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)
- 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.
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
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.
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/
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.
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.