Dos and Don’ts of fire damage smoke cleanup

Fire damaged bathroom in house

Fire damage is always a devastating experience, irrespective of whether it’s a commercial or residential property that is in question.

It is always ideal to approach a professional fire damage restoration company for handling a serious issue like fire damage smoke cleanup. However, there are some things that you can do to motivate the process or make it easier for professionals.

On the flip side, you should also keep in mind that there are some things that can hinder or oppose a smooth fire damage smoke cleanup.

This blog post lists the dos and don’ts when it comes to fire damage smoke cleanup.

DOS

Turn off Utilities

Home or commercial property owners overlook the possibility of fire retriggers from any utility that has been turned on. In the chaos and urgency to evacuate, it can be normal, but foresee this possibility and return to inspect all the utilities.

Ensure that you turn off the water, gas and electricity. This will make it easier for your fire damage restoration specialists to verify and report about the damage sustained by any of the systems in question.

A quick vacuum job

Fire damage can leave soot and ash behind, which can grind into your upholstery if you let it sit. This is where a quick vacuum job can be handy, ensure that use vacuum to go over the upholstered furniture and cover it with a plastic sheet.

This can offer a quick, easy and efficient start for the fire damage restoration professionals.

Inspect your carpets, floors and countertops

Make it a point to include the carpets, floors and countertops to your vacuum list. In case you have used excessive water to kill the fire and your carpets looks beyond repair, it is ideal to toss them out.

Cleaning the countertop and floors will help you to prevent the soot from deeply staining or adhering to the surface.

DON’Ts

Turn on electrical appliances

While using a fan to get rid of the smoke odor or water logged after the fire damage, it is not ideal to use the one that was exposed to fire damage.

Turning on the electrical appliances is a risk as we do not know the extent of damage sustained or the intensity of the damage.

Getting a powerful fan from a hardware shop nearby can be the better solution here.

Cleanup fire extinguisher powder

While you will be tempted to clean up the powder from the fire extinguisher, it is ideal to leave it to the professionals. Powder from a fire extinguisher comes with a conglomerate of chemicals inhaling or handling it without proper supervision can lead to health issues.

Don’t eat exposed food

Eating food exposed to fire is a big no no. Consuming fire contaminated food can easily lead to health issues. This food will be definitely exposed to soot, fire, ash and other agents whatever that was used to extinguish the fire.

When it comes to fire damage smoke cleanup, the sooner, you start the process the easier it would be to bring things back to normal. Stick with these DIY tips, but if the intensity of the fire or damage seems to be on the higher end, leave the ultimate task to the fire damage restoration specialists.

Repairing and Restoring Boca Raton Businesses After Commercial Fire and Smoke Damage

Boca Raton is one of the most popular mid-sized towns in our state. Tourists flock here for a quiet, family-oriented vacation compared to many other places up and down the coast. Keeping businesses open after a disaster like a fire supports thousands of local owners and employees.

Restoration and repair of commercial fire and smoke damage in a Boca Raton business requires a professional contractor to return the facility to its original, pre-fire condition. For Titan Restoration Construction, that means having a full staff of licensed carpenters, plumbers, and electricians ready to rebuild any facility, no matter how extensive the damage.

After a clean-up crew finishes their job, our teams begin the task of protecting the inside of the facility from the outside. If the previous crew had to put up plywood or plastic sheeting to keep out the elements, our builders remove it one section at a time and replace it with permanent walls and a roof where needed.

As a licensed contractor (CGC# 1522221), Titan Restoration Construction crews can build new wall frames, rebuild concrete walls, or hang new siding if the business is a light-industry facility like a clothing assembly plant. Once all that is in place, crews can cap it off with any roof, to include sheet metal, tile, and shingles.

A new roof and walls need a new sprinkler system to protect them. Our trained plumbers can install a new fire suppression system as quickly as a new bathroom or breakroom kitchenette destroyed by the fire. That includes copper and PVC piping, as well as any fixtures that require replacement.

