Recent Fire Damage Posts

What Can I Do About the Intense Fire Damage in My Los Angeles Kitchen?

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

fire damaged property If your home is in urgent need of fire damage restoration services, never wait.

SERVPRO of Los Angeles Can Help You Remediate the Fire Damage in Your Home!

When fire damage hits most Los Angeles homes, many people imagine some part of their home burning down. Sometimes, that can happen. In these situations, not only do you have to contend with fire damage, but also water damage. Many people do not realize just how much water firefighting efforts can leave behind. Once extinguished, your home could be soaked through to the framing. In a scenario like this, it is necessary to reach out for professional help immediately.

Here at SERVPRO, our technicians are fire damage remediation experts in Los Angeles. It doesn't matter how intense the fire was, or if your home needs to be gutted down to the frame and built back up. We've got your back and can help remediate the evidence of the fire inside of your home.

What if My Kitchen Needs to Be Gutted and is Soaked?

Even if the worst seems to have struck your home, here at SERVPRO, we can help you by:
    •    Bagging up damaged materials such as insulation, drywall, and flooring and then disposing of them
    •    Setting up extraction equipment, such as wet/dry vacuums and floor drying mats, to remove as much water as possible
    •    Cleaning up as much debris and ash as possible

Our goal is always to try and get your home feeling like it did before the damage struck. Your kitchen cannot be rebuilt until the evidence of the fire is gone, and key materials are replaced.

How Can You Remove Soot, Charring, and the Foul Odor Left Behind?

Our specialists have access to advanced technological devices that can be used together to remediate your home and leave a clean slate for rebuilding to occur on. Some of those devices include:
    •    Air scrubbers with carbon filters
    •    Ozone machines
    •    House-made cleaning solutions
    •    Sanding equipment to remove charring from framing

Our main goal is always to save as much material as we can. If a wooden beam only has a little charring, and it is safe to sand, we would rather save it than replace it. We go about all of our work this way, to help you keep costs low. Once we’ve provided a clean slate to work with, you can feel confident that your home appears, “Like it never even happened.”

If your home is in urgent need of fire damage restoration services, never wait. Call SERVPRO of Highland Park by dialing (323) 255-1001. Our doors are always open for you!

Do I Need to Throw Away My Things After a Fire in My Los Angeles Home?

6/29/2020 (Permalink)

"Fire" We have the training, expertise, and state-of-the-art equipment to restore your home to pre-damage condition after a fire. Call us right away.

SERVPRO Fire Restoration Specialists Work to Restore Your Things 

Dealing with a fire in California is an unfortunately common occurrence, so it is essential to know what to do if your home endures a fire. One of the most significant issues after a house fire is the intense smell caused by smoke residue. Your first instinct might be to throw away items rather than deal with the odor. Still, a professional restoration service like SERVPRO may be capable of removing odors, so you do not have the cost and hassle of replacing the contents of your home.

Can I Clean My Belongings Myself?

While you can attempt to clean fire-damaged items, without the correct knowledge, you may inadvertently damage your things further. Our Los Angeles- based SERVPRO professionals can quickly categorize your belongings by the level of damage, priority, and required cleaning method to ensure the best possible outcome. After that they proceed in the cleaning and restoration process.

What Are Some Types of Cleaning Techniques Technicians Use for Loose Items?

  • Immersion cleaning by submerging the item into the water and cleaning fluid.
  • Dry clean surfaces by wiping or vacuuming away dry, loose residue.
  • Wet clean surfaces using low-alkaline surface cleaner and wiping away damp residue.

What Are the Two Types of Immersion Cleaning?

  • Basin Cleaning: Technicians fill a basin or sink with hot water, adding SERVPRO's Ultra Content Cleaning. From there, they wash the item by hand using brushes or cleaning rags. 
  • Ultrasonic Cleaning: Technicians add an ultrasonic cleaning solution to water. Sound waves create small bubbles that implode, causing agitation and removal of soils. 

For 24/7 assistance cleaning your home and contents after a fire, contact SERVPRO of Highland Park at (323) 255-100. We make it, "Like it never even happened."

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Is Cleanup of Fire Damage at My LA Home Really that Different from Day to Day Household Chores?

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

Woman cleaning home No matter when you make the call, we have technicians who can assist you.

