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What You Need to do After a House Fire

What You Need to do After a House Fire

After a house fire, there are several steps you need to take to stay safe and recover your belongings.

Take care of insurance.

  • Contact your insurance company. Most insurance policies cover disasters such as fires and fire damage. Get a hold of your insurance to know what your options for recovery are.
  • Get a fire report. Fire reports are public documents that detail all of the more specific things that took place during the fire. It helps fire departments and your insurance company will want a copy.
  • Make a list of items you lost. Your insurance can better help you cover what you lost if you have a list of damaged or destroyed items. Save the receipts for any new items you buy so you can prove the damaged possessions as lost for your taxes and insurance.
  • No insurance? If you don’t have any insurance, there are plenty of other organizations that are still able to help you. Salvation Army, Red Cross, and religious or public organizations are all there to help.

Find a place to stay.

It’s unsafe to go back into your damaged home, so you will need to find a place to stay with friends of family while your home and belongings are restored.

Look over your finances and other documents.

Sadly, even though you are unable to live in your home, you will often have to continue to make payments on the property. Talk to the lender for your mortgage and find out what options are available.

You will also want to consider credit cards you lost in the fire. Report any losses to your credit card company.

As far as burnt money goes, try to handle it as little as possible. Put any damaged bills baggies or plastic wrap to try and preserve it. If the bills are only slightly damaged, you can replace it at your closest Federal Reserve Bank or the Treasury.

Check for any lost documents and take the necessary steps to replace them. These may include:

  • Driver’s License
  • Insurance policies
  • Automobile Registration
  • Life certificates (birth, marriage, death, citizenship papers, as well as wills)
  • Passports
  • Discharge papers from the military
  • Medicare cards or social security cards
  • Important warranties
  • Medical records
  • Tax records

No matter what, wait to enter your home until you know it’s safe. The fire department or other authority will let you know when it is okay to enter again. If you’re property has caught fire at any point, Valley Restoration and Construction offers fire restoration services to help! Contact us at 970-964-4437 to get started.

The Top 9 Places in Need of Dusting

The Top 9 Places in Need of Dusting

We all know the importance of cleaning, but there are some places you may miss. Allergens build up throughout the year and the summer is one of the best times to purge your home of as many allergens as possible. One of the biggest things to cause allergies is dust mites and the substances they leave behind, so it’s best to clear them out whenever you clean.

1 – Fabric

Your bedding and furniture actually gathers a lot of dust that easily attaches to fabric. Using the hose on your vacuum to suck up dust on couches and chair cushions will help rid of any dust mites and debris. Don’t forget to vacuum your mattresses or mattress pads as well.

2 – Bookshelves

When books or knick knacks are on shelves, people often dust around them rather than dusting off the entire shelf. It’s a good idea to remove everything off your shelves and dust them thoroughly about once a month to make sure you aren’t missing anything.

3 – Baseboards and Window Sills

Many people often forget to clean these areas. However, over time, a lot of dust, bugs, and other debris can build up and add to any allergic reactions you may be experiencing.

4 – Closets

A lot of dust forms through fabric fibers. Sweeping out your closet and wiping down the shelves and racks inside can help a lot. Give any clothes that haven’t been worn in two or more months a wash as well.

5 – Ceiling Fans

When dust collects on the tops of fan blades, it’s only distributed in the air when the fan turns on. Any other fans that haven’t been used in a while may have this same issue, so don’t forget to wipe them down!

6 – Carpets and Rugs

Just like with other fabric in your home, carpets and rugs collect a lot of dust. Getting rid of it is easy though! Get an annual carpet cleaning to kickstart the process, then make sure to vacuum weekly and beat your carpets and rugs every once in a while.

7 – The Tops of Appliances

The tops and sides of things like refrigerators and microwaves collect a lot of dust pretty quickly. Try to wipe them down about once a month to keep too much from accumulating.

8 – Under furniture

The space underneath couches, beds, refrigerators and other furniture allows a lot of dust to accumulate. A lot gets swept underneath and it’s smart to clean it out at least every other month.

