9 Tips To Restoration And Clean-Up After Smoke And Fire Damage

A recent wildfire in Herriman, Utah (20 miles south of Salt Lake City) caused well over 1400 families to evacuate their homes. It took firefighters several days to bring the blaze under control and only 4 homes were actually lost. The families who were able to return to their homes were faced with a daunting task. Even if their homes didn’t suffer actual fire damage, many homeowners were completely unprepared for the huge job of restoring and cleaning up the smoke, ash and carbon residue that covered every inch of everything they owned in their homes and around their property.

Here are 9 tips for cleaning up your home and property after a fire.

  • Pressure wash or scrub all exterior surfaces including walls, walks, drives, decks, windows and screens.
  • Wash all interior walls and hard surfaces with a steam cleaner. Don’t forget inside cabinets, drawers and closets. Steam undersides of furniture, tables and chairs.
  • Launder or dry clean all clothing, linens and bedding.
  • Wash all movable items, including picture frames, knick-knacks with a steam cleaner and a soft microfiber cloth.
  • Disinfect and deodorize all carpets, window coverings, upholstered furniture and mattresses with steam.
  • Upholstery, fabric window treatments, etc. can be spray-treated with deodorizing products available at most supermarkets, but do not use odor-masking sprays – it just covers up the problem and doesn’t last long term. Steam actually melts the tar and neutralizes the odor and carbon film left by forest fire, cigarette smoke or wood burning fireplaces and stoves.
  • Have heating, ventilating and air-conditioning units and all ductwork professionally cleaned to remove soot, ash and smoke residue. Change filters when you first return to the premises and at least once a month for the first year.
  • Vacuum up dry aerial fire retardant or firefighting foam residue from inside the house or car. Pressure wash the home/car exterior and use a steam cleaner to remove the stuck on residue from inside surfaces.
  • Ash and soot on the ground and in your landscaping will continue to generate smoke odors and airborne particles when the wind blows so water it down regularly. Until the ash and soot are diluted and absorbed into the environment, run an indoor mechanical air filtration system to help minimize the uncomfortable and potentially health-threatening impact of these pollutants.

Most of these tips can be completed with a few power tools – an outdoor pressure washer for the outside of your home and a steam cleaner, dishwasher or washer/dryer for the inside of your home. If you’re new to steam cleaning, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised how fast, easy and effective it is at getting into all those nooks and crannies that regular cleaning chemicals and techniques can’t.

You may not get all these tips finished in one day but once you’ve laundered, steamed or pressure washed from rooftop to foundation and from floor to ceiling, you and your home will no longer smell like a camp fire.

Tips taken from FEMA’s website and elaborated on.

Advice and Tips on Repairing Your Car’s Upholstery

As an owner of a vintage car that has needed complete restoration, I know the value of do-it-yourself projects. By doing the car repairs or restorations yourself, you can save thousands of dollars. One of the most often needed repairs for vintage cars is the upholstery. Let me give you some easy tips for repairing it yourself. First of all, you should always clean the upholstery before starting any repair projects. Use an upholstery cleaner that is made specifically for the type of upholstery you have and always follow the manufacturers instructions to the letter. I prefer to spot test the cleaner in an out-of-the-way place just to be sure. You will be amazed at what a good cleaning can do for old upholstery! Sometimes it will reveal potential problem areas that you can repair before they become a big problem.

Repairing Leather upholstery tips:

If sewing or recovering the seat is not possible, you could try a leather repair kit that can be found at any automotive store. The kit will come with a plastic substance that you will tint to match as close to your car upholstery color as possible. You’ll have to apply it and then let it dry. I don’t recommend this for large areas. It is usually o.k. for small areas if the color is well matched. Black or White upholstery is the easiest to match.

Repairing Vinyl upholstery tips:

Don’t try using glue to repair your vinyl! It seems like an easy fix, but the adhesive in the glue can actually destroy the foam padding underneath the vinyl. You don’t want to create more problems! Instead, simply cut a patch of excess vinyl found under the seat and use adhesive specifically made for vinyl upholstery to patch it. Again, follow the adhesive manufacturers instructions carefully.

If it is just the piping around the seat that needs repair, use this simple trick: Take a match stick and remove the match. Add some contact cement to one end of the match and work it into the damaged area. Then apply the cement to the other end and work that end of the stick in. Fold it in as you go if necessary. Make sure you let the cement dry completely before using the seat.

Do some research ahead of time and see if this do it yourself project is something you think you can do. You don’t want that vintage muscle car looking awesome on the outside and old as dirt on the inside. With a little work you can get it in top notch shape!

6 Tips In Installing Car Roof Racks Without Damaging The Car’s Paint

There are times when the built-in storage system of your vehicle is just isn’t enough to carry your outdoor luggage. And the only place that you could conveniently put your stuff is on the roof. This is why car roof racks have been an essential car accessory for many car owners. It is the best way to carry large, oddly shaped or unwieldy items that just wouldn’t fit inside the vehicle. You just have to make sure that you strap everything properly. Otherwise your stuff might end up bouncing off the road.

When installing a car roof rack, you have to be really careful not to scratch the paint of your car. Here are some tips that will help you install your car roof rack without damaging your car’s paint.

1. Wash your car. If your car is covered with dust, road salt, tar, bugs and other substances, it is advisable to wash your car first before installation. When washing your car, avoid using dish washing detergent or soap. Doing otherwise will remove wax from your car and may cover your car paint with swirl marks.

You can use two buckets. One is for water and another for soapy water. After you’ve soaped down one section of the car, dip and rinse the sponge into the bucket of clean water before soaping up again. This will minimize the dirt that will go into the soap solution that might rub against the paint of your car when applying soap.

