Recent Fire Damage Posts

Steps to Take After a Fire in Your Home

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician assessing fire damage It is always recommendable that you hire fire damage restoration experts to help you perform a comprehensive and complete damage assessment.

Although it is impossible to arrange for fire devastation in your home, it is recommendable to minimize the damages. Irrespective of the size, avoiding destruction requires you to act fast and prevent further damage due to smoke.

Finding out the scope of damage caused by the fire is usually the first step in fire damage restoration. It also involves securing an entire property before the renovation activities commence.

Are you looking for cost-friendly ways of renovating your building as a result of fire damage? If so, read through this article to help you avoid costly repair bills.

1. Damage Assessment

Generally, the step to take after a fire in your home is assessing the extent of fire damages, including smoke damages. Be sure to inspect the depth of the fire to your home walls, structure, furniture, and fixtures, indicating the damage due to heat.

It is always recommendable that you hire fire damage restoration experts to help you perform a comprehensive and complete damage assessment for your home.

Also, for insurance purposes, make sure that everything is documented and well recorded. Additionally, removing the undamaged furniture from the house will reduce smoke damages, and the sooner this is done, the better.

2. Professionals Only

Before you decide who to hire for your home renovation after fire damage, be sure to take your time and do thorough research. You might also check out your house insurance firm for recommendations.

However, be sure to research the company's history before hiring them. Also, it is essential to note that some companies might show up tricking you into signing them in for the renovation, be sure to ask them for a fire renovation license and work insurance.

3. Securing Your Home Foundation

The primary aim of any renovation work should be to help you avoid any damage from happening in the future. This involves plugging in any weakened structures, and any holes cause by the fire. In addition, your hired renovation experts will help you assess if your roof or floor requires replacement or if repairs are enough.

It is also essential to bear in mind that home renovation due to fire damage should also involve water damage renovation. Therefore, have the experts perform assessment tests intending to prevent your home from moisture or water damage.

Find the best fire restoration professionals who will help you prevent and repair risks of water damage after a fire. Working with you will ensure that your home is safe from vapor and moisture barriers.

4. Dusting and Removal

At times the soot and smoke damage might be a challenge to completely clean as some stains go beyond your home surface. However, sanding, deep scrub, and refurnishing will help you remove all the stains on your home surface.

In addition, fans and special heaters are usually used to dry out moisture contents before cleaning everything. This is a vital step as it helps avoid pockets of mold that can cause health effects.

The renovation process involves removing the smoke odors after the fire, including cleaning all your carpets and all fabrics within your house. However, this might lead to an added cost to your home renovation after the fire.

5. Repairing

Generally, fire usually creates blistering and bubbling of paints on your ceilings and walls. For this reason, fire damage renovators will help remove the stains and repaint your home, giving it a new look.

In addition, for your wood surfaces which are usually damaged by smoke, or soot, applying the sealant to trap or mask the odor might be an option for the unfinished wood. However, for the best outcome and complete restoration, finished wood is the recommended option.

Repairing your home wood surfaces helps you eliminate the trapped odor ensuring none of it stays behind. For best results, let professional cleaners help you through the process of restoring your wood surfaces damaged by fire or affected by smoke.

6. Renovation

Most people use fire tragedy as their starting point to performing the home renovation. However, the cleaning and repair process might take longer to complete. The renovation process after fire damage allows you a chance to get out of the traumatic fire damage experience.

If extensive fire damage restored your home to what originally is close to impossible, starting over might be your only option. Many fire damage services provide renovation services along with repairs as well as restoration.

With professional fire damage renovation contractors, you can be sure of the best renovation services. However, bear in mind that the renovation process might mean throwing away some home items or rebuilding some parts afresh.

Conclusion

Generally, fire damage renovation involves more than dusting and repairs. It might not be easy to make these decisions right away after the fire damage. For this reason, be sure to consult SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando. We offer all the necessary options and tools to give your home its original look and feel.

At SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando, we promise to take care of your entire renovation process beyond your expectations or what most people can't realize at a glance.

Additionally, we also offer you services to help you protect your house from moisture and water damage, along with cleaning your air conditioning, heating, and ventilation (HVAC) system. With our services, you can be sure that we will cover your entire home environment. We help you restore necessary home safety.

