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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Fire Damage Blog Posts

Fire Damage Recovery: The Hidden Dangers of Mold Growth Post-fire

11/16/2023 (Permalink)

After a house fire, the physical damage to a property and its contents can be devastating. However, one often-overlooked consequence of fire damage is molded growth, which can quickly develop within days of a fire. Mold can thrive in humid and moist environments, and the presence of water from efforts to extinguish the fire can provide the ideal breeding ground for its growth. In this blog, we will explore the dangers of mold growth after a house fire and the importance of prompt remediation.

Structural Damage

Mold can weaken the structural integrity of a property by colonizing and feeding on building materials such as drywall, wood, and insulation. This can lead to significant damage that requires extensive repairs or even replacement.

Foul Odors

Mold growth often produces a musty, unpleasant odor that can be difficult to eliminate. This odor can linger long after remediation and impact the overall air quality of a property.

Reduced Property Value

Mold growth and residual odors can severely diminish the value of a property. They may also deter potential homebuyers or renters, which can make selling or renting the home more difficult.

Prompt remediation is crucial when addressing mold growth after a fire. Here are some steps to take:

  • Conduct an Inspection
  • Engage the services of a certified professional to inspect your property for potential mold growth. These professionals can assess the extent of the damage and provide recommendations for the necessary remediation measures.
  • Address Water Damage
  • Address any water damage to prevent further mold growth. Remove excess water and affected materials such as carpeting and drywall to contain the spread of mold.
  • Ventilate the Area
  • Proper ventilation is crucial during the remediation process to minimize the risk of exposure to mold spores. Open windows, doors and use fans to circulate fresh air through the space.
  • Professional Mold Remediation
  • Engage the services of certified professional mold removal companies. They use specialized equipment and tools to rid your property of the mold and restore healthy air quality.
  • Prevention Measures

Take preventive measures to avoid future mold growth by ensuring proper ventilation, humidity control, and promptly addressing any water damage.

In conclusion, mold growth is one of the hidden dangers of fire damage that should not be ignored. The presence of significant amounts of mold growth can have significant risks to property value and structural integrity. Swift remediation is critical in addressing mold growth and reducing its potential impact. Contact certified professionals at SERVPRO of North East Chester County to assess and remediate your property's mold growth, ensuring a safe and healthy environment for your family.

Protect your Business. Benefits of Fire Insurance for My Commercial Building

8/17/2023 (Permalink)

As a business owner, protecting your commercial building against potential risks is crucial for the long-term success and stability of your enterprise. One of the essential types of insurance coverage to consider is fire insurance. Fires can be devastating, causing property damage, loss of business, and potential liability issues. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of fire insurance for your commercial building and why it should be a priority for every business owner.

Protecting Your Investment

Your commercial building is likely one of the most significant investments you've made for your business. Fire insurance provides financial protection in the event of fire-related damage to your property. Without proper coverage, you could face significant financial losses, making it challenging to rebuild, repair, or replace your building.

Fire insurance typically offers comprehensive coverage for your commercial building. This coverage extends not only to the property structure but also to the contents inside, such as furniture, equipment, inventory, and other assets essential to your business operations. The policy can also include coverage for additional expenses incurred while your building is being repaired or rebuilt, such as temporary relocation costs or business interruption losses.

Safeguarding against Liabilities

Fires not only cause property damage but can also result in injuries or even fatalities. If someone is injured or killed on your commercial property due to a fire, you could potentially face legal liabilities and lawsuits. Fire insurance provides liability coverage, protecting you from the financial burden of legal fees, settlements, or judgments.

Fire insurance for commercial buildings is often required by law, building codes, or mortgage lenders. Before opening your business or obtaining a loan for your commercial property, you may be required to provide proof of fire insurance coverage. Failure to comply with these requirements could result in penalties or a denial of necessary permits or financing.

Peace of Mind

Having fire insurance for your commercial building offers peace of mind. Knowing that you are financially protected in the event of a fire allows you to focus on running your business without the constant worry and stress of potential losses. Fire insurance provides reassurance and stability, enabling you to navigate unexpected challenges and recover from any fire-related damages.

