Why Cleaning Smoke Damage Is So Difficult

If you have experienced smoke or fire damage in your Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill / Cary home contact us today. In addition to being restoration specialists, we are North Carolina licensed general contractors who can tackle any job.

Following a fire, there is a lot of cleanup and rebuilding to be done. Anything that is sufficiently damaged by flames obviously needs to be replaced outright. But many items and surfaces in the home may not appear to be very damages at all. It’s easy to assume that they can be ignored, or simply treated with a mild cleaning.

Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth. After a fire, nearly every exposed surface through the entire house needs to be treated a cleaned thoroughly in order to prevent continuing damage, as well as the persistent smell of smoke that seems to linger forever.

The are many reasons for this process, beginning with the chemical makeup of smoke and ash. Once they mix with water they become very acidic. Not enough to instantly melt your metal appliances, but enough to slowly corrode just about every surface in your home that comes in contact with the caustic mix.

Not only does this need to be cleaned up quickly, but it needs to be cleaned up properly. Soap and water, or any other grocery store cleaner aren’t going to do the job correctly. Much of the obvious stain may disappear with enough scrubbing, the chemicals that will do the most damage will seep deep down into the floors, walls, ceilings, and any other porous surface where it will continue to eat away for weeks or months.

Once they are soaked in, they will also cause nauseating odors to fill the home. Air fresheners won’t be able to cover the smell, and opening a window only blows away the small temporarily. To fix the issues, the source of the odor needs to be eliminated, which is just as difficult as cleaning the smoke damage.

Smoke damage cleaning is, perhaps, the most complicated form of treatment for a homeowner to accomplish them. Not only does it take a thorough approach and deep remediation of nearly every surface in the building, it can only be done effectively if the areas behind the building’s walls receive treatment as well. This is a massive challenge to anyone but certified professionals, as these experts have the know-how, manpower, and equipment to complete the task properly.

In some ways smoke is a lot of dust, as it’s incredibly fine particles of ash suspended in the air, waiting to settle onto any surface it touches. But unlike dust, smoke can permanently stain surfaces, and can’t be easily wiped away with a damp cloth. It may be tempting to cover these stains with a coat of paint, but that just buries the problem, it doesn’t eliminate it.

The technicians at PRS are trained professionals that work around the clock to fix these types of issues quickly and permanently. We’ll show up fast and begin working, not just on repairing your home, but with your insurance company, too. It’s our goal to make sure that insurance will cover as much of the work as possible and to keep the homeowners out of pocket costs to a minimum.

Health Hazards Posed By Fire Damage

If you have experienced fire damage in or around Raleigh contact us today to get your home back in order as quickly as possible. We are locally owned and operated and have been restoring home in the area for years.

It’s highly understandable for a homeowner to be concerned about his or her house and personal property after a fire, but it’s also important to be concerned about their health. Not all health hazards of a fire are posed by the heat of the flames and smoke inhalation. Some of the risks can stick around for weeks or months after the fire is put out.

The heat generated by a fire affects different materials in different ways. Things made out of plastics or other synthetic chemicals can melt, and release toxic fumes into the air that, when inhaled, can cause serious lung and tissue damage. These fumes aren’t just released by the fire, but for days afterward.

Soot and smoke are both comprised of microscopically tiny particles that are just a single micron in diameter, less than .1% the width of a human hair. They are so small that even the best HVAC filters can’t capture them, meaning that as the heating and air conditioning circulates air throughout the home, the tiny toxic particles are spreading to each and every room.

Not only does this lead to a nasty, persistent odor throughout the house, but it creates a health hazard for anyone that’s inside, breathing in tiny particles that can stick to the inside of the lungs and airways. There they can cause tissue damage, and possibly even lead to diseases or cancer.

Most homes are primarily constructed out of wood, even if the exterior is encased with bricks, stucco, or vinyl siding. When treated lumber inside the home burns it releases a wide range of incredibly dangerous gasses including methane, carbon monoxide, benzene, sulfur dioxide, formaldehyde, formic acid, acetic acid, and traces of heavy metals.

