Recent Fire Damage Posts

What Are Soot Webs?

12/5/2022 (Permalink)

Cobwebs on a ceiling damaged by smoke Soot webs are ugly and frequently challenging to get rid of.

Soot Webs: What You Need to Know

Soot webs occur when soot accumulates on a surface and clings to it. This happens in the presence of high heat and oxygen. Soot webs are unsightly and often difficult to remove. If you have soot damage after a fire, we can help.

Soot Tags & Soot Webs

Soot tags are the most common aftermath of fire damage, and they're also known as soot webs. They have a black, greasy appearance and can be easily identified by their distinct color. Soot tags are small bits of soot that collect on the surface of a wall, while soot webs are created when smoke or soot is pushed into the wall cavity. 

Soot webs can occur in the aftermath of fires, forest fires, or even cooking fires if you're not careful!

Common Places to find Soot Tags

Now that you know what they look like, where do you find them? Soot webs are most common found in:

  • Walls.
  • Ceilings.
  • Floors.
  • Cabinets and countertops

This also means that soot webs can be found on items such as your furniture, electronics, etc.

Do I need soot removal?

Soot webs usually occur after some kind of fire. Fire damage, smoke, and soot can be very difficult to mitigate on your own without the proper equipment and know-how. In most cases, calling a professional is the best solution!

If you've noticed black sooty deposits on the walls and ceiling of your home, it’s important to determine if you actually need soot removal. While many homeowners are tempted to clean them off themselves, this is a job that should be left up to professionals.

How does SERVPRO of East Concord/Brentwood remove soot?

Soot tags and webs can be extremely difficult to clean from your home. Let us help! When it comes to soot damage, you want a cleanup crew that knows what they’re doing. SERVPRO of East Concord/Brentwood specializes in water and fire damage cleanups and we know how to handle the most stubborn soot residue. We use special equipment and cleaning agents that are safe for your home, but tough on soot. In fact, our technicians are trained to recognize signs of more serious structural problems related to fire or smoke and will provide you with an honest assessment of the extent of the damage to your home or business.

Our team has the technology and products needed to get any job done right, no matter how big or complicated it may seem at first glance. We will work with you to determine the best solution for your home.

Soot tags and webs can be a huge hassle for homeowners if not taken care of in a timely fashion. If your home or business suffered from a fire loss, give our SERVPRO team a call today! Our team can assist with all of your fire, soot, and smoke damage cleanup and restoration needs. 

6 Things To Teach Your Kids About Escaping a House Fire

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

Man talking to a kid Keep your kids away from damage during a house fire.

Kids' Safety Tips

Fire can throw your Concord, CA, household into chaos. This goes double if you have children at home. Here are six kids' safety tips to keep your little ones away from damage during a house fire.

1. Introduce the smoke detectors.
If you're a home cook, odds are high that your kids have already heard the smoke alarm sound off. Discuss with them what smoke detectors are and why they make that terrible noise. If your little ones haven't heard the sound it makes, give them a quick demo.

2. Establish two fire escape exits in every room.
Does that room have a window and a door? Boom! You're done. For other areas of your home, you may need to get more creative, install a fire ladder or even consider adding an egress.
When it comes to kids' safety, remember: All bedrooms should have a direct means of escape — even basement bedrooms. Talk with your contractor or fire damage mitigation company for more info.

3. Determine an outdoor meeting space.
Often, your curbside mailbox will suffice. Children should know to go directly there, to wait for you and never to reenter the house.

4. Teach your kids how to open windows.
Windows aren't always easy to open for little hands. Show your kids how to open each type of window in your home.

5. Show kids how to check for heat.
Kids need to know that they should never open a door without checking how hot it is first. A hot door often indicates flames on the other side. Instruct them to find a towel or sweatshirt to use for touching hot items, too.

6. Teach kids to stay low.
Heat and smoke rise, so show your kids how to stay low and feel their way to safety using their hands. Smoke can plunge your home into darkness, so practice evacuating in the dark or wearing a blindfold.
Discussing these kids' safety tips as a family not only lowers your risk of injury but can also lower little ones' anxiety. Already knowing what to do and where to go during a home fire provides valuable peace of mind.

3 Methods for Smoke Odor Removal

5/17/2022 (Permalink)

Thermal fogger, odor removal Thermal fogging works by absorbing smoke particles.

While the soot and char after a fire are visible, there is also smoke damage that may be hidden. Getting your Marsh Creek Springs, CA, business back to normal without lingering issues also requires smoke cleaning. This is a difficult process, but a professional fire damage restoration company will have the expertise and equipment to make that happen.

