Recent Fire Damage Posts

What to Know Before Buying a Fire Damaged Home

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

Remains of a fire charred kitchen Buying a fire damaged home? Call SERVPRO of Nixa / Branson.

With home prices skyrocketing, people are willing to do almost anything to get a good deal, including buying a house that has had a fire. That could be a good investment because they cost less and may even be negotiated to a lower price. But the following are things you need to know before buying a fire damage home.

How Deep Was the Damage?

How much damage a house has suffered can determine whether it’s worth purchasing and/or flipping. If the damage was only cosmetic where just the carpet and walls were scorched, that wouldn’t be too big of a deal. But if the damage is deeper and affects the subfloors, joists, plumbing or the HVAC, then you’re talking serious money and it might not be worth your time or effort.

How Long Since the Fire?

Do you know how long it’s been since the fire occurred? If the house has sat for a while needing fire damage cleanup without any repairs done on it, then you might want to pass. The longer fire damage is allowed to sit, the more deterioration will take place. Soot and ash are acidic and can cause irreversible property damage if not treated immediately. Soot can cause the metal in plumbing fixtures, lights, etc., to pit or corrode. Glass in windows and mirrors can be etched by soot residue, making them look cloudy and soiled. Plastics, appliances, vinyl windows and fabrics can be permanently discolored by soot residue.

Fire damage and water damage are almost always linked because firefighters extinguish flames with water. And many times, a fire will open a house up to the elements. If that water isn’t immediately removed or dried up, it can cause severe problems with mold and may weaken the foundation. And since water is a solvent, it will slowly dissolve, break apart and destroy most of the materials in a home if not dealt with promptly. These problems must be handled by restoration professionals that have the needed equipment.

What About Hidden Damage?

It can be difficult to see if a home has structural damage from a fire when you’re doing a walkthrough. That’s why you should not only get a home inspected before buying, but you should also contact SERVPRO of Nixa / Branson to do a walk through and consultation. If you have a better idea of how much structural damage exists and a rough estimate of what it will cost, you’ll be able to negotiate a deal to ensure a higher return on your investment.

Home shows on TV make flipping a house look fun, quick, and profitable. But the true reality is that those with fire and water damage can be a lot of work if you don’t know what you’re doing. The best way to buy a house with fire damage is to have SERVPRO of Nixa / Branson on your team to do the work needed to once again make it a livable home. 

Fire: Dangers in the Aftermath

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damaged Garage from a recent residential fire SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson completed

There’s been a fire at your home or business. Once the firemen leave, your first inclination may be to go inside the structure to see what you can salvage and start the cleaning process. But cleaning up after a fire is much more complicated than regular cleaning. It’s also very dangerous. Because once the last flame has been snuffed out, the dangers from a fire continue. 

Soot Hazards

Since fire destroys all materials, the soot that covers everything you touch and that you kick up in the air is full of toxic substances. That’s why the highly trained professionals at SERVPRO of Nixa / Branson wear heavy duty personal protection equipment (PPE) on fire mitigation jobs until all the soot is removed. Here are some of the poisons found in the soot and ashes of a building fire:

  • Mesothelioma (cancer) causing asbestos fibers from building materials
  • Carbon materials can produce carbon monoxide, ammonia, and nitrogen oxides
  • PVC can create hydrogen chloride, phosgene (used as a chemical weapon during World War I), dioxin, Refrigerant-40, bromomethane (a pesticide), etc.
  • Hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide (poisonous gasses)
  • Petroleum based items can produce formaldehyde, acrolein, furfural, cresols, and other harmful chemicals
  • Even wood smoke releases more than 100 chemicals also found in cigarette smoke

Removing the Odors

One of the main aftereffects of a fire are odors. These can be difficult to remove without professional know-how and equipment. For instance, did you know that several factors can impact the strength of fire odors? Some of these are:

  • Size - The bigger the fire, the more objects have burned, and thus there’s been more smoke.
  • Length -The longer a structure has been exposed to smoke, the more deeply odor has seeped into porous materials.
  • Space - When a fire occurs in a smaller room, the smoke odor becomes more intense and concentrated.
  • Stuff - Not all odors are equal. For instance, burning wood, plastic and protein, all emit different smells with varied consistency.

