Ask The Experts: My Commercial Building Had Fire Damage; What Now?
Commercial fire damage can cause devastating effects, and most property owners do not know what to do when they face such situations. The fire-fighting efforts are not enough to take your property to its pre-fire condition, if anything, they introduce water damage challenges. No matter how small the fire is, the resulting soot and smoke damage can be so significant in your Westville business. We are here to take you through some of the restoration procedures that our technicians perform when working for you.
Irrespective of how well prepared you are to deal with commercial fire damage in Westville, there is no convenient time to face such events. When your business experiences a fire, removal of the charred contents is necessary, and our SERVPRO technicians should come up with appropriate cleaning methods and fix the fire damaged areas. We have the experience to determine what is restorable and what needs to be replaced - this how we can lower the claim costs.
Without the right equipment, it can be challenging to clean large structures such as warehouses. Our SERVPRO technicians are equipped with the right tools, such as Dehumidifiers and high-pressure washers. If we have to clear the smoke residues from the higher parts of the building and perform the required inspection, we can use a scissor lift to reach the target locations.
You usually find different items in a commercial building, which means the smoke residues that the fire leaves behind are not uniform. To adequately address the different residues, our SERVPRO technicians use several approaches. While agitation is the most common method of removing smoke particles from surfaces, we might also introduce chemical actions such as oxidation, dissolving, emulsification, and bleaching. Some of the cleaning agents work best at specific temperatures, so we are also keen on such requirements.
At SERVPRO of La Porte County, We're Faster To Any Size Disaster, and you can benefit from our 24-hour emergency services. Call (219) 879-1883 if you need us to return your property to its preloss state.
SERVPRO Tips: How to Neutralize Odors After A Fire
According to a stat regarding fire damage from the U.S. Fire Administration says, grills on balconies, terraces, and patios were the cause of 52% of overall fires. Many homeowners switch to electric indoor/outdoor grills; however, they also have safety aspects.
SERVPRO received a call to mitigate fire and odor damage in a Michigan City kitchen caused by an indoor electric grill. Protein fires that occur during cooking are a frequent cause of remediation calls.
This type of fire is misleading because there is very little in the way of visible soot damage commonly seen in fire loss incidents. Instead, when burned, the animal fat in proteins becomes a fine mist that is almost invisible to the naked eye. Anywhere this mist lands has a pungent odor that cannot be masked or wiped away. Protein-based fires require professional cleaning and odor control methods.
When we arrived at the home, the strong odor of burned meat permeated the air. SERVPRO uses professional-grade cleaning formulas that cut through the greasy, pungent film left behind by a protein fire on surfaces from floor to ceiling. Wiping down the kitchen area significantly decreased the level of odor in the room, but required stronger scent control methods.
Our SERVPRO technicians possess several different types of equipment specialized for eradicating foul odors. When dealing with the aftermath of a protein fire, multiple applications of varying odor control methods may be needed to neutralize foul scents left in the room thoroughly.
Two powerful odor neutralizing methods our technicians frequently use against protein fires are thermal fogging, which is the application of an odor neutralizing fog to the affected area, and a piece of equipment called a hydroxyl generator. Both are effective against protein fire residue. We chose to use the hydroxyl generator as it abstracts hydrogen atoms and essentially takes apart odors at the molecular level.
SERVPRO of La Porte County is available 24/7 by calling (219) 879-1883. Our team of certified restoration professionals can cleanup fire and odor damage in your home and make it "Like it never even happened."
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Fire Odors? Don't Worry, SERVPRO Can Help?
Making popcorn on the stove is a fast, easy way to prep snacks for movie night with the family. When your skillet suddenly catches fire during cooking and leaves soot and unpleasant odors from fire damage stuck to your walls and ceiling, however, it can put a damper on the evening before it even starts.
When cooking mishaps leave fire damage in your Westville home's walls, it can be difficult and time-consuming to clean on your own. Our team at SERVPRO, however, can address the mess in hours with a restoration-focused approach to save you time and money.
After calling SERVPRO, our 24-hour emergency response team can survey the damage in your kitchen. Once evaluated, our technicians endeavor to clean your walls and ceiling thoroughly. Dry or wet cleaning methods may be used depending on the amount and type of soot on your surfaces. If nearby kitchen windows or objects affected by smoke, odors, or residue, our team takes care to clean those, as well. The casings on electronics such as kitchen appliances are also cleaned to ensure that fire damage does not lead to future electrical failures.