Methods for Smoke Odor Removal

There are three common methods to eradicate lingering odors from smoke.

Thermal Fogging: Designed to neutralize the odor, it is a heated deodorizer that is sprayed in the affected area. It works by absorbing smoke particles. Since it comes out like fog, it is able to penetrate difficult-to-reach areas, as well as attach to carpets and other permeable surfaces.

Ozone Generator: This method involves using ozone gas to change smoke molecules. Once released, it attaches to the particles and breaks them down.

Hydroxyl Generator: While the two above methods require that no one is in the treated area, this generator has grown in popularity because it is safe to use around people. The hydroxyl molecules break down the odor particles, turning them into water and carbon dioxide.

Beyond Air Cleanup
Along with ensuring air quality, a certified remediation expert will also have the know-how to remove soot and odors from belongings. There is a range of smoke cleaning methods, enabling the chances to salvage more items. From dry cleaning to immersion cleaning, a smoky smell doesn’t have to be a lingering issue. Depending on what is affected, items will be taken securely off-site to be cleaned. Items that may be salvageable include electronics, documents and artwork.
Once the flames are out after a fire, there is also hidden damage that will linger if not taken care of properly. Smoke cleaning is an essential part of the process to get your business back to normal.

Positioning Your Fire Alarms

2/18/2022 (Permalink)

smoke detector with white smoke and red warning light A photoelectric fire detection system can provide a little extra warning time to prevent your home from incurring unnecessary smoke damage.

Putting Your Fire Alarms In The Right Place.

Your home in Concord, CA, may not be adequately covered by your current fire detection system. Read on to learn about proper fire alarm distribution and other fire safety tips.

1. Rooms and Halls

Because a home fire can begin in any room, the denser your smoke detector coverage, the better. Home inspections standards suggest at least one detector per bedroom. This is especially important for the safety of the occupants, since many fires occur during the night when residents may be sleeping and unaware that there is a problem. Every floor of the home should have at least one detector even if there are no sleeping areas, since this will speed up emergency response and reduce the total amount of fire damage.

2. Working Order

Remember to test each fire alarm in the house every few months. Most models will have a small button that sounds the warning, allowing you to make sure that the speakers are still functional. Depending on the type of detector, a low battery may cause it to blink or make infrequent, short beeps. Some detectors may also require complete replacement after a roughly ten year lifespan has elapsed. If you notice either of these indicators, replace the relevant part as soon as possible. Most batteries and detectors can be obtained for under $20 at your local hardware store.

3. Photoelectric Alarms

A photoelectric fire detection system can provide a little extra warning time to prevent your home from incurring unnecessary smoke damage. These detectors have an internal beam of light whose intensity is changed when smoke scatters the rays. This allows the detector to trigger when smoldering or smoky fires are just beginning, before the home fire becomes a total conflagration.

Remember that no fire alarm is a substitute for adequate fire safety and a solid escape plan. Retain contact information for a professional residential fire restoration service and do not attempt to enter a property that has burned recently.

4 Important Services Every Commercial Fire Restoration Company Should Provide

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

Trucks from a restoration company If you need assistance with emergency planning, or if you are currently dealing with fire damage and loss, contact SERVPRO, we can help you!

There Are Four Essential Services That Every Commercial Fire Restoration Company Should Offer.

If your building in Concord, CA, has been affected by a fire, it’s imperative to contact fire damage restoration professionals to assess the situation and start repairs. Even if your business has not encountered damage caused by a fire, you should still be prepared. When looking at different fire restoration companies, you should make sure they provide these four services.

1. Emergency Contact

If a fire occurs at your business, you should be able to quickly contact a representative. They will likely ask you questions about the event and dispatch the nearest team to your location to prevent any further damage.

This is an important service as it can decrease the severity of the damage. Therefore, a company that is open around the clock is essential when choosing the right fire restoration professionals.

2. Assessment and Temporary Repairs

When a team of fire damage restoration experts arrives at your location, they should perform an assessment. Additionally, they can check your walls and furniture to give you an estimate of the costs and how long the restoration process will take.

After the assessment, fire damage professionals may protect your building with temporary repairs, such as boarding up walls and windows. They may also place tarps on the roof if it is damaged.

3. Water and Smoke Removal

If there is water damage, it should be prioritized first and removed immediately. Specialized equipment can be used to perform a smoke cleanup on affected surfaces and remove soot from walls and ceilings. Fogging equipment and air scrubbers can eliminate lingering odors.