When considering fire insurance for your commercial building, it's essential to work with a reputable insurance provider. They can help assess the specific risks associated with your business and recommend appropriate coverage options. Review policies carefully, ensuring they align with your needs and provide adequate coverage for your building, contents, and potential liabilities.

Fire insurance is not just important; it's a necessity for every business owner with a commercial building. Investing in fire insurance coverage protects your investment, provides comprehensive coverage for property and content damage, safeguards against liabilities, ensures compliance, and offers peace of mind. As a responsible business owner, assessing your fire insurance needs and securing proper coverage should be a top priority, allowing you to protect your business, your financial stability, and the future of your enterprise.

The Importance of Furnace Maintenance: Saving Money and Extending the Life of Your Heating System

4/12/2023 (Permalink)

A properly maintained furnace will use less fuel and therefore, save you money on your energy bill.

Prolong the Life of Your Furnace

A well-maintained furnace will last longer than one that is not maintained regularly. This means less repairs and breakdowns which can be costly for homeowners in terms of time lost from work, money spent on repairs and replacement parts, as well as inconvenience caused by being without heat during cold weather months when most people rely heavily on their furnaces for heat throughout their homes.

Reduce Risk of Breakdowns and Repairs: By keeping up with regular maintenance appointments at least once per year (or more often if needed), it's possible to prevent future problems before they happen!

When Should I Schedule Furnace Maintenance?

A professional technician will come out once a year to inspect your system and make sure it's in good working order. This is an important step in keeping your home comfortable during the winter months, as well as extending the life of your heating system.

If possible, schedule an annual visit with your HVAC company before or shortly after Thanksgiving so that they can identify any problems before they become serious issues. You'll want them to check for leaks and other issues that could cause harm if left untreated until springtime rolls around again!

If you've been using your furnace more than usual (perhaps due to unusually cold weather), consider scheduling another appointment just after winter ends so that everything can be checked over thoroughly by professionals who know what they're doing before summer hits again next year!

What Should I Expect During a Maintenance Appointment?

During a maintenance appointment, your technician will perform an inspection of the heat exchanger and blower components. They will also clean out any debris from around these parts as well as adjust the burner assembly and pilot assembly.

What Kind of Maintenance Can I Do Myself?

  • Change the Filter
  • Clean the Registers and Vents
  • Inspect the Air Ducts

What Are the Benefits of Professional Maintenance?

The benefits of professional maintenance are numerous. First and foremost, it's an expert diagnosis and repair. If there is a problem with your furnace, our technicians will be able to identify it quickly and accurately so that they can get your system back up and running as soon as possible.

Second, we provide professional cleaning and adjustment services that allow us to clean out any dust or debris that may have accumulated inside the system over time (this includes removing lint buildup in ductwork).

Thirdly, we conduct a comprehensive check of all components within your entire heating system during each visit--from checking wiring connections to inspecting fans for wear--ensuring everything is working properly before leaving so you don't have any surprises later on down the road!

What Should I Look for When Choosing a Professional?

When you're looking for a professional to service your furnace, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, experience is key. You want someone who has been in the business for a while and knows what they're doing.

Kitchen Fire Hazards

2/11/2023 (Permalink)

A kitchen fire can be dangerous and even deadly. Fire start in the kitchen. Most of these fires are small and only cause damage to the kitchen itself, but some result in injuries or deaths.

Overloaded electrical sockets.

Overloaded electrical sockets can cause fires, especially if you use too many appliances in one place. Use only the number of plugs that are required for the number of items being used and don't overload outlets with extension cords. Never use an outlet that has a loose plug or broken cord.

Fire extinguisher.

Fire extinguishers are essential to have in your kitchen. They are an easy and quick way to put out small fires, like grease fires and electrical malfunctions. Fire extinguishers should be placed in a location that is easy to access and can be used by anyone in the kitchen at any time of day or night.

Fire extinguishers should be inspected regularly and replaced when necessary, especially if they have been dropped or exposed to heat sources such as stoves or ovens (which may have melted some of the plastic parts inside).

Cooking when tired.

When you're tired, it's not just your body that suffers. Your judgment is impaired as well. This can lead to accidents such as forgetting to turn off the stove or leaving a pot on it when you leave the room for any reason. It can also cause mistakes in cooking--like adding too much salt or sugar because you weren't paying attention due to your fatigue--that might not be noticed until after dinner is served.

