How does the Hot Water Extraction Process Work?

There are several techniques and methods to clean water damaged carpets. To ensure that a carpet is cleaned correctly, the process must be thorough and can take up to a couple of days, including the drying time. Although it may seem counterintuitive, sometimes the best way to clean water damage is to use more water. One of the most common methods to clean water damaged carpets is hot water extraction.

What is Hot Water Extraction?

Carpet fibers are usually densely woven, providing a comfortable walking surface when dry. These same fibers absorb a considerable amount of water when wet. Water damaged carpets need to be thoroughly cleaned and dried, otherwise residual moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth, structural damage, and lingering odors.

Hot water extraction is one of the most effective methods to clean water damaged carpets and restore them back to their original condition. This process utilizes extremely hot water, detergent, and a specialized brush and vacuum system to simultaneously deep clean and extract impurities from the carpet.

Hot water extraction can usually be done in a day, depending on the extent of the damage and whether a second treatment is needed.

The hot water extraction process:

  1. clean water damaged carpetsCarpet preconditioning: A high alkaline detergent is applied to the carpet surface.
  2. Agitation: A brush or other specialized equipment is used to help the detergent penetrate the carpet surface for thorough cleaning.
  3. Dwell time: The detergent must be given time to work for optimal cleaning; the duration varies depending on the type of detergent used.
  4. Cleaning: A specialized machine performs two actions at nearly the same time. First, a hot water and brush combination scrubs the carpet to loosen ground-in dirt and soil. The hot water sanitizes the carpet while the brush extracts deep stains and dirt. Then, a vacuum removes stains, moisture, dirt, and detergent. This step may be repeated several times depending on how dirty the carpet is.
  5. Drying: Despite how powerful the hot water extraction vacuums are, not all moisture can be removed from the carpet. Floor dryers, dehumidifiers, and standing fans are used to circulate the air and accelerate the drying process.


You may have heard of the term ‘steam cleaning’ before. In fact, ‘steam cleaning’ is a misnomer, and refers to the hot water extraction process. The terms are often used interchangeably.

Whether you call it steam cleaning or hot water extraction, the hot water extraction takes some time and patience, but can be very effective in cleaning and restoring water damaged carpets.

When Carpets Can’t Be Saved

clean water damaged carpetsAlthough the hot water extraction process is useful for most carpets, some carpets simply cannot be saved and must be discarded following water damage. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Exposure to raw sewage
  • Exposure to black water
  • Damage to the subfloor
  • Structural damage below the carpet

Carpets which have been heavily soiled or exposed to sewage must be replaced, since bacteria and other pathogens may be present. Without proper removal and sanitization, an carpet that cannot be salvaged can lead to illness in the long term.

Can you DIY Clean Water Damaged Carpets?

clean water damaged carpetsIf you are DIY enthusiast, you may be wondering if you can steam clean carpets yourself. The answer is that it depends.

DIY carpet cleaning can often be used to solve minor water damage to carpets. Rental steam cleaners are less powerful than commercial units. In addition, many of these machines do not have internal heating elements. Some may call for you to add separately heated water.

Professional carpet cleaners usually have truck-mounted hot water extraction units. These units are very powerful and heat water throughout the process. Professional carpet cleaning is recommended for severe and extensive water damage.

If not dealt with as quickly as possible, carpet water damage can lead to expensive problems such as structural damage, mold and mildew growth throughout the building, and more. It only takes a few hours before water damage begins to have long-term effects.

If you have a water damaged carpet following a leak or a flood, call Tidal Wave Response. Our technicians are on-call 24/7 to respond to late-night emergencies and provide a free, no obligation assessment. Drop us a line today!

Fireworks Safety this 4th of July

There are few things that symbolize Independence Day more than fireworks. Whether as a show put on by the city, a neighbor, or yourself, fireworks are so commonplace and readily available that it can be easy to forget they can be dangerous. Fireworks can harm not only people, but properties as well, leading to home fire damage. Here are a few ways to practice fireworks safety this 4th of July.

Fireworks and Fire Damage

According to the NFPA, fireworks caused over 18,500 fires between 2009 – 2013, which included both vehicle and structural fires.

Fireworks are a source of ignition, especially in dry weather conditions. It is not uncommon for fireworks to spark brush fires. In addition, flying fireworks can land on rooftops or other hard-to-reach places, making these situations difficult to extinguish quickly.

It is advisable to pay attention to any fire restrictions, burn bans, or other related city notices. These notices are announced for everyone’s safety, and should be followed in order to avoid property damage – whether to your own home or someone else’s property.

Top Fireworks Safety Tips

Setting fireworks is an annual tradition in many homes. Keep yourself and your guests safe with these handy fireworks safety tips.

