What is Our Fire Damage Restoration Process?
After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.
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 the SERVPRO National Call Center, which is staffed 24 hours a day. Our representative will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us dispatch the nearest SERVPRO Franchise Professional with the appropriate equipment and resources.
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
Our Professionals will 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, the SERVPRO Franchise Professional 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. They will 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
The SERVPRO Franchise Professionals use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces.
Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing
They will clean all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. They’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.
No Job Is Too Big
The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Our elite large-loss specialists are pre-qualified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster. Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation.
The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether it’s a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, we are prepared for the unpredictable.
SERVPRO was recently asked to go to Houston Texas after Hurricane Harvey hit to help with the thousands of businesses and home that were affected. As soon as we were able to assemble a team and load up the trucks with equipment we were on the road. We did the mitigation on a couple of large religious structures and prepared it for the rebuild with the help of trained technicians and all they specialized equipment.
If you and your commercial building ever find yourself in need, call SERVPRO.
Stop, Drop and Clean the lint out from inside your dryer and vent!
We all know to clean out the lint screen of our dryers, right? Did you know if you aren’t cleaning the lint out of the INSIDE and VENT of your dryer you are putting your family in danger of a house fire? Over time lint will build up and settle in the bottom of your dryer and in your dryer vent. If you don’t clean this out the heat from the dryer can ignite a fire inside your dryer. You know what the boy scouts say, “lint is the great to start a fire”.
Here is an experience from someone who recently had a fire in her dryer and was lucky enough it didn’t start her house on fire.
Counting our blessings today… Last night we smelled something "burning" right as we were going to bed. We thought it was our renters burning food or something in their oven. We had windows open and fans going but didn't really think much of it. Well this afternoon I went to get clothes out of the dryer, they smelled horrible!!! Like a cross between camp fire smoke and cigarette smoke. So I threw them back in the washer and told my husband. When he got home we pulled the bottom portion of the dryer off just to check things out. To our amazement (we haven't had this dryer THAT long - but bought it from someone else) there was burnt/singed lint everywhere. There had been a lint fire inside the bottom of our dryer last night. Our house seriously could have caught on fire. I'm so glad it didn't. Hence - we are counting our blessings today and I am spreading the word to all that you should go clean out under your lint catcher thing so your house doesn't start on fire!
Here are a few tips from www.familyhandyman.com on how to clean the lint out of your dryer.
Snow Covered Roof, Majestic or Dangerous?
Not so beautiful anymore...
Did you know one square foot of compacted snow can weigh close to 50 pounds?!! Think about how much weight is sitting on your roof. Many roofs, especially, older, flat, or structures such as carports, garages, and sheds are not always rated to support this kind of weight. It is important to remove as much of it as you can safely from the ground.
** We advise you review your insurance policy and check with your agent before you have a problem. Basic insurance policies do not cover collapse of a structure due the weight of snow or ice.
Check out this article from Travelers about safely removing snow from your roof before it is too late.
How to Prevent Ice Dams on your home
That's a lot of Dam ice.
An ice dam is a problem of house and building maintenance on sloping roofs in cold climates. Ice dams on roofs form when accumulated snow on a sloping roof melts and flows down the roof, under the insulating blanket of snow, until it reaches below freezing temperature air, typically at the eaves. When the melted water reaches the freezing air, ice accumulates, forming a dam, and snow that melts later cannot drain properly through the dam.] Ice dams may result in leaks through the roofing material, possibly resulting in damaged ceilings, walls, roof structure and insulation, damage or injury when the ice dam falls off or from attempts to remove ice dams.
The melting of roof snow comes from two reasons: Heat from inadequate roof insulation and heat leaks, and inadequate ventilation. This condition is called a warm roof and the heat conducted through the roof melts snow on those areas of the roof that are above heated living spaces, but the snow does not melt on roof overhangs. Also, a small amount of ice damming can occur from the normal freeze- thaw cycle melts snow on warm or sunny days.
The key to preventing ice dams is to keep your attic and roof cold. After a snowfall, a cold roof will have a thick blanket of snow. A warmer roof, however, will soon have clear spots where the snow has melted off, and may well have icicles hanging from the eaves.
To keep your roof cold, follow these three steps:
- Stop warm air from reaching your attic and roof. This typically stems from air leaks through your ceiling into your attic. Most of that comes from air leaks caused by gaps in the drywall, cracks around light fixtures, unblocked walls, plumbing pipes, chimneys, and access hatches. These can be hard to fix but can be done through the attic by plugging leaks with foam and caulk.
- Go into your attic and check the depth of your attic insulation. Building codes require about 12 to 14 in. of fiberglass or cellulose. Add more if you have less than 8 in and have had ice dam problems in the past.