Cooking fires, in particular, can leave residues and unpleasant odors in unexpected places that can linger for long periods. Deodorization after cleaning eliminates odors from smoke and burnt food particles. Factors that determine the method of deodorization include the type of smoke and soot affecting property and structures, the material that has burnt, and the amount of space that has been impacted by the fire. In confined spaces, the use of thermal foggers makes for effective odor removal via a dense fog filled with deodorizing solution. This solution binds to and eliminates particles that create odors.
SERVPRO of La Porte County is ready to respond to your disaster cleanup needs. Call (219) 879-1883 to request our services today.
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Fire Damage is Tough! Check Out what to Avoid
Assessment and Estimation for Fire Damages in La Porte Homes
Fires and other unexpected disasters that can affect your La Porte home requires dedicated professionals with the ability to respond to the situation quickly. Part of understanding the severity of the damage to your home is getting the right assessment done by trained technicians with the experience to understand what has to happen to restore a property entirely.
When it comes to overcoming fire damage in your La Porte home, the first logical step is to determine how bad the damage is throughout your house. From the point of combustion through the lingering effects spreading throughout the rooms, damages rarely remain isolated to a small area of the property. Our SERVPRO estimator can begin the thorough assessment of the property beginning the moment that we arrive at your address with our mitigation equipment.
Additionally, this estimator is working to provide a realistic look at the work that is necessary to return the home to its original condition most cost-effectively and efficiently. We catalog damages, document the work to get performed and take photographic evidence to present your insurance company to help expedite the claims process. We work closely with many of the major and local insurance companies to understand what they need to approve a claim on your behalf to get your home restored after a fire has taken place.
Damage assessment is also designed to identify risks present throughout the home as well. After a fire, structural concerns are among the chief potential problems that our SERVPRO professionals face, as many materials become overly damaged and unstable. This inspection of the property helps to identify potential hazards with structural elements, indoor air quality, debris and destruction, and other areas that could threaten the safety of the home’s occupants or our technicians on site.
Our SERVPRO of La Porte County technicians take great pride in the thorough nature of the work that we do, while still being able to provide our customers with an efficient restoration result that can save them time and money. If a fire has occurred in your home, reach out to our professionals today at (219) 879-1883.
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SERVPRO of La Porte County is here for you when Storm Damage your Home or Business
Abnormal precipitation and violent storms can be a precursor to substantial damages La Porte homeowners can experience. Hailing is a destructive situation, especially when the balls of ice fall with excessive size and velocity. These situations can damage roofs quickly, even causing damage to more stable and structurally sound metal installations. These same storm systems can break windows, destroy siding, and even damage chimneys protruding from the sealed roof. Once vulnerabilities exist in your home’s exterior, it can be a short and easy path for floodwater to get inside your property.
While many homeowners might not see the direct path between hailing and flood damage for La Porte properties, severe weather systems can carry multiple types of precipitation and storm systems can follow closely after one another. Either scenario presents a situation where runoff and direct rainfall can lead to flooding and moisture damage within your property. Our SERVPRO rapid response team has the expertise in these situations to not only address the damages that a storm can cause to the home but also the likely flooding that exists as well.
Even with many flooding situations being unique challenges for every home and commercial property that our SERVPRO team works to help, we have a pattern for mitigation that follows closely after the full and thorough inspection of the property. Extraction is a vital element to any recovery because without removing standing water, drying efforts cannot be successful.
With a production trailer stocked with a full array of drying equipment, we can also quickly address saturation and aid exposed construction materials. Our cleaning technicians can begin the transition between loss mitigation and the restoration of your property. We have certified Carpet Cleaning Technicians (CCT) and other cleaning niches to help quickly make flood effects “Like it never even happened,” for your home.
As unexpected and damaging as hail can be, the situation can get worse if these conditions permit flooding to occur. Give our SERVPRO of La Porte County professionals a call anytime disaster strikes at (219) 879-1883.
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Being Disaster Ready in Laporte County
When disaster strikes in LaPorte County, the last thing you want to think about is where the spare batteries are or whether your perishables have passed their expiration date. Make sure you're ready for any situation — and how to handle the aftermath — with these top tips.
1. Pack a "Go Bag"
If you have to leave your home in a hurry, you'll want to have some essentials packed and ready to go. Keep the following supplies, recommended by FEMA, in a portable container in the area of your house where you'll take shelter:
- Three days' worth of food and water (at least a gallon per family member)
- Battery powered (or hand crank) flashlights and radio
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Trash bags and duct tape, along with a dust mask
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Regional maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter, or solar charger
- Moist towelettes and any personal sanitation or specific family needs, like pet supplies
(For additional recommendations, be sure to check out ready.gov)
We also suggest having smaller versions of your kit stocked with a few necessities like walking shoes, snacks, and a flashlight at work. In general, you'll also need enough cash on hand for five days of basic needs (gas and food), but any amount of ready money will help if ATMs are down.
