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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Adversely Can Smoke Damage My Nashua Home Contents?

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

flames and smoke rise from burning house We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster!

SERVPRO Helps Evaluate the Level of Damage and Use Advanced Cleaning Techniques to Reverse the Effects of Fire and Smoke Damage in Your Nashua Property

Although you might not worry much about smoke damage compared to other effects of fire, it can devastate your Nashua property. One unique aspect of smoke damage is that it can affect areas of a property that the heat or flames from the fire do not reach. Even an outdoor fire or one that only affects a detached section, such as a garage, can still cause damages inside the main house. Several factors combine, leading to such outcomes.

What characteristics of smoke are likely to worsen fire and smoke damage in my Nashua home?

It is standard for a fire to produce smoke as different materials combust. Experienced fire and smoke restoration technicians in Nashua are also aware of other common characteristics that smoke exhibits during a fire that influence the resultant damages, including:
    •    Accumulation of smoke deposits in enclosed spaces
    •    Penetration of smoke residues into older surfaces
    •    Accumulation of more smoke residues on synthetic fibers

Such outcomes are influenced by factors like cooler temperatures within enclosed spaces such as cabinets compared to the rest of the open rooms. Older surfaces, on the other hand, tend to be porous, thus allowing deeper penetration of smoke residues, while synthetic surfaces attract residues ionized during combustion, thus collecting more deposits.

How does understanding smoke behavior help when dealing with damages?

Understanding smoke movement patterns help establish where most residues are likely to accumulate for better focus during cleaning. It also eliminates the chances of overlooking some areas such as locked cabinets where you might not expect smoke deposits.

Apart from helping pinpoint soiled areas, understanding smoke behavior can also help in making a better choice of cleaning resources. For instance, when our SERVPRO technicians notice that smoke filtered into a room with closets or cabinets, we prepare several resources to help with cleaning, odor management, and prevention of residues from setting. Typical resources include:
    •    Dry cleaning sponges
    •    Denatured alcohol
    •    Sanding equipment

In the case of old surfaces where we expect deeper penetration of residues, we prepare for several cleaning steps starting with mechanical action to help dislodge residues without sending them deeper into the material. One effective mechanical action is vacuuming the area before using other cleaning procedures such as wet cleaning with solutions.

What signs indicate severe smoke damage on contents?

Smoke tends to deposit residues on items. However, the accumulation of residues does not necessarily lead to serious damage. Most residues are easy to wipe off with a cleaning sponge or wet cleaning procedures. However, some outcomes signify severe damage and may include:
    •    Yellowing
    •    Staining
    •    Rusting
    •    Bad odor

The changes can appear on a wide range of materials, including plastics, ceramic items, metals, and fabrics. Our SERVPRO technicians use various approaches to clean your contents, thus reversing the damage, “Like it never even happened.”

Yellowing mostly happens on plastic items such as utensils, toys, appliances, or any other plastic item within your house. Whitening the items require a couple of supplies, including a chemical agent to reverse the yellowing, agitation resources, and rinsing or regular cleaning detergent.
Our technicians use chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or other specially formulated cleaning agents to help remove the yellowing. For small items such as utensils and toys without electrical components, we use emersion methods such as ultrasonic cleaning. The system creates and collapses millions of bubbles, and the energy released helps agitate the affected surfaces. Such a system also helps in other aspects of cleaning, such as controlling the amount of cleaning agents used, the temperature of the solution, and increasing the dwell-time, thus improving the outcome.

Is it possible to reverse significant changes such as rusting or staining?

Smoke contains several substances, including particulate matter, water vapor, and chemicals such as nitrogen oxides and tar. When these substances are deposited on different contents in the house, they can cause staining or rust in metallic items or finishes. Our technicians inspect the affected material to determine whether restoration is possible. For fabrics, we use a variety of tests, including:
    •    Chemical tests
    •    Specific gravity test
    •    Burn test

Once we establish that restoration is possible, we use different approaches, including applying chemical agents, agitation, or sometimes we may use enzyme cleaning agents where necessary. For the best outcome, we focus on the stained section and then clean the entire item.

Replacing damaged contents is a costly affair. Call SERVPRO of Nashua to help find a way to save your valuables. You can reach us at (603) 889-2311. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.

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