Professionals from SERVPRO Have the Specialized Products, Training, and Equipment to Conquer the Challenges of Los Angeles Residential Fire Damage

People joke all the time about the state of their housekeeping when busy lives make it hard to stay on top of tasks. Usually, a trip to the store to top off the supplies and the judicious administration of some elbow grease can get your home shipshape. When a fire disaster creates the mess, Los Angeles homeowners find out quickly that the removal of the residues covering all surfaces are beyond the skills of a weekend cleaning crew, even if you include the whole family.

Can We Clean Fire Damage Ourselves if We Invest in Better Tools and Products?

If you are considering managing fire damage in Los Angeles as a family DIY project, you need to understand the risks. A broad range of safety considerations must be assessed and controlled before cleaning up the fire residues without exposing the individuals doing the work.

Are there Water Hazards When Responding to Fire Damage?

Water, and plenty of it, is the primary substance used to extinguish fires. It poses many safety concerns, including:

  • Slip, trip, and fall (including injury from submerged debris)
  • Electric shock
  • Weakening and deterioration of supportive structures, including a significant chance of ceiling or wall collapse
  • Contamination and proliferation of pathogens 
  • Mold growth and damage

Do Burned and Charred Structures Expose Fire Damage Responders to Safety Risks?

The heat of the fire can warp metals and dry out and diminish the strength of wood and other framing and surfaces. Burned materials can fail to support weight and can crumble and splinter. 

How Do Fire Residues Affect the Health and Well-Being of Individuals in Their Vicinity?

When building materials and contents burn, their benign natures can alter. Consumption by flames and exposure to heat unleashes a long list of toxic substances that can be hazardous if touched or inhaled. Not only do those who clean up the residues need to protect themselves during the work, but the soot must also be eliminated entirely, requiring professional training, products, tools, and equipment. Failure to eradicate the residues places you and your family in a persistent danger zone as both skin contact and breathing reintroducing the toxins continually. 

Will Lingering Residues Do More Damage to Building Materials and Contents?

The corrosive action of fire residues promotes more damage to surfaces and other structural components. Furnishings, household goods, and personal possessions also suffer progressive deterioration. Even well-intentioned and vigorous non-professional cleaning cannot eliminate the tiny particles of soot and the gasses in the space. Odors become entrenched, and clothing and linens again recontaminate your family's skin if inadequately cleaned.

What Are Effective Ways Professionals Clean Up and Deodorize Fire-Damaged Spaces?

Residue Cleanup

SERVPRO's managers and technicians master extensive fire residue cleaning strategies taught by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). We learn to evaluate types of soot and to match proprietary cleaners and cleaning techniques with the residues. Equipment and tools are also added to the battle, requiring certified technicians for these aids' proper operations. Throughout, our employees wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and consider the use of other safeguards, including workspace containment and air scrubbers to control and reduce contaminants.

Odor Control

Fire damage mitigation and remediation include the removal of noxious odors caused by the creation of soot. The malodors hitch a ride on the invisible bits of incompletely combusted building materials and contents. Airborne at first, the soot sifts into cracks and crevices, sinking into upholstery and padding, smelling foul wherever it embeds. Our goal is to eliminate the odor, not merely mask it. Our deodorization team follows a research-based protocol to eradicate odors:

  • Remove charred debris
  • Clean odor-bearing residues thoroughly, including using air scrubbers to trap airborne residues
  • Replace filters in HVAC systems and arrange for their cleaning if they contain significant quantities of soot
  • Consider sealing surfaces that absorbed odors and are at risk of vaporizing the smells (common during high humidity and temperature fluctuations)
    • Take advantage of our inventory of advanced deodorization equipment, including:Thermal foggers (recreating the conditions of the fire to pair deodorants with odiferous particles)
    • Hydroxyl generators (emitting charged particles that change the chemical composition of soot bits at the molecular level)

Repeat various iterations of these deodorization strategies until the odors no longer are troublesome to the customer.

Call on the experts at SERVPRO of Highland Park for a comprehensive response to the many worrisome issues raised by fire damage in your home. Our team is available 24/7, just a phone call away at (323) 255-1001.

How Do I Clean and Deodorize My Clothes After a House Fire?

4/26/2020 (Permalink)

woman's legs sticking out of pile of clothes Overwhelmed by Smoky Clothes after a Fire in Your Los Angeles Home? Call SERVPRO!

SERVPRO Can Help Deodorize and Clean Your Clothing after a Los Angeles House Fire

Nearly all fire damage is traumatic, but finding a closet full of smelly, sooty clothes can be especially personal and demoralizing. Consider using an expert located in the Los Angeles area who can help you take the necessary steps to salvage damaged clothing.