SERVPRO of Nixa / Branson has the knowledge and equipment to eliminate the diverse and pungent odors that occur after a fire. Besides the easily accessible areas, we also examine wall cavities, duct work, crawl spaces and plumbing chases to establish whether they also suffered any smoke or fire damage. We’ll ensure that they’re cleaned, repaired and that all traces of odor are removed.

So as tempting as it may be to rush back into your fire damaged home or business once the fire is out, play it safe and call SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson first so that we can safely make it “Like it never even happened."

Fire Damage Do's and Don'ts

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire in Crawl Space Causes Smoke Damage to Southwest Missouri Home

Emergency Fire Damage Tips

DO

  • Keep hands clean
  • Limit movement in the home to prevent further damage.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Wipe soot from chrome on faucets and appliances then protect with a light coating of lubricant.

DON'T

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, call SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson at 417-724-0084 we can help assess your situation!

Commercial Fire Damage Southwest Missouri

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

This is a recent fire and water damage in a commercial building in the Branson area.

This is a recent Fire and Water Damage in a Commercial building in Southwest Missouri. This building was adjacent to a warehouse that was completely demolished by fire.  SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson was called and we completed emergency services by extracting and cleaning the flooded floors left behind from the Fire Department when putting out the fire. Our employees worked diligently through the night to extract the water left over from the Fire Department.  The floors were also covered in soot as you can see in the photos,  so we steam cleaned the floors, to keep the rest of the plant from getting cross contaminated with soot.

Fire and smoke damage is especially destructive. Like this situation, in many instances your Branson property will also suffer from water damage from firefighting efforts. We specialize in fire and water damage restoration; it’s the cornerstone of our business. We have specialized equipment, specific training, and certifications that allow us restore your home or business to pre-fire condition.

Why SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson

SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson Smoke and Soot Cleanup

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Can Cause Pervasive Odor in your Nixa/Branson home.

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Nixa/Branson Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

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 Nixa/Branson 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. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 417-724-0084

The Top 10 Ways to Avoid Fires

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

A recent garage fire to a Southwest Missouri home

Fires will always happen, but we prefer that you personally never have to experience one! If you do, click here for some after the fire do’s and don’ts while waiting for help to arrive.

Fires devastate homes and businesses and cause damage in numerous ways. Not only is fire destructive, but it also leaves behind lingering and pervasive odors, not to mention extensive water damage that results from the firefighter’s efforts to extinguish the flames. The professionals at SERVPRO® of Nixa/Branson have the specialized training, equipment and experience that will restore your home or place of work to preloss conditions.

To increase the odds that you’ll stay safe, consider these Top 10 causes of fire. Use this information to plan how to make your home or business a safer place:

  1. Cooking: Avoid splattering grease, never leave kitchens unattended and keep flammable materials away from heat sources.
  2. Heating Equipment: Have your furnace checked regularly and keep portable heaters away from combustibles.
  3. Smoking: If you smoke in or near the house, always make sure the cigarette butt is fully put out and make the bedroom off-limits to smoking.
  4. Electricity: Look out for frayed cords, the overuse of extension cords and overloaded outlets, and don’t run electrical wires under rugs or heavy furniture.
  5. Candles: Never leave them unattended and keep them out of the reach of children or pets.
  6. Children: Keep them away from matches and lighters to suppress any curiosity they may have about what happens when different items burn.
  7. Inadequate wiring: It’s often found in older homes and apartments. Have a professional electrician check yours.
  8. Flammable Liquids: Keep fuels, solvents, cleaning agents, thinners, adhesives, and paints away from heat sources.
  9. Holiday Decor: Keep your Christmas tree well-watered and away from heat sources. Check decorative lights for damage and never place candles on or near Christmas trees.
  10. Grills: Keep them away from your home, deck rails, tablecloths and tree limbs. And never use them indoors, including your garage.

SERVPRO® of Nixa/Branson has the knowledge, professional equipment and ability to eliminate all traces of a fire. Besides the easily accessible areas, we also examine wall cavities, duct work, crawl spaces and plumbing chases to establish whether they also suffered any smoke or fire damage. We ensure that all fire damage is cleaned, repaired, or removed and leave your home or business as if it never even happened.