Fire Damage Restoration: What You Should Know
Fire Damage Restoration: What You Should Know
Whether it's a fire in the home or a fire in a business, fire damage can be devastating. The shock of a fire to a family or business owner can feel overwhelming, and most people don't quite know what to do. Fire damage can range in severity. From smoke damage and soot damage to serious structural deterioration, fire in a home or fire in a business is nothing to be taken lightly. Fire damage restoration is an in depth process that should be entrusted to a professional restoration company. A fire cleanup should only be carried out by skilled experts.
After a loss to fire, a professional restoration company should be contacted right away to determine the best course of action. Usually the first thing that will be done is to secure the property by boarding up the damaged structure to keep curious people and animals out. Skilled experts can then begin the assessment of smoke damage, soot damage, fire damage, and water damage associated with such a loss. The severity and types of damage that have occurred will depend on the intensity of the fire and the composition of the structure. Commercial fire damage in a steel building may be limited to smoke damage, soot damage, and water damage to the interior, and require only remodeling and mitigation of the smoke smell. Fire in the home however, can often be more severe, as many homes are built of wood and filled with more flammable building materials like carpets and furniture. A professional restoration company should be the only ones entrusted to assess the extent of fire damage and carry out the fire cleanup and fire damage restoration.
After the initial board up and assessment of damage the restoration company can begin the fire cleanup. This means removing any furniture or appliances damaged by the fire in the home or fire in the business. Many articles will be lost to smoke damage and soot damage, even though they have not been burned. If there was fire in a business damaged products will need to be sorted and evaluated to determine the extent of the commercial fire damage. The smoke odor will in some instances never quite come out furniture or appliances that go through commercial fire damage or residential fires. Each item needs to be evaluated.
When all furniture and appliances have been removed the fire damage restoration process can begin. To mitigate the smoke odor the property will usually be opened up and well ventilated. Damaged drywall, carpeting, ceiling tiles and the like will be removed. Once the house or business has been properly stripped of its damaged interior, structural inspection can take place to determine what repairs are needed. The property may be left in a board up state and ventilated for a few days to diminish the smoke smell. Chemical cleaners may also be used to aid the process. The fire cleanup process must be expected to take days if not weeks depending on severity, as the professionals entrusted will want to do a thorough job. Fire damage restoration is no small matter and needs to be entrusted to these skilled experts. After the property has been sufficiently cleaned the board up may be removed and the process of rebuilding and/or remodeling may begin.
What to Do After a Fire Related Loss:
-Board up the property to ensure it's inaccessible to people or animals;
-Contact your insurance company, if applicable;
-Call a professional restoration company immediately and set up a consultation;
Residential and commercial fire damage can be devastating emotionally, mentally, and financially. But home and business owners alike need to remember that they are not alone, and that there are highly skilled and trained experts ready to help them. The sooner these professionals are contacted, the sooner family life and business can get back on track. If you or someone you know has experienced a residential or commercial fire related loss contact a professional restoration company today.
What to do AFTER the storm has passed
What Storm Damage Professionals Do After a Storm
The United States experienced the effects of hurricane damage three times in a row in 2017 after Harvey, Irene and Jose swept across the country. While hurricane damage is something that can occur on both commercial properties and private homes, it's not the only type of damage that storm restoration professionals deal with on a regular basis. Storm restoration professionals can also help with any type of flooding like river flooding, a roof leak, wind damage, an ice dam and ice damage that requires a roof repair. Ice damming can also cause other forms of roof damage and lead to problems with ground water and frozen pipes, but home restoration professionals can help with all types of storm remediation.
One of the main things that storm damage companies can and do after a storm is a full property inspection. They do not just look at the problem that the owner called about because they know that other problems can exist. Hail damage may cause a roof leak or tear the shingles off, which will require a roof repair. Any flood water in the building can freeze and cause frozen pipes to form. A full inspection will also check for wind damage, roof damage, ice damage, hurricane damage and any type of hail damage.
An easy way to remove flood water or ground water on the floor and in other areas of the building is the use of a flood pump. Those who live near the coast or a body of water often have a permanent flood pump set up in their basements or near their foundations. With river flooding or any other type of flooding, the flood pump will carefully extract that water from the property. These pumps can also work in other types of storm remediation. A water restoration or home restoration expert might use a flood pump to remove water that caused ice damming on the sides of a building as soon as that ice dam melts.
