Recent Fire Damage Posts

Our Specialists Explain Our Five Point Plan For Your Foster City Home After A Fire

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Our Specialists Explain Our Five Point Plan For Your Foster City Home After A Fire A detailed plan of action is part of the journey to restoring your property to preloss conditions, contact SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos to begin.

The Five Point Fire Damage Plan For Foster City Residences

Unforeseen events at home can result in lengthy restoration procedures and testing to ensure it is safe for you to return. Often starting in the kitchen, a fire can be contained to one place, but smoke can spread outwards causing significant damages to furnishings or other areas. Using professional services with experience can help to mitigate losses and reduce the amount of time it takes to remediate your home.

When it comes to fire damage in foster city residences the majority of cases are minor or medium in scale. SERVPRO classify a medium scale fire as significant smoke residues which may require repainting, restoration, and replacement to ceilings, fittings, contents, walls or floors. Thankfully, in most medium losses, contents restoration can be done onsite without the necessity for expensive pack outs or relocations.

SERVPRO has technicians with IICRC certificates in fire damages and operates with a five-point plan to bring your property back to preloss conditions. We begin with mitigation which could involve performing temporary board ups or drying properties that are wet due to firefighting procedures. Temporary electrical generators can be provided if the property's primary source of electrics is shutoff.

Mitigation procedure is about preventing further damage and performing immediate, albeit temporary repair. SERVPRO follow it up with structural and contents cleaning. Repainting damaged walls and ceilings or removing items to a clean zone to allow both in-depth cleanings of the structure and restoration of personal possessions.

Some property owners may need specialty restoration. This restoration could include valuable items like artworks to be packed out and treated to advanced methods. Ultrasonic cleaning can be provided where necessary to help remove ingrained soot from valuable metals or woods, mechanical cleaning for clothing or refinishing furniture.

It is rare for medium scale fire damages to require reconstruction. However, where it is necessary, SERVPRO can leverage our trusted third-party contacts to perform architectural remodeling if areas of the structure are beyond repair. Odors left behind after a fire can be treated at the source or neutralized using industrial grade foggers.

A detailed plan of action is part of the journey to restoring your property to preloss conditions, contact SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos at (650) 591-4137 to begin.

Click here for more about Foster City.

How Does a House Fire Impact the Air Quality of Your San Francisco Home?

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How Does a House Fire Impact the Air Quality of Your San Francisco Home? Smoke and soot can cause damage to the indoor air quality of your home.

The Tools to Improve IAQ After a Fire in Your San Francisco Home

After a fire occurs in your San Francisco home, many homeowners work to reach out to their insurance company to get the process started for recovery and restoration. As a result, this insurance provider requires documentation, photographic evidence, and cataloging of the damage to approve a claim made for home restoration. As simple as it might seem to gather this information on your own, there are risks with entering a home after a fire that many homeowners might not understand.

Indoor air quality can often become steeply compromised after fire damage occurs in your San Francisco home. Smoke and soot particles can remain in the air after the incident, posing a risk of their own for inadequately protected people entering the home. Additionally, threats like chemicals, gases, and contaminants can cause health effects to exposed individuals assessing the property without respirators or even SCBA gear. Our SERVPRO technicians can assess these risks and arrive with the personal protection equipment needed for a thorough inspection of your property to acquire the information your insurance company needs.

Improving the indoor air quality of your home begins with reducing the particulates and contaminants that could be circulating through the air. We can set up several pieces of equipment including air scrubbers and hydroxyl generators. Both of these have HEPA filters inside that can trap particles as small as .3 microns. The equipment continues to run through debris removal and any necessary tear out processes to reduce dust, debris, and further spread of soot and smoke effects.

Our SERVPRO Franchise professionals can also work to improve harsh odors that often follow a structure fire. Treating open areas and exposed materials simultaneously with equipment like our thermal foggers can permanently eliminate odors and help to make the damage “Like it never even happened.”

From the time that the first responders leave, give our SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos fire restoration technicians the opportunity to show you how our extensive training and industry-leading equipment can work to restore your home entirely. Give us a call at (650) 591-4137.

Read more about San Francisco here.

