Water, Fire, & Mold Restoration Blog

1509, 2015

What To Do When Memories And Dream Go Up In Smoke

By |September 15th, 2015|Fire|0 Comments

fire damage in houseDid you know that within just a few hours after a fire, door handles and other metal fixtures can start to show etching and corrosion from highly acidic ash residue? That’s just one example of how things not directly damaged by a fire can be damaged in the aftermath if the right actions aren’t taken quickly. Why allow your home to suffer permanent damage when there are fire damage specialists available who can go to work quickly and make a real difference in how much the fire costs you and how long it takes to put things right again?

At a professional fire damage restoration company, the knowledgeable and compassionate professionals are licensed technicians with a long background of training and multiple certifications in smoke damage and fire damage restoration. Expect a quick response that includes a healthy dose of empathy and care along with the most advanced and most effective restoration methods.

Sensitivity And Urgency Go Hand In Hand

Once the fire is out and the firefighters have gone, it’s time to call in the restoration specialists. For the greatest possible effectiveness, fire damage restoration needs to started right away — the quicker the better. At Orange Restoration, we answer all calls and move into action no matter the time of the day or night. We understand, however, that there is a great deal of emotional upset and trauma involved for you when you’ve been through a fire at your home, so we worth quickly and with compassion. Quick action helps to mitigate damage and also allows as much property as possible to be salvaged. Many parts of your home and some contents may be restorable.

Using today’s most modern processes and techniques, we can clean many items to prevent you from incurring the cost of replacing them. But these processes require skill and knowledge and can’t be done by amateurs. Trying to do fire damage restoration yourself is often a costly and time-consuming mistake.

Intelligent Assessment Comes With Accurate Explanations

Our intensely trained team of professionals take great effort to determine the complete extent of fire damage. This includes the deep and lasting impact of smoke and heat as well as the several kinds of residues left behind by smoke and fire. And as we’re doing this, we keep you informed of what’s happening, what can be saved and what processes will be used. When you completely understand what’s happening, you’re in the best position to make smart decisions about how to move forward.

Working quickly and with your concerns, comments and answers in mind, we do emergency fire damage repair services to limit further damage and then take methodical action to put everything right.

Complete Repairs With Complete Respect

When we at Orange Restoration handle your fire restoration, we perform complete treatments that include odor and smoke removal, total cleaning, necessary sanitation, deodorization, air duct and vent cleaning and more. But we handle all restoration with complete respect for you as our client and for the property that we know you feel strongly about. We protect undamaged floors and personal belongs and do what’s necessary to make sure we never make things worse while making things better.

With 24-hour service, state-of-the-art techniques and advanced cleaning options that others aren’t using yet, we can dramatically increase the chances of a successful outcome for you that saves as many of your belongings as possible.

Both you and your insurance company will save money when you put your fire damage restoration in the hands of Orange Restoration. We’re here when you need us. So why not give us a call at (619) 376-6838 and see what we can do for you?

1509, 2015

The Causes And Effects Of Water Damage And How To Fix Them

By |September 15th, 2015|Water Damage|0 Comments

water damaged basementWater damage is a situation that anyone who owns property dreads — and many property owners will eventually face. Water can cause hundreds or even thousands of dollars in loss as it damages almost everything it touches, including upholstery, wood furniture, appliances and electronics, water heaters and more.

Water damages also raises the risk of mold, a separate and related problem that can be expensive and difficult to remediate. When water gets into your home or business, it makes sense to immediately contact a water damage restoration company or mold removal company you can trust. Pros can take care of the problems in ways you may have never imagined and help you return to using your property as you intended.

Water Damage Causes

There are a number of things that can cause minor and major water damage. Among them are:
– dishwashers that leak
– toilets that become clogged
– pipes that break
– washing machines that overflow
– roofs that leak
– cracks in the building foundation
– and many other things.

Floods can cause water damage — and so can a buildup of snow that melts, although that isn’t usually the cause of San Diego water damage. Too much water entering a home can cause relatively minor problems like water in the basement, but it can also lead to significant damage to the home and its contents. Once there’s water damage at a home or business, the cleanup needs to start as soon as the damage is discovered for the best possible results. It may be possible to save water-soaked carpets, furniture and clothing in some cases.

