Recent Fire Damage Posts
What Are The Do's and Don'ts When Handling Fire and Smoke Damage?
Fire is a devastating experience for both home and business owners; it is difficult to overcome and repair and can be risky for you to handle when unsure how to handle the damage left behind. There are simple things you can do on your own, however.
- Cleaning smoke and fire damage involves some health and safety precautions, so before getting started, call the fire marshal to know whether it is safe to enter your home.
- Be sure to open doors and windows whenever possible to allow air to circulate when performing a fire and smoke cleaning project. Toxic fumes and chemical compounds from burnt objects can be very harmful. Wear proper gear and clothing, including gloves and masks.
- You can get some more tips on what you can do to recover from fire and smoke damage HERE
Do's For Fire And Smoke Damage Restoration
Your checklist for what to do after the fire should contain specific non-negotiable tasks, including:
- DO contact a certified restoration specialist: Make sure you immediately schedule an accredited fire and smoke restoration professional for remediation services.
- DO turn off utilities: Turn off water, electricity, gas, and any other utilities until a professional can evaluate whether these were affected.
- DO vacuum: You can enhance the professional's chances of success by doing the first pass on your own. Use a vacuum with a brush attachment and go over your upholstered furniture.
- DO address your carpets, floors, and countertops: Vacuum carpets to help prevent soot from grinding deeper into the textile. Countertops and hardwood floors should be wiped clean to prevent the soot from staining and clinging to the surfaces.
- DO check your appliances: Your utilities should be off. Be sure to empty your freezer and refrigerator and leave the doors open to prevent mold and mildew. Likewise, winterize your plumbing and drain your hot-water heater and boiler. During the fire damage restoration process, fluids can freeze and cause burst pipes and other damage in the absence of heat.
- DO take care of pets: Remove pets from your fire-damaged home. Lingering soot and smoke can be harmful to them.
Don'ts For Fire And Smoke Damage Restoration
Your checklist should also include several things to avoid at all times, as well, including:
- DON'T use your AC, heater, or electronics: Wait until a professional arrives on the scene — same with electronics like the television, computers, and DVD players. Turning on electronics can create more significant damage.
- DON'T clean walls or clothing: Do not clean walls, ceilings, or similar surfaces, and wait to clean your clothing and similar garments. A professional should examine them first and provide advice.
- DON'T eat leftover food: Never eat anything that was in the home during the fire. Due to smoke, soot, or contaminants introduced to the environment, food left behind is probably not safe to consume.
- DON'T wipe away powder from extinguishers: Forgo trying to clean up any staining from the powder discharged by a fire extinguisher. It is best to let professionals guide the cleanup of these areas.
When in doubt, wait for the professionals. Upholstery, carpets, and counters are fine to begin cleaning yourself, but let your professional fire restoration company manage the rest. Remember, never re-enter a home until cleared by the fire department or other local officials.
Whenever you experience a disaster of any kind, SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson is here to help!. In addition to fire damage and smoke damage, we also handle mold remediation, odor removal, and more.
We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too.
This franchise is independently owned and operated.
Can A Fire Ruin The Foundation Of My Nashville Home?
The core materials of concrete used to construct the foundation of a home, such as cement and aggregates, combine to form an inert material, so the foundation of your Nashville home will not burn. Concrete cannot be set on fire like other building materials. Its slow rate of heat transfer also means that the concrete of your home foundation will act as an effective fire barrier.
However, fire CAN damage your foundation.
WHAT ARE THE WAYS FIRE CAN HARM THE FOUNDATION OF MY NASHVILLE HOUSE?
When a fire exposes foundation concrete to high heat:
- Extensive damage can occur due to the temperature shock to the material. Concrete expands as it’s heated, so if extreme heat is applied, the outer layers expand more quickly than the inner layers. The layers will separate from each other, eventually breaking away.
- When hose streams or automatic sprinkler systems douse a fire, the hot concrete cools suddenly, and the outer layer may shrink at a different rate and break away.
- When extreme heat penetrates concrete enough to weaken the steel reinforcement components within the concrete, the structural integrity of the entire structure could be negatively affected.
HOW CAN I PREVENT FIRE DAMAGE TO THE FOUNDATION OF MY NASHVILLE HOME?