These chemicals are harmful if inhaled, but can also settle onto surfaces throughout the home, like carpets, furniture, kitchen and bathroom counters, and walls. There they can lie hidden until disturbed, where they are then redistributed into the air to be inhaled at a later time.

In order to keep your family safe and healthy after a house fire, contact PRS. We’re trained and experienced professionals capable of cleaning all of the harmful toxins and chemicals from your home that most cleaning supplies are designed to handle, and that most cleaning services aren’t trained to look for. We’ll even clean the places that most services don’t think to ever look, like the insides of the air ducts, where chemicals can get circulated through the entire home.

Water Damage In Duplex Homes in Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill

If you have water damage to your duplex home and are located in or around Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill please visit our water damage page today.

Restoring water damage to a multi-family home presents an added challenge over a stand-alone home. Not only does the home need to be thoroughly dried and repaired, but it needs to be done while disturbing the neighbors as little as possible.

Our trained and certified restoration professionals will not only clean and restore your water damaged the home, but they will do so in a quick and orderly fashion. Attempts to keep noise to a minimum will be made, but some of the equipment used, especially those that move large amounts of air, may still be heard by neighbors. Understanding this, we will use our experience and knowledge of water damage restoration to make the most efficient use of our equipment so that we get maximum results from minimal use.

We’re available 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week, which means that we can respond to water damage emergencies immediately, no matter when they happen. But some cases allow for small amounts of flexibility, and even though starting sooner is usually better, waiting until neighbors are at work, or at least awake may be a better approach. This strategy isn’t always an option but should be assessed on a case by case basis.

Many duplexes and multi-family homes are also rental properties, which can make these situations even more complicated. While the people living in the homes want fast and professional service, the owner may only be interested in whichever company offers the cheapest service, even at the cost of quality workmanship. Fortunately, we are well versed in dealing with insurance companies and can make sure that the as much of the repair as possible is paid for through insurance, and that out of pocket costs are kept to an absolute minimum. That way the residents get the best quality water damage restoration available, and the property owner isn’t going to object to paying any more than needed.

In addition to being water damage restoration professionals, were also licensed, contractors. We can easily transition from tearing out any severely damaged parts of your home into rebuilding and replacing them, making sure we leave it just as good, if not better than it was before the flood or leak.

If your home or property has been damaged by water, contact us immediately. We’ll come out and assess the damage, and begin working to restore the home.

How Can I Prevent Sewage From Backing Up Into My Home?

If you have water damage to your home and are located in or around Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill please visit our water damage page today.

There are many different home emergencies that homeowners fear, but a sewer backup is potentially the scariest property disaster. In addition to the health hazards posed when families are exposed to harmful, bacteria-ridden waste, sewage floods can cost a lot of money to clean up, as well.

Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t think about this until there is a major issue, such as an overflowing toilet that’s covering the bathroom floor with sewage. Our hope is that with the advice below, more homeowners will be better prepared should their worst plumbing nightmares come true.

  1. The first and most obvious bit of advice is to never use the toilet to dispose of anything other than what it’s meant for. Things that you should avoid flushing include disposable diapers, moist towelettes or baby wipes, cotton swabs and cotton balls, paper towels, cat litter, bandages, cigarette butts, or prescription medications. Many of these items don’t break down in water and can collect and form a clog, which backs up water and makes a mess on your bathroom floor.
  2. Many people overestimate the capabilities of their under-sink garbage disposal units. It’s best not to dispose of large quantities of vegetable peelings or other food refuse, as, since that can overwhelm the machine and cause it to fail. The same goes for very hard materials, like coffee grounds and animal bones, which can dull or damage the blades. Fibrous foods such as corn husks and celery stalks can jam the disposal, as well as form a clog further down through the plumbing. Hot grease may be tempting to pour down the drain, but once it cools off and hardens it will form a solid plug, impeding proper drainage.
  3. Over-the-counter drain cleaners should be used sparingly, and only under the right circumstances. These types of products can break up some types of clogs, they aren’t meant for all situations, and are made of harsh chemicals that can damage your pipes over time.
  4. Older homes sometimes have sewer lines made of clay or cast iron, which degrade over time. Eventually, they may crack, and then collapse. This is even more likely if the underground pipes come in contact with tree roots, which can cause serious amounts of damage to underground plumbing. Homeowners that own older houses should have a sewer inspection performed every few years, potentially saving a lot of money by catching a problem before it gets too serious. Some people buying a new home get a sewer inspection.

