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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Getting Rid of Ash after Fire Damage in Los Angeles Family Homes

2/2/2017 (Permalink)

Ash and Smoke Cause Fire Damage to Your Los Angeles Home

SERVPRO Mitigates Fire Loss with Rapid Remediation

Contrary to popular belief, it is not burning which leaves the most damage after a typical house fire. In severe cases, it is not always possible to extinguish the fire before it spreads. Consequently, charred materials are a big problem. However, most emergencies do not progress this far, and the main challenge is stains, odor, and discoloration.

Ash is the key culprit here. It can cause all kinds of problems for homeowners. In fact, it only takes a few hours for residues to begin yellowing surfaces. Finishes on appliances, fiberglass, vinyl, wood, and fabrics are all vulnerable. For this reason, SERVPRO uses a combination of techniques to eliminate ash after fire damage in Los Angeles properties.

Cleaning the Ducts
Despite being some of the most vulnerable areas of a home, HVAC ducts are routinely neglected by many fire restoration services. At SERVPRO, we make ductwork a priority and our technicians always inspect A/C units and fans for damage. If ash has made it into the ducts, we can use a combination of fans and deodorizers to eliminate debris and odors. In severe cases, we may also recommend encapsulating the duct surfaces. It involves the application of a sealing chemical. The chemical covers the walls of the duct and traps toxic particles inside.

Dealing with Dirty Items
Ash is particularly damaging for brass and copper items. So, if you have antiques in your home, it is important to remove and store them somewhere safe. If they require cleaning, we can send them to a specialist offsite facility. Assessing the condition of metals and fabrics is an integral part of the restoration process. The faster we respond, the better the chance of saving them. When ash reacts with different materials (particularly wood and metal), they start to produce unsightly substances. For instance, wooden furniture may leave dark stains on a carpet. Metal is likely to rust and create brown and yellow blemishes. For this reason, it is common for fire damage restorers to lift furniture off the ground and onto foam blocks.

A powerful vacuum makes the successful removal of soot and ash much easier. It has to be powerful. Otherwise, it simply moves the debris around and may rub it into the carpet. After cleaning, the technicians cover all remaining furniture with plastic sheets. The sheets protect them from further damage until air scrubbers have been brought in to clear out the last of the toxins and chemicals in the atmosphere. If soot and ash have already become embedded in the carpet, we can bring in steam extractors and rotary scrubbers for more heavy duty cleaning.

SERVPRO of Marina Del Rey / Westchester / El Segundo is a locally based service. We can respond quickly to emergency situations. Our technicians are on hand to help you rescue your property from fire damage. Call us 24/7 at (310) 333-0654.

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