Recent Fire Damage Posts

Preparation is Key-What Should You Do to Prepare for Commercial Fire Damage

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial buildings have come a long way in fire safety in recent years. Thankfully many are equipped with sprinkler systems or other fire suppressant systems. Most also have multiple fire extinguishers on hand as well as fire exit plans posted. But do your employees know how these systems work? Here are a few tips to help ensure that your equipment is working correctly and that your staff knows what to do in case of fire emergency.

  1. Fire Alarms. Fire Alarms should be checked regularly to confirm they are functioning properly. This is the first line of defense in an emergency. This alerts your staff and customers that they need to quickly exit the building.
  2. Fire Extinguishers. Do you have enough fire extinguishers on hand? No employee should have to travel more than 75 feet to reach one. Do you your employees know where they are or how to use one? These are important safety measures to go over.
  3. Emergency Exit Lights. Confirm that all of your emergency exit lights are correctly placed and are functioning. They should illuminate when main power is off. This helps people to find the exit quickly in the case of emergency when tensions are high and visibility may be lost. Exit signs should have a test button that you can use to regularly ensure that they are functioning correctly.
  4. Fire Suppression Systems. Many commercial buildings have fire suppression systems in place. It is important that these be inspected regularly by a licensed inspector. Be sure that your staff understands how they work.

It is important to have a plan in place to prevent commercial fires, but it is equally important to have a plan in place in case something does happen. Here at SERVPRO of Apooka-Wekiva we offer an Emergency Ready Plan, or ERP to all local businesses. This plan puts all of the information you and your staff might need into one document that can be accessed by an app that you can load onto any device. This plan will note where all of your emergency shut-offs are as well as key personnel that needs to be notified. It also gives you quick access to our office so we can immediately begin to mitigate your loss and get your business back on track.

Our office services Central Florida cities like Orlando, Wekiva Springs, Apopka, Lockhart, Zellwood and surrounding communities. Please give our office a call at 407-352-1569 to discuss your preparedness needs. 

Fire Restoration: Expectation vs. Reality

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

A fire in your home or business is one of the most detrimental things that can happen. Safety is of course the top concern, followed by the realization that there is a big mess to clean up and belongings to catalog for your insurance company. This just adds to the stress and trauma of the event you’ve just lived through. Here at SERVPRO we are Here to Help.

When most people think of a fire damaged home we think of what is shown on the news, what the industry generally refers to as a total loss. The truth is that there are many smaller fires that happen daily. These fires are caught soon enough that the home or business isn’t a total loss, but there is a large amount of cleaning that needs to be done. The expectation is that with a little patience and elbow grease you can handle this yourself. In reality, most cleaning agents on the market are only going to make the mess bigger, smearing soot you didn’t even see at first.

SERVPRO fire restoration professionals are trained to handle these situations. Our team uses a step by step process to mitigate the damage caused by even the smallest fire along with special cleaning techniques that remove soot instead of smearing it. So, instead of adding more stress to your plate after a fire loss, give us a call.

SERVPRO of Apopka Wekiva is proud to serve Central Florida cities like Orlando, Wekiva Springs, Apopka, Lockhart, Zellwood and many more. 

Top 5 Causes of Household Fires

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

When you were young your mom or dad probably told you not to touch the stove because it was hot. Maybe you ended up touching it at some point on accident, but for the most part you remembered that it was hot and would hurt you. You can probably think of many things like this that your parents taught you.

A big concern for most households is fire safety. This is something that many parents start to teach their children at an early age. As our children get older though, we may become less vigilant with some of these safety tips. Lets just review the top 5 causes of household fires as listed by the NFPA-National Fire Protection Agency.

  1. Cooking. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, by an estimated 48% according to one source. Never leave cooking unattended.
  2. Heating. Heating is the second leading cause of home fires and injuries and the third leading cause of fire related deaths. Fires caused by heating account for $1.1 BILLION in property damage per year.
  3. Electrical. Electricity is such a part of our daily life that it is easy to forget its power. The NFPA recommends that all electrical work be completed by a licensed repair company to help reduce the risk of damage or fire.
  4. Smoking. According to the NFPA smoking-cigarettes, pipes, and cigars-account for 17, 200 house fires in 2014.
  5. Candles. Between 2014-2018 US Fire Departments reported that candle fires caused an estimated $278 Million in property damage.

Hopefully these reminders can help you all stay safe! If fire happens to strike your home SERVPRO of Apopka-Wekiva  will be here to help you! Feel free to call our office at 407-788-3124 anytime. 

SERVPRO of Apopka Wekiva is proud to serve Central Florida cities like Orlando, Wekiva Springs, Apopka, Lockhart, Zellwood and many more. 

How Do You Eliminate Soot and Smoke Residue After a Fire?

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

Orlando FD Truck After the fire is out, do you know what steps to take next?

Follow the Cleanup Guidelines Outlined by SERVPRO to Restore Your Home 

Seeing the damage from a fire can be a traumatic experience, and removing damaged or ruined items are often just the beginning of the restoration process. You should consider using a professional to clean soot and smoke residue and get your home back to normal. 

What is the first step in dealing with damage from soot and smoke residue? 

SERVPRO professionals have considerable training in identifying different kinds of residues and odor particles, which helps them pinpoint the ideal cleanup procedures for your fire damaged Bellflower home.

What is soot, and what are the most common types of smoke residue? 

Soot is a smoke that has settled on surfaces as a residue. There are four different kinds of smoke residue: 

  • Dry smoke residues
  • Wet smoke residues
  • Protein smoke residues
  • Fuel oil smoke residues 

How does the type of residue determine the cleanup process? 

All fires burn differently, which means they leave behind different kinds of residues. Many variables determine what kinds of residues are left behind. Still, SERVPRO professionals have the experience to outline the best cleanup process, and they know which products are necessary to eliminate the specific residues. 

