Posts Tagged ‘franchising’

Feb
23

Black Soot Deposition: The Sinister Side of Scented Candles

February 23rd, 2011 by Rainbow International

Insurance and commercial property management companies have noted an increase in claims due to black spot stains on ceilings, walls, furniture, content and HVAC filters from previously unidentified sources. The problem is referred to as “black soot deposition” (BSD) and, as research indicates, it is frequently caused by a common household decorative item.

There is no evidence of a sudden or accidental source for BSD, such as malfunctioning furnaces, gas water heaters, cigarette smoke or cooking by-products. Until recently, there was little compelling evidence to assign proper blame for the source of BSD. Tests have confirmed, however, it is very possible decorative scented candles are a primary culprit.

Low-quality candles often to blame

Research indicates increased BSD is often the result of candle manufacturers adding additional fragrance oils to their products, along with improper wick trimming by customers. Many fragrance oils are not suitable for combustion and do not burn cleanly. It also appears that many amateur candle-makers have entered the expanding market to capitalize on the current popularity of candles without proper training or experience.  The outcome is an abundance of low-quality candles burning in many homes and a corresponding increase in the frequency of indoor soot deposits.

Potential dangers to structure and health

The number of aromatic candle manufacturers, professional and amateur, grows each year. A number of these introduce candles to their product line without the knowledge necessary to produce a safe and clean-burning product. Chemical testing provides conclusive evidence that emissions from some burning candles contain more than twenty volatile organic compounds, lead and a significant amount of carbon.

Burning scented candles inside homes, apartments and commercial buildings can present serious health hazards to those living and working there. It can also mean damage to ventilation systems, furnishing and content. Evidence suggests breathing even one micron of particulate soot can be hazardous. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and American Lung Association (ALA) have determined breathing particulate matter 2.5 microns or smaller is detrimental to human health. These particles are dangerous because they are inhaled deeply into the lungs, causing irritation and respiratory problems. Those at extra risk include people with heart or lung disease, children and the elderly.

Initial Signs of BSD

The first visible indication of candle soot deposits in a structure is often a dingy gray look appearing on light-colored upholstery or fabrics. Plastic items may accumulate a black film, electronic equipment shows discoloration near vents and a thin black residue develops on television and computer screens.

In homes, apartments and commercial buildings with wall-to-wall carpet, connections and door undercuts may begin to show dark spots or discoloration. Deposits can also be found on draperies, vertical blinds and bed ruffles.

Testing proves key in identifying primary source of BSD

To prove damage can result from such candles, testing was conducted in a model home in Florida. The structure was 2,800-square-feet and featured a central air conditioning system. Four candles were burned and the resulting soot deposits were so noticeable after just three days that testing was discontinued. Total candle-burning time was less than sixty hours.

An additional test was conducted in a 144-square-foot room using candles taken from the same model home. During the test, particulate levels rose above 11 million particles per cubic foot within thirty minutes.

The science behind BSD

When candle materials burn inefficiently, it is because combustion is incomplete. The resulting black soot is hydrocarbon-based. Candle soot production normally begins when the particulate matter produced reaches .06 to 0.1 microns in size. Soot adheres to plastic and optical devices because they are statically charged.

For soot deposits to accumulate, a driving force (i.e., gravity, electrostatic attraction or a forced-air unit) must be in place to push the particulate matter against a surface.

Over time, these soot particles unite with each other and with dust particles in the air. When this soot is released into the air of a building, it eventually deposits onto surfaces because of random collisions between particles. This effect is referred to as Brownian Motion (an assumed random movement of suspended particles). When these particles unite and grow in size, they gain enough mass to deposit via gravity.

If a homeowner, resident or business manager contacts you about these mysterious black spots, check the décor of the structure with an eye out for scented candles. They may help the air temporarily smell better but can also render it harmful to the building and its inhabitants.

Steps to help eliminate BSD

Begin by refraining from burning all candles. If possible, air-out the structure by opening windows. Inspect the air conditioner filter and, if necessary, replace it. Consider using a high-efficiency filter, like a charged media filter. For structural and content damage, call on an IICRC certified firm with experience in fire and smoke restoration.