  • fireworks safetyShoot fireworks in an open area; driveways are ideal.
  • Ensure that all spectators are standing at least 35 feet away from the launch area.
  • Don’t stand over lit fireworks or hold them while lit, as this can cause severe injury.
  • Keep a bucket of water on hand to extinguish any unintended fires. If you have a hose, keep it handy as well. Put out a fire as soon as it begins.
  • Make sure that your yard has a clear escape route for a quick exit in an emergency.
  • If a fire begins to spread and cannot safely be extinguished, evacuate your guests and call 911.
  • Soak all used fireworks in a separate bucket of water for at least 20 minutes prior to disposal.
  • Buy fireworks from authorized, licensed dealers. These fireworks must meet certain safety standards, which help ensure the safety of you and your guests.
  • Don’t try to relight “dud” or malfunctioning fireworks. Soak these in water for at least 20 minutes prior to discarding them.

Adults aren’t the only ones who enjoy fireworks shows. When children are present, you’ll need to take a few additional safety tips into consideration to avoid injury or fire damage to your property.

Fireworks and Kids

fireworks safetyShooting fireworks once the sun has gone down is a tradition in many families. Make sure your 4th of July is both a safe and fun event with these kid-friendly tips.

  • Don’t let children under the age of 7 play with fireworks.
  • Always make sure a sober adult is present.
  • Ensure that kids are wearing safety glasses if they are participating in shooting fireworks.
  • Don’t let kids play with or near fireworks that leave the ground or explode.

Taking precautions to ensure the safety of any children who are present will help everyone have a great, safe time at your fireworks show.

Fireworks and Pets

Although people enjoy good fireworks shows, our beloved pets and companions don’t always see it the same way that we do. The loud, unpredictable sounds are frightening to them.

The sound of fireworks travels a great distance, so unless you live in the countryside, it’s not always possible to avoid exposing your pet to fireworks.

  • fireworks safetyDo not have your pet present for fireworks; keep them indoors. A bolting, frightened pet during a fireworks show can quickly become a hazard for everyone in attendance.
  • Choose lower-noise fireworks, as the reduced sound can be less stressful for pets.
  • Turn on a TV or radio to help mask the sound of fireworks outside.
  • Do not set fireworks over livestock or horses in fields; give any neighbors who own livestock or horses advance notice prior to the fireworks show.
  • Ask your veterinarian for advice, if needed, to see if they have recommendations for alleviating your pet’s stress.

After the show, pick up all fireworks debris once cool and dispose before allowing your pet back into the yard.

Fire Damage Restoration Specialists in Atlanta, GA

If, despite all your best efforts, your home has experienced fire damage after your fireworks show, give Tidal Wave Response a call! Our team is ready to answer your call 24/7 for a free, no obligation assessment of damages and repairs.

electricity safety

May is National Electricity Safety Month

Electricity is a part of our everyday lives, from powering the coffee maker in the morning to home lights at night. It’s easy to forget that the current running through the house can cause serious damage to your health and your property. May is National Electricity Safety Month. By being aware of potential electrical hazards in the home, you can avoid both the costs and headache of hospital or repair bills.

The 5 Top Home Electrical Hazards

Electricity safety as a whole includes electrocution, shock hazards, and fire hazards. By taking a few minutes every May to look around your home for potential electrical hazards, you can catch them before they become major problems.

Here are the top 5 home electrical hazards:

  1. electricity safetyElectrical Cords: Frayed, old, or cords that are warm to the touch when in use. These cords can heat to a high enough temperature to set nearby flammable items, such as carpets or furniture, on fire. Similarly, electrical cords that are covered can lead to fire hazards.
  2. Appliance Problems: Appliances which sputter or spark, or frequently trigger the fuse box, should be either repaired or discarded. These may be experiencing power fluctuations that can pose serious fire hazards.
  3. Overloaded Power Strips: Even though most power strips come with a built-in surge protector, it’s important to note that the capacity of individual power strips varies. Some are designed to handle large appliances such as refrigerators or dishwashers while others are purpose-built for toasters or coffee makers.
  4. Home Wiring Problems: Old wiring, especially when hidden behind walls, can remain cracked or frayed for months or years without anyone noticing.
  5. Outlets Near Water: Outlets near water, such as in a bathroom or in the kitchen, can pose an electrical hazard if not grounded properly or if placed too closely to the water.


Electrical hazards don’t always have obvious signs such as smoke or a burning smell. Flickering lights, frequently triggered fuse boxes, shocks when using light switches, and light bulbs that burn out too frequently may indicate an underlying wiring problem. Call an electrician if you notice any of these signs in your home.

