Tips For Getting Rid Of Smoke Damage In Your Mattress

There were approximately 494 thousand structure fires reported in the U.S. in 2014, resulting in about $9.8 billion in damages. Even if it was a small fire, such as a garbage can fire, the damages can cost up to several hundred dollars in restoring your household items from the soot and smoke that may have been created. Smoke can permeate your fabrics and textiles, and your mattress is one of those things that can be affected. If your fire resulted in an extinguisher being used on the mattress, then you would be better served to replace it altogether. However, smoke and soot damage can be cleaned, and the mattress can be reused.

So if you have had a fire and want to save your money for bigger cleanups, here are some ways to save that mattress.

Getting it clean

Since it is impossible to launder a mattress, cleaning it will take a bit more effort than doing the bed clothes. It is best to use a cleanser such as a pre-spray and spot remover. Before applying the cleanser, you will need to vacuum the black or brown particles that may have deposited on the mattress from the soot. Depending on the cleanser that you choose, you should follow the diluting or preparation directions given from the manufacturers. Spray the cleanser on the soot-stained areas.

Use a nylon brush to scrub at the soot areas and then flush the area thoroughly with water. If possible, you can put the mattress out in the air to dry, as this will also aid with getting rid of the smoke odor. If you live in an apartment, then open the windows and doors, move the mattress to where it might be able to catch some sunlight and use air movers to aid in the drying process.

Getting it fresh

Household items found in your kitchen such as vinegar and baking soda are odor eaters and can be used to restore a natural fresh scent to your mattress. Once it is cleaned of the soot, spray some white vinegar on the mattress. Spray enough to saturate the top layer of the mattress. Allow the vinegar to air dry before sprinkling baking soda on it. You can once again do a scrub that will spread the baking soda particles into the mattress fibers and then allow to sit for at least a day.

Vacuum the baking soda from the mattress and then repeat the process if you can still detect any hint of a smoke or soot smell. Remember to do the same treatment on both sides of the mattress before use. 

For more information about smoke damage, contact Serclean Inc or a similar company.

How To Replace Water Damaged Drywall

Drywall is usually the first thing that gets damaged where there is leaking in the wall pipes. When drywall gets soaked from the inside, it can often be hard to detect at first. But, water damaged drywall can start to sag and become very weak. This is why it is so important to fix water damaged drywall as soon as possible. In some cases it will be easier to just cut out the damaged part of the drywall and replace. This article explains how to change drywall on vertical walls.

Cut Out the Damaged Area

Cutting out a section of drywall is very easy with a simple drywall saw. These saws are small but sharp, and they cut through drywall very easily. However, you definitely don’t want to cut through any pipes or studs. This is why you should find and mark potential studs and obstructions with a stud finder before you start cutting. You also want to take care when cutting out that your cuts are straight. Cutting out a square or rectangle will make it much easier to cut the replacement piece. It will also be easier to mount the new piece of drywall if you are able to mount the edges on a stud. This is why you should try to end your cut in the middle of a stud.

Cutting the New Piece

When cutting straight edges of a new piece of drywall, you do not want to use the saw. Instead, you should just use a utility knife. You can cut much straighter and cleaner lines with a knife. Score one side of the drywall, cutting about halfway through the board. Then, you should be able to snap the piece along the straight line. When making the cuts, you want the fit to be as tight as possible, so double check all your measurements.

Taping and Patching the Drywall

The final step is to attach the drywall to the wall. Using drywall screws, it is very easy to attach the board. Before you put the board in place, make sure you mark where the studs are. After the board is hung, you will need to tape the seams with drywall tape. Then, use drywall mud to cover all of the screw holes and tape.

The final step is to texture and paint the wall. You will, of course, want to match the existing texture on the wall. The difficulty of this job wholly depends on what type of texture you have. Spray-on texture is easy to match, but hand-troweled texture requires a little more craft.

3 Common Sources Of Hidden Water Damage In Older Ranch Homes

The 1960s and 1970s saw a development boom in subdivisions featuring single-story ranch homes. If you own a mid-century ranch, you probably love the easy floor plan and big yard. You might not be as happy with what’s happening behind the drywall in the finished basement.

