A Look at the Various Types of Fire Damage

By Kevin Thole

While fire damage is something no property owner ever wants to experience, it does happen. If you find yourself in this situation, having an understanding of the six types of fire damage will make it easier to deal with the aftermath, such as working with the fire restoration company to protect your home’s remains and filing insurance claims. The following offers a quick look at the six classes of damage, as well as the difference between primary and secondary fire damage.

Class A Fire Damage: This type of damage results from a fire involving flammable solids, such as clothing, curtains, paper, certain plastics, rubber, and wood.

Class B Fire Damage: This is defined as any damage resulting from flammable solids or liquids that can become liquefied, which includes gas, various types of plastic, waxes, or petrol, paint, and certain oils. However, any damage that results from cooking with cooking oils or fats is not part of this class.fire damage

Class C Fire Damage: To be categorized as Class C, a flammable gas, such as butane, hydrogen, natural gas, or propane, must have been the cause of the fire.

Class D Fire Damage: Class D Fire damage is the result of a fire caused by a combustible metal, such as sodium, magnesium, and potassium. This type of damage is rare.

Class E Fire Damage: To be placed in class E, the damage must have involved electrical equipment and included materials from either class A or class B. The introduction of the electrical equipment means that not only is this type of fire very difficult to fight, but the damage is significantly different than what is seen in Class A or B.

Class F Fire Damage: Class F Fire damage is caused by cooking with unsaturated fats or oils. This type of fire tends to be much hotter than other fires, which typically causes more extensive damage.

Primary vs. Secondary Fire Damage
In addition to classifying fires by type, many insurance companies will label the damage as primary or secondary. Primary damage is a direct result of the fire’s flames, while secondary fire damage results from the smoke and other corrosive substances released into the air by the fire. It is not unusual for secondary damage to account for most of the damage in a fire.

Contact the Experts
If you have experienced a fire, always contact a professional restoration company for help. They have the skills and training to handle any disaster. The specialist will have your property back to normal in no time.

 

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Sewage Damage And Sewage Cleanup

By Kevin Thole

One of the most problematic and health-compromising realities a homeowner can grapple with is water damage. Homeowners who have experienced water damage know how time-consuming and worrisome the issue can become. Likewise, many commercial property owners understand that water damage can exhaust a plethora of valuable resources, including time and money. And while water damage can be a challenging issue to handle, sewage damage is oftentimes an even more challenging matter to handle. Learn more about the problems of sewage damage and how professionals can help by reading this short outline:

Sewage Damage 101
While all types of water damage create unwanted challenges, sewage damage is easily the most problematic form. This is the case because of the health-compromising toxins found in the solid and liquid waste substances of the sewage. In addition to the fact that sewage contains toxins, the smell is noxious, and its presence on your property can induce a vast range of health issues. For these reasons and more, it’s important that you attain professional assistance to ensure that your residential or commercial property is quickly restored to its pleasant smelling, sanitary state.

One of the most problematic and health-compromising realities a homeowner can grapple with is water damage.
One of the most problematic and health-compromising realities a homeowner can grapple with is water damage.

What Happens During The Sewage Cleanup Process?
When you call an expert to assist you with the sewage cleanup process, we’ll use a step by step process to get your property back in working order. The steps will include:

1. Removing unwanted water and sewage damage
2. Removing all contamination from the flooring, carpet, and furnishings
3. Removing or disposing of any surface materials that were exposed to sewage or water damage
4. Ventilating the areas affected with specialized dryers
5. Decontaminating all affected regions to eradicate noxious smells that could induce illness
6. Treating any areas of the property affected by mold

Let The Professionals Assist You
Although we hope that you don’t find yourself subjected to unwanted sewage issues this summer, it’s important to know that these mishaps can happen. Because a sewage problem could surface at any time, you should always know who to call to attain the professional assistance necessary to rectify the problem. To obtain the most excellent and expedient services available, trust the professionals. Whether you’re in need of sewage damage cleanup or are facing another water damage issue, our trained technicians possess the extensive experience and knowledge necessary to eradicate the problem.

