Recent Fire Damage Posts

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island's top-Quality Fire Restoration

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

This apartment complex suffered severe Fire Damage, and our technicians made sure to Restore the property back to preloss conditions.

Every fire is different. Even a small fire can be devastating to your home, and belongings.  It may seem like a total loss, but that is not always the case. A call to a professional Fire Restoration company can make all the difference. They can restore your home, clean, and possibly save many of your belongings. Your home can be repaired, and safe to live in faster than you might think.

Fire restoration is essential. A Fire Restoration  team like our SERVPRO crew can be at your home as soon as the fire department clears it. They will begin assessing the damage to determine what is salvageable, and not salvageable, and what needs to be replaced. They will be very thorough to make sure that your home will be completely safe for you and your family to live in once everything is cleaned up, and restored. Odor removal makes furniture, and belongings such as clothes, and contents look and smell good as new.

After the fire’s out, that’s were our team at SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island comes in. We hope you never need our disaster restoration services, but if you ever do, we hope you remember our name.

A Small Fire Can Cause Odors in Your Home For Years To Come.

5/27/2019 (Permalink)

We will have trained technicians on-site of a fire damage within four hours or less to begin emergency services.

Fire, Smoke, and Soot damages in your home can create unpleasant, and permanent problems if not properly addressed As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels through out the home leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in those hard to reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in periodically resurfacing odors. Unfortunately, such damages are often made more sever when unprepared homeowners attempt to perform the cleanup themselves. All of your restorable items in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized to preloss conditions. This includes furniture, draperies, and upholstery, electronics, art, floorings, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts and so much more. We are trained and equipped to find sources of smoke odor and to effectively eliminate them from your home. proper deodorization is vital as smoke odors may appear to be gone, only to reappear months later. Before you risk doing more damage by attempting to clean it up yourself, call your local fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration experts at SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island.

3 Types Of Fires & Effective Cleaning Techniques

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Before and After pictures of a home that had been affected by fire damage.

Many people aren't aware that there is more than just one type of fire and that there are different cleaning techniques depending on what type of fire occurred. The most prevalent types of fires are: high-oxygen fires, which produce dry soot; low oxygen fires, which produce greasy, wet soot, and lastly, kitchen fires. Here's a closer look at how to clean each type of fire:

  • High oxygen fire: Dry sponges are a MUST when it comes to this type of fire. Follow this by applying a low-alkali detergent and then rinse thoroughly.
  • Low oxygen fire: Use high-alkali detergents along with warm water to wash the walls and structures. Rinse, then paint over.
  • Kitchen fire: These are often the most challenging fires to clean, as soot residue is difficult to detect. For this reason, cabinets, drawers, and other appliances often need to be removed to adequately clean area.

General Cleaning Techniques

Smoke and soot can often penetrate paint, carpet, upholstery, and textiles (clothing). While carpet can be deep cleaned and textiles can be taken to the dry cleaner's, properly restoring walls, structures, and objects is a different story. So here's a look at some helpful general cleaning techniques:

  • Personal protective equipment: Most important thing to do first is always wear protective equipment. Gloves, a protective mask, long-sleeved shirts and pants should be worn on site to minimize contact with ash.
  • Remove contents: Remove contents from the house. While some contents may have to be discarded, others can be effectively hand cleaned. Cleaning contents in an ultrasonic machine is also an option with some items.
  • Ventilate: Open all windows and doors to remove odor.
  • Beware of other contaminants: Lead and asbestos can turn a fire restoration job into an environmental restoration job if they've become disturbed.
  • Hand scrubbing: Fire damage work is one of the most tedious types of repair work. It involves a lot of handwork, such as scrubbing walls and structures with sponges, and using chemicals, and  specialized restoration equipment, such as media blasting tools, in the event of heavy residue.
  • Duct cleaning: Following restoration, a duct cleaning is required. That's because smoke and soot have a tendency to become trapped within a home of business's duct system. This can spread contaminants and odors to other areas of the home when in operation. Hence, a professional duct cleaning is necessary.