Cooking on the stove.

You should never leave the kitchen while there is something cooking on the stove, in a microwave, or in an oven. You also need to be careful when using slow cookers because they can become extremely hot and cause burns if you're not careful when handling them.

If you must leave your home during these periods of time where food is being cooked--and we all know how hard it can be sometimes!--then make sure that someone else is present who can watch over all of your meals until they've finished cooking.

Using Plastic.

Plastic can melt and catch fire when it is too close to a heat source, such as on top of the stove or near a toaster oven. The heat can cause the plastic to melt or even catch fire. In addition, if you use plastic wrap around hot foods and then put them in the microwave, there's an increased chance of overheating and burning yourself because you're using both methods at once.

Kitchen fires are serious. Kitchen fires can be prevented by taking simple precautions, such as keeping your kitchen clean and dry, storing flammable materials away from the stovetop and oven, keeping pot handles turned inward to prevent them from getting knocked over onto a burner or heating element. Use vent hoods when cooking with oil or grease and turning off the stove when you leave the room. Give SERVPRO of North East Chester County a call for your fire damage emergency.

The Basics of Smoke Damage

1/24/2023 (Permalink)

A fire or smoke damage claim is one of the worst things that can happen to you and your property. This isn’t just about losing your belongings and having to spend money repairing or replacing them; it is also about the emotional impact on you. The truth is that most standard policies cover fire and smoke damage without special add-ons; however, there are exceptions depending on your circumstances.

Smoke Damage Basics

When you think of smoke damage, you probably imagine charred walls, blackened appliances and furniture, and other obvious signs of a fire. But not all instances of smoke damage are so easy to spot. The smell of smoke can linger in your home long after an actual fire has been put out. This can be caused by burning embers left behind when a cigarette is put out on the carpet or other material, or even just from cooking with grease.

Preventing Smoke Damage

It can be difficult to completely eliminate the chances of a fire breaking out on your property. It is important to keep a fire extinguisher on hand. Another tip is to have at least one working smoke alarm in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area. Make sure you have an escape plan for each level of your Spring City, PA home as well. Make sure your smoke alarm is in good working order by testing them every 6 months. 

Insurance Coverage after Smoke Damage

The best way to get your insurance claim paid for smoke and fire damage is to hire a professional cleaning company. They will know what products to use and how much of each product should be used, as well as how long they should leave the cleaners on your property. 

If you have been in an accident or experienced a natural disaster, it’s important that you report any damage right away. Your insurance company needs this information in order to accurately assess how much money they need to pay out for your claim. This will help them process claims faster and make sure that their customers receive financial compensation for their losses as soon as possible!  

Home Value

If you're thinking about selling your home, it's important to know that your property's value may be affected by fire and smoke damage. If you do have a fire in your Spring City, PA home and the smoke has caused damage, you should get an inspection as soon as possible—the sooner the better. A professional home inspection will help determine what repairs need to be made before selling or listing your house for sale. You can't get a loan without having a home inspection done on any property where there is significant visible damage—and neither can anyone else who wants to buy from you!

Smoke damage can be a major problem for homeowners. If you have smoke damage and need help restoring your home back to normal, give SERVPRO of North East Chester County a call.

Can Lightning Cause a House Fire?

8/26/2022 (Permalink)

Most homeowners experience a number of severe storms each year. Although most people do not usually think about it, a lightning fire can and does occasionally occur. During 2007-2011, lightning-caused over $450 million in property damage each year. Knowing how lightning travels can help you understand your risk of a fire.

What Happens to the House?

All homes contain paths that could be used as the lightning strike travels to different parts of the residence. When a house sustains a direct impact, many types of damage can occur:

  • Breaks and cracks in concrete, bricks, and stone
  • Shattered windows
  • Damaged foundations
  • Electrical surges that damage appliances and electronics
  • Fire ignition

Once a house is struck, the energy can continue to surge through a path until it reaches the ground. As the energy encounters flammable materials, it can start a house fire. Attics, roofs, and fallen trees are common areas for fires to start.

How Can the Home Be Protected?

