How Homeowners can Clean Mold Out of Clothes Without Harsh Chemicals

spray bottle cleaning

Contact Satin Touch in Minneapolis Today For Mold Remediation

There are few things more dismaying than mold in a pile of clothing. Mold can grow in clothing for a large number of reasons. You changed out of damp clothes and forgot to wash them quickly. Your bathroom flooded and laundry got soaked. Or even clothes in the washer that didn’t get moved to the dryer fast enough.

Moldy clothes happen sometimes. Maybe your clothes or — typically — your kids clothes were left in a damp pile for too long and the mold happily leaped at the opportunity. Unfortunately, removing the mold is much more easily said than done. In many cases, hot water and detergent can’t quite hack it alone and there are often mold stains or a lingering smell left behind.

Today, we’re here to talk about how to wash mold, along with mold stains and that moldy smell, out of your clothes once and for all.

Two-Step Process

The first thing to understand is how the process works. And therefore, why there are a variety of ways to approach removing mold from your clothes. Restoring your clothes will actually be a two-step process. First, you have to remove the mold growth and kill the spores that are trying to make more mold. Otherwise, the clothes will just continue to grow new mold.

Second, after the mold is dead, you need to remove what’s left to get rid of the stains and smell. It’s easiest to think of mold as a plant, which it is. After a tree is cut down, for example, you still have to remove the stump. That’s also exactly how killing mold works, only on a particle level involving tiny plant spores and clothing fibers.

Hot Water

When cleaning mold out of your clothes, it’s best to use hot water whenever possible. Hot water makes detergent more effective and can kill mold spores with the intensity of the heat. If your clothes can be safely washed in hot water, use this option every chance you get until the mold is completely gone.

Of course, not all clothes can be safely washed in hot water. For delicates and temperature-sensitive garments, don’t use hot water. It’s not necessary to the process and you can clean the mold out with other methods. Hot water simply contributes to the solution.

Vinegar

The home remedy most people know for fighting mold is simple white vinegar. You may have also heard that citrus fights mold. Both are true for the exact same reason: Acidity. Even mild acids like vinegar can chemically burn and neutralize the tiny mold spores that make up a larger mold infestation.

For small mold spots, consider spraying a vinegar and water solution onto the clothes until damp, possibly scrubbing the vinegar into mold spots. For badly moldy clothing or large mold areas, soak the clothes in vinegar instead. This will kill the mold spores of most varieties of household mold, making it impossible to regrow after you’re done cleaning.

Borax

Borax is one of the coolest cleaning substances you’ve barely heard of. And it fights mold in a completely different way. Borax is called a ‘detergent enhancer”, helping soap to suds up and making it a lot easier to scrub things. For the same reason that it’s great at killing mold.

Borax is incredibly sharp and spiky on a molecular level. So even when it’s partially dissolved in water, soap bubbles suds up on it and those sharp molecules slice through mold spores, killing the organic cells and the growth. It’s also incredibly affordable to buy in bulk.

Washing your clothes with borax is a great way to get them cleaner by adding a scrubbing element to the washing machine. And a great way to kill mold because the mold spores can’t survive in borax-rich water. Washing your clothes in borax regularly can also help you to prevent mold growths in the future if your home tends toward humidity and/or mold growth.

Lemon Juice

Just like the acid in vinegar can kill mold, so too can lemon juice. And lemon juice smells a whole lot better than vinegar after you’re done using it. Soaking clothes or spraying them with lemon juice can help fight mold, though you will need to use higher concentrations than with vinegar.

However, the most useful application of lemon juice when fighting mold is removing the stains afterward. Lemon juice is a natural stain remover, especially combined with salt to add a scrubbing element. By mixing lemon and salt into a paste, you can create an effective mold stain removing solution to rub into any lingering stains.

Essential Oils

Many people don’t realize this, but there are actually a surprising number of fungicides (things that kill fungus) in nature. Peppermint, Thyme, Oregano, Cinnamon, Lemon, and Clove just to name a few. If you love any of these smells, you can use a small concentration of sprayed essential oil to help kill mold. And then later infuse your clothes with these essential oils to discourage the growth of any free-floating mold spores in the future.