What is the best approach to remove residues? 

  • Find and identify the residues
  • Identify the surfaces on which residues are present
  • Capture and remove the residues
  • Properly dispose of the residues 

What are some of the cleaning techniques used on residues? 

We use both air and fluids to remove residues, depending on the residue types and where they are present. SERVPRO professionals may use vacuuming to remove some residues, while others are captured and dissolved in different cleaning solutions. SERVPRO professionals also understand how to remove these residues after completing the cleanup process. 

Turn to SERVPRO of Apopka / Wekiva to remove soot and smoke residue after a house fire. Call us at (407) 788-3124 to schedule an assessment and get an effective cleanup. 

Local Apopka Homes Trust SERVPRO for Fire Damage Restoration

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

Livingroom after a fire Fire restoration is no easy task. SERVPROs technicians are IICRC certified for any size fire restoration service needed for your property.

SERVPRO Techs Restore Homes in Apopka With Fire Damage

The earliest known inhabitants of the Apopka area were the Acuera people, members of the Timucua confederation. They had disappeared by 1730, probably decimated by diseases brought to Florida by Spanish colonists.

The Acuera were succeeded by refugees from Alabama and Georgia, who formed the new Seminole Indian tribe. They called the area Ahapopka. Aha, meaning "Potato," and papka, meaning "eating place". By the 1830s, this settlement numbered about 200, and was the birthplace of the chief Coacoochee (known in English as "Wild Cat").

At the conclusion of the Second Seminole War, the U.S. Congress passed the Armed Occupation Act of 1842, forcing surviving natives at Ahapopka to abandon their village and seek refuge deeper in the wilderness of the Florida peninsula.

The early American settlers built a major trading center on the foundations of the earlier Indian settlement. Their population was large enough by 1857 to support the establishment of a Masonic lodge. In 1859 the lodge erected a permanent meeting place at what is now the intersection of Main Street (U.S. Highway 441) and Alabama Avenue.

What Types of Cleaning Methods Work Against Fire Damage in Apopka Properties?

Cleaning up fire damage in Apopka residences needs several different applications for the best outcome. SERVPRO technicians are IICRC certified choose specific cleaning agents and methods determined through testing and residue types. The three most common ways are:

  • Agitation equipment and techniques
  • Chemical applications
  • Time-based cleaning methods

Agitation removes soiling that is adhered to fibers or surfaces—some sub-types of agitation, such as devices that deliver water pressure, rotating brushes, and vibration. Hot water extraction on a carpet is one example of the professional equipment for removing smoke residues. Particularly in the case of wet smoke, chemical applications containing a solvent may be needed to release the residue's grip to various surfaces. Time-based cleaning methods require time to do the job. Leaving a solution on a soiled area gives the cleaner time to work to lift away the soot and smoke residues. Correct Dwell Time is crucial to optimize results.

SERVPRO of Apopka-Wekiva at (407) 788-3124 provides the fire damage restoration services local Apopka residents rely on.

5 Space Heater Safety Tips

1/20/2021 (Permalink)

Space Heater Make sure you're safe while using a space heater.

As you know, things here in Central Florida don't get too cold, but, as the temperatures drop lower and cold weather rolls in to stay for awhile, a lot of people break out the space heaters to warm up your home or business. While space heaters provide wonderful warmth during the colder months, they also can be safety hazards if they aren’t properly set up and monitored to ensure they don’t pose any risks to you or your home. A space heater fire is never on anyone’s agenda, so we recommend following these 5 space heater safety tips to avoid any unwanted fires from occurring:

  1. Carefully place your space heater at least 3 feet away from flammable objects. If any objects come in contact with the space heater’s electric heating face or a hot surface, it poses a serious fire risk. As a general rule, never sit or drape anything over your space heater, don’t set it near rugs, furniture, bedding, clothing, window treatments, or other flammable materials. Also, make sure that it’s sitting on a level surface so that it doesn’t accidentally fall or tip over. 
  2. Don’t use extension cords. Plug your space heater directly into an outlet. There’s a much higher chance of your space heater overheating or otherwise malfunctioning if it’s plugged into an extension cord or an outlet strip. Minimize these dangers by plugging your space heater directly into an outlet that has the power capacity necessary to fire it up and keep it running.
  3. Unplug it when you’re not using it. This should go for almost all appliances, but it’s especially relevant for your space heater. When you’re not using your space heater, you should first turn it off and then you should unplug it. Having a space heater running while you don’t want it to be running poses a fire hazard as well as a waste of energy. 
  4. Clean, inspect, and maintain your space heater. On a regular basis, you should clean your space heater and wipe it down to avoid dispersing dust and other allergens throughout your house. You should also carefully monitor your space heater to ensure that it’s working as it’s supposed to and nothing wonky is happening. If anything seems out of order, turn it off and unplug it right away until a professional can inspect it and you can safely run it again. Alternatively, you can just dispose of it and purchase a new space heater.
  5. Don’t run your space heater in the bathroom or a basement. Space heaters should never be run in places that are humid or wet because space heaters are not meant to be wet. Don’t handle your space heater if your hands are wet or you just got out of the shower. The electricity from the space heater could run through the water and shock you. This is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

While we love our space heaters as much as the rest of you, it’s important to run them safely when you have them operating. SERVPRO of Apopka / Wekiva is here to help you with any fire damage, water damage, storm damage, or mold that comes your way this fall and winter season, and we’re available 24/7 at (407) 788-3124. Give us a call today to discuss how we can help you fix any damage to your home or business. 

SERVPRO of Apopka Wekiva is proud to serve Central Florida cities like Orlando, Wekiva Springs, Apopka, Lockhart, Zellwood and many more. 

Kitchen Safety Tips to Prevent a Kitchen Fire

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of burned drywall in kitchen Protect your home from accidental fires.