9 – Air Vents

While dusting and cleaning can decrease a large percentage of allergens, one of the best methods of allergen reduction is cleaning your air ducts and getting a professional carpet cleaning. Call Valley Restoration and Construction to get started! 970-964-4437

The Harmful Effects of Asbestos

The Harmful Effects of Asbestos

Asbestos is a mineral that’s incredibly harmful to anyone exposed to it. However, it has been used in an almost endless amount of products. While banned in the United States and a few other countries, most of the world still uses asbestos because it’s insulating and fire-resistant.

Harmful Effects

Asbestos has more than one harmful effect on you and your health. Overall, breathing in these fibers can lead to a decrease in the ability and function of your lungs, affecting your breathing. More drastically, it may also lead to death (especially when paired with long-term inhalation of the mineral).

  • It could cause mesothelioma. This is a tumor that grows on the tissue lining the inside of the lungs. It causes a lot of painful coughing.
  • Lung cancer is another potential issue that can arise. Asbestos fibers are known to lodge in the lower region of the lungs and cause cancer and other illnesses years after you breathe them in.
  • Asbestosis is a fibrotic lung disease and is caused by this mineral as well.
  • The lining of the chest cavity (the pleura) may change due to asbestos, causing further illness.
  • Because there is less blood flow to the lungs, heart enlargement may also be an issue.

How it Works

This mineral was used in an endless amount of products before it became illegal. One of the biggest uses was in the drywall and insulation of homes. Whether you’re living in a home with it. or worked on a job site with it, asbestos may be or may have been a part of your life.

When this material is broken up or disturbed in any way, the tiny fibers float in the air and are later inhaled. However, your chances of getting any illnesses from it depends on a few different factors.

  • The amount of time you were exposed
  • How much you were exposed to
  • How long it’s been since exposure
  • Your age when you were exposed
  • The size/type of fibers
  • Health history and smoking history

How You Can Stay Safe

If you’re living in an older home, it’s always a smart idea to get your home professionally checked for asbestos. This is especially the case if you are going to be remodeling. If your home does have this mineral, it’s possible to mitigate it! Luckily, here at Valley Restoration and Construction, we specialize in asbestos mitigation. Visit our homepage to learn more! https://valleydrc.com/

8 Tips to Keep Your House Cool During Summer

8 Tips to Keep Your House Cool During Summer

Keeping the hot weather out all summer without causing your bills to skyrocket can be tough. However, there are still a few things you can do to keep the temperature down throughout the hottest time of the year.

Don’t leave the lights on.

Not only does this up your electricity bill, but it also causes your house to get warmer. Light bulbs produce heat and when on for long periods of time, they can begin warming up rooms.

Keep the sun from getting in.

By reducing the levels of sunlight that get in through your windows, you’re also helping keep hot air out. Try using reflective windows, blinds, or curtains to keep excess sunlight from getting in and warming your home.

Use ice!

Putting ice in front of a fan can actually act as a form of air conditioning. You’ll have to pay attention to the ice as it melts, but this method is both cheap and incredibly effective.

Use light-colored decor.

Light furniture, paint, and decoration can help reflect sunlight (and therefore the sun’s warmth) out of your home. On the other hand, darker furnishings can instead absorb the heat and further heat up your house.

Try cross ventinating.

You can cross ventilate your home by opening windows on both ends of your house, allowing for air to efficiently flow in and out.

Open your windows at night.

If you are in a safe neighborhood, try cracking your windows at night to let the cool night air in before the hot sun comes around.

Cook outside when you can!

Cooking with your oven indoors means a lot of escaped heat that fills your kitchen and the rest of your home. Ovens and stovetops are really just big heaters. The other option (if you can’t cook outdoors) is to simply cook early in the morning or late in the evening when everything cools down outside.

Plant some trees!

Not only is this good for the environment, but it can really help keep your house nice and cool during hot weather. By planting the trees strategically, you can shade your home so it’s out of the sun.

Another great way to keep the cool air circulating in your home is with an HVAC system cleaning. Luckily, Valley Restoration and Construction can help! Call 970-964-4437 to get started.