  Techniques for various materials

  • Clothes and fabrics: A specialized dry cleaner is capable of restoring these items to the condition they were before any loss occurred. Cleaning soot contaminated clothing is somewhat of a science, and while a homeowner may be able to adequately restore clothing on his own, it's always best to leave this to the professionals.
  • Carpet: A professional carpet cleaning is a MUST in order to effectively remove contaminants and odor from the carpet.
  • Building Materials: Dry chemical sponges are your best bet for wallboard, plaster, wood, and wallpaper. These will remove much of the soot and also prevent it from being lodged deeper into the material.
  • Other materials: Sponges, towels, and mops are ideal for cleaning tile, glass, metal, and certain appliances. Since these aforementioned objects are less porous than drywall, for example, its OK to use a wet or dampened sponge or cleaning tool. Plus, there's no risk of lodging contaminants deeper into the material.
  • Specialty cleaning tools: Ultrasonic cleaning machines can come in handy as they can adequately clean non-porous items quickly and efficiently, compared to hand cleaning.

Fire damage situations can be very overwhelming, but remember that there is always a solution to every problem. Leave it to the professionals! SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island are highly experienced and are here to make things go "Like it never even happened."

12 Protection tips for Fire Damage Restoration

1/3/2019 (Permalink)

 

12 Tips to Protect Yourself during Fire Damage Restoration | 2018-11-27 | Restoration & Remediation Magazine

During a wildfire, innumerable toxic chemicals, poisonous gases, heavy metals, and other toxins are generated by the materials, household products, and vegetation that burns. These contaminants fill the air, become part of the ash, and are extremely dangerous to your health if inhaled or come in contact with your skin. As restoration contractors, we often forget about the dangers involved in the various environments we enter, but safety should always be a top priority.

If you're home or business has been affected by fire or smoke,Here are some helpful safety tips:

 

12 Tips to Protect Yourself during Fire Damage Restoration | 2018-11-27 | Restoration & Remediation Magazine

  1. Avoid breathing air contaminated by smoke odor and minimize your exposure to contaminated areas.
  2. If you need to enter a smoke damaged structure, wear proper personal protective equipment, including a proper fitting respirator with a P-100 HEPA filter designed to filter vapor or gasses (not a dust mask).
  3. Persons with heart or lung disease should consult their physician before using a mask during post-fire cleanup.
  4. Avoid handling or coming in direct skin contact with items or materials affected by smoke, soot, or ash. If you need to retrieve items damaged by smoke, wear proper personal protection equipment, such as coveralls, eye protection, gloves, proper foot wear, hardhat, etc.
  5. Avoid getting ash into the air as much as possible. Do not use leaf blowers or take other actions that will put ash into the air.
  6. Avoid using shop vacuums and other common vacuum cleaners. These do not filter out small particles, but blow them out the exhaust into the air where they can be inhaled.
  7. Do not allow children or pets to enter areas that have smoke odor, ash or soot. If children or pets get soot or ash on their skin or hair, wash immediately with mild soap and warm water.
  8. If you anticipate that you will need to be inside a building or area affected by smoke, attempt to ventilate the area by opening windows or doors unless doing so will allow outdoor smoke odor or ash to get in. Minimize your exposure as much as possible.
  9. Have an environmental testing laboratory test for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and particulates to determine what types and concentrations of toxins may be present. Rarefied Air Environmental can also provide you with a comprehensive smoke odor remediation protocol.
  10. When sorting through contents, don't take chances. People should not eat or drink anything that has signs of heat or smoke damage. When in doubt, throw it out!
  11. If you experience any adverse health symptoms from exposure to smoke or soot, seek medical attention immediately.
  12. If you need to be in an enclosed space that has smoke odor, such as an office, home, or building, try to set up air scrubbers with HEPA filters or other type of filter designed to remove ultra-fine particulate matter as quickly as possible. In addition, using a hydroxyl generator can help to break down odor causing molecules

if your home or business has been damaged by fire,Call SERVPRO ASAP To repair damage!