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Mold: Your Quick Reference Guide

By Kevin Thole
servproafftonwebstergroves.com
servprooakvillemehlville.com
servproclaytonladue.com
http://nationaldisasterrecovery.org

 

Mold is a four letter word that residential and commercial property owners never want to hear. Nevertheless, it’s important to discuss the reality of mold. Doing so ensures that homeowners and business representatives will know how to address and resolve mold issues if they surface. To get the basic mold knowledge you need to protect your property, review the short outline that appears below:

Mold Basics
Mold is a microscopic organism that thrives in the natural environment. Unlike a plant that creates energy via photosynthetic processes, mold eats organic materials to obtain the energy necessary to survive and thrive. The organic matter that mold thrives on can come from numerous materials, some of which include:

• debris and dust
• wood furniture
• wallboard paper
• food

Mold is a microscopic organism that thrives in the natural environment.
Mold is a microscopic organism that thrives in the natural environment.

Molds exact their reproduction process by creating spores and subsequently releasing them into the air. These airborne spores will then lodge onto any available, suitable surface. Because mold spores are airborne, they can infiltrate an individual’s property via windows, open doors, and vents.

How Mold Starts To Thrive On Your Property
Mold can start to thrive on your residential or commercial property as a result of several factors. One such factor is a natural disaster such as a fire. When fires transpire, they tend to require extinguishing work from the fire department. The excess water that accumulates as a result of this work creates the damp environment that mold likes to thrive in. Some other realities that create the conditions necessary for mold to thrive include inadequate ventilation, leaking pipes, damp basements, roof leakages, excessive humidity, damp carpets, and flooding.

Mold And Health Risks
One of the reasons that were addressing and resolving mold issues is so significant results from the fact that the fungus can create significant health risks. In fact, individuals who are repeatedly exposed to mold will often experience the following health symptoms:

• wheezing
• rashes
• coughing
• sinus infections
• respiratory issues
• lung complications
• allergies
• pneumonia

Avoiding DIY Projects
In many cases, property owners who realize that mold is thriving on their property seek to eliminate the unwanted fungus on their own. This strategy should always be avoided. Unfortunately, commercial and residential property owners never possess the extensive education and specialized equipment necessary to complete the mold remediation process correctly and quickly. For this reason, it’s crucial that you find a team of trained mold remediation experts to handle the assignment for you.

Call The Professionals Immediately
Once you realize that mold is on your property, addressing the issue directly and efficiently is a must. IICRC-certified technicians possess advanced knowledge in all aspects of the mold restoration process.

Identifying Electrical Hazards: Your Quick Reference Guide

By Kevin Thole
http://www.servprooakvillemehlville.com
servproafftonwebstergroves.com
servproclaytonladue.com
http://NATIONALDISASTERRECOVERY.ORG

 

As many fire damage remediation specialists know, electrical fires are one of the leading causes of commercial fire damage. Unfortunately, these fires can result in property loss, injury, structural damage, mold infestation, and even death. However, it’s important to know that many electrical fires can be contained or prevented through the identification of potential electrical hazards. To learn more about how to identify potential electrical hazards that could lead to serious issues, refer to the short outline provided below:

Recognizing Signs Of Trouble
Your electrical distribution system is composed of several complex elements that can put your commercial building at risk of fire. Some potentially problematic areas include:

• Corroded Wiring: Defective and/or old wiring is a major cause of fires. Although any wiring can break down, wiring that is exposed to corrosive substances or the outdoor environment will often break down more quickly. Industrial/manufacturing facilities, multi-tenanted warehouses, and farms must pay close attention to their wiring because of extreme exposure levels.
• Circuits and Fuses: Frequently tripped circuits and blown fuses are typically signs of overloaded circuits or outlets. These issues can generate overheating and thus lead to an electrical fire.
• Hot Spots: Switches, breakers, faulty fuses, imbalanced electrical loading, short circuits, overloaded circuits, corroded wires or connectors, and loose connections will all create “hot spots” because of the excessive heat that builds inside of the electrical panel.

