Recent Fire Damage Posts

Do you Have Cigarette Smoke or Nicotine Odors?

1/5/2020 (Permalink)

Removing the smell of cigarette smoke and nicotine can be a difficult task. There are a lot of misconceptions about smoke and odor and how it can be cleaned. Results also will vary depending on a wide variety of factors. That is why many professional cleaning companies will stay away from nicotine clean jobs entirely. However, with the right tools and expectations, there can be dramatic improvements. 

Cigarette Odor: Everyone can recognize the smell of cigarettes. After the sweetness of the tobacco has abated, the odor that is left is generally described as stale and musty. Odor is the brain’s response to stimuli from the olfactory system but our memory is triggered strongly by odors. So even traces of an odor to which someone has a strong psychological reaction, will make them think there is a much larger odor problem than there actually is. Conversely, smokers have dulled their sense of smell to cigarette smoke.

Properties of Nicotine: Nicotine is an organic substance that is a natural part of the tobacco plant. Nicotine is an incredibly small molecule measuring only .01 microns. It is so small that it can pass through material that we typically think of as solid. Therefore it can embed itself in almost every type of material that is in any way porous. Also, nicotine can remain airborne, almost indefinitely. If trapped in a confined space such as a car or a room, ambient heat will increase air pressure and therefore “push” the nicotine molecules into anything porous.

<pattachment-1977">The original color of the paint is the white that was protected by hanging pictures. The orange/brown is nicotine damage. The area above the chandelier is most affected because of the increased air flow caused by the rising heat from the light bulbs.

Cleaning Nicotine: The main problem with cleaning nicotine is that it seldom is only on the surface of all of the materials. Nicotine molecules are so small that it can have worked its way into almost every object in a room. Therefore to clean nicotine, it has to be physically removed from inside of every exposed surface. Simply spraying and wiping will not remove smoke odor. 

Particularly susceptible materials include: fabrics, carpets, drapes, upholstery, clothing, mats, lampshades, wallpaper, wallboard, dust, sheet rock, plaster, unsealed wood. Popcorn ceilings and ceiling tiles cannot be cleaned.

Steel, sealed wood, stone and plastics generally are less effected.

Note: Odor may also be trapped in vents and air handling systems that can’t be cleaned by conventional methods.

Solution: Understandably, professional cleaning companies have a hard time estimating and then charging to wash the same wall multiple times over multiple days to ultimately only have an unhappy customer. The only way to remove the odor is to remove the nicotine. If the carpets and fabrics are removed, the dust is removed and the walls and surfaces washed – then the best method is to apply a sealer. The sealer traps the nicotine molecule, and therefore the odor, into the walls. If a customer is less sensitive, instead of sealing, an ozone generator or hydroxyl ran for 24-48 hours can help eliminate most of the odors. Ozone machines and hydroxyl's are effective because it destroys organic molecules such as nicotine. Again, results will depend on the severity of the smoke, the duration the materials were effected and the type of materials. We also have powerful fogging technology that can destroy nicotine in hard to reach places. The only guarantee for an odor free environment is to remove or seal the materials that hold nicotine.

If you have any further questions call:

SERVPRO of Delaware, OH at 740-369-5020

Types of Fire and Smoke Damage

12/19/2019 (Permalink)

Well there are 3 main types of smoke and residues that can be left behind by fire damage in your home:

Synthetic: These synthetic residues appear when oil based materials are burned such as plastics and fabrics. This could include everything from window coverings, furniture, carpets, and electronics. When synthetic materials burn they will produce a thick black smoke, leaving behind a smeary residue that can create quite the mess if not cleaned up properly. In these situations avoid touching any of the residue to prevent smearing.

Protein: Fires caused by the burning of proteins such as meats and beans for example will leave behind a yellowish brown residue. The texture of which is greasy feeling and can stick to any surface, making it a pain to clean up. 

Natural: These type of fires are caused by the burning of natural products such as wood and paper. They produce dry powdery residue that is greyish-black in colour. These residues are easier to clean up than the synthetic or protein residues. 

If you have any smoke damage that you need cleaned, call SERVPRO of Delaware, OH at 740-369-5020.

Oven and Stove Top Safety

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

A stove and oven are a necessary household item. We use them on a daily basis for small meals and large meals alike. The stove is a critical component of the household and life would be hard without one, but life can be dangerous if you are not practicing safety and caution while using a stove.

