FAQs About Fire Damage

FAQs About Fire Damage

Experiencing fire damage is not an easy thing to deal with. From cleaning to restoration, everything can be very overwhelming and you might be left with questions on what to do next or how you will recover from this tragic accident. Regardless of the situation, it is very important to act fast and mitigate the damage. This article has FAQs or frequently asked questions about fire damage. So, once everyone is secured, follow the steps and immediately contact your local restoration provider. 

Most FAQs About Fire Damage

1. What is the first step to do after a fire?

After a devastating fire, the first thing you need to do is relocate your family temporarily. Look for a safer place for you and your family to stay to prevent any exposure to fire damage and debris accidents. 

Second, we recommend calling your insurance provider. Tell them the required details, and submit a claim. He or she will request you to hire a restoration company for a thorough clean-up. 

Lastly, hire fire damage professional like Superior Restoration to help you restore your home from its pre-loss condition.

2. Can I inspect my house after the fire?

Homeowners should not inspect their household after a fire. Legally, only a licensed inspector and authorities could declare the safety of your building. Since the house is still at risk due to lingering smoke and soot residue and exposure to different chemicals that can put you at risk, we do not recommend inspecting your home after a fire.

3. What can I clean up?

Cleaning up a fire-damaged property without proper supervision from an expert is not recommended. A do-it-yourself cleaning method may not be effective in removing smoke and soot residue. Also, when attempting to save your belongings, you’ll likely do more damage than good. 

Besides, the only thing we suggest is sorting all your valuable objects and putting high-priority items aside before the restoration team arrives for clean-up.

4. What is a fire damage restoration?

Fire Damage Restoration is a process of cleaning and restoring your property from the damage caused by fire, smoke, and other corrosive byproducts to its pre-loss condition. This process includes cleaning your property contents, rebuilding your home structures, removing soot residue, and smoke odor removal. Also, this process includes using a cleaning agent that will remove all damages caused by fire. 

5. Do I need a professional clean-up if the fire is small?

For best results, we recommend the homeowners hire a professional for fire damage clean-up and restoration. The smoke and soot removal process requires the use of a specialized cleaning agent to remove all the residue. Also, some chemicals may need to apply with special equipment.

Furthermore, even the fire is small. It can cause urgent damage if it stays for at least two days as the residue from the soot and odor begin to linger in the structures of your home. Professionals at Superior Restoration have highly trained technicians and high-quality equipment that can quickly and efficiently restore your property.

6. How long will the restoration process take?

The restoration process will depend on how extensive the damage is. It is difficult to predict how long since most fire accidents involve culprits like burned plastics, metals, or woods. 

Besides, local authorities and insurance providers need to investigate the house first before the restoration professionals start cleaning the property.

7. Can I stay inside during the fire damage restoration process?

Staying at home during the restoration process depends on your comfort level and the severity of the damage. However, for your safety, we do not recommend you staying at home to prevent exposure to lingering chemicals. Small fires more likely don’t need a temporary relocation, but there is a possibility of smoke and soot exposure that we want the homeowners to avoid. 

On the other hand, if the structure is unstable and the house has left without running water and power, the best thing is to relocate temporarily. Furthermore, check with the insurance agent and see if off-site housing is covered in your policy.

8. The fire authorities put out the fire. What should we do with the water inside our home?

It is common to experience water damage after a fire incident. Water can lead to much urgent damage, such as mold growth. However, a reputable restoration company extracts the water from the damaged area as part of the fire restoration clean-up.

9. I heard there are different types of fire. Will it affect the restoration process?

Since there are different types of fire and smoke damage, the restoration process is different. But, the experts are highly qualified to complete the task.

Each household includes different burnt materials, so it needs a different approach for restoration. Here are some of the four main categories of fire and smoke damage.

  • Natural Substances

Substances like paper, wood, and other organic material usually leave a black or gray residue when burnt. The clean-up experts more likely rely on power vacuum and chemicals to remove all the residue. However, since these substances only produce little smoke, thermal fogging and ozone regulation are only required.

  • Protein-based Substances

Substances like chicken, beef, pork, and other protein make a greasy mess when burnt. There is a possibility that these proteins could explode in any direction. It usually requires powerful chemicals and trained professionals to remove this mess.

  • Synthetic Substances

All kinds of plastics or derivatives of plastics become very chalky and smeary to touch when burnt. Cleaning these types of residue requires trained professionals with the right equipment to remove it.