Water Damage Categories And Classes

Determining the severity of the water damage to your building is crucial for determining the best method of water damage restoration. Categories of water intrusion include:
– Category 1 damage caused by clean water that poses no treat to people, like water from an overflowing sink or appliance that floods a home
– Category 2 damage comes from so-called grey water, liquid that comes from broken toilets, sump pumps and similar things and may have harmful microorganisms in it
– Category 3 damage comes from so-called black water, unsanitary water sure to have bacteria and organisms that cause illness in it, like a sewage backup or standing water that has become contaminated.

The damage can also be referred to as Class 1 damage where little water is absorbed by the building, Class 2 damage where there is damage but evaporation may mean the impact is limited, Class 3 damage from overhead sources and Class 4 damage that impacts hardwood floods, concrete, plaster and more. Class 4 damage certainly requires professional water damage remediation while the other classes may or may not.

In all cases, professional water damage remediation is possible. And there are various procedures for dealing with every category and class of water damage. Don’t be discouraged or angry if you spot water damage. Instead, take action.

Call Orange Restoration at (619) 376-6838 for water damage restoration you can count on. When you turn to the pros, you have the best chance of saving your stuff and can get back to using your home or business as soon as possible.

1109, 2015

How Technicians Train For Fire Damage And Smoke Damage Restoration

By |September 11th, 2015|Fire|0 Comments

smoke damaged kitchenSmoke damage is just one of several ways that a fire damages a property. Burns and ash damage as well as the water damage from the soaking your residential or commercial property gets from the fire department are also real things that can truly wreak havoc. When you turn to professional smoke damage restorers who are also fire damage and water damage experts, you have the best chance of salvaging contents and structure and getting things back like you want them with as few hassles as possible.

A real hands-on education is necessary for those who want to gain a full understanding of how to make housewares like they were before a fire. This includes getting rid of odors, controlling corrosion and making any necessary repairs. A technician who is trained to do these things also needs insurance and various licenses, plus appropriate safety and health certifications that vary from one area to another. All training must be current in the eyes of the law, and you don’t want anyone working on your project who doesn’t have a good deal of previous experience.

Courses are available to would-be technicians that help them learn the right cleaning techniques for each kind of damage they might encounter. Good technicians are trained to handle carpet, upholstery, a variety of hard surfaces and more.

Technicians also learn that speed is crucial in handling smoke damage. The longer a homeowner or business owner waits to call in technicians, the more irreversible damage there will be. Soot can yellow some plastics in minutes, discolor porous surfaces and cause other quick damage. After a few hours, grout between tiles in the bathroom, for example, as well as furniture finishes will begin to discolor. Clothing and upholstery can permanently discolor in a matter of hours as well. Wood and vinyl may need refinishing after a short time of soot exposure as well. Plus, metals corrode and glasses get pitted. Even worse, soot gets more attached and harder to remove for all surfaces over time.

How much a team of technicians charges for fire damage restoration depends mostly on how much work is to be done. A large fire, of course, adds significantly to the cost for homeowner of business owner. So does waiting to call in experts.

After the initial assessment and cleaning, a complete and accurate estimate is possible. Following the assessment, the first step in any fire damage restoration project is cleaning to determine what’s damaged permanently and what isn’t. In general, complete restoration is usually handled from the top of the structure downward. That’s because hot air carries the most soot to the top of a structure.

Odor removal is also part of a complete fire damage restoration process and something for which technicians must be professionally trained. A counteractant is usually used to remove lingering odors. This is often in the form of a gas or fog that can get into the cracks and nooks in a structure or item and break up the odor particles.

All of these things are much more complicated and involved than an amateur can handle. Professionals have deep and expansive training that allows them to perform these tasks with relative ease after some hands-on training. There’s no way someone could do a thorough fire damage restoration job without this level of training and experience.

For restoration efforts you can trust and depend on, the smart choice in Orange County and beyond is Orange Restoration. When you need us, our highly trained and skilled experts are ready to take action for you. Call (619) 376-6838 today!

809, 2015

Smart Tips For Drying A Water-Damaged Building

By |September 8th, 2015|Water Damage|0 Comments

industrial water damage equipmentWhether from floodwater, rainwater or a plumbing or appliance problem, a building that has been exposed to a lot of water needs immediate steps taken to preserve it and return it to its intended function. As soon as you learn of water damage, take action to dry the building, assess how much damage has been done and get repairs made.