We all look forward to cooking a wonderful meal with our loved ones, especially recently when we’re spending a lot of time together. You should always practice fire safety in the kitchen so that you can prevent a fire from occurring. Kitchen fires are sadly quite common, and fire damage can be costly; a single fire may cause hundreds if not thousands of dollars in fire damage, and can put those you love at risk. Here are some fire prevention tips from SERVPRO of Apopka-Wekiva for your kitchen:

Keep Your Kitchen Clean

Before you even begin to prep for the meal, ensure that the entire kitchen is clean by clearing all grime from the oven, washing the microwave, and making sure the floors are swept. Also make sure that there’s nothing flammable near your stove or oven. Leftover food particles and grease can start a fire before you know it. Towels and potholders too near a flame can catch fire and spread quickly. A clean, uncluttered kitchen is a safe kitchen.

Protect Yourself While Cooking

When cooking, make sure to wear the right clothing. Don’t wear anything with dangling loose sleeves that could catch fire. Oven mitts are a must when you bring things out of the stove, too. Hot pots, pans, and utensils can catch other items on fire, so prepare a place to put them after you bring them out. Clear an area for hot items, and make sure the surface is clean and dry. 

Be Careful with Children in the Kitchen

Mealtime brings the kids into the kitchen, and they will enjoy help you by performing simple tasks, such as helping to get things out of the fridge. You can use this time to teach them fire safety and to ensure that they know to keep away from stoves and any other place where there might be live flames. Knowledge is one of the best fire prevention tools out there. Need more fire safety tips for kids?  Here’s a great list to share!

Properly Store Kitchen Items and Cleaners

One of the best ways to help prevent fires in your kitchen is to store all chemicals like solvents away from any heat source. Many people keep cleaning supplies under the sink which is fine (protected from little ones, of course). Or you can keep cleaning fluids on shelving that is protected far away from the stove and range, and make sure that any pots you are using have all handles away from everyone in the kitchen. Knocking a burning pot or pan onto the floor or a person can cause serious injuries and start a fire quickly. 

Kitchen fires can happen fast, even when you’re using all the right precautions. If you experience a kitchen fire, contact SERVPRO of Apopka-Wekiva to help restore your kitchen back to normal. We’re here 24/7 to serve you! Call us at (407) 788-3124.

SERVPRO of Apopka Wekiva is proud to serve Central Florida cities like Orlando, Wekiva Springs, Apopka, Lockhart, Zellwood and many more. 

Be Prepared In Case You Ever Have A Fire

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of Fire Extinguisher A properly selected fire extinguisher can stop a fire become it becomes serious or deadly.

The hours, days and weeks following a fire or water damage in your home or business can be simply overwhelming. Living in the "sunshine state" doesn't make things any better especially for the Orlando are. Surrounded by possessions that are soot-covered, flame-damaged or wet, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture: As long as everyone got out safely everything else is just stuff. But once the smoke clears or the water recedes, you will need to deal with that stuff, and the sooner the better.

From the beginning make sure that you are organized, amidst the chaos of your scorched surroundings.

Take notes on every conversation and online correspondence with your insurance company and restoration professionals, because in any stressful situation, miscommunication can happen. Save all receipts and original documents; only give photocopies upon request.

Your first call should be to your insurance agent/carrier. Not only is it required that you file your claim as soon as possible, it is also in your best interest. The sooner you get the process started, the sooner an insurance adjustor will arrive at your door to begin assessing damage.

A reputable cleaning and restoration team should be next on your call list like SERVPRO of Apopka/Wekiva. We also specialize in professional repair services, saving you time, money and headaches. Depending upon the extent of damage, your property may first need to be secured (boarded up, for example), and a high quality restoration team with carpentry skills can perform that service for you.

Your restoration team should work with your insurance company to initiate a fire damage recovery plan that includes the complete restoration of your structure. Again, if your team is truly “full service,” the construction side will assess the structural damages while the cleaning and restoration specialists will work closely with you and your adjustor to determine which of your possessions can be cleaned…and which need to be inventoried for replacement. Often these services can be provided on site, but in the event that your contents have to be removed, make sure your team also offers the capability to electronically inventory, package, transport and store your belongings in a safe, climate controlled facility.

Now that you know the initial steps of the fire damage recovery process, here are a few tips on what NOT to do before the pros arrive:

·         Do not wipe or attempt to wash fire residue from walls, ceilings, or other absorbent surfaces

·         Do not use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residues or debris

·         Do not use food items, canned goods or medications exposed to heat

·         Do not turn on computers, televisions, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been professionally cleaned and checked

With preparation, resources and trusted professionals in place—plus a healthy dose of patience and perspective, after the fact—you and your family or co-workers will make it through the process of fire damage recovery.

SERVPRO of Apopka Wekiva is proud to serve Central Florida cities like Orlando, Wekiva Springs, Apopka, Lockhart, Zellwood and many more. 

Why Should You Hire a Professional for your Fire Clean Up?

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of Burned Home After the Fire Fighters leave you need professionals to clean up and rebuild. SERVPRO of Apopka-Wekiva is here to help.

It can be confusing trying to deal with the damages from a fire at your home or business. The IICRC has provided the following helpful information on handling this. Due to the intricate measures needed to properly clean up after a fire loss, having a trained team of professionals will help alleviate some of the stress. Give us a call and we will send someone out to help.

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.

While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house
. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough. There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the main oversight agency in this industry. The IICRC requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certification. This is a symbol of excellence, and those that uphold the standards that have been set can be contacted through the IICRC.

These professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.

If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks
. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.

The first thing a trained, certified, professional company will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.

This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative
.

SERVPRO of Apopka Wekiva is proud to serve Central Florida cities like Orlando, Wekiva Springs, Apopka, Lockhart, Zellwood and many more. 