  • Oil residue

Oils behave differently from wood, proteins, or plastics when burnt. Oil particles tend to travel through the air and might go some of it in the ceiling, making the residue hard to distinguish and remove. This residue is known as puff back and often distributed inside the house when burnt. A thorough clean-up from professionals is needed to have these done perfectly.

10. After the restoration, will the smell of smoke ever go away?

After the clean-up and residue removal, it doesn’t mean that the smell will go away instantly. Restoration professionals use a machine with chemicals and techniques to remove the odor permanently.

 

For Emergency Fire Damage Restoration

Disaster is not something we could expect. However, preparedness can save significant loss and prevention of much more damage. Knowing who to call and what to expect could give you more time for restoration work. 

Hiring reputable fire damage restoration professionals like Superior Restoration can help you with all the worries of a fire damage incident. We have highly trained professionals that know how to clean and remove the residue and odor permanently and at the same time have efficient equipment, machines, and chemicals used for thorough cleaning. 

Water Damage Costa Mesa offers 24/7 emergency services for fire damage, water damage restoration, smoke and soot removal, and mold remediation. Call our local office today for more information.

Simple Tips to Prevent A House Fire Emergency

Simple Tips to Prevent A House Fire Emergency

Many homeowners lost their homes and properties in a fire. In fact,  according to statistics, almost 354,000 home structure fires have happened in the last five years. Fire incidents can be very traumatic, but they can all be prevented when proper precautions are done. In this article, you will learn tips on how to prevent a house fire emergency. 

 

Most Common Causes of A House Fire

To know how to avoid a house fire, here are some of the most common causes.

  • Cooking-related fires

One of the most common causes of a house fire is a cooking fire. Pots and pans can quickly overheat and catch fire, specifically if they are left unattended. Cooking utensils and appliances are often vulnerable to catching fire, as some of them lose control fast.

  • Heating Devices

If clothing and fabric materials are left unattended near portable heaters, they may cause a fire. Furthermore, fuel-powered heaters are much more dangerous because they can ignite or combust if not closely supervised.

  • Appliances

If an appliance is defective, old, or overused, it may catch fire. Sparks, frayed wiring, and house fires may all result from these.

  • Electrical Fires

Short circuits trigger sparks, which can possibly ignite any nearby materials such as plastics, woods, and papers, resulting in an electric fire. Furthermore, overloading electrical outlets or unorganized wiring (octopus wirings) can cause house fires by overheating.

  • Smoking

Smoking indoors can trigger a fire, especially if it is not thoroughly extinguished and left unattended. If it comes into contact with some flammable materials, it may catch fire.

  • Candles

A lit candle left unattended may cause a large fire, particularly if it comes into contact with clothing materials in the vicinity.

  • Children playing fires

Children are naturally curious about how things work, and they will sometimes experiment with matches, lighters, and gadgets to satisfy their curiosity. Leaving them unattended could result in a house fire.

 

Tips to Prevent a House Fire Emergency

Preparedness must be the number one priority of every homeowner to prevent a fire disaster.

  1. Install a smoke alarm in every level of your house, inside and outside of your sleeping area.
  2. Develop a fire safety plan, and try to plan a fire escape area.
  3. Install a fire extinguisher, especially in the kitchen, laundry room, and outside the bedroom.
  4. Don’t forget to leave your cooking unattended. 
  5. Make sure to clean and dry the cooking equipment after using.
  6. To avoid overheating and producing sparks, always unplug unused appliances.
  7. Test the smoke alarms every month. If not working, change the batteries or replace them every ten years.
  8. Do not leave lit candles and open portable heating appliances near any fabric materials.
  9. Store flammable chemicals, materials, and liquids out of the reach of children.
  10. Teach children the proper use of appliances, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and materials around your home.
  11. Make sure that everyone knows how to call emergency contacts.
  12. Always remember the two ways to escape a house fire, get out and stay out.
  13. Use a flashlight when the power is out, not candles.
  14. Use fueled-working heating appliances ONLY if permitted by law.
  15. Try not to overload electrical outlets and extension cords.
  16. Make sure the wirings are never attached with nails or concealed under the rugs.
  17. Repair or replace frayed extension cords, exposed wires, or loose plugs.
  18. Consider step-ladders for emergency escape.
  19. Make sure to conduct a home safety fire drill for all members of the family.
  20. Ensure to have a safe spot outside for a family meeting place after a fire. 