Important Safety Tips Post Fire Loss

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

During a fire, innumerable toxic chemicals, poisonous gases, heavy metals, and other toxins are generated by the materials, household products, and vegetation that burns. These contaminants fill the air, become part of the ash, and are extremely dangerous to your health if inhaled or come in contact with your skin. Restoration Contractors like SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island, often forget about the dangers involved in the various environments we enter, but safety should always be a top priority.

If you are entering an area affected by fire or smoke, consider the following safety tips:

  1. Avoid breathing air contaminated by smoke odor and minimize your exposure to contaminated areas.
  2. If you need to enter a smoke damaged structure, wear proper personal protective equipment, including a properly fitting respirator with a P-100 HEPA filter designed to filter vapor or gasses (not a dust mask).
  3. Persons with heart or lung disease should consult their physician before using a mask during post-fire cleanup.
  4. Avoid handling or coming in direct skin contact with items or materials affected by smoke, soot, or ash. If you need to retrieve items damaged by smoke, wear proper personal protection equipment, such as coveralls, eye protection, gloves, proper footwear, hardhat, etc.
  5. Avoid getting ash into the air as much as possible. Do not use leaf blowers or take other actions that will put ash into the air.
  6. Avoid using shop vacuums and other common vacuum cleaners. These do not filter out small particles but blow them out the exhaust into the air where they can be inhaled.
  7. Do not allow children or pets to enter areas that have a smoke odor, ash or soot. If children or pets get soot or ash on their skin or hair, wash immediately with mild soap and warm water.
  8. If you anticipate that you will need to be inside a building or area affected by smoke, attempt to ventilate the area by opening windows or doors unless doing so will allow outdoor smoke odor or ash to get in. Minimize your exposure as much as possible.
  9. Have an environmental testing laboratory test for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and particulates to determine what types and concentrations of toxins may be present.
  10. When sorting through contents, don't take chances. People should not eat or drink anything that has signs of heat or smoke damage. When in doubt, throw it out!
  11. If you experience any adverse health symptoms from exposure to smoke or soot, seek medical attention immediately.
  12. If you need to be in an enclosed space that has a smoke odor, such as an office, home, or building, try to set up air scrubbers with HEPA filters or another type of filter designed to remove ultra-fine particulate matter as quickly as possible. In addition, using a hydroxyl generator can help to break down odor-causing molecules.

When you are impacted by a Fire Event or Disaster, call on us here at SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island.  We have highly trained Fire Restoration Technicians with the skills to tackle any size job.  Leave the cleaning and restoration to our experts so that you can focus on the other important aspects of your lives.

Fire Restoration--A Professional Standard

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island has highly trained and certified Fire Restoration Technicians.  We continually train and update our service with the latest products and technology in order to improve and excel in our field.  We far exceed the current standard in place but agree that there is a need for the industry to employ updates.

Right now, work is underway to develop Fire Standard #2, or “FS#2”, or by the more formal long title Restoration and Documentation of Buildings Impacted by Combustion Particles. It will focus on how fire and smoke damage restoration work is done, and be just one of five component standards intended for eventual unification in a fire standard compendium. While there is obvious confusion due to the number of pieces at work here, this much is certain: the standard for fire damage restoration is coming, and it is going to be impactful and important. But the process takes time and a dedicated group of volunteers.

Work in Progress Since 2014

If everything goes as planned, our industry is looking at the publication of the FS#2 fire standard around this time next year in Q1 2019. The seemingly endless work of the 55 or so subject-matter-expert volunteers started in very early 2014. The overarching committee meets every other week, with meetings of the nine subcommittees often in the off weeks.