Practicing fire safety will protect your Nashville house from fire damage, keeping everyone safe. Some critical fire safety tips for homeowners to follow are:
- Maintain fire alarms properly
- Use caution with open flames
- Cook safely, using proper kitchen tools
- Establish a fire escape route
- Heat your home safely
- Use electricity in a safe manner
- Protect yourself first in case of fire
The SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson team of experienced technicians can be onsite right away to help you recover from fire damage. We are experts in managing the recovery of homes, businesses, personal belongings, and any other items that have been affected by a fire.
We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too.
This franchise is independently owned and operated.
Tips for Buying the Right Smoke Detector
Smoke detectors are vital when it comes to keeping your family or workforce safe. They will prevent extensive fire damage by alerting anyone in the building to the occurrence of a fire, allowing fire emergency units to be called right away. The fire evacuation plan can be put into action so that people are kept safe, and it can alert you early enough that minimal damage is done, so you want to make sure you have the proper detectors in place.
How To Choose The Proper Smoke Detector
First, let’s look at the types of smoke detectors on the market:
- Photoelectric Detectors – useful for detecting large smoke particles from electrical fires or smoking upholstery
- Ionization Detectors – useful for detecting small smoke particles from grease or paper fires
- Dual-Sensor Detectors – have both photoelectric and ionization components
- Combination Detectors – may include carbon monoxide detectors
You can use the same type of detector throughout your building, or choose to use a combination throughout your location. If your building is large, it is helpful if all of them are wired together so that they will all go on alert at the same time. This will ensure that the alerts are heard, and everyone can escape safely, possibly save important items early, and be able to call for fire fighting personnel and fire damage cleanup professionals from a safe distance away.
The Right Locations To Install Smoke Detectors
- Centrally Located. Install smoke detectors in a central area on every level of your home or business so that they can be heard easily, no matter where anyone might be.
- Attic. If you have an attic, it is advisable to install a device that detects heat rather than smoke, since smoke detectors are not designed to be used in areas that are experiencing extreme temperatures.
- Bedrooms. For proper fire safety, you also need a detector outside each sleeping area and inside every bedroom.
- Outbuildings. Don’t leave the outbuildings out. They may not be used as much, so alerting everyone on the property right away will keep a large conflagration from building and possibly affecting other buildings.
Having the correct type of detectors in suitable locations can help you keep your home and your family safe. If you need help with any aspects of fire safety in your home or business, the team here at SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson is here to help. We can work with you to plan ahead for any disaster. We handle fire damage, water damage, mold remediation, and more. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, as well. This franchise is independently owned and operated.
Fire Safety Tips For Every Homeowner
Studies show that American households experience over 350,000 residential house fires every year. These fires often result in injuries, major property damage, and other serious challenges. Keeping your home and your loved ones as safe as possible is important to you as a homeowner, we know, so with that in mind we decided to share some fire safety tips that every homeowner can use:
Install good quality smoke alarms in your home; using a professional installation company will ensure that these alarms are the appropriate type for your space and that they are put in the right areas for maximum safety. Carbon Monoxide alarms are good to have in your home, as well, since CO is an odorless and colorless gas produced by burning fuels and such an alarm can also let you know if a fire has started. There are remote monitors available today to let you know if there is a fire in your home while you are away. They can be plugged into an electrical outlet easily and connected to your internet, and you will be notified by the app you download on your phone.
Be sure that you have at least one multipurpose fire extinguisher readily accessible in your home. Show everyone in the home where it is and how to use it, and make sure to keep it in good repair year-round.
Have your wood-burning fireplace inspected annually in the fall before you use it during cold weather. Your HVAC unit should be looked over at this point as well. Employ a professional for these tasks.
Have an escape plan for your family, and make sure everyone understands it and can follow the plan in case of fire. Second-story homes should have an escape ladder onsite in case of fire or other emergency situations.
During home repair or remodeling, use fire-resistant building materials whenever available to maximum fire safety in your home. For example, using a fire retardant brand of insulation can be a huge part of keeping your home fire safe.
The SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson team is available anytime to help with fire safety. Our focus is to assist you with home or commercial clean-up after fire damage, water damage, biohazards, and other disasters - both small and large. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too. This franchise is independently owned and operated.