4. Restoration

An excellent fire restoration company will also take care of repairs. This may be in the form of minor repairs such as replacing the carpet, furniture, or drywall. Major repairs include reconstructing parts of your building.

Whether you’ve been affected by a commercial fire or not, it’s always good to be well-prepared. By checking to see if your fire damage restoration company provides these key services, you can relax, knowing your business is in good hands.

3 Reasons You Should Have a Fire Extinguisher in Your Home

12/30/2021 (Permalink)

Types of fire extinguishers Fire extinguishers can be separated into different categories.

3 Reasons You Should Have a Fire Extinguisher in Your Home

By taking the simple step of purchasing a fire extinguisher, you can help defend your home in Brentwood, CA against fires. Extinguishers can put out fires that water cannot, making them extremely useful in the event of a kitchen fire or other emergency.

1. Protect Your Home

While they should not be used as a replacement for smoke detectors, fire extinguishers can be a great way to add another layer of safety to your home. Stopping fires before they get out of control can help prevent property damage and keep you and your family safe. What could have been a devastating fire could turn out to be just a little mess.

2. Stop All Types of Fires

Fire extinguishers can be separated into different categories. Some of these may be more useful for your home than others.

The different classes include:

  • Class A: puts out fires on ordinary materials
  • Class B: puts out grease fires and other flammable liquids
  • Class C: puts out electrical fires
  • Class D: Puts out flammable metals

For use in your home, you can purchase an A-B-C extinguisher that will put out ordinary fires as well as grease fires and electrical fires. It can be an especially good idea to keep one in your kitchen, as this can be a high-risk area for fires.

3. Be Cost Efficient

Fire extinguishers can be available for a low cost, sometimes as little as $10 a unit. This can make them a great investment, as they could potentially save you a lot of money in property damage as well as keeping you safe.

Having a fire extinguisher and knowing how to use it can help you stop emergencies, such as kitchen fires, from getting out of control. While it is a good idea to focus on your personal safety before worrying about property, an extinguisher can still be a useful way to save your home from extensive fire damage. Relatively inexpensive, an extinguisher can be a great addition to your home’s fire defenses.

4 Ways to Prevent a Fire Disaster

11/14/2021 (Permalink)

Fire and smoke coming out of multistory building. Taking these fire preparation steps can prevent a workplace disaster.

Every business may have some level of fire risk. This risk may be higher or lower depending on whether the buildings only have electrical devices and heating equipment or specialized machinery. There are a few fire preparation measures that property owners, employers, and staff can take to prevent fire damage. Take these four disaster preparation measures today to lower your risk.

1. Keep the Workplace Clean

Clutter can close off evacuation routes and feed a fire. Try to reduce the number of boxes, papers, or other materials that are left lying around a workplace. It is also a good idea to properly dispose of all waste, especially flammable materials.

2. Maintain Fire Safety Equipment

Regular maintenance can prevent malfunction and reduce fire risks whether a business only has standard office machines or additional machinery. Employees should be made aware of potential overheating dangers and monitor the status of equipment. Have a licensed electrician fix any problems that arise to reduce the risk posed by faulty wiring. Property owners can also regularly test fire suppression systems and ensure those fire extinguishers are frequently inspected and ready for use.

3. Post-Emergency Information

One of the most critical fire preparation steps is to ensure that emergency numbers are posted in convenient locations. Managers and employees should be familiar with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines for fire safety in the workplace. Property owners may also want to schedule fire drills and tutorials on using extinguishers.

4. Provide Smoking Areas

Provide designated outdoor smoking areas and make sure that there are safe receptacles for smoldering cigarettes in these areas. Consider a self-extinguishing design that will hide unsightly cigarette butts and reduce the risk of fire.

Taking these fire preparation steps can prevent a workplace disaster. If a structure sustains fire damage, rely on a commercial fire mitigation and restoration service in Brentwood, CA.

How To Mitigate Invisible Fire Damage

9/4/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damaged fire place in home. A partial fire loss to your business in Brentwood, CA, is still devastating.

Flames damaged your commercial property in Brentwood, CA. Afterward, many structures and contents seem fine to the naked eye. However, not all fire loss is obvious. How can you tell what needs to be restored?

What Is a Partial Loss?

When a fire damages but does not completely destroy a building, it is considered a partial loss. In this instance, a fire restoration company inspects structures that may be impacted, including those hidden from view.

• Interior systems such as plumbing, electrical, and HVAC
• Interior structures including the frame, walls, ceilings, and flooring
• Exterior structures like roofing, siding, foundation, and windows

What Causes Damage in a Fire?