As 2017 wound to a close, the work of the volunteers, and the support of the sponsoring organizations (the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) and the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA)), has now culminated in submittal of a wide-ranging document of approximately 100 pages with nine standards sections (think chapters) and 20 informative appendices. In December 2017, the draft fire standard was submitted to ASHRAE for review, formatting, and the next and arguably most crucial stage: peer review.

Proper Procedures

The involvement of ASHRAE is new to our industry and has been a bit puzzling for restoration industry veterans. Traditionally, the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification)  has been the channel to which the industry submits the mold, water, and recently biohazard standards for our industries to ANSI. The latter is the acronym for the American National Standards Institute, a private, non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel. In short, if an industry wants a standard to be considered legitimate in the U.S. (such as having weight in court), there aren’t a whole lot of alternatives to successfully entering and completing ANSI’s validation process. In the past decade plus, the IICRC engaged this process successfully with standards for restoration of water damage (S500), mold (S520), and biohazard (S540); and, illustrating the rigors of ANSI, at one recent point lost ANSI accreditation for the mold standard, and had to work very hard to gain it back (another story for another article, another time perhaps).  It is important to note that whether it is the IICRC or ASHRAE engaged in this process, the work at this stage does not change the technical value and validity of the informational content.

As noted, this procedural stuff gets wonky, and the acronyms get dizzying, but understanding it at a high level is critical for those who want to be leaders and cutting edge in restoration. So, with FS#2, the RIA and IAQA will turn the ANSI process over to IAQA’s parent organization: ASHRAE. Founded in 1894, and formally known as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, ASHRAE boasts of more than 56,000 members, breadth across 132 nations (that’s out of a possible 195), and has some serious street cred when it comes to standards and the ANSI process. A quick search for ASHRAE standards on the ANSI website generated 165 hits. Even if there is only a quarter that many ASHRAE standards with ANSI blessing, that’s an impressive number of standards. When ASHRAE finishes a standard via ANSI, a lot of serious people across the larger world of construction and engineering take notice – which is no doubt a big positive in launching the new, first fire damage restoration standard.

During Q1 & Q2 2018, the ASHRAE process will take the drafted work of the fire damage volunteers, and transform it into the language and format customary to ASHRAE, and necessary for ANSI validation. At this point, it is only about the document conforming to industry norms of presentation, neutrality, and that the consensus process employed throughout the writing was consistently fair and balanced. While it may be hard for some to believe, ANSI really doesn’t care how accurate the content is in a standard. The priority is the integrity of the consensus process in development. If the process was handled correctly, then the resulting consensus among subject-matter-experts should have inherently produced valuable, timely and accurate content.

YOUR Call to Action

At some point in Q2 2018, a draft of FS#2 will come out of ASHRAE for peer review. Whether you are currently in the fire damage restoration business, affiliated with it, or considering it as an expansion of services, you should enroll to peer review the standard. The potential value is considerable. Peer review is an opportunity to get a look at the content of a guidance document that will shape an industry. A standard, especially a first version, is a document that will shape the understanding of influencers across the conceivable spectrum. Lawyers, insurers, specialized experts, clients (and their consultants), EH&S departments….all and more will read the document and use it as a yardstick measuring the progress and proficiency of the restoration pro. If a successful business is in large part about managing risk, leveraging expectations, and gaining competitive advantage – doesn’t reviewing the standard at the earliest possible opportunity make sense?

For those that haven’t participated in peer review before, let’s remove some common misconceptions. There are no massive hurdles to satisfy in order to participate. In fact, anyone can sign up to review a draft standard, make comments and recommend changes. You don’t need to be a member of ASHRAE, RIA or IAQA. Moreover, comments and recommendations made professionally (i.e., neither frivolous nor nasty) don’t get ignored. Quite the contrary: ANSI requires that the comments from everyone get read and responded to. What is strongly recommended if you participate is to bring substance to the table. A good philosophy is that if a reviewer decides to find fault with a given provision of the draft standard, then accompany that comment with a thoughtfully formulated suggestion for improvement/replacement. Doing so greatly improves your chances to effect significant change.

