Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Damage vs. Smoke Damage: What's the Difference?

9/16/2019 (Permalink)

There's fire damage. There's smoke damage. And while smoke damage is often the result of a fire, a property doesn't necessarily need to experience fire damage in order to endure smoke damage.

Make sense? In case it doesn't or in case you just want to learn more about the main differentiators between smoke and fire damage, you've come to the right place. Here at SERVPRO of San Mateo, we specialize in restoring fire and smoke damaged properties to preloss conditions in California's Bay Area. We work closely with property owners to correctly assess each job we're on, so we can come up with the best restoration plan. And while we specialize in mold remediation and water damage restoration as well, fire and smoke damage restoration jobs are among the jobs we take the most pride in. Why? Because they're the jobs that we truly have the opportunity to impact lives the most. 

Fire Damage 101

It's estimated that there's a fire every 24 seconds in the United States. This shouldn't be a surprise when you consider the wide variety of factors that can cause a fire. There are household issues, such as faulty electrical wiring, to human error, such as cooking mistakes or failure to turn an iron off or blow a candle out. Then there are fire-causing factors that are less controllable, such as wildfires, downed electrical wires during inclement weather and even lightning strikes. 

Regardless of the cause of the fire, the steps we take to restore property remain the same. We'll respond quickly and work with local fire authorities to determine when the property has been secured and when it's safe for us to enter and properly assess things. Following our assessment, this is the process that we take at SERVPRO of San Mateo, which abides by industry standards on every job:

  • Remove damaged components: Some components are damaged beyond repair and/or restoration and may need to be discarded. Other contents can be packed out and sent for cleaning and restoration if applicable. 
  • Remove damaged building materials: We'll likely have to remove all damaged building materials that were affected or else risk the property's structural integrity. This means that any floorboards, studs, paneling, etc. that were impacted will have to go. Evaluation of the property's structure is always one of the most important parts of any evaluation.
  • Treat: If any of the property's structure that was impacted can be saved, we'll take the right steps to deodorize and decontaminate it.
  • Rebuild: Following our assessment and material removal, we'll then work to rebuild the property to preloss condition. Depending on the severity of the fire, fire restoration jobs can take anywhere from weeks to months.

Smoke Damage 101

Like we said in the introduction, you don't necessarily have to have fire damage in order to have smoke damage. Grease fire or small, easily extinguished fire might not result in any structural fire damage, yet it could leave certain rooms of a home or building engulfed in a smokey mess. Smoke damage can result in more than just smell — it can lead to discoloration of building materials and contamination too.

From there, intensive deep cleaning and deodorizing begin. Fabrics and window dressings that are removable can usually be washed and salvaged, as can most other hard goods and contents in an affected area. In-place building materials, such as flooring and drywall, are often more difficult to properly clean. Non-porous surfaces such as hardwood and tile can simply be hand cleaned. Carpets can be professionally deep cleaned in most circumstances. Even drywall can be salvaged from smoke damage about 80 percent of the time. Drywall typically only requires removal if the smoke has gotten behind it. Following deep cleaning, an odor counteractant is deployed to the affected area and the HVAC system is cleaned so that there's no recontamination of the area (or cross-contamination to other areas of the building). 

As we said, fire and smoke damage has the potential to be among the most intense jobs that we're likely to take, but they're also among the most rewarding. For more information on our smoke and fire damage restoration services, call the Bay Area restoration experts, SERVPRO of San Mateo, today.

The Leading Causes of Fire Damage

8/30/2019 (Permalink)

Every 24 seconds in the United States, a fire department is called out to a property fire. And while deaths from structural fires have plummeted since the 1970s thanks to the widespread installation of smoke detectors and other early recognition technologies, fires continue to be one of the most common causes of property damage in America. According to data from the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 500,000 home fires occurred in 2017, totaling about $6.5 billion in total property damage. SERVPRO of San Mateo is there to handle any of your fire and/or smoke damage restoration needs in California's Bay Area, yet we thought it would be worthwhile to take a closer look at the leading causes of fire in the United States and in the state of California. 

The Leading Causes of Fire

While some fires are accidental and preventable, others are largely out of the control of home and business owners. While every state is susceptible to property fires of both kind, California — especially it's Bay Area — is unique in that in addition to accidental, preventable fires, the region is highly susceptible to property damage from wildfires. And there's been an increase in the number of wildfires that occur each year in the state. Before we get into some of the other causes of fire, wildfires demand a special focus.