If you ever experience a sewage back up in your home, it’s recommended that you contact PRS today. We’re available 24/7 through our emergency hot-line at 919-467-1991. Our trained and certified professionals will be able to determine the severity of the damage and work with your insurance company to keep your out of pocket costs to a minimum.

Restoring Water Damaged Homes In Holly Springs

If you have water damage to your home and are located in or around Holly Springs please visit our water damage page today.

If your home has serious damage due to fire, wind, or water, call us immediately at 919-467-1991. We will show up fast and start working immediately to stop any further damage and begin the restoration process. We can work with your insurance company to make sure your out of pocket costs are as low as possible. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Water leaks can be found almost anywhere in a home. There are appliances and water lines in places that most people don’t usually think about, like in basements, closets, garages, and attics. No matter where the leak originates, every drop of water that escapes is going to work its way down through your home, soaking into and ruining the wood, insulation, drywall, paint, carpet, and even flooring.

The leak may exist for day, weeks, or even longer before it’s discovered, and by that point, the damage could be rather extensive. To make matters worse, some places like crawl spaces and attics are difficult to access, which makes fixing the leak harder than you might think. Carrying bags of heavy tools up steep ladders, squeezing through tight access hatches, and working in the dark while trying to find and stop a leak is even less fun than it sounds.

But stopping the leak is only the beginning. The restoration process comes next, and can sometimes be a very large task. Anywhere the water has soaked in is vulnerable to mold, mildew, and other microbes. If left unchecked, these growths can compromise the structural integrity of the wooden beams and may lead to structural damage. Wood becomes very weak once mold sets in, and will need to be replaced. Mold not only smells horrible, but is a major health risk as well, so drywall, carpeting, and more all need to be dried properly, or ripped out and replaced.

As restoration service professionals and licensed general contractors, we can help. We’re available 24/7 to anyone living in Holly Springs. We’ll not only stop the leak, but assess the damage, work with your insurance company, and begin the process of repairing your home. Call our emergency hot-line at 919-467-1991.

Water Damage Caused By Clogged Gutters

If you have water damage to your home and are located in or around Raleigh please visit our water damage page today.

If the rain gutters on your home collect too much plant debris, like leaves, twigs, and pine needles, then the water may not be able to drain properly and could spill over the sides. When the water pools around your home, instead of draining away, it can slowly seep in and cause damage to the foundation and wooden structure.

As water soaks into the tiny cracks in the concrete foundation, it can make the cracks larger, especially when it gets cold enough to freeze. As the cracks grow and multiply, the structural integrity of the foundation is compromised, and it can lead to a serious shift in your home, or even it’s collapse. Aside from the obvious safety concerns, this is an incredibly expensive problem to repair, and one that can go unnoticed for years, as it’s underneath the house. Once the obvious signs begin to appear, the damage is done, and simply drying the foundation won’t fix the issue.

It’s a similar story for the wooden structures on the underside of the house, as well. As the wood absorbs the water, it can begin to rot and grow mold. Just like the cracks in the foundation, this is a problem that will continue to worsen, and drastically weakens the strength of the wooden beams. Not many people regularly look at their home for this type of problem, and it can slowly but steadily deteriorate your home.

The best course of action to prevent either of these issues is to address the root of the issue as soon as you can. The source of the water should be stopped, and in this case, that means making sure that the gutters are clean and clear, and that rainwater can flow freely towards its intended destination. There are several different approaches that you can take to solve this issue. Climbing up a ladder and cleaning them by hand every year is a great way to save money but at the cost of manual labor and personal risk. Alternatively, there are gutter protection systems that stop any debris from entering your gutters at all, keeping them clean all year round for you. The downside here is that these systems can be costly, and may need to be replaced every few decades.