As many fire damage remediation specialists know, electrical fires are one of the leading causes of commercial fire damage.
As many fire damage remediation specialists know, electrical fires are one of the leading causes of commercial fire damage.

Inspecting Your Electrical Distribution Equipment
Periodically, you should have your electrical distribution equipment thermally imaged, inspected, tested, and cleaned by a certified, licensed contractor. The equipment you should have inspected includes:

• circuit breakers
• panel boards, switchboards, and switchgear
• disconnect switches
• fuses
• protective relays
• relays and contactors
• motors and motor controls
• transformers
• busway and bus duct circuit breakers

Lighting
One common yet often overlooked source of commercial fire damage is your lighting system. When replacing or installing light fixtures or light bulbs, you should always use the specific wattage recommended for the socket. Additionally, be sure to place your fixture far from any high traffic regions of the property where a bulb could be broken. Also, be sure that you’re placing the fixture far from any combustible material. Be sure to contact a certified electrician for an inspection if you note any dimmed or flickering lights. Both conditions could be signs of a shortage in your wiring or dangerous arcing.

Trust The Professionals
In the event that your commercial property is subjected to fire damage, call a professional restoration company. Professionals use cutting edge services and have extensive knowledge of commercial fire damage.

Repair Water Damage Wood

By Kevin Thole
www.servprooakvillemehlville.com
servproafftonwebstergroves.com
servproclaytonladue.com
http://nationaldisasterrecovery.org

Many homeowners think that they have nothing to worry about when it comes to flooding and water damage. They may feel like flooding is impossible because of the state where they live or the location of their home. However, flooding that is caused by natural disasters, like hurricanes, is not the only thing that can cause water damage.

Common Causes of Flooding
• Leaking Pipes

• Clogged Gutters

• Ice Dams

• Accumulation of Moisture

When an individual thinks about flooding that is caused by leaking or burst pipes, they may only think about the pipes that are in the main water piping system in the home. However, pipes can become damaged that are used for water intensive appliances in the home, like washing machines and dishwashers, and this can cause extensive flooding in the home. Moisture issues in the basement and crawlspaces may not cause a giant flood in the home, but the damage that the moisture can do can be extensive. It can compromise the structure of the home and also cause health issues because of mold growth. Also, low-quality air-conditioning systems can retain moisture and leads to problems that require water damage repair. As you can see, all homeowners need to be aware of what causes flooding in the home and take steps to avoid these problems. Also, they need to know what to do in case they have flood damage in their home.

Repairing a home and the items in it that have been exposed to water can be expensive.
Repairing a home and the items in it that have been exposed to water can be expensive.

Learn about the Cost of Water Damage Repair
Repairing a home and the items in it that have been exposed to water can be expensive. One study that was conducted in the United States showed that damage that is done to a home because of flooding associated with wash machines can cost a homeowner around $5,000. When a home is damaged due to moisture accumulation, the costs that are associated with fixing this problem can be even higher. At times, it may be necessary to waterproof the basement, hire mold remediation professionals, and install systems that will control future moisture. Something like this could cost a homeowner $20,000 or more. Obviously, water damage repair costs a lot of money.

When a homeowner is aware of the costs that are involved, this motivates them to take necessary steps to prevent flooding and water damage in their home. Also, it helps them understand the importance of getting an insurance policy that covers a variety of different situations that could cause flooding in the home.

Restaurant Air Duct Cleaning – An Often Overlooked Step

By Kevin Thole
www.servprooakvillemehlville.com
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If you currently own a restaurant, you probably have a heating and cooling system that works with air ducts throughout the building. The air ducts within the restaurant can be a great way to keep the climate inside of the building feeling comfortable for customers and employees alike. Unfortunately, cleaning this air duct system for your restaurant might be something that often gets overlooked because of everything else that needs to be cleaned, repaired and maintained within the building. This can cause a problem down the road because it will affect your heating and cooling system while also becoming a major fire hazard in itself.