Needs some advice? Here’s some information that may help you deal with the process of water damage remediation.

Remember that while flooding may happen relatively quickly, drying takes a lot of time. Natural ventilation is your best friend for this process. Evaporation is essential, and you can speed the process with fans. Don’t use heat or the AC system in a building for water damage abatement since these systems can worsen the problem and may be contaminated with mold or other organisms. Hot air especially can cause irreparable damage to some kinds of buildings, especially if the building is old or historic.

Before taking other water damage remediation efforts, deal with safety and health concerns. It doesn’t make sense to endanger yourself or others when handling water damage repairs. Turn off power to your building first — even if all power is out in a neighborhood. It could come back on at any minute. Check for leaking gas, and assume that the property may have been contaminated by sewage or animal waste if the water damage is from a natural disaster.

Protect your eyes and mouth, at a minimum, during any cleanup operations. And use disinfectants and gloves. In cases where contamination is obvious, leave the job to professional water damage remediators.

Be sure to take a lot of pictures if it’s safe to do so. Photos taken before the cleanup of the damage begins can document the damage and make recovering from your insurance company easier. Find out if and when their inspector will need to visit as well.

To prevent additional damage, make temporary roof and window repairs at the same time you are starting the drying process. Do a good job with your temporary repairs because they may need to last up to six months or perhaps more. You can use tarps or felt paper on the roof and plywood on the windows. When the roof is severely damaged, use plywood covered in tarps or felt.

Remember that water damage doesn’t just do one kind of damage but harms your structure in three ways. First, it does obvious and direct damage. Second, dirt, grime and contaminants create an unhealthy situation. And third, prolonged dampness can cause mold and other fungus or bacteria to growth, meaning that the health risks from a water damaged home actually increase rather than decrease over time if action isn’t taken.

When you have water damage at your home or business, let Orange Restoration take action to put things rights. Water damage cleanup and sanitation is a serious issue that needs to be handled carefully and by professionals in many cases. And no one can do the job better than Orange Restoration – Call (619) 376-6838 Today.

609, 2015

Fire Damage Relief at Camp Mt. Chai (Jewish Journal Article)

By |September 6th, 2015|Fire, News|0 Comments

fire damage restoration mt chaiIn mid-June, the devastating Lake Fire consumed more than 10,000 acres of land along Route 38. Among the many consequences of this massive fire was the evacuation of Camp Mountain Chai, a Jewish camp that was spared destruction but nonetheless suffered damage. With unsafe air in the area, debris everywhere and a lot of cleaning up to be done, professional fire damage restoration services were essential to getting the camp back in shape for campers.

As you can see in this article, Orange Restoration’s Yaron Leif was happy to volunteer to do the restoration work at this worthy Jewish camp, but it quickly became clear that the camp’s insurance could be relied upon to pay for complete fire damage restoration.

Over the course of more than two and a half weeks, Orange Restoration’s team lived in Camp Mountain Chai’s cabins and cooked in its kitchen. The 30 employees were essentially playing camp when they weren’t using their cranes, forklifts and power washers to restore the facilities to camper-ready conditions. Unique gases were also used to remove odors from all cabins and buildings.

Despite Fire Threat, Camp Mountain Chai Opens On Time

Work progressed in three shifts, as the article mentions, to complete the restoration effort in time. The camp’s director took on the effort of getting the pool ready for use and controlling erosion of the fire-damage land while Orange Restoration did the rest. Thanks to everyone’s efforts, the camp was ready for new campers a couple days early.

Camp Mountain Chai was able to open in second summer session on time, and the director is looking forward to hosting a Women’s Retreat in mid-October. See the article for additional details.

Orange Restoration’s team of fire damage restoration professionals are experts in working in whatever conditions and within whatever timeline the situation dictates — and the goal is always to get things back to normal so clients can get back to doing what they do best.

The Aforementioned Article in The Jewish Journal

jewish journal coverjewish journal article

San Diego Jewish Journal September 2015

509, 2015

Damage From A Fire? There Are Companies That Can Help You

By |September 5th, 2015|Fire|0 Comments

Fire damage in San Diego homeOnce the firefighters are gone, you may think the dangers and hazards are over. Finally, your home is safe again, right? Nothing could be further from the truth. Once the fire’s out and the firemen are gone, you need the help of fire damage professionals to clean up the smoke and water damage or your home will never be back to normal again.

