Recent Fire Damage Posts

How to Clean Clothing and Personal Belongings with Smoke Damage

12/13/2023 (Permalink)

Burned woodbeams. If you've experienced a fire and need assistance with smoke-damaged items, don't hesitate to contact SERVPRO® of Firestone, Platteville!

Fires can be a devastating experience, and one of the challenges that homeowners face is dealing with smoke damage to their clothing and personal belongings. Smoke can infiltrate your fabrics and possessions, leaving behind odors and staining. In this blog, we'll provide you with practical steps and tips on how to handle smoke-damaged items effectively, so you can salvage as much as possible and restore your cherished belongings.

Can you save smoke-damaged clothes?

Yes, you can often save smoke-damaged clothes with the right approach and care. Smoke from a fire can leave behind stubborn odors and stains on clothing, but immediate action can make a significant difference. With the right care, many smoke-damaged clothes can be restored to their former condition. So how do you save your clothing and other personal belongings? 

Assess the Damage

First, carefully examine each item to determine the level of damage. Some items may be restorable, while others may need professional cleaning or may be beyond repair.

Dry Cleaning and Laundering

For clothing, read care labels and consider sending them to professional dry cleaners. They have the expertise and equipment to remove smoke residues and odors effectively. For machine-washable items, use a gentle detergent and wash them in cold water.

Hand Washing

Delicate or non-machine washable items may need special attention. Use a mild detergent and lukewarm water for hand washing. Be gentle to avoid further damage.

Air-Drying

After washing, allow items to air-dry outdoors, but not in direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause discoloration. Make sure the items are completely dry before storing them.

Upholstery and Fabrics

For smoke-damaged upholstery, curtains, and other fabric items, professional cleaning services are often the best option. They have the expertise and equipment to restore these items effectively.

Ozone Treatment

Ozone treatments can be used to remove smoke odors from items that are not easily washable or are sensitive to cleaning agents. Professional restoration companies, like SERVPRO®, offers this service.

Consult Professionals

When in doubt or for valuable items, consult with professional restoration services like SERVPRO®. They can provide advice and restoration services for more challenging smoke damage situations.

Store Items Properly

After cleaning and restoration, store your items in a clean, dry, and smoke-free environment. Use airtight containers or garment bags for added protection.

Dealing with smoke damage to clothing and personal belongings after a fire can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, many items can be saved. Prioritize safety, assess the damage, and be prepared to consult professionals when needed. Whether it's clothing, upholstery, or cherished possessions, proper care and cleaning can help you restore your items and bring a sense of normalcy back into your life.

If you've experienced a fire and need assistance with smoke-damaged items, don't hesitate to contact SERVPRO® of Firestone, Platteville for expert restoration services. We're here to help you through the process of salvaging and restoring your cherished belongings!

When Should I Clean My Dryer Vent?

8/20/2023 (Permalink)

A clogged dryer vent. Cleaning your dryer vent is an important maintenance task that is often overlooked.

Cleaning your dryer vent is an important maintenance task that is often overlooked. A clogged or dirty dryer vent not only reduces the efficiency of your dryer but also poses a potential fire hazard. In this blog post, we will guide you through when and how to clean your dryer vent to ensure the safety and optimal performance of your dryer.

Importance of Regular Dryer Vent Cleaning

Lint buildup in the dryer vent can create a highly flammable environment. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, clogged dryer vents are responsible for thousands of home fires each year. Cleaning your dryer vent regularly reduces this risk significantly.

A clean dryer vent allows air to flow freely, reducing drying time and increasing the efficiency of your dryer. This not only saves energy but also prolongs the lifespan of your appliance.

Moisture buildup in a clogged dryer vent can lead to mold and mildew growth. Regular cleaning helps prevent these issues and keeps your laundry area clean and free from potentially harmful contaminants.

Signs It's Time to Clean Your Dryer Vent

Drying Time Has Increased: If your clothes are taking longer than usual to dry, it may be a sign that your dryer vent is clogged. Reduced airflow caused by lint buildup can prolong drying cycles.

Excessive Lint Around the Dryer: If you notice an excessive amount of lint accumulation around the dryer or the lint trap, it's a clear indication that your vent needs attention.

Hot Dryer or Laundry Room: If your dryer or laundry room feels unusually hot to the touch during or after a drying cycle, it may be an indication of restricted airflow due to a clogged vent.