Examples of Fires That Your Insurance Will Not Cover

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire damage in Apopka, FL Kitchen fire damage in Apopka, FL

From a young age, you're told that fire can be dangerous. Parents and teachers urge you to not play with matches or do anything else that could start a fire.. Still, despite your best efforts, these incidents can occur. While your first thoughts will be about the safety of your loved ones, you'll also worry about the condition of your property and possessions. Fortunately, your homeowner's insurance should cover a home fire in most cases. You should be aware of the times when your claim would be denied.

When You Can Get Coverage

Your homeowner's insurance should give you the financial help you need following a home fire in Central Florida. Your policy can cover losses to your dwelling and possessions you lost in the fire. Your policy may even cover any expenses you had while staying somewhere else temporarily. Insurance will cover fires started by the following causes:

  • A vandal who intentionally started the fire in your home.
  • A fire that you started by accident.
  • A fire that started due to faulty equipment such as wiring or appliances.

Insurance Fraud
Some people make the catastrophic mistakes of resorting to arson to get the insurance company to pay a settlement. Anytime arson is suspected in a fire, the insurance company will investigate before professional fire restoration crews arrive to clean up. Homeowners guilty of this are subject to criminal punishment and will have their claim denied.

Empty House
If you own a vacant home, the insurance company will not pay for damages it suffered in a fire. A vacant home fire does not fall under a homeowner's insurance policy, so you will be left with the repair and restoration bills unless you buy supplemental coverage on the property.
Understanding how your homeowner's insurance policy works is critical. If you have a home fire, you need to know when your policy would go into effect and when it would not. Your insurance agent is also a good source of information about what your policy covers.

SERVPRO of Apopka Wekiva is proud to serve Central Florida cities like Orlando, Wekiva Springs, Apopka, Lockhart, Zellwood and many more.

What You Should Or Should Not Do After Fire Damage Affects Your Wekiva Home

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Trust SERVPRO for Fire Damage Repair and Restoration Trust SERVPRO for Fire Damage Repair and Restoration in Wekiva, FL

Rely on Professional Fire Damage Restoration from SERVPRO

You had to watch as a fire broke out in your home; you were able to get everyone to safety and contact the authorities but felt helpless as you stood there, watching. Doing a little research on your own led you to give us a call. But now you do not want to wait. What can you start to clean or remove on your own and what should you let SERVPRO handle? 

Learning what you should or should not do after a fire damage incident on your property is important. While you are waiting for an expertly trained professional to arrive, there are many ways you can help, just keep in mind that you should avoid doing too much. Some items on this list are for Do-It-Your-Selfers; however we highly recommend that you call us first.

Make sure to focus your attention on safety, eliminate any possible electrical or gas hazards by shutting the services off to your house. ONLY if it is safe. No one knows your home better than you do; you should be able to locate slip and fall hazards before anyone else.

You can limit traffic to prevent soot particles from being embedded into your upholstery and carpeting, by placing clean towels or old linens on any rugs, upholstery or carpeting found in high traffic areas. Keep your hands clean to avoid transferring different soils to clean upholstery, walls, or woodwork.


Do not attempt any activities that are unsafe for you to perform on your own. Remember, some of these materials can weigh a lot due to water exposure, so be careful. There is no reason to move the big items out on your own; SERVPRO technicians are on the way.


If you were able to turn off your electricity properly, you can empty your freezer and refrigerator and prop the doors open for cleaning. If the fire damage is relatively minor, leave the fridge closed for us to come and inspect. You can also help SERVPRO technicians by removing any small loose items found throughout your home, such as house plants, desk lamps, and other small appliances to a safe, dry location carefully.

Placing double layers of cheesecloth over all of your air registers and changing your HVAC filter helps. But, avoid turning on your ventilation system, you'll just end up causing additional cleaning that wasn't otherwise necessary, so letting us do the work is preferable.

Avoid washing walls or painted surfaces, or shampooing your carpet and other upholstery items without contacting us. Do not clean any electrical appliances directly affected by fire, heat, or water; SERVPRO has specialty restoration services for those items, to avoid accidental secondary damage. Soot cleaning is more complicated that it may look. 

You should also avoid using any canned or packaged food or beverages stored near the source of the fire, heat, or exposed to water. Also, never send any clothing or other garments to an ordinary dry cleaner after a fire, as improper cleaning used on affected items may cause smoke odors to set permanently.

For more advice, and fire damage restoration service, on what you should or should not do after a fire, contact SERVPRO of Apopka / Wekiva today. (407) 788-3124.

SERVPRO of Apopka Wekiva is proud to serve Central Florida cities like Orlando, Wekiva Springs, Apopka, Lockhart, Zellwood and many more.

Central Florida Fire Damage Restoration: What are the steps involved?

4/10/2020 (Permalink)

The hours, days and weeks following a fire in your home or business can be simply overwhelming. Surrounded by your soot-covered and flame-damaged possessions, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture: As long as everyone got out, thanks to proper disaster planning and preparation, everything else is just stuff. But once the smoke clears, you will need to deal with that stuff, and the sooner the better.

Your restoration team should work with your insurance company to initiate a fire damage recovery plan that includes the complete restoration of your structure. Again, if your team is truly “full service,” the construction side will assess the structural damages while the cleaning and restoration specialists will work closely with you and your adjustor to determine which of your possessions can be cleaned…and which need to be inventoried for replacement. Often these services can be provided on site, but in the event that your contents have to be removed, make sure your team also offers the capability to electronically inventory, package, transport and store your belongings in a safe, climate controlled facility.