Essential oils are also a great way to end a mold fighting round. If you have used vinegar, for example, to kill the mold and eliminate the lingering smell, then you may still be left with recognizable vinegar smell. And no one wants to wear vinegar clothes. Essential oils can help refresh your clothing back to it’s original enjoyable state.

Natural Mold Cleaning Formulas

But if remedies from your pantry don’t come through, we strongly recommend that you do not turn to chemical bleach. Bleach and other chemical mold cleaners can come with toxic fumes, damage clothing color, and even result in rashes after wearing treated clothing.

Instead, look for industrial-grade organic mold cleaning solutions and stain removing. Because the formula is natural, you won’t have to worry about damaging your clothes or harming your health after the mold is finally gone.

Rescuing your clothes from mold growth can be a real challenge, but it is possible. Whether this is the aftermath of a pool party or a chronically damp laundry room, mold can be defeated using these natural chemical-free home techniques. For more on ridding your home of mold once and for all with mold remediation and prevention, contact us today!

Storm Damage When Your Home is Already on the Market

Selling a home on the real estate market involves a certain amount of investment. You get the place fixed up, repainted, maybe stage it to enhance the beauty and functionality of the rooms. You hire a landscaper to shape the yards. Then you keep the house in this pristine condition until the right buyer comes along and falls in love with the home you’ve prepared for them.

But what happens when a storm ravages your region after you’ve already done all your careful work preparing the house for market? What if it tears up your roof or adds water damage to your once-pristine house? Don’t worry. You can recover from this minor natural disaster quickly if you know what to do. You might even come out ahead.

Here’s how to handle quick storm damage restoration when your home is on the market:

Don’t Panic

The very first step is not to panic. Unless the storm went full Wizard of Oz, chances are that the damage is fixable without too much cost before your home is back to that pristine ready-to-sell condition. All you need to do is get the home repaired and clean up the yard, the problem isn’t as big as you may be feeling right now. In fact, you might not know this but very recent restoration work can actually raise your final sale value by as much as $2,800.

Call for Inspections and Repairs

The moment the storm is over, the next step is to call for a home inspection. You need your home to be in tip-top shape for buyers which means knowing about any damage caused by the storm and fixing it pronto. Listen carefully to your inspector and they’ll frame out just how much damage was really done and the repairs you’ll need. In most cases, a single storm worth of damage equates to a few replaced surface shingles and siding panels that took the brunt of the storm’s force.

Talk About the Upcoming Home Sale

While you’re arranging for your home repairs, remember to mention to your restoration team that the home is currently on the market for sale, or that you are almost ready to list it. Restoration professionals are very used to being called right before a home sale and might have a few ways to make your home look truly polished when they’re finished with these necessary repairs. Not only is recent maintenance good for your bottom line, it might even improve your curb appeal with a smooth and beautiful-looking new materials. Your restoration might offer to do a few little extras, like repairing or improving your gutters while they’re working.

Let Your Buyers Know the Home is Recently Maintained

Once your home is fully repaired and beautified by the restoration team, it’s time to get right back on the market. Be sure that you mention recent maintenance and quality assurance from your restoration team to new buyers to help increase the well-maintained value of your home. Buyers like a house that has clearly been kept in great condition with ongoing repairs. In highly competitive markets, it may be necessary to have regular maintenance to stay in the top tier of well-maintained homes.

If a storm hits while your home is on the market, don’t worry. This is something our Satin Touch restoration team is prepared to handle. A restoration touch-up is not just a quick service you can schedule, it can also potentially increase the final sale price of your home. All you need to do is get in touch with your restoration team for inspection and speedy repairs. Let them know your home is on the market and they may even have a few helpful extras they can offer to make your home even more attractive from the roof down. Contact us to begin your consultation on recent storm damage and the restoration steps you can take to get your house right back to beautiful and market-ready.

A Step-by-Step Repair Guide for Fire and Smoke Damage in the Kitchen

If your home or office kitchen has suffered from a recent fire, the first step to returning to normal is cleaning up the fire and smoke damage. If your kitchen is still mostly in good condition except for the smell and the soot stains, you’re in luck. It is possible to restore your kitchen completely if you know how to clean away the soot. Of course, soot takes more than just a soapy sponge and elbow grease to get rid of. You’ll need a few specific techniques.

