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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Can Burned Walls Get Fixed in My New Orleans Home?

9/7/2020 (Permalink)

Living Room On Fire SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank has the equipment and extensive training to handle any size fire cleanup and restoration needed to fix your home.

SERVPRO technicians can restore your New Orleans home safely from any size fire damage

Anything that got charred from the flames has no potential for reuse, generally. However, if the walls or ceilings are discolored but not damaged from the smoke, they may remain in place and receive applications to seal in any odors. After a fire occurs in a New Orleans area home, there are often multiple levels of restoration services needed, such as:
    •    Removal of burned building materials and articles using controlled demo techniques
    •    Extraction of water or cleanup of fire retardant chemicals
    •    Cleaning of smoke damage off the interior and contents

What Should I Expect During Fire Cleanup and Restoration Services?
When you need fire cleanup and restoration to your New Orleans home, there are numerous considerations before the SERVPRO technicians arrive on-site. First and foremost, do not enter the property unless the first responders have said it is safe to do so. If there are items you need or paperwork, wait until the technicians arrive, and the crew chief will be glad to assist you in whatever you need.

Depending on the size of the fire in the house, one of the first things that usually happens is containment around the work area. The technicians do this to avoid any cross-contamination of soot throughout the home. Airborne soot particulates can range in sizes from just large enough to be seen to microscopic. The biggest problem with soot is it not only brings odors wherever it is, but it is also a potential irritant for humans and pets to come into contact with.

SERVPRO techs adhere to the highest safety measures during the restoration services. In cases where the fire damaged the exterior of the home, temporary repairs may get made such as:
    •    Tarping over flame-damaged roofing  
    •    Placement of boards over broken windows or doors
    •    Security tape around the perimeter to keep unauthorized persons off-site.

What Happens to Charred Walls and Ceilings?
Sometimes what gets mistaken for charring is actually a heavy layer of soot. On a case by case basis, SERVPRO techs test the surface to determine the best cleaning method. Walls and ceilings constructed from sheetrock tend to buckle rapidly after exposure to heat and water. The techs first attempt to clean the surface, and if that is not successful, the techs only remove the damaged portion to make the repairs easier. Sagging ceilings can present a danger for falling, and generally get removed through controlled demolition actions. Any insulation within the walls gets collected using a vacuum with a special bag fitting.

When soot is clinging to the framework of a home, it is not feasible to wet the wood to clean it off as this can drive the soot more deeply into the grain. However, methods such as soda blasting can remove the residue and leave the framework with a lightly sanded finish and ready for sealant.

As stated, some surfaces can absorb wet cleaning solutions and, therefore, methods such as using dry cleaning sponges to lift away the residues work to prevent further damage. This attention to detail is one of the many ways the techs save items from disposal and clean them for reuse.

How Do Smoke Odors Get Removed?
The techs scope the home and determine the areas that need odor control applications. Anywhere soot particles are, there are odors. The techs use air quality improvement methods during the restoration services, such as air-scrubbers, to reduce the amounts of airborne particulate. Once the work gets completed for disposal of ruined building materials and articles in the home, the work to remove all reminders of the fire due to the scent of smoke begins.

For airborne odors, the use of hydroxyl generators is often enough to capture and neutralize any remaining smoke odors. This method is safe for use around people and pets. However, in porous materials ranging from carpet to upholstered furnishings and other items that can absorb scents, the use of thermal fogging is the answer. As the tech moves through the house, disbursing the solvent heated to a fog state, it penetrates and eradicates all odors, never to return. During the application of the fogger, all residents, pets, and plants should get removed from the premises.

Washable items do not require disposal if they smell like smoke. The techs have access to the powerful Esporta Washing System, and it can remove all traces of the fire damage odors in just a single-use.

SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank at (504) 348-7526 has the equipment and extensive training to handle any size fire cleanup and restoration needed to your home and contents.

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