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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Smoke Damage: A Complicating Factor in a Property Damage Restoration Project

8/6/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of San Mateo explains how smoke damage complicates the property damage restoration process in a home that has suffered fire damage.

The SERVPRO of San Mateo fire damage restoration specialists understand the restoration and safety challenges presented by a fire and smoke damage disaster. In these situations, fast response and immediate action help limit damage, prevent further damage and reduce restoration costs. The highly-trained SERVPRO crews have the specialized equipment and resources to handle large or small jobs for residential and commercial clients.

The complexities of fire and smoke damage restoration

A structure fire produces a complex property damage disaster involving many components. In a house fire, the damage may be so extensive that complete demolition and a new build is the only solution. Flames burn everything in their path, leaving only charred remains and toxic smoke, soot, and ash. The heat from the flames causes personal belongings to melt, crack, and shatter. Fire extinguisher foam and water are sprayed throughout the structure as the fire is extinguished.

After the flames are out, a highly corrosive layer of toxic smoke and soot clings to almost everything in the fire-damaged structure. If not immediately addressed, smoke damage can continue to affect a home, including in places that the flames never touched. Houses have been ruined by smoke from wildfires, even though the structures were not burned in the fire.

The smallest fire can cause great smoke damage even though the flames were extinguished very quickly. Smoke and soot are composed of toxic materials, some of which are very corrosive. These corrosive substances in smoke and soot can compromise the structural integrity of a home. The quick removal of smoke and soot after a fire is crucial to prevent the acid-like toxins from eating away at the surfaces and items contaminated in the fire. The owner of a home or rental property that has suffered a fire or been affected by smoke from a nearby raging wildfire needs to act fast to limit potential damages. The fire and smoke damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of San Mateo can assess the damage and create a plan of action uniquely customized to each situation. This tailored approach ensures the damaged home is clear of any fire-related damages.

Are a home and possessions damaged by smoke salvageable?

The extent of the damage will determine if the home and its contents can be salvaged. Cost should be considered since some items will cost significantly more to repair than to replace. A smoke damage specialist can determine what items should be cleaned, discarded, or replaced.

How does smoke affect a home?

Several factors must be considered when examining how smoke from damage affects a home. Firstly, smoke causes different types of damage to different types of materials. A second factor is temperature. The extremes in temperature and the type of fire will cause different types of smoke damage throughout a home. One of the most devastating ways smoke can adversely affect the structure and contents of a home is when the corrosive smoke and soot seep into small cracks and crevices in the house, appliances, and electronic devices. The tiny particles may go unnoticed and unaddressed for months. The lingering hint of the smell of smoke is the tell-tale sign that the fire and smoke damage restoration was incomplete.

The solution is intensive and invasive. Smoke-damaged items must be removed or expertly cleaned with specialized cleaning strategies and odor-removing EPA-approved odor-neutralizing solutions. If the smoke smell originates from the building materials in the home, then the walls, flooring, ceilings, molding, and other materials must be cleaned. The cleaning and restoration team will use special equipment, tools, techniques, and cleaning and deodorizing solutions specifically designed to remove the smell. A smoke and fire damage cleanup is dangerous and should be left to professionals who know what they are doing and who have the personal protective gear to ensure their own safety.

How important is a fast smoke damage cleanup?

By acting fast, the homeowner can prevent permanent damage from the corrosive effects of smoke throughout the home. Synthetic fibers and porous items that may have absorbed the fumes or soaked up the smoke-contaminated water need restoration intervention almost immediately to be saved. Flooring and painted surfaces such as walls and ceilings need attention within twenty-four to forty-eight hours. Permanent staining can occur if the smoke residue is left to linger on wood furniture and painted items.

Water damage and smoke residue cause metals to rust and corrode at an accelerated rate. Delay in securing the services of a fire and smoke damage restoration company expands the extent of damage and increases the cost of restoration. Insurance companies understand the negative consequences of allowing fire and smoke damage to go unaddressed. Delays on the part of the homeowner can adversely impact the claims process if the insurance company deems that the delays are unwarranted.

In case of a property damage disaster in a residential or commercial setting SERVPRO of San Mateo is available 24/7/365 to help regain control of the situation quickly and begin the restoration process. Quick response, rapid remediation, and minimal disruption enable the homeowner to resume normal life almost immediately after the property damage incident.

For more details about the fire and smoke damage restoration and cleaning services provided by SERVPRO of San Mateo in San Francisco and surrounding areas, contact the office by phone at (650) 931-6060 or email office@SERVPROsanmateo.com.

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