What Is Soot And Why Does It Form After Fire Damage?
Fireplaces can cause Smoke & Soot Damage to your home.
Clean Up from Fire & Smoke Damage Calls for Professional Help
Dealing with soot is one of the most time-consuming parts of fire damage restoration. Residue quickly settles on all kinds of surfaces after a fire, and the cleanup is a genuine struggle for homeowners who are dealing with the aftermath of a blaze. However, what is soot, and why does it form after the fire?
Soot is the fine brown or black powder that clings to and discolors surfaces in the home after fire damage. Soot is what gives items that charred and blackened look. Smoke is a by-product of the incomplete combustion of materials; as wood, paper, plastic and other materials burn during a house fire, they produce residues and release particles into the atmosphere.
The composition of soot makes it slightly sticky, which means it clings to surfaces and is difficult to remove. A smoke-damaged house does not feel like a home, SERVPRO will help with fire damage cleanup and restore your home “Like it never even happened.”
Our highly trained technicians arrive ready to thoroughly assess your property and devise the best cleaning plan for you. We advise you on which items are salvageable from soot damage and which are not.
If your home has soot, smoke and fire damage call SERVPRO of Downers Grove / Oak Brook at (630) 573-4290.
Campfire Safety Tips
These campfire safety tips could save someone's life!
Campfires can be a lot of fun, whether they are in the backyard or a remote wilderness area. However, anytime there is a fire, there is a risk of fire damage. With a campfire, the two primary concerns are falling into the fire and the fire escaping and burning the surrounding area. The good news is that there are a few simple things that can help you and your family to stay safe around the fire.
Before building a fire, you should make sure that it is safe and permissible to build the fire. Though there are a number of factors to consider, a general rule is that campfires should not be built when wind speeds are above 15 mph. Campfires are at lower risk of spreading when it is raining, the ground is wet or the temperature is low. In severely dry conditions, governmental authorities may ban all burning. A quick call to a park ranger, fire department or the police should help you to determine if there is a burning ban.
Tripping and falling into the fire is one of the most serious risks of a campfire, especially when children are present. Before building the fire, the area around the fire should be cleared of logs, large rocks and anything else that may cause a person to trip. Parents should closely watch children and forbid them from running or playing near the fire. A 10-foot circle around the fire should be cleared of any flammable objects, including vegetation. Fires should only be built in fire rings that are on level surfaces to decrease the chances of injury or the fire spreading.
It is important that you make certain that the campfire is fully extinguished before leaving the fire or going to sleep. Large chunks of wood will burn for a long period of time and should not be added to the fire late at night. When putting the fire out, you should knock the wood down flat on the ground. Water should be poured over the fire and the coals and wood turned on the wet ground to extinguish both sides. Only after the fire is cool to the touch is it safe to be left alone.
Whether it’s a campfire or a home furnace fire, a little bit of fire damage prevention can help to ensure a safe experience. The fire damage experts here at SERVPRO of Downers Grove / Oak Brook are ready to help if your home or other structure is damaged by fire.
Give us a call at (630) 573-4290.
Commercial Fire Damage Clean up
Commercial Fire tips that can help save your business!
Call SERVPRO for Your Commercial Fire Damage
Commercial fire damage is one of the most devastating experiences that a business owner can experience in Downers Grove & Oak Brook. In addition to doing severe damage to the structure of the building, fires can lead to excessive, standing water on the property as well as mold invasions. For these reasons and more, business leaders find it difficult to recover from a natural disaster or a man-made accident. This is even the case when the business owner is an industry expert who manages the daily operations effectively. However, learning more about commercial fires and how fire damage remediation specialists can assist you is the first step towards limiting damages and preserving your equilibrium in the face of the disaster. Gather information you need regarding how to grapple with a fire by reviewing the data outlined below:
Fire Threats. There are several factors that can place a commercial property in harm’s way. Some of these include:
- lightning strike
- electrical fire
- blown fuse, overloaded circuits
- an adjoining business fire
Preventing Commercial Fire Damage and Strategies You Can Use:
In addition to purchasing business interruption insurance, there are several strategies you can implement to decrease the impact of fire damage to your business. Some of them include:
- Avoiding the storage of flammable items on site
- Check your smoke alarms regularly to ensure they are functioning properly
- Have your fire extinguishers in accessible areas
- Implement a fire evacuation plan
- Turn off appliances and machinery when no one is on site.
