Water, Fire, & Mold Restoration Blog


An Important Timeline Regarding Smoke And Fire Damage Restoration

Fire and Soot Damaged roofAfter a fire, what remains of your home or office will likely be covered in ash and smoke. For the very best possible results, it’s essential to get off to the right start in your restoration efforts. Here’s some advice to take on the pathway toward complete restoration of your home or business:

  • Think about safety first. That means using gloves, dust masks and other protective gear as necessary.
  • Ventilate the structure. A box fan or other high-powered fan in a window can start drawing air and particulate matter from the fire out.
  • Clean from the top down. That means ceilings and walls should be cleaned before the contents and the floor so that dirt, soot and debris is moved downward and then out.
  • Vacuum before wet cleaning. All floors and upholstery should be vacuumed for debris and ash before any other cleaning action is taken. Be sure the vacuum has a high-efficiency filter.
  • Launder what you can. This includes curtains, clothing and more. Be sure to use an alkaline cleaner designed to be used for such a purpose because of the acid in soot. Some dry cleaners know how to deal with smoke/soot and water damage as well.
  • Power-wash exterior walls. But first, spray with the right detergent, brush and agitate away soot and then wash from the top down.

In many cases, there are so many things that need to be done at once that it makes the most sense to hire a professional smoke damage restoration team to do the work for you. Your insurance company will probably cover all or most of the cost of professional restoration services. And if any part of the home or commercial building’s structure is distorted or warped in any way, you need professional assistance anyway.

Quick action is important because damage escalates the longer it is left untreated. Consider this timeline:

Within a few minutes: The acid in soot can yellow many kinds of plastics, including on small appliances. Porous materials like alabaster and marble will discolor permanently if not restored.

Within only hours: The acid in soot will stain bathroom and kitchen grout, yellow the look of fiberglass, tarnish metal, damage major appliance finishes and discolor furniture finishes permanently.

Within a few days: Painted surfaces succumb to acidic soot and yellow, metals badly corrode, rust and pit, wood requires refinishing and vinyl floors require replacement. Clothing and upholstery that are soot-stained will be too bad to save.

Within a couple of weeks: Things get so much worse. Carpets eventually discolor permanently, silver-plated materials permanently corrode and things like china and glass may be etched by the acid present in soot.
As you can see, it makes sense to take decisive and quick action — the kind of action professional fire damage restoration companies take every day. Soot builds up in layers as a fire progresses and can be like lacquer on a surface by the time the restorers arrive. Do you know how to deal with it yourself?

Most people don’t. For the best results at an affordable price that’s probably covered by insurance, bring in the pros. In San Diego, the best choice is Orange Restoration. We have technicians trained in every aspect of fire damage restoration — including dealing with soot, smoke damage and the water damage commonly caused by firefighting efforts. Contact us right away if this is your hour of need, and we’ll go to work for you.

At Orange Restoration, nothing means more to us than taking quick action to satisfy the needs of clients like you. When something catastrophic happens, restoring the damage is a major step toward getting your life or your business back to normal. Don’t hesitate to call us at (619) 376-6838.

By |August 28th, 2015|Fire|0 Comments

Considering DIY Fire Damage Cleanup Instead Of Hiring A Professional?

fire damage in house interiorThe top priority after a fire is to get things back like they should be as soon as possible. But this can be as stressful as the fire was in the first place. You may want to get started on cleaning immediately, but DIY fire damage cleanup can do a lot of harm. These are some solid reasons to hire a professional when you’re facing a complex fire damage cleanup:

  1. Smoke damage is just as bad a fire damage. Fires leave soot and smoke behind to keep doing more damage. Smoke gets embedded in walls, carpets and flooring, furniture and nearly everything else, and it remains there for years if it isn’t dealt with. There are professional procedure for removing smoke and soot. Do you know what they are?
  1. You can’t wash off smoke damage. It may look like soot and smoke will just wipe away, but that’s not true. DIY fire damage cleanup instructions may tell you just to wash everything, but that doesn’t really help. Special equipment is needed to get rid of soot and smoke and avoid rubbing it in deeper. Plus, washing smoky clothing in your washer will further damage the material and leave a smell in your machine. That just makes everything worse.
  1. You could accidentally throw away good stuff. Professionals can save many items that seem like lost causes. People with experience in smoke damage restoration can do a better job of deciding what can be saved and what can’t than you can. And they can save a lot more items than you ever thought possible.
  1. You’ll never get it all done in time. Smoke damage restoration takes a lot of manpower. Smoke and soot damage gets worse the longer it remains, so you need a team to do the job quickly — before more damage is done. A team of pros has a defined process for getting things done quickly and restoring things to pre-loss condition, plus they can handle complications with relative ease.