Also, there are some things we can expect from the upcoming peer review for the fire damage standard. As the first edition of a standard for an industry as venerable and large as fire damage, there will be a substantial amount of peer review comments requiring digestion and response. That effort will take much of Q3 into Q4 2018 – which is why the eventual publication is forecast for Q1 2019. We also know that when ASHRAE releases a standard for peer review, there is a firm 30-day window of opportunity to review and submit comments, there are no extensions.

What we don’t know is when the opportunity for peer review will happen. ASHRAE’s standards operations are formidable and busy. Not even RIA or IAQA have much visibility into their calendar for standards. At some point essentially the white smoke will rise from the ASHRAE chimney, and the peer review clock will start. To assure an opportunity to participate, find a service that will automatically notify when the process is about to begin. IAQA announced in January at their annual national meeting in Chicago that a new member benefit is the ability to enroll for notification of peer review of impending ASHRAE releases. This benefit itself for some may justify an individual membership in IAQA. If neither a current member of ASHRAE or IAQA, find a company offering a similar service. Full disclosure, my Design Services Team at ICP Construction has been enrolling interested professionals onto a fire damage peer review notification list for over a year at no charge.

As always, the takeaway here is dependent on the reader. The news is that there is inbound a fire damage standard pertaining to how the fundamentals of that work are professionally done. The existence of such a standard is no longer the province of rumor or chatter. Thanks to some truly dedicated volunteers a long overdue document has been crafted that will have a lasting effect on the quality, health, and prosperity of fire damage restoration. For the restoration business owner already investing in fire/smoke as an engine of growth, now is the time to engage. Sign-up to participate in peer review, and cross-reference what is in the draft standard with how your company does business. The result should be a win-win. Greater knowledge will help owners improve their businesses, and the feedback from experienced professionals will yield a better and more effective standard for fire damage restoration for years to come.  SERVPRO of East Brownsville is eager to participate in any way it can in order to better its services and Industry as a whole.

Fire Damaged Windows--6 Steps in the Cleaning Process

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning windows affected by fire damage can be very time consuming. If you are lucky enough to get a job where the windows actually lift out or fold in for cleaning, then you’ve got it easier than most of us.

The first thing you will need to do before any cleaning begins is thoroughly inspect the window for damage like a broken seal, warped areas or heat cracks. If any of these things exist, the window will need to be replaced not cleaned.

Necessary Tools

Vacuum

Microfiber towels

Gloves

Goggles

Cotton Swabs

2 Buckets

A mild cleaner

An aggressive cleaner

Wood cream

Odor Counteractant

Chem sponge

Window cleaning solution

Paper towels

Regardless of the type of window (wood, metal or vinyl) you are dealing with, the cleaning procedures are basically the same. Most of the time, you’ll be dealing with vinyl.

Let’s walk through this process, step by step.

 Step 1: Vacuum out the window sill, frame and runner to remove any loose, dry particles.

 Step 2: Wipe the sill, runner and frame with a microfiber cloth using a mild degreaser. Always start with the mildest cleaner you feel will get the job done, then step up to a more aggressive cleaner if a test area doesn’t come clean with the first product.

Step 3: Keep cleaning, scrub, scrub, scrub! This step might take some time if there is a lot of greasy residue and soot to remove. Cotton swabs are great during this process. Be sure to clean all the tiny crevices and hard-to-reach places. Using something as small as a cotton swab (aka Q-Tip) may sound overkill, but trust me when I say the client will see the difference.

 What if the windows are wood? If the windows are wood, you may need to use a wood cream product on heavily damaged areas. However, take care when you apply the wood cream as it can be quite difficult to get out of small areas. Again, cotton swabs will help you get rid of any oily residue left behind. You may also want to use a chem sponge for light contamination and skip the wet cleaning stage when possible on wood windows.