Now that you know the initial steps of the fire damage recovery process, here are a few tips on what NOT to do before the pros arrive:

  • Do not wipe or attempt to wash fire residue from walls, ceilings, or other absorbent surfaces
  • Do not use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residues or debris
  • Do not use food items or canned goods exposed to heat
  • Do not turn on computers, televisions, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been professionally cleaned and checked

With preparation, resources, and trusted professionals in place—plus a healthy dose of patience and perspective, after the fact—you and your family or co-workers will make it through the process of fire damage recovery. We hope that you never have to deal with any of this, but if you do, know that our team here at SERVPRO of Apopka / Wekiva will be there to help you through it.

The hours, days and weeks following a fire in your home or business can be simply overwhelming. Surrounded by your soot-covered and flame-damaged possessions, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture: As long as everyone got out, thanks to proper disaster planning and preparation, everything else is just stuff. But once the smoke clears, you will need to deal with that stuff, and the sooner the better.

Your restoration team should work with your insurance company to initiate a fire damage recovery plan that includes the complete restoration of your structure. Again, if your team is truly “full service,” the construction side will assess the structural damages while the cleaning and restoration specialists will work closely with you and your adjustor to determine which of your possessions can be cleaned…and which need to be inventoried for replacement. Often these services can be provided on site, but in the event that your contents have to be removed, make sure your team also offers the capability to electronically inventory, package, transport and store your belongings in a safe, climate controlled facility.

Now that you know the initial steps of the fire damage recovery process, here are a few tips on what NOT to do before the pros arrive:

  • Do not wipe or attempt to wash fire residue from walls, ceilings, or other absorbent surfaces
  • Do not use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residues or debris
  • Do not use food items or canned goods exposed to heat
  • Do not turn on computers, televisions, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been professionally cleaned and checked

With preparation, resources, and trusted professionals in place—plus a healthy dose of patience and perspective, after the fact—you and your family or co-workers will make it through the process of fire damage recovery. We hope that you never have to deal with any of this, but if you do, know that our team here at SERVPRO of Apopka / Wekiva will be there to help you through it.

Who Wants to Tackle Fire Damage Remediation in Orlando Alone

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Don't deal with fire damage remediation alone. Call the professionals at SERVPRO today for help.

Taking Care of Your Loved Ones from a Distance 

For some people getting older means losing mental acuity and unknowingly walking into dangerous situations. In Florida, where many choose to retire, homeowners are affected by fire damage caused by a stove left on or a burning candle too close to flammable items. When a fire happens, property owners and caregivers need to resort to professional advice to restore their homes with minimal disruption. Having a reputable company to perform the restoration process is invaluable for all involved. 

If your home in Orlando suffers fire damage and you need the best in the industry, SERVPRO is here to help. You can count on our team 24/7 to receive your call and respond to the emergency, even when you are calling on behalf of an aging parent or relative. As soon as our team arrives, we assess the situation and take action to return your home to normal. 

When fires occur, our SERVPRO crew typically encounters smoke and soot, as well as water damage caused by sprinklers or firefighters. The first step you can take even before our arrival is separating the affected area from the rest of the home. Once we get there, we can set up barriers to further prevent more widespread damage. 

After we extract any lingering water, we work to clean the smoke residue from your home. To do this, our SERVPRO technicians pay close attention to the path of the fire and cleans according to the chemical composition of each burned item. Simultaneously, we take action to remove the offending smell the fire leaves behind. Odor fighting techniques may include – 

- Ozone generators 

- Air purifiers 

- Charcoal-activated filters 

- Odor pellets 

Our goal is to mitigate your losses in terms of time and money. Throughout the restoration process, we communicate with you continuously to ensure we complete the job according to your expectations. 

SERVPRO of Apopka-Wekiva is your restoration partner. Call us at (407) 788-3124 and let us leave your home, “Like it never even happened.”  

Click here to see more about Orlando. 

What is a Hydroxyl Generator and How is it Used in Your Fire Damaged Orlando Home?

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Fires leave odors far from the room where the fire damage occurred. SERVPRO has the equipment to remove the smoke odors.

How Hydroxyl Generators Help Orlando Homes After Fire Damage 

Advanced equipment is a priority of producing effective results for customers all over Orlando. We know how devastating fire loss incidents can be, so we invest in the machines and tools that can help us to maximize our efforts and efficiency, ultimately getting you back into your home more quickly after the incident. With odors and air quality concerns being such a prevalent threat after extinguishment, having a productive tool that can address both of these issues simultaneously is a time and money-saving approach for our clients. 

Understanding how hydroxyl generators can work to reduce fire damage in Orlando homes after an emergency can allow you to appreciate the intricacy and efficiency of our restoration approach. For many decades, deodorization was entrusted to harsh chemicals or to the effective results that ozone generators and chambers could produce. The disadvantage was that the ozone machine was not safe for use around living things. 

Hydroxyl generators produce radicals that can break down volatile organic compounds and the molecular compounds of odors with the same chemical reaction that occurs when the sun’s UV rays react with water vapor and oxygen in the atmosphere. This reaction can decompose the odor’s molecular structure, eliminating its presence in the environment. 

What makes these machines such an advantage in fire loss recovery, is that they allow our SERVPRO professionals to continue working on other mitigation strategies and cleanup while deodorization and air purification persist. With the alternative ozone machines, our professionals could not continue working on other aspects of recovery. 

With its ability to both address odors embedded in hard and soft materials, as well as open areas, it is becoming a vital tool for our restoration professionals on every fire loss recovery job that we undertake.  

Our goal is to provide each customer with an effective and efficient service when disasters threaten their homes. To make fire loss incidents “Like it never even happened.” give our SERVPRO of Apopka-Wekiva specialists a call today at (407) 788-3124. 

More about Orlando.

Your Orlando Home Can Overcome Fire Damage 

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage remediation in your Orlando home can be difficult to take care of. Contact the professionals at SERVPRO today.