Today, we’re here to share a comprehensive step-by-step guide to repair the fire and smoke damage in your kitchen and restore it to a cheerful, functional, and safe place for cooking.

Supplies:

  • Box Fans
  • Protective Gear
    • Rubber Gloves and Long Sleeves
    • Mask and Hair Coverings
    • Close-Toed Shoes and Long Pants
  • Clean Sponges
  • Bucket
    • Clean Water
    • Mild Citrus-Scented Detergent
  • Chemical Sponges
  • TSP Cleaning Chemical

1) Confirm Safety

The first step is always to ensure that the building and kitchen are safe to reenter, and that the air quality is not so laden with soot that you will be in danger. Confirm this with your fire authority before entering to perform cleaning repairs.

When you enter, gear up in protective rubber gloves with a long sleeve shirt tucked into the gloves. Cover your hair and wear a bandana or mask over your face. to protect yourself from breathing too much residual soot, and to protect from the chemicals you’ll be using.

2) Ventilate Thoroughly

When you’re sure it’s safe, bring your fans. Open any nearby windows and use them to ventilate the area of any soot hanging in the air. If you can, set one fan in the doorway pointing into the kitchen and another fan pointing out the kitchen window. This will channel the soot outside instead of into the building.

3) Remove All Contaminated or Damaged Items

Any food that was open or that has spoiled since the fire needs to be thrown out. If you’re not sure, default to throwing out food items. However, items sealed and closed in an undamaged pantry may be okay to keep. Any kitchen items that were damaged by the fire or is permanently damaged by the soot should be thrown out.

4) Put Down Drop Cloths on the Floor and Counters

To clean up, you’ll be kicking up a lot of soot so it’s a good idea to protect the floor and lower surfaces. Put down drop cloths to fully cover the floor, countertops, and any tables that were undamaged. Consider laying electrical tape along the gap between the wall and footboards as well, which can prevent mold when you scrub the walls later.

5) Vacuum Up Loose Soot

Use your vacuum with the plane (flat wide) hose attachment on the walls, holding the attachment about a half-inch away from the wall to pull away the loose soot. Any soot that doesn’t get vacuumed up will fall on the floor.

6) Brush Away Soot with a Chemical Sponge

Use a dry chemical sponge when the vacuum has done all it can. The chemicals in the sponge will help fight soot while the dry sponge will gently brush any additional loose soot off the walls.

7) Use a TPS Solution to Scrub Soot From Walls, Counters, and Cabinets

TSP stands for Tri-Sodium Phosphate. This is a cleaning solution made from a molecule of Sodium and phosphate in a 3:1 ratio, as you may have guessed from highschool chemistry class. It’s the recommended way to wash soot from your walls, cabinets, and otherwise undamaged appliances.

Mix the TSP in your bucket with 1 gallon of water to 1 tablespoon of TSP. Dip your sponge and wring it to a non-dripping damp and scrub away at your walls. Rinse and repeat. Then rinse the walls with a clean sponge damp with clean water.

8) Deodorize Your Walls

When you’re done with the TSP and rinsing, you’ll probably still smell soot even if you can’t see it. You can use white vinegar, fabreze, or citrus-scented detergent to help deodorize the room. Our recommendation is the citrus-scented detergent mixed with soap and sponged over damaged surfaces.

9) Decide If You Need Commercial Restoration

If, after all your hard work, you still see soot stains or fire damage, it may be time to call for professional restoration. DIY can handle mild fire and smoke damage, but serious smoke cleaning chemicals and methods may require the help of a professional restoration team.

10) Repaint Everything

When the smoke and soot are fully cleared away, you’ll probably want to repaint your kitchen. Interior paint seldom survives soot damage followed by rigorous chemical scrubbing. If your paint has faded or scuffed, reapply a coat of primer and fresh interior paint to make your kitchen “good as new” again.

