Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Restoration 101: Safety First

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

fire damage to kitchen House fires have many sources. This one was caused in a kitchen by a dishwasher malfunction.

After your fire has been put out you may be left with the question, “What should I do next?”  SERVPRO of Ozaukee County can help.  We will walk you through your next steps. Safety is our number one concern until help arrives, so here are some basic do’s and don'ts:

Do:

  • Hire a reputable, insured company to board up your home or business to secure it from the elements, animals, and vandals.
  • Limit the movement of damaged areas
  • Keep your hands clean . Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.

Don't:

  • Do Not touch contaminated surfaces
  • Do Not attempt to clean walls, carpet, contents, or other contaminated surfaces
  • Do Not use food, cosmetics or mediations exposed to soot.
  • Do Not send clothing to ordinary cleaner; improper cleaning may set odors

No one wants to experience a fire in their home or business.  If you experience this and need help, please give us a call at 262-242-8888.  SERVPRO of Ozaukee County has the expertise and experience to assist you in the cleanup and restoration of your property.  We are here to help 24/7 with the board up and securing your property.

Fire Restoration 101: Pretesting

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

After a fire why is pretesting so important?

At SERVPRO of Ozaukee County, fire damage professionals use pretesting to determine the scope of the loss, type of fire loss, and the method of cleaning for areas that have been affected. This process also helps determine what items are restorable or repairable vs. those items that will need to be replaced. 

Factors determined by pretesting:

  • Cleaning Method
  • Condition of Surface
  • Level of Soil
  • Type of Soil
  • Pre-Existing Conditions

Pretesting helps to ensure our customers are back into their home as soon as possible, within a realistically accurate time estimate. For help 24/7/365, call on the professionals at SERVPRO of Ozaukee County today at 262-242-8888 for a no cost assessment of your unique situation.  We are here to help.

Fire Restoration 101: Types of Soot

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

black soot webs appear similar to spider webs spread across the ceiling of a home Soot webs caused by wet soot formed during a house fire.

There are two different types of soot: wet and dry. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Ozaukee County will test the soot to determine which type of damage occurred. The cleaning procedure we use will then be based on the information identified during pretesting.

Wet Soot - Plastic and Rubber

  • Low Heat,
    smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Creates smoke webs that are more difficult to clean.
  • Example: plastics, synthetics, household fires

Dry Soot - Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
  • Example: organic materials, wildfires

Protein Soot - Food products

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 
  • Example: grease or food, kitchen fires

A fire is one of the most devastating events a home or business owner can encounter. Each smoke and fire damage situation is different, and each requires a unique solution for the specific situation.  SERVPRO of Ozaukee County has the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore fire and smoke damage.  It is our number one priority to treat your family with respect and your property with care.

Call SERVPRO of Ozaukee County today at 262-242-8888 for a free inspection to assess your unique situation.

Fire Restoration 101: Levels of Fire Damage

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

residential fire SERVPRO of Ozaukee County is here to help answer your questions and restore your home to its preloss condition.

Not all fires end with the same amount or level of damage. Fire damage is categorized into three different levels: minor, moderate, and major.  The trained professionals at SERVPRO of Ozaukee County will assess your damage and provide a plan of action to restore each unique fire loss.

Minor Fire Damage

  • Smoke residue is light and contained to certain rooms or areas. 
  • Restoration may involve dry cleaning and/or wet cleaning of ceilings, walls, floors and contents. 
  • Areas may need to be repainted, and minimal items may need to be replaced. 

Moderate Fire Damage

  • Smoke residue is moderate, and more materials require wet cleaning. 
  • Multiple areas require repainting, and the number of items requiring replacement multiplies.
  • Floors may require refinishing. 
  • Heat damage requires more materials to be replaced. 
  • Smoke orders are noticeable and the structure may require additional deodorization.  

Major Fire Damage

  • Smoke residue is present through a large portion of the structure.  
  • Smoke odor is much stronger, even overwhelming. 
  • Heat damage is severe.
  • Structural framing and finishes may be charred, requiring structural repairs. 
  • Emergency services are needed.  These include boarding up, establishing a source of electricity, winterizing the building in cold weather, and removing smoke-filled and charred debris.
  • Restoration will require extensive cleaning of the structure.
  • Contents that are salvageable will be moved off-site for cleaning.  
  • Multiple methods of deodorization are needed to remove smoke odors.