Why is Cleaning Clothing Especially Urgent and Important?

Wearing clean clothing is something we take for granted in daily life, but getting clothing organized and cleaned can be especially difficult after a fire in your Los Angeles home. Many cleaning issues require specialized solutions, and extra procedures are sometimes necessary.

What is the first step in dealing with clothing damaged by smoke?

The first step is to organize the clothing into three groups, usually:

o apparel that will be worn immediately
o Clothing to be worn at a later time
o Seasonal clothing

What are the initial steps to clean and deodorize clothing?

There are many varying procedures, often on a case by case basis, for cleaning smoke and odor damaged soft materials. Like with other household contents, we can do a pack-out, and perform cleaning services at our warehouse under controlled conditions.

All clothing should be removed from metal hangers, and the hangers are generally discarded. The acidic nature of soot can result in secondary fire damage to the items. After that, compressed air can be used to get rid of odor molecules and blow off smoke particles.

What are some of the cleaning products used on clothing after a fire?

SERVPRO professionals typically spray garments with solvent-based products to counter the effects of smoke odors on clothing. These sprays come in different scents, and they can also be used on garment bags. We carry a large inventory of citrus-based cleaning products.

What about smoke odors on clothing that can’t be removed by dry cleaning or laundering?
SERVPRO can recommend a reputable dry cleaner in your area to attempt restoring some of your clothing to preloss condition. There is always the option to also donate items to charitable organizations.

Count on SERVPRO of Highland Park to clean and deodorize your clothing after a fire. Call us right away at (323) 255-1001 to get an assessment.

Mild Fire Damage Leaves Big Smoke Residues in Los Angeles Bedroom

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

"Contact us" We understand the need for rapid response and restoration to minimize the loss of your property. Call us right away we are available 24/7.

You Will Need an Experienced Team on Your Side After a Fire Strikes

Bedrooms are the second most frequent area in the home that fire damage occurs, accounting for an overall 7% of house fires. Because of the number of soft fabrics, plush comforters, and pillows, when a fire happens, it tends to spread rapidly. 

A bedroom in Los Angeles with fire damage can look like a total loss at first glance. However, looks can be deceiving when it comes to this type of cleanup.

Inspection

Scoping the loss area in the bedroom is a critical part of the restoration process. SERVPRO techs use their equipment to look for places that need water extraction from fire extinguishing efforts, the scale of the cleanup, and whether or not the mitigation requires containment measures.

Difference Between Charred and Restorable

It is not unusual to find every item in the bedroom piled in the middle of the room and drenched with water. This heap is a common firefighting tactic that stops smoldering contents from re-igniting. The techs go through this wet pile and look for belongings with restoration potential. Something covered in smoke damage may have recovery possibilities through the advanced cleaning methods. Items with charring in most cases are a loss but get disposed of only with the approval of the adjuster or property owner.

Testing 

The cleaning of substantial smoke damage on bedroom furnishings such as solid wood nightstands, metal or hardwood headboards, and footboards is not a one-size-fits-all process. SERVPRO techs have several different types of tests they conduct on the residues and surfaces to ensure the right kinds of cleaning agents get used. While mattresses constructed after 2007 have to meet more stringent fire retardant standards, it does not protect them from charring, or smoke damage, and mattresses are often a loss. 

Odor Removal

Once the techs finish with the removal of charred items and wiping away smoke residues, they apply odor control methods in the bedroom, so there are no reminders of the fire. It is often a multi-layered process that uses one or more types of specialized equipment that does not cover odors but removes them at the molecular level.

SERVPRO of Highland Park at (323) 255-1001 cleans up and restores homes with fire damage, making the loss "Like it never even happened."

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Fire Safety Tips

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the number one cause of house fires with unattended cooking being associated with the majority of these fires. Here are some tips from the National Fire Protection Association to follow in your kitchen:

  1. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand and make sure you know how to use one. It’s also important to use the correct type of extinguisher for the fire you’re fighting.
  2. Use caution and stay alert! If you are sick, intoxicated or sleep deprived, it’s safest to avoid using the oven or stove top until you feel healthier.
  3. Keep flammable items like plastic and wooden utensils, curtains, paper towels, food packaging and oven mitts away from your stove top. 
  4. Use a timer to remind you to check on your food regularly. It is important to keep an eye on what you’re cooking, especially if it’s being cooked at high temperatures (broiling, frying, boiling, etc…). 
  5. Don’t leave hot oil unattended. When you are frying food, it’s important to always stay put and keep an eye on it as hot frying oil can become a dangerous situation rapidly. Gradually heat the oil to the temperature needed for sautéing or frying. If the oil becomes too hot, lower the heat or carefully remove the oil from heat immediately. Wisps of smoke are one sign that the temperature of the oil is too high. Keeping a thermometer specifically designed for frying can help you keep the oil at an ideal temperature.
  6. If you are cooking in a pan, keep a lid nearby while you cook. If the pan catches fire, slide the lid over the pan and immediately shut off the burner. Leave the lid on and let the pan cool.