Burning Smell: A burning smell coming from your dryer is a serious warning sign. It could indicate that lint has accumulated to the point of catching fire. Immediately stop using the dryer and clean the vent before using it again.

How to Clean Your Dryer Vent

Unplug the Dryer: Before starting any cleaning procedure, make sure to unplug your dryer from the power source to ensure safety.

Remove and Clean the Lint Trap: Remove the lint trap and use a brush or vacuum attachment to clean away any lint and debris. Rinse it with water and allow it to dry completely before placing it back into the dryer.

Disconnect the Dryer Vent: Locate the connection point of the vent pipe to the back of the dryer. Loosen the clamp and carefully disconnect the vent pipe.

Clean the Vent Pipe: Insert a flexible brush or a vacuum attachment into the vent pipe and remove any lint or debris. You may need to use a long brush or a dryer vent cleaning kit for hard-to-reach areas. Be sure to clean both ends of the vent pipe thoroughly.

Clean the Exterior Vent: Go outside and locate the exterior vent opening. Remove any debris or lint buildup around the opening. Use a brush or vacuum attachment to clean the vent cover as well.

Reconnect and Secure the Vent Pipe: Once the dryer vent and the exterior vent are clean, reconnect the vent pipe and secure it with the clamp. Ensure a tight connection to prevent any leaks.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dryer Vent?

Dryer vent cleaning frequency depends on several factors, including the length of the vent, the number of loads dried, and the type of fabric frequently dried. As a general guideline, it is recommended to clean your dryer vent at least once a year. However, if you notice any of the signs mentioned above or if you have a large household with heavy use, it may be necessary to clean the vent more frequently.

Regularly cleaning your dryer vent is an essential maintenance task that not only improves the efficiency of your dryer but also keeps your home safe from potential fire hazards. By recognizing the signs that indicate a clogged vent and following the cleaning steps outlined above, you can maintain a safe and efficient dryer that will last for years to come. Remember, it's better to be proactive and take the necessary steps to keep your dryer vent clean than to risk the safety of your home and family.

Choosing a Fire Restoration Company: What to Look for and Why It Matters

4/22/2023 (Permalink)

fire and smoke damage Hire a professional for your Fire Restoration Emergency

A fire restoration company is a business that specializes in cleaning up after a fire. They can help you with everything from removing smoke and soot from your home's walls, floors and ceilings to cleaning up any other debris that might have been left behind.

If you've been through this experience before, then you know how important it is to hire one of these professionals right away. They'll be able to get the job done quickly so that you can move back into your home as soon as possible!

Types of Services Offered

  • Fire damage repair
  • Smoke damage repair
  • Water damage repair
  • Mold remediation
  • Odor removal
  • Qualifications and Certifications

The first step to finding a reputable company is to look at their qualifications. The following certifications are some of the most common:

Fire and smoke restoration certification
Water damage restoration certification
Mold remediation certification
Insurance certifications

Experience and Reputation

Do they have any certifications or licenses? Some states require fire restoration companies to be licensed by the state government before they can legally operate in those areas; if this is true where you live (and it probably is), make sure your contractor has all necessary paperwork before signing on with them!

Equipment and Technology

Equipment and technology is a big part of the job. The latest fire restoration equipment and technology will be used to assess your home, remove smoke odor and other contaminants from surfaces, clean upholstery and carpets, dry out water damage in basements or crawl spaces, etc.

Specialized tools are used by the professionals at the company you hire to ensure that they can do their best work on your home or business.

When you're looking for a fire restoration company, it's important to get an estimate of how much the services will cost. You should also ask about payment options and insurance coverage.

Safety and Security

When you're hiring a fire restoration company, it's important to make sure they're following safety standards. This includes meeting OSHA requirements and having the proper certifications for their employees. You should also ask about their background checks on employees and whether or not they conduct drug testing on new hires.
If you have any concerns about the safety of your home or business after a fire, be sure to address them with your restoration company before signing anything!

For those who have experienced a fire, it's important to hire the right fire restoration company. The last thing you want is for your home or business to be damaged further by an inexperienced company.

If you're looking for information on how to find the best fire restoration company, contact us today!

What Are The Leading Causes Of Fire Damage In Homes?

