Recent Fire Damage Posts
7 Step Process for a Fire Damage
Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today – (610) 524-0211
Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.
Step 1: Emergency Contact
The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources.
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
We carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action.
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service
Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs.
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process.
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.
Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing
We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
Step 7: Restoration
Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
Kitchen Fires Can Involve More than Just Smoke Cleanup
Having a fire extinguisher is a must for kitchen safety. A small stove fire can usually be put out with a few quick bursts under the correct situation. A quick response can minimize the smoke damage and limit the damage to the immediate area around the stove. However, the fire extinguisher powder doesn’t limit itself to just the immediate area around the stove. The powder travels, and can get everywhere!
In this case the smoke damage was limited to the kitchen but the powder traveled throughout the apartment. The powder was found embedded in the carpets, on the window treatments, on all horizontal surfaces, and even within the HVAC system. The powder clean-up involves using HEPA vacuums in conjunction with air scrubbers to capture all the powder and not just spread it around. This type of cleaning is done in a methodically way starting from the ceiling and working our way to the floor, even though we usually pre-clean the floor first. After all powder is removed from the home, then the smoke cleaning and restoration process can begin.
If you need emergency clean-up or have any questions on fire damage restoration, call SERVPRO 24/7 at 610-524-0211.
Do’s and Don’ts for Fire and Smoke Damage
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further cross contaminate an otherwise unaffected area.
- Call SERVPRO of Central Chester County.
- Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting our office
- Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture.
- Attempt to clean any electrical appliances, TV sets, computers etc. that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water.
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be damaged or wet.
- Send garments to ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
Fire Restoration Services
Listed below are the various fire restoration services that SERVPRO of Central Chester County has to offer. Each fire damage to a home or commercial property is going to be handled differently and the restoration needs for each job is dependent on the initial damage to the property. SERVPRO offers several services that can be broken down and described in five categories.
The goal of mitigation is to secure the structure and prevent further damage to the property. Mitigation could include boarding up openings to secure the structure, winterizing the plumbing to prevent frozen pipes, and establishing a temporary source of electricity to the structure. Structures that are wet due to fire-fighting procedures will need emergency drying to prevent secondary water damage to the affected area.
Structural Cleaning Services:
The initial cleaning of a fire-damaged structure focuses on the removal of smoke residues from a building’s structural components and deodorizing odors given off by these residues. SERVPRO then advises the property owner on which structural components can be cleaned and which cannot be cleaned. Repair or replacement is needed for components that do not respond to cleaning.
Contents Cleaning Services:
Personal property within a residence, office, or commercial building must be cleaned of smoke residues. In some fire situations, the contents can be cleaned on the job site. Other situations require contents to be packed and moved to a separate location for cleaning and storage. Pack-outs could occur because a building is not secure or is too damaged for on-site cleaning.
Specialty Restoration Services:
Restorers of contents often subcontract specialty cleaning of certain contents: electronics cleaning, dry cleaning of clothing, furniture refinishing, and cleaning of expensive artwork.
In some fire situations, structural components may be damaged to the point they cannot be restored to preloss conditions. The work of reconstructing and repairing fire-damaged structural components may require different skills than those of standard home remodeling. Fire damage restorers typically perform cleaning services while licensed general contractors provide reconstruction services.
Thanksgiving Day Fires
Every year we receive at least one phone call from someone who has had their thanksgiving day ruined by a turkey fire. These types of protein fires have severely strong odors, sticky yellowish soot, and can remain for the entire holiday season if not addressed properly.
SERVPRO has over 200 different cleaning agents with some created just for this type of damage. The use of what cleaning agent may vary with the source of fire. To successfully reverse the effects of a protein fire, all surfaces in the affected area of the home need to be cleaned and deodorized in an effective manner. SERVPRO also utilizes specialty deodorization machines to help neutralize the odor in the affected area. Often, even belongings like clothing or coats in closets may need to be taken to the dry-cleaner to remove the odor fully. Other belongings such as furniture or pillows need to be cleaned alongside the affected rooms need to be sealed and painted to complete the process of deodorization.
SERVPRO Of Central Chester County has technicians on call 24/7 to help get you back in your home as soon as possible.
As bad as your Thanksgiving may be if you suffer from this type of loss, a quick call to SERVPRO of Central Chester County can ensure that the rest of your holiday season does not go down in flames with the turkey!
Who does the cable company call when they have an emergency, SERVPRO!
Ceiling cavity after demo and cleaning during deodorization phase. Eave area mentioned sticks out about 3' left from main support steel beam.
When your cable goes out, you call the cable company; when they have an emergency, they call SERVPRO. That’s what happened this past holiday weekend when they had a fire in one of their properties.
The fire was from an electrical wire in the rain gutter that melts ice when temperatures drop below freezing. The fire burned the gutter area and smoke penetrated the building leaving a foul odor and a mess from the water that was used to put out the fire. The SERVPRO team arrived as the fire trucks left and began the restoration process immediately. All debris that had fallen was cleaned up, the area was secured with containment, and deodorization equipment was set-up. The building owner had a roofing company working on the exterior removing some burned materials and tarping the roof. The following day the SERVPRO team returned to clean the offices in detail and the additional debris that had fallen during the temporary roof repair. That’s when the real problem was identified.
There was an eave area in the ceiling cavity that was inaccessible from the interior. This area contained burned/charred wood and metal studs. This eave area was behind one steel support beam and had to be seen by using a cell phone camera as a periscope while standing on a ladder on top of scaffolding. Once identified, the appropriate parties were notified and a plan was made to remove the materials the only possible way, from the outside. Ladders and scaffolding were set up and the burned materials were surgically removed. After materials were removed the area was secured with a new tarp, insulated, and a plastic barrier was installed. A customer platform for our hydroxyl generator was made to suspend the machine from the ceiling beams. After the deodorization equipment was run for a few more days, the odor was fully removed! Repairs are in progress now.
Not every fire job is the same. It requires experienced technicians that have both knowledge of fire damage restoration and construction to be able to perform the needed work, no matter how difficult it may be. Call SERVPRO of The Main Line if you are in need of fire damage restoration services and deodorization.