As the builders finish off the exterior walls and roof, our certified electricians lay in new conduit and run new wiring where needed throughout the facility. If the blaze destroyed the circuit breaker panel, they could easily install and hook-up another one to provide safe, reliable power to the business.

At Titan Restoration Construction, our teams take every step and precaution to return a safe, operational facility to each business owners as quickly as possible. If you have had a fire of any size in your business, contact us at 561-345-3751 to schedule an inspection and receive a service estimate on what we can do for you.

Click here for more information about the city of Boca Raton.

Residential fire and smoke damage: Frequently asked questions

Fire damaged house in west palm beach

As per the statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the public fire departments in the US have responded to 1,319,500 fires in 2017.

The fire departments in various counties responded to 149,893 residential fire cases and 22,308 business/mercantile fire cases during the period 2013 – 2017.

During the same period (2013-2017) an overall property loss worth $2,938,616,923 has been reported from a total of 620,002 reported fires across residential, commercial and unclassified properties.

Fire damage to a home or office property can be a big headache. While the former disrupts the concept of the best place to dwell, the latter can bring businesses to a standstill.

What can you do to prevent fire in your workplace or house? What are the precautions that you can take against fire damage? This post features some of the frequently asked questions related to fire damage to residential and commercial properties.

What are the main causes of a house or office fire?

Cooking, smoking and electrical negligence are considered to be the most common causes of home and office fires.
Electrical negligence: faulty wiring or failing to service or using faulty equipments without proper care can be the main triggers for fire. Do not overload the electrical sockets and ensure that none of your electrical equipments get overheated.

Cooking: getting distracted from cooking and leaving the situation unattended is surprisingly common in both house and workspace. It is ideal to have an automatic fire detection system for both office and residential cooking areas.

Smoking: smoking at home or office and not putting out a fire properly can easily trigger a fire. This is where a fire detector can come in handy.

How can you prevent fire accidents?

Follow these tips to prevent fire in office or residential properties:

  • Take extra care while cooking using hotplates and do not leave cooking unattended
  • Instal approved or certified smoke detectors throughout the property
  • Design a fire evacuation plan for office spaces and plan your escape route in case of residential fire
  • Considering electrical safety, do not flex wires together and get your wiring installation inspected by a certified specialist at least once every five years
  • How do you eliminate smoke odor in a house or commercial property?

    Recovering from a residential or commercial property fire can be a slow and painful task. Of all the things, eliminating the smoke odor after a property fire can be the most challenging.

    Smoke order is resilient and can easily tag itself to almost anything in your house or office space. Be it carpet, drapes, furniture or even walls.

    This is where you need to consider these 5 proven tips for eliminating smoke odor.

    What should I do if I had to use an excessive amount of water to extinguish a fire?

    Even when you have requested the assistance from a professional fire damage restoration service, you start doing some damage control of your own, while waiting for their arrival.

    If you ended up using excessive water, consider the following:

  • If the carpets seem to be completely soaked and beyond recovery, consider removing it
  • Resort to high powered fans; you can rent one from a nearby hardware store
  • Lubricate the metal items or furniture frames with petroleum jelly to prevent rusting
  • Foresee the possibility of mold formation and use commercial grade dehumidifiers
  • What should you not do during a fire?

    Do not attempt the following in case of a property fire

  • Do not try to kill a chip pan fire using water: water doesn’t mix with oil and it can cause an explosive reaction and spread the fire further
  • Do not use lift to evacuate the building
  • Do not take shelter in the cupboard or under the bed
  • Do not try and jump out the upstairs windows
  • Fighting a fire can be a difficult task and recovery can be equally painful. It is smart to foresee these aspects and make the wise move to prevent a property fire at any cause.