2. Dry your car. After washing making sure to dry the car. This will help it look clean and prevent evaporated water from leaving behind deposits or water spots.

3. Evenly wax and buff. This step will protect the car from harmful elements. It is important to ensure that your car’s roof has at least a good wax coating before installing the roof rack.

4. Mount the roof rack. Just place it carefully over to where it should go but don’t install it yet. You need to make sure that the rack is positioned properly leaving a small space between the rack and the roof.

5. Cut some strips of vinyl. Once the roof rack is installed, it creates a situation where certain dust particles, salt and moisture can get trapped in there with the base bars rubbing it all against the car’s paint. This is what causes the damage that most car owners complain about.

In order to prevent this from happening you need to put a couple of clear vinyl strips between the roof and the feet of the base bar. This is why waxing the roof of the car is so important because it will provide protection from the vinyl. In addition, it will make the vinyl strip easier to peel off in the future.

6. Apply the vinyl film. While the rack is held up, apply the film by sticking down one side first. Then, smoothly and firmly slide your hand through the vinyl to push out tiny air bubbles. If the vinyl is not properly smoothed out, the edges are not firmly affixed and air bubbles are present, it will quickly peel off and dust particles could easily get trapped under the vinyl strips.

After some time and you want to remove the vinyl film, you would probably see a light patch from where it used to be. This is not something to be worried about because this means that you car is just dirty and the light patch you’re seeing is simply a clean spot. Your car will need some cleaning and waxing to fix the problem.

DIY Tips to Clean Electric Fuel Pump Filter

Fuel pump filter is a small, yet one of the critical components of your car. The purpose of having a fuel pump filter in a vehicle is to stop impurities from reaching the car’s engine. If the fuel pump filter is dirty and clogged, the engine will have starting problems and the engine stops intermittently while running. So, it is important to keep it clean.

Now that you know what is fuel pump filter and importance of keeping it clean, you are all set to get started on cleaning it. But wait, do you know the process and order by which the filter has to be cleaned? If the answer is no, then the following section of the article gives you the step-by-step procedure on how to clean electric fuel pump filter by yourself.

DIY tips to clean

Locate fuel pump in the fuel tank

First, you need to figure out where exactly is the fuel pump filter is located in your vehicle. Usually electric filters are either located inside or close to the tank or at the back of the car – it depends on the manufacturer and model of the car.

Disconnect battery first

This is very important, first you need to disconnect the battery before you start the cleaning procedure because as it is an electric pump, any small spark can ignite the fuel.

Block the fuel pipes to avoid fuel gushing

As you have disconnected the battery, you need to stop fuel from gushing out of the disconnected fuel pipes. For blocking the fuel pipes you can either insert an old pencil, thin cocks or rubber bungs or something that is handy and can fit your fuel pipes.

Remove and clean all filters with petrol

Make sure all filters are cleaned by washing them with fresh petrol. Always use fresh petrol when cleaning the filters. Properly clean the filters; make sure there is no dirt or other contaminants.

Clean inside of the filter with clean rag

Now that you have washed the filters with petrol, don’t leave the filters drenched in petrol. Get a clean lint-free rag and wipe off the inside of the pump.

Check sealing gaskets

When cleaning the filters, check for the sealing gaskets and make sure they are in a good condition. If they are not in a good condition, replace them. Damaged gaskets would result in fuel leakage during its functioning.

Fix it back

Once you are done with the cleaning of filters, fix them back to their original position with the screws provided. Make sure you don’t over tighten the screws of the cover.

You can plan the cleaning of the filters according to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule provided in the owner’s manual.

Car Detailing Tips: How to Keep Your Tyres Looking Good

Keeping your tyres looking good as new is all in the way you drive and how you clean that part of your car. People will notice dirty wheels and it can give the car a bad look. Car detailing starts with keeping your tyres clean and amazing.

Treading on the tyres can easily be worn away when you are driving. You can minimise the amount of damage you do by driving correctly. Sudden braking and spinning can wear away the tread detail very quickly. Only apply sudden braking if safety calls for it. Always start applying the brakes when you are about five to ten meters away from the car in front of you. Spinning can be prevented by releasing the clutch as you apply fuel to the engine.

Did you know that there is a practical way to get your tyres to be glossy? This is known as dressing or protectant. Many car dealers will apply this substance on the tyres to give the car a glossier and more attractive appearance. It also protects the rubber from the UV lights of the sun and the toxic air pollution that degrades the quality rubber surface. The dressing or protectant also adds a layer to prevent any oil or dirt from sticking onto your tyre. This chemical isn’t greasy so it won’t cause you to spin on the road. Rather it is more of a non-stick surface that can grip onto the gravel or tar road.

Sunlight has the harsh ability to age and damage the rubber on the tyres. Over time you will start experiencing the tyres to be brittle and it can break with the slightest hit. However, you can avoid this from happening.

When cleaning your tyres you need to use a cloth, a high pressure hose and the cleaning detergent of your choice. You always start with hosing down the tyres to remove any dirt, oil or residue. This shouldn’t take long and will make the cleaning process easier. After you have hosed the dirt away you can apply the wheel detergent. To remove oil from the wheels you will require than just water so a wheel detergent would be ideal. Next, you can use brushes that can clean the treads and crevices. The cloth will absorb any water that was on the rim and leave it looking clean and sparkly.

Status is a big part of society so doing a bit of cleaning and shining can give you that little boost. Tyres are important when you are a driver. They allow you to move forward and to climb an incline without over-using your throttle. So keep them clean and in good condition.