2/10/2023 (Permalink)

gas stove top Fire can spread quickly, give the professionals a call after a residential fire loss

Fire damage is serious and it can happen in a variety of ways. It can be easy to get complacent about the dangers of fires in your home, but it’s always best to be aware and prepared. In this post, we’ll look at some of the major causes of fire in homes across America and what you can do to prevent them.

Cooking

There are several ways that cooking can cause fire damage in your home. One of the most common causes is overheating and ignition of oil or grease, which can happen when you leave food in a pan on the stovetop for too long without turning off the burner. When cooking, never leave food unattended.

Heating

Heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires. Space heaters and furnaces are the most common culprits and cause fires if they're not used correctly. Make sure you know how to safely operate any type of heating appliance in your home, especially if you have children or pets who may be tempted to play with them.

Electrical

Electrical fires are another leading cause of home fires and can result in significant damage to your property. Electrical fires are caused by faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, or damaged electrical outlets.

If you're experiencing an electrical issue with your home's electrical system, or if you notice signs that there might be a problem, contact an electrician as soon as possible. You should also use surge protectors and power strips to prevent overloading circuits in areas where they may be at risk for damage or failure.

Candles

It's important to take care when using candles. Candles can be very dangerous if they are left unattended or set up improperly. When burning candles, consider the following:

  • Keep candles away from children and pets.
  • Make sure that candles are placed at least three feet away from anything flammable, such as curtains or clothing items hanging on a rack nearby.

Fire damage cleanup and restoration

When you need fire damage cleanup and restoration services, who should you call?

At SERVPRO of Firestone, Platteville, we offer a range of services to help you get your home or business back to normal after a fire. Our team is highly trained and experienced in cleaning up after fires, so you can rest assured that your property will be in good hands.

We understand that fires happen under many different circumstances, which is why we offer a wide variety of services.

Fire damage can be devastating to your home and your family. The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent fire from happening in the first place, as well as ways to protect yourself against it once it does occur. If you want more information on how we can help protect your home from fire damage, contact us today!

Essential Steps Homeowners Should Complete When Making a Fire Claim

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

Fire damage to a home in Lochbuie, CO.

Four Tips to Support Your Insurance Claim Process

According to Home Advisor, residents in Lochbuie, CO, may pay between $3,000 to $30,000 for fire restoration services. The amount varies based on the blaze's size and how much devastation it caused. Many people don't have that much tucked away for a rainy day, yet remediation and rebuilding remain vital. 
Therefore, you probably want to rely on your insurance policy to assist with the costs. Does navigating the system seem daunting? Don't fret. Use the following four tips to support your insurance claim process.

1. Start a Fire Insurance Claim Immediately
Call your agent or enter a claim through your online portal, documenting the day of the conflagration and what happened. Early warning allows the agency to begin its paperwork and arrange for adjuster visits. In addition, this closes a gap for concerning questions about why they didn't know about the conditions sooner.

2. Work With Professional Remediation Experts
Your insurance policy supports your post-fire repairs, but the insurer requires evidence and proof of the event and aftermath. Work with a licensed and certified fire restoration team to identify the physical damage, supplying insurers with evidence-based reports.

3. Protect the Property From Other Events
Fires expose homes. The flames created gaps, and the fire crews worked to put out the blaze. Insurers need to know they have proper measures to reduce outsiders from entering hazardous zones, mitigating potential lawsuits. Furthermore, you need to prove that the exposures are closed off to keep out the weather and animals.

4. Document Your Losses and Action
Work with the crew to understand if smoke cleaning is feasible for your belongings. Teams have various equipment to remove the stains and odor, helping you maintain your electronics and valuable possessions. Keep a record of what you can't keep, and snap pictures of it, proving it's damaged. Send images to your ensure to support your property loss request. 
Homeowners in Lochbuie, CO, may submit a fire restoration claim to help with remediation efforts. File quickly, prove your interest in minimizing further harm and photograph everything.

3 Tips to Prevent a Space Heater Fire

6/5/2022 (Permalink)

Space heaters cause approximately 25,000 house fires each year.

Minimize The Risk Of a Fire With Your Space Heater

Space heaters can be a simple and cost-effective way to heat a drafty room, but they can also be potentially dangerous. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heaters cause approximately 25,000 house fires each year. A burned space heater can cause serious damage to your home, leaving you to deal with structural repairs and smoke cleanup. These tips can help you minimize the risk of starting a fire with your space heater.