    Professional Residential Water Damage Repair in West Palm Beach

    The summer season in South Florida brings large amounts of rainfall. Despite the incredible amounts of water that a storm can drop on West Palm Beach, much of the damage to area homes often comes from failed plumbing issues such as a broken pipe or rusted-out water heater.

    At Titan Restoration Construction, we specialize in rebuilding homes after a disaster. For residential water damage repair in West Palm Beach, that means we come in after a clean-up company has removed water, debris, knocked down anything past repair and turned off the water to the home if needed.

    Our licensed carpenters and other crew members determine where to begin and start bringing in the equipment needed. Common damage after a water issue is to the walls and floor trim since they usually remain underwater as long as carpets and floors. Crew members can quickly install new wall framing, other support structures, and then hang new drywall on everything. After prepping the surface, other specialists can paint it to match the original appearance or apply any other color, wallpaper, or paneling to meet the requirement of the homeowner.

    In cases where the plumbing issue started upstairs or overhead, there is damage to ceilings. Titan Restoration Construction crews can install a new ceiling as fast as a new wall. Our licensed electricians can run new wire and conduit that replaces the compromised wiring, and then install new lighting, ceiling fans, and other fixtures ruined by the water.

    In some cases, we can assist a homeowner in redrawing the floor plan of their home. Depending on the presence of load-bearing walls or other major support structures, our carpenters can expand kitchens, or reduce the size of other areas of a home to add a guest room or even a nursery for a growing family.

    If you need a professional construction service to return your home to its original state, or maybe even better than it was, call Titan Restoration Construction today at 561-345-3751. With more than a decade supporting West Palm Beach and surrounding communities, we are here to help our neighbors, and not simply a group of customers.

    Click here for more information about the city of West Palm Beach.

    5 signs that imply you have mold in your house

    Mold damaged wall

    A residential or commercial mold infestation is one of the worst things anyone can come across. Mold infestation can easily turn your dream house to a nightmarish dwelling.

    It’s not just the musty smell or unbearable indoor atmosphere, the fact that commercial or residential mold infestation can easily start affecting the health of the individuals involved is alarming.

    This is one of the major reasons why we recommend leaving the task of mold repairs or cleanup to professionals.

    What is mold?

    Mold is typically a fungus constituting of small organisms. Their ubiquitous presence is a blessing for the outdoors as they play a crucial role in decomposing dead leaves and trees.

    However, these fungi thrive indoors fast and alarmingly in damp conditions to release spores. Inhaling mold spores in large numbers can trigger health problems.

    This post covers the top 5 hidden signs of mold that imply mold infestation in your house.

    You are sick and never better

    Even though you are exposed to mold spores on a daily basis, constant exposure, especially while being indoors can trigger some alarming health problems.

    Allergic reactions to mold can present itself in the forms of nasal congestion, constant coughing, and watery eyes.
    Skin oriented allergic reactions like tingling and itching sensations are also triggered upon coming in contact with mold. Your body releases histamines to counter these reactions which result in flaky and dry skin, that can even lead to hives.

    Prolonged mold exposure can second the infiltration of these spores to lungs which has been observed as one of the common triggers for asthma symptoms.

    Bubbly walls

    Mold infestation can lead to bubble formation on painted walls. The most likely areas to bubble up are the areas with more moisture. If you suspect mold infestation, examine your bathroom or basement walls and areas close to the windows.

    A leaking windowsill or an area close to a leaking pipe is ideal for mold to thrive. In such scenarios, ensure that you scrape the paint, clean, patch and dry the surface prior to repainting to alleviate the concern once and for all.

    Musty smell

    That strange and unpleasant odor is a total giveaway of mold infestation. Severe the smell, severe is the mold growth. Always look for a musty and moldy odor, especially close to any damp area within the household.

    Water damage

    Foresee the possibility of mold growth anytime you face water damage. Water tends to get easily absorbed, creating the ideal damp condition for mold to thrive. The earlier you identify the easier it would be to remove mold growth.

