Recent Fire Damage Posts

Restoration after a fire.

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

We’re not going to kid you. Fire damage restoration is tough work. People call SERVPRO of Buffalo-Tonawanda frequently to ask for advice on how to clean up after a fire.  Here are seven of the best tips we give people who ask about fire damage restoration. 

Most people can put these tips into practice. But remember that fire damage restoration takes time, work, and skill. Realistically consider whether you want to try these ideas on your own or whether you’d be better off hiring highly trained restoration specialists who will guarantee their work.

  1. Remove Smoke Damage

With any fire you’ll have a degree of smoke damage to your walls, wall paper, and paint. If the smoke damage is not too serious, you should be able to scrub it clean with detergents and bleach. Soot from smoke damage is greasy stuff, so always try to dust as much of it off from a surface before trying to scrub the surface clean. Often, you’ll want to repaint, but make sure all surfaces are clean and dry before you paint.

  1. Limit Activity & Other Simple Fire Damage Restoration Steps

Until your house is restored, limit your activity and movement in the house. This helps prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets. Keep people’s hands clean so you don’t further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork. Protect your things by placing clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas. Before you clean know the best cleaning method for that particular cleaning job (one example: Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.) Wash both sides of the leaves on your houseplants. Change your HVAC filter and tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

  1. Get Rid of Mold & Mildew

Firefighters are great. They save many a live and many a home. But they do introduce mold and mildew into houses when they must use water to extinguish the fire. SERVPRO of Buffalo-Tonawanda highly recommends you hire fire damage restoration professionals to deal with mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can cause serious health problems. It’s difficult for a nonprofessional to know for certain if he’s clean up all the areas affected by the mold and mildew. And mold and mildew can contaminate your furniture, carpets, clothing, mattresses, walls, and vents. The best thing you can do immediately is to air out every room and clean out all vents and filters.

  1. Replace Carpets. Clean And Dry Your Floors

Your floors and carpets end up absorbing the worst of the damage from all the water used to put out a fire. In almost every case, SERVPRO of Buffalo-Tonawanda recommends that you pull up any carpets that have water damage and replace them. Water can also seep underneath vinyl flooring and into the cracks in hardwood. You must address this. If you have experience with flooring, you can lift it up and clean under it. But you may want to call a professional fire damage restoration company to assist you.

  1. Avoid Smearing Soot Into Clothing

Cleaning smoke damage from clothing is one of the biggest jobs you’ll have after a fire. Make sure you don’t smear the greasy soot into the clothing or just throw the smoky clothes into the wash. Often times dry cleaning is the best bet, and you should ask around local dry cleaners to see if any have experience with post-fire laundry. Removing smoke odor is another issue and we’ve covered it in another blog post.

  1. Scrub, Soak, And Cleaning Dishes

Dishes are also important items to clean thoroughly after a fire because they will be in contact with your food. Scrub all dishes well, let them soak in a solution of bleach and water (2 tablespoons of bleach per gallon) for at least 20 minutes and scrub some more for safety. When in doubt, if a dish, pot, or pan won’t come clean, cut your losses and throw it out – especially rubber or wooden dishes that absorb smoke.

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Eastern Niagara County also has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, water damage, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Buffalo-Tonawanda at 716-694-9949

Fire Damage

9/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage Kitchen fire in Buffalo, NY