What is Protein Based Soot and How Does it Affect your San Carlos Kitchen

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage  What is Protein Based Soot and How Does it Affect your San Carlos Kitchen SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos is ready to restore your fire damaged home.

What To Expect When Restoration Professionals Respond To San Carlos Fire Damage

Bringing your San Carlos home back from the damage done by a kitchen fire is a job for professionals. The residues deposited on surfaces are toxic and require a specific protocol for proper removal. Smoke and soot drift far from the original fire location, charred structural components need assessment to determine if restoration is possible, and lingering odors cannot continue to remind homeowners of the disaster. We can help. 

Our team of trained and well-equipped technicians addresses all these concerns and more when we arrive on-site after fire damages your San Carlos residence. We are a full-service disaster restoration company, employing industry best practices to return a fire-ravaged residence to refreshed and comfortable preloss condition. 

The first issue is almost always water and chemical removal, coping with these common complications after firefighting efforts. SERVPRO crews are experts in water extraction and structural drying, carrying the pumps, extractors, heated air movers, and dehumidifiers on response vehicles. Ridding the home of water first is a safety requirement, reducing the likelihood of slip and fall injuries and reducing the chance of electrical shock. 

Then the crew assesses and begins to use appropriate techniques and products to clean sooty residues. Kitchen fires produce protein-based soot, nearly invisible on surfaces. It is difficult to remove without abrasive action and special solvents best applied by our trained workers. The SERVPRO crew leads also assess the characteristics of the soot deposited in other spaces. Depending on the fuel consumed coatings can be ashy, sticky, light, or thick. We might use brush and vacuum, spray and wipe, or agitation to clear the different types of soot, matching the types we observe to the correct products and tools.

Let us help with odor neutralization, using modern advancements in equipment and methods. SERVPRO technicians are also able to save structural materials you might fear too charred to consider for anything but removal and replacement. Throughout the fire damage remediation and restoration process, we work with your insurance to minimize your out of pocket costs.

Reach out to a leader in the fire mitigation industry when you engage the services of SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos. Call us at (650) 591-4137 immediately after the firefighters leave to get your home back. 

Frederick Drake is known as the ‘Father of San Carlos.’  Read more here.

Commercial Fire Damage in Belmont is Restored By SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos.

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Commercial Fire Damage in Belmont is Restored By SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos. A fire at a commercial establishment can be costly.

One of a business owner's worst horrors is a fire event to at their commercial property. However, this nightmare becomes an ugly reality all too often! While dealing with a commercial fire can be challenging and stressful, knowing how to expedite and optimize each component of the restoration process can save you money and a headache. Learn more about the steps you should take to restore your business by reviewing this short outline provided by SERVPRO:

Call Your Insurer
Once your commercial property is subjected to fire, call your insurer. In some cases, your insurance agent can help you locate temporary accommodations where you can continue conducting business transactions while fire damage restoration is on-going at your commercial property. The insurer will send out an adjuster to document the fire damage and to monetize fire damage restoration. Ask for a highly recommended company to promptly restore your property. 


In addition to calling your insurance provider, you'll need to get in contact with a fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO. An inspector will be dispatched to survey the fire damaged property, develop a restoration plan, and provide you with a CCIS report. This Contents Claim Inventory Service will specifically document damages to the structure and the contents--including all business-related items. SERVPRO is an approved vendor for over 300 insurance companies, property management firms, and government agencies. We can work in cooperation with your insurance company to expedite the fire damage restoration services. We can help you with the claims process, and the paperwork while minimizing your expenses.  

The fire damage restoration process is contingent upon the extent of damage to the building and the business assets.
• property assessment
• cleaning
• drying, water removal
• sanitation
• deodorization
• content restoration, document drying
• odor removal
• smoke removal 
• vent cleaning
• air duct cleaning

Getting The Best Restoration Services Available
We can offer the following attributes to ensure a rapid return to preloss conditions for your commercial enterprise.
• IICRC-certified professionals, with corporate and franchise training
• excellent customer service, communication from start to finish with guaranteed results
• fair pricing
• a good reputation
• cutting edge equipment
• advanced methodologies

Call SERVPRO For Expedient fire damage restoration in Belmont and the surrounding area.
We respond immediately to assist you in restoring your commercial property to working order. We are faster to any size disaster. Our goal is to compete swiftly the fire damage restoration, with minimal expense to you and reopen your doors for business. "Like it never even happened."