A fire of any size is one of the most devastating events a home or business owner can encounter. Each smoke and fire damage situation is different, and each requires a unique solution.  SERVPRO of Ozaukee County has the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore fire and smoke damage.  It is our number one priority to treat your family with respect and your property with care.  Call us today at 262-242-8888 for a no cost assessment.

Fire Restoration 101: Structure Cleaning Methods

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

two workers cleaning after a fire SERVPRO of Ozaukee County is here to help with any fire, soot, or smoke damage that may occur in your home or business.

In a study of 2018 fire activity published by the National Fire Protection Association, it is estimated that property owners experienced over $11 billion in fire losses across nearly half a million structures.  All of these events are unique in circumstance and severity.  Before a structure cleaning can begin, it is important to understand the cause and type of the fire as well as the materials affected.   The professionals at SERVPRO of Ozaukee County are experienced in these scenarios and have the training necessary to restore your property fully to its pre-fire condition.

Here are some types of fires and subsequent methods of cleaning:

High Oxygen

High oxygen fires create a dry soot residue, so they are cleaned by first using a dry chemical sponge method.  Introducing moisture to a dry soot environment can further lodge the soot into building materials, so removing as much soot as possible before wet cleaning with a low-alkaline detergent and rinsing is crucial.

Low Oxygen

Due to the wet soot this type of fire causes, it must be cleaned with a wet method.  We use a high-alkaline detergent to wash walls and structural components. 

Kitchen/Grease

Often the most difficult fire to clean, kitchen fires present a soot residue that is often harder to detect.  Cabinets, drawers, appliances, etc must often be removed for full access to all residue so that it may be properly removed to eliminate lingering odors.

Remember that SERVPRO of Ozaukee County is available 24/7/365 to restore your home or business after damage from fire.  Our professionals are highly trained and experienced in this type of cleaning, and will work hard to take the worry out of your restoration process.  Call us today at 262-242-8888.

Fire Restoration 101: Methods of Content Cleaning

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

before and after soot damage SERVPRO of Ozaukee County uses Ultrasonic technology to restore delicate items such as this porcelain figurine from damage caused by soot.

When a home or business sustains damage from a fire, much of its contents can often be saved and restored.  The experienced professionals at SERVPRO of Ozaukee County are trained in multiple methods and technologies which can be used to restore your belongings. The following are specific systems and methods available at our facility. 

ULTRASONIC CLEANING

Ultrasonic technology uses a spectrum of sound frequencies, water, and cleaning solutions to remove debris and soot from non-porous items.  These frequencies range from 20,000-100,000 cycles per second, with various frequencies performing separate applications.  Lower frequencies can be used on sturdier items with heavy soil, and higher frequencies are safer for more delicate items.

ESPORTA WASH SYSTEM

The Esporta Wash System uses hydraulic action to force organic and inorganic contaminants out of items to be cleaned.  Commonly, these items are clothing, linens, and shoes.  The force applied is comparable to the force of waves crashing against a beach.  Esporta restores 90% of soft contents  damaged by odor, soot, grime, mold, and mildew to food-grade clean using sustainable, phosphate-free detergents.  

OZONE CHAMBER

Ozone generation is a process that removes smoke odor molecules by releasing additional oxygen into the air.  While ozone is often used in open air to deodorize a home, there are some safety concerns.  Ozone is most effective when utilized in a controlled environment such as an ozone chamber.  Contents and furniture that cannot fit into either the Ultrasonic system or Esporta are first cleaned by hand and then often placed into an ozone chamber to remove any lingering odors of smoke by eliminating the microorganisms that cause them.  Our dedicated ozone chamber is utilized for items with stubborn embedded odors that would otherwise be impossible to remove.  

SERVPRO of Ozaukee County is an industry leader in fire restoration.  We have the technology needed to restore your home and belongings to their original state, reducing the amount of personal or sentimental items that would otherwise be unsalvageable.  We are here to help and here to answer your questions 24/7/365.  Give us a call at 262-242-8888.

Gas Heaters

2/28/2022 (Permalink)

Gas heaters should be serviced every 2 years to ensure they are safe to use. This includes all types of heaters such as gas fireplaces, wall units, and space heaters.