Insurance usually covers the cost of professional restoration, so why not forget about doing the work yourself? Our team at Orange Restoration is ready to help you right now, and we’re only a phone call away: (619) 376-6838.

By |August 24th, 2015|Fire|0 Comments

The Cost of Fire Damage Restoration

San Diego fire damage sliderThere are few things in this world that are more destructive than fire. It is the element that most of us fear above all others, and time after time we can turn on the news and see that another home, another town, another county has been overtaken by fire. Fire is something that we humans still find very difficult to control and tame, which means that in most cases, a fire is not put out quickly enough to prevent damage from occurring. Restoring your home after a fire can be a very traumatic for all those involved – especially when you see the financial burden that it will put on your shoulders.

The reason that the cost of fire damage restoration is so high in the majority of cases is because that for most items, as soon as they are touched by fire, become completely useless. Unlike water damage, which can sometimes be dried out, there is no way to repair fire damage to most items. Electrical items in particular have been built in order to short circuit if there is a fire, in order to prevent them from exacerbating the problem, but that means that if they are situated in a fire then they almost break themselves in an effort not to become part of the problem. This means that they will definitely need replacing, and at a high cost.

Many people fear fire more than anything else when it comes to their home and their possessions, which is why so many people are deciding to invest in things such as fire proof safes. They believe that if they have a fire proof safe, then even if the very worst happens, they will at least be able to save some important pieces of paperwork, and some soft toys from children, along with some sentimental jewellery. However, that is not always the case. Fire proof safes cannot protect items from extreme heat, even if they can remove them from flames. Most safes have a lining of special plastic wax that delays the effects of the heat to your items for as long as possible, but over time that plastic seal will melt and the full force of the flames will be upon your beloved items.

Just like there is no true defence from burglary, there is no true defence from fire. Fires will inevitably happen, and even if you do everything that you possibly can to prevent a fire from happening in your home, you cannot possibly prepare for the stupidity of other people, and completely innocent accidents. That is why many people have to consider the cost of fire damage reparation all over the world.

Having to deal with the emotional fall out of fire damage can be incredibly demoralising for any person, and when you have a family to protect and care for as well the whole experience can end up being totally overwhelming. That is why it is a good thing that the cost of fire damage restoration can almost always be covered by your insurance company. There shouldn’t be any complications, and it means that all of the stress and worry can be lifted from your shoulders, and taken on by the experts who know exactly what they are doing. If you believe that you will soon have to call on someone else because you are struggling to cope with the cost of fire damage restoration – and all the emotional trauma that fire damage brings with it – then we recommend contacting Orange Restoration at (619) 376-6838. We are a professional company that are tried and tested in the area of fire damage restoration, and will be able to help you.

By |August 21st, 2015|Fire|0 Comments

Take Quick And Specific Action For The Most Effective Smoke Damage Cleanup

fire damage in house interiorAfter the firefighting is done, the first step in reaching complete and total restoration is ventilating the property to get the smoke out and limit smoke damage. Smoke damage can really do a number on a home and its furnishings. And many different things can cause smoke damage, including large flare-ups in the kitchen, fireplaces that are lit with the flue closed and electrical fires, among other things.

Any one of these things can do a real job of stinking up the place. The resulting odor can be anything from a minor nuisance to such a significant smell that the home is essentially unlivable.

And the longer you allow smoke and other odors to linger inside, the more these terrible smells sink into the structure of your home, including carpets, furniture and even the walls. When smoke damage occurs, you need to go to work right away — or have someone go to work for you.

Please remember that if you choose to do any portion of the work yourself, you must remember to wear a facemask, eye protection, gloves and perhaps even a respirator as needed to keep damaging smoke particles from getting onto your skin and into your lungs.

If you choose to do the work yourself, remember the importance of ventilating and vacuuming for great results. In fact, the first steps you should take after smoke damage are:

– Opening up all doors and windows so fresh air can replace the smoke.
– Turning off any HVAC system that could spread the smoke to other areas of your home that may not already be impacted.
– Renting one or more industrial fans — something that may not cost very much to rent — and angling them so that they suck air out of your home rather than pulling it in to help rid your house of those smoky odors that won’t go away on their own.
– Vacuuming up soot and ash, if present, with a sturdy shop vac, remembering that the nozzle should be held above any soot, not pressed down into it allowing it to cause additional staining.
– Cleaning deeply to make sure that all furnishings and home surfaces are completely clean and free of any settled particles, dust or other contaminants.