If a fire occurs in your home;

  1. Get out immediately, and DO NOT go back for anything.
  2. Call fire emergency services.

 

For Fire Damage Clean-up and Restoration, Call an Expert.

If a fire happens in your home, cleaning up is not an easy task. You might feel frustrated and stressed. But, having fire damage around can ease your worries. In case of fire damage, contact professionals at Superior Restoration immediately. 

We, at Superior Restoration, offer quality fire damage cleanup and restoration services.  We have a team of expert professionals ready to restore your home to its original condition. Contact our local office today, Water Damage Costa Mesa, today. 

Everything You Need To Know About Soot Damage

Everything You Need To Know About Soot Damage

Statistics show that nearly 1.4 million people have killed because of fire, smoke, and soot damage in 2018. Fire isn’t the lone perilous occasion most mortgage holders need to manage. Soot particles that are left behind could cause danger if not treated properly. In this article, you will learn the hidden dangers of fire soot and steps on how to clean them. 

 

What Is Soot? 

Soot is a tiny particle that is sometimes called lampblack or carbon black. It is a powder that can be slightly sticky and is a product of the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. Also, soot is composed of different chemicals that depend on what had been burned during the harmful event. 

During a house fire, soot spreads through the air and lingers on any exposed surfaces, contaminating the area. Moreover, soot can be produced even not during a fire, but excessive use of scented candles can be a culprit. Thus, soot properties can further damage your home and indoor air quality if not removed properly. Better ask the experts for a thorough cleanup. 

 

Types of Soot

Dry soot

This type of soot is associated with a fast-burning fire and mostly occurs at high temperatures.

Wet Soot

It appears as a sticky residue or soot. Often associated with a soldering type of fire and often presents with a strong odor.

Protein

This type of soot is usually invisible. It can be the perpetrator of discoloring paints and varnishes. Protein produces a strong odor caused by food that has burned.

 

Dangers of Soot

Soot particles, if inhaled or ingested can pose danger to one’s health. According to Environmental Defense Fund, even brief exposure to soot can lead cause serious health problems. Infants, elders, and those with weakened immune systems are more at risk of developing such diseases;

Soot can cause:

  • Asthma
  • Eye and Skin Irritation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Bronchitis
  • Cancer

 

DIY Soot Clean Up

Soot damage needs a proper cleaning. Nonetheless, you can use some of these tips to clean up some soot in your residence.

  1. Use safety gears before dealing with the soot or residues.
  2. Do not eat or drink in the area where soot damaged items are stored.
  3. Wear an air-purifying respirator to avoid inhaling toxic particles.
  4. Wear nitrile gloves before touching contaminated surfaces.
  5. Do not touch your face while your gloves are on.
  6. Wear safety glasses to prevent the particles from going through your eyes.
  7. Use a strong vacuum to remove loose particles on all surfaces.
  8. You could also use a lambswool duster to dust off particles, depending on the surface sizes and the amount of dry soot.
  9. You need to prioritize which items need immediate cleaning.
  10. Place the small objects in another area and clean them after an extensive vacuum cleaning is complete.
  11. Wooden materials in your house need to be re-paint or varnished and deodorized. 
  12. Use a dry chemical sponge to clean off the wood and finish up by wiping it with a damp cloth.
  13. You may use a wood conditioner or polish after the wood is completely dry.
  14. Use water and a specialized cleaner to clean hard surfaces, such as countertops and floors.
  15. Spray the cleaner on before wiping the surface.
  16. Rinse it with clean water.
  17. After cleaning the area, use a mixture of water, baking soda, and vinegar to eliminate strong odor.
  18. Make sure to wash your hand thoroughly after taking off the gloves.
  19. Call for professional help to ensure the safety of your health from soot damage.

 

Professional Soot and Smoke Cleanup

Smoke and soot can be hazardous if you deal with them alone. It takes so much effort and time to clean up all the residue and prevent possible side effects. However, soot or residue must be cleaned by professionals to ensure the safe use of your residence. 

Hiring a fire damage restoration company like Superior Restoration helps you with a proper clean up of all the residue or soot that has left after a devastating fire. They have an experienced team and quality equipment that helps you with full smoke and soot tidy up. Contact their local office, Water Damage Costa Mesa, today. 

 

How to Deal With Smoke Damage in Your Home

How to Deal With Smoke Damage in Your Home?