Odor Removal After Smoke Damage To Your Home
The heat, soot, and smoke that results from a fire will affect your entire home, and you may need professional assistance to get you back to normal. Smoke especially can be dangerous and will need to be fully cleared from your premises, since it’s not safe to breathe the accompanying fumes from burned materials. A professional fire and smoke damage restoration contractor will be able to do whatever is necessary to ensure that your property is completely free from the after-effects of a fire and can also remove those unpleasant lingering smoke odors.
Remove Sources Of The Odor
The most important step in smoke odor removal is going to be to remove all the sources of the odor, which are the items that have been burned. This may include cabinets, furniture, drywall, textiles, and anything that can’t be salvaged. Some of your belongings and materials may be able to be restored; your professional fire damage restoration specialist will be able to advise you here.
Cleaning Salvageable Items
Professional technicians will clean salvageable items with appropriate products. They will pressure wash, scrub, and disinfect exterior surfaces like walls, windows, and decks. Interior walls and hard surfaces will be cleaned with mild soap and then rinsed thoroughly. The interiors of cabinets, drawers, and closets, as well as carpets, furniture, and upholstery, are probably all going to be affected and will need immediate attention. Some items can be cleaned onsite, while others may need to be removed for a deep cleaning process. All these steps should be taken right away so that the odors don’t penetrate any materials too deeply, making them impossible to remove.
Cleaning the ducts early in the odor removal process is essential to prevent the HVAC system from re-contaminating areas that have been cleaned, since smoke and soot will often penetrate these areas, depending on the size of the fire. Professionals will have the specialized equipment and procedures that are necessary here.
Our SERVPRO professionals study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses to ensure that our clients receive the highest quality results possible, so you can depend on us for odor removal after smoke damage to your home.
Here at SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson, we are fire damage and water damage experts, and we can help with mold remediation, too. Ask us about getting your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned! This franchise is independently owned and operated.
Preventing Fires In Your Kitchen
The kitchen of any home is always going to be a place where fire safety is practiced. Kitchen fires are one of the most common sources of damage, and such damage can be devastating to the residents. Loss of personal property and injury is often the result of such an event, and here at SERVPRO, we are in the business of ensuring that you and your family are safe and protected. With that in mind, here are some essential fire damage prevention tips for your kitchen:
EQUIPMENT. Cooking equipment is often responsible for fires, so your equipment must be maintained in top condition. Following established cleaning practices and manufacturer’s suggested usage for all your kitchen equipment - from pans and pots to microwaves and ovens - will help to prevent a fire from a malfunction or accident.
GREASE. The buildup of grease in stove hoods, oven interiors, and around cooking equipment can be hazardous. These kitchen components operate under high heat, this is an explosive combination, so keeping them as clean as possible is another fire prevention practice you can put into place. Experienced cleaning and restoration professionals can help you to address these issues if the job is just too big for you alone.
SPRINKLERS AND FIRE EXTINGUISHERS. Your fire sprinkler system throughout your home needs to be up-to-date to ensure that if there is a fire it will work properly. Corrosion can weaken their effectiveness, so having them regularly inspected will be a good practice in preventing fire damage, and this is true of your fire extinguishers, as well. Make fire safety inspections a routine each quarter to prevent fires in your kitchen and other areas of your home.
GET EVERYONE INVOLVED. The most effective way to prevent fires in your kitchen is to get everyone involved. Make sure that each member of your family understands fire safety and how to handle a fire if one should happen. Every adult and older child should know where the fire extinguisher is, even if they aren’t comfortable using it. Emergency numbers should be added to every phone and/or posted somewhere easily accessible, too, just in case. As children mature and start cooking, make sure they know all the basics of fire safety, and if you have an aging parent living with you always take notice of the limits of their abilities as they use the kitchen facilities.
Call us here at SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson if you experience fire damage, water damage, or mold issues. We have all the skills and equipment that are required to get you back to normal as soon as possible, and that includes restoring affected documents and prized possessions. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned as well, and we’re happy to talk with you further about that service. This franchise is independently owned and operated.
