5 Dangers of Smoke and How To Avoid Them


So you’ve just had a fire in your home, and now in place of your most precious items you’re left with only smoke and soot. You might be thinking of cleaning up the mess yourself and restoring your home or room to its former glory. But before you get in there and start scrubbing, here are some things you might want to know.


Chemical Cocktail

The modern home is filled with all sorts of chemical compounds that can become dangerous when they combust or combine with other chemicals. In the event of a fire, the smoke can contain many of these dangerous chemicals and should under no circumstances be inhaled.


A Danger to Young and Old

Infants, children, and the elderly are particularly at risk of health issues as a result of smoke and soot. No children, seniors, or anyone with a weakened immune system should get near a room or building that has just had a fire.


Immediate Dangers

There are also more immediate effects that almost anyone will have when exposed to smoke, such as irritation in the eyes, nose and throat, as well as an odor that can sometimes cause nausea. These are all signs from your body telling you to stay far away from the smoke.


Decreased Oxygen

Inhaling carbon monoxide (which is in smoke) can decrease your body’s supply of oxygen. This can cause reduced alertness, headaches, aggravate existing heart conditions and cause a variety of other health concerns.


Chronic Health Effects

Long term exposure to smoke has been associated to an increase in cardiovascular diseases. Some studies have shown that firefighters, for example, are more likely to develop long-lasting respiratory issues and cardiovascular disease.


How to Stay Safe

Because of all of the reasons listed above, and many more, it is highly unsafe to try cleaning and restoring a fire damaged home yourself. To keep you and your loved ones safe, hand the job over to the professionals. The Steam Team experts will be able to safely restore your home to its former glory. Don’t hesitate to call.

5 Ways To Prevent House Fires

You’ve heard the stories from someone you know, or at least seen someone tell their story on tv. It started out of nowhere, then- before they knew it- countless amounts of money in damage, irreplaceable items lost, and sometimes even loved ones gone. House fires are NO JOKE! In fact, there are about 365,500 house fires in the U.S. every year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. On average, 7 people die in U.S. house fires every day. If you want to keep your home and loved ones safe, it is critical that you follow these 5 tips.

 

Smoke Alarms

 

This one should be a no-brainer. Smoke alarms are absolutely essential for keeping your home safe. Make sure you install at least one on every level of your home and inside all the bedrooms in the house.

 

Battery Changes

 

Having smoke alarms is great, as long as you alway remember to make sure they’re working. Test the smoke alarms once per month, and if the batteries are dead, replace them.

 

Checking The Home

 

Be sure to check certain systems in your home regularly. You may even want to hire a professional to ensure that your home is thoroughly inspected. The things you should regularly check include; the condition of your home’s electrical system, the natural gas/LP gas system in your home, and the air conditioning and heating units in your home.

 

Kitchen Safety

 

One of the most common causes of house fires is something going wrong in the kitchen. To ensure your safety in the kitchen, follow these practices: When you’re cooking on a stove and need to leave the stove for a minute or two, turn it off rather than letting it cook unattended. Don’t cook while under the influence of any drugs or alcohol, or if you’re tired. Also, ensure that no clothes or rags are left on or near a burner.

 

Safe Use of Wires

 

Faulty wiring and outlets are one of the top causes of house fires. So make sure your wires and outlets are working properly. Do not attempt to plug or unplug anything if your hands are wet. Also, don’t pinch or cover electrical cords with items like rugs.


If all of the above steps are followed, and the unthinkable fire still occurs, remember that The Steam Team has fire damage restoration experts awaiting your call.

Restoring Your Home From Fire Damage: Advice from The Experts

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 352,000 house fires reported in The United States in 2016 alone! A fire can spread very quickly, engulfing an entire house in less than five minutes! Even when the fire has gone out, the trouble is far from over. But if you’re careful to follow this advice, you can make your home good as new!