This service should to be performed by a licensed Gasfitter, or someone who is certified to work with gas and knows the dangers of carbon monoxide.

Safety Tips for Gas Wall Heaters:

  • Ensure Proper Ventilation
  • Cover Exposed Flame
  • Use Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector
  • Clean Unit Annually

Gas heaters are great for keeping your property warm during the winter months. Use these tips to ensure your unit is working properly.

SERVPRO® of Ozaukee County is here for all your emergency needs. For more information regarding fire damage, call us at (262) 242-8888.

Get Ready for Fire Prevention Week

7/2/2021 (Permalink)

Even though it is summertime, it is never too early to think about Fire Prevention Week.  Since 1922, the NFPA has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.

Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the month of October.  This year it is observed from Sunday, October 3rd 2021 to Saturday, October 9th 2021.

Fire Prevention Week is observed in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land. When you think about it, every week is Fire Prevention Week.

Smoke Detectors and Caron Monoxide Detectors

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

Frequently Asked Questions about Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms

SERVPRO of Ozaukee County researches information.

What’s the difference between smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms? Why do you need both?


Smoke alarms sense smoke well before you can, alerting you to danger. In the event of fire, you may have as little as 2 minutes to escape safely, which is why smoke alarms need to be in every bedroom, outside of the sleeping areas (like a hallway), and on each level (including the basement). Do not put smoke alarms in your kitchen or bathrooms.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that displaces oxygen in your body and brain and can render you unconscious before you even realize something is happening to you. Without vital oxygen, you are at risk of death from carbon monoxide poisoning in a short time. CO alarms detect the presence of carbon monoxide and alert you so you can get out, call 9-1-1, and let the professionals check your home.

Choosing the Right Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

How do You know which Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide (“CO”) Detector/Alarm to choose for your home or office?  You should choose an alarm that is listed with a testing laboratory, meaning that it has met certain standards for protection. Whether you select a unit that requires a yearly changing of batteries, or a 10-year unit that you’ll change out at the end of the 10 years, either will provide protection.

CO alarms also have a battery backup.  Choose one that is listed with a testing laboratory. For the best protection, use combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are interconnected throughout the home. These can be installed by a qualified electrician, so that when one sounds, they all sound. This ensures you can hear the alarm no matter where in your home the alarm originates.

The Sounds of Fire

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Each year there is a Fire Prevention Week.  This year it will begin on Sunday, October 3 and end on Saturday, October 9.   This year’s theme is “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!”  The idea is to educate everyone about the different sounds the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make. Knowing what to do when an alarm sounds will keep you and your family safe. When an alarm makes noises – a beeping sound or a chirping sound – you must take action.

What you should do if someone in your home is deaf or hard of hearing:

There are smoke alarms and alert devices that alert people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These devices include strobe lights that flash to alert people when the smoke alarm sounds. Pillow or bed shakers designed to work with your smoke alarm also can be purchased and installed. For more information on this important topic, visit Fire Safety for the deaf or hard of hearing section.

Fire Damaged Belongings

3/26/2021 (Permalink)

A fire is always devastating. Even if it was stopped before getting out of hand, you are left with a mess and smoke damage. All your furniture, carpets, and belongings are now covered with thick soot, and with an unforgettable smell. You may think your only option is to replace all the contents of your home. All the items that took you years to obtain, the items that are irreplaceable and sentimental to you are now all of a sudden gone. This isn’t always the case!

Replacement is not your only option. We are able to clean, restore and deodorize your home, and belongings. We have special solutions that dissolve and conquer smoke damage. We leave your home fresh, while saving you money, and your precious memories. Our goal is to make it "Like it never even happened." SERVPRO of Ozaukee County is here! Please call us at 262-242-8888.

Restoration Services after a Fire

3/26/2021 (Permalink)

After a fire, SERVPRO of Ozaukee County’s job is to go in and make everything smell good and look as good or better than it did before. This includes using both wet and dry techniques to clean away soot and smoke residue. Sometimes we have to demolish parts of the home, and replace drywall, cabinets, doors, windows, or basically start from scratch. The hardest part of a fire restoration job is getting the smoke smell out of the home and out of the belongings.