Top Winter Fire Hazards
There are many fire hazards that are present during the colder months of winter due to the necessity of trying to stay warm in our interiors. Knowing what these hazards are will help you to take proper steps to address and mitigate those risks and prevent possible fire damage and smoke damage in the future. Here are some top winter fire hazards to watch out for:
Damage to electrical wiring can cause sparking, and this can lead to a fire. Electrical wiring damage can include frayed cords - such as those connecting desktop computers or desktop lamps to the wall power outlets, for example - and can also include damage to internal wiring inside the walls. Appliance cords, floor lamps, and space heaters also need to be monitored for the same reason, since all wiring can be damaged by pests or weather-related issues. Electrical fires may also start when power sockets are overloaded, such as when space heaters are added or when equipment overheats. Inspect wiring regularly to identify areas of concern that need to be addressed, and never leave independent heating units running while a room is unoccupied.
Poor equipment maintenance is another fire hazard. We all get busy and we can forget to maintain items that are only used during part of the year. For example, failing to service your furnace regularly may result in an accumulation of dust and other flammable debris, and a gas leak in the furnace could result in a fire or an explosion. Make sure to do proper maintenance on your furnace on a regular basis, and be sure to do a check of the system before winter weather arrives. Fire hazards related to poor maintenance may also include dusty, dirty, or greasy components, such as air ducts and vents, kitchen exhaust vents, and many other features that are used throughout your facility. Scheduling necessary maintenance can decrease fire risk in these areas.
Flammable materials are most commonly associated with industrial and warehouse environments, but even private homes, restaurants, hotels, dry cleaners, and other types of businesses store combustible materials on-site. These materials should remain properly sealed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations at all times, and that they are not stored near any heat source. In the home, keep your space heaters away from combustible materials, such as drapery, bedding, and rugs, and never use one in the bathroom or kitchen when large amounts of water are present on flooring or in tubs, to avoid electrical shocks.
As you can see, there are numerous fire hazards that could result in serious damage to your home or business in the colder months. If you have experienced fire damage, it is essential that repair work is completed as soon as possible, and SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson is here to make sure that happens. We have the skills training, and equipment necessary to restore your premises and belongings to their previous condition if possible, so that you can get back to normal right away.
Creating A Fire Evacuation Plan For Your Business
It’s always a wise move to be ready for whatever might happen. Your commercial property is an important investment for yourself and your work staff, and one of the most important things for you to do to guard lives and livelihoods is to create a fire evacuation plan for your business.
As you are creating your strategy, you will want to think about the types of disasters that are most common to your area in addition to fires; no disaster can be foreseen.
Some important points to consider while you are creating a fire evacuation plan for your business are:
- Where are the safest areas for people to go should a fire break out? Establish safe spots that are easily accessible and far enough away that no one will be in danger of fire.
- Is a map posted in all public areas? A map leading people to safe areas needs to be clear and labeled properly so that anyone can reference it and easily know where to go. Make sure every language commonly spoken in your area is reflected.
- What kind of shelters are available for people? In addition to fire safety, keep in mind that these shelters could be used for bad weather, too. For areas that experience tornadoes, for example, an area on the lowest floor or below ground that is constructed to withstand the highest wind forces will be necessary.
- How will tenants and workforce members receive emergency alerts or warnings? An alarm system within the building might work best if your commercial building is composed of large shops or warehouses. If your property is an office, then perhaps a phone tree to contact each department or office individually would work best.
- How will people receive updates? You will need to be able to communicate with your tenants so that they are updated concerning the state of your building. Your business will be discontinued so that the emergency can be handled, and they will want to know when it is safe and when they can exit shelters or re-enter the building and get back to work. Create a strategy where you can communicate with everyone in a timely and efficient way to prevent misinformation and confusion. Text messages could be the best course here, for example.
- Is your evacuation plan safe for those with special needs? It is a requirement that any exit strategy is tailored to individuals with any special needs, and you will want to think about older people and those that are impaired visually or in their hearing. Designating areas to gather ahead of time for having volunteers in place that can manage and oversee these situations will be helpful. If your commercial business houses sensitive equipment or machinery that is designed to save lives, this will need to be taken into consideration when dealing with emergency evacuation, as well.
SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson is here to help you in the event of any emergency or accident. We specialize in water and fire damage clean-ups no matter the size, and we are mold remediation experts, too. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.
