Smoke particles can infiltrate carpets, walls, furniture, and clothing, lingering for months. So what can you do to rid your Southern California home of smoke odors, and when is it time to contact a professional?
Smoke damage after a house fire can be challenging to remove without professional help. Odors from smoke can lead to headaches, nausea, and troubled breathing which can interfere with your health and daily life. Burning scented candles and spraying air fresheners may dilute or mask smoke odors temporarily, but they fail to address the root of the problem. Often, air deodorant manufacturers oversimplify the process of smoke damage odor removal. However, effective smoke damage restoration requires a careful, educated approach.
Step 1: Attack the Source of the Odor
After the fire has been completely put out, clear your home of severely scorched or unsalvageable materials. These not only require immense time, effort, and resources to deodorize, but also emit large amounts of smoke odors that can seep into surrounding areas. Remove as many of these source objects as possible to expedite the cleaning process. Before considering demolition, contact a smoke damage odor removal specialist who can test your home for asbestos, lead, and other hazardous chemicals and recommend safe rebuilding tactics.
Step 2: Clean and Deodorize Exposed Surfaces
After a fire, exposed surfaces house high concentrations of smoke odors and residue. Professional restorers know how to thoroughly clean counter tops, walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, and appliances. This step is crucial to prepare the home for more in-depth odor removal. Depending on the scope of the fire, restorers may need to clean your entire home from top to bottom, even if the entire house was not burned in the fire.
Step 3: Neutralize Remaining Smoke Odors
The third step involves targeting smoke particles with a specialized deodorant gas. The particles in the gas mix with and neutralize particles in the smoke. Professional restorers can determine the right mixture of deodorizing agents and how to distribute them throughout your home. By following all paths the smoke particles may have taken, the deodorizing gas effectively clears the entire structure of lingering odors.
Step 4: Seal Severely Scorched Surfaces
Although seldom necessary, severe fires may require heavily damaged surfaces to be sealed off. Extreme heat and concentrations of smoke particles can render some surfaces nearly impossible to salvage without impractical means. If deemed necessary, the sealing process is the final step in odor removal. Some surfaces can be sealed and painted over. Heavily damaged surfaces in hard-to-reach spaces such as attics and crawlspaces should be sealed and contained. Sealing improves aesthetics and speeds up the overall deodorizing process when compared to extensive chemical treatments that can take several weeks to complete.
There are no easy, “set-it-and-forget-it” ways to remove smoke odors from a burned structure. Professional restoration companies know how to implement the right processes and adjust them to adapt to special cases. Because homeowners often lack the time and resources to remove smoke odors on their own, it’s important for hire a professional to both eliminate the problem and provide peace of mind.
The professionals at S&S Construction & Restoration Inc. specialize in professional smoke damage odor removal, as well as repair, restoration, and remodeling services for homes after a fire. For more information about smoke damage restoration in Southern California, contact S&S Construction & Restoration Inc. at (760) 559-2667 today.
When it comes to kitchen renovation, a lot of attention goes to kitchen cabinets, countertops and backsplashes. Appliances are also in the spotlight. But as a kitchen remodeling contractor, S&S Construction Restoration think the sink is one of the most important choices you’ll make – because you’ll use it more frequently than any other part of your new kitchen.
Remodeling in the 1980s and 1990s often meant adding small, divided sinks in the kitchen. But if you do a lot of cooking, you’re going to have a hard time using a small sink to wash up large roasting pans and baking racks. And that’s the point – a custom kitchen remodel should be beautiful, but it should also be a beautiful solution for how you cook and how you use your kitchen.
At home shows, kitchen remodeling contractors get to see all the coolest new products, including sinks. From what we’ve seen lately, here are a few ideas to consider:
- What shape works best? Kitchen renovation lets you think outside the box, literally. There are, for example, very large, very deep sinks vs. shallower, trough-like sinks. One homeowner chose a huge, keyhole-shaped sink that she said was the perfect shape for bathing a baby, washing a small dog and cleaning up her large serving platters.