Tips to Avoid Home Electrical Hazards

Avoiding electrical fires is as simple as making a few adjustments to your daily routine. These tips will help you avoid home electrical hazards.

  • electricity safetyHave an electrician visit your property to check up on home wiring at least once a year.
  • Don’t overload your power strip. Choose the right type of power strip for the appliance you will be using.
  • Don’t daisy chain your power strips. This may seem like a good idea to extend the reach and use of a single outlet, but can be lead to an overload and fire hazard.
  • Unplug appliances when not in use.
  • Do not touch switches or appliances with wet hands.
  • Keep outdoor appliances covered and elevated away from pooling water.
  • Replace instead of repairing old or fraying cords. Do not use electrician’s tape to repair cords.
  • Call an electrician if lightbulbs flicker or burn out regularly; these signs may indicate a home wiring problem
  • Shut off the power to an appliance immediately if you notice a burning smell or smoke, and do not use the appliance again until it has been repaired.
  • Use the correct wattage bulb for your fixtures.


This May, take a look around your home to make sure that you are avoiding unnecessary fire hazards. Raising awareness for electricity hazards is the first step towards catching home electrical problems before they start.

Backyard fire safety

Backyard Fire Safety and Prevention Tips

Summer is here, and so are outdoor grills and fire pits. Most households in the US own a grill or a fire pit, and most will host grill outs or barbecues over these warm months. It is easy to get relaxed when having fun with friends and family. Taking steps towards practicing backyard fire safety is the best way to keep everyone safe while still having a great time.

Backyard Fire Safety Tips

Practicing fire safety can help keep yourself and your loved ones safe during fun outdoor summer events. It is highly recommended that you call the fire department first before starting to extinguish a fire that is out-of-control.

General Fire Safety Tips

  • Backyard fire safetyMake sure that children are supervised at all times, as they may not be fully aware of the dangers of an open fire.
  • Call the fire department before you start to extinguish an out-of-control fire.
  • Never leave a fire pit or grill unattended once lit.
  • Have a fire extinguisher or bucket of water on hand to put out flare-ups and prevent an emergency. Even better, have a hose at the ready if you have one.
  • If needed, clear an escape route using a fire extinguisher or hose to ensure that everyone gets out safely.
  • Only use seasoned wood and charcoal. Composite woods such as fiberboard or plywood can contain potentially toxic chemicals.
  • Stay up to date on burn bans and drought conditions even if you aren’t burning leaves; avoid outdoor burning as necessary.


Fire Pit Safety

  • Backyard fire safetyAs tempting as it is to create a bonfire, larger fires are harder to control if the wind picks up and things get out of hand. Smaller fires still produce a lot of heat and are easier to handle in case of emergency.
  • Clear the area surrounding a fire pit prior to use by sweeping or raking leaves, branches, and other debris that can catch fire.
  • Avoid lighting a fire on a windy day, as sparks can travel very easily.
  • Extinguish a fire completely after use even if it looks like it has burned out. Do this by spreading the ashes with a shovel and pouring several buckets of water over the ashes. Repeat as needed.


Charcoal and Gas Grill Safety

  • When using a charcoal grill, use charcoal lighter fluid and not gasoline to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals.
  • Do not reapply charcoal lighter fluid once the grill is lit, as the combination of flames, vapor, and fuel can cause a flare up or an explosion.
  • It is recommended to have a fire extinguisher that is rated for multipurpose or kitchen use when grilling.
  • Turn off a gas grill before trying to extinguish a flare up.
  • Do not move a hot grill.
  • Opt for clothes that do not have loose sleeves or tassels if you are the grill master in order to avoid clothing catching fire.


Preventing Backyard Fires

The best way to practice backyard fire safety is to do everything you can to prevent fires from happening in the first place. These tips will help you minimize potential risks.

  • Backyard fire safetyAvoid setting up grills and fire pits under low hanging branches. Fires can travel up the tree and across branches to the house.
  • Avoid setting up grills and fire pits beneath any awnings, such as a patio or covered deck that can catch fire.
  • Keep fire pits and grills 10 feet away from the side of the house and in a clear area. Do not light a grill under a porch or patio.
  • Set up your fire pit or grill on a flat surface to prevent accidental tipping.
  • Place your grill or fire pit at least 30 feet away from the area where you store flammables such as lawnmower fuel or spare motor oil.
  • Keep your grill or fire pit at least 30 feet away from where you store wood; sparks can fly on the wind and catch on very dry wood.
  • Obtain any permits needed for backyard burning, and observe burn bans and drought conditions.


It only takes a spark to set a fire, especially in very dry conditions. You may want to consider avoiding outdoor fires and grilling during a drought, especially on windy days.