A fire in your home or business kitchen is not the end for that room. Buildings recover from fire and smoke damage all the time. Your kitchen can be returned to a beautiful and functional state with thorough cleaning, deodorizing, and repainting. If your DIY efforts are not as effective as you’d like, contact us today and our restoration professionals will be happy to help you get your kitchen back into ship-shape with no lingering staining or odor.

How to Prepare for Your Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Office fires happen from time to time. It’s not uncommon for under-maintained break room appliances to catch fire and, occasionally, an old outlet or faulty appliance will cause a spark that catches the carpet or baseboards alight. Fortunately, these fires can usually be put out quickly but the damage done can be extensive. Sometimes it is just smoke and soot damage with light scorching or a wrecked appliance, but other times entire sections of wall or partial rooms may need to be rebuilt.

Naturally, you have scheduled commercial fire damage restoration for your office. But the process will go more smoothly if you know how to prepare. Believe it or not, most of your preparation steps are damage control relating to soot, which is the most common source of fire-related damage after a fire. Soot is staining and very easy to spread if you are not careful.

Avoid Tracking Soot Away from the Damaged Area

The first step is to be very careful about where you step. Soot is staining an in many cases, there is a great deal of loose soot on the carpet, walls, and nearby surfaces that could easily be spread throughout the office if someone is careless. Be careful and strict about not tracking that soot further out into your office space. Do not try to clean up the soot yourself, allow employees to try and clean it or task your maintenance task to vacuuming the area. This is a recipe for disaster and can potentially achieve exactly what you are trying to avoid.

Wrap and Remove Damaged Furniture

If there is damaged or soot-covered furniture that is at risk of tracking soot around the office or being moved by employees, remove it with care. Your first instinct may be simply to grab the furniture and carry it out but this is also a common recipe for tracking soot through the office, not to mention staining your work clothes. Your best bet is to use plastic tarps and tape. Gingerly wrap the furniture in the tap, so as not to disturb the soot, and seal the tarp with tape before carrying the furniture out of the office for restoration or disposal.

Cordon Off the Damaged Area

Find a way to block off the damaged area from curious onlookers and careless employees who might walk through the soot If you have actual cordon ropes or retractable ribbons normally used to control customer lines, use these to indicate that employees are not to cross the boundaries. In a pinch, line the outside of the damaged area with desks or chairs lined in a tarp to create an uncrossable barrier. This way, employees cannot track through the soot or curiously investigate a potentially dangerous area.

Provide Alternate Services for Staff if Necessary

If the damage occurred in a way that blocks the break room or restrooms, naturally you will need to provide your employees with alternative facilities. Break room damage can often be temporarily remedied with a mini-fridge and microwave placed on a table on the other side of the office. If the fire damage blocks an important restroom, allow your employees extra time to go one floor up or down or, if you are a small office, ask your nearby neighbors if their restrooms can become available until repairs are complete and be understanding about the time it takes for employees to walk out and back as needed.

Be Ready On Schedule

Fires can be highly disrupting to your workplace schedule, but remember to keep track of when you have scheduled your restoration services and have someone available to oversee the process. You may want this taken care of ASAP during work hours or you may want to schedule for the nearest weekend with a maintenance professional present to open the doors. If your commercial space has recently experienced a fire and you need fire restoration services, contact us today. We will do everything we can to meet your needs and your schedule.

How To Deal With A Leak In The Water Heater

Few things are more frightening than finding a mysterious puddle by your water heater. A giant 50-to-60-gallon tank that holds 125 degree water can cause severe damage if it malfunctions and lets all that water into your house. The good news is that you can fix your water heater, or at least minimize the threat. Here are the steps you need to take to deal with a leak in your water heater.

Stopping The Damage

 1. Find The Water Source

When you first note a puddle under your water heater, dry the area and inspect the heater carefully. If nothing jumps out at you, put a dry towel underneath your water heater and wait a day. If you have a leak somewhere, the towel will get wet and you will be able to trace it back to its source.

2. Turn Off The Power

If you have determined that the water is leaking from your heater, turn it off. If it is electric, switch off the power at the circuit breaker. If it is gas-powered, turn off the gas at the base of the tank.