Be sure to contact or visit us today and learn why big businesses and homeowners trust us when faced with fire emergencies and other natural disasters.

Cleaning Fire Damaged Electronics

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

electronic motherboard cleaned of soot and smoke damage Smoke can permeate your electronic devices and cause damage even in areas you can't normally see. Seek professional help to avoid further damage.

You may be wondering what you should do with your electronics if a fire has damaged them. You don't need to worry! There are many ways to clean these items and get them working again.

We'll go over the different cleaning methods and how best to avoid damaging your devices in the future.


How to Clean Electronics Damaged in a Fire

There are many ways you can clean your electronics to get them back into working condition. The best method for the device will depend on its make and model, but there are some general things you should do first before any other cleaning occurs.

First, unplug the device and remove any external power sources. Next, open up the case of your device to make sure there isn't anything inside that could cause another fire.

Finally, wipe clean all surfaces with a dry cloth or lint-free wipes (available at most electronics stores). You may also want to use a vacuum cleaner for crevices if possible. Now you're ready to start cleaning!

After this step, we recommend using distilled water with toothpaste squeezed onto a soft cloth-"not gel," as these types contain alcohol, damaging plastics, and metals. Fire-damaged electronics, especially televisions, should be handled by a professional. Always unplug the device before moving it, and never use a vacuum cleaner, steel wool, or detergent.

The best method for the device will depend on its make and model, but there are some general things you should do first before any other cleaning occurs.


Different Cleaning Methods

There are three different ways you can clean your devices: using water alone, wiping it down with a commercial solvent-based cleaner made specifically for electronics, vacuuming out dust and debris from cracks and creases in the case, keyboard keys, ports on the outside of the computer towers, etc.


Cleaning Smoke Damage from Electronics

Smoke damage can be in soot, black film, or a magnetic charge on affected electronics. The way to clean soot from an item is to use a mix of dish soap and water to create suds. You can also use rubbing alcohol if there is an oily residue on the surface that needs more attention.

For black film or magnetic charge, you'll need to rub in as much butter onto the affected area as possible-the longer it sits, the better! The process should take about 15 minutes for the best results. Then wipe with a soft cloth and dry off with another one gently afterward, so any remaining moisture doesn't leave streaks behind.

It's essential to be careful with smoke-damaged electronics because turning them on before they have been cleaned can cause more damage.

Be sure to look for your warranties for your electronics because the damage may be covered, and you may be able to get them replaced for free.


Having Your Electronics Professionally Cleaned

Another good idea for cleaning smoke and fire-damaged electronics is to leave it to the professionals. SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando can assist with fire restoration services. They have the equipment and expertise to remove all types of smoke particles, including those embedded in soft surfaces like foam or carpeting. You can arrange for your fire-damaged electronics to be picked up from your home, or many businesses have a convenient drop-off location.

If you're not sure if it needs professional cleaning, then use this simple test: Put on gloves and wipe off as much surface soot as possible with a dry cloth without wiping away any visible traces of water or other liquids. The cleaner is probably ok-otherwise, get them professionally cleaned! If there's an oily residue left behind after washing, use rubbing alcohol instead.

Fire Insurance Coverage in Florida

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

fire insurance form with pen and money on table Fire insurance allows homeowners to have financial protection after a fire, and it also allows for property recovery if someone loses their life.

How To Get The Best Rates On Fire Insurance Coverage In Florida

One of the most important aspects of owning a home in Florida is having proper and adequate fire insurance coverage. If a fire should occur, the loss of life and property could be devastating. Fire insurance allows homeowners to have financial protection should a fire occur, and it also allows for property recovery if someone loses their life or property in a fire. Several things need to be considered when choosing a homeowners insurance policy in Florida. This list will help you get jumpstarted and figure out what insurance you need.
When buying a Florida homeowner's insurance policy, there are some basic coverage requirements that everyone will need to know about. Depending on where one lives, they may not have all of the coverage requirements that others in the state do. However, they are still important for anyone to understand before signing up for an insurance policy. Here are some coverage requirements in Florida that everyone should keep in mind.

The amount of coverage you will need depends largely on the type of insurance you purchase. In most cases, if you purchase homeowner's insurance, you will have full replacement cost coverage. This means that your insurance company will cover the cost of rebuilding your home from the original building to the current condition.

