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April 16, 2017

What’s the Process of a Hoarder Clean Up?

What’s the Process of a Hoarder Clean UpWhile 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.

Safety

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.

Disposal

We will use a dumpster to throw away all the discarded and damaged items. 

Staging Area

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

Water Damage Restoration Part 2: Saving Books and PapersWhen 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.

Dry Them

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.

Mold

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

Water Damage Restoration Part 1: Salvaging PhotosIf 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.

Remove Photos

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.

Lay Flat

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.

Delayed Drying

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.

February 24, 2017

Identifying Mold in Your Home

Identifying Mold in Your HomeThe idea of living with mold is pretty scary and there are several mold types that look similar to black mold. That’s why you need Project X Restoration in Denver to help in identifying mold in your home. If you have leaky pipes, roof leaks, lack of ventilation, floods, water in the basement, or condensation, you may have toxic black mold. Did you know that after your home has suffered water damage, mold can begin to grow in two days? That’s how fast mold can create a wide variety of dangerous health risks for you and your family.

An article in Black Mold Award Space, explains how to know if you have black mold growing in your home. Toxic black mold looks slimy and greenish-black. It needs water to grow. With water, it begins to feed off of organic materials like drywall, wood, and cloth. Stachybotrys Chartarum is the real name for black mold. It produces toxins called mycotoxins.

There are signs that mold may be present in your home, including musty odors, humid conditions, itchy eyes and runny nose, dizziness and headaches, long-term dampness, stained or discolored floors and walls, peeled paint and bubbling wallpaper, warped walls and bowed supports, or damp surfaces.

Identifying mold in your home is important because its mycotoxins can create symptoms like nausea, respiratory problems, mental impairment, tiredness, skin inflammation, hemorrhage, damage to internal organs, irritation of the mucous membranes, and immune system suppression. Toxic black mold can lead to permanent health problems and even death. The mycotoxins kill neurons in the brain and impair your mental ability. They can also cause nervous disorders such as tremors and personality changes such as mood swings and irritability.

As soon as you suspect mold may be in your home or business, call our experts at Project X in Denver. We will begin the process of mold removal immediately. The more you are exposed to toxic black mold, the more damage to your health. It’s also important that you have it removed the right way. If not, large amounts of spores and mycotoxins can be released into the air for you to breathe. At Project X, we’re experienced and knowledgeable in all the best practices for proper remediation.

If we find mold in your home, we will recommend that you and your family move out as soon as you can, until we can get rid of it. You don’t need to risk any more damage to your health from breathing in the spores in the air.

As for remediation, the first thing we will do is find and fix the water problem. Once the water is gone and everything is completely dry, mold will not be able to grow. We’ll then carefully clean up the mold-infected area. If repairs need to be made, such as replacing drywall, carpeting and any other contaminated materials, we can help with all restoration projects big or small.

Identifying mold in your home is just the beginning. But our mold remediation experts at Project X Restoration in Denver can take care of it for you by eliminating the black mold and returning your home to good health. Contact us today for more information and to schedule an inspection.

February 4, 2017

Is Mold Removal Covered by Insurance Policies?

Is Mold Removal Covered by Insurance Policies?Your home has been flooded. You’ve filed a claim for water damages, but now you’re wondering is mold removal covered by insurance policies? Unfortunately, damage is not always included in homeowner’s insurance. That’s why it’s important to address the water damage that could result in potential mold problems. However, if you suspect mold, simply contact Project X in Denver to help you get rid of the mold problem lurking in your house.

The Dangers of Being Exposed to Mold

According to this online resource, symptoms of toxic black mold include issues that affect your neurological, respiratory, immune, reproductive, and circulatory systems. Also common are problems with your skin, vision and eyes, as well as tiredness and discomfort. Mold can also cause a wide range of other illnesses. If you have mold in your home or have been exposed, you may notice throat irritation, coughing, eye irritation, and nasal stuffiness.

Addressing the Moisture and Mold Issues

If you’ve had a flood and are concerned about mold, give Project X a call right away. Our mold experts will conduct a free on-site inspection to identify the mold type and the extent of your contamination. The most important thing we’ll pinpoint is the underlying water problem that will need to be addressed in order to stop the mold growth. Finally, we’ll test the air for mold spores. If these spores are present, we can provide moisture control by decreasing the humidity level and applying adequate ventilation.

Once our mold experts inspect your property, determine the extent of the water damage and identify all mold-related problems, we will give you a removal and remediation plan along with a no-obligation estimate. We’ll then move forward restoring your home to a pre-damage state.

Mold in your tile and grout can be removed by scrubbing it using a mold-killing solution. Once all the mold is gone, a grout sealer can be used to prevent the mold from growing back.

If the walls have mold, portions can be sliced out and the rest saved. However, unpainted drywall will need to be removed. On painted drywall, often times you can wipe it down with the mold-killing cleaner. If mold is on your wall-to-wall carpeting, the carpeting needs to be taken up and thrown away.

A complete cleaning of your heating and air conditioning systems may be needed to get rid of the mold spores and toxins from the air. You should seal and insulate doors and crevices to make sure that condensation does not get in your home.

Is Mold Removal Covered by Insurance Policies?

Whether or not your insurance will pay for the mold removal depends on your policy coverage and may be determined by what caused the mold. Usually, insurance will not cover water or mold damage caused by improper maintenance and related flooding. Some policies provide coverage if it came from an accidental water loss like a burst pipe, while others specifically exclude or limit coverage for mold from those causes as well. It will really come down to your policy so be sure to read the fine print or contact your agent to make sure you’re covered.

If your home has been flooded, you may be wondering is mold removal covered by insurance policies? At Project X in Denver, we have a lot of experience in working with carriers and will help you figure everything out, including all the complicated paperwork. Even if your policy does not cover mold damage, you can rest assured that we provide quality work for honest prices. We’ll fix your water damage and eliminate the mold so you can concentrate on getting your life back together. 

 

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