5 Interesting things to know about Fire

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

image shows a fire view from a highway This photo was taken from the 14 freeway.

Whether your fire is on purpose (bonfire) or on accident is important to know your fire facts. 

1. Earth is the only known planet where fire can burn. Everywhere else does not have enough oxygen. On Earth air consists of 21% oxygen.

2. Oxygen supply influences the color of the flame. A low-oxygen fire contains lots of uncombusted fuel particles and will give off a yellow glow. A high-oxygen fire burns blue.

3. Spontaneous combustion is real. Some fuel sources can generate their own heat—by rotting, for instance. Pistachios have so much natural oil and are so prone to heat-generating fat decomposition that the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code regards them as dangerous.

4. Haystacks, compost heaps, and even piles of old newspapers and magazines can also burst into flame.

5. America’s deadliest fire took place April 27, 1865, aboard the steamship Sultana. Among other passengers were 1,500 recently released Union prisoners traveling home up the Mississippi when the boilers exploded. The ship was six times over capacity, which helps explain the death toll of 1,547.

SERVPRO specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. We can handle any size disaster!

Call us today at (323) 255-1000

Painting home in Los Angeles

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Servpro technician painting wall We do it all!

One of the services we have to offer here at SERVPRO of Highland Park is reconstruction on all water, fire, or mold losses. If we are the team performing the clean up and there is any portion of demolition involved. No worries. We will remove all necessary material (structural or not) and then proceed to return for the re installation. We have extensive experience with installing floors, drywall, tile, painting, and even restructuring homes. We are more than lucky to have an owner who has been a licensed contractor for over 30 years. With his specialty we obtain the confidence to pursue any size job. We truly fit the description of a one-stop-shop. Call today and ask about how we can help you in a time of need. 323-255-1000

Maintaing Smoke and Soot damage After Los Angeles fires

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

The fire damage of a grease fire is shown Call (323) 255-100 immediately to have an expert assess your home or business after a fire

In the aftermath of a fire, the sight of blackened walls, ceilings, and surfaces can make you feel overwhelmed and unequipped to manage the cleanup. The first reaction is understandable, while the second is wise. Cleanup of toxic fire residues is a job best completed by our Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)-trained and experienced managers and technicians. We match suits to appropriate cleaners and methods for optimal results.

Fire damage in Los Angeles requires evaluation of the types of residues found throughout all spaces in your home. Even rooms far from the ignition site show signs of soot soiling. Depending on the materials com-busted and the surfaces coated, we use different cleaners, tools, and methods. Structural components are cleaned on-site, but we might transport some of the contents of your home to our production facility for specialized treatment.

Wet soot occurs when a fire is lower in temperature and smolders because of limited oxygen. SERVPRO sees this kind of soot after rubber, plastics, and oils burn. The residue is thick and sticky, prone to smearing. Odors can be strong and irritating. Successful removal requires a cleaning agent with attractants and wetting agents applied with agitation to loosen the residue before wiping.

Paper and wood burn fast and hot, leaving ashy soot. Lingering smells are not as dominant nor unpleasant as wet soot. Careful brushing and dry sponging followed by HEPA-filtered vacuuming work well. Fabrics suffering from an ashy buildup respond to foam cleaners applied and removed quickly with a brush.

Kitchen fires deposit a protein-based coating that travels throughout your home on the super heated air currents. It is nearly invisible, but incredibly and persistently malodorous. The residue clings tenaciously, requiring special cleaners, agitation, and often abrasive tools to remove. SERVPRO crews are vigilant about finding and removing this soot as it is difficult for a homeowner to see or manage. If not addressed, surfaces discolor and deteriorate, and the stench does not dissipate.
SERVPRO has the trained crews, effective cleaning products, and appropriate equipment for thorough soot removal. Call (323)255-1000 immediately after a fire for an expert assessment and swift resolution of this challenge.