- Ensure all machinery is in good condition
- Have backup drives for computers
- Important paperwork should be kept in a fireproof safe
- Use a cloud for document back up storage
Call SERVPRO of Downers Grove / Oak Brook at (630) 573-4290 for your commercial fire damage.
What is In Flood Water?
We have plenty of equipment to help dry out your home after a storm!
Not all water damages are the same. Many of our friends in DuPage County have found that out after recent flooding in our area. The cleanup caused by recent flooding is much different than say a burst pipe you may have experienced in the past. In this blog we will look at the different water types.
What we call “clean” water when referring to water damage is water from a broken supply line or a leaky faucet. Clean water is pretty self-explanatory; it comes from a clean source. Rain water CAN be considered clean water if it is an isolated incident not related to wide spread flooding.
The second type of water is “grey” water. Grey water is slightly contaminated water. A good example of grey water is drain from a dishwasher. Keep in mind that water types can change. Clean water left too long without cleanup becomes grey water as bacteria and other contaminates can begin to grow.
The final classification is “black” water. Black water is highly contaminated as it is the result of encountering sewage, chemicals, or harmful bacteria. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
SERVPRO of Downers Grove / Oak Brook always recommends you leave water damage cleanup to the professionals. The type of water determines our protocol for proper cleanup.
If you have experienced flooding please give us a call at (630) 573-4290.
How to Keep Mold from Coming Back
Keep an eye out for Mold in your home!
Mold is a serious problem. For some Chicago area homeowners, it can cause problems for the foundation of their home and even trigger health issues. At SERVPRO of Downers Grove / Oak Brook, we know how dangerous it is. Many of our clients want to know how to prevent mold from coming into their home and prevent it from coming back. Many homeowners are delighted to learn there are easy steps they can take that will help with mold remediation. Such steps can help make sure the mold stays away from all areas of your home.
Moisture and Humidity
This problem is frequently caused by too much moisture and humidity in the home. Water encourages the growth of spores. If the initial treatment did not stop the problem, it's a good idea to think about where water in the home originates. We do our best to examine each area to make sure there is no problem with water. However, sometimes things can be missed. Water may be coming from other areas of the home as a result of a new problem. In that case, steps need to be taken to remove the moisture again.
Clean, fresh air can help get rid of mold. New mold remediation efforts may focus on bringing cleaner air into the home. It's a good idea to think about air circulation. If the air is stagnant, the problem can recur. Installing a ventilation system in each bathroom can help. Ventilation systems help remove water vapor and improve air circulation in your home. They're easy to install and can be turned on after a shower to remove the moisture in the air.
In addition to a ventilation system and a complete inspection of the property, it also helps to clean as often as possible. Cleaning helps with mold remediation efforts. Vinegar is an effective cleaning agent that kills most mold species instantly. Distilled vinegar can be poured into a spray bottle and used to clean the walls each month. This will help kill any new spore growths. Wipe it down after cleaning to keep moisture out of your home.
If you see mold in your home please contact us at (630) 573-4290.
Mold is Present almost everywhere!
Mold can spread within 48 hours.
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth.
The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. SERVPRO will use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. It may be necessary to remove and dispose of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, to remediate heavy mold growth.
If your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Downers Grove / Oak Brook can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (630) 573-4290
Your Belongings and Mold Damage
Example of Books covered in Mold.
Water and mold damage affects not only the structure of your house but also your belongings. SERVPRO of Downers Grove / Oak Brook Professionals understand that your home is more than a structure; your family’s furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other belongings help transform a house into a home.
If You Have Questions or Need Help,
Call Us Today (630) 573-4290
SERVPRO of Downers Grove / Oak Brook Franchise Professionals specialize in restoring contents damaged by fire, water, or mold. Our expertise can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. We pretest your contents to determine what items can be restored back to their condition before the water and mold damage. Our Professionals utilize 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.
Ten tips to help prevent water damage to your home
Our equipment in action after a water loss.
