Recent Fire Damage Posts

Protecting Your Home After a Fire

3/16/2022 (Permalink)

Firefighters are shown fighting a house fire If you have fire damage, or questions about restoration, call us, SERVPRO of Louisa, Orange, and Madison Counties (540) 513-3111.


After a house fire has been extinguished, it may seem like no more damage can be done, this isn't always the case. It is important to board up your home and take other precautions to prevent further problems. The following are three things you can do after a house fire to protect your home.


Secure the Property


Your home is vulnerable to a variety of threats after a fire has occurred, including:

Wildlife


Trespassers


Inclement weather

After the fire department has told you it is safe to do so, you can begin making temporary repairs to your home. There will likely be broken windows, holes, and other openings resulting from the fire damage and extinguishing efforts. Board up or tarp over these openings to protect the inside of the home. Installing a temporary security fence can add an extra layer of protection. Remember to keep receipts for emergency board up materials and other security expenses, because your homeowner's insurance may reimburse you.


Begin Cleanup


In addition to the fire itself, residual smoke and soot from the fire and standing water from the extinguishing efforts can cause further damage. Soot is often corrosive and standing water fosters mold growth, so acting quickly is key. Make sure to use the appropriate cleaning product and technique for the type of soot with which you are dealing. Otherwise, you may end up doing more harm than good. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need professional restoration assistance.


Prevent Future Damage


During the restoration process, you may consider taking measures to prevent future fires. Possible steps include investing in flame-resistant paint and installing a sprinkler system. Test your smoke detectors regularly and make sure you have enough fire extinguishers.


Whether you are dealing with major or minor fire damage, it is important to take steps to prevent further damage from occurring. From board up to cleanup, acting quickly but cautiously is the best way to protect your property.

Your Local Restoration Team is Ready to Help

SERVPRO of Louisa, Orange, and Madison Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

We are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. If you have fire damage, or questions about restoration, call us, SERVPRO of Louisa, Orange, and Madison Counties (540) 513-3111.

Smoke Damage in Your Home and Professional Restoration

3/10/2022 (Permalink)

An illuminated smoke detector is shown surrounded by smoke SERVPRO of Louisa, Orange & Madison County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a fire.


Getting your home put back together after a fire is no small task. There are so many things to think about during fire cleanup that you might overlook a small chore like cleaning electronics. While it may seem trivial, smoke damage is no joke, and cleanup should always be a team effort.


Team Up to Clean Up Damage

Checking for issues and fixing devices is not easy. Here are three steps that you can do to help start the fire cleanup process:

1. Unplug all electronics. Do not turn on any possibly affected devices.


2. Use a cloth to wipe away soot and assess external damage.


3. Let equipment sit and air out thoroughly.

Why Smoke and Soot Are Serious Problems
Smoke causes electronics to overheat. When devices reach high temperatures, they shut down and may not be salvageable. There are also corrosive chemicals and other elements in smoke that can cause hardwiring to short circuit.
Soot is made up of particles that are left behind once the smoke has dissipated. It blankets components and acts as an insulator. It is also acidic, so it will corrode surfaces. The damage might not be immediate but will happen over time.


Because smoke and soot can cause problems after a fire has been put out, it is important to check all electronics immediately to avoid future mishaps. Even if a device does not have any apparent issues, there could still be underlying smoke damage.


Once you’ve done your part, call a professional fire damage restoration company. Their team of certified technicians will examine all of your devices for possible problems. They will get your electronics back to working condition and returned to you as soon as possible.
Fire cleanup comes with a long list of to-dos. Getting your devices checked and cleaned promptly will make getting life back to normal, a little easier.


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. SERVPRO of Louisa, Orange & Madison County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event.

If you have fire damage call SERVPRO of Louisa, Orange & Madison County (540) 513-3111.

New Survey Finds Most Americans Prefer to Cook at Home

2/10/2022 (Permalink)

Items found in a kitchen are shown including a pan and utensils Cooking at home can be healthy and a way to save money, but make sure you're also being safe.