3. Turn Off The Water

Most water heaters have valves above them that control the flow of water into them. Turn this off. If you can’t reach the valve, you might have to shut off the water for the whole house.

4. Determine The Source Of The Problem And Fix It

This step is necessarily vague as there are a number of things that can go wrong with a water heater. A variety of them are listed below. In general terms though, valves and fittings can wear away and need replacing.

Possible Sources Of The Leak

1. The temperature pressure relief valve (the little lever at the bottom that drains water to a safe place when the pressure gets too high in the tank) can wear down after years of use. Lift the lever and see if that stops the leak. If it doesn’t, the valve will need replacing.

2. The pipes leading to the inlet and outlet of your tank may have gotten corroded. The damaged lengths will need replacing.

3. A washer on the drain valve may wear away and need replacing, or the drain might just need cleaning up.

4. If water is dripping from the seams in your tank, it is time to replace the water heater.

5. Anode rods might need to be re-screwed in with plumber’s sealing tape.

When To Call A Professional Restoration Company

Whether you had a slow drip from your tank or a sudden flood, the water can do serious damage to your building. It can soak up into dry wall and seep down into the concrete, causing stains and weakness in the structure. A sudden blow out can leave a good inch of water on your floor, and this exposure can warp and weaken wooden parts of the home. Carpet flooring and other features can start bleeding colors and lose shape. Worst, within 24 hours mold spores will start sprouting, leaving their tell-tale smell and causing people with allergies to them to feel sick. If your tank has saturated a part of your house, you want to call a company who can dehumidify your house as soon as the water heater has been taken care of to prevent any of that from happening.

Fortunately, Satin Touch is on call around the clock to dry out your home. If the water damage is severe, we will inventory, pack up, and move your belongings to a warehouse where we can treat it for the water damage. Once it is all safe, we will return it to you.

Satin Touch takes our job of restoring your home seriously and want to help you. If you want to know more about our services, contact us.

How to Deal with Water Damage from Pipes Breaking

We rely on pipes in our homes every day, so when something goes wrong, it can be very disruptive. If a pipe does burst, it can cause a lot of mess in your home, even from a small sink pipe. First clean up the water, then dry out your home, then have the water pipe repaired. It’s best to start the repairs as soon as possible. Here’s what happens and how you can deal with the damage.

Causes of Pipes Breaking

While broken pipes could be caused by many factors from age to earthquakes, here in Minnesota, our cold weather can make broken water pipes a real problem. Whenever the temperature drops below zero, there is an increased risk of freezing or breaking for pipes located in non-insulated parts of the home, like crawl spaces or exterior walls.

When the temperature drops, the water in the pipe may freeze. If that happens, its volume expands forcefully by about nine percent. The pressure inside the pipe goes way up, which can cause a break either where the ice is or at a weak spot within feet of the ice.

For a Small Leak

If you’re dealing with only a small amount of water, you may be able to handle the cleanup by yourself. Here’s what to do:

  1. Turn off the water supply to your home so more water isn’t added to the mess.
  2. Turn off the electric power in your home, especially if there is water near any appliances. Call the electric company if you need to, and don’t step into the water if it could be electrified.
  3. Remove carpets, furniture, and other belongings from the area.
  4. Clean up water on the floor using a mop or shop vac. This step can take some time.
  5. Bring in circulating air either by opening doors and windows (if it isn’t too cold) or using fans. Run a dehumidifier too if you have one.
  6. If you plan to submit an insurance claim, make sure you take photos of the damage.

Call the Professionals

If you have water in more than one room or even more than one floor of your house, or if the water has been there for more than eight hours, call in the professionals to handle the cleanup. A professional restoration company is able to handle cleaning and drying carpets, woodwork, subflooring, and drywall to make sure it is safe, dry, and mold free. The sooner a company can arrive to begin the process, the better, since mold can start to grow within hours.

Pipes Breaking Prevention

There are a few steps you can take to reduce the chance for your pipes to freeze and break. Keep an eye on your pipes when the weather is below freezing. Turn on a faucet just at a drip to reduce pressure in the pipes. Also, keep doors and cabinet doors open, turn up the heat, and run fans to circulate the warm air. Keep the garage door closed if you have one. If you have pipes that are a particular concern, you could invest in a leak detector alarm system that alerts you when it’s wet.

