December 5, 2017
It's the Most Dangerous Time of the Year
At Project X Restoration in Denver, we know the holidays are wonderful, but also it’s the most dangerous time of the year, particularly for household fires. We thought it would be a good time to share some tips to reduce your risk. Residential fires during the holidays are more costly, more frequent, and more deadly than any other time of the year. On Christmas day, there are twice as many open flame fires than on average. New Year’s Day also has double the average number of open flame fires.
Additionally, these fires tend to cause more damage. On a holiday, property loss is, on average, 34% more than it is on a regular day and the number of fatalities per thousand fires is almost 70% higher. If a Christmas tree is the source of a house fire, the percentage climbs even higher for loss of life and property. When it’s the most dangerous time of the year, you can keep your family from being a holiday fire statistic by following the safety rules and tips we here at Project X Restoration in Denver have put together for you.
The top cause of holiday fires is actually cooking and one of the most common culprits is cooking food that has been left unattended in the kitchen. The holidays have so many distractions that it is especially easy to forget you have something on the stove. One way to avoid forgetting your food is to set a timer, even if it is only set for a minute. Another way to remember is to carry a potholder with you as a reminder.
Also, be sure to have an extinguisher in your kitchen just in case a fire breaks out on the stove. It should be rated for all fire types. Additionally, check to ensure your smoke detectors are functional and if you are planning to deep fry a turkey outside, be sure to have your fire extinguisher ready. Also, to avoid a fire, keep your outdoor fryer on a flat, level surface that is more than 10 feet from the house. This can help you avoid potential trouble.
The occurrence of candle fires is four times higher in December than it is in other months. The top, most dangerous days for candle fires are Christmas, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and Halloween. To improve safety, keep the candles at least a foot away from anything flammable. Candles should either be set on a sturdy base or should be covered with hurricane glass. Consider using both for added home fire prevention.
Additionally, candles flames should never be left unattended to avoid any possibility of a fire. Making sure all candles are thoroughly extinguished at the end of the day’s festivities will also help. You could even consider LED flameless candles to entirely avoid the issue.
Another reason why it’s the most dangerous time of the year is that it can take as little as 30 seconds for a dry Christmas tree to catch fire and spread through a room. Christmas trees, particularly pine, are incredibly flammable. Some people don’t realize that turpentine (a highly flammable paint remover) is made from pine trees. To reduce your risk, keep your tree well-watered and keep heat sources, such as fireplaces and heaters, away from it. Also, keep your tree more than 3 feet away from any of your home’s heat sources.
These actions will minimize how quickly your tree dries out. Additionally, try to buy a very fresh tree which will prolong the time you have before it becomes very dry. In general, your tree will begin to dry out, regardless of conditions, after about 4 weeks. Taking it down after the holidays will minimize the risk of a fire. If you purchase an artificial tree, they usually are not much of a fire hazard, especially if you purchase a flame retardant one.
If you have Christmas lights that have become frayed or that have cracked wires or broken sockets, it would be best to throw them out to avoid having them catch on fire. Additionally, when decorating your home, it is much safer to only string 3 strands of lights together, end-to-end.
To further minimize your fire risk, be sure all of your extension cords are in good condition before you use them and be sure they are UL-rated for indoor or outdoor use, as is appropriate. If your ground fault interrupter is repeatedly tripped, it is a sign that your lights may need to be replaced. Not replacing them could increase your risk of a fire.
To protect your outdoor lights, use UL-rated hangers or clips instead of using nails or staples. Also, take down your lights within 90 days to keep them in better condition. Leaving your lights up year round exposes them to weather damage and may allow the wiring to become frayed. Pests, such as squirrels, could also chew your lights if they are kept out.
Kids and Matches Don’t Mix
The number of blazes caused by children also contributes to the holiday statistics and further proves it’s the most dangerous time of the year. There are a number of deaths caused by children playing with fire as well, so keeping matches and lighters out of the hands of children can be important to your family’s safety.
To keep your chimney from causing a house fire, be sure that it’s inspected and cleaned before you begin using it for the season. Additionally, be sure to use a fireplace screen to keep embers from landing on your floor or carpet. Avoid using flammable liquids to start a fire because the liquid can drip allowing the fire to spread quickly. Also, avoid burning materials that can create an additional fire hazard, like wrapping paper.
Even though it’s the most dangerous time of the year, you can keep your family and home safe from a potential fire. If you do experience a home fire, we here at Project X Restoration in Denver are here for you with 24/7 emergency response. We’ll help repair the damage and get your home back to its pre-fire condition.
November 22, 2017
Water Heaters and Water Damage
It is a fact that our home appliances don’t last forever. Water heaters and water damage can be disastrous. At Project X Restoration in Denver, we want to let you know how to spot any potential issues and what to do if you have an emergency.
