After the Fire
After a house fire, you are anxious to enter your home, but do not touch the carpets, draperies, upholstered furniture or clothing. They are likely covered with soot, which is oily, and it stains easily. Soot includes fine black particles, consisting mainly of carbon, as well as acids, chemicals, metals, soils and dust. Its removal should be handled by SERVPRO, professional fire remedial experts.
A common residential fire results in the burning of a variety of materials, from wood, paper, plastics, foams, fabrics, wool, wood products, synthetics and asbestos containing materials. Fire damage to St. Augustine residential and/or commercial buildings will result in soot contamination. Exposure to soot may occur via the eyes, skin, inhalation and ingestion.
Airborne soot particulates are invisible, thus after a fire you may unknowingly be affected. Soot particles can enter the bloodstream and cause a variety of health issues. Firefighters today are very well-trained in safety, plus they were protective gear, yet they experience a higher incidence of respiratory problems than the public.
After a fire and after its flames are extinguished, there still exists some safety risks. Soot is just one of the secondary fire residue risks, which cause damages. Not all soot residues are the same. There are different types of soot which are easier to clean than other types. SERVPRO professionals will clean any of four different types: dry smoke, wet smoke, protein smoke, and fuel oil smoke residues.
Industry issued safety equipment are essential in reducing possible exposure to dangerous soot conditions, including water related health problems from firefighting efforts. The fire restoration professionals at SERVPRO of St. Augustine use IICRC professional tools and industry approved remediation methods. Our knowledge and expertise are at the heart of a thorough and safe fire restoration. Call us at (904) 246-6618 and let us help restore your property back to normal.
What You Need to Know About Mold
How do we know when we need to worry about mold ?
Mold becomes a problem inside a home or business when there's excessive humidity or moisture for an extended period of time. The problem can originate from sudden water releases, like a burst pipe or large spill that goes untreated, or from a chronic condition, such as a leaking roof or plumbing. Even high humidity or warm, moist air condensing on cool surfaces can trigger mold problems. It's always best to have the mold evaluated and removed by a certified professional.
Mold can grow almost anywhere in a home or business if conditions permit. If there is visible growth on painted wall surfaces, property owners should be concerned about what may be growing on the wall's opposite side. The environment inside the walls of a house often differs drastically from the outside and could create a perfect haven for mold. If the wall remains wet for a prolonged period, it's almost guaranteed that the mold growth on the backside will be worse than on the front. At that point, containing the work space and removing moldy materials, followed by cleaning of salvageable framing, are the best options.
Certified professionals have the training and experience to:
- Identify moisture sources
- Evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected)
- Contain damage to the smallest area possible
- Physically remove contamination
- Dry materials to ensure that mold will not return
- Perform or recommend procedures for returning property to a preloss condition
SERVPRO of St. Augustine has professional technicians that are IICRC certified and trained in mold remediation and we are a State of Florida licensed mold remediation company.
St. Augustine Biohazard
Most of our customers are unaware that we also clean biohazard. Biohazard can include blood, body fluids, animal feces etc. Accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. SERVPRO of St. Augustine is here to help you with all of your home or business property damage restoration needs. Our professional technicians are trained to handle all types of biohazard waste disposal. Services range from suicide, crime scene and vandalism, homicide and accidental death cleanup to sewage cleanup and a host of different sanitation clean up services. Our biohazard property restoration services also include filth cleanup and packrat cleanup services.
SERVPRO of St. Augustine technicians are highly trained in rapid response. We work with experience, skill and most importantly, compassion. We're on call 24 hours a day, 7 days because your property and peace of mind depend on it! Call 904-829-0665 now!
Do You Have A Checklist ?
A fire ready checklist can make all the difference in the world when faced with disaster. SERVPRO of St. Augustine would like to advise you to take personal responsibility and prepare long before a fire threatens your home and your family’s safety.
Sit down with your family and review this fire safety checklist:
- Install and maintain a working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector in every bedroom, outside of every sleep area and on every level of the home, including the basement, and remember to change the battery at least once a year.
- Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.
- Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don’t respond properly.
- Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.
- Know where your fire extinguisher is mounted, and make sure everyone in the family knows how to use it.
- Designate two escape routes from each bedroom and practice them regularly.
- Teach everyone the "Stop, Drop, and Roll" technique in case clothing catches on fire.
- Avoid storing old mattresses in the home or garage.
- Teach kids that matches, lighters and candles are tools, not toys. If you suspect that a child is playing with fire, check under beds and in closets for telltale signs like burned matches. Matches and lighters should be stored in a secure drawer or cabinet.