When your contents are burnt, it is easy to identify the cause as flames. There are other types of fire loss that occur when your building catches fire. Restoration companies use professional-grade equipment to clean the resulting damage found in structures, contents, and air.

• Smoke damage is not always evident but requires attention nonetheless. Smoke leaves a residue in the HVAC system, on furniture, in carpeting, and in other areas of your business.

• Water damage is common due to fire sprinklers or hoses that put out the fire. This type of damage should be addressed immediately to prevent secondary problems, such as mold.
• Extreme heat may cause invisible damage if your business was in close proximity to a fire. High temperatures may impact roofing, iron or steel structures, pipes, or window frames.

What Are the Next Steps?

After a fire ravages your property, consider your safety first. Once you are safe, plan for restoration efforts as soon as possible.

• Contact your property insurance agent to confirm coverage and file a claim. Coverage typically includes restoring the property to a uniform, consistent result. Therefore, partially damaged items are matched or replaced.
• Arrange for a fire restoration company to inspect the property and begin the process of remediation.

A partial fire loss to your business in Brentwood, CA, is still devastating. Even if the damage is not obvious, a thorough inspection and proper fire restoration procedures are key to returning to preloss condition.

Just Before Help Arrives..

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

When it comes to fire and smoke mitigation, you are advised to take quick action to contact your nearest SERVPRO Franchise professionals. By doing this you get to reduce the amount of secondary, ensure a faster and easier cleanup and also lower claim cost.

In case of any limitation from doing this, there are some measures you can take.

Here is a list of do’s and don’ts:

Do’s

  1. Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
  2. Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  3. If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor
  4. Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trims and appliances.
  5. Wash both sides of leaves on houseplants.
  6. Change the HVAC filter but leave the system off until a professional can check the system.

Don’t

1.Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO Franchise Professional.

2.Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting an authorized water repair service.

3.Consume any food or beverage that may have been stored close to fire heat or water.

4.Turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electric shock

5.Send garments to the dry cleaner for proper cleaning.

There is a science behind our process

5/25/2021 (Permalink)

Psychrometry is the study of air and its properties. This is the science SERVPRO Franchise Professionals use to create proper atmosphere for more effective drying. The restorer measures the temperature, humidity, vapor pressure and dew point for them to establish the right form of restoration.

Our experienced professional uses a variety of equipment like moisture sensors, moisture meters, Thermo-hygrometers, infrared cameras and manometers. These equipment help to tell the conditions of our surrounding that we cannot feel or see. For example when water evaporates, it cools surface temperature. Infrared cameras identify temperature differentials to locate potential water damage. Infrared technology visually displays qualitative thermal differences often caused by water damage.  

After finding out what the conditions are, the restorer will determine which equipment they need to place in the areas of water damage. These equipment may include air movers or dehumidifiers. SERVPRO technicians have been well trained to understand how this science of drying works as this helps kickstart effective process of drying.

From Fire odor to smelling like spring !

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

A fire restoration job is considered incomplete if the entire smoke odor has not been removed, even if the area has been cleaned. We are often very sensitive to smoke smell and that is why deodorization is key when it comes to fire restoration. It takes experts to successfully carry out deodorization and at SERVPRO our staff has the best training in products and practices.

We are keen to identify the source of the odor and clean it up or dispose of it if un-restorable.

Odor is a gas and has its way of penetrating through porous surfaces that is why we make sure to inspect rooms that might be affected. The exciting part is that we have great equipment and chemicals that come in variety of PH levels, suitable for the materials we are working on. It takes great knowledge to understand how to deal with odor and that is why we examine how long the material has been exposed, the concentration of residue, heat and humidity of the surrounding.

The best part of all is that you get to discuss with us on what kind of scent you want from the deodorizer.  

Fire Alert!

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

A Plastic cooking spoon was forgotten on a hot stove in Brentwood Ca. The home owner did not realize that the plastic had caused a fire because the batteries from the fire alarm had not been replaced.

Thankfully a vigilant neighbor saw some smoke and from the door crack and called the emergency services to help.

As the warmer month draw closer, we advice that all fire alarm systems be checked to ensure they are working correctly.

Fire alarm systems help notify occupants of a fire emergency and in most cases can notify the local fire department.

Most importantly, fire alarm system inspection, testing and maintenance need to be carried out as required because they can also be compromised by dirt or vandalism. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

We tailor a unique solution based on the cause and severity of the fire damage. We have the right equipment, products, and experience to restore your property.  

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 
925-420-5104

 

We can save that wood!

