to start with the ones that have no negatives since they will be harder to replace or the ones that mean the most to you.
Rinse with Water
Usually, the photos have been submerged in dirty, muddy or contaminated water. You will want to gently rinse both sides of the pictures with cold, clean water from a bucket or a sink. Change the water often to make sure it is always clean. Again, try not to rub the photos.
It’s best to gently lay the wet photos with the picture side up on a clean piece of blotting paper, like a paper towel, as soon as you can. If you use newspapers or paper towels with prints the ink may come off on your photos. It’s best to do this indoors to avoid the sun and the wind which can damage and curl the photos. Don’t forget to change the blotting paper. Your goal is to dry the photos.
Sometimes you just don’t have time to dry your water-damaged photos right away. If that’s the case, rinse them and stack the wet pictures between wax paper sheets and seal them in a Ziploc plastic bag.
One trick is to freeze the photos in the bag to stop the damage. If you do this the right way, your photos can be defrosted, separated and air-dried at a later time.
If you experience water damage, contact the restoration specialists at Project X in Denver. We’ll take care of the heavy lifting while you focus on what’s most important to you. Though it would be far better if you never need it, we hope this quick guide, Water Damage Restoration Part 1: Salvaging Photos, helps you save some of your most important and irreplaceable memories.