HVAC fire hazards

HVAC Fire Hazards and Prevention

The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning system, more commonly known as an HVAC system, is a wonderful piece of technology that helps you stay comfortable regardless of the weather outside. Like any electrical device, it can pose a fire hazard if not maintained properly. Most HVAC fire hazards are preventable with proper care and attention.

The Top HVAC Fire Hazards

HVAC systems are usually in a back room of the basement, outside behind the house, or in the attic – three places that are easy for homeowners to forget about.

Regardless of the season, HVAC fire hazards are present at any time of the year. Fortunately, many of these risks are preventable.

The Top HVAC Fire Hazards:

  • HVAC fire hazardsHVAC parts are old, corroded, or broken: This problem often stems from an HVAC unit that is not regularly serviced. Problems with essential parts can lead to decreased efficiency and also lead to potential fire hazards.
  • Items are stored too close to the HVAC unit: The HVAC unit itself produces a considerable amount of heat. Storing combustible items such as boxes, paper, motor oil, and chemicals too close to the unit creates a high-risk environment for a fire.
  • Problems with connections or gas pressure: Problems with connections in a gas furnace can lead to toxic gas being released into the home, leading to both health and fire hazards.
  • The HVAC unit has an electrical problem: Whether the unit has a loose cord connection, a frayed cord, an old cord that overheats, or another issue, electrical problems with HVAC units can easily spark furnace fires.
  • A fuel line is leaking: This can be a harder problem to spot since many fuel lines are located inside or behind the unit. Yearly inspections can help catch old, at-risk fuel lines before they start leaking and posing a major fire hazard.
  • Improper installation: When an HVAC unit is installed improperly, it can lead to many problems such as reduced air flow and efficiently, and increased costs. Improper installation can also cause serious problems such as carbon monoxide poisoning and fire hazards.


If you notice the smell of gas in the basement, evacuate the home and call your service technician immediately.

What You Can Do to Prevent HVAC Fires

Taking steps to prevent HVAC fires is the best way to avoid an emergency situation. In addition, these steps can save you a lot of long-term hassle and cost.

Tips for Preventing HVAC Fires:

  1. HVAC fire hazardsSchedule HVAC maintenance at least once a year. Not only is a yearly inspection a good way to ensure that every part is in serviceable condition, you can maintain optimal efficiency for energy savings.
  2. Don’t attempt DIY HVAC maintenance. Always hire a professional, certified technician to perform any repairs or tune-ups on your HVAC unit. DIY repairs can lead to accidental problems such as carbon monoxide poisoning or increased risk of fire hazards.
  3. Ensure that the area is properly ventilated. HVAC systems produce carbon monoxide, a toxic, invisible, odorless gas. Without proper ventilation, this gas can collect in the home and become extremely hazardous to occupants.
  4. Be aware of what you store near your HVAC unit. It is advised to keep all items at least 3 feet away from the unit. Much like portable heaters and other appliances, HVAC units can get extremely hot and cause flammable items to combust. Storing items too close to heating equipment is one of the primary causes of home fires.
  5. Replace the filters on your HVAC at least twice a year, if applicable. Set a routine that is easy to remember, such as once during the spring and again during the fall. Not only will a filter improve the air quality in your home, it will help ensure proper airflow and reduce overheating.
  6. If you have an outdoor HVAC unit and keep it covered during certain seasons, make sure to remove the cover prior to the first use of the season. An obstructed airflow can cause overheating and pose a fire hazard.
  7. Install a carbon monoxide detector near the HVAC unit. Evacuate the home and call your HVAC technician if the alarm goes off.


Now that you know the top HVAC fire hazards and how to prevent them, you can take steps to keep your family safe year-round.

How to Restore Fire Damaged Jewelry

How to Clean Fire Damaged Jewelry

The average house burns at about 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit. Most fine jewelry is made of precious metals and stones with melting temperatures higher than this point. As a result, it is possible for jewelry to survive a fire even if not kept in a fireproof safe. Once the smoke has cleared, you will no doubt wonder how to clean fire damaged jewelry.

Can Jewelry be Restored After a Fire?

How to Restore Fire Damaged JewelryMost of the time, jewelry can be restored after a fire. In worst case scenarios, jewelry can always be melted and recast.

Professional jewelers are trained and knowledgeable about the best cleaning techniques for different types of materials. They also have specialized equipment such as ultra-sonic cleaners to clean badly burned jewelry. In addition, a jeweler will be able to remove stones from settings to thoroughly clean the piece.

If you want to try your hand at cleaning burned jewelry, keep in mind that the process may take some time and patience. The duration will depend on whether the piece has surface soot or is completely blackened.