How To Avoid Fire Damage This Summer
Summertime is such a great time of the year. The weather is just right for all the outdoor activities everyone loves. Many of these activities will also create scenarios where fire safety is something to keep in mind. For example, in the summer:
We gather around our barbecues and our fire pits, enjoying our friends and families, and life is good. We also spend time cleaning out sheds and garages or getting our landscaping done, and these types of activities create trash that will need to be disposed of, and while we are waiting to have it picked up and hauled away, that trash then waits at our curbside. Renovation and construction projects often get scheduled for summer, too, and these also create waste that can take time to remove.
One stray spark from a fire pit or a bonfire near a dry pile of wood or wooden fencing can turn a happy event into a disaster, and a lack of good sense near even the smallest campfire can change everything in a second. Here are a few tips to help you avoid fire damage this summer.
- Make sure your family and other loved ones understand fire safety before any fire is lit
- Schedule trash pickup immediately to avoid large amounts of dry material from sitting in your yard.
- Remove dry, dead vegetation from around your home or business premises so that if a fire breaks out, this material won’t provide more fuel.
- Using propane tanks can be dangerous, so be sure the person responsible for filling it and using the barbecue understands how to properly handle volatile fuel sources.
- Follow the laws of your city and county when it comes to the use of fire, and don’t light a bonfire if you don’t have the clearance to do so. Many people ignore these regulations, but keep in mind that one stray spark on a roof can bring down a neighborhood.
If you should experience damage from fire this summer, SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson is here to help. We are experts in cleanups after fire, as well as water-related disasters, no matter the size of the issue, and we are also mold remediation specialists. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned! Call us today for assistance.
Removing The Smell Of Smoke From Your Furniture
The odor of smoke always lingers longer than anyone wants it to, whether it is cigarette or cigar smoke, or if it was caused by a fire. Today, we are going to share a few tips to help you in removing the smell of smoke from your furniture, whether you are handling fabric or wood.
Two cups of witch hazel and twenty drops of essential oil can be a very efficient and cost-effective way to get rid of the odor of smoke from your furniture. Place the mixture in a glass spray bottle and shake well; spray liberally onto your furniture fabric and allow it to air dry. The oil will help to absorb the smoke odor instead of just masking it, and if you use a favorite scent of oil, you will be able to enjoy the improvement that much more.
Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on a corner of the piece first, as a test, and let it sit for about an hour, then vacuum it away. Once you have determined that your furniture will not be negatively affected, cover both the exterior and interior of your pieces with the baking soda and let it absorb the smoke odor for up to eight hours, depending on how bad the smell is. You can then just vacuum up the baking soda from the exterior parts. We do recommend that you wait a week before removing the baking soda from the interior since this area will probably have been more affected by the smoke. Repeat this process as needed. You can also clean your wooden furniture using this wet method: Apply Murphy’s Oil Soap, using an amount approximately the size of a nickel, to a soft sponge; you can also use a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar here. Gently rub the affected areas in a circular motion, which will help you avoid damage to the wood surface and finish. Allow your furniture to air dry in a warm interior space, although make sure not to place your piece in the direct sunlight, as it could cause the wood to warp.
If your furniture and other belongings have been negatively affected by unpleasant smoky odors and you can’t seem to get the results you want by doing it yourself, remember that the team here at SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson is always ready to help with smoke odor, fire damage, water damage. We handle mold prevention/remediation, as well, and we maintain the necessary training, skills, and equipment that will help us to get your belongings back to normal as soon as possible. We are committed to getting your property Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned!
Most Common Causes of House Fires
According to reports, there are more than 350,000 house fires every year in the U.S. that cause millions of dollars of damage to homes and businesses, as well as suffering due to injuries and death. Here are some of the most common causes of house fires, as well as a few tips on how to avoid them:
- Cooking. This is the most common cause of fire and is often caused by grease that is overheated on a stove or in the oven. Grease is very flammable and can combust spontaneously, and once it is ignited it is almost impossible to control. Never leave the kitchen unattended when cooking in oil or if the food you are cooking produces grease, and if a grease fire starts, do not use water to try to put it out. Use baking soda instead.
- Heaters. Space and baseboard heaters are common causes of fire as well, especially if items made of fabric or combustible materials are placed too close to them. Electrical heaters are also dangerous if the wiring is faulty or if flammable items get too near.