24-Hour Emergency Fire Restoration Service

SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos knows that fire damage can happen any time, so we’re ready to respond 24/7 —including holidays. Belmont, San Carlos, and Foster City are communities we proudly serve. Call us for help. (650) 591-4137

Restoring Your Property Back to Safety

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restoring Your Property Back to Safety Fire Damaged Home

House fires are one of the most stressful and frustrating experiences that a homeowner can endure. In addition to engendering substantive financial losses, house fires can pose several health and safety risks about which owners must be cautious. Because house fires can result in the loss of valuable property while also endangering the family's livelihood, it's no surprise that many homeowners experience profound emotional trauma during this time. To ensure that you can maintain your equilibrium and move forward, it's a good idea to obtain SERVPRO to help you. Learn more about how restoration companies can assist you by reading the short outline provided below:

Assessing Your Home’s Damage
In general, the first thing a professional restoration company will do when you call is to come to your property and complete an assessment. The assessment is designed to determine how much damage has been done to your home. During the assessment, SERVPRO specialists will inspect your entire home to decide what tools they'll need to clean and restore it effectively. The assessment will also help the specialists determine how long the restoration process will take and what the repair fees will be. Finally, the assessment will help the fire damage specialists determines whether the property is safe enough to start the cleanup and repair processes.

Cleaning, Repairing, and Restoring Your Home
Once the Fire Department specialists ensure that your home can be entered, they will start the cleanup process. Drying your home is at the top of the to-do list because it can help prevent the onset of mold and mildew accumulation. Mold and mildew thrive in moist environments, so exacting the drying process as quickly as possible is quite important. In addition to reducing the risk of mold accumulation, the specialists will use specific tools to remove ash, soot, and standing water from the premises. They will also carefully inspect the structure of your home and make any repairs necessary to ensure that the foundation remains safe and stable. The length of time the cleanup and repair process will take is ultimately contingent upon the extent of damage done to your home.

Conclusion
If your home has been subjected to a fire you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed at all of the work needed to restore your property. You don't have to worry. By contacting a team of professional fire damage specialists, you can get your property back in excellent condition. As a team of trained specialists who work with skill and speed to remediate your home, the SERVPRO crew is your first choice when you start searching for the ideal restoration services. Contact us now to obtain the professional, personalized services you need and deserve.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

We live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos is close by and ready to respond to your smoke or fire damage emergency. We are proud to be an active member of the Belmont community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be. 

Our expertise in fire damage is extensive. SERVPRO utilizes IICRC training as part of our on-going education to stay ahead of the curve. Call us for help. (650) 591-4137

Putting A Boat Back on The Water

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Putting A Boat Back on The Water Fifty-One foot Boat

One of the most interesting and unique cleaning jobs our company performed was aboard a commercial salmon fishing boat. Our technicians cleaned up the contamination of an oily soot fire that started in the engine room.

The fifty-one foot fishing trawler also had significant soot contamination throughout its galley, sleeping berths and wheelhouse.

The fire occurred while the boat was “on the hard” which means while it was on the ground in a boatyard. The “chandlery” (boat repair company) caused the damage while they were performing routine repairs and service. The chandlery was responsible for the costs of cleanup. Our SERVPRO of Belmont /San Carlos technicians washed the interior surfaces from stem to stern…. Sorry for the pun. Our textile service provider, FRSTeam helped with the clothing and bedding that was onboard. Together, we had the boat cleaned and odor free in three days. The original engine repairs and the additional fixes to mend the damage caused by fire were completed in a timely fashion by the boatyard.

The captain was able to take her out on the first day of salmon season. Whether it’s removing a severe odor problem or cleaning carpets and floors, you can rely on the team At SERVPRO to make your boat, home or business look its very best. Call us at 510-785-0497 and we’ll get you back on the water again

Ozone Treatment

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Ozone is a colorless and odorless reactive gas. It is comprised of three oxygen atoms and is found naturally in the earth's stratosphere, where it absorbs the ultraviolet component of incoming solar radiation that could be harmful to life on earth. Ozone is a powerful oxidant (far more so than dioxygen) and it has many industrial and consumer applications related to oxidation, mostly in the cleaning of products. Perhaps you have seen television advertisements about the power of oxidation. This same high oxidizing potential, however, causes ozone to damage mucous and respiratory tissues in people and also tissues in plants, above concentrations of about 100 ppb. This makes ozone a potent respiratory hazard and pollutant near ground level.