If certain items are particularly damaged, simply throw them away. Professional smoke damage restoration experts may be able to restore certain items, especially if they are meaningful or precious to you.

For getting rid of the toughest odors, the best idea may well be to have professionals come in and use an ozone generator. Especially good with smoky odors, these units can be rented but are expensive to rent and do little good if they aren’t operated according to standardized procedures by experienced professionals.

If the HVAC system was allowed to run at all while the home was smoky, professional air duct cleaning may also be essential to get rid of all smoke damage odors. Carpet cleaning may be essential as well.

At Orange Restoration, we’re the professionals who can serve you best in San Diego and beyond. Because we employee a diverse team of professionals, we have people who can handle every aspect of smoke damage, fire damage repair and water damage restoration and put your home in the same condition as before — or perhaps even better.

Don’t wait any longer. Call us at (619) 376-6838 to get things back like they should be in your home or business. We’re always ready to come at a moment’s notice and do whatever it takes. And it all starts with a professional assessment.

By |August 15th, 2015|Fire|0 Comments

The Process Of Fire Damage Restoration

Fire damaged home in San Diego homeOnce the fire trucks are gone, your journey is just beginning. That’s because your home almost certainly suffered smoke and fire damage as well as possible water damage. But the professionals at Orange Restoration have the skills and equipment necessary to restore your house to the way it was before the fire.

Each fire is different and every home requires its own specific approach, but the following is the general process we follow in a typical fire damage restoration situation:

  1. Emergency response. When you make your call to us, the restoration process begins. Our customer service representative will ask the right questions so that we can respond quickly and bring along the right resources and equipment.
  1. Inspection and assessment. We inspect the impacted area and adjoining rooms to find out the extent of the soot, smoke and other fire damage, then we can develop our plan of action.
  1. Securing the structure. Preventing further damage is essential, so we take immediate action to board up broken windows, shore up damaged walls and put tarps over damaged sections of the roof.
  1. Water removal. When water damage is present, we immediately start water removal. Dehumidifiers and air movers are used to get all the water from your home and complete the drying process.
  1. Surface soot and smoke removal. Using special equipment and time-tested techniques, we get rid of soot and smoke from the ceiling, all walls and other hard surfaces.
  1. Cleaning and disinfecting. Restorable items require cleaning and sanitizing. A variety of cleaning products and techniques are used to accomplish this as appropriate. This process includes odor removal using foggers and industrial-strength air scrubbers.
  1. Restoration. Getting things back to normal is the final step in the process. This can involve small repairs, drywall replacement, new carpet installation, painting and more. Major construction may sometimes also be required.

For an easy and hassle-free experience, trust Orange Restoration to help manage everything for you, including the insurance claims process. Call (619) 376-6838 for a quick response.

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By |August 12th, 2015|Fire|0 Comments

How to Fireproof Your Home: Interior

Fireproofing-Your-HomeWhile it’s crucial that you fireproof the exterior of your home in order to prevent wildfires from damaging your home, it’s just as important that you fireproof the inside of your home to protect from other types of fires. Fires cause billions of dollars in damage every year; by making simple adjustments to the interior of your home, you can lower your home’s risk of fire and fire damage.

1. Test your smoke alarms
Everyone has smoke detectors installed in their home. But those alarms are of no use if they don’t properly work. Every three to four months, check your smoke alarms. If any batteries are weak, replace them. Many fire insurance policies require that you have smoke detectors in your home or offer a reduction in your premium if you install them.

2. Don’t forget carbon monoxide detectors
While many people have smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors aren’t as popularly used—even though they should be. Carbon monoxide is created by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels. In homes, this is usually gas. Carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous, as it does not release a smell, taste, or color. If you leave a stove burner on, carbon monoxide is released into the atmosphere, filling your house. A carbon monoxide detector will notify you when this happens so you can look for the source of burning fuels, which can start a fire if not taken care of.

3. Fireproof your carpet and furniture
You can easily have your furniture coated with a fireproof chemical, either at a furniture store or at home by purchasing a fireproof spray. This will protect your furniture from setting fire as easily. If your home contains wool or synthetic carpeting, consider replacing them with fire resistant carpeting. Wool and synthetic carpets burn easily and the fire can spread quickly. Fire resistant carpeting will prevent fires from attacking your entire home.