Aging copper pipes, poor drainage, and cracked foundations all can set the stage for a soggy basement disaster.  Here are some of the most common causes of water damage and their symptoms.

Pinhole leaks

Copper pipes weren’t meant to last forever. If your home still has the original plumbing, pinhole leaks could be forming. Corrosion from a number of sources creates pits on the inside wall of the pipe. Eventually, the pit deepens until it becomes a hole. Undetected, pinhole leaks can grow until they cause serious problems.

In many cases, water from a pinhole leak will run along a wall joist or the outside of a pipe, making them difficult to locate and diagnose. Here are the major signs:

Unusually high water bills 

You may notice a moldy smell in a room that appears to be clean and dry, bulges or soft spots in drywall, and water stains or bubbles in paint and wallpaper. There could also be unusual insect activity where floors and walls meet.

A pinhole leak doesn’t necessarily mean the entire plumbing system is shot. In many cases, only the damaged pipe needs to be replaced.

Poor drainage

When your house was first built, the land was graded to slope away from the foundation and let rainwater flow toward the storm drain. Erosion, over-enthusiastic gardening, and clogged gutters can create a shallow spot near the house that draws water down along the foundation and eventually into the basement.

The most common sign of water seepage from a soggy foundation is dampness in the floor and at the bottom of the walls near the edge of the basement. Musty smells and mold stains may also be present.

Poor drainage can often be fixed with simple changes to the gutters and the landscaping near the house.

Foundation problems

As a home ages, the soil that keeps the foundation stable may settle or shift due to drainage problems or even a prolonged drought. This puts stress on the walls, sometimes even cracking the concrete. Leaks from this source will be more apparent after a heavy rain, as moisture seeps down into the earth.

Moisture from a foundation crack can appear at any level in a finished basement. You may notice a bad smell from soggy insulation or water marks that disappear several days after a rainstorm.

While foundation damage may be serious, cracks can often be repaired if caught soon enough.

4 Types of Flood Damage & What to Do About Them

Not all flood damage results in homes being completely submerged or swept away. A flood can destroy you home in various other ways as well, of which you might not have thought about. Here are four possible threats to your home that might want to deal with beforehand to reduce the amount of flood cleanup and restoration remodeling you may face.

1. Damage from Fuel Tanks and Lines

Those heavy fuel tanks sitting outside your house may go flying in a flood. Even if they don’t ram into your home and rupture, disconnected fuel lines can spread dangerous fuel into or around the property. Anchor all fuel tanks securely, and consider removing them entirely or shutting off all fuel lines if a flood is on the way.

2. Sewer Line Leakage

Every home that makes of a city’s commercial sewer system has sewer lines running directly to and from it. When a major flood hits, it can cause sewage to back up through the drain pipe and into your home. This problem is not only disgusting, but it also promotes disease and can cause extensive damage to your home’s interiors.

One smart solution to this problem lies in the installation of a backflow valve that can control the passage of sewage along the drain pipe. A conversation with your plumber today about this type of modification could save you additional flood restoration headaches later on.

3. Electrical Fires

A flood can leave you with a deadly present in the form of electrical system damage. This not only poses an electrocution hazard, but it can also lead to a house fire that burns whatever remains of your property to the ground. If your home is flooding or has been flooded:

  • Deactivate the breakers from the breaker box, if you can get to it safely.
  • Avoid touching any cables on the floor, even innocent-looking TV cables—they may contain a dangerous charge.
  • Make sure you home is completely dry before you turn the power back on.
  • Make an electrical inspection part of your flood restoration and flood cleanup checklist.

4. Mold Infiltration

Mold loves standing water. This repulsive substance feeds on water and other organic materials (such as your home’s wooden beams). Mold produces spores that enter the air and cause all kinds of health problems, from allergic reactions to deadly lung diseases. Mold infiltration commonly follows flooding, rendering even mostly-intact homes unlivable without the aid of professional flood damage restoration services.

The best thing you can do to reduce this threat is to invest in some sort of waterproof membrane to protect your exterior walls and prevent water from seeping in through breaches. You can cover this membrane with a layer of brick, increasing your home overall water resistance while beautifying it at the same time. This of it as a form of preemptive restoration modeling!

With the right combination of smart advance planning and careful post-flood restoration, you can help you beloved home weather the storm.