The reason restaurants often overlook having their air duct system cleaned is because they do not think that it gets dirty, dusty or grimy at all. Also, restaurants have many other things to worry about in terms of the overall general maintenance of the building. The problem with not having your restaurant’s air duct system cleaned routinely is that it can become a fire hazard or simply affect the quality of air in the room. You might find that the heating system doesn’t work as well as it should and the cooling system isn’t as effective during the hotter months.

The reason restaurants often overlook having their air duct system cleaned is because they do not think that it gets dirty, dusty or grimy at all.
The reason restaurants often overlook having their air duct system cleaned is because they do not think that it gets dirty, dusty or grimy at all.

Another key issue with restaurant air duct systems is that they can become greasy and dirty more easily than an air duct system found within a home or regular office building. The reason for this is just due to all of the oils, foods and smoke that is found within the kitchen of the building. Because of this, it is absolutely vital that the air duct system be cleaned properly at least once or twice a year to ensure that it does not become a danger to the entire building, your workers and your consumers.

The best way to have restaurant air duct cleaning done is by contacting a local professional to do the work for you. Professionals are trained and experienced to get air duct systems properly cleaned so that they work more efficiently and do not become such a fire hazard to the building’s owner. If you currently own a restaurant and have not had its air duct system cleaned in quite some time, it is your own responsibility to have it done by a trained professional team routinely so that you know it is free of dust, grease and anything else that could become trapped in there.

Drying your home after water damage

By Kevin Thole
servprooakvillemehlville.com
www.servproafftonwebstergroves.com
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nationaldisasterrecovery.org

Water damage is generally every homeowner’s worst nightmare. While you’ll probably want to crawl into a hole as soon as you see what’s happened, you need to keep it together and act quickly. It’s vital to make significant strides in the clean up process during the first 48 hours to prevent mold, rust, and other damage. 

Before we being, a quick word on safety. Please, before you enter any amount of water, be sure that it is safe to do so. Make sure that the power supply to the area is turned off, that that water contains no sewage, and wear high boots to prevent your feet and legs being cut on debris. 

Turn on your sump pump
Well prepared homeowners will already have a sump pump set up in their basement. This pump can pull the water out of your basement, saving you a ton of work. As soon as you discover the water damage, ensure that this pump is turned on and working well.

Water damage is generally every homeowner's worst nightmare.
Water damage is generally every homeowner’s worst nightmare.

Move items
It’s critical that you move what you can out of the water right away. Start with irreplaceable family items, like photo albums. Don’t assume that just because it got wet, that it still can’t be saved. 

An important safety note: wet items, like couches, will be much heavier than expected. After all, a gallon of water weighs over 8 pounds. Please, make sure that you have the proper help and never lift anything that is too heavy. 

Get the air moving
Right away, it’s critical to get the air moving through the building. Generally, mold clean up specialists split air circulation into two different categories: natural and mechanical circulation. 

To get natural air circulation, open all doors and windows. However, make sure that you check the humidity level first. It won’t do you much good if the humidity level outside is higher than it is inside. 

To get mechanical air circulation, use as many high powered fans as you can. If your HVAC unit hasn’t been damaged and no vents are submerged, then turn it on too. 

With all that said, it’s important to note that older buildings may suffer additional damage if the water is dried out too quickly. If you live in a historic house, consult with an expert during the drying out phase. 

Use a dehumidifier
A dehumidifier can actually suck the moisture right out of the air. Depending on the size of your clean up project, you might be better off renting an industrial model. Just make sure that you’re keeping the water reservoir emptied. If the dehumidifier is powerful enough, you might have to empty it fairly often.

Use a wet/dry vac
There’s nothing quite like a wet/dry vac to help with water damage clean up. It can literally pull the water right out of your carpet, upholstery, and from under the walls. You can buy a wet/dry vac yourself, prices start at about $50, or rent a more powerful one.

How to Respond Safely to Water Damage in Your Home

By Kevin Thole
http://www.servprooakvillemehlville.com
servproafftonwebstergroves.com
www.servproclaytonladue.com
http://nationaldisasterrecovery.org

Water damage can lead to many problems in your home from destroying structural features to causing mold to grow in your walls and carpets. You need take certain steps when you discover water damage. You also need to keep everyone safe until the problem is resolved. You should know how to respond safely to water damage in your home.