    Always consider the possibility of condensation issues during the winter. Indoor condensation can lead to relatively higher humidity, which can support mold growth. This is where a mold removal company can come in handy.

    Rust

    Rust is another sign that can indicate excessive moisture in your house. What is the other consequence of having excessive moisture indoors? Yes, you guessed it right, it creates the perfect condition for mold growth.

    Remember, those DIY mold removal tips will work best only if the mold growth is recent or fresh. Contacting a certified, professional mold removal is your best bet to bring the condition under control efficiently and quickly.

    5 proven ways to deal with smoke odor

    Smoke in a house picture

    Fire damage is the worst case scenario for any residential or commercial property. Recovery from fire damage can be painfully slow.

    Even when you have digested the reality of what has been lost; you are always in for a difficult road ahead in terms of restoring your property back to its original condition.

    In addition to the damage to the structural materials and other household items, the supplementary hazards from fire damage like smoke odor and soot pollution can disrupt the harmony of the inhabitants.

    The fact that something like smoke odor can continue affecting your wellbeing long after the fire has been extinguished is alarming.

    So what are the some of the proven ways to deal with smoke odor from fire damage? This post features some peerless tips to deal with smoke odor quickly and efficiently.

    Clean the air duct and the HVAC system

    Most of the house owners and to our surprise, even some fire restoration services overlook the possibility of smoke odor contamination via the air duct and HVAC systems. Any ductwork within your house is a potential spot for the smoke to linger.

    Smoke infested ductworks can degrade the air quality and pose a health risk to the inhabitants. We recommend replacing the air-conditioning filter after the along with other fire damage restoration processes. Also, get your HVAC system inspected for any possible damages pertinent to the fire incident.

    Wash the solid surface

    Prepare a solution with one gallon of water, a quarter cup of white vinegar and two or three teaspoons of shampoo to clean the hard surfaces.

    The advantage of this solution is that it can be used on multiple surfaces including doors, wooden floors, cabinets, furniture, windows and door frames.

    You can spray the solution on surfaces like window sills, cabinets and wipe it with a clean rag. Rinse the rag after each run using clean warm water for best results.

    Carpets & upholstery

    Carpets and upholstery are the main household items that are easily affected by smoke odor. The fiber-oriented structure entraps the smoke particles easily, which can be difficult to remove.
    Baking soda is a proven solution to remove smoke odor from carpets and upholsteries. Sprinkle the baking soda in affected areas and let it sit and absorb the smoke odor for a minimum of three hours.
    Vacuum the areas to remove the smoke odor effectively. We recommend using a HEPA filter vacuum as they are known to have a fine mesh that can capture the smallest harmful particles including pollen, dust mites, and even tobacco smoke.

    Thermal fogging machines

    Thermal fogging is another smart and proven way to alleviate the concerns of smoke odor from fire damage. A properly executed thermal fogging is one of the most effective means to control or remove smoke odor.
    Thermal fogging can neutralize even the fines smoke particles which are deposited deep inside fine cracks or pores on any household surface.

    The process of thermal fogging involves several tasks that should be carried out under the supervision of experienced technicians for the best results. This is why we recommend hiring experienced smoke odor removal technicians to carry out the task.

    Painted surfaces

    Using a glycol or ammonia solution is the best means to remove smoke odor from fire damaged painted walls. Wipe the walls thoroughly and let it dry, repeat the process till the odor seems to be under control.
    Do not hesitate to consider repainting the walls if the damage seems to be beyond cleanup. If you decide to repaint walls, we recommend using latex paint and primer customized to suppress any odor.

    Prolonged exposure to smoke odor from fire damage can have an adverse effect on your well being. The recovery period after fire damage is a crucial time where you have to foresee all the health hazards and act wisely. If you believe in the phrase “A small act of prevention can bring you long-term protection” and you don’t have time to invest in all these DIY smoke order removal tips, we recommend hiring a fire damage restoration specialist.