The type of material will also determine how a piece should be cleaned. Some cleaners may be usable on hard metals such as gold and platinum, but can be damaging to semi-precious stones such as pearls or opals.

How to Clean Fire Damaged Jewelry

The primary goal of cleaning fire damaged jewelry is to and restore the appearance and shine without scratching the surface.

Keep these tips in mind:

  • How to Restore Fire Damaged JewelryDon’t use abrasive substances such as salt or baking soda, as these can scratch surfaces of metal and stones.
  • When using dish soap to soak a piece, do not use automatic dish soap, as this type of soap contains abrasive substances.
  • Baking soda may whiten clothes and teeth, but is not recommended for jewelry. Toothpaste also contains baking soda and should be avoided.
  • Vinegar solutions can be effective on metal pieces, but can damage both precious and semi-precious stones since they are more porous.
  • When in doubt, take your jewelry to a professional jeweler for restoration and cleaning.
  • Soft cloths and jeweler’s cloths are safe for all types of metal and stone.


If using a toothbrush to scrub your piece, be sure that it is not an old toothbrush. Old toothbrushes can contain traces of toothpaste, which contains baking soda and other abrasive substances. Use a new, soft-bristled toothbrush instead.

Cleaning Silver, Gold, and Platinum

How to Restore Fire Damaged Jewelry

Surface soot can usually be removed with a soft cloth or jeweler’s polishing cloth. If needed, soak the piece in jewelry cleaning solution and dry prior to polishing. A solution of ½ water plus ½ Mr. Clean all-purpose cleaner and a splash of ammonia will also be effective. Repeat this process until the piece is clean.

Blackened or baked-on soot may need a more in-depth restoration done by a professional, especially if the piece is particularly valuable or an heirloom. If you have an ultra-sonic jewelry cleaner at home, it can be used for precious metals.

When choosing a jewelry cleaning solution, be sure to verify that it is non-abrasive. Read the instructions thoroughly before using in order to avoid damage to your jewelry. This is especially important for plated jewelry.

Cleaning Gemstones

Diamonds, sapphires, and rubies can be cleaned much like precious metals.

Soak the entire piece the piece in jewelry cleaning solution and dry prior to polishing with a soft cloth. You can also soak the jewelry in a solution of ½ water plus ½ Mr. Clean all-purpose cleaner and a splash of ammonia. Do not use vinegar-based cleaning agents for gemstones, as the acidity can damage the gems.

Depending on the extent of the burn, you may need to take a piece to a professional jewelry cleaner, especially if soot has collected between the setting and the stone.

Cleaning Semi-Precious Stones

How to Restore Fire Damaged Jewelry

Semi-precious stones such as pearls, opals, jade, and garnet are soft and porous. Do not use any sort of abrasive substance on these types of stones, as they scratch relatively easily.

Soak semi-precious stone jewelry in a solution of 1 cup of warm water plus 3 – 5 drops of dish soap for 10 – 15 minutes. Dry with a lint-free cloth and polish. Repeat this process as necessary.

Restoring Fire Damaged Heirloom Jewelry

Fire damaged heirloom jewelry usually has significant personal value. These pieces are made of older metals and stones and can be more challenging to restore. Professional cleaning is usually the safest bet when it comes to fire damaged heirloom jewelry in order to avoid unnecessary damage.

The Bottom Line about Cleaning Fire Damaged Jewelry

A quick internet search will turn up a lot of DIY jewelry cleaning solution recipes. Again, it is important to avoid recipes including abrasives such as salt and baking soda and acidic ingredients such as vinegar.

When in doubt, have your jewelry cleaned by a trained professional. Repairing accidental damage may cost considerably more than cleaning fire damage alone. At Tidal Wave Response, we work with your insurance provider to find the best professionals to restore your jewelry back to its original condition.

Recovering from a house fire

Top Tips to Recover After a House Fire

A house fire can be a life changing experience for homeowners and their families. The fire can cause destruction to property and belongings in a number of ways, including flames, heat, smoke, and water. Recovering from a house fire takes time, and usually cannot be done overnight. While fire department personnel are making sure your property is safe to re-enter, there are a number of other things you can take care of in the meantime.

It is very important to be aware of the risks to your health and safety even after the fire has been put out. The aftermath of the fire contains polluted water and soot which can make you sick. And even though you may want to start recovering from a house fire as soon as possible, you cannot do so without first getting clearance from the fire department due to safety reasons.

1. Contact Your Insurance Agent

Recovering from a house fireDo this right away and find out what you need to do about the immediate needs of your home. Your company may inform you to make a list of possessions affected by the fire and provide details regarding their cost. Or, they may require a record of the damage by way of a video or photos.