In the Kitchen in Lousia, Orange and Madison County

Believe it or not, cooking at home is still the preference of 98% of Americans, according to a new survey. Almost 40% of those that responded said they make meals at home daily. All of this cooking at home means less expensive and in many cases, healthier food. There is a downside to this trend according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Kitchen Safety

Unattended cooking was the leading cause of cooking fires and casualties. Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but clothing ignitions led to 8% of the home cooking fire deaths. One part of the NFPA research was surprising, more than one-quarter of the people killed by cooking fires were sleeping at the time.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends you follow these safety tips when cooking:


Stand by your pan:


If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off.


Watch what you are cooking:
Fires start when the heat is too high. If you see any smoke or the grease starts to boil, turn the burner off.


Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove:


Then no one can bump them or pull them over.


Keep a pan lid or baking sheet nearby:


Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire.

If you have fire damage in your home, call SERVPRO of Louisa, Orange, Madison County (540) 513-3111. Our trained technicians are ready to help. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

There are two different types of smoke, wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Louisa, Orange, Madison County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting.

It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Louisa, Orange, Madison County and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and efficiently. If you would like to learn more about our team.

Protecting Your Pets From Residential Fires

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

Pomeranian dressed as fire fighter Protecting your pets by taking preventative measures.

Keeping Your Pets Safe in the Event of a House Fire

While the idea of a fire erupting in your Locust Hill, VA, home is never easy to consider, the potential of your beloved pets getting hurt during any fire emergency is that much worse. Therefore, it’s important to not only create a pet preparation plan in the event of a house fire but to take precautions with pet safety before a situation ever occurs. Here are some important ways to protect your pets before and after a dangerous situation occurs.

Prevent a mishap by always extinguishing open flames and keeping them at high levels out of your animal’s reach. Any moving flames seen from candles, BBQs, fireplaces and more can easily draw your pet’s attention. Therefore, it’s vital that you always put out any flames before leaving a room and keep them away from reach, either placed up high or properly covered and untouchable.

Address any problem areas by doing a regular inspection around the home. Check for any loose wiring, reachable appliances or unstable devices that can be knocked over, as they can all turn into possible fire hazards.

If a fire emergency does break out, be sure your pets have their identification in a safe place. Keep any ownership and vaccination records in a fireproof box, and leave your pet’s tagged collars on them at all times to ensure firefighters or other rescuers can identify who your pets belong to and where to secure them.

Plan an escape route with your pet. Practicing fire drills and showing your pets where their escape routes are can give them a helpful head start should a fire erupt. Leave leashes and carriers easy to reach and keep your animals near an entrance while you’re away so they can be quickly located by professionals.

Protecting your pets by taking preventative measures in your Locust Hill, VA, home is crucial for pet safety and your peace of mind. After all, if a fire emergency occurs, knowing you’re prepared ahead of time is crucial to staying calm and getting everyone out in a timely manner.

5 Tips To Prevent Kitchen Fires

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

A man cooking and stove is setting on fire Be attentive to your cooking and do not leave it unattended, even for a few minutes.

5 Kitchen Fire Prevention Tips

In 2016, 50% of house fires in the United States were caused by cooking. As a homeowner in Unionville, VA follow these five helpful tips to reduce the chance of fire damage in your kitchen:

1. Pay Attention

Be attentive to your cooking and do not leave it unattended, even for a few minutes. If you must leave the house, turn off the oven first. Regularly check on the food, especially if you are frying, broiling or grilling. If you are not in the kitchen, set a timer so you know when the food is done. Double check that appliances are turned off before heading to bed.

2. Reduce Fire Hazards

Move anything that is flammable away from heat sources in the kitchen, especially those that generate open flames. This includes dish towels, pot holders, grocery bags and long sleeves or hair when cooking.

3. Clean Surfaces

Over time, grease and oil residue build up. Regular cleaning is one of the best tips to prevent a grease fire. If a grease fire occurs, never put water on it. Rather, cut off the oxygen to the flames by covering it with a pot or pan.

4. Take Precautions

The kitchen is no place for small children while you are cooking. Teach your kids to stay at least three feet away from the oven for safety.

5. Be Prepared

Protect your home by installing a working smoke detector in or near your kitchen, and on all levels of your home. Check the batteries and test the device on a regular basis. Keep a fire extinguisher within reach to combat small fires in early stages.

Follow the above tips to decrease the risk of fire in your home. Sometimes even taking precautions cannot prevent a fire in Unionville, VA. If this happens, immediately get your family to safety and call the fire department. After the blaze it out, contact a fire restoration specialist and your homeowner’s insurance agent to learn about your next steps to restore your fire damaged home.