Damage caused by fire is varied. Different surfaces, textures, and materials react in different ways to the extreme temperature which makes restoration a nuanced and complex job. Using the wrong cleaning materials can at best, spread soot and smoke residues. At worst, it can cause further damage and require expensive replacement. After a blaze has been contained, there is the added risk of secondary water damage.
Properties that have fallen victim to fire damage should be pre-tested before any work begins. A pretestcan be carried out by a qualified SERVPRO fire technician who can measure affected areas for smoke damage. Although, smoke damage is visible, there are many different types which depend on the materials that burned.
Wet smoke, for example, burns at a low temperature and comes from synthetic materials that could be in appliances, lampshades or fabrics. This smoke, produced from melting plastics, has a pungent smell leaving behind thick, oily markings on walls and ceilings. Dry smoke, on the other hand, comes from natural materials like wood and paper leaving behind a powdery soot like texture.
A SERVPRO technician can conduct a pre-test that looks for different types of smoke residue. A pretest allows us to decide on the correct method of restoration as well as products that we should use to restore your items to pre-fire standards. Using a combination of wet cleaning and dry cleaning allows us to provide a professional focus to each affected area and guarantee the best results.
A fire restoration service by SERVPRO is two-fold. The first is your contents which can be removed,
tested and restored. The second is the structure itself, which involves removing soot and smoke
residue from your walls, ceilings, and permanent fittings. We can restore your walls, so they are
ready for repainting, as well as your floors, windows and, where possible, fabrics.
The final step is to deodorize. Burning materials leave thick smells that are not cleanable with
regular fresheners. Our equipment neutralizes the odor particles rather than merely covering the
smell. This approach is especially important when tackling synthetics which can release toxins when
subjected to fire. WE ARE HERE FOR YOU 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK. CALL SERVPRO of Buffalo-Tonawanda, 716-694-9949.

Post Fire Cleanup Importance

9/28/2018 (Permalink)

After a fire damage incident, it is understandable for any homeowner to be stressed. Such traumatic
events disrupt your professional or personal lives, and there is need to work closely with a
restoration service provider as you work towards returning your Minneapolis property to its earlier
state. It all starts by identifying what is able to be restored, and performing emergency services to limit further
damage.
Cleaning is one of the services that our SERVPRO team offers when attending to fire damaged
property. One of our goals is to reduce the fire damage claims. Remember, if you do not act quickly,
you might end up with expensive options such as replacing restorable items and resurfacing parts of
your structure. We are going to look at some of the principles of cleaning that we use when restoring
your materials.
Starting from the location where the fire originated from, our SERVPRO technicians carefully inspect
the site. During the inspection, we identify the various kinds of residues, and this helps us to come
up with an effective cleaning method. The cleaning process we choose should remove the smoke
residues efficiently and not cause any damage to the surface.
There are four essential elements we take into consideration to suspend and remove the smoke
residues: : temperature, agitation, time and chemical action. Our SERVPRO technicians understand
that chemical reactions increase as the temperature increases and thus we are keen to select an
appropriate degree of heat that corresponds well with our cleaning solution of choice. If we want to
dislodge smoke particles and distribute cleaning product on areas, we can use agitation. In this
process, we can use sonic vibrations, water and air pressure, brushes and towels.
Digesting, changing pH, oxidizing, dissolving, bleaching and emulsifying are some of the chemical
actions we take into consideration when cleaning your property. Depending on the action we desire,
we select a proper cleaning product. Time is also critical during restoration, and it is dependent on
the type of cleaning solutions we use and residues at the site.
At SERVPRO Buffalo-Tonawanda, WE ARE HERE FOR YOU 24 HOURS A DAY, SEVEN DAYS A
WEEK. LET US HELP YOU! We can be reached at 716-694-9949.

Smoke and Soot Clean up in WNY

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

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 Buffalo / Tonawanda , Amherst/Clarence and East Erie County 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 – 716-694-9949

We are here for you : 24 hours/ 7 days a week

Grilling Safety

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

Warm spring days are upon us, and maybe you grill all year long or maybe you wait for these wonderful warm times of the year. Either way make sure you are following safety guidelines when firing up your grill so you can prevent a fire elsewhere. SERVPRO of Hayward wants you to have a safe summer!

Nearly 9,000 home fires a year involve grills, according to a National Fire Protection Association report. Of all the home fires involving grills, gas-fueled grills accounted for four out of five fires, while 16% involved charcoal or other solid-fueled grills.

A leak or break was the leading factor contributing to gas grill-related fires, according to the NFPA report.