Because of how dry California can get at certain parts of the year, wildfires may occur due to a variety of reasons. Even something as minor as a vehicle spark can lead to a brush fire, which can escalate into something much bigger. Other causes of wildfires include downed power lines from storms, out of control campfires, fireworks, even shooting on a gun range. Unfortunately, arson is also believed to be a major source of wildfires as well. 

Here's a look at some of the other leading causes of property fires:

  • Cooking equipment: Ovens, stoves, overheating pots and pans, deep fryers, and more are the leading cause of fires for homes and businesses every year. Most of the time, cooking-related fires occur when food preparation is left unattended.
  • Heating: Portable furnaces are the biggest risk when it comes to heating fires, largely because many home and business owners place them too close to flammable objects and materials. To stay as safe as possible, it’s suggested keeping any flammable objects and materials at least 3 feet away from portable furnaces.
  • Smoking: In dry climates, cigarette ash can be all that’s needed to start a brush fire. But in the home, smoking can lead to fires as well. Cigarettes that aren’t put out properly can eventually spread, possibly coming into contact with flammable materials. Smoking is always best for an outdoor environment, as smoke clings to building materials and may require smoke damage restoration and deodorization at a minimum. But even outdoors, it’s essential to properly put out cigarettes — especially in the California Bay Area.
  • Electrical issues: Are fuses blowing out or tripping more than you think they should? Do lights occasionally dim in the home when you draw power from another source? If so, it’s the sign of an electrical issue within your home, and the issue could potentially be dangerous.
  • Other causes of fire include candles, children playing with matches or lighters, and lightning.

If Your Property Has Been Fire Damaged, Contact SERVPRO of San Mateo

As a professional, full-service restoration firm, the Bay Area experts at SERVPRO of San Mateo know how much a property fire can uproot a business or a family. It's why we're dedicated to prompt response and putting a plan in action to help restore any type of property to preloss condition. We abide by all industry standards in our efforts, including the IICRC 700 Standard for Professional Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration and the S740 Standard for Professional Restoration of Fire and Smoke Damaged Personal Items. Most importantly, when responding to a fire damage situation, we'll ask home or business owners one simple question: "What's your most important thing?" Then, we'll do everything we can to recover and restore the item in an effort to make the recovery a little bit easier.

Fire damage restoration doesn't work that just any restoration contractor will take on — it takes a special kind of company and professionals that exhibit both expertise in the area and compassion to work with affected occupants. For more information on SERVPRO of San Mateo and fire damage restoration in the Bay Area, contact us today.

San Mateo Smoke and Soot Cleanup

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your San Mateo Home.

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damages and odors. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allow us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action. 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 San Mateo 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 to the specific conditions. Our crew has fire damage training and expertise to help you and your family through this tough time. Once the fire department leaves, your San Mateo home may suffer from water damage caused by firefighting efforts. We have the specialized fire and water damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment to handle fire and water damage and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire damage conditions.

SERVPRO of San Mateo understands how extremely devastating fire damage can bring for your family and your home. It’s a stressful and confusing time for everyone, so you’ll need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. Our professionals at SERVPRO of San Mateo will always treat you with respect and empathy, and we’ll always treat your home and belongings with tremendous care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – (650) 931-6060

We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster


SERVPRO of San Mateo is dedicated to responding immediately to your San Mateo fire damage emergency. A faster response is the key to help prevent additional damage and reduce the restoration cost. We provide emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night. No damage is too large or too small for SERVPRO of San Mateo. Our staff is highly trained with the power and knowledge to restore your property "Like it never even happened."

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (650) 931-6060

Blood Services Office Fire Dmage in San Mateo

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

Due to a fire which occurred on the back alley of the building, sprinklers inside the building burst causing fire damage and water damage.

Fire damage is especially devastating for a business or commercial property. In addition to the fire and smoke damage, significant water damage from firefighting efforts and fire suppression systems may occur. Every hour spent restoring your business back to pre-fire condition is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If your business experiences a fire loss, call the fire and water damage restoration experts and we’ll respond immediately to get you back to business.

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.

What To Do After A Fire


When fire damage occurs SERVPRO of San Mateo is aware of how devastating and stressful it can be. After you have contacted our offices we understand you might want to know what are the next steps. The first thing we strongly recommend to stay out of the building and stay out in a safe area.

