How to Stop a Kitchen Fire Before It Gets Out of Control

Kitchen fires are scary, dangerous, and damaging. It’s true that you can sometimes stop them before they take hold, but you’re likely to still have smoke damage that will need to be professionally dealt with. You’ll have to catch the igniting fire very early on in order to prevent this. If you’re in the kitchen when the fire starts, you’re in the danger zone but you also have a chance to halt the damage. Here are three tips to help you stop a kitchen fire in its tracks.

1. Use a fire extinguisher

Of course, this will require a bit of preparation, but that may be in fact the best way to protect yourself from a fire. If you do have a fire extinguisher in the room (many cooks keep them on a wall mount near the stove, in order to be well within reach in case of an emergency), putting out a small fire can be quite within reach. Instead of running to call 911, you can simply grab the fire extinguisher, remove the pin, and spray generously at the base of the fire. Spray the entire base of the fire from side to side several times. If this doesn’t have an immediate effect, however, you should assume that the fire is already out of control and too large to handle on your own. In this case, you should retreat to a safe place and call 911.

2. Smother a grease fire

If you’re cooking when a fire starts, you probably have a fairly good idea of what it was that first started flaming. A grease fire, which is any fire that’s fueled by grease, oil, or something soaked in fat, is different from a wood fire and you should never put water on it. Instead, switch off any heat or power (such as the stove burner) and use a fire extinguisher as described above. If the fire started inside a pan, you may be able to smother it by placing a tightly-fitting lid on the pan and holding it in place with a potholder. Baking soda can also be used in a pinch to smother a small grease fire, but you have to remember to use enough baking soda to actually keep air from getting through (or in other words, a big pile). Clearly this will only work on a tiny fire unless you have a ten-pound bag of baking soda on hand. Don’t use flour to smother a fire. Although this has been done successfully in the past, it’s also very dangerous. Flour is flammable, and flour dust in the air can actually explode into a fireball–maybe a fun experiment in a controlled laboratory, but not a good idea in your kitchen.

3. Be careful!

If the fire starts on the stove, in the oven, or anywhere else where you’re preparing food, there’s a good probability that it is a grease fire. However, it is still possible for other types of fires to emerge in the kitchen. Electrical fires, for example, can start when appliance cords develop malfunctions. So if you’re not sure how the fire started, be very wary of electrocution. You should also be careful to avoid stubbornness; if you’re trying to fight a fire and it starts to spread at all (instead of starting to die immediately), you should assume it’s beyond your control already. Call 911 and move to a safe place. A kitchen fire can cause tragic damage to your home, but it will be much more tragic if you get hurt as well.

These tips will help you stay on top of any small fires that start accidentally when food preparation goes wrong. Remember, though, that a fire can start suddenly and rapidly, sometimes getting too large to deal with before you can respond. In these cases, don’t fight a losing battle; get yourself safe and let emergency personnel take care of it. For more information on how to recover from a fire, contact a fire damage service, such as Arkansas Restoration Services Inc.

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Basement Waterproofing Can Protect Valuables From Potential Hazards

A basement inside of a home allows those who need to store belongings a place to put everything. Adults who inherit a home as part of their parents’ estate may find the property is filled with rare, valuable, and sentimental belongings. Storing things in the basement comes with no costs — a better deal than paying $200 at a self-storage facility. A basement should be safe, but problems do exist with older homes. The potential for flooding and leaks may exist, and this presents a major hazard for those wishing to keep valuables in pristine condition. Requesting a basement waterproofing professional help address various concerns should prove to be the right move.

Water-Resistant Boxes and Their Limitations

Placing valuables inside of water-resistant boxes is a good idea. These special boxes do keep dampness out and can protect against minor splashes. Flood waters coming up through separations in the walls, however, could be far too much for these boxes. Relying solely on the boxes is risky. Instead, ask a waterproofing professional to assist with:

  • Elevating the Boxes Properly

Elevating water-resistant storage boxes by placing them on cinder blocks might be a helpful way to prevent water from getting inside if the basement floods. If the cinder blocks are still too low or not enough of them are used, then the contents of the boxes are still at a major risk. Making self-assessments about what the right height would be could prove disastrous. A better plan is to follow the advice of the waterproofing professionals. Based on their assessment of various potential flood risks, a reliable height can be recommended.

