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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Fire Damage Blog Posts

How Our Experts Can Save Your Fire Damaged Closter Home

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

house destroyed by a fire and covered in smoke We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.

What You Can Expect During Fire Damage Cleanup in Your Closter Home

Fire damage is one of those home disasters that tend to look worse before it gets better. Numerous actions are necessary during the cleanup and readying for repairs and reconstruction.

One of the most common steps taken in Closter homes during fire damage restoration comes in the form of controlled demolition. This is a method that SERVPRO technicians receive a large amount of training in during the certification process. The cutting away of charred sheetrock or building materials that buckled from either fire or water damage is a necessary step in reducing odor, limiting the spread of soot, and prepping the property for reconstruction.

How Much is Too Much Fire Damage for Restoration?
There is no one-size-fits-all rule for fire loss cleanup. SERVPRO technicians examine each item and area of the home for restoration potential through various cleaning methods and techniques. Nonporous items generally fare better than things that can take in smoke odors and soot.

Stay Out of the Fire Loss Area
One of the first actions technicians practice involves establishing containment or a negative air barrier space around the area in the home with fire damage. This limits the accidental spread of soot to currently unaffected areas of the house.

Let the Technicians Know What is Important
SERVPRO knows that some things in the home are invaluable to homeowners, and when someone tells them to save their favorite 75-gallon aquarium or wedding photo album is priceless, the technicians work to find those items and ascertain the restoration potential. Through their various cleaning solutions, often complicated restorations are possible.

Taking the Stress Out of Rebuilding
After fire damage cleanup, the property receives treatments against odor and mold to ensure it is ready for reconstruction. Because SERVPRO has a general contractor license #13VH001305854800, they can lessen the anxiety for property owners from having to find, vet and hire builders to perform the needed repairs and construction to restore the structure entirely.

SERVPRO of Northeast Bergen County stands ready to handle fire damage cleanup of any size for local property owners. The technicians are available 24/7 at (201) 244-0100 and arrive on-site quickly because We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.

For more about Closter click here.

A Quick Guide to Restoring Fire Damage in your Dumont home

8/8/2019 (Permalink)

Our technicians will take every leap and bound when it comes to your fire damage in Dumont.

We want to always help our Dumont community, especially with fire damage.

A home that has become damaged by fire is a stressful obstacle for a homeowner to overcome. Smoke and soot residues can become attached to walls, ceilings, surfaces, appliances, and ventilation spots while some soot can be harmful if ingested. That said, provided you have the correct safety equipment, some soot can be cleaned away yourself although you do need to bring in a qualified restoration professional to restore certain areas, remove unpleasant odors and ensure that soot is not spread around.

If you want to tackle fire damage in your Dumont home, the first thing you need to do is contact a Fire Marshall. A quick inspection is required to make sure your home is safe to enter after minor to moderate fires. Carcinogens and monoxides, as well as certain soot, can be harmful if inhaled so you should make sure you open all doors and windows as well as wearing a mouth mask to prevent tiny particles from being ingested. Additionally, you should lay down a tarp or floor covering in the affected area to prevent loose soiling dropping onto the floor. 

Begin by vacuuming dry soot from walls and ceilings. Vacuuming should remove any loose debris without spreading damage. If soot deposits are oily, you should leave them to a restoration professional. A chemical sponge can be applied directly onto dry soot to remove them. However, you should test on a small area to make sure there are no adverse effects on paintwork or finish. Contact SERVPRO to arrange a visit from a certified restoration provider for areas that require professional attention.

Generally speaking, shutting off electrical supply to the affected area, opening windows, performing light cleaning tasks with a vacuum and sponge as well as checking appliances can be carried out by a homeowner. SERVPRO professionals can take care of walls and clothing, which may require a pre-test of materials to determine a cleaning method that does not cause further damage. Avoid wiping any powder residues that may have been used to control a fire as these can have a chemical composition which could erode finishes, flooring or appliances. 

Enlisting a professional restoration provider can help by providing expert knowledge and equipment that gets your home back to its preloss condition. Contact SERVPRO of Northeast Bergen County at (201) 244-0100.

If you would like to know more about Dumont, click here.

Furnace Puffbacks Can Be Cause Significant Damage To Your Cresskill Home

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

Give us a call anytime at (201) 244-0100.

Cleaning Furnace Puffback Symptoms Throughout Cresskill Homes

When oil gets left in an ignition chamber of a furnace but does not get burned, puffbacks can occur that spread their effects quickly through your Cresskill property. You can often find soot damage to indicate a persistent problem with the furnace system by checking in the room where you keep the furnace for black stains on the walls and ceilings. If you do not frequent this area, you can also find what looks like black sooty spiderwebs in cooler corners of closets and your living areas.