Also, talk to your insurance company to learn the value of your home and property. They can also advise you on what to do to keep your home safe until it is repaired. This may include boarding up broken doors and windows and covering holes in the walls and roof against intruders.

2. Get in Touch with Restoration Experts

In many cases, fire-damaged homes can be restored to their original condition. You will need to find a fire damage restoration professional who can assist with the process of recovering from a house fire. These experts help in cleaning and restoring your personal belongings.

Be sure to look for a restoration expert that specializes in both water and fire damage, since most homes affected by fires will have both types of damage due to fire-fighting efforts.

Whether you or your insurer gets this service, find out who will pay for it. You can ask your insurance company for any reliable recommendations, or you may wish to find a suitable restoration expert yourself. It is important to note that some restoration experts, such as Tidal Wave Response, work directly with insurance providers to reduce the hassle and streamline the process.

Some of the services that you will receive can include the following:

  • Emergency pre-cleaning
  • Dry out services
  • Surface and content cleaning
  • Content pack out
  • Wall and ceiling cleaning
  • Mold removal
  • Smoke elimination
  • Soot and stain removal
  • Deodorization and sanitization

3. Take Care of Your Finances

During the process of recovering from a house fire, you should also contact your mortgage lender or landlord as soon as possible. It is your responsibility to inform the mortgage company about the fire and about the restoration process. They may have forms for you to fill out and may want to inspect the property. Also, get in touch with your credit card company to report any cards lost in the fire and request replacements.

If you need to spend any money at this time, make sure to save all receipts. You may need to present these receipts to your insurance company later to prove losses claimed on your tax return. You can also check with an accountant or the IRS regarding special benefits for people suffering from fire damage loss.

4. Find Your Local Disaster Relief Services

Recovering from a house fireRecovering from a house fire often starts with getting the basics of food and shelter squared away. You can get in touch with local organizations that may be able to help. These can include options like the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, religious organizations, or community groups. These groups can help you find a place to stay along with providing other essentials like food, clothing, and medicine.

If your home has suffered a fire, you may qualify for government disaster financial assistance. For this, you will need to check with local authorities about assistance programs that are available.

5. Replace Valuable Documents

When you are allowed inside your house, one of the first things you will need to look for are important documents. If these have been destroyed, you will want to replace them as at the earliest possible chance.

Some common important documents include:

  • Drivers’ licences
  • Auto registration
  • Bankbooks
  • Insurance policies
  • Passports
  • Medical records
  • Birth, death and marriage certificates
  • Divorce papers
  • Titles
  • Deeds
  • Bonds
  • Warranties
  • Contracts


Recovering from a house fire takes time and patience, but is worthwhile in the end to ensure that restoration has been done both safely and properly. Remember that even when you are allowed to re-renter your home, the premises may still pose certain threats. For this reason, never use any appliances, switch boxes, electrical outlets or fuse breaker panels until all electrical circuits have been inspected and cleared for use by qualified personnel.

Preventing dryer fires

How Dryer Maintenance Prevents Fires

The dryer vent is a hidden source of fire hazard in every home containing this appliance. There are many potential causes of fires in the dryer, but there are also many steps you can take towards preventing dryer fires.

Common Causes of Dryer Fires

Lint Buildup

Preventing dryer firesWhile most people assume that their lint traps catch all the lint, this is not entirely true. In fact, a substantial amount of lint does not get caught in the lint trap, but collects in other places instead. This can be especially true if dryer vents are too long, have too many bends, or if the dryer duct uses flimsy plastic or foil duct extenders.

A combination of lint accumulation and reduced airflow can create the ideal conditions for starting a fire. Lint, by itself, is a highly combustible material. When paired with an obstructed airflow, lint can quickly become an incendiary problem.


Placing Unsuitable Materials in the Dryer

Another reason can be placing unsuitable or combustible materials in the washer dryer. These can include clothes smeared with volatile chemicals such as cleaning agents, cooking oils, or finishing oils and stains. To minimize the potential for disaster, wash such clothing more than once to neutralize the amount of chemicals before putting them in the dryer. Or better still, line dry them to avoid the risk of combustion altogether.

Improper Installation

Preventing dryer firesIf the exhaust vent gets crushed or suffers from improper installation, the end result may be a dryer fire. Both these problems can result in an insufficient airflow thus raising the operating temperature of the dryer. It is also crucial to consider adequate clearance space between the dryer and the wall. If the dryer is placed too close to the wall, then there is the possibility of crushing the venting materials, causing problems with airflow.

Maintenance Shortfalls

This is considered one of the major causes of dryer fires. To function safely, clothes dryers need to emit hot air outside the house. But when the dryer vent fills with lint that sneaks by the dryer’s filter, it fills in the exhaust duct. This blockage traps the air flow, causing excessive heat buildup.