Once you have your supplies together, it pays to go through them at least once a year too, to weed out expired food and batteries.
2. Make an Action Plan
When things get chaotic, you want to make sure that every family member knows what to do. We suggest designating two meeting places (one close by and one a little further away in your neighborhood) and hang a map with the spots marked near your emergency kit.
It also pays to have important contacts written down if the power goes out and there's nowhere to charge your cell phone. Make a mini contact list — ready.gov has templates you can print out — with important numbers that everyone can stow in their wallets. Leave a copy in your emergency kit, too. Establish a plan for checking in with relatives in case local lines get jammed. Text messages will often go through, even when phone lines are clogged.
3. Prep Your Home
If the power goes out and you have time, unplug appliances and electronics and turn off air conditioners, whether you stay or go. This will prevent damage when the electricity surges back on. Leave one lamp on so you'll know when the power's back.
How you store food can also make a difference when it comes to salvaging items afterwards, according to the FSIS. If there's a chance of flooding, be sure to store dry goods in waterproof containers high enough that they will be safely out of the way of contaminated water.
Grouping food together in the freezer can help it stay colder longer in the case of a power outage. If you have advanced warning, freeze any items you don't need right away, like leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry to keep them at a safe temperature longer and stock your freezer with as much ice as you can fit. Coolers stocked with ice can also be helpful if the power is out for more than four hours.
Though you'll want to minimize the amount you open and close your refrigerator door once the power goes out, FSIS recommends keeping an appliance thermometer in your fridge and freezer to help you determine if food is safe to eat. The refrigerator temperature should be lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the freezer temperature should be below zero degrees Fahrenheit.
After the Emergency
Coming home after a major disaster can be daunting. Call SERVPRO to help you in the event your home is affected. We are faster to any disaster and are ready to help make things "Like it never even happened."
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Professionals Give Safety Tips for Handling Flood Damage in La Porte
How to Be Safe When Mitigating Flood Damage in Your La Porte Home
Flooding is one catastrophe that can ruin your house. It is impossible to predict the extent of destruction that flooding can cause. Unfortunately, barriers and other preventative tools cannot prevent all flood damage. After the initial shock, you should take steps to restore your property promptly to prevent secondary destruction.
When your La Porte home has flood damage, it is vital to find a flood restoration company like SERVPRO to help you during this difficult time. You need to be cautious when re-entering your house once floodwaters recede. We recommend practicing the following safety tips to prevent health problems and injuries for you and your family:
Be watchful with electricity.
Floodwater can ruin wiring and electrical appliances throughout your home. Water and live wires are a dangerous combination. Therefore, turn off the power before entering your home. Have an electrician examine the entire electrical system to identify shorted circuits and damage before you turn it on.
Be cautious about structural damage.
Flooding may cause the walls or floors to buckle, creating unexpected sinkholes around your house. Check for these and other structural problems. If there is any damage to the frame or foundation, stay out until you can get a professional to inspect your house.
Be selective about food.
Flooding can also destroy food items. Consider most food containers a total loss if floodwater has touched them. You may disinfect some commercially canned goods, but if you are not sure about the safety of any food item, discard it.
Cleaning up and disinfecting your flood-damaged home is a challenge because of the debris, mud, sand, and chemicals that floodwater may have brought into it. Our SERVPRO team has to tools and equipment required to clean up your home. We can use portable extractors to remove standing water if present. If the floodwater contained contaminants like sewage, our technicians might apply an EPA- registered broad-spectrum disinfectant to control microbes and make the worksite safe to perform other tasks.
If flooding occurred in just a part of your property, our crew could create a drying chamber. This chamber is an area where we control the temperature, humidity levels, and airflow to increase evaporation within the zone, and dry the damp areas efficiently using air movers and refrigerant dehumidifiers.
If floodwaters have entered your home in Michigan City, Westville or Trail Creek, call SERVPRO of La Porte County at (219) 879-1883 for restoration services. We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster.
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Damage from a Leaky Pipe? SERVPRO of La Porte can help
When a pipe leaks in a home, the water damage can be substantial. Compounding the issue is when the water is from a leaking washing machine, dishwasher, or other gray water (sometimes called "sullage") sources that may contain contaminants.
A Michigan City homeowner with water damage from an appliance leak contacted our emergency response team. The homeowner turned on the dishwasher before bed like every night and heard a noise in the kitchen and got up in the wee hours to investigate and stepped in a large amount of soapy water. He attempted to clean up as much water as possible but realized it was a bigger job than could be dried with towels.