  • Check the gas cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
  • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose, which will quickly reveal escaping gas by releasing bubbles.
  • If you smell or otherwise suspect a gas leak, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get a professional to service it before using it again. Call the fire department if the leak does not stop.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, get away from the grill immediately and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
  • Never turn on the gas when the lid is closed. The gas may build up inside, and when ignited, the lid could blow off and cause injuries or burns.
  • After cooking, make sure you completely close the valve on your gas grill.
  • Always store gas grills – and propane tanks – outside and away from your house.
  • The leading cause of structure fires from use of charcoal grills was leaving or placing an object that could burn too close to the grill, according to the NFPA study.
  • Charcoal grills can continue to remain hot for many hours after the flames extinguish. Avoid placing any burnable objects near the grill or moving the grill while the coals are hot. Keep combustible items that may be blown by the wind away from the grill.
  • Check for rust damage in metal grills, which may make it possible for charcoal to fall through onto surfaces below and cause a fire.
  • Purchase the proper starter fluid. Store out of reach from children and away from heat sources.
  • Do not add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited. Never use any other flammable or combustible liquid to get the fire started.
  • If the fire is too low, rekindle with dry kindling and more charcoal if needed. Avoid adding liquid fuel because it can cause a flash fire.
  • Do not leave the grill unattended.
  • SERVPRO is here to help you if you need us! 716-694-9949

Grilling Safety

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

Warm spring days are upon us, and maybe you grill all year long or maybe you wait for these wonderful warm times of the year. Either way make sure you are following safety guidelines when firing up your grill so you can prevent a fire elsewhere. SERVPRO of Hayward wants you to have a safe summer!

Nearly 9,000 home fires a year involve grills, according to a National Fire Protection Association report. Of all the home fires involving grills, gas-fueled grills accounted for four out of five fires, while 16% involved charcoal or other solid-fueled grills.

A leak or break was the leading factor contributing to gas grill-related fires, according to the NFPA report.

  • Check the gas cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
  • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose, which will quickly reveal escaping gas by releasing bubbles.
  • If you smell or otherwise suspect a gas leak, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get a professional to service it before using it again. Call the fire department if the leak does not stop.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, get away from the grill immediately and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill.
  • Never turn on the gas when the lid is closed. The gas may build up inside, and when ignited, the lid could blow off and cause injuries or burns.
  • After cooking, make sure you completely close the valve on your gas grill.
  • Always store gas grills – and propane tanks – outside and away from your house.
  • The leading cause of structure fires from use of charcoal grills was leaving or placing an object that could burn too close to the grill, according to the NFPA study.
  • Charcoal grills can continue to remain hot for many hours after the flames extinguish. Avoid placing any burnable objects near the grill or moving the grill while the coals are hot. Keep combustible items that may be blown by the wind away from the grill.
  • Check for rust damage in metal grills, which may make it possible for charcoal to fall through onto surfaces below and cause a fire.
  • Purchase the proper starter fluid. Store out of reach from children and away from heat sources.
  • Do not add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited. Never use any other flammable or combustible liquid to get the fire started.
  • If the fire is too low, rekindle with dry kindling and more charcoal if needed. Avoid adding liquid fuel because it can cause a flash fire.
  • Do not leave the grill unattended.
  • SERVPRO is here to help you if you need us! 716-694-9949

Smoke, Soot Particles and Odors? You need SERVPRO

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke, Soot Particles and Odors? You need SERVPRO Kitchen fire

Fire damage to your home can be a traumatic experience for any homeowner.  Apart from the damage due to heat, fire can cause significant damage to your property and belongings due to smoke and soot.  The smoke particles can coat walls, ceilings, and almost any surface and cause permanent damage if not cleaned quickly and efficiently.

The particles in the smoke contain unburned carbon that can be very difficult to remove after a fire to your Williamsville home.  Not all soot particles are alike and it takes a multi-step process to eliminate them.  It is a job for the professionals who have years of training and expertise in fire damage restoration. 

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

Call SERVPRO of Buffalo-Tonawanda 716-694-9949

School Fire in Buffalo, NY. SERVPRO of BUFFALO-TONAWANDA TO THE RESCUE.

10/17/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage School Fire in Buffalo, NY.  SERVPRO of BUFFALO-TONAWANDA TO THE RESCUE. School Fire in Buffalo, NY. Cleaning performed by SERVPRO of BUFFALO-TONAWANDA 716-694-9949

Flooding and water damage events at commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

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.

SERVPRO of BUFFALO-TONAWANDA 716-694-9949