Purchase quality candles (see below) and trim wicks properly (down to a quarter-inch after each burning). Burn candles for no more than an hour at a time and allow for cool-down period before re-lighting. Do not burn candles under a draft, like vents or near fans and heaters.

For more information

A good reference source for candle information is the National Candle Association (www.candles.org), a group promoting safety, quality and industry standards. The website offers useful information, including a list of members that have pledged their professional commitment to quality candles and candle-making.

Jan
25

The Creeping Glacier on Your Roof: Ice Dams and How to Beat Them

January 25th, 2011 by Rainbow International

Mega-Sized Ice Dam

During this frigid time of the year, an unseen culprit may lurk above sleeping families in homes across colder parts of the United States and Canada. Silent, stealthy and patient, this destructive force goes about its work slowly, content to build day after day, week after week, until a home suffers serious damage. Often, the first noted signs that something is wrong indicate significant problems are already in place.

Ice dams occur in colder climates on homes (and other structures) with sloping roofs. It is essentially a small glacier creeping down the roof, as opposed to down the side of a mountain. As outside temperatures drop and snow accumulates on the roof, attics with air temperatures above freezing cause this snow to melt. It then runs down the sloping roof to gutters and eaves. There, away from attic heat, it refreezes. This cycle then repeats, over and over, each time snow falls. Little by little, layer of ice builds upon layer of ice until it tops the gutters. At this point, the meltwater has nowhere to run-off or drain and ponds on the roof itself, slowly working back up under the roof covering. Like a beaver builds a dam to block water, in this scenario, ice builds a dam.

Water, aided by gravity in its search for permeable materials, now invades the attic, soaking timber, insulation and walls. This water will continue to seek out dry materials until the ice dam is fixed and normal drainage can occur.

This process can and often does cause serious water damage to a home. A leaking roof, ineffective insulation, stained walls and rotted structural timber are a few of the outcomes. How can one protect a home against ice dam damage?

  • Ensure attic air temperature is below freezing (this can be done by installing air barriers and more insulation)
  • Locate and seal air leaks (called “attic bypasses”) including areas around plumbing, wiring, chimneys and lighting)
  • Improve attic insulation to help move warm air out and cold air in
  • Do not chip at ice in gutters or on the roof (this can cause damage)
  • Do not use salt or calcium chloride in gutters or on the roof (corrosive and can cause damage)
  • If you suspect your home has suffered water damage, contact your nearest Rainbow International franchise location by visiting www.rainbowintl.com

By keeping a watchful eye and following a few simple steps, homeowners can help guard their dwellings from the dangers and potential financial loss caused by ice dams. As the cold weather stretches on and we look forward hopefully for signs of spring, knowing the space above our heads is secure and protected can go a long way towards beating winter doldrums.

Jan
18

Rainbow International Now Serving Residents and Businesses in Southeast Washington State

January 18th, 2011 by Rainbow International

Helping a home or business recover from water, fire, smoke or mold damage requires the latest technology, tools and training. However, local business owner Dave Mullins knows the human touch is equally important during such a time of need.

Mullins is the owner of Rainbow International of Southeast Washington, a new area business offering water, fire, smoke and mold damage cleanup and restoration. Other services offered include carpet, grout and tile cleaning. Rainbow International serves residents and business owners in the Tri-Cities area including Benton and Franklin counties. Mullins is joined by Travis Mullins (co-owner) and Seth Poulson (Operations Manager).

“I’m excited to bring the Rainbow International way of offering these services to our area,” said Mullins. “We come equipped with the best training and equipment but also realize that on many damage restoration jobs, our customers experience an acute sense of loss and displacement. We are mindful of that as we work to quickly restore their home or business and, ultimately, peace of mind.”

Mullins attended an immersive learning program at Rainbow International corporate headquarters. The program teaches water, fire, smoke and mold damage cleanup restoration science and techniques.