Soot can be challenging for fire damage professionals to overcome in Cresskill residences. Many owners mistakenly think that they can handle this condition on their own, but in many situations, can smear the soot and cause staining. Once a material, surface, or item becomes stained, it can be nearly impossible to restore. Our SERVPRO professionals know what cleaning agents, tools, and approaches are best for each type of affected material.

When our team first arrives at your fire-damaged home, we assess how widespread the puffback damage is throughout the property. This inspection often involves a thorough look at the entire ductile network and furnace unit, which our professionals have the advanced equipment to clean. The SERVPRO cleaning technicians have a borescope camera to put eyes on the full heating system that could all have variances of soot damage after ongoing furnace concerns.

We have high powered HEPA vacuums that can remove the largest portion of soot sediment and buildup. We can also utilize chemical sponges that can be beneficial in removing nearly fifty square feet of damaged wall space with a single pad. We also have industrial-grade, OSHA-approved cleaners that can remove lingering particulates attached to surfaces and contents.

Furnace puffbacks can be a dangerous situation that homeowners should address as quickly as possible by servicing their heating unit. While we cannot repair this compromised appliance, our SERVPRO of Northeast Bergen County professionals can help to make the soot damage throughout the property “Like it never even happened.”  Give us a call anytime at (201) 244-0100.

For more about Cresskill click here.

Our Team is Ready To Inspect Your Bergenfield Home After A Fire

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

We are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Call us right away so we can get started and save your home from further damage.

SERVPRO - Restoring Fire Damaged Homes In Bergenfield

With some of the best schools and roads in the area, Bergenfield earned its recent selection as the #2 place to raise kids in New Jersey. Accidents and disasters still happen around here though, so when residents need to clean and restore their homes, they call SERVPRO to get the job done right.

Eliminating the effects of fire damage to Bergenfield homes means starting with a thorough inspection. Our response team leaders enter the home after the Fire Marshall gives the OK, and then examine everything from the carpet to the roof.

The next step is demolition and removal. Our specialists break down and dispose of everything that was physically damaged by the heat and flames. They do this for two reasons. First, it allows team members to get into the support structure and determine if further demolition and replacement is needed.

Second, removing the damaged property takes out the source of many of the odors left behind after a fire. That allows our technicians to find the source of the remaining odors, usually trapped in support structures, and eliminate the odor-causing particles.

Next, SERVPRO technicians begin restoring the home. If there is only minor surface damage to the wall framing and overhead supports, they sand down the surfaces to remove it. Then, they hang new drywall or other building material to restore the interior walls, dividing the rooms once more. If required by the homeowner, our restoration teams can also paint the interior to match the original appearance.

As they replace the walls, other members restore the interior. Technicians carefully strip the old varnish from the wood floors, clean them to remove soot and smoke residues left by the fire, then apply new varnish to seal the wood and protect them against future damage. With the floors restored, other team members next replace damaged ceiling panels or tiles to return each room to a normal appearance.

At SERVPRO of Northeast Bergen County, our goal is to restore each home to a clean, safe home after fire damage. If you need us, call (201) 244-0100 today. We are here for you.

Click here to discover more than 100,000 acres of parks and historic sites.

What Type of Fireplace is Best?

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know that 1 in every 3 homeowner uses a fireplace to provide heat in their home? It is also one of the top 10 sources of a fire in a home. There are several different types of fireplaces out there to use, some safer than others. This blog will help you distinguish which one may be best for you.

Some key factors to think of when choosing the right fireplace for you are the following:

  • Efficiency
  • Cost
  • Maintenance
  • Safety

1. Traditional fireplaces -wood-burning

A traditional fireplace is nostalgic for many people and can often been seen by some as the one and only fireplace out there.

It involves an open combustion system which can produce some heat but the heat generated actually just gets sucked back up the chimney like a vacuum. Older fireplaces are around 10-15% efficient in producing heat into a home. 

It requires a chimney which in itself has its own maintenance needed. If they aren’t inspected and cleaned regularly, they can create a build-up of soot and other substances that can be flammable. 

It also requires more effort to burn the logs correctly as well as the post fire clean up. However, many will say it is worth it because of the authenticity of having a real fire shooting sparks and crackling as it burns. It is easy on the eyes, creating a warm comfort feeling. 

2. Gas

This method is most popular for a number of reasons. It takes minimal installation effort and can be installed almost anywhere since venting gets set up through a PVC pipe in the wall instead of a chimney. Everything is enclosed behind a piece of glass so it very safe to use with little to no monitoring. It can easily be turned on with a switch and heats up a home very well. 

It also comes in a vent-less option however these emit the exhaust they produce into your home.

They produce an actual flame that is visible without the need of wood or pellets. It is very efficient in producing heat into a home.