Kid-Proofing Your Home

Kid-Proofing Your Home

Hundreds of thousands of kids need to go to the hospital each year because of injuries from things like kitchen appliances, stairs, and electrical wires. You can keep your little ones safe by following these steps to help kid-proof your home!

Cabinets, Drawers and Doors

Keeping kids away from medicines, poisons, or other dangers is incredibly important. Luckily, this is an easy problem to fix. Buying child proof locks or handle covers for the places these things are stored can aid in keeping your children out of harm’s way!

The Kitchen

There are endless amounts of hazards in kitchens. Heated surfaces, knives, heavy objects, and other dangers could all cause harm! However, there are things you can do that will help avoid any accidents. Similar to above, it’s important to put locks and covers on cabinets and drawers. Most of these objects can be found in any general store. You can also try a baby gate.

If your child is old enough, be sure to educate them on the dangers that come along with hot surfaces and keep any hot pots, pans, or rags away from the edge of the counter in case a child pulls it down on top of them. Finally, you can help your children learn about knife safety by first starting them with butter knives or plastic knives before they go near a real one.

Stairs

As kids, we’ve all had our fair share of stair accidents. However, these can be avoided! Check all banisters and railings to ensure they aren’t loose or wide enough for a kid to fit through. Putting baby gates at the top or bottom of the stairs can also help prevent them from falling down. These gates can also be used to keep children out of other dangerous areas in the home.

Outlets

Electrical outlet covers keep loose wires out of reach. Electrocution could cause extreme harm to a child. If you’re willing to take the extra step, purchasing outlet covers that keep kids from sticking objects into the outlet can also help keep them safe.

Windows

Any home should have some sort of window guard or netting to keep children from falling out a window. This is important even with windows on the first level of your home. Ensuring your windows have limited space to open can also help keep accidents from taking place. However, make sure at least one window per room is available for escape in case of a fire.

The safety of your child could also be at stake if you have any issues with asbestos, radon, flooding, or fire hazards. Luckily, Valley Restoration and Construction can help with all these things! Visit our homepage to see how.

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

After being stuffed up in your home all winter, spring is the perfect time to deep clean your home. However, a top-to-bottom cleaning may get overwhelming. Here’s a list of things to focus on when deep cleaning your home.

Take care of your floors.

First, mop and vacuum your wood, tile, and other hard flooring. Wax any faux-wooden floors (often made of vinyl or linoleum) and scrub and reseal tile grout lines to get rid of the excess oils and general grime that have built up over the years.

Once you deal with the hard flooring, work on your carpets. Carpets are known to catch allergens, dirt, and grime so it’s important to get your carpets professionally cleaned on an annual basis.

Declutter.

Decluttering can help you free up space and your home seem more tidy. Throw out anything in the infamous junk drawer that you don’t need. Give old clothes you haven’t worn in a year to a second hand store.

Clean your windows.

Spray down window screens and glass to rid of built up grime. During the winter, our consistently closed windows can cause cobwebs, dirt, and dead insects to gather in window sills and the space between the glass and screen. Not only will spraying down your windows help your home look and feel cleaner, but it will also aid in allergen reduction.

Clean out your air ducts.

HVAC ducts ventilate air in your home and help regulate temperature. However,the ducts can get incredibly dirty, especially if the fans are as well. Not cleaning out the mold, dust and debris, or pests can cause an increase in your power bills and seasonal allergies.

Ensure fire safety.

The perfect time to check all your smoke detectors is during a spring cleaning. Make sure each alarm is still charged with batteries. Another good thing to do during this time is review your family’s fire escape plan.

Polish and dust furniture and appliances.

Take books and knick-knacks off of shelves for a good dusting. Use a vacuum hose for any corners that are hard to reach. Polish wood and metal surfaces as well to keep your furniture looking new!

When you’re cleaning, consider asking a professional for help! Valley Restoration and Construction specializes in carpet cleaning, HVAC cleaning, and more! Visit our homepage to learn more about our services.