“I believe Rainbow International brings a new best practices standard to our area,” Mullins added. “Utilizing the most advanced equipment, innovative technologies and a built-in accountability system, our professional emergency crews complete every job rapidly to assure an uncompromising commitment to service excellence and customer satisfaction. Ultimately, we don’t just restore homes and businesses; we restore value, stability, and peace of mind.”

“Dave and his local team are a terrific addition to our growing network,” said Rainbow International President David Bethea. “We’re excited to join the Tri-Cities community and look forward to serving its neighborhoods and businesses.”

Call Rainbow International at (509) 375-7777 or visit rainbowintl.com/ tri-cities for more information or to schedule a service appointment.

Jan
11

Rainbow International Now Serving Naples and Southwest Florida

January 11th, 2011 by Rainbow International

Helping a home or business recover from water, fire, smoke or mold damage requires the latest technology, tools and training. However, local business owner Pete Emidy knows the human touch is equally important during such a time of need.

Emidy is the owner of Rainbow International of Southwest Florida. His business offers water, fire, smoke and mold damage cleanup and restoration. Other services offered include carpet, grout and tile cleaning. Locally, Rainbow International serves residents and business owners in Collier and Lee counties. He’s also a veteran of the local business community, owning and operating EECON, a construction firm, since 2007.

“I’m excited to bring the Rainbow International way of offering these services to our area,” said Emidy. “We come equipped with the best training and equipment but also realize that on many damage restoration jobs, our customers experience an acute sense of loss and displacement. We are mindful of that as we work to quickly restore their home or business and, ultimately, peace of mind.”

Emidy attended an immersive learning program at Rainbow International corporate headquarters. The program teaches water, fire, smoke and mold damage cleanup restoration science and techniques.

“I believe Rainbow International brings a new best practices standard to our area,” Emidy added. “Utilizing the most advanced equipment, innovative technologies and a built-in accountability system, our professional emergency crews complete every job rapidly to assure an uncompromising commitment to service excellence and customer satisfaction. Ultimately, we don’t just restore homes and businesses; we restore value, stability, and peace of mind.”

“Pete and his local team are a terrific addition to our growing network,” said Rainbow International President David Bethea. “We’re excited to join the southwest Florida community and look forward to serving its neighborhoods and businesses.”

Call Rainbow International at (239) 676-3430 or visit rainbowintl.com/swfl for more information or to schedule a service appointment.

Dec
28

Rainbow International of Newark (OH) In the News

December 28th, 2010 by Rainbow International

Great excerpt from a news story about a family recovering from a housefire and the excellent work done by Doug and Donna Hamilton (Rainbow International of Newark) to help.

This is a terrific example of living the Rainbow International tagline … We Restore, You Recover.

You can read the full story here:
http://www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com/article/20101220/NEWS01/12190308

“From the minute our house fire was put out by Roseville and Crooksville (fire departments), the Red Cross and our insurance company was there right away,” she said. “So were Rainbow International contractors, who completely demolished the house, with only the basement remaining.”

Rainbow International is a professional water, fire and smoke damage and home restoration service. Based in Newark, it is family owned and operated by Doug and Donna Hamilton.

“They nearly lost everything, but some contents were able to be recovered. We cleaned and restored some things, like pictures,” said Doug Hamilton. “The insurance funds were available, so we redesigned the house to be a ranch-style home, and it’s got extra-large doorways for Baylee to get around.”

Thompson said that even before the fire, the family was debating about installing a chair lift in the two-story home to help with Baylee’s mobility.

“We’ve worked with the Thompsons every step of the way,” Hamilton said. “They’re a wonderful family, and it’s an honor they allowed us to do the work for them. I’m glad to be able to take the home they had and turn it into what they dreamed about.”

“A house fire is a traumatic situation, but we’ve given them confidence and a path to recovery, and it actually turned out for the better,” said Nick Hamilton, Doug and Donna’s son, as well as the company’s business development associate who assisted with the Thompson project.

“I’ve heard horror stories of dealing with insurance companies and the sky falling down, but nothing’s fallen yet,” Thompson said. “And there’s three men with Rainbow who are there almost every day. The company is thoroughly organized and met our every need, and we were able to do this within our budget.”