What Should You Do After a Fire
Call The Professionals!
What to Expect After a Fire
Fire and smoke damage is destructive and finding a restoration/mitigation company can be daunting. When it comes to fire and smoke damage restoration, SERVPRO professionals are trained and follow an extensive and thorough restoration process in order to get your home or business back to normal.
Each fire/smoke damage case is unique and is treated as such by SERVPRO professionals. SERVPRO professionals will compose a detailed plan to rid your property of smoke and soot damage. Smoke odor latches onto and penetrates the surfaces of walls, ceilings, clothes, upholstered furniture, books, electronics and more. It is crucial that all affected contents and surfaces are properly sanitized by professionals. Oftentimes it can be difficult to determine the source of the smoke odor. Experienced professionals know where to look for smoke and soot damage and how to best approach the restoration process.
If smoke damage is not taken care of by a professional, your property and its inhabitants may face greater damage. Smoke and soot can destroy the integrity of your home or business, damaging the ventilation system, air ducts, insulation, wall studs and even the framing/structure.
Different Smoke Odors
Cleaning smoke and soot damage yourself or using a basic cleaning service runs the risk of recurring smoke odor which can cause respiratory problems. Smoke odor can be harmful depending on what type of material was burned. Smoke that comes from wood framing causes a “campfire” smell which lets off acetic acid, benzene, carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde, formic acid, heavy metals, nitrogen-oxides (NO2), phenols, sulfur dioxide (SO2).
Cooking fire smoke is very difficult to remove and has a lingering smell of burnt animal fat/protein. Grease splatter from a cooking fire requires specific cleaning techniques that only a professional can provide.
When plastic is burned, it releases dangerous chemicals such as hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, dioxins, furans and heavy metals, as well as particulates and are known to cause respiratory ailments which are potentially carcinogenic.
Fireplace wood fires also emits hazardous emissions, such as particulates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and other emissions that can be dangerous for health.
Who Are The Professionals?
SERVPRO provides 24/7 Emergency response. After the initial emergency call a crew of certified SERVPRO professionals will promptly respond to your fire damage and arrive onsite prepared to assess, plan and arrange resources to restore your home or business back to what it once was.
What Will SERVPRO Do?
Board Up and Security
Fires can destroy doors, walls and windows, leaving your property vulnerable to additional loss from weather or theft. SERVPRO professionals have the equipment and capabilities to provide board up for your home or business. Your home or business may need additional security. SERVPRO can also provide fencing or even security to oversee your property.
All damaged structural material is removed from the structure in order for the mitigation and restoration to take place. Demolition is a planned procedure, completed with the utmost care and strategy.
The local fire department will use fire retardants and water to extinguish the flames. SERVPRO will assess and examine the extent of damage to the structure, walls, ceilings, floors, ventilation/HVAC system and contents while composing a thorough plan for mitigation and restoration.
Clothes, upholstered furniture, books, electronics and more that are affected by smoke may be salvaged and sanitized. All affected items deemed salvageable are sanitized and deodorized using specialized solutions and equipment. Contents go through an extensive inventory process ensuring all items are accounted for and stored in a secure location.
Is Your Washing Machine Leaking?
Don't let your washing machine cause water damage in your home.
- Replace water supply hoses – Water supply hoses can become brittle and burst. Check them periodically and replace your old hoses with a new hose that consist of flexible plastic tubing encased in a stainless steel braided exterior. Purchase an auto-shut off hose protector that protects against catastrophic water damage by automatically shutting off. If excess water flow is sensed the water supply to the washing machine will turn off.
- Get a washer floor tray – Replace or repair your leaking washing machine right away to protect against future leaks, slide a water catching tray under your washing machine to catch drips and leaks. It’s an inexpensive way to prevent water damage to your floor from a leaking washing machine.
- Purchase a single-lever shut off valve – Turn the water off after each load of wash. Replace your dual faucets with a single-lever which control both hot and cold water simultaneously.
- Flood protection device – An automatic water leak detection device prevents flooding by immediately shutting off both the hot and cold water supply to the washing machine when sensors detect a water leak. These devices are quick and easy to install by homeowners and provide 24/7 protection against water damage caused by washing machine floods. Some flood protection devices sound an audible alarm.
- Automatic Washing Machine Water Shutoff Valve and Leak Sensor – The shut off valve protects against catastrophic water damage. It allows water to flow when it senses that the washing machine is turned on, and stops water from flowing if the machine is turned off. It also stops water from flowing if it senses excessive water flow or detects a leak.
Smoke Odor Damage
Areas of a Home Commonly Affected by Fire Damage
The level of damage varies depending on where a fire originated. An enclosed space typically will not have as much smoke damage as a large, open room with multiple appliances and a lot of wiring in the walls. Additionally, certain parts of a room may experience more damage than others.
Hot air rises, the highest concentration of smoke residue is commonly found directly above where a fire started - usually on the ceiling above the point of origin. Nail heads in the ceiling (and walls) can also attract smoke particles, which appear as an outline of a ring around them.