SERVPRO technicians possess certifications to mitigate all three categories of water spills: clean water, gray water, and black water. Because the water from a dishwasher has the potential to contain oils, food residue, and bacteria, it carries a classification as a category two or gray water, and it requires professional cleaning.
Our probes found water migrated behind the baseboards and under the dishwasher. We pulled the dishwasher out to extract the water from underneath and let adequate airflow in the space. Thanks to fast action by the homeowner before our arrival, no raised moisture levels were found in the subfloor.
We made several passes with our extractors to ensure we removed as much excess water as possible. Then we set up our air movers to dry the kitchen. Our technicians paid particular attention to the area where the dishwasher was installed to ensure complete dryness. SERVPRO technicians removed the baseboards for better airflow as we detected elevated moisture levels behind them. This action inhibits the growth of mold and foul odors.
After drying, we do a wipe down with our professional formulas on all surfaces affected by gray water. This step is essential to leave the area sanitary. After we completed the remediation efforts on the kitchen, the SERVPRO crew chief gave the homeowner a list of the necessary repairs needed to restore the kitchen to its preloss condition.
Call SERVPRO of La Porte County at (219) 879-1883 at the first sign of water damage in your home. Our technicians have the knowledge and experience to restore your home from water loss and make it "Like it never even happened."
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Ask the Experts: How our Mitigation Work can help your Home
Many Michigan City homeowners do not consider water loss incidents that occur within their properties to be significant threats, much less something that they might need to contact professional restorers to recover. In truth, even small water loss incidents can penetrate flooring and wall materials almost immediately, and without the appropriate equipment and strategies, can allow persistent dampness that can weaken structural elements and create the opportunities for mold to grow.
While water damage might occur from several potential sources in your Michigan City home from human errors to appliance failures, the result is the same. Within moments of exposure, the water can begin to work through seams and cracks in flooring or saturate through carpeting and into the subflooring. The solution is fast and effective water removal and drying efforts. If allowed to continue too long, the materials can become irreparably damaged and require replacement.
A professional restoration like our SERVPRO team provides is the most effective means of ensuring that all of the lingering moisture gets eliminated. We have advanced tools that can help to penetrate flooring and slowly draw out moisture in a controlled manner, which is ideal for materials like hardwood flooring that could get saturated by a water loss incident. This approach utilizes our injecti-dry technology and drying mats. We can regulate moisture content as this equipment works to ensure that we do not overly dry the planks. This process is very efficient for drawing moisture from the tongue and groove joints.
We can also assess the condition of exposed materials like your drywall with our initial inspection. This wall material can often wick moisture from the floor, causing it to oversaturate at the baseboards quickly. In many cases, our SERVPRO professionals must cut out damaged portions at the base of the drywall structure and replace it to restore substantial water loss incidents fully. Occasionally, hanging light fixtures can contain water from a leak in the above level or the attic.
No matter how simple water damage might appear in your home, the situation can often prove worse than it appears. You can always count on the prompt response and honest evaluations from our SERVPRO of La Porte County professionals. We can work quickly to make it “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call at (219) 879-1883.
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SERVPRO Tips: If Water Hits your Business, SERVPRO can get it Back and Running
Owning a business may be your lifelong dream, and you probably invest much of your capital and time in making it succeed. When you face an obstacle in getting it restored after a flood or a fire, it is best to trust experts in the field to perform a thorough assessment of the damage and guide you in the restoration process.
SERVPRO leads all restoration companies with our expert water and fire restoration technicians. Our staff trains with and holds certifications by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC), verifying our expertise in the field. When you reach us at our 24/7 hotline, you gain peace of mind at being in the hands of experts.
How does SERVPRO dry my business after a water incident?
Among our specialists, we take great pride in our water restoration technicians and their expertise. At SERVPRO, we know that water in your business implies a loss of time, customers, and revenue, which is why we work diligently to restore your workspace as soon as possible. Our focus is not only on extracting water but also on removing excess moisture to protect your establishment from the threat of mold and other complications. To restore humidity levels our team may use-
Truck-mounted pumps connecting to municipal sewers as needed
Handheld wand extractors for hard-to-reach corners
We monitor our progress with state-of-the-art moisture meters and complement our actions with dehumidifiers, air circulators, and drying mats as needed. Our SERVPRO technicians document each step, which could help you if you are filing an insurance claim for the incident.
SERVPRO is your partner when life events threaten your business. Call us today! We are faster to any disaster and are here to make things "Like it never even happened."