Extracting the water left behind by ice damming or flooding is just one step in the drying of the home or business. Once the excess water caused by river flooding or another type of storm damage is gone, they can use fans and other procedures to completely dry any remaining flood water or ground water. That flood water might enter the home because of a roof repair that went unnoticed, a roof leak no one spotted, wind damage that broke a window, hail damage to the roof or because of an ice dam. Ice damage relating to frozen pipes can cause flooding too. Home restoration experts can dry any water caused by roof damage as part of the process of storm remediation.
Those calling for storm restoration help or because they need help with water restoration after river flooding will find that storm damage professionals can help them navigate through the often tricky world of filing an insurance claim too. Insurance companies may refuse to accept a claim because of a roof leak that already existed, a previous roof repair or because the owner did not take steps to prevent wind damage or roof damage like ice damming. With the help of a good company, commercial property owners and those who own their own homes or rental properties can file an insurance claim and get the necessary storm remediation.
Some of the common ice damage issues that can arise in winter include an ice dam forming and hanging off the side of a gutter and frozen pipes that break open and spill ground water all over the floors. Other seasons can bring both hurricane damage and hail damage. Storm restoration companies have experience in all types of restoration work and can help clients with any type of water restoration or home restoration work.
Quickly and Efficiently Handling Mold Damage
Handling Mold Damage Quickly and Efficiently
Flood waters, leaks, and inadequate seals around doors and windows all allow mold damage to become a real possibility. Mold in the home and commercial mold damage don’t discriminate, and mold growth doesn’t occur only after large quantities of water get into a building and sit for a while. Mold growth occurs quickly when humidity levels in a building are above 40 percent and any moisture is present. Mold damage spreads rapidly, and it can cause mold in the home or commercial mold damage to go from bad to extreme in fewer than three days.
What to Do When Commercial Mold Damage or Mold in the Home is Present
Mold removal must be handled by a restoration company that does mitigation and remediation. A restoration company has the right equipment and tools to handle mold removal as well as the side effects of mold growth. These tools get rid of the smelly odor using professional grade Deodorization, and mitigation and remediation help business and homeowners learn how to prevent future mold growth.
Mitigation and remediation are required, and it’s imperative people don’t try mold removal on their own. For one, removing mold without the right equipment can send spores spiraling into the air and into the HVAC system where it can spread rapidly. It’s important to remove flood waters out of a home or office to minimize the risk of mold growth, fungus, mildew, and even dry rot. It also helps with the smelly odor of water damage, and it can be a natural form of deodorization.
It’s also helpful to shut off the HVAC to prevent further spread of this fungus into additional rooms. No one should touch mold. Black mold might be present, and it requires professional help to determine if it is.
Do Not Use DIY Methods of Mold Removal for Commercial Mold Damage or Mold in the Home
DIY methods to remove mold are dangerous, and this fungus will fight back. It spreads rapidly, and DIY attempts send spores into the air. It’s best to avoid DIY methods and focus on recognizing mold in the home. One of the most common signs of a potential mold issue is the presence of mildew. Like mold, mildew loves damp areas with warm, moist air. If mildew is growing, mold might also be growing.
Mold is fungus, and it can grow anywhere. This is important information since many people forget mold growth behind walls is common. If a leak occurs or flood waters aren’t properly dried, mold growth behind walls becomes a huge issue. Dry rot is one indication there is moisture in the walls. Dry rot isn’t a fungus, but it’s caused by excess moisture and often means there might be mold growth behind the walls.
In addition to dry rot, another common sign of mold growth behind walls is a smelly odor. It’s musty and a little damp, and deodorization efforts only cover up the smell for a short time. Calling for a professional restoration company to handle mitigation and remediation means having professional deodorization methods used to remove the smelly odor completely. This is one of the biggest benefits of using a professional restoration company since many people are sensitive to smells.
Black mold isn’t always easy to see, and some mold is black mold but not the toxic kind. Mitigation and remediation help home and business owners get the mold damage mess cleaned up, find the source of the mold, and even prevent future mold issues from becoming a problem. It’s not something people do when they can’t get rid of mold on their own. It’s something people do when they want to save money and have mold damage handled correctly from day one. There is no time to waste when mold is a problem.
Handling Hidden Bathroom Leaks
A hidden water leak in your bathroom, if left untreated, can cost you, especially if it leads to serious damage to walls, flooring, and paint. There are subtle signs you can look for in your home to figure out if you need a plumber to fix those leaking fixtures and pipes before things get worse. When you have a massive leak, you need a certified remediation company to help you clean up the damage, such as SERVPRO.