Cooking fires are the primary cause of residential fires in the U.S.. For the most part, kitchen fires are preventable, if you follow the safety tips provided below.

PURCHASING A STOVE TOP & OVEN:

  • Make sure it has the label of an independent testing lab.
  • Register your oven either online or with the provided card. This allows the manufacturer to contact you about recalls or potential dangers.
  • Be sure that your oven is installed properly, with safe clearance from the hood and proper wiring.
  • Consider installing "after market" safety devices, especially if small children are in your household. 
    • Stove Knob Stops
    • Stove Locking Straps
    • Stove Safety Guards

USING YOUR STOVE TOP & OVEN:

  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Keep it clean. Food particles and grease residue can ignite and cause a fire.
  • Create a “Kid-Free Zone” that children are aware they are not allowed to enter.
  • Check for body safety.
    • Tie back long hair.
    • Roll up long sleeves.
    • Remove loose jewelry.
    • Be sure footwear is non-slip.
  • Before each use, do an oven safety check.
    • Be sure you do not smell gas leaking from a gas stove.If you do, open a window and leave the room.
    • Make sure there is nothing in the oven. An oven should never be used for storage.
    • Make sure that there are no food particles or grease residue on the stove top.
    • Position your oven racks before pre-heating to prevent scalding.
  • Be sure to follow safety guidelines when using stove top burners.
    • Use burners on the back as much as possible.
    • Never use a pot that is too small or big for the burner.
    • Never leave a burner on that does not have a filled pot or pan on it.
    • Do not leave an empty pan on a hot burners.
    • Turn all pot and pan handles inwards. They can be pulled and knocked over when they are turned out.
  • Close the oven door immediately after removing or testing food.
  • Keep oven mitts and other cloth and paper out of the way of the burners.
  • Use oven mitts and oven sticks to remove pots and pans from the stove top or oven.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher, baking soda and metal lids nearby to put out fires quickly.

IN CASE OF FIRE:

  • Never use water on a grease fire.
  • If it is small in the pan, throw baking soda on top of it or cover it with a metal lid.
  • Never use flour or fan the flames with a towel.
  • Use an ABC rated dry chemical extinguisher. Be sure it is placed next to an exit so that you can back out of the kitchen and home if the fire becomes uncontrollable.
  • If it is too big to smother with a lid or put out with an extinguisher, turn off the burner, move the pan off the burner if you are able to, and evacuate the house.
  • If it is in the oven, keep the door closed and turn off the heating element.
  • Do not remove a lid or open the oven door until the pot or pan has completely cooled.
  • Before trying to fight a fire, be sure to evacuate everyone from the home.
  • Turn off the burners or oven.

If the fire does not go out, exit the home and call for emergency help. If you need help with restoring your home after a fire, Call SERVPRO of Delaware, OH at 740-369-5020.

Facts About Cleaning Up After a Fire

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

The Facts About Cleaning Smoke Damage After a House Fire

Many homeowners think that they can clean-up smoke damage to their home after it has been burned in a fire. Unfortunately, that is never a good idea. Cleaning up smoke and soot damage requires professionals to do the job.

Bring in the Fire Damage Pros

First off, a house that has been burned in a fire is typically not safe to enter or spend time in. The integrity of walls and floors may have been damaged, along with other hazards. It’s important not to enter the home until professionals tell you it is safe to do so. 

While you should not undertake trying to clean up smoke and soot damage from a house fire yourself, you should get the professionals into your as soon as possible. Ash and smoke, if left untreated, will cause corrosion, discoloration and a lingering powerful and offensive odor. Ash, specifically, will start causing damage and discoloration almost immediately and the damage may be permanent and irreversible. Anything that was made of plastic will begin discoloring within minutes. Metals will easily tarnish and corrode and fiberglass will begin to yellow. 

If you get fire damage restoration professionals in soon enough after a house fire, they can mitigate or eliminate the smoke and ash damage from the fire and prevent further damage to your property. Unfortunately, if you don’t get the pros in early, the damage becomes worse and worse and the costs to repair will begin to skyrocket within just a few weeks!