Sure, the ideas behind fire damage restoration are pretty simple, but these pros need a lot of experience — and a lot of elbow grease, actually — to do the work right. These are among the reasons why a homeowner shouldn’t really attempt to do fire restoration yourself.

Once the immediate danger of fire is over, what remains are other important dangers that can further impact your home. Things like smoke and ash can cause corrosion, discoloration and etching if not stopped, cleaned up and counteracted. And that doesn’t even consider the foul odor that can remain for months or even years if something isn’t done.

Fire restoration professionals can clean smoke and fire damage and stop it from being a major and lingering problem for you — but you must contact them right away for their services to be effective. While many companies may claim to be able to restore fire-damaged structures, not all of them have the training, licensing, credentials and insurance to do the job right. Look for fire restoration experts with as much training and education as experience if you want your home restored to its former glory.

When you need these professionals, make sure to bring them in on the job very quickly. Ash residue, in particular, can be terribly damaging if not dealt with right away. Plastic that was near a fire may start to discolor in a matter of minutes. Fiberglass and appliance finishes show discoloration in just a few hours. Metals are likely to quickly tarnish. After several days, walls discolor permanently from ash residue, and upholstery as well as clothing can show damage if not quickly cleaned as well. After some time has passed, vinyl and wood will need to replaced or refinished. And metal will corrode in time also.

When professionals aren’t brought in right away, the costs associated with fire damage restoration quickly rise exponentially. After a few weeks of inaction or work by people who aren’t pros at the job, metals will need to be replaced, carpets will discolor permanently and glass with show signs of irreversible etching. Odors will remain strong and distracting as well. And since ash contains acid, destruction continues at an alarming rate until professionals are brought in to deal with it.

Usually, professionals brought onto the scene of your fire damage will start with identifying which materials are impacted by the fire and water damage and where unpleasant odors may be coming from. It’s necessary to be very thorough to completely rid a home of all evidence of fire damage. When action isn’t taken quickly, ash residue can be disturbed by workers or the usage of the home and can be spread all over a building, meaning that everything in the home will eventually need restoration instead of just the originally damaged area.

Experts how to determine what can be salvaged and what can’t. Items that don’t need to be replaced can be cleaned with special detergents that neutralize acids and odors and can be sealed to prevent any remaining odor from impacting the enjoyment of the home.

Simply put, fire damage restoration is a lot of very precise and detailed work for which certain professionals train a lifetime. Trying to do the work yourself is foolish when pros are inexpensive and more effective than you can ever be.

For fire damage restoration in San Diego, turn to Orange Restoration, your friend in the business. Call (619) 376-6838.

509, 2015

Wildfires Continue, And So Does Fire Damage Restoration

By |September 5th, 2015|News|0 Comments

Wildfires continue to burn in California, still threatening homes and business in a few cases and always making residents within sight of the fires uneasy. While most residents not already impacted by the fire will likely be okay and not have to face the hardships and hassles of fire damage cleanup, the threat is far from over.

But fall-like conditions are settling into much of California, bringing relief for firefighters and at least a chance of rain and then eventually snow to complete the fire suppression process. Just as with fire damage cleanup, fire suppression is a methodical and often-lengthy process that works well when done according to established procedures.

Here’s an update on the California fire situation as of early September 2015:

The Cabin Fire In Golden Trout Wilderness

A wildfire started by lightning in the Golden Trout Wilderness area of Sequoia National Forest is mostly contained in an area located to the east of Maggie Mountain and involves about 7,000 acres. In this case, no homes or businesses are threatened. Still, crews look diligently for hotspots that could burn across established containment lines.

Many wilderness trails were reopen for the Labor Day weekend, but those in the active fire area remain closed. Continued fire suppression efforts are underway when they can be managed in a way that doesn’t cause further damage to the wilderness. Those planning to visit the Golden Trout Wilderness area anytime in the near future are urged to monitor news reports and call ahead before making the journey because the threat has not passed.

Officials remind those visiting that area that campfires are never allowed in the Sequoia National Forest or the Giant Sequoia National Monument. Gas stoves may be allowed with a permit.