While it is crucial to be cautious of fire hazards year-round, taking the time to walk through these steps at least once a year could save you and your family’s life. When a fire happens, there is no more time for planning. Act today, be prepared!
After the Flood
Being prepared can help you help us clean up better. While damage to a building after a flood is a given, flood contamination risks often come as a surprise to occupants of a building affected by water inundation. There’s more to worry about than just wet carpets, so keep flood contamination risks in mind when contemplating the clean-up of a flooded building.
First, consult with a qualified water damage remediation expert before re-entering a flood-damaged building to make sure other, more lethal threats such as live electricity and potential structural collapse have been mitigated.
Work under the assumption that any water you contact may be raw sewage or tainted by raw sewage.
- Wear protective clothing including, boots, gloves, eye protection and some sort of approved face mask to protect against respiratory illness.
- Wash your hands frequently while you’re in the home. Don’t eat or drink without thorough washing first.
- Don’t eat any food contacted by water during the flood. If you need water, use bottled water until the safety of the local drinking water has been verified.
- Clean and bandage any minor cuts or scrapes immediately before continuing any clean-up work.
Industrial chemicals that overflow during a flood, pesticides picked up by flood waters and gasoline and oil are all common contaminants that pose a threat after flood waters recede. Local toxic waste disposal sites inundated by a flood may also release dangerous substances into the water.
- Wear protective clothing, gloves, boots, eyewear and respiratory protection.
- Be alert to any symptoms of exposure to toxic chemicals, including headaches, dizziness, nausea, and skin rashes. Discontinue clean-up work and seek medical help immediately.
For a professional assessment of flood contamination risks and advice on how to protect yourself, contact the water damage experts at SERVPRO of St. Augustine – 904-829-0665.
Cleaning Up A Crime
Not something anyone wants to think about and Nobody ever thinks this will happen to them, but sometimes it does and when it does SERVPRO St. Augustine is here to help.
After the police have finished processing a crime or accident scene in St. Augustine, the cleaning and restoration process can begin. Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other biohazard contaminants that pose a serious health risk.
Police and homeowners rely on professional services that are equipped to handle crime scene cleanup.
SERVPRO of St. Augustine's technicians follow OSHA and EPA protocols to help transform an unsafe environment back to a clean, safe home or office. We will always treat your property and everyone involved with the utmost respect and empathy in these difficult circumstances.
Some common trauma and crime scene scenarios are:
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Trained SERVPRO Franchise Professionals clean, disinfect and deodorize the structure.
Crime Scene Residues
From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can clean and restore your property after a crime scene investigation.
If you find yourself wondering what to do in the event of a trauma or crime scene, call SERVPRO of St. Augustine to take care of your cleanup needs. (904) 829-0665
Fire Hazards and Prevention
There are so many factors that can contribute to a fire in your home or business. According to U.S. News, “Each year, roughly 3,400 people are killed in home fires or burn injuries, making them the third-most-common cause of accidental deaths at home”. They have provided five tips that can help to prevent home fires.
Fire Threat: Cooking
Don’t walk away while the stove or cooktop is on. This can lead to a fire very quickly.
Fire Threat: Heating
Space heaters need 3 feet of clear space all around it in all directions, keeping it away from draperies, furniture, bedspreads, people, and pets.
Chimneys should be inspected and cleaned before each heating season begins.
Fire Threat: Smoking
Take it outside. There are usually less combustible items outside than there are inside.
Fire Threat: Electrical
Check all of your electrical cords to ensure that they are in good shape, and replace any that are worn out. In addition, make sure you are not overloading circuits and that one receptacle has one plug.
Fire Threat: Candles
Consider going to battery-operated candles. They are fake but they are so much safer! It’s easy to forget to put out a candle when leaving a room.
SERVPRO St. Augustine can help if a fire affects your life. We are just a phone call away. (904) 246-6118.
SERVPRO and Mold
Here at SERVPRO St. Augustine Mold is our business. when talking about fungi and mold, we need to know they occur naturally in the outside environment, but can also occur inside. In fact, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified. Fungi can be very useful. Yeast is an example of once such fungi. The unique flavor of blue cheeses is the result of mold. An edible mushroom is simply a type of fungi, and lifesaving antibiotics are a product of mold -Penicillin chrysogenum.
Even though some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, and/or simple exposure to molds may present health problems for some people.
Intrusion of water into your home or business can cause mold growth, but don't worry, SERVPRO of St. Augustine is here to help. Call us today if you suspect you may have mold growth in your home or business, 904-246-6118.