 

Safety and Preparation

 

First things first, NEVER enter a fire-damaged area until fire officials give you the all clear- and even when you do, be sure to make use of the proper safety attire;

  • Waterproof boots

  • A body suit made from plastic

  • A breathing mask

  • Goggles

  • Industrial strength cleaning gloves

 

Once you’re all suited up, the next step is to search the structure for any breaches, and seal them immediately. The best method for addressing a breach is by using a rugged tarp that can create a full seal around the breach.

 

Restoration

 

Now that you’ve protected yourself and your home from any potential harm, you’re ready to get to work on the house itself. You’ll want to begin by removing any water from the house, which is normally pooled all over the ground after a fire. You can remove the water using a water pump and a press extractor, which can either be purchased from a supplier, or at a local store such as Home Depot. The next step is to remove the soot and ash from all the surfaces of objects in the house. This can be done with sponges and heavy-duty cleaners. With the soot removed, you can examine the damage and decide whether your things can be restored, or need to be thrown out.

 

Once the fire-damaged items have been removed, walk around and see the extent of the damage to the floors, walls, and ceiling, to determine what needs repairing. Thoroughly clean the soot off of the entire foundation- This step may take a few days. When that’s finally done, you’ll want to replace the filters in all of your heating and A/C units to reduce that smokey smell. Then, you’re finally prepared for the long process of fully restoring those heavily impacted areas.

 

Professional Help


If doing all that work yourself sounds too daunting, you’re in luck, The Steam Team has restoration professionals that are ready for your calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! They’ll start by inspecting the entire structure of your building(s) to get a good picture of the extent of the damage. This process allows you to get a full report on the scope of the damage, as well as a great estimate of repair costs.

3 Frequently Asked Questions About Caring for Leather Furniture After Fire Damage

So perhaps you’ve just bought a brand new set of living room furniture- all leather upholstered. If you’re wondering how to properly care for it, you’ve come to the right place! Below, The Steam Team has three frequently asked questions about leather furniture and how it’s cared for, and we hope you find the answers helpful!

 

How Can Leather Be Cleaned?

 

When it comes to cleaning, leather upholstery typically needs to be dusted and vacuumed on a weekly basis. You can wipe it down with a dry microfiber cloth, or a damp cloth if the dust is thicker. Remember to never, ever use a soaking wet cloth on your leather upholstery. Use your vacuum’s cleaning attachment to vacuum corners, nooks, and crannies in leather furniture. It’ll do wonders!

 

How Often Should Leather Be Conditioned?

 

Next, comes conditioning. Leather conditioning is just as important as leather cleaning! Leather furniture should be conditioned once to twice a year, depending on the amount of wear and tear it endures on a daily basis, and quickly it’s drying out.

 

What Causes Leather to Dry Out?

 

Leather is similar to our skin, which needs to stay moisturized in order to remain healthy and in good condition. What causes leather to dry out? Well, if your sofa or chair is near an air vent, or a sunny window, it could dry out and fade quicker than if it were placed away from the vent/window (or if the window were covered).


The Steam Team has over a decade of experience with cleaning, conditioning, and caring for leather furniture! Especially after fire damage and water damage. If your furniture is in need of a little bit of tender loving care, don’t be afraid to contact The Steam Team. We can clean and restore your leather to its original condition, and you’ll love the results! Visit our locations at 9901 Burnet Road Austin, Texas 78758 or 1904 West Koenig Lane Austin, Texas 78756 or 222 West Ave. Austin, Texas 78701 anytime. 

Cleaning: How to Spot Treat the Most Stubborn Stains

Smoke Damage 

Smoke Damage 

There’s simply no way to catch every toppling wine glass, or every muddy paw before it reaches our beautiful, once-flawless carpet. So what can we do to treat these pesky carpet stains?