What a Trained and Certified Fire Damage Restoration Professional Does

A trained and certified fire damage restoration professional will first identify all affected materials and the source of odors, if possible. They will be extremely thorough. They will identify what can be salvaged and cleaned and what cannot be and must be completely replaced. They will then begin the clean-up process by removing built-up ash residue. Once the ash is cleaned, they can better identify the sources of odors, which they will treat with special detergents made to neutralize the odors. Once fire damaged materials are treated, they will be sealed to prevent future odors from emitting into your home.

Contact SERVPRO of Delaware, OH at 740-369-5020. We are here to help you throughout your fire restoration process.

Fire's and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Having a CO detector is vital to the safety of any home.

Although we don't do very much with Carbon Monoxide, at SERVPRO of Delaware, OH we do handle fire clean ups which go hand in hand with CO.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a scary and dangerous gas that can be found inside your home. The scary thing about carbon dioxide is that it is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas which means it cannot be detected by the human senses.

CO is created by the incomplete combustion of fuels and when exposed, the CO molecules will displace the oxygen in your body and lead to poisoning. It's not just a hazard to your health; carbon monoxide is deadly.

Why CO is Dangerous

Since we cannot see, taste or smell CO gas, it is impossible to know you are inhaling it until you begin to become ill. The symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to those of the flu, so you may just think you're sick with a virus rather than suffering from CO poisoning.

The Center of Disease Control (CDC) estimates that around 400 people in the US fall victim to CO poisoning and die every year. This is why it is vital that CO detectors be installed inside your home in order to protect yourself and your family from CO leaks.

Here at SERVPRO of Delaware, OH we work with our local Red Cross to install smoke and CO detectors yearly.

Fire and Soot Clean Up in Delaware, OH

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Delaware, OH Home.

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 Delaware, Ohio 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 – 
740-369-5020

iCAT Pack-Out

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

Here's a SERVPRO truck all packed up after a pack-out.

Having your home catch on fire can be a very devastating time. But, what happens after the fire has been put out and everyone is safe? How do you get all of your valuable items out of your home and restored back to their previous condition? Well, it all starts with a pack-out.

At SERVPRO of Delaware, OH we use a technology called “iCAT” that allows us to carefully pack up all your items and remove them from the home so the home can be restored back to their previous condition. Here are the steps we take to assure that we do your pack-out properly:

  1. The SERVPRO crew will arrive at your home and before touching a single item, they will carefully document each room with both notes and photos. We call this FREEZING the home. With this we will know where you had your couch in the living room as well as how you like your sports memorabilia arranged.
  2. Next, our crew will ask you what you if you have any sentimental items. We always take care of ALL of your items with care but we take extra care for your sentimental items. These sentimental items are noted and have pictures taken of them to assure we know they are sentimental and need special care.
  3. SERVPRO of Delaware, OH will then go through each room and carefully remove each item, taking a picture as we pack it into a box. Each box is labeled and able to be scanned to tell us what is in each box. This makes it easy to know where the box is stored and what is in it when you may need an item before you move back into your home.
  4. Once we have boxed up all the items and carefully documented the home, we take the boxes and large items back to our warehouse for cleaning before returning to your home.

As you can see, SERVPRO of Delaware, OH goes through many steps to make sure we take care of you during a time of crisis. We are here to guarantee your satisfaction and make this portion of your loss that much easier.

If you ever have a fire, or need a pack-out please Contact Us at (740) 369-5020.

Content Restoration Through iCat Software

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

We organize a home with labeled items and boxes with barcodes to know exactly where all your items are.

Contents Restoration is Complicated

But what makes contents restoration complicated? Is it the sheer volume of property contents which need to move through multiple moving facets of an operation, each laden with deep and delicate logistics? Is it that fact that the smallest of errors can impact the entire business and related organization? Is it that it is powered by humans, prone to honest errors? Is it because there are many connected parties, each with their own sets of demands and requirements? Is it because the physical logistics often never match the required logistics? Is it because an increase in volume takes an already complicated service to unmanageable heights?

Simple however does not work for the Industry’s top producers and contents restoration facilities. They know what they want and why, because they understand the demands of Contents Restoration: the complicated minutia associated with contents processing and the steps required to actually deliver happy insureds is the reason why SERVPRO of Delaware, OH choose iCat to power our modern contents technology infrastructure.

iCat helps us to tag, box, and organize an entire home worth of contents. We work to make sure that when you have a fire and need a pack out, we know exactly where all your contents are and that they are safe.

If you have any questions about iCat or need SERVPRO to look at your fire loss, call us at 740-369-5020.