One sign of a hidden leak and the need for professional water removal is a wall which has blistering wallpaper or paint. Most of the time, steam from hot showers in your home should not cause this to happen. When water and moisture get between the paint and the wall, they stop the bond and start to separate the two, making the paint rise from the wall and fall off in bits. It is the same case with wallpaper.
A wall which is warped or stained for no apparent reason is a clear sign of a plumbing leak. Drywall becomes soft and starts to bubble when it is exposed to moisture, eventually warping and breaking up into pieces. If the leak reaches your ceiling, it will sag and could leak some of the accumulated water, causing more damage to your bathroom.
At SERVPRO, our technicians have tools like moisture meters to find any hidden moisture and leaks in your bathroom and to remove any accumulation of water from those leaks. We first figure out what is causing the leak, fix the problem, and eliminate the water with industrial pumps, fans, and dehumidifiers. Quickly drying your bathroom is important to avoid the growth of mold. Once your bathroom is dry again, repairs are made, including replacing any damaged drywall, and the affected area is sanitized.
Sometimes your flooring can be damaged as well if the leak was bad enough, causing cracking, staining or buckling. Moisture can make your floor feel soft or spongy depending upon the material it is made of. In these cases, you often find a damp subfloor as well. If the problem is found quick enough, we can dry it out and salvage it without having to replace it, but we may need to put new subflooring in as well where the water damaged it.
Don’t hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley when you believe you have a hidden leak in your bathroom. We are available to help you at any time if you need us, please call (478) 956-1214.
Steps to handling flood damage
Commercial and Residential Flood Damage
Water Damage is often a far more serious situation than many property owners would at first realize. Flood damage is often insidious, starting off as a seemingly containable amount of water spilled from a supply line break or pipe break. But this water, even just a few gallons, can quickly begin leading to lasting flood damage. If larger amounts of water in a home or water in a business are allowed to stand for more than about one week, permanent and serious water damage is all but guaranteed to occur. In the worst cases, this can lead to the total loss of the property.
Although it is the most spectacular flood damage events that usually make the news, such as those seen recently with major weather disasters in the United States, the truth is that the large majority of property loss due to water damage occurs as a result of far more quotidian evens, like a supply line break or pipe break. The good news is that these types of flood damage events are almost always able to undergo complete restoration and water damage mitigation. The bad news is that, all too often, home and business owners do not take the proper steps in time to save their flooded homes or flooded businesses from permanent damage.
The single most important thing to remember whenever you find flood water in your home or water in your business is that only trained professionals with the right equipment for the job can maximize the chance of a successful restoration and mitigation of the flooded home or business. Your local restoration company will have both the highly trained personnel and sophisticated, powerful equipment to ensure that your flooded home or business is able to be completely restored to its prior state.
In this article, we look at the mitigation and restoration process and what a property owner can expect when they call in the local restoration company to carry out the water cleanup process. With timely action, nearly every flooded home or business will be able to be fully restored to its original condition.
The call is made and the water cleanup team arrives
The first step whenever a property owner notices flood water in their business or water in their home is to make the call to the local professional restoration company. Once the call is received, a water cleanup team will be dispatched to the property, usually arriving within a half hour.
Once the restoration company team has arrived on site, they will immediately go to the source of the original supply line break or pipe break, making sure that no active leaks are still spewing water. They will also carefully inspect the area around the original pipe break or supply line break, noting the extent to which water has seeped into out-of-site places.
The team will note the amount of standing water in the home or water in the business to determine if large scale water removal with heavy-duty equipment is necessary. If it is, they will already have all the required equipment on hand.
The next step in the water cleanup process is the large-scale removal of standing water. Once all standing water has been removed, through the use of heavy-duty vacuum equipment, then the mitigation and restoration process can proceed apace.
The thorough drying of the property
The next step is to carry out a thorough drying of the property. Industrial drying equipment and dehumidifiers will be deployed within the flooded property. The special equipment is capable of heating surfaces to near their flashpoint, thus dramatically speeding up the drying process. This is a step that can only be carried out by professionals. Attempting to dry a flooded home on one's own can be extremely dangerous and will nearly always prove insufficient to adequately dry the premises.
Leaving home for a while? Here's some tips to avoid coming home to water damage
5 Steps To Avoid Coming Home to a Water Damage Catastrophe
Home water damage is the second most-commonly filed homeowners’ insurance claim, most of them non-weather related. Plumbing mishaps top the charts for water damage in the home.