Residential Fire Damage Restoration For Orlando Homeowners

Orlando residents are usually good to prepare for the next storm, and however much wind and water might land on, or through their roof. No one, though, is ever really prepared for a fire in their home and the damage it leaves behind after sprinklers or firefighters extinguish it. 

Fire damage affects Orlando homes differently in every situation. Since no two homes are alike, SERVPRO response teams understand that they need to tailor their efforts to factors like the speed and temperature of the fire, and what burned.  

In many house fires, the physical damage is limited to a small area of the room where it started. Take a fire that started with a bedroom lamp, for example. A short in a power cord results in a fire that burns the lampstand, the bed next to it, and the nearby floor, wall, and ceiling. What usually affects the rest of the bedroom and home is the smoke and residues it leaves behind. 

SERVPRO restoration technicians quickly determine what is restorable and then dispose of all other property according to local rules and Florida state regulations. That includes demolishing and any wall and ceiling panels, as well as carpets scorched by the heat and flames. Technicians also remove salvageable items for cleaning. 

Restoring the bedroom starts with eliminating the smoke residues. Team members wipe down all surfaces with a dry sponge, removing the majority of residues in most situations. For remaining particles, they apply water or a mild cleaning agent from the office chemical inventory to break them up for easy removal. 

After eliminating the residues, technicians replace the demolished structural property. Response team members can hang new ceiling and wall panels quickly, enclosing the bedroom once more in a day or two. They can also paint the bedroom the original color or change it to meet the homeowner’s desire for a new look. 

For SERVPRO of Apopka-Wekiva, the goal is to return every home to its pre-fire state. Our teams are ready to support neighbors in Forest City, Lockhart, and University Park to help put this disaster behind them. If you need us to restore your residence, call (407) 788-3124 today. 

Click here to see more about Orlando. 

How Are Smoke and Soot Cleaned From Fire Damaged Orlando Homes?

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot damages are some of the most difficult to clean.

Fire Damage Restoration for Private Residents in Orlando

When materials burn at high temperatures, they release carbon, sulfurs, and other particles into the surrounding environment in the form of smoke. Although containing the fire within a single room, the smoke released can often travel throughout the home, rising upward and entering pockets of clean air. It is this process that often results in extensive damages even when the flames themselves damaged a relatively small area.

Remediating fire damage in Orlando is as much about cleaning away stubborn soot deposits as it is about removing or repairing charred materials. SERVPRO has certified fire and smoke damage technicians (FST) to help restore your property after an unfortunate event like a fire. By learning the behavior of smoke, how it travels, and how best to approach smoke residues, we are confident of getting your home back to its preloss condition efficiently.

Thick smoke that comes into contact with colder surfaces creates smoke deposits. Equally, as smoke travels, soot is dropped to the ground level and can land on mattresses, furnishings, or flooring. This process can often be exacerbated by firefighting procedures which use water and result in soot setting into fabrics. SERVPRO tackles this issue using chemical agents and techniques like foam cleaning that can help to prevent soot from causing permanent damages and resulting in expensive replacements.

There are two different types of smoke damages. The first is wet smoke, which is caused by the burning of synthetic materials. Natural materials like woods and certain fabrics create dry smoke. Agitative cleaning methods using corrosive chemicals as well as sandblasting techniques can be extremely effective against wet smoke, which is thicker and harder to remove. We remediate dry smoke damages by applying sanitizers or wet cleaning methods.

Despite the best cleaning efforts, it is often the case that smoke odors remain behind after removing all signs of residue. SERVPRO use thermal foggers that vaporize solvents to remove unpleasant odors after a fire. These solvents contain pairing agents that bond with odor particles and neutralize them rather than merely masking the odor temporarily.

Property damages are stressful experiences, contact SERVPRO of Apopka-Wekiva at (407) 788-3124 for expert assistance and remediation.

Orlando has more than 100 lakes. Read more here.

How Correct Fire Restoration Can Increase the Value of Your Orlando Home

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO to mitigate your home's property damage.

When everything seems lost after a house fire in Orlando, SERVPRO is close by and ready to help your family recover as quickly as possible. Part of recovering after a disaster includes stabilizing your family's financial health. We help you do this by helping you reduce expenses related to the mitigation and restoration of your house.  

Homeowners in Orlando can rely on SERVPRO to not only clean up fire damage but to also point out ways that increase the value of the home while lowering the costs involved. There are many ways that this can occur during restoration. Many help in other ways, as well. For instance, restoring a property to exactly look as it did before the fire can require replacements that may pose difficulties in obtaining. These may create problems with passing inspection, as well.  

Updating a home to current standards might seem like the more costly option to many homeowners, but SERVPRO professionals keep your interests in mind as we look at your house's fire damage. SERVPRO specialists keep up-to-date on both IICRC standards and local requirements. Utilizing a different kind of insulation than the original can cost less and protect your home's interior from outside temperatures which reduce heating and cooling costs over time. Adding insulation can also result in a tax deduction in some cases.  

Sometimes the original placement for air ducts is under the home. We can reposition the air ducts to areas that contain insulation which keeps them from losing the air's original temperature as quickly while it passes through on its way to your house's different rooms. Relocating air ducts can help reduce heating and cooling costs, as well.  

You can rely on the skills and resourcefulness of SERVPRO of Apopka-Wekiva. Our professionals want to help make your home “Like it never even happened.” by not only restoring your home but guiding your family back to a secure and bright future. Please call us at (407) 788-3124 for fire damage mitigation, cleaning, and restoration in Zellwood, Lockhart, or Eatonville.

Orlando was originally named Jernigan. Read more here.

Call Our Certified Technicians For All Your Orlando Home Restoration Needs

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Our experienced professionals are ready to handle your fire damage restoration so you can get back to living safely in your home.