The Fork Complex Fire Near Peanut

The Fork Complex Fire near Peanut is showing greatly reduced activity with efforts now focused on an area of the Chanchelulla Wilderness. Minimum-impact fire containment tactics have the fire almost entirely contained and most of the fire has been suppressed. But more than 67 miles of road were damaged, and only a bit more than 40 miles have been repaired.

Smoke is still visible because of unburned fuel pockets burning out, so patrol and mop-up operations continue. All evacuations and road closures have ended, but many areas of forest are still closed. Open roads may remain hazardous, however, so those returning to the area are urged to exercise caution.

The River Complex Fire

The massive River Complex Fire is about half contained and involves more than 71,000 acres. It burns in the Trinity Alps Wilderness in an area near Dailey Ranch, Hoboken and Denny. This is steep and rugged terrain with damage from previous wildfires. Fortunately, there are no structures currently being threatened by the active portion of the fire. The fire will likely continue to burn to some extent until winter snow puts it out or until the fire line reaches an area where safe fire fighting efforts can be effective.

Elsewhere in the same fire complex, repairs are being made to fire suppression lines and erosion prevention efforts are underway. Equipment is being removed from some areas and trash is being flagged for disposal.

The fire is thought to have started from lightning or other natural causes.

The South Complex Fire

Things are also looking up at the South Complex Fire near Hyampom. Fire crews are patrolling the fire and maintaining existing control lines as they work to repair the damage caused by extensive fire suppression efforts. With things now under control, a large amount of equipment and many unused supplies are being removed from the area. Of the more 124 miles of fire line, about 42 miles of it needs repair. About 38 miles are already being repaired or have been completely repaired.

The best news in the area is that fall-like conditions are settling in over the area with temperatures as much as 15 degrees below where they usually are. High temperatures were expected to be in the low 60s at the highest elevations to perhaps the lower 70s near the base camp of operations. Lower temperatures help firefighters work longer shifts and help make conditions less favorable for the spread of the fire in most cases.

We Can Help If You Were Impacted

It appears that this year’s wildfire season is winding down, but many have already been impacted. Others may still be. At Orange Restoration, we can help you if you’ve been impacted by wildfires or have fire damage from lightning, home accidents or any other cause.

The longer you wait to bring in a professional fire damage restoration company, the worse your problems will become. For the best chance at saving remaining possessions and the undamaged portions of your home’s structure, contact us as soon as possible. Acid in soot and the odor from smoke can quickly permeate your home or your business and cause additional damage.

But we’re here for you. At Orange Restoration, we have the people, the equipment and the expertise for your fire damage restoration project, no matter when you choose to call us. Because we have plenty of labor and the right experience to handle every kind of job correctly, we can do a better, quicker and more satisfactory job than you can do alone. Put your fire damage problems in our hands. It’s a smart decision that will serve you well — and help you get things back to normal as efficiently as possible.

For Immediate Assistance Call (619) 376-6838

orange restoration san diego team

109, 2015

Start In The Attic When Drying A Home With Water Damage From A Failed Roof

By |September 1st, 2015|Water Damage|0 Comments

water damage in homeWhere should you start when drying out a home that has been damaged by water from a failed roof? In most cases, the best advice is to work from the top down, and that means starting in the attic. To promote natural drying of the building, get rid of wet and damaged property from the attic. Leave doors and windows open throughout the home to start the drying process too.

After insulation has been wet, it is most often ineffective, so go ahead and remove attic insulation while removing water-damaged property. Insulation will hold moisture and won’t dry out easily, and it needs to be replaced anyway. Failing to get rid of insulation could result in damage to metal, wood and other things that hold your home together.

Some water-soaked items in your attic can be salvaged if dried quickly and using the right processes. But move everything outside or to a safe and dry place to make an assessment. The weight from all those wet boxes can cause cracking of rafters and the plaster ceilings below.

If the electrical system is safe and in working order, go ahead and turn on all fans you have in the building. If you need additional fans, contact professional water damage remediators. High-velocity fans are among the many professional tools for drying water damage.

Once the attic is clean and drying, look over each room to find ceiling damage. Remember that wet plaster and drywall can fall unexpected, so keep your distance and stay safe until you’re sure each room is safe to enter. Poke holes at the edges of bulging ceilings so water can drain somewhat, and collect draining water in buckets whenever possible.