- How tough does it need to be? If you’re not worried about juice stains, nicks and scratches, a porcelain sink might be perfect for your kitchen remodel. If, however, you want to be able to toss racks and pots into your sink and drain tomato sauce without doing instant sink scrubbing, a stainless steel sink might better fit your priorities. Kohler even makes stainless steel sinks that come with accessories like cutting boards and prep bowls.
- Is one sink enough? With a custom kitchen remodel, you can design in a main sink plus one or even two auxiliary sinks – perhaps one in a kitchen island to help with entertaining and one set off in a drink-bar area of the new kitchen. Contractors can work with you to use these extra sinks not just functionally, but as design elements. For example, a breakfast bar might be the perfect place to use a beautifully painted sink to add some “wow” without making the counters or backsplash look too busy.
Kitchen Design Ideas For 2015
1. Wood Kitchen Cabinets
Wood color stories are all over the place,and a variety of different types of wood grains and wood stains are of interest.
Oak is shaping up to be a clear-cut winner; lately, oak kitchen cabinets have seen a dramatic upward surge in demand, with strong interest particularly coming from Canada and the USA. This time around, the focus is on blond wood tones, for example white oak, as opposed to the red oak that was trendy in decades past. To achieve the most current looks, it’s also necessary to carefully select the stains and finishes used.
Mixed wood color stories are also directional for 2015.
Some trend-setting designers are now favoring driftwood-inspired tones that read “gray” overall. Many designers are now incorporating pale woods and warm honey-toned woods into their kitchen cabinet designs. Quite a few designers are still favoring dark woodtones — which have been popular for the first half of this decade, and continue to be relevant going into 2015.
Maple kitchen cabinets have been in strong demand in the recent past, and they remain current for 2015 and beyond.
In urban environments such as Chicago, Philadelphia and Toronto, we’re seeing increased demand for cherry kitchen cabinets. Cherry wood is an enduring and much-beloved traditional favorite, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see interest in it pick up even more steam in the future.
Cherry wood makes particular sense for those embracing the current trend towards warm metals such as copper and bronze.
We’re seeing an uptick in demand for walnut kitchen cabinets, and declining demand for birch kitchen cabinets.
Another up-to-the-minute look: interesting combinations of complementary woods and wood stains.
We see these wood-themed color stories playing out not only in kitchen cabinetry, but also in other interesting accent spaces and architectural details.
2. Minimalist White Kitchen Cabinets and Appliances
White is one of the freshest new “neutrals,” and it’s a color that makes perfect sense in the kitchen. Think simple, clean, uncluttered and un-fussy kitchen cabinetry — with appliances that blend into the cabinets as if they were an extension of them.
3. Metallic or Gray Kitchen Cabinets
Gray isn’t the freshest, newest interior design trend going — which could actually be a good thing for those of you who don’t want to be first to dive into anything.
In the past few years, gray has already been shaping up as a go-to color, and it is still a relatively safe choice as 2015 progresses.
Along with white, gray is a strong contender for the hottest neutral color in trendy designers’ palettes for 2015. Gray is also a much fresher choice than the beiges, khakis and camels that were so prevalent during the last several decades.
For those of you who want to go up-to-the-minute-trendy, consider adding luster to your gray color stories. Metallic surfaces are a hot design trend for 2015, and they are easily accomplished; try freshening up tired spaces with some of the newest metallic paint colors that are hitting the marketplace now. This is particularly timely advice for those of you who can’t do an entire remodel; a fresh coat of paint could do wonders to transform tired-looking kitchen cabinets.
4. Forget Stainless Steel Fixtures. Think Oil-Rubbed Bronze and Other Up-To-Date Finishes.
Stainless steel has its place, and it hasn’t gone away by any means. It’s still an important fabrication at the decorator’s disposal.
However, one easy way to get a fresh, new look is to ditch the stainless steel, and instead use fabrications that look more current.
Oil-rubbed bronze continues to be an important surface for kitchen and bathroom fixtures such as faucets, handles and knobs. Pictured at right, you’ll also see a coordinating bronze towel ring for holding kitchen dish towels.
If oil-rubbed bronze is too dark or dramatic for your kitchen space, check out other current finishes such as brushed nickel or chrome.