If your home is suffering from water damage due to clogged or overflowing gutters, it’s recommended that you contact PRS today. We’re available 24/7 through our emergency hot-line at 919-467-1991. Our trained and certified professionals will be able to determine the severity of the damage and work with your insurance company to keep your out of pocket costs to a minimum.

As a preventative measure, you could always get protection from your gutters from a company like this: Raleigh gutter guard protection.

Summer Season Is Fire Season

If you have experienced fire damage in or around Raleigh contact us today to get your home back in order as quickly as possible. We are locally owned and operated and have been restoring home in the area for years.

Between the months of May and September, many homeowners become damages by fire. The reason that the summer months are so much more dangerous for fire hazards is that when people are grilling outside, lighting insect-repelling candles in their yards, sitting around fire pits, and setting off fireworks. These are all fire based activities that rarely take place in the colder months, and can cause quite a lot of damage to a home when things go wrong.

When a fire happens, it’s not just the fire itself that causes the damage. The smoke that it creates sticks to and penetrates just about anything it comes in contact with. It leaves behind a dark, ugly stain that’s difficult, if not impossible to clean off. There’s also a terrible smokey smell that doesn’t go away either. Most of the time, any surface or item that has smoke damage needs to be completely replaced in order to get rid of both the discoloration and odor.

Also, the water used to put out the fire causes problems of its own. As it soaks into the home, it can carry with it the ash created by the fire. When mixed together, the ask and water make a very corrosive substance that will eat away at wood, glass, and even metal. Even on its own, water can be very destructive. It can promote the growth of mold, mildew, and other microbial life forms that weaken the structure of the house, as well as pose a health risk to those living inside.

Anyone of these issues is difficult to solve on your own, and it’s very likely that in the event of a fire, you’re going to experience all three. It’s best to call in a professional team that knows the best ways of treating these types of problems and can do so while working with your insurance company in an effort to keep your out of pocket costs to a minimum.

If your home has suffered any form of damage due to a fire, it’s recommended that you contact PRS today. We’re available 24/7 through our emergency hotline at 919-467-1991. Our trained and certified professionals will arrive fast, determine the severity of the damage, and get to work restoring your home to it’s prime.

Choosing The Right Restoration Services Professional

When water damage occurs in your home ore business, you’re going to be faced with a serious mess that requires professional attention in order to be cleaned up thoroughly and properly. Choosing the right restoration professionals can be challenging, but with a little research, you can learn what to look for in order to make sure everything is fully restored quickly, and with as little out of pocket costs as possible.

After a flood or water leak, timing is critical. The drying and clean up process needs to start quickly, as the longer it sits, the worse the damage gets, and the more difficult and expensive it will become to repair. In situations where water damage occurred while putting out a fire, the mixture of ash and water can be very corrosive, and will begin to eat away at anything it touches within minutes, including wood, metal, and even glass. This damage is irreversible, and would require the total replacement of anything that’s affected.

The drying and restoration process can be rather intricate and detailed. It’s a job that is best done by professional technicians who experience and expertise with the equipment needed to properly rehabilitate your home or business.

You have choices in the field of restoration professionals, but not all will be able to provide an adequate level of experience and professionalism. PRS is a reputable restoration company that has provided the triangle area with dedicated service for many years. Our certified and licensed technicians are the best in the business, and take pride in returning a home to it’s condition from before the damage, or even better in some cases. As licensed contractors, we can not only strip out the damages parts of your home or business, but rebuild it to the specification you choose.

Beware of businesses without proper credentials. Our techs have received all the necessary training and safety education in order to carry the best certification the industry has to offer. As that type of training can cost quite a lot of money, some businesses prefer to cut corners. This only results in poor service for the end customer, who will likely end up paying more in the long run when the job isn’t don’t properly the first time.

If there’s every any kind of water damage to your home or business, it’s recommended that you contact PRS today. We’re available 24/7 through our emergency hot-line at 919-467-1991. Our trained and certified professionals will be able to determine the severity of the damage, and work with your insurance company to keep your out of pocket costs to a minimum.

What Does It Mean When Water Smells Bad?

If you’ve ever turned on the tap and thought that the water coming out smelled bad, you’re not alone. Many people have this problem in their homes, but few know what it means, and what to do about it.  Sometimes, the issue at hand can be identified by the type of smell that’s emitted when the faucet is turned on, and how long the odor persists.