Stop the Source of the Water If Possible
The first thing to do is to stop the source of the water if possible. This might not be possible if the water is coming from rain, natural flooding or burst mains. If the water is coming from pipes and you can safely reach the shutoff valves, then turn off the water. This will prevent the damage from getting worse while you are waiting for professional help.

Avoid Walking In Standing Water
It is important to avoid walking in any standing water. The water could be hiding damage to the floor. You might also not be able to see the items on the ground or floating just under the surface. If you step on something sharp, then the dirty water could quickly cause an infection in the cut. If you trip, then you might inhale or come into contact with chemicals in the water that could be harmful. There is also a risk of electrocution. Avoid entering any standing water.

Water damage can lead to many problems in your home from destroying structural features to causing mold to grow in your walls and carpets.
Water damage can lead to many problems in your home from destroying structural features to causing mold to grow in your walls and carpets.

Do Not Touch or Activate Damaged Appliances
You want to avoid touching or using damaged appliances. This includes any appliance that was submerged fully or partially in the water. You also want to avoid touching any cables, exposed wires, switches or outlets in the area where the water damage occurred. There is a very real risk that you could be electrocuted or otherwise injured in these situations.

Contact Professionals Immediately
You want to contact professionals as soon as you can after discovering the water damage. You will not be able to restore your home and remove the water by yourself. You need the expertise, experience and equipment of a professional water damage restoration company. You need to contact professionals immediately in order to prevent mold from developing and to stop structural damage to your house. Some professional services even have 24-hour emergency numbers in case the water damage occurs in the middle of the night.

Ventilate the Flooded Area
A major problem after flooding and water damage will be humidity. A restoration service will take care of the humidity later. Humidity can cause mold and fungus to start forming in your home. You can help to prevent this by ventilating the flooded or damaged area. You want to open a window or use a fan to circulate indoor and outdoor air. Only attempt this if you can safely open windows or use a fan.

Clean Up Small Pools of Water
Try to clean up any small pools of water if you can reach them safely. Use towels or mops to do this. This will reduce the humidity in your home so that mold does not form as quickly. This will also prevent the water from causing further structural damage to your floors or foundation. Make certain to dispose of any wastewater correctly.

Why Professionals Should Clean Smoke Damage From A Fire

By Kevin Thole
NATIONALDISASTERRECOVERY.ORG
http://www.servproclaytonladue.com
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servprooakvillemehlville.com

Fires are a lot more common than you might think. Something as simple as a candle that was left burning unattended could spark a fire. Because of this, fire damage can be a daunting task to have to deal with and clean on your own. In general, trying to clean fire damage on your own without proper knowledge or experience could be quite dangerous. There are many reasons why professionals should be the ones who clean the smoke and fire damage that has been caused by the flames.

One of the most obvious reasons for having experts clean the problem for you is because they are trained and often certified to do this. Not all fire restoration companies have certifications to do the job, so you need to diligently find a contractor local to you who has licenses and training when it comes to restoring fire damage. Hiring someone who just claims that they clean up after home disasters might not yield the results that you so desperately need to keep your home healthy, clean and safe for the rest of your loved ones.

One of the most obvious reasons for having experts clean the problem for you is because they are trained and often certified to do this.One of the most obvious reasons for having experts clean the problem for you is because they are trained and often certified to do this.
One of the most obvious reasons for having experts clean the problem for you is because they are trained and often certified to do this.

Another reason you’re going to want to hire the experts to clean up the problem for you is because trying to do it on your own can be downright dangerous. During a fire, a lot of wood is destroyed because of the heat of the flames. This could mean that once-stable floors are now soft, and you could easily fall through a floor that has experienced fire damage. If you have a large home, trying to clean it on your own can also be downright exhausting and a task that is just too much for you to accomplish without the expertise of a professional company that has done this work before dozens of times.