Restoring Your Home After a Fire

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

fire damaged home with melted siding and broken glassfire damaged home with melted siding and broken glass Fire damage in a Louisa, VA home.

Residential Fire Restoration

Thanks to your efforts and those of responding firefighters, your home survived a blaze that otherwise could have destroyed it. However, that doesn’t exactly mean the job is done. Even a small fire can lead to significant home damage in Louisa, VA, such as:

  • Soot damage to walls, floors and furniture
  • Embedded smoke smell
  • Damage to important structural pieces

Your home still has a long way to go toward getting back to normal, but by working with a professional fire and smoke cleaning crew, you can expedite the process and get things done right. Of course, there are a few things you can do on your own as well.

Air Out the Area

Once you’ve received the okay to go back into your house, consider airing out the affected space. This means opening up windows and doors, and maybe even installing some high-powered fans or box fans in the windows. This can help carry some of the soot and smoke outdoors, mitigating some smoke damage and making the cleanup job a little easier.

Work With Professionals

Soot damage might seem simple to clean up, but in reality, it requires special tools to get the job done right. Porous surfaces like those on some countertops and fabrics such as carpets, rugs and couches can thoroughly absorb soot, making them nearly impossible to clean with regular means. Fortunately, the pros have the tools and know-how to rescue a majority of your belongings.

The Smell

Finally, note that a simple cleaning or airing-out isn’t likely to completely get rid of the smoke smell right away. Smoke, like soot, is absorbed into fabrics and other porous materials, giving it a means to linger longer. Likely your clean-up crew will use a special machine over a series of weeks to get rid of the smell.

By working with your clean-up crew and lending a hand where you can, you can get rid of smoke damage. Work to get your home back to its old self as quickly as possible in the aftermath of a fire.

Immediate Steps To Take After a Fire

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Roof of a house burned Fire damage in a Unionville, VA home.

Fire Restoration Process

A fire in your home in Unionville, VA, can leave behind a lot of devastation, and this experience can be overwhelming. Knowing the first few steps that you need to take can help to focus your attention and get the fire restoration process started as soon as possible so that everything can go back to normal again.

Call Cleanup Experts
Even a moderate fire is going to cause a lot of damage, and you will need to know what was destroyed not only by the fire but also by the water used to put it out. This information, along with the estimated cost of fixing your home, will be useful when you file your fire insurance claim. Contact fire damage mitigation experts to handle the problem. They will walk you through every step of the process:

  • Assessment
  • Water removal
  • Material tear-out
  • Drying
  • Smoke cleaning
  • Rebuilding

Having a team that handles everything from the initial consultation to the final touches of fire restoration can help the cleanup go more smoothly.

Avoid the Damage
When your home is damaged, it's tempting to take matters into your own hands and start cleaning immediately. This is not a good idea when it comes to the cleanup after a fire, though. You don't know which parts of the structure are secure enough to be safe, or you may end up doing more damage to your home. It's best to wait for the experts to arrive.

Secure Your Home
The restoration process may take a while, particularly if there is a lot of damage. In the meantime, you will need to secure your home by making sure broken windows and any gaping holes left by the flames are boarded up. Your restoration team can advise and assist with this process as well.
Your home will likely need a lot of work after a fire, but the good news is that you don't have to do everything yourself. By enlisting the help of trusted fire restoration experts, you can rest assured that everything will be taken care of properly.

The Specifics of Commercial Fire Cleanup

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Empty building damaged by fire Commercial fire damage in Rhoadsville, VA.

The Specifics of Commercial Fire Cleanup

If you experience a commercial fire in Rhoadsville, VA, you will need help in the cleanup and restoration process. A professional fire mitigation team is your best choice to guide you through the recovery steps. The process has been honed through years of experience. Technicians have been trained to take care of smoke damage and to operate advanced equipment that helps return the building to the way it was before the fire. The process begins with an inspection and assessment of the property and the damage. This step provides the framework for the rest of the cleanup.

