Recent Fire Damage Posts

Ask The Experts: What Are Some Dangers of Fire Damage?

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Fire is a terrifying disaster that property owners can experience. Even after putting out the flames, the smoke residues may continue to destroy the valuable items and building materials in your Chicago property. Fortunately, when you contact SERVPRO technicians within 48 hours, we can inspect your property and restore it to its former glory.

What are some of the dangers of fire damage?

If you delay fire damage restoration in your Chicago property, secondary damage may begin to occur. Smoke residues, soot, and the water used to fight the flames can significantly ruin your home. Water can cause your wooden floor to bend and warp. It may also weaken structures such as support beams and lead to mold growth. 

The structures become vulnerable and can collapse since they cannot hold the weight. This can lead to severe injuries to the property’s residents.

After a fire loss, contact SERVPRO immediately to mitigate the fire damage. We can quickly restore your property to its pre-damaged state. "Like it never even happened."   

Ask The Experts: How Do You Determine The Severity Of Fire Damage?

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

How do you determine the severity of the damage?

Our team of restorers has certifications from the IICRC, Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification to conduct fire damage restoration. We use cutting-edge techniques and advanced equipment and tools that effectively handle fire loss incidents of any magnitude. To determine the intensity of fire damage in your property, we: 

Inspect the property for smoke and soot damage

Use a dry-cleaning sponge to locate the affected areas.

Use wood crème paste to test wood furniture with a heavy concentration of soot.

Inspect the HVAC unit and ducts for odors, damage, and contamination. 

Once SERVPRO technicians get to your property, we begin mitigating the fire damage immediately to prevent substantial repair costs. Our restorers can remove valuable items from the affected area to access every corner of your property. We can keep you informed during every step of the mitigation and restoration process. 

How do you clean the affected property?

Cleaning the affected area helps in removing odors. Our highly trained technicians can use various techniques and cleaning agents depending on the surface. We can use a liquid crème cleaner such as stain scrub, a mild abrasive product to clean surfaces made of stainless steel like kitchen appliances. 

After the cleaning process is complete, the charcoal-like odor may persist. We can use several air scrubbers to remove the odors depending on the size of the affected area. The units pass the contaminated air through filters, which remove 99.99 percent of particles. The machines release clean air into the property. 

So if fire damage hits your home or business, give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Fire Debris Removal Workers In Chicago Describe Restoration Methods

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Anytime something burns inside your Chicago home, items inside the building may need to be removed and replaced. If the flames torch your building materials or contents, it could become necessary to call in a professional fire debris removal company such as SERVPRO. The number one goal when arriving at your residence is to use specific methods to save items preventing replacement as much as possible. However, in some situations, your structural components or other items can get damaged to the point where they need to be removed and replaced. When a situation like this occurs, it is wise to save the fire debris removal for the experts.  

When rebuilding a fire damaged home, we take specific safety measures. During any fire debris removal project in Chicago, our SERVPRO technicians always put safety first. Before we begin any work, we inspect your home for both potential dangers and to figure out the extent of the damage. If there are any structural issues or other problems that could pose a hazard to any of the building's occupants, then we perform steps to mitigate the possible danger. For example, should burnt items pose a fall hazard, we take them down.  We also temporarily support the compromised building's structure while demolition procedures take place.  

After our SERVPRO experts deem the fire damaged building safe for you, your family, and our staff, we commence mitigation efforts. First, we run tests to see how burnt your building materials and contents got. For instance, if charring is found into the drywall and past its surface, then most likely it needs removal. If your studs show torching deeper than a quarter inch, then sections of your building's skeleton needs discarding.  

After disposing of the unsalvageable contents and building materials, we take measures to prevent the spread of unpleasant aromas created by smoke and charred materials. If anything ever burns inside your house, call SERVPRO any day of the week!

So give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Ask The Experts: Keeping things efficient after a fire

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Overcoming a disaster to impact your Chicago residence might feel overwhelming. With widespread damages affecting multiple areas of your house, it is often challenging to know what you need or where to begin putting the pieces back together. With professional restoration services, experienced technicians can help you to assess the full scope of the damage and to lay out a plan to bring your home back to preloss conditions.


An example of an overwhelming situation in your Chicago home is combating fire damages. With so many different threats happening all at once, no homeowner gets prepared for the work that has to happen to bring their property back to the way it used to be. When our SERVPRO franchise says We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster, this is precisely the kind of situation that we meant.

Once the first responders have left your home, you have to start making calls. The first of these would be to your insurance provider to let them know about the incident and start getting the ball rolling on filing a claim. Restoration work like ours is often a result of insurance claims, and our team of experienced technicians and staff work directly with the insurance provider and adjuster to expedite the claims process to get your home restored as promptly as possible.

While this insurance company is going to need some physical proof of the claim that you are filing, usually photographs, this is another situation where our SERVPRO professionals can take over. There are many threats and potential hazards in a home after a fire that our experienced professionals have the equipment to face. Our estimator can provide these required images to your insurance adjuster as part of the full inspection required in the estimation process.

As a homeowner, you want to restore the damages to your residence as promptly as possible following an instance like a fire. Unfortunately, there are often a lot of steps in between the disaster and its completed restoration. Let our professionals at SERVPRO  help you to navigate this process and work as efficiently as possible to restore your home to preloss conditions.

