Odor Removal after a Fire
By Patrick Winter
Cleaning the damage that is caused by a fire is the easy part. The more difficult task is making sure that not only is the odor from the smoke and soot removed, but that it doesn’t come back later. There are some important steps you need to follow to make sure the odor is gone once and for all.
- First you must remove any structural components that have visible char or items that have fire damage.
- You need to thoroughly clean all materials, both structure and contents, that were affected. This cleaning must be very detailed. Use cotton towels, micro fiber towels and lots of Q-tips. After that you are ready for the next step. There are several really good industry specific solutions you can use when cleaning: Wall Wash, Degrease All, and Woodcreme Restorer to name a few. You will also want to have everyday cleaning items like Windex and 409 to use when necessary.
- Use a wet deodorization solution when possible. Be sure to mix it following the directions. More is not good in this instance, so do not use too much solution or you can damage fabrics and materials. After the wet process has been applied, your next step is to use Hydroxyl.
- It is very important that you have a second person to check for odor in all areas and on all items that have been cleaned and deodorized after they have had some dwell time. If odor is present, go back to step two and repeat. Once the item has gone through the process a second time and odor is still present, it may need to be logged and destroyed.
- Any areas of the structure that are raw unfinished wood may need to be soda blasted to remove soot or sealed with oil-based paint to seal in any possible odors.
- All papers that were exposed to smoke or soot will likely need to be disposed of. They are very absorbent and will hold a lot of odor in. This does not apply to books.
- Always clean in a warm environment as odor can appear to be gone when temperature is cooler and present when temperature rises.
- A final step is to walk through the structure checking for any and all odor present. As for the contents, do the same with a final odor check. Have two different people from your team do this as double check.
I cannot stress enough that even the tiniest soot particle that is left behind can cause odor to re-contaminate the structure. So be very detailed in your cleaning and you will not have a problem with odor.
By Bridget Conwell
The summer heat is finally here! While it is typically welcomed, it can be extremely dangerous when combined with a material that refracts sunbeams. If you have ever seen Toy Story you’ll know that Woody uses both the sun’s rays and Buzz’s plastic helmet to focus the heat on a rocket fuse in order to catch up to Andy and the moving van. As brilliant as it was in the movie plot, real life typically has a much more disastrous ending.
Earlier this year, a large house fire occurred in London that destroyed the kitchen, a bedroom, and parts of the roof. The culprit was a glass Nutella jar that was being re-used as a holder for one of the daughter’s bracelets. The glass jar refracted the light onto the fabric of the curtains and set them ablaze. Luckily the family was not in the home when this occurred, but it did claim the life of their family dog due to smoke inhalation. It will be at least a year until the family can once again live in their home.
It’s more than worth it to take a few minutes to check through your own homes for glass or plastic items in window sills, or items that have direct contact with the sun. Look for potential dangers and move items if needed. Stay safe and enjoy your summer!
Get Better Organized in One Weekend
Many of us are breathing a sigh of relief that Spring officially begins on March 20. With the warmer temperatures comes a desire to shake off winter by getting your home organized and clean for the Spring.
Here are five things you can do in just one weekend that will better organize your home and your life.
- Gather important papers.Collect all the important papers from around the house, such as bills, school notes and invitations, and place them in a folder. Schedule a time each week to address them.
- Eliminate 10 items from your closet.Look through your clothes, shoes and accessories, and select 10 things from your closet that either don’t fit well, are out of style or you simply don’t wear. Take them to a clothing donation store in your area.
- Look at the next 30 days on your calendar.Review the next 30 days of your calendar, and list anything you need to prepare for such as purchasing gifts or cards, writing a report for an important meeting or getting your dress/suit cleaned for an event.
- Complete one home repair.Select the thing in your home that needs to be repaired most and fix it this weekend, either by doing it yourself or calling a professional.
- Find a home for 10 things.Identify 10 items in your home that look out of place, take up a lot of room or are in the way and find a new home for them. Relocate the item to somewhere close by and handy if you use it often, or store it out of the way if you use it less frequently.
2015 Charity Golf Events
All events are to raise money for the Salvation Army. Donate $30/player to save your place in the event. Winning teams are invited to the ServiceMaster Cup Championship at Madden’s in the fall.
Sign up as a team of 4 or we will pair you up with others. Clients, friends or family are welcome.
July 31st @ Bunker Hills, 9 AM Start
August 6th @ Dacotah Ridge, 10 AM Start
Learn more at www.svmps.com/golf-registration
$10/class for CE in 2015
Celebrating 10 years of CE, all 3 hour classes are now only $10! Attend two classes on any date in 2015 for six hours of CE will only cost you $20 and that includes lunch!
You will find two new classes for 2015 including a new “Framing our Ethics” and “Extreme Cleaning: Handling a Hoarding Dilemma” taught by instructor Fred McGuire.
Find the complete schedule on our website at https://www.svmps.com/ce-classes/
See you there.