- Electrical Wiring. Short circuits causing arcing are a common culprit, as are circuits that are overloaded.
- Smoking. Cigarette butts dropped on furniture, carpets, or other flammable materials are yet another common cause of house fires. This often happens due to the smoker falling asleep. Smoking in bed is especially dangerous since it only takes a single stray ash to ignite bedding or clothing.
- Burning Candles. Candles are a common culprit of house fires. Always extinguish them when you leave the room, and keep them at least 12 inches away from any flammable materials.
- Flammable Chemicals. Residential chemical fires occur when vapors from gas and other petroleum liquids reach a high temperature or when the fumes contact a source of an open flame. Store all fuels and other chemicals in their proper containers and keep them in locations that are protected from heat.
- Rags. Another cause of fires is when oily rags spontaneously heat up. Never store oil-soaked or chemical-soaked rags, and never stack them in a pile. Heat can be spontaneously generated when the fumes combine with oxygen. These rags should be spread out in an outdoor location until the oil evaporates. Once thoroughly dry, they can be washed for reuse; remember here to wash them by hand and not in your washing machine.
- Holiday Decorations. Christmas trees are a holiday tradition for many families, but they can be a fire risk. Live evergreen trees tend to dry out over time, and by the end of the holiday season, they can pose a very serious danger of flash fire. A hot light or a spark can immediately set the tree aflame, and such fires spread incredibly fast. If your family will be using a menorah during Hanukkah celebrations, always remember to keep an eye on it while it is burning, and never leave small children unattended in the same area.
If you experience water damage or fire damage, give us a call. The team here at SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson has all the training, equipment, and expertise necessary to get you back to normal right away after a fire.
What To Do When Your Kitchen Catches On Fire
A fire in the kitchen can happen with no warning, and you will need to act fast to keep it from getting out of control. Take stock of what kind of fire you have and where it is so that you can act appropriately.
Here are some tips on what to do when your kitchen catches on fire:
- If the fire starts in your oven, turn the oven off and close the door immediately; make sure to leave the door closed. Lack of oxygen will suffocate the flames.
- If the oven continues to smoke and you think the fire may be building, call the fire department right away.
- When you experience a fire in your cooking pan or pot, use your oven mitt to put the lid on right away, and move it off the burner. Turn off the stove and wait for the lack of oxygen to stop the flames inside your pot.
- If you are not able to safely put the lid on the flaming pan, or if there is no lid readily available, put your fire extinguisher to work. Always aim at the base of the fire, not the flames themselves.
- Never use water to put out a grease fire. Water repels grease and can spread the fire by splattering the grease when you apply it. Try one of these methods instead:
- If the fire is small, put on the lid and turn off the burner.
- Throw plenty of baking soda on it. Flour is not a good substitute here; it can explode or make the fire even worse.
- Smother the fire with a wet towel or other large cloth.
- Use a fire extinguisher.
- Caution: Swatting the fire with a towel, apron, or other material, is likely to fan the flames and spread the fire.
- If the fire is spreading and you don’t have control, get every person and pet out of the house and call 911!
For cleanup after any type of fire, the SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson team is here to help, and we can be on the scene right away. We are also experts in cleanup from water damage, as well as mold prevention and remediation.
Cleaning Smoke Damage out of Your Kitchen
We all know that the smell of smoke tends to stick. It can be extremely difficult to completely remove this strong odor and get the important areas of your home restored to be clean and healthy once again. At SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson, we understand that this process can be overwhelming. If you are stressed and tired of trying to get the smell of smoke out of your home, give us a call at (615) 885-3906!
With that being said, it is possible to assess the smoke damage at home on your own. We are here to give you a couple of tips in order to ensure your home is back in great shape!
Proper Ventilation: This tip is huge in order to start the process of smoke damage removal. You want to make sure that your kitchen is properly vented, and has airflow coming in. If there isn't already a fan in your kitchen, we suggest putting one in and opening any windows in your kitchen in order to circulate air.
Throw away soot infected items: Make sure any opened food that was infected with soot from the fire are disposed of. Any appliances and areas that were exposed to the smoke damage should be cleared or removed and cleaned properly.