 

Pets

 

Oftentimes, urine stains are left behind after house training sessions, or muddy pawprints plague our entryways. To start, urine stains must always be treated with an enzymatic cleaner. As for mud, vacuum the solid pieces first, and thoroughly dry the carpet. Afterward, combine a teaspoon of mild dishwashing liquid with warm water, and blot away!

 

Wine & Grape Juice

 

The dining room, the carpet beneath the bedside table, or even the living room: all common places for wine stains! To treat these stains, soak a sponge in a mixture of one tablespoon of ammonia, and two cups of warm water. Blot the stain, and rinse with cold water after it’s been removed.

 

Bodily Fluids

 

Blood and vomit will likely require a professional’s attention. But until these pro’s arrive, layer the affected area with a coat of baking soda. This will help to reduce the foul odor that’s likely oozing from the stain.

 

Coffee

 

Coffee stains- the typical light-brownish-yellowish patches that are found near desks, or on kitchen rugs. Try applying your own mixture of dishwasher detergent and white vinegar. Blot the stain, as opposed to rubbing!

 

Ink

 

Pens break frequently and we’re lucky if the ink misses our clothing on its way down to our once-pristine office carpeting! Ink can be removed by applying rubbing alcohol to a white cloth, and blotting the area until the cloth comes back clean.


If you’ve given these tactics a try without success, consider calling your local carpet cleaning service, or restoration company, but certainly don’t let those stains sit any longer. The Steam Team is made up of experienced technicians who can restore your carpet to its previous condition. Call today!

How to Get Rid of Dirty Carpets

The Steam Team Austin, Texas

The Steam Team Austin, Texas

Ah, carpet flooring… it’s comfortable, cozy, and cushiony. It can be made in a multitude of different colors, textures, and designs. We can match it perfectly with our furniture. Carpet adds warmth to a bedroom or living room, and provides a cushioned landing for small children at play. But proper cleaning and maintenance keeps a homeowner quite busy! Carpet can potentially stain very easily, and requires regular attention.

 

Routine Cleaning & Stain Prevention

 

Dust, dirt, and pet hair build up at a surprisingly rapid rate. This makes frequent vacuuming imperative to maintaining carpet flooring, and even lengthening its lifespan. Hopefully your vacuum cleaner has extra attachments for reaching areas like corners, baseboards, or even between couch cushions!

 

When it comes to areas of your home with higher traffic, you may consider asking your house members and guests to remove their shoes near the front door. The soles of our shoes can track in anything from sand, to mud, grass, or small pebbles… All of which are things we could find in our carpet at a later date!

 

There is much debate surrounding the “best,” method of removing stains in carpet. When using a cleaning solution, be sure that the product you’ve chosen is designed to be used on carpet, and check to find out whether or not it should be diluted.

 

Is it Time to Deep Clean Your Carpet?

 

Over time, our carpet takes enough beating to warrant an occasional deep cleaning, and this is best done by a professional steam cleaning company! Steam cleaning uses intense water pressure and high temperatures to eradicate dirt, debris, and stains from just about any type of flooring.

 

Companies such as The Steam Team will definitely have the perfect tools for this project:  professional grade equipment, solid expertise, and dependable customer service. Don’t hesitate to give The Steam Team a call today for efficient stain removal and carpet cleaning!

 

3 Fun Facts About Steam Cleaning

The Steam Team Austin, Texas Official Sun Glasses

The Steam Team Austin, Texas Official Sun Glasses

Who said cleaning can’t be fun? Steam cleaning may not seem like it could be exciting to you, but when you see the effects it has on various surfaces and environments everyday - it’s certainly intriguing.

 

Check out these awesome facts about steam cleaning!

  1. Steam cleaning can help improve air quality around the home.

Ridding flooring (and other surfaces) of common allergens, dust particles, and grime build up keeps these things from circulating around the home. With all of these particles, the air quality around your home will start to improve.

 

Don’t forget to clean your air ducts and you’re sure to breathe clean air!