After a devastating fire, firefighters usually leave a big mess to your property. No matter how big your properties are, even if it’s a house, a business, or just a small space, dealing with smoke damage is a major health risk. Fire is scary and stressful to deal with, especially cleaning all of its smoke damages. 

Hiring professionals is always a better choice, but here are some tips on how to deal with smoke damage.

First, you have to identify how dangerous smoke damage is. Keep scrolling to know more.

 

How dangerous is smoke damage?

         Smoke damage can easily destroy your respiratory system. Sometimes smoke may smell good, but it’s not good for you. Smoke can contain many chemicals, including aldehydes, acid gases, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), benzene, toluene, styrene, metals, and dioxins. People at greater risk are those who have underlying health conditions, like asthma, heart disease or lung disease, pregnant woman, a child, and even an older person. Always remember if you are dealing with smoke, always protect yourself. 

 

How does smoke damage destroy your house?

         We all know that fires pose an immediate danger to your house, However, fire residues bring more damages to your properties. Ash and smoke will continue to affect your house if it’s left uncleaned. It may cause extensive corrosion, etching, discoloration, and even a powerful lingering odor. To remove all these disasters, you need to clean it thoroughly. A professional is a big help for this, but you can try some cleaning by yourself.

About Smoke damage;

         Smoke damage can have an impact on all the contents and structures of your house. 

1. Smoke is more likely to stay in a cooler area. 

They are typically hot and like to migrate to the cooler areas of your home, like cabinets, and even the underside of furniture. The consequence of these is that the cleaning process is more difficult to deal with.

2. Smoke uses plumbing to migrate through your house. 

They naturally travel through your plumbing system, using holes around pipes to travel from floor to floor.

3. Wet, smoldering fire produces the most damaging smoke. 

As you clean wet smoke residue, they tend to smear to other surfaces which will make it more difficult to clean. If you need to tackle wet smoke, it is best to call professionals. They know how to clean your property most effectively. 

4. High-temperature fire produces easier to clean residue.

It is because they quickly burn and produce less damaging soot. 

5. A very damaging component of smoke is invisible. 

The invisible protein residue of smoke can cause severe damage, it is more likely to break down metal, wood, paint, and even porcelain.

Dealing with smoke damages;

            In dealing with smoke damage, it is devastating to see the severe outcome of a fire to your properties. Here are some tips to clean smoke damage to your home.

1. Change the filter of your home. 

One of the biggest consequences of fire damage is dealing with a smoke polluted house. Smoke-covered rooms and contents of your house can cause you trouble in breathing. Start changing all the filters to your air conditioner, furnace, kitchen, and bathroom vents as they are coated in soot and smoke. Use a vacuum with strong suction to clean out the soot then wipe it down of soapy water. 

2. Remove smoke damage from your furniture. 

If your furniture is salvageable, start by wiping all wood surfaces with a dry chemical sponge to remove the soot. However, don’t scrub too hard to avoid smoke particles from grinding deeper through the wood grain and causing more damage.

3. Remove smoke damage from textiles. 

Before you can remove the smoke smell from your textiles and carpet, you have to deal with soot. If you can’t hire a professional cleaner, you can use a vacuum with strong suction to clean the areas, but make sure to avoid the brush attachment as they tend to force extra dirt into the fiber of the materials. Once you remove the dirt and soot, you can deodorize the material.

4. Remove smoke damage from your walls. 

Use a vacuum to remove soot and dirt on your walls. After removing the dirt, use the Trisodium phosphate cleaner (TSP Solution), warm water, and sponge to remove the smoke damage on your walls. Use baking soda and vinegar to kill the strong smoke odor. 

5. Cleaning of smoke damage clothing. 

Make sure to dry clean the clothing that has been damaged by smoke, since smoke can penetrate deeper into fabrics and make them harder to clean. Also, avoid wearing clothes that haven’t been thoroughly cleaned after smoke damage as they have a hazardous effect on your health.

Seek professional

         Fire damage is stressful to manage. Dealing with the cleaning process of the smoke damages to your home is even worse. It may even cause a disaster if not taken care of properly. Hiring a professional fire restoration company is always the best choice in dealing with this catastrophe. They can thoroughly clean and decontaminate your entire property from the damage. You can have an assurance that your home will be a safe environment for you and your family. Call our local office, Water Damage Costa Mesa. We offer 24/7 emergency services. Just give us a call to know more about our services.