Use TSP: A common and effective chemical used is trisodium phosphate, commonly known as TSP. This chemical is very strong and can potentially be toxic, so make sure you’re using gloves and taking the proper precautions for safety. Use TSP and a sponge to clean the infected area.
Cleaning the smell of smoke: Use deodorizer in carpets and use vinegar as a cleaner to absorb the smell. Vacuuming can also help to ensure you are sucking up all of the smoke trapped in the carpet. Be gentle in order to avoid stains.
If you are still concerned about smoke damage and cleaning or would prefer assistance, our team of highly trained professionals at SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson is always happy to help! Reach out to us at (615) 885-3906, or get assistance online!
Chimney Cleaning Tips
Owning a fireplace can add a sense of life and warmth to your home. In order for your fire to run efficiently and safely, it’s important that your chimney stays clean. Keeping a clean chimney will also prevent dangerous chimney fires that could potentially cause you to lose your home. Chimney fires are fires that start with few large sounds resembling gunshots and eventually cause an explosion. The fires can typically not be handled by homeowners. Firefighters often have to shoot water from the top downward, which can cause the house to suffer from flood damage. More often than not, the entire house is lost. One of the most common causes of chimney fires is a poorly maintained chimney. Your chimney should be cleaned once a year, either by you or by a professional (which we recommend.) However, if you have the tools and confidence to do it on your own, SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson is here to give you a couple of tips to get you started.
- First, you need to inspect your chimney and begin by removing the creosote, which is soot that has condensed and becomes a toxic substance. Creosote is tar-like, and if the buildup is too high then it can catch on fire. Make sure your fireplace is cooled off before you begin the inspection or any cleaning.
Use a plastic tarp.
- Using a tarp around the front of the fireplace will help protect the floors in your home. This will also make the process of cleaning up more efficient.
Sweep the interior.
- Use a brush to remove creosote buildup inside the chimney. You may need a long attachment to hook to the brush in order to reach the flue and spin the brush. The flue looks like a small metal door near the top of the chimney. Make sure to keep the flue open until you are done cleaning.
Choose a cleaner and brush the interior.
- Use a brush dipped in a soot eraser to brush all inside the chimney and start as high as possible in order to get as much of the debris out as you can.
These are only a few tips in order to get your chimney cleanup started. If you need more assistance or help from a professional, SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson is prepared to help you with any chimney maintenance or cleaning you may need. Call us at (615) 885-3906, or request help online!
Fire Damage DOs and DON'Ts
Emergency Fire Damage Tips
- Keep hands clean
- Limit movement in the home to prevent further damage.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Wipe soot from chrome on faucets and appliances then protect with a light coating of lubricant.
- Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting a SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
- Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting a SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
- Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water without consulting a repair service.
It may seem easier to try and take care of fire damage on your own, but more often than not, trying to clean with generic products only ruins the damaged area more. Call SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson and we'll be there to help!
Sun's Out, Grill's Out
As the summer season is quickly approaching us here in Nashville, SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson wanted to remind everyone to exercise fire safety around your home. We all know that the first official sign of the summer season is when Dad decides to pull out his handy, dandy grilling apron. When using an open flame, the U.S. Fire Administration says that you should keep your grill at least 3 feet away from any structures. This ensures that the mixture of out-of-control flames and wind cannot reach your home, garage, or any other building that you may have in your backyard. Always be aware of other surrounding while you are grilling. Keep an eye out for children, pets, and small flammable objects to be sure that they stay away from the flames. When you practice the appropriate fire safety techniques, the only thing you have to worry about is keeping stains off of your lucky apron! We wish everyone a great summer and happy grilling!
Fire Damage Didn't 'Soot' These Walls
Production Manager Mike Knight test cleaning an area of damaged wall.
Get it? Here at SERVPRO of Hermitage/Donelson, we enjoy terrible puns almost as much as we enjoy serving our community.
Following a damaging fire, all of the concrete block walls in this apartment were covered in a thick layer of black soot. We don't feel soot and fire damage suits any dwelling, so we decided to remove it.
In this photo, you can see the stark difference between the cleaned area and the remaining affected areas. With the right chemicals, meticulous cleaning methods, and a little bit of elbow grease, we were able to get this seemingly destroyed structure back to habitable conditions within just a few days.