Most homeowners insurance in Florida will also provide coverage for lost rent due to damage to the home. With this in mind, if your home is destroyed and you can not rent it, your insurance company should cover the cost of renting your home to another individual. Additionally, lost income due to a covered loss might also be covered by your policy. This means that if your home is damaged and you cannot work in it, your insurance policy should also pay for the wages that you would have lost if you were no longer able to work in your home.

Some insurance companies in Florida actually offer more than just property damage coverage. Many companies include rental reimbursement coverage with their insurance policies. If a customer has to stay in a hotel to get replacement value on a piece of property, your insurance company will kick the bill into the foot. In addition, your insurance company might provide a percentage of your lost income as well. Any additional coverage can be added as additional funds from your pocket.

All major insurance carriers in Florida also offer storm damage coverage as well. If you live in an area that receives an off-season climate, you can usually find a good deal of discount prices on this type of insurance. Many insurance companies in Florida are constantly trying to outdo each other when offering discounts, so be sure to shop around for the best price possible.

In many cases, a fire insurance policy is unnecessary in Florida. Florida has a mandatory smoke and fire policy in place, but many people choose to skip it. Fire coverage typically only covers the cost of clearing away burning debris from your business or residence and does not typically cover any losses associated with your property. The cost to replace your personal property after a fire can be astronomical, and a good fire insurance policy will protect you in that regard.

If your business is destroyed by fire and you have coverage from your existing insurance policy, you might be able to recover some or all of your losses from your policy. You should always check with your current insurance company before purchasing a new fire insurance policy to ensure you are still covered. Many companies also offer specific coverage for fire damage in Florida.

Cleaning After A Grease Fire

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

pot with grease on fire on a stove There are five million kitchen fires in the United States every year, according to statistics.

There are five million kitchen fires in the United States every year, according to statistics. The majority of these are grease fires, which spread quickly and can be hard to extinguish.

Because smoke and soot from grease fires can cause considerable damage, cleaning after a grease fire is time-consuming and often challenging. Usually, the job will require the expertise of professionals.

WHAT TO DO IN THE CASE OF A GREASE FIRE

If something you're cooking catches fire, don't panic. Keep calm, and remember the following tips:

NEVER PICK UP A BURNING POT OR PAN

Trying to move a burning pot or pan can cause the fire to spread or even result in personal injury. Be sure any fire is extinguished and the pot or pan cooled before you attempt to move it.

DON'T USE WATER

Never attempt to put out a grease fire with water. Not only will water not extinguish a grease fire, but it will actually cause the fire to spread.

COVER THE PAN WITH A METAL LID

Carefully covering the burning pot or pan will deprive the fire of oxygen, causing it to extinguish.

DOUSE WITH BAKING SODA

If there is no lid handy, dumping baking soda on a grease fire will also do the trick.

USE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER

The surest way to extinguish a grease fire is to use a fire extinguisher. Every household should have an extinguisher at the ready and within reach of the kitchen.



CLEANING AFTER A GREASE FIRE

Cleaning up following a grease fire can be a daunting task. The first thing you'll want to do is to open all the windows and get a few fans running. Be sure to turn off the HVAC system, as it may carry smoke and soot to contaminate other areas of your house.

Use vinegar to clean soot and grease. In addition to being an effective cleanser, vinegar helps remove the smell of smoke.

While cleaning, be sure to check surrounding appliances for smoke, soot, and grease damage. If your microwave is mounted above the stove it will likely need to be replaced following a grease fire.


PREVENTING GREASE FIRES

The following tips can help you significantly lower your odds of experiencing a grease fire while cooking:

DON'T LEAVE THE STOVE UNATTENDED

Because grease fires can spread very quickly and prove difficult to extinguish, the sooner they're caught the better. Never leave a pot or pan on the stove unattended.

USE OIL PROPERLY

When cooking with oil, be sure to use the correct amount. Also, be sure to heat oil to temperature slowly. Never cook frozen food in oil.

KEEP STOVE AREA CLEAR

Store dishtowels, pot-holders, and anything potentially flammable away from your oven and stove burners.

HAVE A LID HANDY

Always keep a metal lid close by when cooking on a burner. Having one handy with which to suffocate a grease fire can be the difference between a small incident and a dangerous and costly event.

WHEN TO CALL IN THE PROS

Because grease fires cause such extensive damage, and because cleanup can be a long, intensive process, it's almost always advisable to call in professionals.