Step 4: Deodorize! You can do this by using a microfiber cloth dipped in an odor counteractant. The cloth needs to be good and damp, but not dripping. Your goal here is to touch every surface of the window you can to make sure everything gets damp.

Step 5: Rinse the window, sill and runner with a hot water on a microfiber cloth to wipe off any excess.

Step 6: Use a window cleaner to clean and shine the glass!

Cleaning a window takes a lot of attention to detail. In a heavy contamination situation, you want to be sure to test each window in a small area to make sure you will be successful cleaning it.

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island has highly trained technicians that can tackle any size fire loss job.

Home » Helping Property Owners Recover from a Fire-Damage Emergency Helping Property Owners Recover from a Fire-Damage Loss

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Dealing with a fire-damage emergency and the claims process is an emotionally trying time for a policyholder. Here at SERVPRO of East Brownsville and South Padre Island, we are always sensitive to the personal and emotional aspects of a fire-damage situation. It’s imperative to recognize that a homeowner goes through five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

The professional must be prepared to respond appropriately to each situation. Insurance professionals need to prepare the homeowner for the restoration process, work closely with the restoration professional to ensure quality and timely work, and maintain a constant flow of communication throughout the process. A restoration professional must recognize that every loss is significant to the people impacted by it, and take the proper steps to restore the home to preloss condition. 

Dealing With a Fire-Damage Emergency

A fire loss is often more severe than a water loss, and special attention to safety is imperative. The restoration professional needs to ask the property owner some simple questions to quickly evaluate the level of damage: “Is there any structural damage? Is there a lot of smoke?” 

Air quality is the most important factor to evaluate. With any fire, carcinogens enter the air, and safeguards will need to be put in place to help ensure the safety of the air that the residents and workers breathe. All necessary PPE should be available for technicians, as well as the proper equipment to replace the bad air with fresh air as soon as possible. 

If not already aware, the service professional should consider the ages and health of everyone in the home. Young children, the elderly and pregnant women might need to leave the property immediately, as they are often more susceptible to air-quality related health issues. If the client is not comfortable living in the home, the agent needs to assist in finding alternative accommodations for the residents.

Specifics to Consider When Scoping a Smoke and Soot Loss

There are several important steps to take when analyzing a fire-damage emergency:

  1. Evaluate how much heat was involved that resulted in damage to the structure, fixtures and contents. Look for a “heat line” on the wall, which often indicates possible damage to the structural integrity of the drywall materials.
  2. Where did the smoke/soot travel to? Did the smoke get into the HVAC system? Did the smoke travel into the attic areas, or force its way into the crawl space or basement?
  3. Consider pre-cleaning as an alternative process to save the metal and glass items in a home.
  4. Is there excessive smoke inside of the walls? This often requires removal of the drywall to get rid of the smoke/soot and accompanying odors.
  5. Determine which systems are available that will best deodorize the property and contents. These include professional cleaning and sanitizing; organic deodorizing systems; hydroxyls; and/or ozone.
  6. Determine the extent of the damage and the processes/procedures that will return the property, and the lives of those people involved, back to a “preloss” condition as quickly as possible.
  7. Respond as rapidly as possible to minimize the long-term effects of smoke and soot damage, and the many acids those materials contain.

Smoke and soot-related emergencies require specific mitigation strategies, depending on the materials affected: flat or glossy paint, finished and unfinished; laminates and solid wood items; particle-board materials; natural and man-made fibers in carpets and upholstered furniture. Porous, semi-porous and non-porous materials all require unique cleaning and deodorizing systems to most effectively deal with smoke/soot damage. 

Wildfires often destroy thousands of acres of property and hundreds of homes. There is not much a mitigation company can do in those situations. However, there are often thousands of homes that are downwind from the fire that suffer smoke and soot damage, both on the exterior and the interior of homes. Smoke enters around doors and windows, through the ventilation system and even through the soffit vents into the attic areas. 