  • 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 a 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.

Faster to Any Size Emergency

SERVPRO of San Mateo is dedicated to responding immediately to your San Mateo fire damage emergency. A faster response is the key to help prevent additional damage and reduce the restoration cost. We provide emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night. No damage is too large or too small for SERVPRO of San Mateo.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (650) 931-6060

Fire Damage in San Mateo Home

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Recently, SERVPRO of San Mateo got a call from a friend of our family. She informed us that her neighbors had a fire in their home the night before and needed some help getting it cleaned up.

Upon arriving at the scene of the incident we realized it was going to be a large undertaking, including cleaning many contents, inventorying and disposing of contents, and removing most of the interior walls and fixtures of the house. The smoke damage and odor was so bad the homeowners were lucky to be out and safe from harm. 

SERVPRO of San Mateo understands how extremely devastating fire damage can bring for your family and your home. It’s a stressful and confusing time for everyone, so you’ll need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. Our professionals at SERVPRO of San Mateo will always treat you with respect and empathy, and we’ll always treat your home and belongings with tremendous care.


We’re Fire and Water Damage Specialists

As fire damage and water damage 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.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Every fire damage situation is a little different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. When various materials burn, the soot they create differs greatly and requires a specific cleaning procedure. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage restoration. Learn more about our fire damage restoration process.

  1. Emergency Contact
  2. Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
  3. Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)
  4. Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
  5. Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
  6. Cleaning and Repair
  7. Restoration

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (650) 931-6060

SERVPRO of San Mateo Fire and Smoke Damage

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage can cause a pervasive order in your San Mateo property.

SERVPRO of San Mateo understands how extremely devastating fire damage can bring for your family and your home. It’s a stressful and confusing time for everyone, so you’ll need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. Our professionals at SERVPRO of San Mateo will always treat you with respect and empathy, and we’ll always treat your home and belongings with tremendous care.

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allow us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Have Questions? Call Us Today – (650) 931-6060

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 San Mateo 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

Every fire damage situation is a little different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. When various materials burn, the soot they create differs greatly and requires a specific cleaning procedure. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage restoration. Learn more about our fire damage restoration process.

  1. Emergency Contact
  2. Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
  3. Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)
  4. Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
  5. Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
  6. Cleaning and Repair
  7. Restoration

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today. 650-931-6060

Fire Loss

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke damage can have a severe impact on your home or business. Fire wreaks havoc on your respective facility and leaves countless necessary repairs in its wake. SERVPRO of San Mateo is committed to immediate emergency response to fire damaged homes and businesses.

Our team is certified and trained in fire and smoke restoration and can capably handle any amount of damage you’ve experienced. Be sure to call us first to handle the job. We will communicate directly with your insurance company to enable the project to reach completion as smoothly as possible.

 WHAT WE DO

The first thing we do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. We will identify what can and cannot be salvaged and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, we will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. 

Fire Damage Services

  • 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICE
  • EMERGENCY BOARD UP SERVICE
  • STRUCTURAL RESTORATION
  • SMOKE DAMAGE CLEAN UP
  • CONTENTS PACK OUT & CLEANING

Fire Restoration

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

This Fire Loss was caused by a power outlet

Fire Damage Restoration

If you’ve just experienced a fire or smoke damage at your home or business, then you need professional help. That’s why we’re here at all hours, every day of the year to help you recover – 24/7, 365 days a year.

For emergency service, call (650) 931-6060 right now.

As certified fire remediation experts, we use the most advanced processes and equipment in the industry and apply systematic best practices honed over the 50-plus years we’ve been in the business. We put the highest value on open communication and customer service and document the entire fire damage restoration process.

Just Had a Fire? Here’s What to Do Now.

If you’ve just experienced a fire, you might be wondering what to do next:

  • Follow all safety instructions provided by your local fire department personnel.
  • Move pets and kids to a smoke-free environment. Smoke contains carcinogenic gases that can affect their health. Start with a neighbor you trust for immediate aid then move them to a temporary home with friends or family until the fire restoration is complete. 
  • Open all the windows. This will get air moving to push the smoke out of the rooms.
  • Make that call – you will need professional help, so before you get too busy, hire a fire remediation specialist who can start work on getting your home or business back the way it was. Insurance policies require that you take reasonable steps to “mitigate damages,” from tarping a damaged roof to boarding windows and making sure smoldering is stopped. SERVPRO of San Mateo provides Its Best Recommendation estimates, has 51 years of experience and is available when you need us most. Call 650-931-6060 right now.
  • Call your insurance company. All policies require that homeowners and businesses report their loss “as soon as reasonably possible.”
  • You know it is time to recover, but where to start? View our "After the Fire: Cleaning Up" to learn more about recovering from a fire – both the structural damage and emotional damage.

