Fire Damage Odors
After Fire Damage, Does The Odor Ever Go Away?
Fire damage often comes with multiple layers of issues such as burned building materials and home contents, water or fire extinguisher residue and of course, foul odors from all of those factors.
SERVPRO was called to mitigate a fire damage in a home. The fire started in the kitchen when the homeowner's microwave oven caught on fire, and she opened the door to the microwave before the flames ran out of oxygen and extinguished. A fire extinguisher had been used to put out the fire, and the fine, powdery residue covered the area around the microwave. Although the homeowner removed the microwave, a strong odor permeated the kitchen.
Immediately on arrival, we contained the doorways and registers in the kitchen to inhibit the spread of soot throughout the home. Then we used handheld vacuums with HEPA filtration to clean up the fire extinguisher residue and soot from the cabinet surfaces. The cabinets over the microwave displayed smoke damage but no charring and were restorable through extensive cleaning.
Odor-causing soot particles can be smaller than the human eye can see, so we use specialized equipment such as our air scrubbers with HEPA filters to capture the particulate matter and assist in inhibiting strong odors left behind by the fire.
SERVPRO technicians engage in continuing education to stay on the cutting edge of the latest advances in the field of restoration sciences. When cleaning with our EPA-registered formulas is not enough to get rid of smoke odors, we have a diverse array of equipment to choose from such as ozone machines and Hydroxyl generators that neutralize odors at the molecular level.
In this case, thermal fogging was the solution chosen by our technicians. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to odors, and removal of odors requires the application of multiple approaches to eradicate them from the property and contents completely.
For assistance getting rid of fire damage and odors, call SERVPRO of Kingsport / Bristol at (423) 245-5552. Our certified technicians stand ready to help you 24/7 and make your fire loss “Like it never even happened.”
Water Removal May be Needed
Reasons Water Removal May be Needed
Water damage in your home occurs when excess water starts to pool where it shouldn’t. Several factors can make this excess water, and therefore, contribute to damage to your structure. When you know what the potential causes are, you can take precautionary steps to help you avoid a water loss. You can also spot an issue once it arises and gets it fixed before it has a chance to do additional damage.
The faster you see a problem, the less work and extraction there is. Either way, water cleanup needs to be done, and you should hire the help of a professional remediation company to do the job. SERVPRO staff is available to help you at any time with the experience and knowledge that you would expect from a reputable company.
A common cause of water damage in your home is broken hoses and pipes. Things such as aging pipes, a burst water main, or ice maker supply lines and washing machine supply hoses that fail certainly ruin your day. It is a good idea to purchase copper pipes and braided metal lines to replace the original ones, as they hold up much better so you can avoid accidents.
No matter what has happened, SERVPRO techs can help you get your home dry and back in its usual condition. We have various tools to help us get the water out, including moisture meters and sensors to find any hidden moisture, truck-mounted pumps to get rid of any standing water over a few inches deep, plus air movers and dehumidifiers to dry everything back out. We also work promptly, so we avoid additional damage being done to your structure, such as mold growth.
Another common reason for water damage in your home includes broken toilets and overflowing bathtubs. Children are big culprits, so your best defense is to watch them! Water is fascinating to children, especially when it is flowing over the toilet and tub rims.
Sewer backups, unfortunately, happen as well. Tree roots can invade and clog your drain lines. Using an enzyme drain treatment to flush out your lines every month during the spring and summer months when tree roots grow the most is a good idea to avoid this kind of catastrophe.
SERVPRO of Kingsport / Bristol can help you dry your home after a water damage emergency, no matter what type it is. Just give our crew a call at (423) 245-5552 as soon as you realize there is an issue so we can come quickly and fix things for you.
Fire Extinguisher Use
Do you know how to use a fire extinguisher?