Seek Help from Professionals for Orlando Fire Damage

Even a seemingly minor fire puts your Orlando home at risk of persistent and permanent harm. The residues and odors left after a blaze are difficult to manage without specialized training. Every fire event presents complexities a layperson cannot fathom. Fortunately, our team of experts are well-trained and bring years of experience to every fire mitigation project including yours.

The first tasks facing our restoration professionals responding to your Orlando fire damage challenge are often water removal and structural drying. Although the prioritization of water mitigation might come as a surprise, when you consider the efforts of the firefighters as they knocked down the flames the ordering of tasks makes more sense. Standing water creates safety hazards and exposes your damaged home to the possibility of severe secondary harm like mold damage. Because water loss mitigation is our other primary focus, we are prepared to start there and then move to fire cleanup.

Fire residues vary depending on the fuel burned. SERVPRO is familiar with evaluating and managing different types of soot as we move from space to space within your home. Wood and paper burn fast and hot, leaving an ashy aftermath that vacuums and brushes away. Protein-based fires in kitchens deposit a thin, hard to remove film with a strong odor. Solvents and abrasive tools might be needed.

Fabric and electrical cord fires coat surfaces in thick, sticky soot. Our SERVPRO technicians use their IICRC training to match cleaning products with the debris encountered. Wetting agents and surfactants loosen this type of soiling, and agitation ensures all layers release for wipe off.

Perhaps the most taxing test of our SERVPRO crew’s abilities is deodorization after fire damage. No matter how clean we leave surfaces and possessions through our efforts, if a smoky odor persists, it is impossible to put the disaster in the past. We use a tiered system of charring removal and deep cleaning followed by the use of various advanced technologies to eliminate the smell. Cover-ups are temporary, but equipment like thermal foggers or hydroxyl generators seek out odor-bearing particles in the air and on surfaces and neutralize them at a molecular level.

SERVPRO of Apopka-Wekiva is ready to assist with all aspects of residential fire damage restoration. Give us a call for a speedy assessment of the damage at (407) 788-3124.

Click here for more informaiton on sports and fitness programs in Orlando.

You Just Experienced A Fire... Now What?

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

A fire can be devastating, but we are here to help 24/7 365.

A fire in your home or office can be one of the  most overwhelming experiences of your life.  You find yourself standing in the middle of a room or building staring at the cared remains of your personal or professional life.  You have no idea what to do next.

Start by taking a deep breath and relaxing for a minute.  The fire is over and you can't undo the past.  All you can do now is get things back to normal.  Despite how bad things may look, it really is not as bad as it seems.

For starters, and most important, you are OK.  What you are looking at is property, which for the most part can be replaced or restored.  That's not so easy with people.

So, what do you do about the items that were damaged?  Start by calling your insurance company.  Let them know what happened and start the claims process.  

Your next call should be to your local SERVPRO.  Our team has unsurpassed expertise in handling fire/smoke damage and restoration. Whatever needs to happen, our team will handle it.  We can board up your property (if needed) and start the process of working with your insurance company to create a recovery plan that includes the complete restoration of your property.


There are also a few things you should not do:

·         Do not wipe or attempt to clean anything.  This will be hard, but you need to leave this to the professionals to prevent further damage

·         Do not walk around the property or sit on any furniture that was damaged.

·         Do not eat any food or canned goods exposed to heat.

·         Do use any medications that were exposed to heat

·         Do not turn on any electrical appliances.

While this may all sound a bit overwhelming, everything will be fine. Our team of professionals will work with you and your insurance company to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.

Smoke Damage? SERVPRO Can Help!

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Have a smoke or fire issue? Let SERVPRO get it resolved quickly and easily so you can get back to your life!

While a fire causes damage that is easy to see, smoke damage is a lot less obvious.  As a fire burns smoke and soot are spread through the entire property, especially is the heating or air conditioning system happens to be running at the time of the fire.

Have you ever removed a t-shirt that seemed to be fine while you were wearing it, but it had a very bad smell once you removed it?  Well, the same thing happens with soot and smoke from a fire.

Curtains, rugs, furniture, clothing and lots of other items are going to quickly absorb the odors from the fire.  You may not notice it once you have spent sometime inside the area affected by the fire.  Everyone, else however, will experience these odors, likely very strong odors, as soon as they enter the property.

The experts at SERVPRO can eliminate these odors and get your home or office odor-free after a fire.  We have the equipment and expertise to handle everything that needs to be done.

We also work with you and your insurance company to get your fire and smoke claim resolved quickly and easily so you can get back to your life.  We will be with you through every step of the process from start to finish.

If you are the unfortunate victim of a fire or smoke issue call SERVPRO anytime - 24/7 365!


Fire and Smoke Restoration

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

The fire trucks may be gone but without proper immediate response, the real damage and the costs are just beginning. To return your residential or commercial property to its normal condition requires professional restoration. This is not the job for a do-it-yourself type of person.

For results you can have confidence in, hiring a certified restoration company would be your best bet. Restoration to a property can be complex. Proper smoke and odor removal are tasks that require technicians certified in these specific areas.

When selecting a certified restoration firm several factors must be considered:

  • Formal and up-to-date specialized training
  • Health and safety certifications
  • Experience in a wide range of restoration projects
  • Proof of proper insurance and licenses

In addition to removing residue, ridding your home of its smoky odor is necessary. Professionals use this four-step process to remove odors:

  • Remove the source of the odor, as possible, including unsalvageable debris that contributes to odor generation and recontamination of cleaned and deodorized areas.
  • Clean salvageable surfaces and items to physically remove odor-causing residue.
  • Chase remaining odor with an odor counteract act. In the case of smoke, create a deodorizing fog or gas that seeks out and combines with odor-causing substances.
  • Seal salvageable surfaces that are inaccessible or slightly scorched, not only for aesthetic purposes, but primarily to encapsulate odor and prevent progressive recontamination.

