Northern Minnesota is thirsty. Our rivers and lakes, our fields, and our ponds; all need rainfall. This summer has been sweltering, bringing severe weather that has caused untold smoke damage.
Whether you and your home were victims of flooding from severe weather or if you experience the harmful side effects of forest fire smoke damage, the chances are that you experienced something quite traumatic for you, your family, and your home.
Let’s look at what to do next and how we help clean up and rebuild together.
How to Repair Smoke Damage
Dry air and lightning – combined with extremely low rainfall this summer – is said to have caused wildfires in Superior National Forest, bringing an air quality alert for most of Northern Minnesota.
You don’t need to have had a major fire breaking out in your home to experience major smoke damage. Forest fire smoke damage is pervasive and can seep into the walls, furniture, and carpets – leaving not just a strong odor but permanent discoloration damage too.
If your home has been subjected to mild forest fire smoke damage, here are a few things you can try to alleviate the problem:
- Wear safety equipment. Everything from protective gloves and eye goggles to a safety mask is necessary so that you keep smoke particles off your skin. Your main concern here is not breathing in any smoke or ash, as this will damage your lungs.
- Consider the ventilation in your home and what you can do to stop circulating the smoke – turn off the AC if you haven’t done so already.
- Position fans towards open doorways and windows so as to effectively blast away ash and soot.
- For anything fabric-related (curtains, carpets, couches, etc.), use a vacuum cleaner to remove ash – but pay careful attention to hold the nozzle just above the soot so as not to squash it into the fabric surface any further.
- Wipe down anything that is non-absorbent with a damp towel – even hard-to-reach objects such as light bulb fittings.
- Use a vinegar spray to wipe away any stains.
- Use a mild soap or detergent to wipe down walls. Use rubber gloves and warm water. For a homemade cleaning formula, mix a cup of household cleaner or chlorine bleach with a gallon of warm water.
- Deodorize your carpets.
Some of this you can do on your own – depending on what other life pressures you have going on as a result of the severe storm weather damage. However, it’s always recommended that you leave smoke damage to the professionals. Our Restoration 1 team has all the right training, safety equipment, and a well-established routine of what to do next after smoke damage has taken its toll on your property. Our experience in this regard means we’ll be saving you time and returning your home to a safe environment once again.
Preparing for a Flash Flood – Before and After
If the smoke and summer storms don’t get you, then flooding from severe weather might. There’s no need to be too alarmed about it all – but it is best to be vigilant. Remember to please pay attention to local weather warnings.
Hail, tornadoes, and damaging winds are expected in much of Wisconsin and parts of Eastern Minnesota, with the Twin Cities on severe thunderstorm watch. It helps to be ready for severe storm weather damage.
Before the storm hits:
1) Secure the perimeter. Protect furniture by placing it on blocks and keeping it all above the anticipated water level. Barricade your entrances and prevent water from entering your home with plastic sheeting or whatever building supplies you may have lying around.
2) Evaluate your electrical situation. Are all your appliances above the expected flood water levels? Have you got a backup generator in case you stay home, but there’s a power outage? Can you drain excess water away from the house with a sump pump?
3) Family Evacuation Plan. This plan can include shutting off the power at your house if you leave in a rush (who’s job is that?) and preparing survival kits with medication and valuable documentation beforehand. Think of your pets too. Decide on an agreed-upon rendezvous point and pre-planned escape routes in accordance with your town’s evacuation protocol.
After the storm hits:
1) Stay away from electrical wiring that has come into contact with water.
2) Avoid walking through flowing water of any kind.
3) Watch out for snakes.
4) Meticulously photograph all the damage for insurance purposes.
5) Throw away any food that may have been contaminated.
How We Can Help
Restoration 1 is here to help in the event of any severe storm weather damage, flooding from severe weather, or forest fire smoke damage that might occur to the good people of Minnesota. We like to keep things ‘Minnesota nice’ so that you can go back to enjoying your lives without picking through the debris.
Available 24/7 for emergencies day or night, Restoration 1 will mobilize quickly and be on-site within an hour to deal with your water damage disaster. We are also trained and certified to prevent mold infestations that can often follow residential or commercial water and smoke damage.
Need help with professional water damage restoration or mold removal? Contact our friendly and certified team of experts at your local Restoration 1. To find your nearest Restoration 1 branch or for more information about our other property restoration services, visit our website today.