Satin Touch Homes Reinvented Is The Solution

Homes Reinvented is the restoration and remodeling division of Satin Touch, Inc. Our water damage specialists are trained in proper water removal and extraction techniques. We can safely remove water from walls, floors, and crawl spaces without adding to the damage already in your home. We use advanced dehumidification techniques and professional drying equipment to remove the water, prevent mold from growing, and return your home to normal quickly.

In addition, we are fully licensed and insured with liability and pollution insurance. Contact us at Satin Touch Homes Reinvented at any hour if you need water from a broken pipe cleaned up.

Tips for Cleaning up Water Damage After the Storm

You walk down to your basement after the latest storm and you notice that your family hang out space, now more closely resembles a swimming pool. You’re going to have to act fast. Here are some tips to help you quickly repair the water damage in your home.

DISCONNECT THE POWER AND MOVE AS MANY ITEMS AS YOU CAN

The first thing you’ll want to do is disconnect the power to the area. Any electronics or other items that are plugged in present a significant safety hazard in the area where the water is standing. Remove any personal belongings as quickly as possible increasing the chances that they can be saved. If there are any electronics that were damaged, those are unlikely to be salvageable.

GET RID OF THE WATER

Before starting the process of removing the water, it is important to understand the type of water you are dealing with. There are three types of water:

  • Clean water
  • Gray water
  • Black water

Clean Water

Clean water is usually caused by a leaky faucet or broken pipe, rainwater, or condensation. This is for the most part considered to be relatively harmless and something that you can clean up on your own.

Gray Water

Gray water is considered to be slightly dirty. This type of water typically stems from clean toilet water, dishwashers, washing machines, and other similar sources. This water may contain some chemicals and other precautions. You can also, with the right safety gear, clean this water on your own.

Black Water

Black water is created from flooding as a result of sewage or flooding from nearby water sources (lakes, rivers, etc.). This type of water can cause serious health problems resulting from bacteria, waste, and other contaminants. You should never try to clear this type of water on your own. You should contact a service professional as soon as possible.

Depending on the amount of water, you may be able to get rid of it through the use of old towels or a map and a bucket. If there is more water than these manual methods can handle, a wet/dry vacuum may be just what you need.

If there is a substantial amount of water, consider renting a sump pump to help get rid of the excess water. The important thing is to act as quickly as possible to avoid giving mold a chance to grow.

DRY OUT THE AFFECTED AREA

If possible, open windows to help dry out the area. If you have them, fans and a dehumidifier are also handy tools to help the area dry more quickly. If the area where the damage occurred was finished, you will likely need to cut away the drywall and remove any baseboards. These areas provide great targets where mold can take hold.

If you are in an area of your home that has water damage to the ceiling, it is a good idea to start here first. These areas pose a higher risk as a result of the possibility that portions of the ceiling panels can sag or collapse.

DISINFECT

After the area has dried out, you want to disinfect the places touched by the water damage, including any furniture, walls, and wood that got wet.

TAKE ACTION TO PREVENT MOLD GROWTH

Consider applying a mold control solution to the affected area to avoid it becoming contaminated with mold. This may be a situation where you will want to call in the experts to help guide you through the process.

PROPERLY DISPOSE OF WATER DAMAGED ITEMS

Even if the items that are damaged are of no use to you, consider organizing them rather than throwing it all in the dumpster. Some of the items may be eligible to go to local recycling centers.

For items such as damaged electronics, pain, or other toxic liquids and materials, contact your local waste management company or the town’s waste management office to determine what steps you should take to get rid of the items.

Flooding in your home can be a stressful and trying event. Follow these tips to help you to get rid of the water and your house back to the place that you love to come home to.

If you would like to learn more about ways to clean up water damage or would like to schedule an appointment to learn more about services, please feel free to contact us for more information.

How to Handle a Toilet Overflow

There are few things worse than dealing with an overflowing toilet. Not only can toilet overflows be inconvenient, smelly, and unsanitary, but they can also cause water damage to your bathroom’s floor and fixtures.

