How Can Fire Damage Be Harmful To Homeowners?

Some of the biggest challenges associated with fire damage occur after the flames have gone out. During combustion, water vapor and intense heat are generated, both capable of causing extreme destruction. On top of this, smoke and soot will result in ongoing problems as they both contain toxic chemicals and pungent odors.  Just how bad the odors and toxic effects are will depend on the composition of the fuel used for combustion, the intensity of the heat, and the length of time the fire ran before it was extinguished.

Plastics and other synthetic materials can leave behind chemical residues that are harmful if inhaled. Wood smoke, usually the greatest contributor to the amount of smoke in the building, contains methane, carbon monoxide, benzene, sulfur dioxide, formaldehyde, formic acid, acetic acid, and traces of heavy metals. This toxic soup will cause major problems for anyone who inhales the smoke or comes in contact with surfaces harboring smoke residue. Soot and smoke particles have a tendency to settle on carpets, furniture, countertops and walls in the hours following combustion. Before the flames go out, they will send smoke throughout the home, into ductwork, and into wall cavities. In short, there  may be no place in the building untouched by smoke, and its presence means trouble.

Smoke particles are incredibly small and may be smaller than .01 microns in size. This is typically too small for standard residential air filters to catch. If the smoke particles are allowed to settle inside the home’s walls, they will create odors that are difficult to track down. Smoke is also acidic in nature, so it will slowly deteriorate various materials within the home. What this means is that a homeowner should contact a professional fire damage restorer as soon as possible. Acting quickly is the best defense in reversing the damage.

Removing smoke and soot requires  the proper machinery and expertise. Homeowners should only consider professionals who have been certified through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC. This agency has overseen the certification of fire damage restoration companies for decades and is responsible for regularly updating the best practices in the industry. Technicians with IICRC certification are aware of the most advanced techniques and technologies in the industry. They are among the most knowledgeable members of their field.

During restoration, the technician will need to remove any items that have been destroyed and address any standing water left behind. Pooled water can foster the growth of mold and mildew in carpets and other textiles, so it must be removed quickly. The technician will also have an arsenal of counteractants capable of breaking down any soot or smoke they come in contact with. This is handy for removing ash and soot residue left behind on surfaces. Neutralizing odors left behind will be more difficult, but new methods, including thermal fogging or ozone treatment can break down smoke particles and force odors to dissipate.

It may seem like life will never return to normal following a disastrous fire, but with the help of IICRC certified technicians, a family can get back on track before long.

Carpet Stretching Is A Common Form Of Repair Service

When a piece of flooring begins to wrinkle and bunch up, it may be time for carpet stretching. This repair technique can be done by most cleaning and repair technicians. It is quick and rather inexpensive when compared with replacing the flooring. Some homeowners may not be concerned with the appearance of wrinkles in the floor, especially if they are minor. Over time though, this rippling will spread, because that part of the floor is structurally compromised and will wear faster. Before long, what could have been a small repair job will likely become a major hassle.

When carpeting bunches up, it is usually due to poor installation, poor manufacturing or excess wear. After many years, the flooring may start deteriorating and detaching. No matter the cause, carpet stretching is usually enough to repair the problem and reduce future wear. The technician will use specific tools and a few steps to complete the process.

A slotted blade knife, hammer, and awl will be needed to remove the flooring from the tack strip. Once it is freed up, the technician will employ a power stretcher to smooth out the wrinkles. This device looks like a long pole with a gripping surface on one end. During the repair, it is braced against a single wall and placed near the problem area. The technician then operates a level to push the flooring until it is smoothed out. The action with this tool is much stronger than any force a person can generate without it. When the flooring is nice and flat, the professional will trim away the excess from the edges and secure the repaired flooring with an industrial staple gun. By the time the technician is done, the flooring will be restored to its original tautness.

The Installation Of Carpet Patching

Carpet patching is something that many people are already aware of, but it is important to hire a professional for the best outcome.  This process involves the physical removal of a segment or area of flooring and the subsequent replacement of a visually similar piece of flooring. This is accomplished best by seasoned professionals who have encountered a variety of different scenarios in this area as there are many specialized tools and equipment that’s needed to accomplish the best replacement.

This process involves very precise measurements, along with finding correct replacement pieces that match not only the surrounding aesthetic, but the density and fiber of the material as well. Along with the equipment, there’s a complex number of steps that are undertaken to properly install new segments of flooring. All of this is done in an effort to create a visually seamless stretch of flooring that appears to have had no work done on it at all.

The pieces that will be used in the carpet patching are typically either square or rectangular for the sake of an easier installation, though for spot replacements where a lone stain exists, a circular, smaller portion may be replaced instead. Next, tackless strips that are affixed to the concrete foundation are removed from the problematic area. This part of the task involves using a hammer and a pry-bar in a delicate fashion so the concrete or sub-floor beneath the tackless strip is not damaged. After the tack strips are replaced and the installation is finished, vacuuming and exposure to the sun will lend its hand in helping the new area blend nicely with the surrounding areas in time.

Seeking Out Companies Who Know How To Stretch Carpet

Learning how to stretch carpet is something that many homeowners are seeking, only to find that the process entailed is a complex and time consuming one. Luckily, there are many professionals who are properly equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to pull this off in a very cost-effective manner, saving the homeowner from any further do-it-yourself mishaps, as well as damage to their wallets.

The main need arises when flooring becomes loose or wrinkled, causing an eyesore and a hazard of tripping.  This is especially common in older flooring, where the tack strips and staples may be very loose purely from age or routine wear and tear.

First, the flooring will need to be gently pulled off of the padding, avoiding any tears that may come from the installed tack strips if the pad is removed too quickly. This is done by starting from one corner of the wall-to-wall flooring and carefully removing old tack strips and staples which will then be replaced with new, sturdier tacks and staples that will hold the flooring in the future.

Professional installers will then use a tool known as a power extender to complete the most important step on how to stretch carpet. The tool essentially binds the flooring by helping it bite down into the sides of the wall, as well as the tacks and staples that will be holding it in place. Another tool, the knee kicker, will be used in areas where the aforementioned tool doesn’t fit, allowing professionals to make small adjustments to the pressure and dimensions. Lastly, a simple cutter will be used to trim off any excess pieces of carpet that will be there once the extending process is completed.

Carpet Installation

If the spots on the floor multiply after every dinner party, it may be time to consider a new carpet installation. Although this task may seem like a fun do-it-yourself project, it is best to leave it up to the professionals because of the tools and talent needed to execute it properly.

This project is not for the faint of heart, and those out there stubborn enough to go it alone won’t be happy when hair starts falling out. New carpet installation calls for a series of tools that are not normally found around the house. Things like tackles strips, seam rollers and carpet stretchers. As silly as knee-kickers sounds when it’s said, knowing what to do with it will make a difference in how the rug is laid out.

Like with many involved tasks, there is a step by step process to get the project complete. First, there is cutting, and then there is arranging and then seaming.  That’s just the first half, so imagine what it would be like to finish. This will hopefully convince the DIY warriors out there to search for a professional instead.

The search can be as convenient as hiring someone from the flooring store to set up the textiles, but the easiest way is not always the best way. There are several websites that offer listings of businesses and contractors that can do the job. Customer reviews are a big part of the listing, and if former clientele are bad-mouthing a professional for poor customer service, this should be considered a red flag. Finding a certified company is a feat worthy of praise, as this means the individual or company has been in business for at least two years and has undergone rigorous testing to prove their carpet laying skills.  Either way, research is the only way to ensure the new carpet installation is done properly.