When smoke particles are ionized - or have an electrical charge - they are attracted to certain surfaces. Smoke produced by burning plastic carries a stronger charge than smoke from wood, paper or cotton. This causes smoke residue to form in clusters that look like cobwebs in the corners of rooms where walls and ceilings meet.
Walls & Windows
Windows and exterior walls are normally cooler than the center of a room and because smoke travels to areas with a lower temperature, it's common to find smoke residue on outside walls and in spaces behind drapes and blinds, even more so than surrounding surfaces.
If you notice a lingering smoke smell in your home or business call SERVPRO at 303-576-6868
What To Do After A Fire
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
What NOT To Do After A Fire
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
Do You Have Moldy Books?
Save your books from mold!
Every Colorado book lover knows that their collection in precious. Not everyone realizes that books are at risk of fungal growth, especially when they are packed or stored away to make more room in the home, or before moving house. Mold thrives in the dark, damp environments, and many storage spots such as attics or basements fit that description. The fungus also needs a natural material to use as a food source – and paper is an ideal snack. SERVPRO recommends taking simple steps to protect your library from mold damage when packing or storing it.
Most book lovers need to move or store their collection sometimes, and that is when books are most susceptible to mold damage. Thankfully, there are several easy things you can do to keep your library safe from fungal growth.
Always store books in a cool, dry place. Books can survive mold-free for far longer in a dry place because the fungus requires moisture to grow. Check out your proposed storage location and if it is damp, consider choosing another place. You might also use dehumidifiers to lower humidity in the air.
Clean your books before wrapping them. Books are easy to clean using a small firm-bristled brush, such as a paintbrush that you can purchase at any hardware store. Brush page edges and covers, and flick through the book to see if any individual pages need brushing. Do not use any damp cleaner or wipe with a damp cloth. SERVPRO can offer a freeze-drying and cleaning process in certain instances to remediate mold growth on pages or the pasted bindings.
Books that smell musty should be left to air dry for a while before being stored.
Do not pack books too tightly. Storing them too close together might contribute to ideal mold-growing conditions. Pack your favorite tomes in a rigid box that is strong enough to protect them from dents, bumps and bent covers. Place all the books carefully in the box either flat atop one another or standing side by side. Do not leave so much room that they could fall or get dented, but do not pack them too close together either. Ensure that air circulates adequately to prevent moisture buildup.
SERVPRO is on hand to help with any mold problems you have in your library. Our IICRC-certified technicians have the skill and equipment needed to remediate mold.
Do You Understand Mold Removal and Remediation ?
What’s the Difference?
Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Many restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. We understand mold and mold growth.
When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic, 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 that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
The Mold Remediation Process
Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. Learn more about our mold remediation process.
- Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
- Mold Containment
- Air Filtration
- Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
- Cleaning Contents and Belongings
Contact us at 303-576-6868
Bed Bug Facts
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
- Adult Bedbugs are the shape and size of an apple seed.
- After feeding, bed bugs defecate brown stains on porous surfaces.
- Bed bug bites may appear as red welts on the skin.
- Bed bug can be found on mattresses, box springs, headboards, footboards, bed frames and other furniture near a bed.
- Bed bugs are easily transported into previously non-infested dwellings
- Bed Bugs can be found in hotels, gyms, offices, schools and stores.
- Bed Bugs travel on bags, clothes and in vehicles.
Where Bed Bugs Hide
When not feeding, bed bugs hide in a variety of places. Around the bed, they can be found near the piping, seams and tags of the mattress and box spring, and in cracks on the bed frame and headboard.
If a room is heavily infested, you may find bed bugs:
- In the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, in the folds of curtains
- In drawer joints
- In electrical receptacles and appliances
- Under loose wall paper and wall hangings
- At the junction where the wall and the ceiling meet
- Even in the head of a screw
- Since bed bugs are only about the width of a credit card, they can squeeze into really small hiding spots. If a crack will hold a credit card, it could hide a bed bug
Keeping a clean and uncluttered house can save you time and money by drastically decreasing your chance of bed bug infestation.
History of SERVPRO
History of SERVPRO
From a small beginning as a painting business in Sacramento, CA, in 1967, SERVPRO has become one of the most recognizable names in the restoration industry. Within two years, owners Ted and Doris Isaacson used their expertise in the cleaning and restoration to expand their business offerings. Soon afterwards, they began to offer franchises and grew steadily so that by 1979, SERVPRO had 175 locations.
SERVPRO grew exponentially after relocating its headquarters in 1988 to Gallatin, TN, about 30 miles outside of Nashville. The Isaacsons moved the company there so that its headquarters could be located within 600 miles of half of the population of the United States. Since that time, SERVPRO has nearly tripled its size with over 1,700 locally owned and operated franchises across the United States.
SERVPRO remains a family-owned company, with the Isaacson’s eldest child, Susan Steen, as the company’s chief executive officer. Steen is joined by family members Randall Isaacson and Rick Isaacson as president and executive vice president, respectively.