- Attic ventilation draws in cold outdoor air and flushes out warmer attic air, cooling the attic and the roof in the process. If you don’t have enough ventilation in your attic this could be causing ice dams and you might want to look into adding come ventilation vents.
What to Expect When You Call SERVPRO with a Water Loss
The restoration process begins as soon as you pick up the phone to call us. SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your water emergencies whether you have a small water loss like your washer leaked or a large loss where you come home to several inches of water filling your basement. Whenever you are dealing with water in your home it is important action is taken ASAP. The longer the water sits the more damage it causes and the more dangerous it can be.
Water damage in your home can be very stressful and cause a lot of chaos. Feel confident when you call SERVPRO knowing that our technicians have the training specific to water damage and the experience needed to get you through this stressful time. Water Damage is the cornerstone of our business.
What should you expect when you call SERVPRO? When you call we will ask you several questions regarding your water loss. These questions will help us be prepared with the equipment, resources, and number of technicians needed. Be prepared to answer these questions when you call:
- Your name and contact information
- Your insurance information (including agent name) if applicable
- The street address of the damaged home
- When did the flooding/water damage occur?
- What caused the water damaged, (if known)?
- Is there electricity available for our use?
When SERVPRO arrives at your home they will do a detailed inspection including a damage assessment. At this point our technicians are trying to determine the extent of the damage and develop a plan of action. We will check for the source of the moisture and make sure it is stopped before the restoration process and drying can begin. We will then determine the contamination level of the water
- Category 1: “Clean Water”
- Category 2: “Gray Water”
- Category 3: “Black Water”
After this category of the water has been determined SERVPRO can them go forward with our plan of action and begin the cleanup process.
What You Need to Know About Mold
Mold may be in the air, but you definitely do not want it growing in your walls.
The CDC states molds as:
Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.
Microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors, making it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
How can people decrease mold exposure?
Sensitive individuals should avoid areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas. Inside homes, mold growth can be slowed by controlling humidity levels and ventilating showers and cooking areas. If there is mold growth in your home, you should clean up the mold and fix the water problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions for use (see product label).
Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
What is air duct cleaning and why should be have it done?
Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.
If not properly installed, maintained and operated, these components may become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen or other debris. If moisture is present, the potential for microbiological growth (e.g., mold) is increased and spores from such growth may be released into the air of your commercial business. Some of these contaminants may cause allergic reactions or other symptoms in people if they are exposed to them.
Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your business.
If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating one or more of the following:
- Dirt and debris
- Other contaminants
The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:
- Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
- May help to eliminate offensive odors.
- Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.
For more information on air duct cleaning, call us at SERVPRO today, (801) 785-5228
The Importance of Smoke Alarms
Don't Wait, Check Yours Today
Smoke Alarms Save Lives
Let’s get straight to the point Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out.
Here's what you need to know
- A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.
- Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Larger homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working. If the alarm still does not work replace the batteries, and if it still doesn’t work replace it.
- 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 of both types of alarms in the home.
- When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Don’t wait, the life you and your family may be on the line.
- Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years whether they are still working or not.
Facts and figures about smoke alarms
- In 2009-2013, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (53%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
- Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).
- No smoke alarms were present in almost two out of every five (38%) home fire deaths.
- The death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms
- In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
- Dead batteries caused one-quarter (24%) of the smoke alarm failures.
The moral of the story is make sure you have the proper number of smoke alarms in your home and they are all properly working.
For more information on smoke alarms and other fire protection related information visit the website for National Fire Protection Association.
Fix Mold Problems in any Home with Professional Help
It is no fun to find mold within your Home.Visible mold and spores should be removed and reduced to a minimum.
Once any sign of mold is in the home spaces becomes apparent, people should always reach out to a restoration company. After all, unchecked mold growth can ruin a structure. A home can experience:
- substantial dry rot
- mold growth behind walls and other damage.
- the home may need to be vacated for significant repairs
Homeowners must act quickly against mold damage. Mold spores are very opportunistic. They drift into thin cracks and slowly become a huge challenge. Mold behind walls will grow on studs and drywall
For structural integrity, homeowners must not allow mold growth to spread behind walls. Able to grow within cracks can cause dry rot, mold often shows visible signs, but it can also exist in a home without giving obvious evidence of a water damage.
Aside from black mold spots, here are other reasons to suspect that a building has a mold problem:
- Smelly odors
- Discoloration on walls, floors or ceilings
- Water damage
- Damp areas
- Dry rot
Whether people detect just one or many of the above signs, they need to reach out to the mold mitigation professionals. Untrained hands can spread mold.