How to Clean After a Fire in My Home?
When you experience a fire in your home, it is a scary, unexpected time and you may have many questions as what is to come next.
First step after a fire is extinguished, the home needs to be boarded up to avoid additional damage from weather, animals, or theft. Afterwards, depending on the severity of the fire and upon clearance from the fire department is to determine the extent of the damage and survey how the home will be cleaned. There are some fires that do not require a full demo of the entire structure. SERVPRO of Gurnee inspects room by room the damage and what cleaning method would be best used.
Once the damage is assessed, SERVPRO offers rush service for the homeowner to collect necessary soft content items such as clothing, shoes, or children’s sentimental comfort items that will be immediately needed that will be cleaned in our Gurnee facility.
SERVPRO then can begin working on restoring your home after a fire quickly by compiling a detailed inventory list of salvageable and unsalvageable items as they are packed to be cleaned at our facility or on site. After the home is packed out, the structure is cleaned, dried, and removal of any structure materials that cannot be cleaned.
After the home and contents are cleaned, SERVPRO has a highly trained reconstruction department to complete the repairs from any rooms that requires drywall, flooring, roofing, cabinets, siding, and any other items that need to be replaced.
Odor After Water Damage
Why is there an odor in a home that has experienced water damage? The odors come from wet carpeting, padding, drywall, insulation, cabinets, or contents in the home. The odor is there because of microbial growth (mold) and this smell is from a process referred to as Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds or MVOCs. This is the microorganism’s metabolism or rather the ability of mold to begin rapidly multiplying in the wet environment. Molds can be found anywhere inside structures and outside. Mold is crucial outdoors to help decay trees that have fallen or other material turning it back into soil for regrowth. Mold does not distinguish if it’s outdoors and indoors, so this same process will occur on drywall and wooded studs inside a home! SERVPRO of Gurnee is a certified cleaning and restoration firm in mold mitigation and remediation. Each structure that has mold is approached differently depending on the source of water, what type of material mold is growing on, and how much.
Flooding, Storms, and Mold
After a disaster or storm when a significant amount of homes and businesses have been affected many people have concerns and questions about mold indoors. Any material that is wet must get dried quickly. Mold growth can occur within 48-72 hours in a damp, high humidity environment. With a water loss from a Category Three contamination, some material may need to be discarded. Water from a flood that comes in a home is filled with contaminants, pesticides, animal droppings, fuel, and silt. With water intrusion in the home, the relative humidity temperature indoors can raise giving mold the perfect climate to grow. Our SERVPRO of Gurnee technicians are Institute of Inspection and Cleaning Restoration trained to remove water and decrease the relative humidity in your home after water infiltration. If mold is visible, there are different methods of removal based on the material that mold resides. At the job completion, SERVPRO of Gurnee also uses an antimicrobial solution to assure that no mold spores will grow in the present mitigation project.
Deodorization after a Fire
Frequently, we are asked how we combat odors. Odors from a skunk, odors after a sewage loss, odors from a dead animal, odors from a biohazard cleanup, and most common, odors after a fire. Each cleanup situation is unique and we first inspect to determine the best method for removal. Three methods that we use are use of ozone, hydroxl generators, and deodorants.
Ozone- Is a gas with its chemical symbol O3. Use of an ozone machine causes a chemical reaction to occur having the free molecules that are split from an electrical arc to join any of the O2 molecules that are in the home that then meet and chemically change the odor molecules.
Hydroxl Generators- Hydroxls have a free electron that will allows the hydroxyls to react with the materials that are in the environment. This creates a chemical reaction that reduces the odors.
Deodorants- Deodorants are pairing agents that combine with a malodor to create new odorless compounds. Use of deodorants are through the forms of liquids, gels, and solids.
Each removal method of odors is a unique situation that SERVPRO of Gurnee professionals assess with every call that we receive. We always seek to remove the source of the odor first and clean the area.
Frozen Pipes Tips
We have received many calls for frozen pipes causing damages in commercial and residential properties. Many have unexpectedly discovered their pipes have frozen and seek the help of a professional to unthaw and fix the problem. With winter’s arrival and freezing temperatures among us here are some tips to protect pipes from freezing:
- Allow water to drip when temperatures are below freezing
- Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during the day and at night
- Do not let the temperature go below 55 degrees* in your home/business.
- For pipes underneath cabinets, open the door so warm air can circulate around the pipes
- If there are outside faucets, make sure that your garden hose is removed and stored. For additional precautions turn the water off at the water main and open the outside faucet to drain completely
- Check for any cracks or holes that may be letting air into the structure near water pipes. If detected, seal them.
- Add insulation to pipes that run alongside the exterior walls
- Make sure that the garage door remains closed if there is water lines located in the garage
Frozen pipes in your commercial business or residential home can cause a lot of damage. After the plumber has fixed the problem call SERVPRO of Gurnee to come out for an inspection at 847-557-1080.
*For more tips visit the American Red Cross website
Commercial Frozen Pipes
When your property experiences a disaster from a commercial frozen pipe, commercial fire or commercial sewage you are in need of knowledgeable technicians fast. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each situation and isolate the damaged area. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. We seek to help your business be able to continue operations in a temporary space if necessary while we restore your facility. With 24/7 emergency service we are able to help get your business quickly and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints.