If you are dealing with a toilet overflow, what can you do to mitigate the damage? While there are several possible causes of a toilet overflow, one of the most common causes is a clog in the toilet bowl or P-trap/S-trap. This article will discuss steps you can take to remove such a clog, what you should do if other issues are causing your toilet to overflow, and how you can get help to restore water damaged areas.

How to Handle a Toilet Clog

There are a few important actions you should take in order to deal with a toilet overflow caused by a clog. These include the following steps:

  • Turn off the water supply. This is the first and most important step. The majority of toilets feature a water supply line coming down from the tank. Usually this line will have a valve that you can shut on or off. If for any reason you’re unable to shut off the water supply in this way, continue to the next step.
  • Lift up the float ball/cup in your toilet’s tank so that the water stops running. If that too proves ineffective, shut off the water supply to your house. The water supply valve for most houses is located in the basement, in a crawl space, or near the foundation.
  • Use a plunger to unclog the toilet. The up-down motion of a plunger creates pressure that will unstop most toilet clogs. If you are unable to unclog the toilet with a plunger, move on to the next step.
  • Use a toilet auger/drain snake. Toilet augers and drain snakes are designed to remove clogs that are more compacted or further down the drain line, such as clogs in the toilet’s P-trap or S-trap.
  • Once the clog is removed, extract any spilled water from your floor. Use a wet vacuum if you have one. Alternately, use towels, rags, or other materials to soak up the water. For sanitary reasons, you want to remove spilled water as soon as possible.
  • Thoroughly clean, disinfect, and sanitize the affected area. Toilet overflow water can contain many harmful bacteria and contaminants. Once you’ve removed the water from the bathroom floor, be sure to thoroughly clean the spill area, using appropriate PPE (such as heavy-duty gloves and eye-protecting goggles) as you do so.

Of course, sometimes a clog is not the root cause of a toilet overflow. For instance, a sewer backup could be the true culprit. In some cases, you may not be able to easily stop the overflow of water. In such a scenario, what should you do?

Seek Professional Help

If you suspect that a sewer backup or another major issue is causing your toilet overflow, call a professional immediately. An experienced plumber will be able to identify and eliminate the root cause of the overflow, and prevent further damage to your home.

At Satin Touch, we offer full-service repair and restoration services to homeowners in distress. Not only will we effectively find and put an end to the main cause of the overflow, but we will clean, disinfect, sanitize, and restore all floors and fixtures damaged from the water. As we work, we will truly put your needs and the needs of your family first and foremost, ahead of all other concerns. We will work hard to restore your bathroom to a sanitary and comfortable condition as soon as humanly possible.

If you’d like to learn more about our services, reach out to us today at Satin Touch for further information.

Handling a Basement Floor Drain Backup

If the floor drain in your basement backs up, your whole basement can be flooded. What is the source of the problem though? There could be a blockage in your main line, and the flood is local waste that can’t exit your home. Or, there could be a problem in the public system, which is sending waste, or backflow, from the sewer system into your house. Water or sewage in your basement can damage walls, floors, and carpets, and destroy furniture and belongings. It can also quickly cause mold.

Causes

If there are lower elevation drains, like in a shower or bathtub, that back up too, then the problem is likely in your main line. You may also hear gurgling when the washing machine empties, tub drains, or toilet is flushed. The basement floor drain backup is the first evidence that you have a blockage. Blockages happen if there is a break in the pipe, tree roots have grown into the pipe, or something has gone down the drain or toilet in the house.

The second cause of a basement drain backup is when flooding comes in from the public sewer, which would include rain water or possibly waste from multiple homes. This can happen when the entire drainage system gets overwhelmed by high levels of rain. If your basement is lower than the current water level, then some of that water will try to come up through your basement drain.

If your basement is flooded, but the water didn’t come from the floor drain, then it may have come in through cracks in the house’s foundation. This is sometimes due to clogged gutters, incorrect sloping of the yard, or extra groundwater.