Ensure that your house is fitted with a lightning rod and that the rod is the highest point of your dwelling. If the rod is struck, it should allow the electricity to disperse safely through your home and avoid a lightning fire. Keeping your roof in good repair and choosing flame-resistant shingles can help. If tall branches are growing near, consider having them trimmed so that they are not hanging over your roof. Protect your appliances and electronics by using a surge protector or unplugging them during a storm. If your home is struck by lightning, call your emergency fire department to check for fires in areas that may not be obvious.

A lightning fire is a common occurrence in nature but can also occur to homes and other buildings. If you have experienced a fire in Birchrunville, PA, call a professional fire restoration service to help return your home to its pre-fire condition.

3 Ways Fire and Water Damage Can Coincide

8/21/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment on concrete flooring. Flames have the most obvious cosmetic and structural effect on a residential property, but damage due to water is often also present.

Putting out a blaze is the primary concern when firefighters arrive at the scene of a house fire in Phoenixville, PA. Flames have the most obvious cosmetic and structural effect on a residential property, but damage due to water is often also present. Standing water or high levels of residual moisture will compound primary fire damage.

Here Are 3 Ways In Which Water Damage Coincides With Fires

1. Fire Hoses

Hoses that connect to fire hydrants may release anywhere from 60 to 200 gallons per minute. A standard fire hose emits about 150 gallons of water per minute. This can quickly cause standing water to pool in a structure where a conflagration is in the process of being put out. This water starts clean but becomes contaminated by ash and smoke. It may be necessary to pump standing water out of a residence after the Fire Department responds to an incident.

2. Home Fire Sprinklers

Fire sprinklers are designed to activate one at a time to limit the amount of damage due to fire suppression. High air temperatures cause glass bulbs to burst and activate spray mechanisms. These systems can still contribute moisture to fire damage that exacerbates the primary damage.

3. Secondary Damage

When a fire is the original cause of damage to a residence, burnt materials are considered primary damage. Any water introduced to a structure during suppression efforts and the combined effect of fire and water damage are considered secondary damage but should be covered by homeowners insurance in the event of an accidental fire.

No matter the source of water, the clean Category One water emitted by a fire hose or home sprinkler system degrades into grossly contaminated Category Three water upon contact with soot and smoke. Timely mitigation is essential for contaminated water and fire damage at a home located in Phoenixville, PA.

The Fire is Just the "Starter"...

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

Stair with soot After a fire is extinguished, the process of restoration has just begun...

Fire damage is an unfortunate and significant event that comes in varying degrees.  If you happen to experience a fire loss at your home or business, the extinguishing of the fire is just the start of a complicated process that we at SERVPRO of North East Chester County pride ourselves on being able to help you facilitate.  

The Cleanup

Beyond the accumulation of soot and smoke damage, fire losses also usually accumulate significant amounts of debris and fire extinguisher discharge (if water is not used).  These materials may be hazardous and are certainly unwanted and need to be appropriately removed and cleaned up after.  Our technicians at SERVPRO of North East Chester County are ready to spring into action and handle the aftermath.

The Pack-Out

Oftentimes after a fire loss, some contents of a home or business must be inventoried, packed, cleaned off-site, and sometimes stored while the affected areas are cleaned and restored.  At SERVPRO of North East Chester County, we are organized and thorough in our approach to making sure that your belongings are accounted for and restored, so once your home or business is ready to be loved in again, your belongings are returned "Like it never even happened."

Do Renters Insurance Policies Cover Fire Damage?

3/21/2022 (Permalink)

Fire damaged walls and ceiling. A tenant should assess the terms of a policy before he or she needs to file a fire damage claim for the contents of an apartment.

Is Fire Damage Covered By Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance can cover damage to a tenant's property after a fire at an apartment or rental house in South Pottstown, PA. Structural damage should be covered by the property owner's insurance policy. Find out more about what rental policies do and do not cover, and how to file a claim.

What Is Covered

A renters policy provides coverage for the contents of an apartment or rental home. This includes items such as:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Electronics
  • Personal effects

Renters should select policies that cover replacement costs rather than actual cash value. This policy may also include limited amounts of loss of use and liability coverage. The latter can be helpful in the event that a third party sustains an injury on or near the property due to the fire.