About SERVPRO of Gurnee
SERVPRO of Gurnee specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Contaminated water that has entered your home or business is classified in the restoration industry as Category 3 contaminated water. Category 3 water invades with more than just water, but also bacterial contaminants. Bacteria are everywhere and makes up most of Earth’s mass. Bacteria can multiply at an alarming rate. The smell that comes with a water intrusion isn’t just from mold growth, but also that of bacteria present. The toilet that has overflowed, stagnant water, the fish tank that has broken, all these examples have significant amounts of bacteria with them. When you have Category 3 water that contaminates your home or business it is important to have a professional inspect, and remediate properly.
SERVPRO of Gurnee is certified to clean a variety of unwanted contaminates such as:
- Mold mitigation and remediation
- Bacteria from stagnant sources
- Sewage Clean Up from sewer back flows
- Outside water intrusions
- Water that has affected a home while away on a vacation
Vernon Hills Residents: Is Your Property Ready for Winter?
Cold weather is approaching, and it’s important to prepare your home or business for the winter months. Freezing temperatures can cause frozen pipes. Heavy rains with improper drainage can force water back into your home or business. Snow and ice sitting on top of full gutters can force water into your attic as the sun and temperature fluctuations cause the snow and ice to melt. Here are some proactive measures to prepare your home or business for the winter:
• Inspect your roof, gutters, and downspouts. It’s a good idea to check your roof after every storm or heavy rain event. If you haven’t done that yet, now is the time to inspect for any roof damage or potential hazards that can keep standing water on your roof. Avoid ice damming this winter by cleaning your gutters from leaves and other debris. Also, double check that your downspout is directed away from your building or home to avoid water being forced at your home or business.
• Walk your property to look for any obstacles that could cause personal injury such as fallen branches. While you are walking the exterior of your residence or business also check for proper drainage.
• Disconnect your garden hose and store away this winter to avoid freezing your hose bib (or sillcock). This will help avoid a flooded basement this coming spring when you go to use your hose for the first time.
• Install mats or non-slip surfaces to avoid slips this winter.
• If you own a home or business, let SERVPRO of Gurnee & SERVPRO of Libertyville/N. Chicago City/Lake Bluff set up your building with a no cost assessment called an Emergency Ready Profile. This provides your business with a plan to get back in operation should disaster occur.
When winter weather arrives, SERVPRO of Gurnee & SERVPRO of Libertyville/N. Chicago City/Lake Bluff wants you to be prepared. If the unexpected frozen pipe, ice damming, or water in your basement happens to your Vernon Hills home or business, call us 24/7 365 days a year at 847-557-1080.
Gurnee Residents: Fire Prevention
This year’s Fire Prevention Theme is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 ways out!” The National Fire Protection Association encourages families with their children to:
- Make a map of their home and find two exits from each room.
- Make sure exits are not blocked
- Have a meeting spot in the front of the home to meet if home experiences a fire
- Practice a fire drill at least twice a year. They also suggest doing one drill during the day and one at night.
- Make sure to teach children how they can escape on their own in case someone can’t help.
- Close any windows or doors that you leave to try to slow smoke, fire, or heat.
- Make sure address is clearly visible from front of structure and everyone knows how to call the fire department for help
- Test smoke alarms once a month, and change batteries twice a year.
For great resources, and a grid to draw a map of your home go to National Fire Protection Association’s website here.
For tips on what to do after a fire or have any questions, call SERVPRO of Gurnee or SERVPRO of Libertyville/N. Chicago City/ Lake Bluff at 847-557-1080, 24/7 365 days.
Lake Forest Residents: Need to remove mold?
Water intrusion from a roof leak?
Water line leaking from refrigerator?
Water in basement?
If you have one of these problems, you may also have concerns about mold growing in your home from the water intrusion. Mold can have serious health effects and also cause serious damage to your home. Every mold situation is different, and can be handled many different ways. SERVPRO of Gurnee has the trained technicians, protective gear, and specialized equipment to handle your mold problem.
When you call SERVPRO, an experienced technician will carefully inspect your property with specialized technology used for detecting hidden water sources where mold would be able to grow. Mold feeds off water and cellulose and grows in these undetected environments.
Prior to beginning the mold removal, various containments will be set up to prevent the spread of the mold spores throughout your home and isolate the contaminated area. We do this with negative air pressure and with physical barriers. In addition, we place specialized air filtration equipment that will capture the microscopic mold spores that are floating in the air. These air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums prevent the spread of mold during the remediation process.
Depending on the amount of mold growth and the type of surfaces affected will determine how our technicians will approach the remediation job. Some surfaces may have to be removed and disposed of that are mold-infested. These are high-porous surfaces such as drywall and flooring. In addition, antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be applied to help prevent new colonies from forming. Our SERVPRO of Gurnee technicians can also clean mold damaged contents. In addition, technicians are trained and able to remove odors and do deodorization using our fogging equipment.
Any other questions regarding mold or to schedule an appointment, call us at 847-557-1080.