  • Warning about Hazard Spots

Performing waterproofing work requires determining the “danger zones” that present risks where water can enter. Covering concrete with water sealing is absolutely capable of keeping preventable leaks out. Danger zones are still going to exist. The plumbing drains could be at risk for backup flooding. Suggestions may be made to keep boxes away from where water from such a flood may collect and settle. Perhaps the opposite side of the basement from the planned storage area is the best place to store things.

  • Revealing the Dangers of Mold

Musty smells inside of a basement could indicate the presence or potential for mold. Mold spores that enter through a small imperfection in the storage boxes could make a meal out of the contents. Waterproofing experts might be able to address the current levels of dampness in the interior and dry things out. This way, mold may become less of a threat.

These are just three ways waterproofing professionals can help keep irreplaceable valuables from being ruined. Click here for more info.

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Mildew Remediation: Three Reasons Why It Is Easier Than Mold Remediation

Mold and mildew are often lumped together because most everyone associates mold and mildew with rot. However, mold and mildew are structurally different, and they need to be removed in very different ways. Unless you are allergic to mildew, it is the easier of the two substances to remove. Here are three reasons why it is easier to remove.

Mildew Dies When There Is No Heat AND Moisture Available

Undoubtedly, you have seen the mildew on your shower curtain and understand that mildew collects where it is wet. However, mildew cannot stay where it is wet unless it is also hot and humid. If you expose mildew to cold, dry air, it dies, and then you can just wipe it away. A “cryo-can” of concentrated cold air emitted from a spray can-like container can help, Just be sure to wait for the cryo-substance to dissipate before wiping away the dead mildew fungi.

Mildew Is More Easily Killed with Bleach

While you can use bleach on mold, you may cause its spores to separate and float away while you are treating the area with bleach. Mildew, on the other hand, requires moisture to stay, and it is tricked into thinking it is exposed to more moisture when in fact it is being dissolved by the bleach. Mildew also does not spread in the same ways as mold, and that helps you to drop a mildew-covered item into a tub or bucket of bleach solution and kill it all before it can spread.

If You Kill All the Mildew, It Does Not Return for a Very Long Time

Let’s say that your shower curtain has quite the collection of yellow and black mildew along the bottom edge. Now, if you submerse that in a bucket or tub of bleach, the mildew dies and it cannot return without new mildew fungi developing and clinging to the shower curtain. However, that is tricky to do, since the curtain will have been scrubbed of mildew and there is not much for a single mildew fungus to cling to.

Mold, on the other hand, will pop out its baby spores and send them off to stick to whatever they can. When that happens, the mold is renewed and spreads to the area where it originated. Then it looks as though you never removed the mold. If you get the help of a good mold and mildew remediation specialist from the start, you will not be repeating these scrubbings again in the near future (or even in the distant future, as is the case with mildew).

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3 Sure Ways To Stop Water From Getting In Your Basement

One of the places in a home susceptible to water damage is the basement. Whether you have a finished basement or not, water coming in through the foundation can cause your foundation to weaken and mold and mildew to get into your home. Even if your basement has never had issues with water leaking in, it very well could if you don’t do the following to keep water out:

Fix the Weak Spots First

Before you do anything else to safeguard your foundation, you need to check the interior and exterior of the cement for weak spots. Cracking, chips, and settling will make your home susceptible to water damage in the basement. It’s the cheapest foundation repair to maintain the cement of the foundation by having cracks and other minimal damage covered with new cement. Fixing the minor cracks from the initial settlement of your home will help reinforce the foundation and prevent additional shifting in the foundation.

Seal It Off Regularly

Cement is easily damaged over time by water. Aside from settling, cracking occurs when water wears away at the particles in cement pores and spreads. A sealant coat is usually good for a couple of years, but it can start to wear away in a few months if you live in an area with a lot of harsh weather. You can find a sealant that is applied as a clear coating, but there are a variety of sealants that have different color finishes that enhance the appearance of your foundation. A color coating can be a good way to go because you can see as the color and finish fades that you need to apply a new coat.