Handmade plaster mixes often respond better to drying than factory-made sheetrock, but that isn’t always the case. And some saturated plaster is too badly damaged to be saved. Wood lath can expand when saturated, and that can also cause the plaster over it to fail. If a ceiling appears to be sagging but not terribly damaged, shoring it up with a T-shaped wedge of plywood can help hold things together until professionals can make a better assessment. Many plaster ceilings can be saved if the damage was caused by clean rainwater — and if action is taken immediately.

Sheetrock exposed to water for less than two hours may be savable. Remove damaged drywall with a cordless cutter to avoid shocks, and be sure to avoid all inside-the-wall electrical wiring.

Be sure to open windows even in rooms where there appears to be no water to lower overall humidity and create a cross-breeze to speed drying. Wash down all surfaces in all rooms, using an antifungal and antibacterial detergent if possible.

If carpet is wet, it will have to go as well. You may need to remove hard flooring like linoleum and vinyl to aid in evaporation.

If the job seems to be big for you, turn to professionals who have experienced crews that can do the work as quickly and easily as possible to handle your water damage remediation. In San Diego, your best choice is Orange Restoration – Call (619) 376-6838.

2808, 2015

An Important Timeline Regarding Smoke And Fire Damage Restoration

By |August 28th, 2015|Fire|0 Comments

Fire and Soot Damaged roofAfter a fire, what remains of your home or office will likely be covered in ash and smoke. For the very best possible results, it’s essential to get off to the right start in your restoration efforts. Here’s some advice to take on the pathway toward complete restoration of your home or business:

  • Think about safety first. That means using gloves, dust masks and other protective gear as necessary.
  • Ventilate the structure. A box fan or other high-powered fan in a window can start drawing air and particulate matter from the fire out.
  • Clean from the top down. That means ceilings and walls should be cleaned before the contents and the floor so that dirt, soot and debris is moved downward and then out.
  • Vacuum before wet cleaning. All floors and upholstery should be vacuumed for debris and ash before any other cleaning action is taken. Be sure the vacuum has a high-efficiency filter.
  • Launder what you can. This includes curtains, clothing and more. Be sure to use an alkaline cleaner designed to be used for such a purpose because of the acid in soot. Some dry cleaners know how to deal with smoke/soot and water damage as well.
  • Power-wash exterior walls. But first, spray with the right detergent, brush and agitate away soot and then wash from the top down.

In many cases, there are so many things that need to be done at once that it makes the most sense to hire a professional smoke damage restoration team to do the work for you. Your insurance company will probably cover all or most of the cost of professional restoration services. And if any part of the home or commercial building’s structure is distorted or warped in any way, you need professional assistance anyway.

Quick action is important because damage escalates the longer it is left untreated. Consider this timeline:

Within a few minutes: The acid in soot can yellow many kinds of plastics, including on small appliances. Porous materials like alabaster and marble will discolor permanently if not restored.

Within only hours: The acid in soot will stain bathroom and kitchen grout, yellow the look of fiberglass, tarnish metal, damage major appliance finishes and discolor furniture finishes permanently.

Within a few days: Painted surfaces succumb to acidic soot and yellow, metals badly corrode, rust and pit, wood requires refinishing and vinyl floors require replacement. Clothing and upholstery that are soot-stained will be too bad to save.

Within a couple of weeks: Things get so much worse. Carpets eventually discolor permanently, silver-plated materials permanently corrode and things like china and glass may be etched by the acid present in soot.
As you can see, it makes sense to take decisive and quick action — the kind of action professional fire damage restoration companies take every day. Soot builds up in layers as a fire progresses and can be like lacquer on a surface by the time the restorers arrive. Do you know how to deal with it yourself?

Most people don’t. For the best results at an affordable price that’s probably covered by insurance, bring in the pros. In San Diego, the best choice is Orange Restoration. We have technicians trained in every aspect of fire damage restoration — including dealing with soot, smoke damage and the water damage commonly caused by firefighting efforts. Contact us right away if this is your hour of need, and we’ll go to work for you.

At Orange Restoration, nothing means more to us than taking quick action to satisfy the needs of clients like you. When something catastrophic happens, restoring the damage is a major step toward getting your life or your business back to normal. Don’t hesitate to call us at (619) 376-6838.

2608, 2015

I Have Water Damage, What’s Next?

By |August 26th, 2015|News|0 Comments