Preventing Dryer Fires

Preventing dryer fires takes some vigilance, but is worthwhile in the long run. Take the following steps for clothes dryer maintenance to help in preventing fires:

  • Preventing dryer firesCheck the lint filter or screen before and after each dryer cycle runs. If clothes are still damp when the cycle ends, it could be an indication of a dirty exhaust duct. A clean lint screen and filter will also dry clothes faster. As an added bonus, the dryer will use less energy.
  • Inspect the exhaust duct and dryer vent frequently. It is important to monitor the outside dryer vent when the dryer is running to ensure that the exhaust air escapes properly. If this does not happen, then either the duct or the vent may be choked. To remove the blockage, you can disconnect the duct from the appliance and clear out the blockage. Just don’t forget to reconnect it back before running the dryer next time.
  • Keep the surrounding area clean to prevent lint buildup. If you cannot see any buildup visually, call in a professional service provider to clean the chassis. Such periodic cleaning will help in keeping lint accumulation to a minimal. Also, it is recommended to clean the area around the dryer regularly and keep it clutter free.
  • Use metal dryer ducts; these are more effective in preventing dryer fires. Experts say that flexible dryer ducts made from plastic or foil can be problematic since they can sag and permit lint deposits to build up at low points. Likewise, ridges can also trap lint. On the other hand, metal ducts whether solid or flexible, are considered safer since they do not sag. And should a fire start, a metal duct has a better chance of containing it.
  • Practice dryer fire safety tips such as turning off the dryer when leaving home. It is advised to never leave the dryer running when not at home in case it malfunctions. Also, plug the appliance in a suitable outlet where its electrical requirements are met. Electrical outlets that are overloaded can trigger tripped circuits or blow fuses.
  • Have the dryer installed by a professional. To minimize clothes dryer fire hazards, the dryer duct should vent to the exterior and installed in a place where only a minimal length of the exhaust duct is required. This practice prevents having too long a duct or too many bends in it.
Choosing water damage restoration services

How to Choose a Water Damage Restoration Company

One of the most devastating things that could happen to your home or apartment is water damage. This type of damage poses a very serious threat to the components of a building, the interior furniture that you have at home, as well as many of your personal belongings. If water damage restoration is not carried out promptly, it could then also have adverse effects on residents’ health. In fact, the longer it takes to correct the problem, the costlier the replacements and repairs become, and the more traumatic the emotional ordeal.

To make sure that you get hold of qualified professionals to work on your property, it is important to be mindful of a few things first. For instance, there may be a number of individuals out there claiming to be professionals or simply overstating their qualifications. Hiring an untrained technician may do more harm than good to your property, increase the cost of repairs, or even delay repairs which can result in aggravating the damage.

So, before choosing water damage restoration services to work on your home or office, keep the following considerations in mind.

Look For Credentials and Certifications

Choosing water damage restoration servicesOnly shortlist professionals who can provide certifications and credentials. Certification is a guarantee that the individual has at least got the best training available.

A technician who can provide proof of certification has likely received up-to-date training and possesses knowledge about the required techniques and technologies used in the industry.

Contracts Are Important Too

A company that presents you with a contract which outlines the terms and conditions of the work and pricing demonstrates professionalism. Make sure to be aware of the company’s pricing structure before hiring anyone. And while new work may be discovered in the course of water damage restoration, it is still recommended to get a sign off for those services.

Avoid Price Based Services

One thing to avoid is to go by price alone. If the services seem to be priced too low, then there is a chance that the service provider may not be using the latest technology or repair methods.

And while it is true that water damage restoration services can get expensive, it is also one time that you may not want to compromise on cost. In this scenario, it is more important to focus on quality than price and get the results that will prevent future repairs.

Choosing water damage restoration services may seem like a daunting task, but with these tips, you’ll find your perfect fit in no time.

Recommendations can Help with Choosing Water Damage Restoration Services

Choosing water damage restoration servicesAsking for recommendations from neighbors or previous clients is totally different from getting recommendations from an insurance company. Neighbors or previous clients can give you their first-hand experiences with the restoration company while those affiliated with insurance companies may have their own vested interests.

Companies that are able to provide local referrals are a safer bet. Even in the age of technology, word of mouth still beats most other marketing techniques. If people have been satisfied with the company’s performance, they will be verbal about it, which gives the prospect of better satisfaction for you as well.

Go With Companies That Offer a Range Of Water Damage Restoration Services

Choosing water damage restoration services is more than just addressing the problem at hand, since water damage can lead to other problems in the home. Select a company that offers a full range of related services. To choose water damage restoration service providers, check to see if they also offer mold remediation, sanitization, and structural drying as well.