4. Take it easy with electrical wiring
One of the most common causes of fires in the house is an electrical short circuit. This happens from overloading your wiring with devices that require significant electricity or from having old wiring in your home. Hire a licensed electrician to check your wiring and ensure the wires are not frayed (or eaten away at from rodents) and that you don’t have too many appliances running on one outlet. Never mess with electrical wiring on your own; not only can you electrocute yourself, but you could also end up causing a fire.

5. Load up with fire extinguishers
Your home should have fire extinguishers readily available and in every room. While you should certainly have extinguishers in your kitchen and garage, consider storing one in other rooms as well, especially near fireplaces, attics, basements, and any rooms that run appliances requiring excessive electricity.

If you have recently experienced a fire in your home or business and are in the process of finding a reliable fire damage restoration company in San Diego, give Orange Restoration a call today! (619) 376-6838

By |November 17th, 2014|Fire|0 Comments

How to Fireproof Your Home: Exterior

smokealarmIf you live in southern California, you’re well aware of how vulnerable your home is to fire damage. This year, fires damaged thousands of homes; yet some nearby suffered little more than singed yards. Firefighters and scientists agree that by fireproofing your home, you can help defend your home from future, permanent damage. Making the smallest of adjustments, like cleaning out your gutters, can make a big difference.

  1. Install screens over attic vents

While vents in attics help circulate air and keep your attic cool, adding a screen helps prevent against fire damage. If a neighboring home is on fire, debris from that fire could fly into your attic through the vent, setting your home on fire. Protect against debris (as well as wildlife) from getting into your attic by installing a screen.

  1. Clean out your gutters

Pine needles and dead leaves can be very flammable. On a regular basis, clean out your gutters and other areas where stray pine needles and leaves build up

  1. Trim trees and bushes regularly

Trees and oversized shrubs should be regularly cleaned to remove any dead branches. Dead plants are brittle and more flammable. Keep your large plants alive and healthy and make sure no branches hang over the roof of your home.

  1. Water your lawn

A dead, brittle lawn can put your home in significant danger during fire season. A well-watered lawn can act as a barrier between the fire and your home. Since California is experiencing a severe drought, don’t drown or over water your lawn. Instead, water a couple times a week to keep it from drying out and keep the grass short. If your lawn is completely dry and you are unable to maintain it, consider removing it entirely and replacing it with rocks.

  1. Improve your roof

If your roof is made from wood, consider replacing it with more fire-resistant options, like ceramic tiles, slates, composition shingles, or metal sheets.

For more information about San Diego fire damage restoration feel free to visit us online or give us a call 24/7 for emergency services! (619) 376-6838

By |November 11th, 2014|Fire|0 Comments

Restoring Your Home After a Fire

Fire-Damage-1It’s awful enough when a fire damages your home. But the nightmare isn’t over once the flames burn out; restoring your home and eliminating fire and smoke damage can require extensive work. Before you start cleaning and repairing your home, it’s important that you first know what fire and smoke damage entails, how it affects your home, and how your home can be restored.

After the fire, your home can continue to be damaged by the resulting two types of smoke damage created by fire—soot and invisible odor. Soot is the black and grey chalky residue and the invisible odor is the result of burned plastics and wood. Usually, smoke damage can only be fully removed by a professional. However, there are ways you can start rebuilding your home.

First, work with your insurance agent to determine the best course of action, whether that’s filing a claim or paying out of pocket. Next, you should immediately contact a certified fire and water damage restoration company. Ask the company about their background and experience and determine the next steps. Often, the company can advise you on what you can do to clean up before and after the company comes out. The professional can also provide tips on steps to take to prevent a fire in the future.

Until you’ve spoken with a professional, don’t attempt to clean or remove any damaged items in your home. There’s a chance you could actually cause further damage. Instead, dry anything that’s wet to prevent mold buildup. Hang up wet clothing and rugs and use fans and dehumidifiers for heavy furniture and carpeting. Open your windows for ventilation and cover any clean items with plastic to prevent them from getting dirty or damaged.

When the hired professional arrives, he or she will know how to remove soot and all odors. He or she can also determine if your home is suffering from water damage (as a result of the firefighters fighting the fire) and requires water restoration.

While a fire is a traumatizing ordeal, you can pick up the pieces and restore your home. By working with a trained San Diego fire damage professional, you can return to your home confident that any damage has been fixed and that you and your family are safe.