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damaged wooden cabinet This shows a before and after scenario showing the efficacy of SERVPRO range of products

A fire in a home can cause a lot of damaging ripple effect. It can destroy precious personal property of the home owner or affect the integrity of personal property by changing the appearance or smell as a result of soot.

The effect of soot on an item can almost mean the end of the item to the owner when the right products are not applied to get rid of the effect of smoke. This is a popular situation with wood materials.

Wood can be cleaned and restored with various products in our SERVPRO range after a soot damage, we especially like to use the SERVPRO Lemon Oil Polish which is a professional quality polish formulated to clean, protect, polish, beautify and restore all wood finishes.

It repels water, while protecting natural wood surfaces from discoloration and raising of wood grain.

We have used this severally and the result is phenomenal

Living Ready in Wildfire Season

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

Wild fire season is a very precautionary time for anyone living in an area prone to wild fires. The negative ripple effect of a wild fire to a property owner cannot be underestimated.

The local authority does a very good job in warning property owners on the procedures they need to take in the event of the wild fire or home fire, in the event of an evacuation or containing the fire spread.

We advise that property owners regularly inspect the surrounding of their homes and business for leaky gas pipes, prune dead plants and properly dispose of those, prune overgrown trees; especially any close to power cables, ensure trash is disposed of properly because it can be a perfect fuel agent for fires and finally ensure the access points are free from clutter to allow the emergency services get to the source of the fire quickly.

DIY before help arrives after a fire loss

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

After a fire disaster, smoke smell lingers in a home/business and removing the smell is of utmost importance. Here are a few steps you need to remove smoke smell before a professional arrives.

Step 1: Air Out

Even when we can’t see smoke, we can smell it. When a fire loss occurs, smoke particles stick to porous and non-porous surfaces. Its important to open the windows and doors to ventilate your property. The air circulation will help clear out the space. You can also put on fans if available, though this won’t completely get rid of the smoke smell.

Step 2:

Wipe down all surfaces and launder all fabrics; like curtains, pillows, blankets.

Step 3:

In a case where the flooring is carpet, vacuum and deep clean carpet

Step 4:

Clean the HVAC system. You can also change your HVAC filters. You might need to consider a professional in a serious fire loss

Step 5:

Smells can linger from the wall paint, so a fresh coat of paint can help minimize the smoke odor and beautify your home again

Aftermath of a fire damage

5/20/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage is very devastating to any family but it is also very helpful to understand the restoration process in case of a fire damage in your property. Here are a few steps that can help facilitate the restoration process.

Typically, the first step will be calling your insurance agency. Most home insurance agencies will help you contact a restoration company. This is a very crucial step. At this point, it is important that you pick a reputable and professional company for the best price.

Secondly, once a reputable restoration company like your local SERVPRO commences work at your property, we work to remove moisture from the property that might have been pumped in the structure in a bid to stop the fire. This is important because mold growth activity can start in as little as 48 hours.

The next step is to remove debris from the loss. Removing debris helps properly ascertain the level of the loss and tailor an appropriate procedure for restoration to commence.

After the debris is removed, we deodorize the structure of any odors from the fire loss. We either use the ozone, thermal fogging or ULV misting deodorizing procedures. The walls and flooring will be thoroughly cleaned in preparation for any form of reconstruction that needs to occur after this loss.

Watch out for FIRE!

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

A few of the most mentioned causes of a fire in homes are electric fires, home cooking, heating, Christmas trees, candles, chemicals. It can be difficult to remain mindful of all these potential causes of house fires, but the more attentive you are to the things that could ignite, the better off you’ll be.

If you are the victim of a house fire, your property and your health are at risk. Fires do a huge degree of damage depending on how long, and large, they burn. When you’ve had a house fire and the emergency service professionals are gone, you need help picking up the pieces.

 SERVPRO is here to help you deal with your damaged property. Because the fire is not the only source of damage, you will be left with the lasting effects of smoke ingrained in the fabric of your house and the water damage from the recovery efforts of the emergency response team.

We understand how important it is to get this damage dealt with the right way so that you can get back to living your life. Call us today to consult with one of our dedicated professionals about what steps you can take to make your home feel like home again.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your residential or commercial spaces, causing evident 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 to remediate.  

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. This also means there are various kinds of soot residue when a fire damage occurs. In order to begin restoration, SERVPRO of East Concord/Brentwood will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred.  The information provided after pretesting will determine the cleaning procedures to be performed. See below 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

We tailor a unique solution based on the cause and severity of the fire damage. We have the right equipment, products, and experience to restore your property.  

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 
925-420-5104