First, as a test, turn on the tap, fill a glass of water, and then walk away with it. Smell the water from the other side of the kitchen. If it still has an odor, there is a problem with the water itself, but if the smell is gone, it may be an issue with the drain or sink. Try cleaning them both with drain cleaner and bleach, and with some like the smell will go away.

If the water smells like rotten eggs, it may be an issue with the hot water heater, but if cold water has the same odor, then hydrogen sulfide contamination may be the problem. This is usually only an issue found with well water and can be solved with activated carbon filters, installed either at the faucet or in line with the main water supply to the house. They will need to be replaced periodically but can last anywhere from months to years, depending on the style.

When the sulfur odor only comes from hot water, then there is likely a problem with the hot water heater. On the inside of the heater, there is a magnesium rod, which is used as an anode to help minimize corrosion to household pipes. When the magnesium reacts with aluminum, it created hydrogen sulfide gas, which is then dissolved into the water and smells like rotten eggs. Checking to make sure that the gas is being properly vented from the water heater can prevent it from ending up in the water as it flows from the tank to your faucet.

Water that has a musty smell is indicative of decaying organic matter leeching into the water. This can be an issue for those with well water, or even city water if there is a break somewhere in the water line. Even a small amount of rotting plant matter making it into the water supply can cause a terrible odor, and some significant health risks, as well. As with the sulfur issue, a filter can be installed for those with well water, but those with city water should investigate where the organic material is entering the water line, and attempt to fix the problem.

An odor of oil or gasoline means there is likely a leak somewhere near by, and that those products are seeping into the ground water. Leaking storage tanks, industrial dumping, or improper disposal are all possible sources for this kind of contamination. This is one of the most serious forms of water contamination, and it means the water is no longer safe to drink or use until the issue is rectified. Contact a professional to come inspect your plumbing and water source, and rely on either bottled or boiled water until notified otherwise.

Steps To Take While Waiting For The Restoration Professionals To Arrive

Water damage can be caused by nature or by indoor plumbing, but no matter its source, the damage to your home can be severe. You should always contact a professional restoration service provider to make sure that the damage is handled properly, and your home is made safe for your family to live in. But in the mean time, there are several things that you can do while you wait for the pros to arrive.

The first and most important step is to stay safe. In some severe situations, contaminated floodwater or electrical hazards may make the home unsafe to occupy. If it’s not safe, wait outside until help arrives. Even slippery floors can pose a safety risk, so always err on the side of caution.

If possible, attempt to remove any excess water. Buckets, mops, and towels can help eliminate some of the water that standing on the surface. It may not seem like much, but by removing the big puddles, you’re preventing it from seeping further into your home, where it can become a more difficult problem to deal with.

Move any valuable items to safety, such as books, or family heirlooms. Furniture and appliances may be expensive, but they are also easily replaced, and will likely be covered by your insurance. Focus on the items that are irreplaceable and priceless to you.

Avoid turning on any electrical appliances, including fans, heaters, and vacuum cleaners. While they may appear to be helpful in the cleanup process, the electrical hazard that they pose could potentially make the situation much worse by either injuring someone or shorting out and causing a fire.

Additionally, attempting to use a vacuum cleaner to soak up or dry out the water is also going to spread bacteria and other microbes into the air, where they can potentially cause serious health issues, while also contaminating and ruining the machine.

Remove wet rugs from hard floorings, such as hardwood, vinyl, or laminate. The water they trap under them will slowly seep into the floor, and cause damage to the sub-flooring. Also, some rugs may have dyes and colorants that could bleed and stain the flooring below.

Any kitchenware, such as dishes and utensils, should be collected and sterilized with a strong bleach mixture. Both biological and chemical contaminants can stick to them even after they are dry, and may cause health problems in the future.

If there’s ever any kind of water damage to your home or business, it’s recommended that you contact PRS today. We’re available 24/7 through our emergency hot-line at 919-467-1991. Our trained and certified professionals will be able to determine the severity of the damage and work with your insurance company to keep your out of pocket costs to a minimum.


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