Knowing how to deal with these materials quickly and professionally to neutralize and remove the compounds from the home, and to control and manage the odor damage are key aspects of a professional restoration/mitigation company. 

Overall, the most important thing to understand about a fire damage emergency is that helping a client cope with the property loss is first priority. Communication along the way and hand-holding through the process is just as important, if not more, than the property owner receiving a check for the loss. 

The restoration professional should be empathetic and emphasize that the damage will be taken care of, but never pass off the restoration process as a casual routine. The level of damage should be evaluated quickly and efficiently. It is critical to work with the insurance agent to educate the policyholder, ease their concerns, and manage their expectations. 

Understand that each client will go through five steps of grief, and anticipate that anger will turn up one way or another. If the restoration professional expects this emotion to surface, they will be prepared to help the client cope and restore their sense of calm. 

Trust inexperts at SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island to help you along every stage of your loss.  

Which Provides the Best Results—Sprayers, Foggers or Misters

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

Fogger

Which Provides the Best Results—Sprayers, Foggers or Misters

A clear understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of device will help the restorer decide which unit will provide the best results in a particular job site.  SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island is equipped with all of this equipment and knows the job will dictate which unit could yield the best results.

Equipment evaluation and usage

Four distinct methods of dispersing deodorizing treatments are utilized. These methods are defined chiefly by the size of water droplets produced:

  • Pressure/compression sprayers
  • Wet foggers/misters
  • ULV (ultra-low volume) sprayers
  • Thermal-fogging devices

Pressure/ compression sprayers

These comprise the largest class of odor control application equipment. There are three main types:

  • Pump type
  • Electric
  • Airless paint sprayer

Pressure/ compression sprayers produce droplets that are often hundreds of microns in size. A micron is a unit of measure equal to one thousandth of a millimeter or 1/25,000th of an inch. These give the professional the greatest amount of control over where the spray is applied. They allow the professional to put a physical deposit of the proper deodorant where there was a physical deposit of odor thereby preventing further release of any odorous gases from the surface. Large droplets are an advantage when the desired outcome is to coat a surface.

Wet foggers/ misters

These constitute a large class of deodorant application tools. Misters work by mechanical action, using air pressure and specialized nozzles to break liquid into droplets.

Advantages

  • Lower in cost than other types of fogging equipment.
  • Droplets dispersed by these machines range in size from 25-100 microns.

Disadvantages

  • Often lack precision metering.
  • When machine operator is inexperienced, wetting, fallout and staining can occur to moisture sensitive surfaces.
  • The droplet size is typically much larger than the size of odor molecules and, therefore, does not penetrate the same as other types of fogging equipment.

ULV foggers

These are wet foggers that produce smaller droplets than wet foggers/ misters.

Advantages

  • ULVs are used to treat airspace with either water- or alcohol-based formulations. Alcohol-based formulations produce smaller sized droplets. ULVs can be adjusted to generate particles in the 8-15 micron size range.
  • Droplets can stay suspended in air for five or six hours instead of a few minutes with a wet fogger/ mister, allowing for better penetration.
  • Chance of over-wetting materials is greatly reduced when compared with wet (tri-jet) foggers.
  • Good for application inside of forced-air ventilation systems and in crawl spaces.

Disadvantages

  • Larger droplets generated by compression sprayers have a greater ability to coat surfaces than ULV generated droplets.
  • Does not get small enough in droplet size to get the best penetration and permeation into cracks and crevices and, therefore, does not reproduce the penetration of the deodorant vapors.

Thermal fogging devices

Thermal foggers are machines that utilize heat to change liquids into small droplets. These droplets condense when introduced into a cooler atmosphere. Thermal foggers can produce droplets as small as 0.5 microns up to 2 microns in size. Petroleum-based formulations are normally used with thermal fogging devices.

Differences between thermal and ULV fogging

The principle difference between ULV and thermal fogging is the thermal generation process produces a smaller and more consistent droplet size. Thermal fogging produces a dry or damp fog as opposed to the wet ULV aerosol.