Experienced experts like the folks at SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando know how to clean your fire damage quickly and efficiently. They also know how to locate hidden fire damage, such as soot and smoke contamination inside heating and air-conditioning ducts.

GREASE FIRES AND YOUR HEALTH

Soot and smoke are unhealthy and prolonged exposure can lead to significant health effects. In the event of a grease fire immediately remove children and pets from your home. You'll also want to replace any filters in your home, such as those in your refrigerator and furnace. Finally, discard any food that may have been contaminated.

A grease fire can be a frightening and destructive event. Should you experience a kitchen grease fire in your home, be sure to follow the above tips to lower your risk of injury and help minimize potential damage to your property.

Fire Damage Restoration Process

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

woman looking at the aftermath of a fire in her home There are many hazards that come with the aftermath of a fire. You should wait for an inspector to deem the property safe before you enter.

The Fire Damage Restoration Process

Few events can prove more detrimental to a property or its owners than fire. Fortunately, such occurrences do not necessarily have to spell the end of said structures. However, favorable outcomes in the wake of these events often necessitate the aggressive intervention of a fire restoration company like SERVPRO.

Salvaging a residential or commercial property following a fire requires adherence to strict guidelines such as:

Ensuring The Property Is Secured

Fire-damaged properties often possess several notable safety hazards.

First, these locations could still be precariously warm. The smoldering ashes and soot enveloping various internal components can still be too hot for persons to safely spend extended time periods and might precipitate potentially serious health effects.

Additionally, fire can create unsafe air. Oftentimes, infernos send a host of contaminants and pollutants into the surrounding air. Inhalation of these particles could result in short and long-term health effects.

Furthermore, the fire-destructed property could prove structurally unsafe. Structural instability could result in injury-inducing, potentially fatal events like building collapses.

Therefore, structural engineers and other safety experts must examine the fouled construction and ensure it is safe enough to spend any appreciable amount of time inside.

Performing A Thorough Assessment

Once the structure in question is secure, a team of experienced fire restoration professionals can enter the said property and perform a comprehensive evaluation. These trained subjects will determine the percentage of the structure that sustained fire damage, in addition to the severity of said destruction.

These findings will enable the investigating team to opine what remediation needs to be executed and the most befitting way to complete the said process.  
Minimizing The Overall Damage As Much As Possible

The extent of the fire event often dictates if any personal property or the structure's interior components can be salvaged. However, following minor to moderate events, homeowners might be able to save certain property or heirlooms. Said holdings should be taken out of the damaged construction as soon as possible.

Beginning The Cleaning Process

As soon as the appropriate authorities deem the structure secure, the cleansing stage should commence.

Fire damage often leaves a significant number of large messes to clean, including soot, ash, and an appreciable accumulation of water used to douse said flames.

Many fire restoration specialists will reiterate the potential hazards contained in fire byproducts like soot and ashes. That said, water contamination can be just as if not more harmful to the property left intact, those executing the cleanup efforts, and the residents, employees, or patrons returning to the soon-to-be restored residential or commercial construction.

Small quantities of water are more than enough to cause extensive damage to interior features, such as walls, ceilings, various types of flooring, and furniture upholstery.

Moreover, water can quickly spurn the growth of illness-inducing substances like mildew and mold. These materials are known to precipitate appreciable health effects in sensitive individuals.

Ergo, these materials must be removed as quickly as possible by those holding the experience to complete said task properly. Furthermore, even the most minor fires will leave a trail of smoke, stains, and foul odors behind.

Eradicating these problematic occurrences often necessitates intense and comprehensive cleansing using products and implements specifically designed to tackle such jobs. Additionally, water removal may require specialized fans, dehumidifiers, and heaters. Furthermore, thorough remediation of carpeting and upholstery might be indicated to remove bothersome odors.

Restoration

Restoration is the process's final stage. The extent of this undertaking will depend heavily on the fire's severity and the type of material damaged as a result.

Typically, paint is a common fire casualty. This aesthetic wall covering often develops discernible bubbling and blistering following said events. Such damage must be scraped clean and thoroughly repainted.

Moreover, there is no one universal method for remediating, repairing, or replacing damaged materials like wood. Every building product falls under its own set of therapeutic protocols that must be carefully followed.