We have special cleaning solutions that help break down soot, detergents that clean smoke damaged materials and deodorizers to illuminate odors.  When the odor is really bad, we use our Ozone machines which can remove almost any smoke smell, and get the air quality back to where it should be.   Remember, SERVPRO of Ozaukee County can help! If you have smoke or other odors, give us a call at 262-242-8888!

Make Sure Your Mequon Home Is Safe From Winter Fires | SERVPRO® of Ozaukee County

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

House fires are more common during the winter months, especially in cold states like Wisconsin and communities like Mequon, Thiensville, Grafton, Cedarburg, Port Washington, and Belgium.

Experts name a variety of reasons for this fire risk increase. They include the holidays and extra time spent in the kitchen, as well as accidents that can happen when a home’s heating malfunctions. Since heaters and other heating systems are engaged more often during the cold months, that often drives an increase in risk.

These fires can damage property and cost families heirlooms, and they can even cause injuries and take lives. According to industry experts, as many as 890 people die from house fires every year.

Simplifying Fire Prevention

Of course, even homeowners who take necessary prevention steps aren’t always immune to the dangers fires can pose. But our team pulled together these simple tips that can help you make your home safer from fire hazards:

Maintain your home’s furnace. Even furnaces that seem to be working well should be checked by a professional for problems every year. Clogged vents and dirty, rusting blades can actually create a fire hazard in your home.

Use your candles wisely. If candles are left burning when you leave home or placed in a location where they can easily topple, then they can become a fire hazard. Don’t leave your candles burning; blow them out instead.

Use your space heater the smart way. Plug your space heater directly into your wall outlet, even if that means you have to rearrange your furniture. Be sure it’s clear by at least three feet on each side.

If your home is damaged due to a fire or any other cause, you can always count on SERVPRO OF OZAUKEE COUNTY for restoration assistance. We have teams who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help your family. 262-242-8888.

Number One Reason for Home Fires

7/21/2020 (Permalink)

The number one reason for a home fire is cooking.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the number one cause of home fires is unattended cooking. You should always stay in the room while you are cooking with a heat source. If you cannot stay in the room the whole time, ask another adult in the family to watch over your food. Or turn the burner off if  you have to leave the room and no one else is home.  When cooking food for long periods of time, use a timer so you don't lose track of time.

However, accidents do happen so prepare your home and family by having a residential fire extinguisher on hand! Fire extinguishers should be placed on every floor of your home, especially in the kitchen and garage. You should also learn how to use a fire extinguisher before you need it.  If you experience a fire in your home, and you need help with cleaning and restoration, call SERVPRO of Ozaukee County at 262-242-8888.  We will provide you with a timely estimate and provide you and your family peace of mind knowing that your home will be be in the hands of experts and will be restored to preloss condition.  

Dangers of Space Heaters

7/21/2020 (Permalink)

A major cause of home fires is a space heater or other heating Equipment. 

When the weather gets cold, we may pull out the old space heater to help heat a cold bedroom, or a small area where it always seems cold.   Be sure to keep your space heater away from anything that could easily catch fire like curtains, laundry, blankets, clutter or furniture.  Space heaters can really get hot.  And if left on for a long time they can catch fire easily.  The safest thing to do is to turn the space heater off if you have to leave the room.  You can turn it back on when you return to the room.  Never leave a space heater on and unintended.  

If your house has a fire, SERVPRO of Ozaukee County is here and ready to help.  Please call 262-242-8888 and we will do everything we can to accommodate your needs. 

Buyer Beware!

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

Caveat Emptor!  Buyer Beware!  It is typically a good idea to shop around when considering a large purchase.  The internet makes this as easy as searching  “Contractors” and comparing reviews.  Choosing a reputable Contractor with the best price for your carefully detailed plans and specifications is just common sense.   And this will work when you need a Restoration Contractor to repair your fire damaged home, right?

WRONG!  Experience and training, not price, is what really counts when you have something bad happen to your property.  

First of all, each insurance company has a data base of accepted costs/values for every work item, labor and material, necessary to make your fire damaged home whole again.  Therefore, where cost is concerned, any contractor you select can only charge according to what the insurance company has already determined are fair prices and labor rates. 

The problem lies with determining an accurate, comprehensive, scope of repair.   There are no written plans and specifications to ensure you will be getting the same quality and quantity of work from each proposal.  Each contractor will visit the site and base his cost estimate on what he observes and determines will be necessary to restore the property to a preloss condition.   An inexperienced or slip shod contractor is going to miss details that are necessary or may not be aware how to properly address fire related issues such as hidden sources of odor.  The estimate that includes all the necessary work, while higher in price, will actually be the one in your best interest to choose.