For instance, if the company claims to do water damage restoration but not mold remediation, it is an obvious red flag. All experts who deal with water damage restoration know that mold remediation is one of the first steps in the process since mold settles in fairly quickly. If a contractor does not offer mold remediation services, then they may not be prepared for all job settings.

A company that offers a complete range of services will also be using the latest equipment for water extraction, drying, dehumidifying and sanitization. This will also minimize the time spent during restoration and ensure that the job is done properly the first time.

Select from Companies that Respond Quickly

This is an important consideration because when water damage occurs to a property, water begins to cause damage immediately. A restoration company that works 24/7 can respond to this urgent need. It is highly recommended to stay from establishments that are reluctant to start right away or want to schedule an appointment several days or weeks out. During this time, the damage to your property could become considerably worse, costing you more money in the long run.

When choosing water damage restoration services, time is of the essence, so you should not have to wait before repairs begin. Reputable professionals understand this are ready to start at once. Companies like Tidal Wave Response know that an immediate response when disaster strikes is the best approach to containing the damage quickly.

Classes of water damage

What are the Classes of Water Damage?

Water damage can be of various types based on the type of water as well as the duration that water is allowed to stand on the property. The types are categorized into different classes of water damage.

Classes of Water

In this respect, the type and source of water damage dictates the nature of the damage and its consequential permanence. Typically, there are three water damage categories, with damage caused by the following three types of water:

Classes of water damageClean Water

Water damage caused by this type of water is known as category 1 water damage. This type of water does not pose a health threat to occupants but can still damage property and belongings quickly.

In many instances, clean water damage can be caused by a crack or leak in the home’s water supply line, an overflowing sink, or tub without any contaminants or malfunctioning appliances.

Weather factors like rainwater or melting ice that has not contacted soil or other components, and broken toilet tanks that do not contain any additives or pollutants can all cause category 1 water damage.

Grey Water
The second type of water that can cause damage is known as grey water. Also classified as category 2 water damage, the water in these cases is contaminated to some extent and may come from unsanitary sources like the discharge from appliances containing pollutants or additives.

Examples would be water expelled from laundry machines, dishwashers, and toilet bowls. These sources of water may have some kind of chemicals that can pose health threats. Grey water can quickly contaminate the property if not immediately treated. If it is allowed to stand untreated for longer than 48 hours, it advances to the most dangerous category of water, which is seriously hazardous for health.

Black Water
This third type of water is highly unsanitary and is known as category 3 water damage. Containing harmful pathogens, black water originates from sewage sources. Along with containing human feces and urine, sewage water also has harmful chemicals and other waste.
Black water also holds serious potential to impair indoor environments with the imminence of causing severe discomfort and sickness.

The Classes of Water Damage

While the different categories of water damage will each entail its own hazards, timely intervention is a deciding factor. This is because standing water yields ideal conditions for mold and mildew growth. Plus, the longer the water stands, the worse the damage becomes.
Based on this, the destruction caused by standing water can be categorized into the following classes of water damage:

Classes of water damageClass 1
This type of destruction is the easiest type of damage to deal with. In this scenario, there is a slow evaporation rate where water damage affects only part of a room. In most cases, there is no or little wet carpet involved and the moisture only affects materials with a low permanence rate like concrete or plywood.

Class 2
Here there is a fast evaporation rate with damage affecting an entire room. Class 2 water damage involves affecting carpeting and cushioning with the wetness having wicked up walls at least 12 inches. This class of water damage may also include moisture retention in structural materials.

Class 3
This type of water damage has the fastest evaporation rate where surfaces such as walls, ceilings, carpets, insulation, and sub floors have all been saturated. Plus, the moisture may also have penetrated from overhead.

Class 4
This type of destruction is identified as specialty drying situation. The destruction caused is brought on by enough moisture and time to let it penetrate materials with very low permanence like brick, stone or hardwood. This type of water damage restoration demands longer drying duration and specialized drying techniques.

Tidal Wave Response Can Help

Professional restoration service providers can quickly regulate the emergency and prevent long term damage. For residents and property owners in the Atlanta, Georgia area, Tidal Wave Response is a leading water damage restoration contractor that can professionally treat any water related emergency and make the premises safe and hazard free for the occupants, no matter the classes of water damage involved.

Being one of our core damage restoration services, water damage reconstruction is carried out using the latest techniques and equipment to ensure that all excess water and moisture is completely extracted from the property.

With our professional equipment and expertise, we are able to identify the exact scope of the water damage and choose the most suitable drying method. We can also guarantee that all rooms, areas, furnishings and other contents that have incurred water damage will be fully dried out and restored to its original condition before we consider the job done.