The restoration industry learned how to apply the oxidant powers of Ozone to clean and deodorize, especially building that stink from smoke and soot. Portable Ozone generators can be installed in unoccupied locations to clean the air and remove odor. Ozone generators are also used to remove tobacco odor and the overpowering odor of death.

It is important that whenever a restoration company installs an Ozone machine that the room is sealed, warning signs are posted and there are no open flames such as in a gas powered hot-water heater. Ozone should not be used in a wet environment because compound chemicals can be produced that are bleaching agents. At SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos we take the use of Ozone safety seriously.

Spider Webs?

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Spider Webs? Soot Tags

We recently responded to a house fire in Woodside, California.

The fire department had to cut electrical service to the home. Without a light source, the homeowner was unable to survey the damage. After we arrived to do an initial walkthrough, equipped with our flashlights, the homeowner began to notice very dark "spider webs" on the walls.  She said that she was disappointed with the quality of her house keeper's work. We smiled and explained that the "spider webs" are actually known as "soot tags".

As smoke/soot circulates through a home during a fire, the heat will move towards cold areas as the air seeks equilibrium within its environment. In areas of lower circulation, the soot will form what is known as "soot tags". Soot tags form when synthetic/petroleum based sources burn. It also has a lot to do with the Ion charge (static electricity) in the air.

Customers frequently mistake the soot tags as smoke that has attached itself to spider webs that were present during the fire. In fact, they are new unique chains of soot that look a lot like smoke covered spider webs.

Strange Fire in Atherton

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Strange Fire in Atherton Have you ever heard of something this bizarre?

How many of us would like to have a crystal ball? Well, one homeowner in Atherton had a crystal ball, and it turned out to be not so lucky, nor an accurate predictor of the future.  Their small crystal ball was an attractive decoration and an interesting conversation piece. It was placed on the wide windowsill of a gorgeous bay window in the formal living room of an Atherton mansion. At a certain time, each day the crystal ball caught sunbeams reflecting the dramatic prismatic colors into the room. As the seasons changed so did the angle and intensity of the sunlight until one day the reflected sunbeams from the crystal ball focused on the nearby crushed velvet draperies.  Yes... the draperies caught fire. The fabric, wall and ceiling were badly scorched causing smoke to contaminate a stairwell and the upper hallway with soot. Luckily, a maid service was working in the house. One maid called the fire department as the other maid used a garden hose to extinguish the flames. Our SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos franchise was hired to clean up the damage. This was one of the most unusual origins of a fire we have experienced. The crystal ball was not damaged, but it was never placed in the direct path of sunlight again. However, it does remain a conversation piece with a notorious past.

Ever heard of Thermal Fogging?

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Ever heard of Thermal Fogging? This solution and device kill heavy smoke odors.

The thermal fogging method of applying deodorants can be especially effective in treating odors caused by fire in a structure. As items are heated or burn, they may give off odors. Think about frying chicken or making French fries. The air is filled with cooking odors. Now, think about the smell of wood smoke at a campfire.

Campfire smoke can be very strong as the fire burns and the leftover ashes will have a lingering odor. The ashes usually won’t smell as bad as the larger leftover charred chunks of wood. That’s because the source wasn’t completely consumed and tiny odor particles are continuing to gas off.

When SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos cleans up a structure fire we have to remove the ashes and the sections of charred wood. That is a given. Our next concern in restoring a fire-damaged property is in addressing the smoke and soot contamination and the odor problem it creates. Soot with tiny odor particles can go everywhere. Because the hire of the fire is able to make the grains in wood and other surfaces such as paint to expand, the tiny odor particles can get trapped into the surface of these materials as they cool and shrink to normal size. This is where thermal fogging technology is useful.