The typical water heater has a lifespan of 10 years on average. Many water heaters degrade over time and what frequently happens is that the connections where the water comes in and goes out are easy to miss. This means the leak can do large amounts of damage over time. The moisture can saturate the drywall and wick away to a much larger area. It can create an ideal environment for mold growth.
Mold can develop in warm wet spaces very quickly and unfortunately the longer the problem goes unnoticed, the larger the damage and destruction can be. In some houses, the water heater is not even visible and is tucked in a rarely trafficked area or may be surrounded by boxes and storage.
The water damage can spread to adjoining areas. If your water heater shares a wall with your kitchen cabinets, your cabinets could be soaking up the leaking water and be on the way to ruin. Entire walls can end up being ruined by a small slow leak.
On the other end of the damage spectrum is a water heater failure due to a tank rupture. If you’ve ever dropped a gallon of milk and watched it spill across the floor, you may have a small scale visual. Just expand it to 40 or 50 gallons and imagine the damage. One water heater housed in the middle of the home can actually flood an entire house with an inch or 2 of water. When it comes to water heaters and water damage, this is your worst case scenario.
The primary thing you can do to avoid problems is to inspect your water heater regularly. Be sure to check for moisture around the connections and look for any pooling water or mold. If you find any signs of trouble, you are going to need to have your water heater repaired or replaced. You are also going to need to have any damaged areas repaired and have mold mitigated. Call a service such as Project X Restoration in Denver for help.
If you are renovating, you may consider moving your water heater to an area where there is less possibility of damage, such as your garage. Also, consider installing a metal stand for water heaters. These stands have water trays that help alert you to a leak before it gets far.
Worst Case Scenario
If your water heater suddenly bursts, contact a water damage and restoration expert. They can remove large amounts of water quickly and help you get your home back to normal. They can also help with mold mitigation and make recommendations on needed repairs and recommend additional contractors to use if needed.
If you have problems with water heaters and water damage, contact us here at Project X Restoration in Denver. We are water damage restoration experts and even provide mold removal and remediation if you need it. Call us 24/7 for professional, emergency response.
November 8, 2017
Home Renovations and Asbestos
Here at Project X Restoration in Denver, we want to share a little about home renovations and asbestos because a lot of people don’t realize that this deadly substance may be lurking in their home, particularly older homes. So, before you swing a sledgehammer on updating your home, it might be wise to take it slow and call for abatement at the first sign of trouble.
Asbestos in the Home
Asbestos has been used in building in the United State for hundreds of years. It is considered an excellent material to use because it is resistant to fire and is a strong material in spite of being relatively lightweight. Cement also adheres to it very easily. It was used extensively until scientists discovered that once it became airborne, asbestos could cause a number of illnesses and is a leading cause of mesothelioma, which is a form of cancer of the lungs’ lining.
Restrictions on building using asbestos were originally placed in 1973 and by 1989 it was almost banned completely. In 1991, the federal courts overturned the last ban and today the U.S. is one of a handful of developed nations that has not completely banned the use of asbestos. It is still used in a number of home building materials today but they are produced so that the asbestos is contained and shouldn’t pose any health issues.
Illnesses from Asbestos
When asbestos is inhaled, the tiny fibers can lodge in the lungs. They accumulate there and cause damage. Exposure to asbestos can be responsible for pleural effusions, which are a buildup of fluid between the lungs and the wall of the chest, pleural plaque, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.
Currently, asbestos is banned in flooring felt, rollboard, corrugated paper, or commercial and specialty paper. Additionally, pipe-insulation, wall patching compound, and artificial fireplace embers, and spray-applied surfacing material cannot contain asbestos. Asbestos cannot be added to new products or materials that have not historically contained asbestos.
However, there are still a number of products that can contain asbestos. These products include vinyl floor tiles, roofing felt, pipe wrap, cement shingles, and more. This makes home renovations and asbestos almost inevitable if it was built prior to the ban.
Remodeling with Asbestos
If the asbestos in your home is well contained, you probably don’t have to be very concerned with removal. Older homes (built before the mid-1980’s) have the greatest risk of asbestos exposure during a remodel. If you are concerned about being exposed to asbestos, contact a professional asbestos abatement company, such as Project X Restoration in Denver. Professionals know how to best remove asbestos to safely and effectively, without exposing anyone.
Materials that Could Be an Issue
It is important to understand which materials are likely to have asbestos. Problematic materials should be removed by an asbestos abatement professional. These material include:
- Older vinyl or linoleum and the glue used
- Outdoor siding
- Decorative plaster
- Drywall patching and joint compound
- Flat roofing materials
If you are performing home renovations and asbestos is found, contact us here at Project X Restoration in Denver. Even if you’re not sure what to look for, we recommend that you stop right away if you see white fibrous material breaking apart when you demolish or remove any materials and clear the area. Contact our professionals, and we’ll send someone out right away for a professional assessment.