3. Electric

This is probably the most mobile type of fireplace as it can be moved from room to room wherever it can reach an outlet. Downside is because there are no live burning flames it doesn’t produce much heat.

It does prove to be ideal for commercial settings like hotels because of the beautiful appearance of a fireplace without the liability of burning someone who tries to touch it. Cost to buy one is more affordable but in the long-term electric bills will spike.

4. Bio-ethanol

This is the most expensive and referred to as the high-end option. They don’t run on gas, wood or electric but bio-ethanol which is a burning fuel made from an alcohol produced by the fermentation of carbohydrates. They have no cleaning required and are very good looking on the eyes. Downfall is they do not provide as much heat as gas fireplaces and minimal protection from heat.

When deciding on which option is best for you we hope this helped point you in the right direction. 

How to Prepare For and Prevent a Fire.

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that the actual heat from a fire is more dangerous than the flames?

Room temperature during a fire can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level.

You can scorch your lungs just trying to take a breath. The high temperature will even melt your clothes onto your skin.

PREVENTION

  • Install the right number of smoke alarms for your home and test them at least once a month. Batteries should be changed once a year.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended
  • Turn off portable heater when unattended.
  • Never smoke in bed, when drowsy, or medicated. Douse cigarette buds in water before disposal.
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used. Oxygen can be explosive and will make a fire burn hotter and faster.
  • Never use a portable generator indoors. It should also only be refueled outdoors or in well ventilated areas.
  • Keep items 3 feet in distance from any fire source.

PREPARE

  • Teach children what to do when they hear the sound of the smoke alarm.
  • In the dark close your eyes and practice feeling your way out of your house.
  • Establish two ways to exit each room.
  • Create a meeting point for all the members in your family outside of your home.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to call 911.
  • Make sure windows are easily accessible and screens can be removed quickly.
  • Make digital copies of all important documents and records such as a birth certificate.

In the event of a fire; before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If it is hot and/or has smoke coming out of the cracks do not open it. Use your second mode of escape from that room. If clothes catch fire teach everyone to stop, drop and roll. If someone cant drop down you can also take a blanket to smother the flames.

Better Act Quick!

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Soot cob webs found in the kitchen of this home.

A fire is a devastating thing to have happen to anyone. No homeowner wants to experience a fire and its damages left behind.

Why is it important to start clean up and restoration after a fire?

Health Risks

First and foremost, left over smoke & soot particles is a bio-hazard. Smoke inhalation can cause respiratory problems or worsen conditions like asthma and heart disease. If possible always try to limit exposure by staying with a relative or in a hotel during restoration. Many times when filing a claim your insurance company may offer you a stay in a hotel until it is no longer a hazard. 

Was Water Used?

There may be occurrences where water was used to cease the fire. If that is the case you may be experiencing not only fire and smoke damage to your home but also water damage. It is imperative to start proper drying of water in your home to prevent mold growth from occurring. 

Permanent Damage

Acidic soot can cause damage to porous materials leading to permanent discoloration that even a professional at that point wouldn't be able to remove.  However, if action is taken quickly permanent damage can be prevented.

It is expected that wherever the fire occurred there can also be electrical damage to outlets, wires, appliances. Make sure these are deemed safe before return to use. 

Soot can also cause damage to finishes on appliances or kitchen surfaces. These can become discolored turning a yellow hue. Over time smoke and soot can cause etching to glass and tarnishing of metal. 

Hopefully this situation will not occur in your home but if you find yourself needing to act quickly contact SERVPRO of Northeast Bergen County.

What Is Soot?

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Soot found on chemical sponge.

Did you know that the highest cause of house fires is from cooking? Usually when a homeowner leaves a pot or pan unattended and then only remembers it when smoke invades their home. It may not develop into fire damage to your property but rather smoke and soot damage that usually is worse than you would think. Although your kitchen cabinetry isn’t on fire and ruined there is still some specialized clean-up needing to be done from the smoke & soot. 

Soot is a powdery, flaky substance composed of mostly carbon that is a result of incomplete combustion of materials like coal, oil and wood. Not only is it harmful but it can also be a pain to remove due to its stickiness which can cause staining if not treated properly. 

A chemical sponge is used to clean soot from walls. Commonly a chemical sponge may also reveal soot you did not notice was there. 

When treating textiles, a heavy duty vacuum must be used  before trying to clean them. Do not try to wash these in regular dry-cleaning or wash. Professional cleaners will need to use counteractants to break up smoke molecules and eliminate odors. 

It is highly recommended to hire a professional to properly handle clean-up and restoration to eliminate chances of staining and odor. 

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (201) 445-5588

 

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause Pervasive Odor in Your Home

2/13/2018 (Permalink)

Special Chem or Dry Sponges used to remove excessive soot and smoke from hard surfaces

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Northeast Bergen County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (201) 244-0100