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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What Procedures are Necessary During Fire Cleanup Exercises In Durham?

9/27/2020 (Permalink)

Living Room On Fire Cleaning a fire-damaged property requires a combination of different approaches to deal with all forms of soiling caused by the incident.

SERVPRO Can Help You Prepare As Well As Perform the Fire Damage Cleanup Processes Your Durham Property Needs

Cleaning up a property damaged by fire is a multi-stage process because you have to remove the materials introduced by the combustion process, the firefighting effort, and the people that move around the premises in the aftermath of the fire. That is why SERVPRO plays a pivotal role in identifying problem areas and performing the necessary restoration procedures for your Durham home to regain its preloss state.

What stages must the fire damage cleanup crews complete in Durham properties?
    •    Moisture management
    •    Initial cleanup
    •    Removal of damaged materials
    •    A thorough cleanup
    •    Deodorization

You may not associate fires with water, so the issue of moisture management may not be high among your priorities as you plan to clean your Durham property after a fire. However, moisture can build up in your house in many ways starting with the fire suppression process whereby gallons of water might be pumped into your house to stop the flames. Even if other forms of firefighting, such as application of foam, are used, thus avoiding water, you might still need to address moisture issues. For example, openings such as shattered windows can allow rainwater intrusion. Fires also mess with the electrical systems, so your property might not be heated after the fire, and thus moisture can accumulate from condensation.

Whatever cause leads to the moisture accumulation at your house, finding a way to reverse or prevent its adverse effects is essential. One such effect is the deep setting of loose soils deposited on surfaces. Our SERVPRO crews assess the circumstances to determine which action can produce the desired result. Some of the solutions we pursue include:
    •    Water extraction
    •    Dehumidification
    •    Heating the building

Why is it necessary to perform initial cleaning during a cleanup exercise?
In properties badly damaged by fire, carrying out some limited-scope cleaning is necessary. What you need to clean on such a scope varies depending on the specifics of the incident. When our SERVPRO technicians restore extensively damaged properties, we perform initial cleaning of items that the occupants might need in their temporary abode. Alternatively, we can do the initial cleanup to protect items if full restorative cleaning might be delayed. In such cases, we pre-clean carpets, porcelain, furniture, and metal items. Initial cleaning utilizes simple methods such as vacuuming, wiping, or dusting the affected materials. We might also apply protective substances such as a thin film of oil on metallic surfaces to safeguard them against the corrosive effects of soot.

Which materials need removal during cleanup?
Moving materials from a fire damaged property is a common thing. For example, you might need to move items to an external storage facility or your temporary accommodation. However, regarding clean up, removal involves the demolition of the materials damaged irreversibly. Fires usually damage drywall, ceilings, and insulation, among other light materials, necessitating such teardown. Removing damaged materials requires the right tools to avoid damaging structural supports or other materials that might be retained after restoring the building.

Which areas need cleaning for the property to be fully restored?
    •    Surfaces such as walls and ceilings
    •    Furniture and upholstery items
    •    Appliances
    •    Utilities such as air ducts and electrical cables

Fire spreads residues like ash, soot, and other smoke by-products all over the property. The cleaning process should remove or neutralize all the unwanted residues, restoring the property to its preloss state. Our SERVPRO technicians seek to understand the problems first before starting the cleaning. For instance, before cleaning surfaces such as walls or ceilings, we establish whether cleaning is the only restoration process required or the surface needs to be refinished. We also establish how severe the soiling is so that we can establish the right cleaning approach.

We utilize various solutions to achieve the desired outcome, including:
    •    Dry cleaning sponges
    •    Compressed air
    •    Brushes
    •    Vacuum cleaners

Cleaning with materials such as dry cleaning sponges or using compressed air removes residues without introducing any chemical agents to the soiled material, making them perfect solutions for removing residues without affecting the underlying material. A cleaning sponge is made with porous materials that absorb the soils from the surface when pressed firmly on the surface.

Some types of soiling, such as the wet smoke residues, require chemical agents to dislodge them from materials. In such cases, mild or moderate agitation is also essential, which can be done through brushing during wet cleaning.

Cleaning a fire-damaged property requires a combination of different approaches to deal with all forms of soiling caused by the incident, “Like it never even happened.” Call SERVPRO of North Durham at (919) 467-0880 to help.

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