A thermal fogging machine heats “oil that has been treated with odor counteractant ingredients.” The odor counteractant is transformed into a smoke that is laden with tiny odor killing particles. Because it’s “smoke” it will go into all of the same cracks and crevices the smoke from the fire went.  

An important principle of odor cleanup is to match the sources of the odor. For example if the odor-causing source was wet, then a wet cleaning agent should be applied. When the odor-causing source was smoke, then a “smoke” treatment with matching additives can be applied. Allow us to explain. Smoke from a fire may contain specific additives. For example, it may be a grease fire, or a plastic fire. Whatever burned will have an effect on the lingering odor. There are specific cleaning treatments to match the fire source. There are special additives to attack each type of smoke that can be used in the thermal fogger.

Fire restoration work is technical, it’s complex and at SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos we believe we are good at it… 650-591-4137

Results from Fire Content Damage

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Fires in homes and offices may completely destroy some structural materials and personal items (contents) too.  Depending upon the insurance coverage purchased, policies will customarily pay to rebuild or replace structural materials, including personal contents that are destroyed. Insurance jargon refers to these astotal lossor non-salvageable items. Adjusters request that restoration companies make an honest evaluation of what can be cleaned or repaired and what cannot be salvaged. If there is uncertainty, they direct the restoration provider to make a test by attempting to salvage. If the results are not satisfactory we are to stop cleaning. SERVPRO will provide an inventory of items that are deemed to be total loss/non-salvageable. The “total loss” inventory is usually supported by photographic evidence and job notes/reports. Sometimes, the adjuster or property manager/agent may want to personally inspect damaged items. It is the adjuster who makes the final determination concerning the total loss items based upon the terms of the insurance policy. Final cost settlement (reimbursement) is between the policyholder and the insurance company (not us).

Please Note: the term is “total loss” is not total lost. At all times, non-salvageable items are in a chain of custody. They are not lost. In fact items are disposed of only after we receive an “Authorization to Dispose” form from you (the policyholder) or at times your adjuster who has gained your approval.

If your property suffers a damage, we are here to help. If you need content cleaning or advice, please call us at: SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos 650-591-4137.

What happens when fire damages contents?

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What happens when fire damages contents? Contents, even important documents are often damaged during a property disaster.

Fires in homes and offices may completely destroy some structural materials and personal items (contents) too.  Depending upon the insurance coverage purchased, policies will customarily pay to rebuild or replace structural materials, including personal contents that are destroyed. Insurance jargon refers to these as: total loss, or non-salvageable items. Adjusters request that restoration companies make an honest evaluation of what can be cleaned or repaired and what cannot be salvaged. If there is uncertainty, they direct the restoration provider to make a test by attempting to salvage. If the results are not satisfactory we are to stop cleaning. SERVPRO will provide an inventory of items that are deemed to be total loss/non-salvageable. The “total loss” inventory is usually supported by photographic evidence and job notes/reports. Sometimes, the adjuster or property manager/agent may want to personally inspect damaged items. It is the adjuster who makes the final determination concerning the total loss items based upon the terms of the insurance policy. Final cost settlement (reimbursement) is between the policyholder and the insurance company (not us).

Please Note: the term is “total loss” is not total lost. At all times, non-salvageable items are in a chain of custody. They are not lost. In fact items are disposed of only after we receive an “Authorization to Dispose” form from you (the policyholder) or at times your adjuster who has gained your approval.

If your property suffers a damage, we are here to help. If you need content cleaning or advice, please call us at: SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos 650-591-4137.

SERVPRO Training House

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage SERVPRO Training House SERVPRO Headquarters has a fire cleanup training building.

SERVPRO Industries, Inc., one of America's largest franchise systems provides training for 1,700 independently owned and operated franchise locations.

SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos owners learned how to perform fire cleanup at the SERVPRO training house at corporate headquarters.

The two story home is "smoked up" with a variety of different types of smoke. (There are at least four basic types of smoke and each is cleaned with slightly different cleaning agents.) Certain materials when ignited produced different gases and soot. Each major type of soot presents cleaning challenges.

Participants in the training classes perform hands on cleaning. They use the techniques and cleaning agents innovated by SERVPRO. This assures better results when a SERVPRO franchises and their technicians respond to a local and "real" fire.