The Early Stages
It is important to secure the building against further damage. The mitigation team will look at safety hazards and the extent of structural damage. Workers could recommend the building be boarded up or have a tarp placed over the roof to keep out the rain. The next steps are as follows:

  • Water removal
  • Drying of surfaces
  • Treatment of smoke damage
  • Treatment of soot damage

Specialized equipment such as dehumidifiers and air dryers are used to eliminate moisture that is often the result of fire fighting efforts. Advanced cleaning techniques are used in this stage of the smoke cleaning process. The final step is the complete restoration of the building. The goal is to restore the property "Like it never even happened."

The Final Stages
A commercial fire causes smoke damage to a variety of materials, including clothes and furniture. These items will be restored if possible or replaced if necessary. Surfaces in the building will need to be cleaned and sanitized according to best industry practices. This includes removing odors with air scrubbers and fogging equipment. Drywall and carpeting may need to be replaced, while walls might need a fresh coat of paint. In major fires, some structural elements may need to be rebuilt. Each fire is different, but a proven process guides the technicians in charge of recovery.

Understanding the Fire Cleanup Process

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

chair and furniture in room after burned by fire Fire damage in Rhoadsville, VA

Fire Cleanup Process

If a fire starts in your home, your priority is to get out safely. You will next be concerned about the state of your home and your possessions inside. Unfortunately, some things might not be salvageable. The good news is that with the right help, you can clean damaged items and restore your home to a livable condition once again. By learning how the professionals clean up after fire and smoke damage, you can have peace of mind knowing that this process can be effective.

Calling the Pros
When you have something as serious as a house fire, you need a professional disaster cleanup and restoration company to get you back on your feet. Professional technicians offer these benefits:

  • They can respond promptly and give fast service.
  • They have experience cleaning up after house fires.
  • They have the tools and equipment to thoroughly handle smoke cleaning.
  • They are licensed and insured.

Getting Rid of the Smell
The odor of lingering smoke can stay in your home for months or even years after a fire. Smoke damage can especially affect furniture and clothing. To remove the odor, technicians dry-clean the items and then use a deodorizer. Professionals also use ozone generators, which eliminate the molecules that smoke leaves in your home.

Removing the Soot
After a fire, the smoke will likely leave a layer of soot on the surfaces of your home. Soot damage can be detrimental to electronics, carpet, and other materials. You can start by wiping off the damaged surfaces with a damp cloth. Professional cleanup teams in Rhoadsville, VA, use powerful soot-removal sprays to eliminate the layers. After spraying the affected area, the product hardens and technicians can then peel it away, bringing the soot and its harmful components with it.
Don't let smoke damage sit in your home for too long. Remediation professionals can take these steps and more to properly clean your home.

3 Candle Alternatives That Keep Your Home Free From Fire Hazards

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

White Ceramic Wax Melt Wax melts are essentially candle wax without the wick

Choose The Three Following Candle Alternatives

Candles are desirable for their versatility in creating different ambiances. For example, a candlelit dinner is considered romantic and candles on an altar are considered spiritual light. Whatever their use, candles are a notorious fire hazard and should be used with caution or entirely avoided. To avoid a candle fire in Hamilton, OH, you can choose to opt for these candle alternatives:

  • Flameless LED candles
  • Essential oil diffusers
  • Candle wax melts


1. LED Candles
A fire can be avoided by opting for candle alternatives that use electronic lights. Flameless LED candles are equipped with many perks, such as the ability to set a timer or to change the color of the lights. If you like the ambiance created by the flickering lights, you can also purchase LED candles that flicker.


2. Essential Oil Diffusers
If you prefer the scent of the candles to the ambiance, an essential oil diffuser will provide the scent without the use of flames. Diffusers use ultrasonic vibrations to turn liquid water infused with essential oils into vapor. The vapor carries the scent of the essential oils with it into the air. These can be purchased with lights to give both the desired lighting and scent.


3. Candle Wax Melts
Wax melts are essentially candle wax without the wick. These are placed on a ceramic bowl with an opening in the center for a lightbulb. The heat from the lightbulb melts the wax, releasing its scent. Some wax warmers use heat from tealight candles rather than a lightbulb. Verify that it does not use flames when making your purchase to avoid a fire hazard.
Candle alternatives are a great way to make your home a safer place without compromising the desired ambiance from candles. If you have already had a candle fire in your home, contact a fire damage restoration service to aid in restoring your property. The best way to prevent a candle fire is to utilize their flameless counterparts.