- Disconnect hoses
Standing water in a hose may freeze back into the pipe. This may create an ice block that stops your water flow. The block may burst your pipes and create damage to walls, floor and foundation.
- Clean gutters and downspouts
Clean your gutters at least twice a year to avoid blockage and ice dams. Standing water can cause damage to your gutters and roof, and unmanaged overflow may create puddles that could damage your foundation.
Don't forget to clean downspouts to ensure water can flow through, and secure downspouts so that they point away from the home.
- Maintain trees and vegetation
Thriving shrubs can be a beautiful thing — except when their roots wrap around your pipes and break them. That's why it's important to minimize landscaping near utility pipes or, if necessary, remove trees and shrubs that have become too big.
Interior Measures to Prevent Water Damage
- Know your water main
Know the location of your water main, and shut it off if you leave for an extended amount of time.
- Check appliances regularly
Check and maintain your home appliances regularly for leaks, according to manufacturer's directions.
- Investigate leaks right away and fix promptly
If you ignore moisture damage or postpone making the necessary repairs, be prepared to experience mold, mildew, dry rot, or even structural damage to your home.
Keep in mind that homeowner's insurance provides coverage for damage that is sudden and accidental. Damage that results from lack of maintenance is not covered on a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.
- Upgrade washing machine hoses
Old, brittle or leaky washing machine hoses are among the most frequent causes of water loss for homeowners. Replace yours regularly to avoid a mighty mess and expensive damage.
- Install water detection devices
A water detector is a small electronic device that sounds an alarm when its sensor comes in contact with moisture. Its main benefit is that it detects low moisture levels or slow leaks that often go unnoticed. Install it near water heaters, sump pumps, washing machines, dishwashers and toilets to prevent extensive damage and mold growth.
- Check your water pressure
If the water pressure to your home is set too high, pipes and hoses may fail under the pressure. Buy a water pressure gauge at a local hardware store, attach it to an outside faucet, and turn the faucet to full force. The gauge will give you a reading of the home’s water pressure.
Typical residential water systems are designed for water pressure of 40 to 70 psi. If your home’s water pressure exceeds 100 psi, install a pressure regulator (which is available at hardware stores as well.)
- Monitor your water bill
Sometimes, the only way you know that water is leaking is taking a closer look at your water bill. If your usage jumps significantly from one month to the next without explanation, put your "water detective hat" on. Is there a leak in your crawlspace? Or, is it a pipe in your front yard? Don't leave mystery leaks unattended!
If you have water damage to your home please call SERVPRO of Downers Grove / Oak Brook (630) 573-4290.
Commercial Cleaning Services
Keep your office fresh and clean!
You don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, call in SERVPRO of Downers Grove / Oak Brook. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on SERVPRO to make your workspace look its very best.
SERVPRO of Downers Grove / Oak Brook will get the job done right and get it done quickly, because the SERVPRO Advantage includes these benefits:
- Award-winning training
- Over 40 years’ experience in the industry
- More than 100 exclusive cleaning products
Have Questions? Call Today 630-573-4290
Specialty Cleaning Services
SERVPRO of Downers Grove / Oak Brook offers cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing biohazard contaminants. We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Our cleaning services include the following:
Flooding in Your Business
a workplace flood can be devastating to your business.
The weather has been very unpredictable the past few weeks in our area. We have experience heavy rains in a short period of time causing the sewer systems to back up and streets to flood.
If you see there is a flash flood watch, this means that a flash flood is possible. A flash flood warning means that a flood is about to happen or already taking place. If a flash flood occurs, you should make sure everyone gets to higher ground as quickly as possible.
Your business can prepare for any potential disaster, including flash floods. Keep all essential equipment and documents elevated from the floor. Ideally, they should be stored on the second floor of the building or higher. Back-up electronic data daily to cloud storage or to an external drive so the files can still be accessed in the event of a disaster.
It is a good idea to have a battery-powered radio available on-site. In case of a power outage, you and your staff can keep updated on the current conditions. (FEMA) The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides a list of recommended supplies in the event of a disaster, such as a flashlight and first aid kit.
You can also check with the National Weather Service to get more tips on safety during flooding.
SERVPRO of Downers Grove / Oak Brook can help your business get back on track after flooding or other disasters. Call us today for more information (630) 573-4290.