Those most common mishaps are:
- Busted pipes
- Toilet overflows
- Water heater leaks
- Dishwasher leaks
- Ice maker malfunctions
- Sink overflows
- Busted washing machine hoses
- Shower and tub leaks and overflows
In most cases, time is of the essence when dealing with water damage. Whether it’s a small leak or a flooded room, the damage can be devastating. Follow these steps to help eliminate the chances of water damage while you’re gone:
- Inspect your home for leaks before you leave. Check out the pipes under all sinks as well as hoses to your washing machine and ice maker. Also, examine your water heater, does it have any cracks or rust? If so, take the steps to repair or replace it to avoid coming home to a water-logged home.
- If traveling for any length of time, turn off the main water supply to your home and turn on your faucets to drain your pipes. Also, be sure to flush your toilets after you shut off your water. This will prevent busted pipes due to freezing, and stop the flow of water into your home. Leave the cabinet doors under sinks open while you are gone to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
- Insulate exposed pipes to keep them from freezing in the winter. You can find foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves that fit right over the pipes at any local hardware store. Protect outdoor faucets by removing any hoses and covering them with foam bib protectors.
- Install floor pans under your major appliances. Although they can’t fully protect you from a major leak, they can prevent damage due to small, undetected leaks.
- If you plan to be gone for an extended period of time, or if you travel often, consider purchasing a water flow monitoring system. A water flow monitoring system is attached to your water main and protects your entire house. The system works by measuring water flow into your house. If it detects continuous water flow beyond the normal stopping and starting of your everyday appliances, it stops the flow of water into your house automatically.
We here at SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley know that not every water damage can be prevented, so we’re here to help! If you have water damage in your home, please call us immediately at 478-956-1214 to minimize the damage to your home and belongings. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”
Steps to handling a flooding event
How to Properly Handle a Flooding Event
Water damage is among the most serious and insidious forms of damage that can befall a piece of real estate. Flood damage often begins with a seemingly innocuous chain of events. Perhaps a supply line breaks or a pipe breaks, or maybe a bathtub overflows, releasing gallons of water onto the floor. While these events may be easily overlooked, causing the homeowner to simply mop up the excess water and go back to business as usual, even seemingly small amounts of flooding can quickly lead to permanent flood damage to the structure, its surfaces and furniture inside. What's worse, many property owners will attempt to carry out restoration and mitigation efforts on even large flood damage events. This is folly and almost always leads to permanent and severe damage occurring to the structure.
Luckily, there is a sure-fire way to ensure successful mitigation of water damage and restoration of the flooded home or business. Almost every town in America has a professional restoration company. These companies have highly trained employees with thousands of hours of experience in handling the restoration and mitigation of flood damage. They also have powerful, specialized equipment that is specifically designed for the restoration and mitigation of water damage.
The good news is that a professional restoration company can almost always successfully restore a flooded home or business to its prior state. But they must first be called. It is, therefore, imperative that any time a property owner notices flood water in their business or water in their home that they immediately call in their local professional restoration company to begin the water cleanup effort as soon as possible. In cases of water damage, time is always the main factor.
The water cleanup protocol
Over the last few decades, an established protocol for dealing with flooded homes and business has emerged among professionals that your local restoration company will almost certainly follow, at least in the broadest sense.
As is always the case, the most important step in the water cleanup process is for the property owner, whenever they have noted flood water in their home or water in their business, to immediately cal a professional water cleanup team. Once the call is received, the team will be dispatched to the property. They will usually arrive within 30 minutes.
Once on scene, the team will begin assessing the extent of the water in the business or water in the home. They will also quickly move to fix any active leaks at the site of the original pipe break or supply line break. The area surrounding the pipe break or supply line break will be carefully inspected to see if any significant water seepage has occurred.
The removal of standing water in the flooded property begins
The next step will be for the team to remove any standing water in the home or water in the business. The flooded home or business will be set upon by heavy-duty vacuum equipment that is capable of removing up to 2,000 gallons of water every hour. Once this step is complete, the team will begin drying the property.
Drying and dehumidifying the home or business
Using ultra-powerful drying equipment, the team will begin drying and dehumidifying the property. Special care will be taken to dry the area around the original supply line break or pipe break. Industrial dehumidifying equipment will be set up, reducing the ambient humidity to nearly zero percent. This will allow for quick drying of the premises. The drying phase will typically last between a few hours and a full day.
The final cleansing of the home or business
The last step is the cleansing of all furniture, fixtures and surfaces within the property. This is carried out through the use of chemicals and special scrubbing implements. It prevents the formation of mold and the spreading of foul odors throughout the property.