What to Do

Here’s what to do if your basement drain backs up:

  1. Turn off the water supply in the house. Running more water could worsen the flooding.
  2. Turn off the electricity or call your power company if you need them to turn it off. Don’t step in the water if it’s covering electrical outlets.
  3. Open the windows to let out any toxic sewage fumes (and smells).
  4. Move people and pets away from the flood water. Wear protective gear if you need to be in the area.
  5. A small backup can be cleaned up with bleach or disinfectant and a shop vac.
  6. Carpets should be cleaned with hot water and carpet cleaner. Or, they should be replaced.
  7. Use fans and dehumidifiers to make sure the area dries quickly before mold grows.
  8. If the backup is larger, call in the professionals to deal with the hazardous situation.

If you’re not connected to a public sewer and instead have a septic system and sump pump, a backup of the basement drain could be caused by a sump pump problem. To check on this, first stop using water in your house. Then check the ground fault switch for the sump pump and reset it if it has tripped. If it doesn’t begin working again, it may need to be replaced.

Prevention

If backflow causes your basement drain to flood periodically, you could install a backwater valve or floating backflow drain plug. These features can close off your main line to prevent water from flowing the wrong direction and into your house. You could instead choose to create an overhead sewer system. You may also want to have your sewer inspected and cleaned annually to reduce the likelihood of a blockage in your main line, especially if you have tree roots that grow into your pipes.

Contact us at Satin Touch Homes Reinvented if you need water cleaned up at any hour. We’ll come to eliminate smells, prevent mold from growing, and sanitize sewage contamination.

What You Should Know About Water Damage To Carpets And Upholstery

water damage carpet

Types of Damage

Mold

The biggest risk of letting soggy carpets and upholstery sit untreated is that it can grow mold. Mold spores seep in from the water or float in on the outside air, and then wait to get wet. Once that happens, it only needs to be incubated in a warm environment for a day before it starts sprouting. It smells bad and it looks gross, but the worst part is that the spores get in people’s lungs, triggering allergies and asthma symptoms. This is especially bad for children.

Water Stains

Carpets and upholstery can acquire stains in a couple of ways, but the dark spots from water are some of the trickiest to remove. The stains come from the minerals in the water getting in the fibers.

First Steps To Cleaning Up Water Damage

Preventing water from sitting on your upholstery or carpet is the best way to keep stains and mold at bay. To do this, soak up extra water with towels and then turn on the air conditioner or run a fan. If the outside air is dry, open the windows to let air circulate over the carpet.

If mold or mildew has grown on the item, you can rub this off using a clean cloth and undiluted vinegar. You can then go over your carpet with a wet/dry vacuum and point a fan at the area.

Small water stains on upholstery can be eliminated too. First, vacuum the upholstery. Dab cool water on the stains with a clean cloth, then cover the stain with paper towels, folded to about an eighth of an inch thick. Point a fan at the papers or run a hair dryer set to ‘cool’ over it. If the stains remain, you can scrub it with rubbing alcohol.

When To Call A Professional

There are 3 categories of water damage, and what category you have comes from the type of water involved. Category 1 is from clean water, such as from a leaking sink. Category 2 is called gray water, and it might come from sources such as broken toilets. It might make people sick if they drink it. Category 3 is called black water and comes from a source such as a sewer. A water damage restoration company should be called as quickly as possible when your carpet and upholstery is flooded with gray or black water, or if the items are soaked through and the water is up to your ankles.  If gray or black water was involved, the potential health risks will have to be mitigated, and the restoration company will have the tools to do that. They can also perform an inspection to make sure the rest of the house wasn’t damaged.

There are a couple of methods that a restoration company can use to prevent water stains and mold from growing on your upholstery and carpet. Steam cleaning, sometimes called a hot-water extraction method, comes highly recommended in many situations. Dehumidification techniques will have to be employed quickly to keep mold spores from growing and furniture from warping. High-speed air movers may be used to evaporate as much water as possible from the fibers. The professionals may leave a dehumidifier on for up to 3 days, depending on how much flooding occurred.

Satin Touch has dealt with water damaged carpets and upholstery for many years and would love to help you. If you would like more information about fighting water damage, please contact us.