Before you even reach for that fire extinguisher, make sure the fire is still in the incipient stage (the flames aren’t taller than you) and that it’s not threatening to block your evacuation route. If you’re good on both of those fronts, all it takes to effectively operate most fire extinguishers is remembering and executing the acronym P.A.S.S:
PULL the pin.
AIM the nozzle at the base of the fire.
SQUEEZE the handle to release the fire extinguishing agent.
SWEEP the nozzle from side to side until the fire appears to be out.
After executing the P.A.S.S. technique, don’t turn your back on the area of the fire as flames may still flare up. Remember to evacuate immediately and call 9-1-1 if the fire gets out of hand.
Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep until fire is out!
Contact SERVPRO of Kingsport/Bristol if you need cleanup at 423-245-5552.
Home Fire Safety
Home fire safety should start with a working smoke detector and a fire safety plan. If you already have those in your home, though, you may consider a fire extinguisher as the next step in fire preparedness. A fire extinguisher works to put out a small fire by removing one of the three components of the fire triangle: heat, oxygen, and fuel. The most common fire extinguisher removes oxygen from a fire by smothering it in a dry chemical foam. In a way, it’s a high-powered version of pouring baking soda on a grease fire, which makes it particularly relevant in the kitchen. If you’re going to invest in a fire extinguisher to help protect your home and family—which luckily isn’t a huge investment, with most home units coming in between $10 and $40—you don’t want a one-hit wonder. The National Fire Protection Association recommends a multipurpose extinguisher, which works to suppress fires from ‘ordinary combustibles,’ grease fires, and electrical fires. On the market, this translates to a fire extinguisher that is ABC rated, such as a unit with a 3A:40-B:C rating, or the slightly smaller 2A:10-B:C rating. Units with these ratings can be found at almost any home improvement store. Once again, having a working smoke detector in each room of your home should be your first priority in home fire preparedness. Two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends checking the batteries in your smoke detector once a month, changing them at least once a year, and replacing the unit altogether once it is 10 years old. Many fire departments offer smoke detectors and battery replacements at no charge. Contact SERVPRO of Kingsport/Bristol at 423-245-5552 if you need assistance.
Spill Red Wine?
You're entertaining at your home and before you know it, you hear a frantic yell and look just in time to see a friend spilling red wine on your carpet. Don't worry...try these tips. If the spill is too deep, call us for our professional cleaning services at 423-245-5552.
Here are a few tips to remove a red wine stain
- Blot up as much of the wine as possible and pour cool water on the stain.
- Cover it with salt.
- Boil water and pour over the stain.
- Prepare a mixture of half a tablespoon of white vinegar and one cup of water. Pour over stain and let it soak for a few minutes. You can also add a few drops of liquid detergent to the mixture.
- It's always a good idea to test a small spot first to make sure it will not harm your carpet.
Contact SERVPRO of Kingsport/Bristol at 423-245-5552 for immediate assistance.
Flood Damage? No Problem!
During the spring, thunderstorms tend to plague the Bristol region often causing issues with your property and house's structure. Many times flood damage goes unnoticed especially if it happens when nobody is present at your home. Several of the situations our SERVPRO technicians handle regularly involve incidences where the water has receded, but many of the house's contents and structural components are still wet. Damp materials inside a building can cause elevated humidity levels which can create a situation where moisture spreads throughout the home and affects more areas over time. If organic materials are affected during your flood damage scenario, then it is possible that mold can develop.
When working on most storm-related projects, our SERVPRO crew starts by extracting any water while it is still in its liquid form. However, if most of the water is gone once we arrive, then the focus of your flood damage project then changes to structural drying. During the drying process, we attempt to create an environment that speeds up the natural evaporation process. We do this by setting up large box fans and air movers to create air movement as well as implement dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels. If there is a large amount of moisture that has soaked into your building materials and contents, we can set up more dehumidifiers that will help pull moisture out of the affected items.