There are also tasks you do not want to attempt on your own due to the toxic gases or risk of smoldering ash.

  • Don’t use electrical devices like appliances, stereos or TVs until the fire restoration service deems them safe.
  • Don’t wipe down the walls, wood trim and furniture or any other absorbent surface.
  • Don’t sit on or move upholstered furniture.
  • Don’t consume any food product, including canned items that were exposed to the extreme heat of the fire.
  • Don’t turn on home systems like the furnace or air conditioner.
  • Don’t water your indoor plants until you wipe down the leaves to remove soot.

Fire restoration services have the proper safety equipment to get the work done without the risks.

Why SERVPRO of San Mateo?

We are one of the top fire damage restoration service providers in the U.S. How do we do this? By providing fast, quality, start-to-finish restoration services with the help of respectful, trustworthy and trained service professionals. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Our training program includes the following:

  • IICRC Training
  • Employee Certification Training
  • Initial Franchise Training
  • e-Learnings
  • Continuing Education Classes

Common Fire Scenarios

At SERVPRO we’ve seen it all and fixed every kind of fire and smoke damage imaginable. Here are the most common causes of fires and smoke damage at homes and businesses:

  • Lint buildup in dryers
  • Electrical fires (faulty/aged wiring, overloaded electrical outlets)
  • Kitchen grease fires (and stove burners accidentally left “on”)
  • Accidental igniting of flammables, such as gasoline, propane, lighter fluid and solvents

There’s a SERVPRO of San Mateo on the Other Side

Having a fire or a smoke damage incident in your home or place of business is certainly upsetting, and you might be feeling a sense of shock. The good news is that our customers learn that there is a SERVPRO of San Mateo at the end of this. You will, too. Call today and know that you are on the way back to “normal.”

 Call our 24/7 emergency service line at (650) 931-6060. We’re ready to help.

Fire Restoration Structural cleaning

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

Structural Cleaning

Different types of disasters leave different types of residues present on structural elements. A fire deposits smoke and soot. A water disaster can cause mildew or mold. Structural cleanings are one of the cornerstones of SERVPRO of San Mateo.

This process generally starts by deodorizing the residence (See Deodorization & Odor Removal). SERVPRO of San Mateo will then begin the cleaning/restoration process and proceed room by room. We address all structural elements including: ceilings, walls, floors, windows, doors, window and door openings, baseboards and trims, cabinets, shelves, counters and floors. We also take care of appliances, electrical fixtures, and window coverings. When all cleaning services are completed, we will then provide any necessary steam cleaning services for carpets and upholstery.

The type of disaster will determine the type of cleaning methods used. Smoke damage calls for a degreaser that cuts through smoke and soot to restore surfaces to their pre-disaster condition. Contamination situations require a decontaminating detergent. We also use specialty sponges on items that cannot be cleaned using a wet method. Wood soaps and oils are used on wood paneling and cabinets. Other cleaning solutions are also employed such as window cleaners, silver and metal cleaners, acids for masonry as well as many others.

A structural cleaning generally takes only a couple of days depending on the extent of the damage and the size of the premises. We also work very closely with our customers to coordinate the process and to ensure that the results are satisfactory.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning & Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies SERVPRO of San Mateo in the area of Fire and Smoke Restoration.

Fire Damage Restoration

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

This Fire was cause by electrical wiring in attic.

The nature of a fire creates special problems worthy of comprehensive treatment. SERVPRO of San Mateo has the trained personnel and equipment to handle all aspects of fire damage, large or small.