By |November 7th, 2014|Fire|0 Comments

The Six Classes of Fire Damage

The Six Classes of Fire Damage

While no one expects to experience a fire in their home or office, nothing is guaranteed and there is always a small chance it could happen. Whether the result of old electrical wiring or a brush fire, your San Diego property could suffer serious fire and smoke damage. If you are unlucky enough to encounter a fire, the first thing you should do after the firefighters put it out is contact your insurance company. They will give you tips on how to minimize the damage caused by the fire and also protect your property from the elements prior to beginning the restoration process. The damage your property sustains will depend on the extent of the fire damage, which is divided into six classes.

Six Classes of Fire Damage

1. Class A: Fire damage caused by combustible household items like wood, paper, plastics, and rubber.

2. Class B: Damage caused by liquids or sold items that can become liquefied. This can include gasoline, petrol, waxes, and paints. Class B does not include fire damage caused by cooking liquids like corn oil.

3. Class C: Fire damage caused by flammable gasses, including propane, methane, hydrogen, and acetylene.

4. Class D: Class D fire damage is from combustible metals like titanium, potassium, and magnesium. This class is very uncommon because metals usually conduct heat away from the fire. It takes an incredibly hot fire to cause these materials to combust.

5. Class E: Class E is another unusual class as it involves both A and a B class, except electrical equipment is thrown into the mix. This does not only cause the damage to be much different, but is also makes fighting the fire much more difficult.

6. Class F: Fire damage that is caused by unsaturated cooking materials like oils and fats. Technically this damage can be a subclass of Class B, however the flash point can be much higher so it is important to recognize them separately.

Primary vs. Secondary Fire Damage

While fire damage is separated into 6 main classes, insurance companies also group damage into primary and secondary. Primary fire damage refers to all damage caused by flames to the inside and outside of residential and commercial buildings. Secondary fire is the damage that is caused by the smoke and soot that is released from the actual fire. Many times the smoke and soot can cause more damage than the primary damage. Fire damage can also leave your property exposed to the elements which can cause even more internal damage.

If you recently experienced a fire you need to call an experienced San Diego fire damage company ASAP. Do not hesitate! It will only increase the damage and repair costs. We are available for emergency services 24/7. Call now!

By |September 12th, 2014|Fire|0 Comments

The Negative Effects of Smoke and Fire Damage

A fire in your home or place of business is an extremely serious matter. Even a fairly small, non-devastating fire can have extensive consequences, some of which may not be immediately apparent to the average person. In order to identify and moderate the negative effects of fire damage, you need to call a professional ASAP.

Structural Damage

In the event of a fire, the structural integrity of your home or business will most likely be damaged. Always use caution when entering a property after a fire.  It is impossible to be sure all the floor supports are still intact. It would be best to wait for an inspector to evaluate your property for structural damage before you enter it. If the fire damage is too severe, you may be required to board up the property for safety and liability reasons.

Fire Damage San Diego

Smoke Odor and Residue

The majority of smoke particles are only about 0.004 microns wide. This means they can work their way into every nook and cranny, from your furniture to the carpet, wallboard, and even the insulation. The difficulty of cleaning up smoke odor and residue increases depending not only on the volume of smoke, but also on the kind of smoke that was present during the fire. Smoke from natural materials like wood and paper leaves a black or gray ashy residue that can be easily cleaned up with a vacuum cleaner or dry sponge. Smoke from inorganic materials like plastics and synthetic fabrics leaves a smeary residue that is difficult and dangerous to clean up. To remove all odors and residue, experts recommend having your home professionally deodorized and getting any items you wish to keep professionally cleaned.

Food Spoilage

During a fire, heat can cause canned food to expand and contract. Most of the time this will lead to food spoilage. Additionally, smoke particles can penetrate any bagged and boxed foods. Because smoke contains carcinogens, you do not want to eat food that has been exposed to smoke. The fire will also, most likely, because you’re electricity to be shut off. Make sure you throw out frozen or refrigerated foods which have probably spoiled. Remember to take photos of what you throw away so you can get insurance reimbursement.

Water Damage

A fire will also lead to water damage in most cases. When firefighters attempt to extinguish the fire in your home or business, they will douse the building with water, soaking everything that was involved in or near the fire. If you do not immediately take action to dry out your carpet, walls, and furniture after the fire, there is a good chance you could develop mold and mildew problems in addition to fire damage.

Remember, in the aftermath of a fire you need to get professional help ASAP. Be sure to choose a damage restoration company that can help with all the effects of a fire, from removing fire-damaged goods to cleaning up smoke residue, deodorizing the property, and cleaning up water damage.

By |May 15th, 2013|Fire|Comments Off on The Negative Effects of Smoke and Fire Damage