1. Select a Safe Model
Not all space heaters are created equal, and some are safer than others. Don't use a space heater that is more than 10 years old, has a damaged cord, or shows significant signs of wear. Newer models tend to come equipped with more safety features. A few to look for include:

A safety sensor that automatically turns the heater off if it overheats or gets knocked over.
Certification from an independent safety testing group, such as UL, CSA International, or Intertek.
A power cord that is at least six feet long --- using a power strip or extension cord exponentially increases your risk of a burned space heater.

2. Choose a Location Wisely
Where you place your heater is just as important as which heater model you use. Always place your heater on a hard, level floor, never on a table or counter. Do not place a heater within 3 feet of combustible items such as drapes, furniture, blankets, fluffy or shaggy rugs, gas, paint, or matches. Choose a low-traffic location where pets and children will not be likely to go near the heater.

3. Use Your Heater Correctly
Never leave a running space heater unattended overnight or if you are away from home. Always unplug the heater when you're not using it. When unplugging your heater, grasp the plug (not the cord) and pull it straight out. Never unplug by tugging the cord or pulling at an angle. Doing so could damage the cord, increasing the risk of a short.
Don't let a burned space heater damage your Gilcrest, CO, home. Use caution and follow safety guidelines closely.

Commercial Property Insurance Basics

5/11/2022 (Permalink)

A commercial insurance policy can save you a lot of money in the event of a fire.

Property coverage is an essential item in every business budget. Most commercial insurance policies cover damage to your structure in Frederick, CO, as well as any equipment, furniture, or other items that are marred or destroyed in a fire. The answers to the following questions can help you decide which policy to purchase.

What Does a Commercial Insurance Policy Cover?

A basic policy is designed to pay for sudden, accidental occurrences that cause harm to your property. It prevents you from having to pay the cost of fire damage mitigation services out of pocket, and it doesn't just cover the building itself. Other features of your property may be included in the policy:

  • Office equipment
  • Furniture
  • Manufacturing machines
  • Inventory
  • Important documents
  • Landscaping
  • External structures
  • Fences

What Factors Affect Cost?

Most commercial insurance coverage provides comparable protection, but if there are factors that put your business at a higher risk of fire, your policy will likely cost more. For example, a restaurant owner is probably going to pay more for insurance than someone who runs an office building. Newer buildings with better safety features such as fire-resistant building materials and a state-of-the-art fire suppression system can often get better insurance rates. When you meet with your insurance agent, be sure to ask about the factors that affect the cost of your policy.

Does It Matter Whether You Own or Rent?

If you own property, you need insurance to cover all the items listed above in the event of a fire. If you are renting from someone else, though, you still need to protect yourself. Your landlord's policy will probably only cover the items he or she owns. You still need coverage for the items inside, such as computers, phones and files.
A commercial insurance policy can save you a lot of money in the event of a fire. Make sure you have the right coverage for your business.

3 FAQs About Lightning and House Fires

4/19/2022 (Permalink)

A lightning bolt's primary goal is to find the least resistant path to penetrate deep into the ground.

Lightning and House Fires

A lightning bolt's primary goal is to find the least resistant path to penetrate deep into the ground. This makes most homes the perfect target. All of the conductive lines in your home attract bolts, which can start a lighting fire in your home. To better protect yourself from suffering this event and having to find a fire remediation company, you should know some of the key facts about minimizing your risk.

1. How Can You Stay Safe During a Storm?

Since water pipes and electric lines will attract the bolt, you should stay away from these during a storm. Avoid touching them. This means you should avoid taking a shower, washing your hands, doing dishes, playing video games, typing on a computer, or using any other wired device to avoid a lighting fire. It is safe to use wireless devices. Stay away from any windows that have metal frames as well.

2. What Should You Do If Your Home Is Struck?

If your house is struck, you should begin looking for signs of lighting fire. Check your attic and other high spots for any smoke. Feel your walls for hidden heat. If you notice anything, call for help. Additionally, watch for debris from chimneys, roofs, and walls.

3. Should You Have a Protection System Installed?

A protection system can greatly reduce fire risk in your home in Platteville, CO. Before spending the money on one, assess your risk of a strike and the proposed benefits. A good insurance policy may be a better option in many locations. However, high-risk homes can benefit from a system. Be sure to read about the various types before installing one.
To protect yourself from a house fire caused by a storm, you should understand more about what you can do to minimize your risk. Knowing what to do in the face of a disaster is also a good option.