Fire losses must be handled with special care since many types of materials can fuel a fire. Large amounts of water are required to extinguish the blaze, thus introducing concerns of corrosion, mold, and mildew growth

After fire or smoke damage occurs, many conditions need to be addressed immediately. The procedures involved following a fire loss are:

  • Debris removal
  • Onsite dry down
  • HVAC Cleaning
  • On-location and off-location contents cleaning

Debris Removal

Depending on the severity of the fire damage, debris removal is the first step in remediating a fire loss. SERVPRO of San Mateo will conduct debris removal and some initial deodorization to gear up for the rest of the remediation project that will follow.

Drying Out Water Damage

Our highly trained technicians are prepared to handle the water and moisture damage that lingers after a fire is put out. Depending on the condition of the property damage, if it is safe to do so, a thorough dry down of the area will be initiated for mold prevention, to halt mildew growth, and prepare for the next step of the fire damage restoration.

Deodorization and Cleaning

Most fire-affected buildings and their contents show evidence of severe soot fallout and contamination, as well as a lingering odor that must be treated professionally. Extensive cleaning of the facility’s HVAC system, furniture contents, walls, and fixtures is necessary to avoid exposure to lingering particulate and smoke that can irritate the eyes and throat. To properly remediate these conditions, we remove odor from the area and clean remaining contents, plus the main air heating and exhaust systems (HVAC).

San Mateo Fire Damage

2/2/2018 (Permalink)

This fire was caused by an Internet Router Box. SERVPRO of San Mateo was able to attend this Fire Loss

Fire Damage Repair and Restoration

In addition to fire, smoke, and soot damage, your Bay Area home may also suffer from water damage as a result of the firefighting efforts. This type of damage can be especially upsetting and destructive for your family to process. You may feel stressed, confused, and vulnerable, so you’ll need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. We’ll treat you with respect and empathy, and we’ll always treat your home and belongings with care.

SERVPRO of San Mateo specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Please refer to our Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.

Have Questions? Call Us Today – (650) 931-6060

Why Choose SERVPRO of San Mateo?

We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster 

When your San Mateo home or business experiences fire or smoke damage, you need professional help quickly. SERVPRO of San Mateo is dedicated to responding immediately, which helps to prevent secondary damage and to reduce the cost of restoration.

Learn More

We’re Fire and Water Damage Specialists

There is no substitute for training and experience. As fire and water damage specialists, our business is built upon fire and water restoration expertise. We have the knowledge and the specialized equipment to get your property back to pre-fire condition.

Learn More

Our Restore vs. Replace Mentality

We focus on restoring versus replacing because restoring the affected areas of your property is substantially less costly than demolishing and replacing those areas. This “restore first” mentality also allows us to get your home or business back to pre-fire condition quicker and with less disruption.

Learn More

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of San Mateo is locally owned and operated and we are proud to be part of this community. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large-scale fire, water, and storm disasters.

We proudly serve San Mateo, CA, and surrounding areas.

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. When various materials burn, the soot and residue they create differs greatly and requires a specific cleaning procedure. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage restoration. Learn more about our fire damage restoration process.

  1. Emergency Contact
  2. Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
  3. Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)
  4. Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
  5. Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
  6. Cleaning and Repair
  7. Restoration

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 
(650) 931-6060

Fire and Smoke Clean Up San Mateo

2/2/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage in Hillsborough, San Mateo County

Recently, SERVPRO of San Mateo got a call from a friend of our family. She informed us that her neighbors had a fire in their home the night before and needed some help getting it cleaned up. Upon arriving to the scene of the incident we realized it was going to be a large undertaking, including cleaning many contents, inventorying and disposing of contents, and removing most of the interior walls and fixtures of the house. The smoke damage and odor was so bad that the homeowners were just lucky to be out and safe and have some of their belongings determined to be salvageable. We started working on the house immediately and have been working on cleaning contents and removing smoke odor for almost two weeks now. Make sure to stay tuned to our “before and after pictures” page to see the work we can do if fire and smoke damage affects your home or business. 

SERVPRO of San Mateo specializes in:  water remediation, flood mitigation, carpet cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, mold removal, fire damage, and smoke clean up, disaster restoration, storm response, and air duct cleaning. SERVPRO of San Mateo has been serving San Mateo and the surrounding cities for quite some time. We are licensed and insured. SERVPRO of San Mateo (650)931-6060,  http://www.SERVPROsanmateo.com/

San Mateo Smoke and Soot Cleanup

2/2/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your San Mateo Home

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 San Mateo 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. 650-931-6060

Fire in San Mateo Commercial Building

2/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial and Residential Mixed-Use Building damaged by Fire and Water

Over 20 units in a San Mateo mixed-use property that included medical offices, other commercial businesses, and residential units suffered water damage due to a sprinkler system activation.