Understanding the effects of a fire can help homeowners evaluate the damage to their home. By learning more about residue clean-up and deodorization after a fire, you can minimize the need for costly repair. Fire and smoke restoration experts can help you return your home and furnishings to its normal condition. So I guess you could say it would be “Like it never even happened.”

Why Fire Damage Restoration Should Be Done By A Professional

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

With responsive and precise fire damage repair, even the worst disasters can be put in the past. Roaring flames have been one of man’s greatest enemies since the dawn of history, and though it’s easier to handle these days, it can still cause havoc if it gets out of control. Not only can the flames cause enormous damage, the ash, soot and smoke residue that remains will make the home almost noxious to live in. Both can create irritating odors, discolor walls or ceilings and cause breathing issues if there is a high concentration of ash left over.

Professional fire damage repair will remove the ash and smoke residue left behind. This has to be done quickly because ash is acidic and will cause materials to deteriorate if allowed to sit for long. Restoration professionals work hard to provide a thorough cleanup.  This will include treatment of every surface that is affected by ash and soot. This includes cleaning down walls, ceilings, furniture and countertops. Ash and smoke will almost always be present in the vents and ducts as well, as they are quickly taken up by the HVAC system. Professionals will access the home’s ducts to clean them out as well, preventing either from entering the home once again.

Upon eliminating all of the ash, soot, and smoke, the home will quickly be free of any lingering odor.

Preventing Fires This Holiday Season

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

The holiday season is upon us and the streets and houses are covered in color. As you drive around you can see homes and businesses strung with lights, wreathes hanging on doors and trees lit up in windows. If you decide to pick out a real tree this year, remember to keep some safety tips in mind. The American Red Cross lists these important facts and tips on their web site at www.redcross.org.

HOLIDAY HOME FIRES

Fast Facts

• Nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage.**

• On average, one of every 22 home fires started by Christmas trees result in death.***

• Candle fires are four times as likely to occur during the winter holidays.**

• During the winter holiday season, an average of 40 home fires per day are caused by children playing.**

• The number of home fires the American Red Cross has responded to has risen 10% since 2000.*

• Having a working smoke alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.**

Preparedness Tips:

Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.

Purchase flame retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren’t easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water.

Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.

Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.

Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.

Keep anything that can catch on fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove top.

Designate one person to walk around your home to make sure that all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.

Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

Visit www.redcross.org/homefires for more information on how to keep your home fire safe during the holidays. Sources: American Red Cross,* U.S. Fire Administration,** and the National Fire Protection Association.*** 

We hope that everyone has a safe holiday season. If you have any fire or water damage issues please feel free to call us anytime, day or night. 

Removing Smoke Odors With An Ozone Generator

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Contributed by Marty Hoffman, Operations Manager

Ozone treatments are one of the best tools for removing odor caused by smoke damage. One question we get asked frequently is whether ozone treatments are bad for furniture and other possessions. I hope that this blog answers that question.

What is an ozone generator?

An ozone generator is a machine that generates the molecule ozone (O3), a highly reactive molecule that reacts chemically with the particles it comes into contact with. Professional restoration companies and some drycleaners use industrial ozone generators to remove the smoke odor from furniture, clothes and other belongings after a fire.

How does it work?

Ozone works to remove odors by chemically changing the structure of the molecules in the smoke that are creating the smell. The extra oxygen atom attaches itself to the other molecules to create a new molecule that is non-offensive—and non-smelly—in a process called oxidation. As a gas, ozone can clean anywhere air is allowed to flow. That’s one of the features that makes it so effective in removing odors that other cleaning techniques just can’t touch.

The more smoke damage has been done, the more ozone is needed to eliminate the smell. There need to be enough ozone molecules to react with all of the offending molecules in order for the treatment to be successful.

So, is it bad for my stuff?

Ozone is the most effective way to remove odor caused by smoke damage. Professional restoration contractors can control the temperature, humidity, and treatment time carefully for maximum positive effects. In short—no, ozone is not bad for your belongings, as long as it is being controlled by a professional. The reason this is important is because professional restorers know and understand the power of ozone. They also know that there are certain materials that don’t do well when exposed to ozone—namely certain textiles, leather, rubber, and certain plastics.

Many people think that they can clean their clothes after a fire by washing them multiple times. But this will not remove the smoke odor. Ozone is also cleaner than other methods because it does not leave any byproducts or residue that need to be cleaned later.

As a form of oxygen, ozone itself is not dangerous. However, if overexposure occurs it can be harmful to lungs. This is another reason to allow a professional to perform the ozone treatment. They have the right equipment in place to protect themselves during the process, and once your items are returned to you, they are safe to be in your home.

Red Cross and SERVPRO working together to serve Central Florida community

1/27/2017 (Permalink)

The fire fighters have just walked out of your home. It's past midnight. Your family is safe. You followed the two minute evacuation plan. But, as you look onto where you and your family once slept, played, ate and lived, now you see a soot covered, smoldering structure that will need serious repair. What do you do now? Who do you call to help you get your home back to normal? And then, when you do call someone, what happens next? Where will you and your family go? It's usually right about this time that an American Red Cross representative that the fire fighters contacted for you puts a blanket over your shoulders and tells you, It'll be okay, we are here for you. If you have never had this happen to you consider yourself lucky. If you have, you know what I'm about to talk about here.

For those that haven't and have never given to the Red Cross or thought to have helped out in some way let me tell you a little about them. May 21st 1881 Clara Barton started what is now the American Red Cross. It was modeled after the Swiss version of The Red Cross. It was bread out of the Civil War. After World War 2 they started the first civilian blood donation outfit.

Today they provide these services:

  • People affected by disasters in America
  • Support for members of the military and their families
  • Blood collection, processing and distribution
  • Health and safety education and training
  • International relief and development

 

And they do it all by donation and volunteer work.

 

https://www.redcross.org/donate/modf