5. Warm Metal Kitchen Fixtures and Accents
Warm, inviting kitchens hold universal appeal. If you find your kitchen in need of some warm accents and details, warm-colored metals are one possible way give the room an inviting glow.
Another creative idea that adds plenty of visual interest: incorporate both warm and cool reflective metals into the same space — perhaps combining accents of brass or copper plus chrome.
6. White or Colorful Sinks
There’s a dilemma faced by those embracing the trends for warm metals such as copper and bronze: how do you make it look good with a standard stainless steel sink?
The solution: You don’t have to. Instead, you go with a plain white sink, or perhaps a sink in a warm color that harmonizes.
Of course, that isn’t to say that bronze-colored fixtures would never look good with stainless steel sinks. There are some designers who have successfully pulled off such combinations. However, for many of us, bronze + white is a safer choice.
7. Open Floor Plan Designs for the Kitchen and the Home
During the past several decades, we’ve witnessed an evolution from closed to open floor plans. Open floor plans continue to be on-trend for 2015 and beyond.
What does that mean for the decorator at work in an open kitchen space?
In light of this trend, there are some details that should not be overlooked.
Let’s say the people hanging out in your family room can see everything going on in the kitchen — and the people in the kitchen have full view of the family room as well. In that case, the décor should be consistent between the kitchen and the family room. While it doesn’t all have to be matchy-matchy, it’s important that your kitchen décor harmonizes well with the pieces in your family room. When freshening up the kitchen, you might want to choose a few of your accent colors from the choices you’ve already made in the family room. You also may wish to incorporate key elements that tie the two rooms together — perhaps coordinating area rugs, several well-placed pieces of artwork by the same artist, or harmonizing color palettes throughout.
8. Continuing Demand for Outstanding Value
Consumers are increasingly cost-conscious, and perpetually in search of cost-saving solutions such as veneers and laminates — which continue to be popular in 2015.
We’re seeing strong demand for overall classic design elements in the kitchen, as consumers feel compelled to search for solutions that will last them for many years. Ironically, we’re seeing a trend towards demand for the trend-proof, particularly when it comes to practically-permanent improvements such as cabinetry and flooring.
So now you’re updated with all the latest info. In the process of any kitchen design project, you’ll be faced with numerous decisions to make, and it will help you to be armed with this list of 8 fresh kitchen design trends for 2015 and beyond. We invite you to make good use of this list when you’re contemplating your kitchen design and / or updates. Happy decorating!
As the hub of the home, the kitchen is the room with all the action. It’s not just the place to prepare and cook food — it’s also used for entertaining guests, storing gadgets and eating family meals. Your design needs to accommodate all these activities, which is why kitchen remodels are more popular than ever. Today, islands, farmhouse sinks and stainless steel appliances are common additions, while custom cabinets and counter-tops are key components of any inspirational dream kitchen.
Gone are the days when kitchens were situated far away from the living area, and formal living rooms are becoming a thing of the past. A more relaxed style suited to family life and entertaining has become popular, with the hub of activity centered on the kitchen and family room. This is reflected in the rising popularity of open plan kitchen design, which has seen many homeowners knocking down walls to create a free-flowing kitchen/dining/family room, or perhaps incorporating aspects of a living space into their kitchen renovation.
The benefit of the open plan kitchen is that it meets multiple requirements for the entire family in a unified living area. It also makes entertaining more enjoyable as guests can now circulate through the kitchen and living space, or sit at the kitchen island and interact with you while you cook. The key to an effective kitchen design that incorporates the family room is to focus on a well-organized layout and a style that integrates into the rest of your home.
One of our favorite home remodeling projects is to help homeowners putting in a new kitchen. We are one of the premier kitchen remodeling contractors in Southern California.
The kitchen is a home’s heart. It’s where a family eats, talks, finishes homework, and spontaneous, casual parties (the best kind!) happen around the table. A family’s memories are made in the kitchen. A new kitchen can create an even more inviting atmosphere, encouraging everyone to spend more time with each other creating new memories.
Let us help you design your dream kitchen and turn it into reality.
An additional benefit of a new kitchen is its investment value. Year in and year out, kitchen remodels continue to show a return on investment (ROI) between 75% and 85%.