Install Drains to Move Away Excessive Water

Once a foundation contractor has properly prepped your foundation by repairing minor damage and sealing the foundation inside and out, you will want to add an additional line of defense–foundation drains. Foundation drains are underground, similar to a sprinkler system’s pipes. They are places near the home, and they capture underground water and stop it from pooling up around the ground near your foundation. Once the water is in the drainage pipes, it is redirected away from the home. It’s the first line of defense against unexpected heavy rain that might otherwise cause flooding or leaking in the basement.

Maintaining your foundation with minor crack repairs, as well as keeping up on the regular sealing of the concrete will keep your cement strong and looking good. Adding a drain will prevent excessive water contact with the foundation, particularly underground. Investing in these things will save you money on big repairs and keep your home’s foundation strong for many years. Companies like Do-All Contracting may be able to help meet your needs in this area.

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Keep Your Gutters In Good Condition For Years With 3 Easy Tips

The gutters on your rooftop are responsible for diverting rainwater away from the roof, helping with drainage and ensuring that the roof doesn’t get damaged during a storm. While cleaning out the gutters is an obvious step towards keeping them in good condition, there are a number of other things that you can do to ensure that they stay in great shape over the years. If you’re unsure of what you can do to keep your rain gutters in the best condition, consider some of the following tips.

Avoid Grabbing onto the Gutters While Climbing on the Roof

When climbing onto the roof, either to hang Christmas lights or to clean debris off after a storm, it can be tempting to reach for the gutters while climbing off the ladder. However, doing so can potentially cause damage to the gutters. While the gutters are likely mounted securely to the roof, they can still become loose, especially if you’re putting your weight on them and pulling. Keeping your hands off the gutters except for when you’re cleaning will help make sure that the gutters aren’t receiving more wear-and-tear than necessary.

Make a Habit of Routine Gutter Cleaning

Many homeowners make the mistake of skipping routine gutter cleaning and leaving the service to only be done once or twice a year. Setting aside an hour every month to clean the gutters, especially during rainy seasons, will keep them from being filled with debris and loosening because of the extra weight.

When cleaning the gutters, you’ll want to use specific tools designed for pushing the debris out of the gutter. Another thing you should involve in your routine gutter cleaning is tightening anything that may become loose with a screwdriver.

Prioritize Gutter Cleaning After Any Heavy Storms

While regular gutter cleaning should be a necessity, it’s also important that you pay close attention to the gutters after a heavy storm. Heavy storms bring more wind and rain, filling the gutters with debris more quickly. By keeping this in mind, you’ll be able to move forward with extensive gutter cleaning after a storm.

Keeping rain gutters in good condition is a necessity for protecting your roof since it’s the best way to keep debris out and diverting rain from the roof. While you can certainly take care of gutter cleaning on your own, you can remove the hassle and contact a professional like Gutter Magician NKY instead.

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After The Flood: The Best Replacement Materials

Once your home has flooded, you have a lot of recovering to do, even with the help of professionals. When you are having flooring or other home materials replaced, you can choose those that are most resistant to water in case you face this situation again. Good choices now can make a flood recurrence less painful to endure.

Flooring

As you undoubtedly know, your wet carpet poses several issues. Once it has been soaked, your carpet and the pad beneath it can easily become the home to out-of-control mold growth. Once mold takes hold, you have to rip out the carpet and choose more flooring. If you like the feel of carpet in your basement or other rooms, experts recommend choosing carpet tiles in the future. That way, you can simply pull out the wet squares, have them cleaned, and then replace them. Of course, other surfaces such as ceramic tile or even stamped concrete are ideal for areas that are susceptible to flooding. A flood should not ruin them.

Walls

Your walls are also vulnerable to moisture, whether it is directly in contact with flooding or simply exposed to excess moisture. For basements or other vulnerable areas, you consider installing cement board, ceramic wall tile, or solid stone or stone tile. These substances are attractive, durable, and water-resistant. You will be more protected in case of another flooding situation, but your home will not look like a bunker or an ark. 

Furniture

Consider using “outdoor” furniture for areas in your home that are susceptible to flooding. Many truly attractive pieces of patio furniture are water-resistant and comfortable. You can choose dining furniture, comfortable chairs, and even sofas and loveseats. In addition, you can make them waterproof instead of merely water resistant. You will need to purchase quality waterproofing products. Then, you will thoroughly clean the items and make certain that they are dry. Keep everything well away from kids, pets, and plants and then apply the product. If your home floods again, this furniture should be able to withstand the water, allowing you and your family to recover more quickly.