You also don’t want to be working in a home and cleaning it because of the strong and pungent odors that are present. When a fire happens, soot, ash and a lot of tar is released into the air. This is what often causes walls and furniture to become almost black in color. The levels of carbon monoxide in the air might also be incredibly high, making it dangerous or even fatal to be working and cleaning in the home without the right protective equipment. While hiring a company is not something that can be done for free, the amount you spend to hire them for the project is well worth it when it comes to the problems you can avoid.

In terms of hiring a professional damage remediation company, you need to make sure that you contact them quickly and almost as soon as the fire has been put out. The sooner that the issue can be dealt with and cleaned, the sooner you can stop further damage from happening inside of the house. The experts will evaluate the damage and give you a quote on how much the cleanup is going to cost if you make the decision to hire them for their services.

 

Everything You Need to Know about Mold: 19 Tips and Facts

By Kevin Thole
http://www.servprooakvillemehlville.com
servproafftonwebstergroves.com
www.servproclaytonladue.com
http://NATIONALDISASTERRECOVERY.ORG

1. Mold is alive. It’s a microorganism in the fungus family.

2. Most information available about so-called “Black Mold” isn’t accurate. 

3. Mold has over 100,000 different species, and you can find it in just about any size and color imaginable. Without a microscope, the naked human eye can’t tell whether a mold is toxic or safe.

4. Even though there are so many different types of mold in existence, you don’t need to know what kind of mold is in your home in order for you to kill or eliminate it. All molds respond to the same methods of treatment to prevent mold damage. As an organism that’s alive, it needs a source of food and a source of moisture in order to live. You can eradicate mold by taking away its water or food source. For most people, taking away the food source is difficult because mold uses wood and other materials commonly found in buildings as a food source. Eliminating the water source is much easier.

5. According to the E. P. A., we spend about 10 percent of our time outdoors breathing fresh air and the other 90 percent indoors. Eliminating indoor mold can improve overall health as well as prevent mold damage. 

6. The term “Black Mold” commonly means any type of mold that produces toxins. Certain molds, like Stachbotrys, are black and produce toxins, though not all black-colored molds are toxic to humans and pets. Still, mold removal should be a priority for most individuals, especially if you spend a lot of time indoors. 

7. Although mold isn’t something humans want to grow in their homes, it is natural and has other purposes that can be useful. It helps any organic matter that has died to decompose, and it is also helpful to humans in cheese-making and in the creation of antibiotics. 

8. Molds create and release microscopic spores through the air that will grow on another surface in order for the mold to reproduce. 

Mold is alive. It's a microorganism in the fungus family.
Mold is alive. It’s a microorganism in the fungus family.

9. Molds have the ability to grow on just about any surface, which includes drywall, metal, plastic, wood and glass. It can grow on nonporous surfaces as long as it has something to feed on, such as water and dust. 

10. Humans can breathe in mold spores, and they can also ingest or touch foods and other items that may have mold on them. Colonies of mold have the ability to form and grow in under 48 hours. 

11. The U. S. government has no guidelines on what does or doesn’t constitute excessive or unsafe mold levels. However, if you can see or smell mold in your environment, chances are it’s unsafe.

12. Mold in your home can cause allergies and other illnesses, and it can also scare off potential buyers if you’re trying to sell your home in addition to causing mold damage that can be expensive to repair. 

13. According to studies, somewhere between 50 to 65% of households have a problem with mold. 

14. With every breath, you breathe in small amounts of mold. Only sterilized rooms like those in hospitals have no mold whatsoever. Even after mold removal services, a home may still have small percentages of mold. 

15. Although some individuals may not feel affected by mold, others may have allergies, sinus congestion, headaches and fatigue as a result of mold exposure.

16. In general, severe illnesses and fatalities caused by mold are rare.

17. Elderly people, small children and people with compromised immune systems face more health risks if they’re exposed to mold.

18. A number of insurance policies for homeowners won’t cover mold damage or claims related to mold in the home. 

19. In addition to mold, other factors that can impact the quality of your air at home include asbestos, chimney and fireplace debris, radon, carbon monoxide, tobacco smoke and lead.