When it comes to dehumidifiers, our SERVPRO technicians have the option to utilize either a refrigerant or desiccant type machine. Refrigerant dehumidifiers pull wet air past a cold coil which causes the moisture to condense and turn back into a liquid. These systems work best to remove surface moisture and to dry wet materials that are moderately to highly porous and permeable by water and air such as carpet, pad, and drywall after flood damage.
Desiccant dehumidifiers pull wet air across a silica gel that attracts water molecules. These systems get utilized to help dry out materials that are dense and have low porosity and low permeability like hardwood floors, framing materials, and concrete. If your contents or building materials ever get wet after a storm, call SERVPRO of Kingsport / Bristol at (423) 245-5552. We are available 24/7/365.
As a property owner, you may have to deal with several water issues. Being a property owner in this area you should become familiar with the different levels of water classification.
1. Sanitary Water
Category one water is considered sanitary water. This water is the safest water to drink, cook with, and bathe with. Sanitary water is also commonly referred to as clear water, which is a reference to its appearance and an indicator that it is clean, meaning that it has not been contaminated by other sources.
2. Gray Water
Gray Water, category two, is not sanitary and can pose a risk of illness if you come into contact or consume this water. Typically, this water occurs in the event of appliance or toilet overflow, which means that it is contaminated by chemicals and sewage.
3. Black Water
Black water, category three, is the most dangerous of all waters and is likely the result of flood water. This water is formed by a mixture of rising rivers and overflowing sewers. With the high level of contaminants in this water, it is also toxic to humans and animals, causing illness and potential fatality if ingested. If you’re building is submerged in black water, it is best to avoid it and allow professionals to do the final cleanup process.
Flood water presents a serious risk to people, and when it reaches category three, black water, it should be avoided. As a owner, you should be aware of the various levels of water categorization to ensure both your safety and the safety of others.
For more information contact SERVPRO of Kingsport / Bristol at 423-245-5552.
What is a Flood Cut?
What Exactly is a Flood Cut?
After flood damage impacts your home, our restoration technicians cut several inches above the water line or moisture level, and remove both the drywall and insulation. We try to keep the cuts at 2 or 4-feet to simplify hanging new drywall, which comes in 4x8 foot panels. After they clear the damaged materials and dry your home, they can replace the drywall seamlessly. They can also address any underlying issues found behind the walls.
What Are the Benefits of Flood Cuts?
• Prevents the spread of contamination since flood water is category three water, potentially carrying dangerous microbes such as bacteria and fungi.
• Allows access to areas behind the wall to view the extent of damage and adequately dry inside the walls.
• Cuts down on the damaged materials. Although it may seem counter intuitive to cut out part of the wall, it can save more of the drywall in the long run by removing the damaged parts.
For assistance after a flood, contact SERVPRO of Kingsport / Bristol at 423-245-5552.
Extreme Summer Heat
There are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat for affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake. If you must go outside, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; and fainting, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103°+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool. Reduce body temperature with cool, wet cloths or a bath. Do not give a person with heat stroke fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency (CDC).
If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature feel 15° hotter.Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov.
Extreme Heat Safety Tips to Prepare Your Home
- Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
- Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
- Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
- Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
- Keep storm windows up all year long.
Is your Business Prepared?
Do your employees know what to do in the event of a disaster? Who do they call if they open in the morning and your business is flooded? What if the break room a microwave starts a fire?
SERVPRO of Kingsport / Bristol is here to help. We offer a free service called an Emergency Ready Profile. This is a file that we create for your business to keep in a central location that contains emergency contacts, utility company phone numbers, locations and pictures of the utility shut-offs for your building, and any special instructions that you would like to include. We will also attach tags to the utility shut-offs so that they are immediately visible.
Time is always a factor in these types of situations. Having a plan will help to ensure that the damage to your business is minimized.
After everyone is safe and any necessary emergency responders have been called, be sure to call SERVPRO of Kingsport / Bristol at 423-245-5552 so we can get you back open for business as quickly as possible!