Flood damage can be devastating, both financially and emotionally. Although you will need professional help if it happens to your home, you can make the recovery process much simpler if you plan ahead. Purchase water-resistant wall and flooring materials and consider non-conventional furniture choices. If water has overtaken your home, make certain you are better prepared if floodwaters rise again. 

For more information, contact All Care or a similar company.

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Have A Composite Deck? Learn How To Care For It

When you initially selected the material for your deck, you may have selected composite materials because they last a long time and do not require much maintenance over the years. That said, composite decking shouldn’t be ignored or treated roughly if you want it to continue to look beautiful. These tips will help composite decking look great.

Things To Avoid Doing

A composite deck can easily become gouged or scratched just like a wood deck can. In order to prevent this from occurring, you should never use sharp objects when working on your deck. For example, avoid using metal shovels to remove snow on the deck. If you have ice buildup, dump hot water on the area to melt the ice instead of chipping away at it when a shovel.

Avoid covering a composite deck with plastic or carpeting. It can restrict airflow to the spaces between the many boards of the deck, which will encourage mildew and mold to grow in those small spaces.  

Cleaning Your Deck

Since composite decking requires minimal maintenance, you won’t have to clean the material regularly. When you do clean it, you must follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the composite decking. There will be restrictions on the kind of products that you are allowed to use, as well as restrictions on the strength of water used with a pressure washer.

Between any deep cleanings, sweep off the deck and clean out vegetation growing under it. It’s easy for pollen to get trapped between the gaps in the boards due to plants growing underneath the deck, which can cause algae to grow. Thankfully, pollen is easy to remove using your garden hose to spray down the deck. Just aim the hose directly between the gaps.

For those with a grill on their deck, lay down a rug with a rubber backing on it underneath the grill when it is being used. This should help prevent grease from falling onto the composite decking. If grease does find its way onto the decking, use a cleaning agent designed for removing grease as quickly as you can.

Compositing decking may be designed to last as long as 25 years, but things can happen to it that can cause long lasting damage and shorten its lifespan. If you need your composite decking restored due to mistakes you have made in maintenance, contact a local deck restoration company that can do it for you. For more information, look into a company like Thunder Struck Restorations LLC.

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2 Safe Cleaning Agents For Mold Removal

Mold can be an insidious problem for homeowners, potentially causing damage to items and even posing a serious health issue. This article will focus on cheap and safe ways of killing mold so you can hopefully avoid a costly removal problem and keep your home environment safe.

Use vinegar

Vinegar is an effective disinfectant that can be used for small mold remediation projects around the home. Vinegar has mild acidic properties that make it an excellent disinfectant and anti-fungal agent that can kill mold on hard, non-porous surfaces such as your kitchen counters and bathroom tub. You can also sprinkle vinegar solution on porous surfaces such as drop-down ceiling tiles and cupboards.

What makes vinegar quite effective in eliminating mold is its ability to infiltrate the fungus to its root level and kill it with its acidic properties. Vinegar is also non-toxic and is unlikely to cause irritation to your hands and eyes, which would usually be the case if you attempted mold remediation with harsh chemicals such as bleach or ammonia. 

To safely and effectively remove mold, make a mixture of white vinegar and borax-water solution and put it in a spray bottle. Next, sprinkle the vinegar solution onto mold covered surfaces in your home and let it dry out.

Opening your windows can help air-dry the stained area and also discourage further mold growth in other areas by getting rid of dampness, especially in your kitchen and bathroom. Finally, scrub the dried area with a small brush to remove any vinegar residue and mold stains. 

Use baking soda

Baking soda is another safe cleaning agent that can be used to remove mold stains and odors. This mild cleaning agent also lacks harsh chemicals like those found in ammonia or bleach that can cause skin irritation. Baking soda can be effective at removing mold on shower glass doors, basement floors and walls or in your closets

To remove mold using this method, make a mixture of water and a few teaspoons of baking soda. Pour this solution in a spray bottle and apply on stained areas. Next, let the solution sit for a few hours to give it time to bleach out mold stains and absorb any dormant mold odor. You should then scour the affected area with a brush to remove any mold debris and let the surface dry. Finally, spray a bit of water and baking soda solution on the affected surface to form a layer of protection against recurrent mold growth. Contact a business that offers mold inspections for more information. 

