Ask The Experts: The Finer Points of Fire Damage Recovery
A household fire can be a terrifying event for you and your family. During the aftermath, images of debris floating in dirty water and soot-covered walls create haunting memories of the catastrophic experience. Because we appreciate that you consider your home as a sanctuary, we take very seriously our opportunity to return you and your loved ones to a clean and comfortable abode quickly and reliably.
Our commitment to transparent and consistent communication during mitigation and remediation of your fire damage scenario underlies the partnership we build with every customer. Our highly-qualified team of project managers and technicians take the time to listen to your concerns and answer your questions throughout the restoration process. Fire damage recovery can seem overwhelming until we break it down, clearly and respectfully explaining what to expect during each phase.
Life turns upside down for our customers after a fire. SERVPRO helps work through the worry and confusion by managing the documentation and other claim paperwork for your insurance company. We keep you in the loop, advocating for your carrier to cover the most stress-free solutions for you and your loved ones during mitigation and remediation. The focus is not only on restoring the damage done to the structure of your residence, but also reversing the harm sustained by furnishings, household goods, and personal possessions during the fire -- the familiar and treasured items that make your house a home.
The success of SERVPRO depends on the trust our customers extend to us. We are humbled by the confidence you show in our workforce and management. Each SERVPRO team member is honored to assist during the disruption and devastation in the wake of a home fire. As you reach out to us for help, we respond by using our training, experience, and equipment to give back. We live and work alongside our customers in the community, finding inspiration in your belief that our crew can make it “Like it never even happened.”
Essential Steps for Fire Damage Cleanup in Your Residence
Putting out a fire usually marks the end of the flames but the beginning of secondary damage like soot staining, rust, and corrosion. After the unfortunate incident, it is essential to act fast by seeking professional help from SERVPRO to prevent further damage. We respond to fire emergencies on a 24-hour, 7-day basis.
Our training and decades of experience help us to handle the fire damage in affected homes properly. Our technicians can use advanced restoration equipment and techniques to restore your property fast and effectively so that you can get back to your routine.
After a fire, there may be debris in your home, which could get in the way of the restoration process. Removing the waste can help our crew to complete the restoration process efficiently and reduce odors. We can also remove all items that are too damaged to restore. Our team can also remove items that do not appear to be destroyed to prevent them from being contaminated further. We can clean such things and prepare them for re-entry once we restore your home.
During a fire, various burning materials produce different chemical residues that can cause health effects to the property’s occupants. The smoke residues can also cause structural damage if not restored on time or professionally. Before cleaning the affected surfaces in your house, our restorers can test them to determine which cleaning method is suitable. During testing, we categorize materials as non-washable or washable. Our SERVPRO team can use water-based cleaning products to clean washable materials and dry cleaning methods to clean non-washable materials.
We use different types of cleaning products to clean carpeting and upholstery. For instance, carpet and upholstery shampoos are blends of solvents, detergents, and cleaning agents for brightening all fabrics. When restorers mix them with water, they have a neutral pH and work well on cotton, wool, nylon, and other artificial fibers.
Clean air is another essential factor in fire damage restoration. The carbon, ash, smoke, and other airborne contaminants can cause health issues to the occupants. We can use High-Efficiency Particulate Air vacuums to clean the air. These devices have a type of filtration that removes 99.97 percent of all the particles that are 0.3 microns or larger from the air.
So give us a call! We are faster to any disasters and are here to help get you back to “Like it never even happened.”
How does smoke damage effect cleaning up after a fire loss?
A fire can destroy your property and cause serious, irreversible damage. The flames move from one item to another, burning everything into ash. The heat created by the flames radiate, causing the surrounding items to crack, melt, and in some cases shatter. After the flames are put out, you have to deal with smoke damage.
If smoke damage is not addressed, it can devastate your home along with everything inside it. Smoke damage can even occur in rooms the fire never reached. For example, during wildfires, businesses and homes have been totally ruined just from the smoke while the building stayed untouched by the flames.
Even a small fire that is put out quickly may still cause smoke damage to the items inside. Also, smoke can impact your home’s structure. That is why cleaning up soot and smoke right away after a fire is so crucial. Smoke acts like an acid and can start to corrode many different materials if left too long.
If fire strikes a structure or home, or if you live near areas that are prone to wildfires, you must act fast to reduce the damage that occurs. Professional smoke damage restoration specialists can quickly assess the damage and create a customized mitigation plan to make sure your home is clear of all fire related damages.
What Can You Salvage?
The answer to this question depends on the extent of the damage and what something is made of. You also need to consider the cost of salvaging some items. You can work with a smoke damage specialist to figure out what items you should clean and which ones you should replace or discard.
How Will Smoke Impact Your Home?
Smoke affects materials in unique ways. Also, the type and temperature of the fire will result in different types of smoke damage through your home. One of the worst ways smoke can cause damage is if it gets into small crevices and cracks, since the particles are so small.
In fact, these issues often go undetected for a long time, leaving that lingering smell of smoke that may last for several months. The best way to remove the smell from your home is by removing or cleaning the affected items and to clean the building materials in the home with agents that are designed to remove the smell. Having this handled as quickly as possible will reduce the potential of cross-contamination.
How Quickly Do You Need to Act?
Time is something that is of the essence when you are talking about smoke damage. The sooner that you act, the more likely you will be to prevent serious damage. For example, there are some materials like porous items and synthetic fires that need intervention within hours of exposure to be saved.
The components of your house or building like painted walls and floors must be addressed quickly. Metal surfaces may corrode and rust when soot and smoke particles sit on them too long. The longer you do not deal with smoke damage, the more extensive the damage is going to get and the cost to mitigate it will keep going up. The best way to know for sure is by calling the professionals at SERVPRO of Howard and Tipton Counties and letting us give you our professional opinion!
SERVPRO Tips: Mitigating the danger of your dryer
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), "between 2010 - 2014, USA fire departments responded to an estimated 15,970 home fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year. These fires resulted in annual losses estimated at 13 deaths, 440 injuries, and $238 million in property damage. Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires; washing machines 4%, and washer/dryer combinations accounted for 5%." One-third of the dryer fires were caused by the simple failure to clean them.
“Fires involving clothes dryers usually started with the ignition of something that was being dried or was a byproduct (such as lint) of drying.”
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers free safety tip and fact sheets along with a Clothes Dryer safety video.
If a fire does strike your home or business, give the professionals of SERVPRO of Howard and Tipton Counties a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."