What Is Not Covered

Renters insurance does not cover structural damage. The owner or landlord will need to file a separate property insurance claim for:

  • Building materials
  • Included contents
  • Fire Restoration

The process of filing a claim calls for documenting damage, a visit from an adjuster, and filing proof of loss. It is the owner's responsibility to clean up fire damage or hire a mitigation and restoration service.

Filing a Claim

A tenant should contact their insurance provider as soon as possible after a fire. The policyholder can also take several measures to support their claim, including:

  • Documenting damage
  • Gathering receipts
  • Listing damaged contents

A renter may want to contact a restoration company to determine whether certain items can be cleaned or repaired rather than replaced. The policyholder can obtain an estimate and submit this information to the insurer.

It is important to know precisely what a renters insurance policy covers. A tenant should assess the terms of a policy before he or she needs to file a fire damage claim for the contents of an apartment or house in South Pottstown, PA.

The Top 4 Recommended Locations for Fire Alarms in Your Home

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

Interior of room covered in soot. It doesn’t take long for a house fire to quickly get out of hand!

The Top 4 Places In Your Home Where Fire Alarms Should Be Installed

While you might assume that when you bought your home in Chester Springs, PA, it came already installed with all the smoke alarms you need to keep your family safe, this is not always the case. As more research has been conducted over the years on fires and how they spread, requirements have changed. Many older homes do not meet these standards which can be dangerous in the case a fire does occur. Keep your family safe by ensuring a fire alarm is located in the following four locations!

1. Bedrooms

The National Fire Protection Association suggests the placement of a fire alarm in every bedroom of the house. This ensures that if a fire occurs while your family is asleep, the alarms will wake quickly wake up everyone.

2. Outside Every Sleeping Area

Not only should alarms be inside every bedroom, there should be a smoke alarm right outside the room or any other sleeping areas as well. This is so you can react and start to escape before any fire or smoke even enters your room.

3. 10 Feet From Your Kitchen

Kitchen fires result in approximately 50 percent of all home fires, many of which result in serious fire damage to your home. Make sure a fire alarm is located 10 feet from your kitchen rather than inside it since smoke or steam from cooking can easily trigger it.

4. Every Level of Your Home

Ensure that there is as least one smoke alarm on every level of your home. Don’t forget your basement! Serious fire and smoke damage can occur from an undetected fire that starts in the basement.

It doesn’t take long for a house fire to quickly get out of hand! That’s why it is so important to have all the required fire alarms installed so you can quickly get everyone out of your house and get in contact with the fire department and a fire restoration company to minimize the fire damage to your home.

Fire Insurance: Why It’s Important

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

Trucks from a restoration company SERVPRO is here to help in your time of need. We are fire damage restoration experts who are available 24 hours a day to respond when you need us.

Why Do You Need Fire Insurance?

Fire insurance is essential, especially for commercial and industrial properties. While this type of insurer is excellent in the event of a fire, it is also important to note the significant coverages of most of these insurance policies.

1. Fire Damage

The most obvious coverage is for fire damage. While it is true that some business policies will cover certain losses, it is important to note that policies specific to fire disasters will likely cover all aspects of fire damage with minimal pushback from your insurer.

2. Suppression Systems and Tools

Additionally, fire insurance will likely cover any necessary maintenance expenses of your fire suppression system and equipment. This means that if an annual inspection uncovers some serious issues with your sprinkler system, then your policy will likely cover the cost of repairs.

3. Utility Repair

If a fire occurs, and not only the structure of your property is damaged, but also the utilities running throughout your facility are as well, then a fire policy will likely cover the costs of repair. This goes for damaged plumbing, electrical, gas lines and even ductwork. The coverage should also extend to duct cleaning as well, ensuring that harmful chemicals from the smoke and fumes are cleared of your HVAC system.

4. Mitigation and Restoration

Lastly, insurance geared toward fire disasters may even cover the costs associated with fire restoration. Your insurer and a disaster restoration specialist in the Phoenixville, PA, area can shed more light on the specifics of this type of coverage. However, these specialists are experts in the areas of fire and smoke cleanup which is what your policy was created for.

Fire insurance as a stand-alone policy or an addendum to your current business policy is a wise decision for your commercial property. These policies provide security in the event of significant property loss due to fires, which are more common in commercial real estate than residential properties.