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3 Things That You Shouldn’t Do With Wet Photos After A Flood

If your home has recently been flooded, whether due to a pipe bursting or a natural disaster, it might seem like the first thing you’ll need to do is throw away the items that have sustained water damage. However, there is one thing that you should not necessarily throw away — photographs. Photographs often cannot be replaced, so it’s worth it to try to save them. Just make sure that you do not do these three things with your photographs after a flood, and there’s a good chance that a professional can restore them for you. After the trauma of your home being flooded, this can be welcome and comforting news.

1. Peel Them Apart

If your photos were stacked on top of one another when the flood hit, there’s a chance that they might now be “stuck” together. Your first instinct might be to attempt to pull them apart, but you will not want to do this if you want to avoid damaging them permanently. Instead, hold them under a stream of running water; the gentle force of the running water might be enough to cause them to come apart. If not, take them as-is to a photo developer to see if he or she can repair them.

2. Handle Them Excessively

Even though you might have to handle your photographs some in an attempt to save them, you will not want to handle them excessively when they are wet and damaged from a flood. Otherwise, your fingers can cause smudging and can make the photos that much more difficult to restore. Instead, try to keep your hands off of them as much as possible. When you do handle them, try to handle them by the corners to minimize damage.

3. Allow Them to Stay Wet

Allowing your photographs to stay wet any longer than necessary can increase the damages and can cause mildew or mold growth. Lay them out on a flat surface to allow them to dry thoroughly. Consider turning on a fan in the vicinity to help encourage them to dry more quickly, but avoid pointing the fan directly at the photographs.

If you want to save your photographs after a flood, there are a few things that you should not do. Along with not throwing them away just yet, you should also avoid these three things. Then, you can take your water damaged photographs to a pro to attempt to have them restored.

Contact a company like Flood Damage Restoration for more help.

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3 Tips To Adhere To All Year To Prevent Mold From Taking Over Your Home

Mold spores float freely in the air all around you, looking for a place to call home. Here are three tips that you can implement throughout the year that will help you keep your home a mold-free zone. 

#1 Vent Your Clothes Dryer Outside Of Your House

If you have a clothes dryer in your home, make sure that it vents to the outside. The air that comes out of your clothes dryer is usually really humid and can release a lot of moisture and warmth into the air — two things mold loves. You should not vent your clothes dryer into your attic, basement, or a crawlspace. That will create the ideal environment for mold to grow and thrive somewhere you most likely will not see it until it is too late.

#2 Always Vent Your Bathroom After A Shower

When you shower, excessive moisture is released into the air. If you take hot showers, the warmth from your shower can also warm up your bathroom. Both of these things that occur on a daily basis when you take a hot shower create the ideal conditions for mold to grow. If you don’t want to be constantly fighting mold and mildew in your bathroom, you need to vent your bathroom properly after you take a shower.

If you have an exhaust fan in your bathroom, you should run it during your shower and after your shower. Let the fan run until you are done getting ready to pull some of the excess moisture out of the air. If you don’t have an exhaust fan, you should look into hiring a contractor to install one. 

You can also crack open the window in your bathroom if you have one to combat the moisture and warmth as well. 

#3 Don’t Keep Your House To Warm

Mold grows best when the temperature is above 77 degrees Fahrenheit. You can make your home unappealing to mold by keeping your home cooler than 77 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, do not turn your heater up so high that it feels like you are sitting in the summer sun; try to keep the temperature in the high sixties or low seventies. In the summer, don’t try to tough it out; if the temperature on the thermostat starts climbing into the upper seventies, turn on the air conditioning. 

If you see mold in your home, contact a water damage restoration service to clean it up and give you other prevention tips.

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About Me

Growing up, I loved to shop for new clothes, shoes, jewelry, wall hangings, figurines, and other types of items. After reaching adulthood, my shopping preferences changed. Instead of looking for new items, I like to shop for older things that can be restored. For instance, I’m currently looking for some antique pieces of furniture for my new home. I’m especially interested in benches, coffee tables, and chairs. After locating the perfect pieces of furniture, an expert restoration specialist can make them look like new again. On this blog, I hope you will discover the amazing advantages of taking old, damaged items to a restoration specialist. Enjoy!

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