Although many thermal fogging devices are limited to applying only oil-based formulations, some thermal foggers are available that may also be utilized to apply water-based formulations.

  • The concentration of active material in thermal fogging is usually lower than in ULV applications.
  • Thermal fog droplets have better penetration and permeation properties than ULV droplets.
  • Thermal fog lends itself to treatment of both large and small dwellings and buildings.
  • Gas-powered thermal foggers require no electrical source; no need to delay treatment if power is not available.
  • The small droplet size makes it possible to envelop contaminated atmospheres with odor counteractant, resulting in faster and more complete applications.

Gasoline-powered thermal fogger

Gasoline-powered thermal foggers do not require electricity and are capable of producing substantially smaller droplets than electrical powered units. They also produce larger volumes of fog.

Electric thermal fogger

Electric thermal foggers produce smaller volumes of fog with larger droplets. For simple, smaller jobs they are very useful. Be sure to use with a heavy-gauge extension cord and follow manufacturer’s directions for use.

All are effective tools in our Industry.  But it is clear that training and knowledge of these units is vital for the success of the project.  Deodorizing or disinfecting, SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island has highly trained technicians skilled in the use of these pieces of equipment as well as the chemicals involved in their use.

Soot and Smoke require Special Cleaning

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

Special Cleanup when it comes to Smoke and Soot

After a fire, soot damage is very typical. Soot can be a black flaky or oily or powdery substance which forms from incomplete combustion. Fine carbonized compounds cling to surfaces in your home like ceilings and walls, plus your possessions. Soot can be difficult to remove, and sometimes it is not possible to restore the surface to its pre-fire condition. 

There are two types of sediment you can find after soot damage home – oily and dry. A quick check you can do to discover the type of residue you have is just to run your finger over a soot-covered surface. It is oily residue if it smears. Try not to make a mess. Better yet, leave it to us to inspect and clean. 

You need an experienced fire damage restoration team working with you to clean the soot from your home thoroughly. SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island is standing by to help you as soon as the fire is out and everyone is safe. The longer you leave the smoky substance sitting in your home, the more damage it does.  

Heat from the fire pushes the soot and can cover everything in its way. Smoke looks for a kind of equilibrium and travels until its energy is used and it goes to cooler temperatures. When tested, soot can always be found on the acidic side of the pH scale. Acidic materials are destructive to a majority of elements found in nature. Over time, they keep degrading materials by oxidation which leads to discoloration, etching, corrosion or pitting. Stains over metals can yellow and soften. These reactions are ongoing from soot residues until they are removed.  

We can clean up oily residue with special degreasing agents, while we clean dry soot with cleaning sponges. Sometimes, soot will be oily in one room and dry in another. It all depends on the kinds of materials that were burned, so we check ahead of time before we begin remediation.  

Many varying types of damage occur after a fire, including water damage from firefighting efforts, but soot damage continues to eat away at the surfaces it is covering if left untouched.

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island specializes in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold. Their expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. They pretest your belongings to determine what items they can restore to pre-fire condition. They use several methods of cleaning your contents, including:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.

Move-Outs/Pack-Outs

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to fire damage, SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. A move-out has several benefits, including:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protecting items from potential damage
  • Protecting contents from further on-site damage

When restoration is completed, they will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage. 

Electronic Cleanup

Fire-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by fire. Smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces. If the residues are not removed, corrosion causes electronic failure in the device. SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:

  • Television sets
  • DVD players
  • Computers
  • And more

The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.

Contents Claim Inventory Service

When a fire emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. They take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding.

Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:

  • Pre-loss list and value of contents
  • Detailed and accurate report
  • Better information to settle claims quicker
  • Assistance with burden of proof for claims
  • Peace of mind when you need it most!

When it comes to going through a fire event, know that the experts at SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island can help make it "Like it never even happened.”