Staff & Training
As a national company, SERVPRO has resources at its disposal that smaller, local companies may not have. These resources include a national staff that can help local franchisees with support in various aspects of running a business, that include human resources personnel, business analyst, customer service representatives, Quickbooks specialists, national accounts coordinators, marketing data analysts, property claims adjusters and vendor coordinators.
Franchisees receive support and special training from the moment they become part of the company. The first step is a 15-day training program at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility in Tennessee. The basic course covers fire and water restoration, mold mitigation and carpet and upholstery cleaning. Franchise employees can also take the 15-day training course but also have a separate self-paced program for certification in fire and water restoration, carpet and upholstery cleaning and crew training.
What’s more, SERVPRO provides its employees with plenty of ongoing training that includes web-based, self-paced e-learning modules that include video presentations and support materials. The company also offers credit and noncredit courses that cover the latest knowledge and techniques in emergency mitigation. Topics include water and fire damage restoration, restorative drying, mitigation awareness response and mold mitigation and restoration.
In addition, SERVPRO partners with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) to provide year-round training classes that certifies employees to work in the restoration field. Courses for applied structural drying occur in the company’s purpose-built ASD training facility.
Protect Your Property from a Marijuana Grow
Damaged Property From Marijuana Grow
What Landlords and Property Managers Should Know
The number of houses and commercial buildings that are used for growing marijuana is increasing. As medical and recreational marijuana becomes legal in more states it also becomes legal to grow at home for certain people. Grow rooms are becoming more common & cause great damage and microbial growth if improperly built or operated.
How Can a Grow Operation Affect Your Property?
- Mold growth from inadequate ventilation causing high levels of humidity
- Incorrect wiring or overloaded circuits can result in a fire.
- Poor quality electrical work may lower resale value.
- Holes for ventilation and electrical access
- Damaged duct system from plant sap and high levels of humidity
Don’t Become The Victim
Should cannabis related issues arise after the lease has been signed and if there was no clause prohibiting it, you’ll need to rely on an anti-drug or crime policy that hopefully was included in the lease. A breach of the lease could be cause for eviction if the tenant doesn’t
comply after getting a written notice. If you did not include such a clause, it will be difficult to enforce your wishes during the term of the lease.
SERVPRO of Aurora
Call us at 303-576-6868
We provide results while minimizing the disruption to your business or home.
Related Commercial Services
Winter Storms Can Cause Damage to The Interior of Your Home
Moisture building up on a window during winter.
When the outside temperature drops we start to close up our homes. We close the windows and doors and even start installing different weatherproof products (insulation, weather stripping, spray foam, etc.). The problem often is that we are stagnating the interior and trapping moisture inside the house. This is especially the case if there are many occupants creating moisture by breathing, bathing, cooking and exercising. Also, we create stagnant odors and allow airborne particles to be locked in the house with us (germs, dust, mites, microbes, etc.).
The next thing that usually occurs is we activate the heating system to compensate for the falling outside temperatures. This has the tendency to dry the interior out, but in doing so can encourage expansion and contraction of interior materials and cause cracks in drywall, doors that don't fit, separating wood trim, heaved floors, and other problems.
If you have a gas forced-air furnace, a benefit is that the furnace and its blower motor and filter help cleanse the interior environment. The concern is that you always need to maintain a balance where there is not too much nor too little moisture being added to the now locked-up house. Too much moisture can cause the formation of mildew and mold, cause the windows to steam up, cause doors to stick and just create a damp, humid environment.
If your home is damaged from the winter weather call SERVPRO of Aurora at 720-837-7553
Statistics Restaurant Owners Should Know
Cooking up Commercial Kitchen Fire Safety:
Statistics Restaurant Owners Should Know
During 2006-2010, an estimated average of 7,640 structure fires in eating and drinking establishments were reported to U.S. fire departments per year, with associated annual losses of:
- Two civilian deaths
- 115 civilian injuries
- $246 million in property damage
In eating and drinking establishments, direct property damage per fire was 75% lower when a wet pipe sprinkler system was present, compared to fires with no automatic extinguishing equipment present.
Fires are less common during the overnight hours (from Midnight to 6 a.m.) but cause more property damage.
Structure Fires in Eating and Drinking Establishments by Major Cause (2006 - 2010)
- Cooking equipment 57%
- Heating equipment 10%
- Electrical/Lighting equipment 7%
- Smoking material 7%
- Intentional 5%
- Cooking equipment 40%
- Electrical/Lighting equipment 13%
- Intentional 10%
- Heating equipment 7%
- Smoking Material 5%
Total annual property damage for eating and drinking establishments = $246 million
If your commercial kitchen is affected by a fire or in need of a deep clean call SERVPRO of Aurora at 303-576-6868.
We’re Fire and Water Damage Specialists
As fire and water restoration specialists, we have the training, experience and specialized equipment necessary to restore your home or business. We are committed to providing superior service while restoring your property back to pre-fire condition.
- Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
- Odor Control Technician
- Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
- Water Damage Restoration Technician