So call us today! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Ask The Experts: The finer points of tackling smoke and soot damage

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Basement fires are unique, often encountering different sets of problems and consequences as compared to fires started elsewhere in the home. While the tight space and underground nature of basements often prevent the worst of the fire from spreading across the house, other elements of fire damage can be shared or even more intense than the same damage in other regions of the house. Here are some of the similarities and differences between basement fires and those started elsewhere in the home.  

How Basement Fires Differ From Other Fires in Chicago 

Although fire damage in Chicago basements is typically more contained than that from fires started elsewhere in the home, other types of damage can be even more severe and widespread. The most glaring issue is smoke; smoke tends to rise and travel through air ducts and HVAC, spreading around the house and requiring intensive cleaning operations. HVAC cleaning is one of our most needed services, often for this reason. Additionally, there are often more hazardous and flammable materials stored in a basement than elsewhere in the home, leading to more significant potential dangers and disaster for the home. However, ultimately, the confined and below-ground nature of most basements protects much of the home from significant damage.  

How Basement Fires are Similar to Other Fires in Chicago 

Basement fires, while more contained than other fires, are still devastating and damaging due to their flames and spread. Ash and soot commonly coat walls and surfaces and requires heavy scrubbing. Objects and materials burned through and require treatments or perhaps replacement. A basement fire resembles fire elsewhere in the home and requires much of the same restoration work and equipment.   

Trained Technicians Can Help Minimize Chicago Area Fire Restoration Costs 

Many homeowners believe they can clean up after Chicago fire damage themselves after their home has gone through a fire, and there are soot and smoke to clean up. That is unfortunately not ever a good idea, as cleaning up soot and smoke damage needs professionals for the job. 

Hiring Chicago Restoration Professionals 

A house that has been burned in a fire, first of all, is not safe to spend time in or even enter. The integrity of the floors and walls are in question besides other hazards. It is crucial to keep out of the home until a professional tells you it is safe. 

While undertaking the cleanup of soot and smoke damage from a house fire should not be done by yourself, you need to get professionals, like SERVPRO, there as soon as you can. If left untreated, smoke and ash cause discoloration, corrosion, and lingering offensive and powerful odors. Specifically, ash can cause damage and discoloration almost immediately, and the damage could be permanent and irreversible. Anything made of plastic can start discoloring in just minutes. Metals can quickly corrode and tarnish, and fiberglass starts yellowing. 

If you get fire remediation specialists quickly enough after a house fire, we can mitigate or eradicate the ash and smoke damage from the fire, plus stop any further property damage. If you do not get us in early, unfortunately, the damage worsens, and the repair costs start to skyrocket in just a few weeks. 

Knowing Which Area Professionals to Hire 

Numerous companies claim to be restoration specialists in fire damage near Chicago; however, they might not have the proper training and certification to do the job correctly. Companies who are registered, recognized, and have gotten their certification from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification have taken the necessary coursework to gain their extensive certification. 

What Trained Professionals Will Do 

Fire remediation specialists like SERVPRO, who have gone through the right training and certification, first identify all of the materials that have been affected. We then locate the source of odors is if possible. We are thorough and identify items that can be cleaned and salvaged, which need replacing. Then they'll start the cleanup process by taking out any ash residue that has built up. After we've cleaned the ash, they can find the odors' sources more efficiently, which we'll then treat with special detergents made to neutralize the odors. After we treat the materials that were fire damaged, we'll be sealing them up to stop odors from emitting into your home in the future. 

Experiencing fire damage in Chicago can be scary and disconcerting. Never fear! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get you back to "Like it never even happened."

Ask The Experts: How Do I Get Smoke Odor Out Of My Home?

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke smell can be a very persistent nuisance in your home. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to address the odor, whether it is caused by a fire or cigarette smoke. The following are three common home deodorization methods.

1. Air Purification
In many cases, a simple air purifier will eliminate lingering smoke odor. Unlike air fresheners and candles, air filters trap the smoke particles rather than covering up the smell. Air purifiers are often purchased as standalone devices; however, HEPA and activated carbon filters can be purchased for many HVAC systems and help with whole-home odor elimination. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and change the filters regularly.

2. Ozone Treatment
A more intense method of odor removal is ozone treatment. Ozone machines release ozone particles, which have three oxygen molecules. Due to the chemical structure of ozone, the particles combine with smoke odor particles, creating a new particle that does not smell like smoke. Additionally, ozone itself has a smell that is often described as “clean.” The ability to neutralize unpleasant odors and introduce a pleasant fragrance into the home makes ozone a particularly effective method of dealing with smoke odor. However, ozone can be dangerous if not handled properly, so it is important to hire professional help if you choose this method of home deodorization.

3. Thermal Fogging
Another odor-eliminating technique best left to professionals is known as thermal fogging. With this technique, a fog of deodorizer is sprayed over the affected area. Additionally, the area is heated up, causing porous materials to expand. This allows the deodorizer to penetrate cracks, crevices, and other areas unreachable by different methods.
If your home has a lingering odor from cigarette smoke, a house fire, or fireplace, a professional restoration service can help you with home deodorization. Instead of simply covering up the odor, they can eliminate it so that it does not return.

Give us a call! We are faster to any disaster and are here to help get things back to "Like it never even happened."