The sprinkler system was activated due to a fire in one of the residential apartment units. Luckily, SERVPRO of San Mateo was on the scene right away and set up air dryers, dehumidifiers, and other drying equipment to help restore the property.

Because SERVPRO of San Mateo's highly trained technicians were on job quickly, they were able to start the water restoration process quickly, minimizing damage to the drywall and flooring in the units.

SERVPRO of San Mateo is a highly-rated water restoration company, fire restoration company, and smoke/soot restoration company. In addition, SERVPRO of San Mateo offers cleanup services. 

For 24-7 service and free estimates, please call SERVPRO of San Mateo at (650) 931-6060 for any and all water damage, fire damage, smoke or soot damage you may experience. We are always here to help!

Fire Safety and Prevention in California

2/2/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Tips to Prevent Unnecessary Damage

With the fires that raged in Napa Valley and Sonoma county, fire safety, both from wildfires and accidental home fires, is a real concern for millions of California residents, including those in San Mateo, Burlingame, Hillsborough and San Francisco, California.

Due to a combination of reasons, including weather conditions (including lack of rain and lack of humidity), increasing temperatures (global warming), and simple human error or carelessness (tossed cigarettes, illegal bonfires, intentional fire-setting), wildfires have been increasing in number and intensity in recent years. This means that experiencing fire damage is a real possibility for many Californians, including those in many parts of Santa Clara County, California.

There’s also the danger of fires starting in your home from electrical shorts or kitchen fires (the most common cause of in-home fires). According to The Red Cross, “If a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape. During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.” Two minutes! That’s barely enough time to grab your pets and a couple of beloved belongings and escape. Not to mention dealing with the worry about your home due to fire damage because of fires in San Mateo, Burlingame, Hillsborough, and San Francisco.

Here are the top 7 ways to prepare for a home fire from redcross.org:

  • Install the correct number of smoke alarms. Install a smoke detector inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. On levels without bedrooms, install alarms in the living room (or den or family room) or near the stairway to the upper level, or in both locations. Test your smoke alarm or smoke detector once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
  • Teach children what smoke alarms sound like, and teach them what to do when they hear one. Practice with them twice-yearly.
  • Ensure that all household members know at least two ways to escape from every room of your home, and that you determine a family meeting spot outside of your home in the case of a fire.
  • Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another or cannot meet at the predetermined family meeting spot.
  • Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year, and at random times. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire“ to alert everyone that they must get out.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1, no matter how young.
  • Teach family members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

The Red Cross also recommends you follow these fire-safe habits:

  • Keep items that can catch on fire, like flammable clothing, paper, toys, etc. at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
  • Smoking paraphernalia is the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the United States. Please do not smoke. If you have to smoke, take precautions: Smoke outside, choose fire-safe cigarettes, don’t smoke in bed, don’t smoke when drowsy or medicated, or if anyone in the home is using oxygen. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.
  • Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.
  • Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended, even for a minute.

Following these fire-safe habits won’t protect you against wildfires, but there are steps you can take to help reduce the risk of fire damage to your home from a wildfire, such as those that have recently been burning in both Northern California and Southern California.

In the last two years, over 67,000 wildfires have been reported across the country each year, many in California. Yearly, wildfires destroy over 4,000 structures, with 3,000 of them residential. As real estate development expands into forests and grasslands, the chances of wildfire related property damage goes up.  

You can’t fight back a wildfire that is encroaching on your home or business, but you can take steps to protect yourself and your property. Learn how you can help protect your home or business from a wildfire.  Keep you and your family safe and know how and when to evacuate. Learn more in the second part of this blog post, to be continued next week.

If you already have suffered fire damage and need fire restoration, please call SERVPRO of San Mateo at (650) 931-6060 for a free estimate. Our highly trained technicians use advanced equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Smoke cleanup

10/19/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage technicians have the experience and knowledge to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action. 

Smoke and Soot facts:

  1. Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of structure
  2. Smoke flows around pluming systems
  3. The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke- wet and dry.

Wet Smoke- Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, pudgent odor, sticky, smeary. These are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke-Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises

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. 

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke,or Soot Damages?

Call Us Today 650-931-6060