Skilled restoration contractors will possess this experience and know the proper remediation techniques to employ.

Contacting SERVPRO

Fires are often devastating events. However, residential and commercial property owners can recover from them. That said, they must act quickly and entrust an experienced restoration company like SERVPRO to handle the delicate but crucial steps needed to complete the restoration process.

Trying to Remove Cigarette Smoke Damage from Your Home

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

Hand turning off a cigarette in an ashtray full of ashes and cigarettes The process for eliminating smoke odor in your house depends on the severity of contamination.

Don’t let the stale odor of cigarette smoke contaminate your indoor air quality. Removing cigarette smoke demands patience – the acidic smoke leaves resins and tars that permeate everything in the vicinity.

The process for eliminating smoke odor in your house depends on the severity of contamination. If someone smoked inside for a decade, restoration may require a more invasive approach, such as throwing items out or even replacing the drywall and carpet. If the room smells like an ashtray, consider throwing out items that don’t have sentimental value – sometimes that overstuffed couch is just too smelly and not worth the time and money you would spend on restoring it.

SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando has a few suggestions to show you how to remove the cigarette smoke smell from your house. You might be able to eliminate the smoke smell with just a few of these tips, or the job may require a combination of several methods (and repetition) to remove the odor entirely. 

Start with Hard Surfaces

Begin by opening all windows and doors to provide ventilation while you clean. Use a spray bottle and a rag to wipe down all hard surfaces with a 50 / 50 solution of white vinegar and hot water. You may also wash the walls and ceiling with a mixture of 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup baking soda, and a gallon of hot water.

Leave no surface untouched: Clean walls, doors, knobs, light fixtures (bulbs too), ceilings, fan blades, and anything the smoke came in contact with. Wipe down all knickknacks, photo frames, and decorations as well. Consider throwing out items such as lampshades and throw pillows that absorb odors well and are easy to replace. To reach high spots, use a ladder or an extension pole with a rag clamp.

Wash Fabrics

Next, focus on fabric, carpet, and upholstery – beginning with what you can’t throw in the washing machine. Sprinkle everything with baking soda, and let it sit for a few days. Once the baking soda has had a chance to absorb the odor, vacuum it all up and repeat as necessary. Then steam clean the carpets. If you don’t have a steam cleaner, you can buy or rent one at your local hardware store. If your steam cleaner has an upholstery attachment, use this to clean drapes or upholstered furniture too.

Wash your laundry-safe fabrics (couch-cushion covers, some drapes, and curtains) in the machine with 1/2 cup vinegar instead of detergent. Follow up with another wash cycle with your preferred detergent. It’s best to let these items air-dry outside to prevent shrinkage. 

Air Circulation & Purification

If weather permits, keep windows and doors open for as long as is practical. Use fans to encourage air circulation – have one fan blowing air from outside on one side of the room, and put another fan across the room to exhaust the air outside. An air purifier with a HEPA filter can help remove odor-causing molecules. If the odor remains after you air out your home, place activated charcoal or bowls of white vinegar (or even apple cider vinegar) around the rooms to absorb odors. Replace the charcoal or vinegar every few days. Be wary of scented “odor removal” products, which may just mask the smell instead of removing it. 

Homeowners should also replace HVAC air filters. Your home’s air filters help remove odor-causing molecules, and they work best if they’re replaced every two to three months. Consult with the furnace or AC unit manufacturer to find a filter that may help with odor removal (e.g., charcoal or HEPA filters). You should also inspect your ducts for any dust or debris that may contain smoke molecules; this may be contaminating the fresh air in your home as it travels down your ducts. If you see buildup, hire a professional to clean your ducts. 

Ozone Generator

If the smoke odor still lingers after you complete all these steps, an ozone generator is your next best option. Ozone is a powerful cleanser and is very effective at eliminating odors. Ozone generators create activated oxygen. By oxidizing the smoke molecules, they can eliminate the smoke smell entirely (if used properly). Homeowners can rent or purchase ozone generators from their local hardware store. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, which usually involve leaving the machine running in a closed room for a specific period of time. 

Call the Experts

Removing the smell of cigarette smoke can be a frustrating process. SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando can assist with placing HEPA-filtered air scrubbers and Ozone equipment. However, we cannot guarantee that the smell of cigarette smoke will be removed from a property. Give us a call today for more information!