You will have an adjuster assigned to your loss to make sure the scope of repair is not excessive.  But it is not his responsibility to complete a poorly written estimate.  He typically doesn’t have the time, or incentive. So, choose SERVPRO of Ozaukee County, 262-242-8888, for a fair and accurate scope of repair for your fire loss.  We have over 50 years of satisfied customers!

Things To Do After a Fire

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

After you have a fire, it is scary, and shocking.  What should you do?  Here is a basic list of things you can do while you wait for some help to arrive.

  • Cover up the carpet in heavy traffic areas with old linens or clean towels. Also, cover up your furniture with old sheets to give added protection.
  • If your electricity is off, be sure to clean out your refrigerator and freezer. Leave the doors open after cleaning to air them out.  You may want to put a box of opened baking soda inside the refrigerator.
  • Cover your chrome fixtures with Vaseline petroleum jelly or oil. The soot can damage your fixtures.
  • If you have plants in your home, both sides of the leaves will need to be washed. Don’t use harsh chemicals.  They could kill your plants.  Plain water is just fine.
  • You will want to change your HVAC filter at least once, maybe more, in the weeks that follow the fire.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over the air registers.  

If you follow these tips of things to do after a fire, it will help you get a head start on the cleanup.  Please call SERVPRO OF OZAUKEE COUNTY if we can help you with the cleanup.  We are here 24/7.  Call 262-242-8888.

Things Not to do After a Fire

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

There are several things that you should not do after a house fire.  Once the fire is out and you are back in your house, be careful not to do the following things.

  • Don’t walk through the soot or spread it around. It can get embedded into carpets and upholstery making it more difficult to clean.
  • Try not to touch anything. You don’t want to spread the soot around.
  • Don’t start washing your walls or painted surfaces. There is a right way to accomplish this without creating more problems.
  • Don’t shampoo your carpet or upholstery. Great care must be given when cleaning soot. Sometimes you have to clean carpets or furniture two or three times.
  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been near the fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don’t use canned or packaged food or beverages that were stored near the fire, heat or water. And never eat anything from an open package.
  • Don’t turn the ceiling fans or lights on if the ceiling is wet. The wiring may have been damaged.   
  • Don’t send your clothes to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set the smoke odor into the clothes.

If you need help cleaning up after a fire, call SERVPRO of Ozaukee County at 262-242-8888.  We are available 24/7 and we will make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Ozaukee County to the Rescue After a Fire

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

If you experience a fire in your home or building, you have enough to deal with without having to worry about cleanup or repairs.  That's where SERVPRO of Ozaukee comes in.

We offer:

If you are dealing with fire damage, the experienced team at SERVPRO of Ozaukee County is ready to respond. Since we are locally owned and operated, we are prepared to clean up damage from fires, (and the water that is left behind after the firemen leave) and are able to respond quickly. Immediate action and a fast response can limit damage, prevent secondary damage and reduce restoration costs.

Our highly trained crews have the specialized equipment and resources to handle the job, large or small, residential and commercial. Our teams are prepared with strategically located equipment in case of a fire emergency in our area, and have access to a SERVPRO large loss team ready to assist if needed.  No matter how big or small the fire is, we can handle it.  We want to make sure that you and your family are okay first; then we will get to work on cleaning, restoring and making your fire loss, "Like it never even happened."

A House Fire is Personal

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

Having your house catch on fire is one of the scariest things that can happen.  Of course, the most important thing is to get everyone to safety. The shock can be overwhelming!  Please know that SERVPRO of Ozaukee County has worked with people and families who have gone through this horrible situation.  We are here to help and will treat your fire loss as if it was our own.  We understand your needs, concerns and worries.  We will do everything in our power to accommodate your schedule.  We know how precious your time is.

Our SERVPRO technicians are trained in the appropriate techniques to clean up soot from walls and ceilings or to remove and replace appliances.  Anything that will put you and your family at ease, we will do it. And when your house is cleaned or rebuilt, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that we took great care with everything and you will be glad that you chose SERVPRO of Ozaukee County to clean up and restore your home.