Things to consider when choosing a fire damage restoration company
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fire Damage Restoration Company
Fire damage is one of the most devastating calamities that can befall individuals and construction. Fire damage is capable of bringing to ash anything from vegetation to large buildings. After a fire strikes a premise, it is vital to proceed with caution. When it comes to commercial fire damage restoration, you should not attempt to do it on your own, seek a certified firefighter or repair company to do the work, do not endeavor to do any cleaning or renovation after commercial fire damage. If you proceed without consulting the experts, you may injure yourself and even make the utility room fire situation worse.
In the event of an electrical fire or a utility room fire, you should alert your insurance company and take as many photos of the destruction as you can to show to them. Your next move should be to get in touch with a commercial fire damage restoration company to begin the fire restoration process.
The process of electrical fire restoration includes:
- Assessment of the destroyed property
• Removal and disposal of unwanted clutter
• Fixing Board ups and roof tarps
• Drying of water from fire trucks, fire sprinkler systems and fire hoses
• Removal of soot and smoke
• Utility room fire restoration
The fire damage restoration process needs to be carried out by certified and trained specialists who are equipped with tools such as fire sprinkler systems, fire hoses, fire trucks, and able to handle issues such as electrical fires, smoke damage, soot damage and other aspects of fire suppression.
How to choose a good fire restoration company
There are various points to consider before choosing the best firefighter and fire suppression company to employ. Below are certain criteria to look at as you weigh your decision:
For you to decide on a restoration company, you must ensure that their firefighters and are authorized by the government to undertake reconstruction jobs. Make sure the equipment they use such as fire sprinkler systems, fire hoses and fire trucks are in the proper working order. You can do this by searching the company on the licensed business data base or by looking for the company on the web.
2. Personal Referrals
It is recommended to use a fire restoration organization that has already been tried and tested. Seek out people who have been affected by fire damage, soot damage or smoke damage, and get from them references and reviews on the firefighters, or electrical fire restoration company they used.
3. Cost effectiveness
Employ a repair company that will go easy on your pocket. Find out whether your insurance provides for fire damage, smoke damage and soot damage restoration, and plan a budget appropriately. You should avoid spending a lot of money for commercial fire damage restoration services you can receive at lower prices.
4. Type of smoke damage, soot damage or fire damage
It is fundamental to know what sort of electrical fire damage you have undergone. The repair company may be able to restore some of the damage caused, but if your electronics have been affected, you may need to contact another company or get one that can renovate all forms of destruction.
5. Availability and accessibility
The company you select should be available at all hours of the day and accessible. Disaster can strike at any time, and you need to choose a company which can get to your rescue as soon as an electrical fire erupts and is reliable to deliver an excellent service.
6. Technical Knowledge
Restoration requires the use of sophisticated industrial tools and equipment such as fire sprinkler systems, fire hoses and fire trucks to get the job done. You should find fire suppression experts who can handle these machines and who have them in plenty to avoid shortage if calamity strikes in many places at once.
7. Services offered.
You should research on the fire suppression and restoration company of your liking and make sure that they cover a broad range of utility room fire restorations. It would be disappointing if, after employing the company, you find that they can’t handle the sort of destruction the fire has caused.
Smoke Alarm 101
Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan.
There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use both types of alarms in the home.
Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area and make sure everyone in the home knows what to do if the alarm sounds.
Install alarms on every level of the home. Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms, when one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from the stove.
People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms equipped with strobe lights and bed shakers.
Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years, and test the batteries once a month.
SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley knows the ins and outs of fire safety, but sometimes even the most safety-conscience can face tragedy. If you've had a fire damage in your home, large or small, call our office at 478-956-1214.
We offer 24-hour service for emergency restoration and mitigation services. We can make it "Like it never even happened."
Different aspects of fire damage
Fire damage is caused by the actually fire. This can include damage to the structure of the property. Often materials are melted and can ignite other materials with this type of damage.
Fire damage can also cause different toxins to react causing explosions or they can act as accelerant spreading the flames and causing additional damage.
Water damage is always present with fire damage because the flames have to be extinguished. Often the damage caused by the sprinklers in a building is much more significant than the initial fire damage.
Soot from a fire can be found in every room of a house that has been badly burned, even those rooms that were not burnt. Often homeowner's belongings, furniture, clothes in drawers, important documents, paintings, and more are completely covered in charcoal black soot. Some items are not salvageable and the items that are have to be properly cleaned or the soot can permanently destroy them.
After experiencing a house fire the water damage has to be professionally handled, because when it is not properly dried mold can grow. Mold is a toxin that can cause numerous potential health problems for those living in the property. It is important to make sure the water damage is taken care of by professionals like those at SERVPRO of Thomaston, Forsyth & Fort Valley.