October 16, 2017
The Truth About Black Mold and Toxic Mold
Here at Project X Restoration in Denver, we want to share the truth about black mold and toxic mold. Just the words “black mold” are enough to make you feel queasy. No one wants mold in their home and black molds and toxic molds can be particularly harmful to your health. If you suspect that you may have these molds in your home or business, it is important to contact a professional to remove it.
Toxic Molds and Black Molds
The term black mold is fairly misleading. People use the term “black mold” to refer to all mold and they use the term interchangeably with toxic mold. For professionals, there is only one black mold: Stachybotrys atra, which is also known as Stachybotrys chartarum. The weird part? This mold is actually a greenish black and can even be gray. There are over 100,000 types of mold, but only this one is the “real” black mold.
“Toxic mold” is also a misleading term. Because of the term, “toxic,” people think that the mold is poisonous. The mold itself is actually toxigenic. This means the mold produces toxins. The toxins attach to spores and float away in search of a new place to reside. Unfortunately, when these toxins are inhaled they can be harmful.
The truth about black mold and toxic mold is that mold spores aren’t released unless they are disturbed, and the mold doesn’t produce the toxins constantly. While this can provide some comfort, you really do not want mold to be allowed to grow in your home. If you find mold, you will want to have the mold remediated as soon as possible. Molds are particularly dangerous for people with mold allergies and compromised immune systems.
Black Mold Signs
A musty smell that is similar to dirt and rotting leaves is a sign of mold. Black mold or Stachybotrys is particularly strong smelling. Molds prefer moderate temperatures, darkness, and moisture. A combination of factors is an ideal environment for mold to grow.
If you have the kind of strong earthy smell in your home, you likely have a mold problem. If you know that areas of your home have moisture issues, or maybe you have had a flood in your basement recently, you should consider having it checked. If you suspect that you have a mold issue, you should call a mold removal and remediation services professional.
It is impossible to tell for sure which kind of mold you have. You could test to be sure, but the reality is that any kind of mold can create health issues in the long run and it will need to be removed and be mitigated to avoid reoccurrence. Mold removal is a must, regardless of the type.
Now that you know the truth about black mold and toxic mold, contact us here at Project X Restoration, serving Denver metro and Colorado. We can figure out whether you have a mold issue and get it removed for you quickly and safely so that you can rest easier and avoid potential health hazards.
October 16, 2017
How to Choose a Biohazard Cleanup Service
When a tragedy or disaster occurs, knowing how to choose a biohazard cleanup service is incredibly important. Here at Project X Restoration in Denver, we want to share a few helpful tips so that if you ever need a biohazard cleanup, you’ll know what to look for to ensure you only work with true professionals.
Experience and Training
The most frequent reasons a biohazard cleanup is needed are death, trauma, or crime scene. It is important to have dangerous contaminants safely removed to get your home, property, business, or scene of the trauma back to clean, safe condition. Before selecting a biohazard cleanup service, ask about:
- Bloodborne pathogen compliance and training
- OSHA training
- Medical waste transport and handling training
- Respiratory protection training and compliance
- Personal protection equipment compliance and training
Certification and licensing requirements can vary from state to state for biohazard cleanups. Here in Denver, be sure to inquire about whether the biohazard cleanup service you are considering meets Colorado’s legal requirements. The company you are considering should be able to show proof of any licensing.
When dealing with medical waste, the company in question should have a medical waste transporter license and have a contract with a licensed medical waste disposal company. It is important to note that there are no specific certifications for crime scene or death-related cleanups. This makes due diligence on your part incredibly important.
Choose a company that has a lot of experience with cleaning up biohazards. We here at Project X Restoration in Denver have over 135 years of combined experience and we will make sure that your biohazard is cleaned up properly. You want to choose a company that uses the correct equipment for the job to ensure that your home, business, or property is safe from toxins. You also want a company that has high standards for their services.
You want a service that is going to understand the severity of your situation and respect the emotional impact that can come with such experiences. The company you hire should be respectful of you and your situation. You should be treated with kindness, compassion and professionalism. A cleanup company shouldn’t add to the strain of your situation.
Look at reviews of the company. What do previous customers have to say about service, cost, timeliness and professionalism? When it comes to how to choose a biohazard cleanup service, it’s helpful if you are able to locate reviews from customers with a situation similar to yours. You want a company with satisfied customers that speak to a company’s to experience and commitment. The Better Business Bureau is another good place to check.
Now that you know how to choose a biohazard cleanup service, contact us here at Project X Restoration for your biohazard cleanup needs. We care about providing a high standard of cleanup service and most importantly, care about helping get your home, property, or business cleaned up quickly and correctly so that you can focus on other important issues.