  1. The steam cleaner was first invented over 150 years ago.

Since then, it’s come a long way! The technology integrated with steam cleaners now is entirely different. Machines are able to be used on various surfaces, materials, and fabrics for a variety of reasons, too. Not only can flooring be steam cleaned, but furniture, window treatments, appliances, air ducts - you name it!

 

What we know now versus what we knew when steam cleaning was initially invented is monumental.

  1. Carpet should be professionally steam cleaned every 12-18 months.

Regularly cleaning carpets with a steam cleaner helps to eliminate any grime build-up but also keeps allergens and pollutants at a minimum around the home. Remember; steam cleaning is a much more thorough and deep clean versus regular vacuuming. Scheduling a professional to come into your home every 12-18 months has shown to be the most effective and efficient way to protect, clean, and maintain carpet flooring.

 

If you need a professional to take a look at your carpets, give us a call at The Steam Team today!

What's Hiding in Your Office Carpet?

Cleaning

Cleaning

Keeping the carpet clean in your office is essential for the health your coworkers, clients, and of course yourself. Because we can’t see them, It’s easy to forget about the dust, allergens, and other creepy crawlies lurking in your carpet! But once your carpet begins to stain you’ll know something is wrong. Why wait for stains to appear, when it could already be time to call your local cleaning and restoration company! It’s important to have your carpet routinely cleaned by a professional at least occasionally, and here’s why:

The Importance of Keeping Carpet Clean

 

  1. Health Benefits

 

Carpet can harbor many indoor air pollutants and allergens that are harmful to our health. Dust, dander, lead, cockroach allergens, and many more materials could be found in our carpet at home and in the office. What’s worse, these particles are kicked up into the air as we walk or vacuum over our floor. You’re likely unsure about what exactly is lurking in your office carpet, so it’s best to have it steam cleaned on a regular basis. Doing so would be a favor to your health, as well as the health of your clients and coworkers.

 

 

  1. First Impressions

 

Undoubtedly, your clients take a thorough look around when they enter your office for the first time. They may notice your fancy leather chairs before they spot your carpet, but they will, at some point, find that stain you’ve been trying to hid beneath the trash can. Luckily, The Steam Team can help you win a few professionalism points by deep cleaning your carpet for you this quarter!

 

Steam cleaning brings results that you simply can’t beat! If your office is overdue for a deep, thorough carpet cleaning, or you need some help with a tricky stain, don’t hesitate to call The Steam today!

The Damaging Effects of Smoke After a Fire

Smoke Damage Austin 

Smoke Damage Austin 

No matter the size, all fires produce smoke. Even if the fire was put out almost instantly, just like flooding - the damaging after-effects begin immediately and can actually worsen the longer it’s left untreated. As the damage intensifies, restoring your home can become increasingly costly and time-consuming. As a general rule; it’s never safe to re-enter your home after a fire - always wait for the professionals! Whether the fire first started in your kitchen or in your bathroom - where there’s smoke, there’s soot. While firefighters do some clean up after they extinguish a fire, they aren’t able to clean your home as extensively as you need to. It’s a good idea to call your local restoration company as soon as possible, so they can begin fighting your soot damage.

Soot?

Yes, you read that right - not the fire, not the smoke - but the soot. While both factors certainly lead to the amount of ash around your home - they’re not acidic (like soot is). In fact, the high temperatures of fire cause concern for many things around your home, but the acidity of soot can affect nearly anything in its path. Often times, it does just that, as smoke typically gravitates towards cooler temperatures - leaving soot behind wherever it travels.

It’s Effect Overtime

Just as your environment reacts to the soot, the soot reacts to your environment - especially if it’s humid. Unfortunately, it begins by (permanently)discoloring any porous material, immediately - and it won’t take long before it begins damaging other surfaces around the home. Even just leaving it to settle for a few hours could cause everything to change - the entire structure of your home can become compromised after too long. Don’t hesitate to call your local restoration company - like us, here at The Steam Team - as soon as you can!