Some Interesting Mold Facts
There is such a scare these days about mold. SERVPRO St. Augustine is here to help. Let us clear up some common misconceptions about mold.
When it comes to mold, misinformation is all too common and it can be costly to homeowners' health and property. That's why the experts at SERVPRO of St. Augustine, one of the largest disaster restoration companies in the United States, say it's essential that homeowners know the facts about mold.
Home and business owners rarely think about mold and/or microbial growth until it affects their health, homes, or businesses. Mold spores are all around us, everywhere, and found in most every home across the world. In the right conditions and without the right treatment, mold can quickly grow into a major problem.
As temperatures begin to rise across the country, SERVPRO of St. Augustine is alerting consumers about the most common myths that its network of trained professionals encounters when facing water or mold damage.
The thre most commonly reported mold myths are:
- False: Bleach or other retail products can kill mold on any surface.
Fact: Most retail products simply discolor mold and are not recommended for use on porous surfaces. In porous and semi- porous materials, such as wood, carpet, ceiling tile or drywall, mold's roots may not come into contact with the cleaning product, meaning it will likely return. This is one reason why experts say removing the mold-affected items is the only way to ensure it is removed from your home.
- False: Dead mold can't cause health issues.
Fact: Mold goes dormant until the conditions are favorable for regrowth. Even dormant mold can release spores, allowing it to reproduce and reappear, particularly if the underlying moisture and ventilation issues have not been resolved. Trained professionals can help you identify potentially dangerous mold and ensure affected areas are properly treated.
- False: Mold is the only problem associated with water damage.
Fact: When water is present where it should not be, it can quickly cause a host of problems, including structural and cosmetic damage, as well as promote bacterial and viral growth. In addition, mold can begin to appear within 24-48 hours, depending on the nature of the water intrusion. Calling a reputable disaster restoration professional who is skilled in dealing with water- related damages can help you avoid long-term problems and get life back in order again as quickly as possible.
SERVPRO of St. Augustine is trained, equipped and ready to restore homes and businesses before, during and after any mold-related issues.
After A Fire...What Now ?
We are never prepared for a fire to devastate our home or business. Any fire can be life changing. The most important thing after a fire is the safety of your family and pets. Once everyone is safe an secure, it'st time to work a plan for what to do after fire damages your home and property. SERVPRO of St. Augustine has created a safety checklist. Being prepared is your first step.
What to Do After a Fire
Call your insurance company immediately after a fire.Following ironing the details with your insurance company, contact SERVPRO of St. Augustine so the fire damage cleanup process can begin quickly. Make sure to notify your mortgage company of the fire as well. If you're not sure that the home is structurally safe, have it inspected by a certified structural engineer or building inspector before going near.
Take pictures of all exterior damage, noting broken windows or entrances that are no longer secure.
Make arrangements to board-up broken windows and secure the property during the cleanup and restoration process.
Shut off propane tank systems and make an appointment for it to be inspected for safety.
Do not attempt to reconnect utilities on your own.
Be aware that rodents, snakes, or other animals may have entered your home.
Contents inside the home:
Don’t flip on electrical switches in any room with standing water from firefighting efforts.
Don’t enter any room if you hear popping or see sparking.
Turn off the power at the main electrical panel.
Try not to touch anything covered with soot; it’s easy to transfer it to other areas of the home, making the cleaning process more difficult.
Wear closed-toe shoes or boots, long sleeves, long pants and gloves to protect against soot and any other contaminants as you go through the home.
Try to locate important papers and other documents that you’ll need.
Handle burned money as little as possible. You can take its remains to a Regional Federal Reserve Bank for replacement.
Begin taking inventory of the building damage and all damaged items.
Begin saving receipts for any expenses incurred after the fire. These may be needed when filing insurance claims.
Fire Damage Cleanup and Remediation
Companies like SERVPRO of St. Augustine have the expertise as well as the right products and equipment to safely and effectively clean and restore a home after a fire. Fire damage includes more than just items burned. There will be soot, smoke and water damage as well.
A professional cleaning team will assess the damage to flooring, drywall, cabinets, furniture and more before developing a plan for thorough cleanup. Additionally, mold growth may be a concern after rooms and items have been saturated with water during the fire-fighting efforts.
Items that may need to be cleaned for soot and smoke removal include but are not limited to:
Carpets and area rugs
Flooring: hardwood, tile and vinyl
Woodwork and other hard surfaces like counter tops and cabinetry
Electronics and appliances
Furniture and upholstery
Draperies, linens and clothing
Books, artwork, papers and documents
Just remember being prepared id half the battle.