The Difference between Structure Fire Smoke and Wildfire Smoke
No debate needing, inhaling smoke from any type of fire can be hazardous to your health. Smoke inhalation is the most common cause of death in house fires. Just a few minutes of exposure to thick smoke can cause brain damage or even death.
As restoration contractors, we usually aren’t faced with that immediate, thick smoke, but dangers still remain after the fire is out – whether it’s dealing with structural damage from a large house fire, or smoke odor removal following a wildfire.
House Fire Smoke
There are more than one million house fires in the U.S. each year, meaning there are a lot of fire jobs out there for restoration companies. The biggest dangers post-fire come from VOCs (volatile organic compounds) found in the air that have been released from contents within the structure. For example, when some materials burn – like synthetic rubber, plastic, or foam – they can release cyanide into the air. Those substances are commonly found in furniture, clothing, Tupperware, and so much more within any structure.
Research published by the National Institutes of Health back in 2002 said, “During the past 50 years, synthetic polymers have been introduced in buildings in very large quantities. Many contain nitrogen or halogens, resulting in the release of hydrogen cyanide and inorganic acids in fire smoke as additional threats.”
Exposure to these VOCs can cause permanent health issues, which is why proper PPE is critical during fire jobs, especially during the initially scoping, estimating, and demo phase if the fire was severe.
Wildfire smoke also carries fine particles that can be dangerous when inhaled. These particles tend to come from more organic sources, versus the synthetic sources we talked about above from house fires. When thinking about wildfire smoke, think about burning trees and other plant materials, and just how dense the air can get when the fire is nearby. Add to that litter, synthetic compounds from local structures that have burned, and ash, and it’s a recipe for disaster for human health – even after the fire.
When remediating a structure affected by wildfire smoke, it is important to remember to clean air ducts as well because it’s likely even the most inner parts of the structure have been touched by the smoke and soot.
Protection during Fire Damage Remediation
Here are some quick tips to keep your team safe during fire jobs, no matter the cause or source of the fire.
- Wear proper PPE. This includes respirators, and doing proper fit tests for them! A dust mask is not enough.
- Avoid direct contact with anything directly affected by the fire. Again, this is why PPE is critical. If you handle affected items with bare hands, it is easy for contaminants to transfer into your body.
- Use equipment, like HEPA vacs, that are able to filter out small particles.
- Ventilate the area where you are working if possible. But remember, if the smoke damage has not affected the HVAC system, turning that system on before remediating the smoke damage and odor could cause the odor and soot to be circulated throughout an entire building instead of contained to a certain area.
- Consider having IAQ testing done to determine VOCs in the air and establish a scope of work and remediation protocol.
Mold Prevention in New Construction
In new construction of commercial or residential properties, mold can be a pesky nightmare. While moisture – and the potential for mold – is seemingly inevitable in some situations, there are a number of things that you can do to avoid a major mold problem:
– Utilize a condensate pump and drain, which is used to filter any moisture build up within duct work out so that within that enclosed duct work the moisture does not sit for an extended period of time and begin to grow into mold.
– Activate a dehumidifier, which is used to collect the damp, humid conditions within an enclosed area with little to no air movement that has no outside exposure (such as a basement).
– Use a ventilator system, which is used to filter incoming air and recollects heat from used air before exhausting it out of the new building/new home.
And, in the situations of mold growth, do NOT hesitate to reach out to the team at SERVPRO of Summit, Lake, Park & Eagle Counties – we are your go-to for mold remediation!
Common Fire Hazards in the Home
Fire Hazards in the Home
House fires can happen in the blink of an eye if we aren’t careful. There are easy every day hazards we could avoid to help reduce the chance of a fire in your home.
Common Fire Hazards in the Home:
- Candles: Many candle fires are started due to unattended candle usage. Candles should not be left burning for hours at a time and its highly recommended to not use in the bedroom.
- Cooking: Kitchen fires are some of the top places home fires start. Never leave cooking unattended. If you leave turn off the burner, oven, or microwave. Clean your oven regularly and the rest of the kitchen appliances. Keep kids and pets clear of cooking areas and always turn pot handles in.
- Electrical fire: Use safe appliances. Keep appliances on level surfaces and remember to turn off all electrical appliances when not in use
- Matches and lighters: Keep out of reach of children. Make sure they are completely out when done using and if a lighter use all safety measures.
- Smoking materials: The misuse of products like cigarettes and pipes can cause house fires too. Make sure to put out all cigarettes and follow all guidelines for electrical smoking devices
These are just a few tips to help keep your home safe
Contaminated Water Damage: Why You Should Call Us for Sewage Cleanup and Restoration
Cleaning up contaminated water can be a messy business, but the experts at SERVPRO of Summit, Lake, Park & Eagle Counties have got you covered.
When it comes to sewage cleanup and contaminated water restoration, SERVPRO of Summit, Lake, Park & Eagle Counties knows exactly how to help – safely and quickly.
Contaminated water should be considered very dangerous. For example, water from a sewer system backup is grossly unsanitary, which means it is extremely unhealthy to come into contact with. Sewer water can harbor multiple different kinds of bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness to people exposed. You’ll need an expert to help take care of this ASAP, and SERVPRO is here to help.
Sewage Backup or Toilet Overflow? Call Us Today (24/7 Emergency Service) (970) 949-3235
Keep reading to learn more about contaminated water damage and how we can help.
Categories of Water Contamination
Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean up contaminated water, and we’re the experts you want to call to get your property or home back to its original condition.
We will inspect your water contamination to determine which category of water the contamination falls under, and then we will plan the appropriate response to safely restore your home or business.
Our industry identifies three major categories of contaminated water:
Category 1: Clean Water
Clean water comes from a clean source, like a broken clean water supply line or a leaking faucet. Though clean water is not contaminated, if it’s left untreated, category 1 water can quickly degrade into category 2 or category 3 water.
How fast clean water degrades into category 2 or 3 water will depend on factors like time, temperature, and contact with contaminants.
Category 2: Gray Water
Gray water is the next level of contamination up from clean water. Gray water has a significant level of contamination (bacteria and viruses) that could cause discomfort or illness if it’s ingested. Sources for gray water may include a washing machine overflow, a toilet overflow with some urine (but no feces), or a dishwasher overflow.
It’s important to know that gray water can quickly degrade into category 3 water if left untreated.
Category 3: Black Water
Black water is grossly unsanitary and can cause severe illness or death if it is ingested. All contact with this type of water should be avoided. Sources for black water can include flooding from rivers or streams (groundwater flooding), water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.
Because black water may contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes, it is very important to avoid all contact with it and call an expert ASAP to help you mitigate the damage.
We Offer 24-Hour Emergency Service
A contaminated water backup like a sewage backup should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. Here at SERVPRO, we are water damage restoration specialists with specific training and expertise to safely restore your home or business.
We respond immediately to your water damage event and can begin mitigating as soon as we arrive.
Call Us Today For 24/7 Emergency Service – (970) 949-3235
Commercial Restoration in Summit & Eagle County: We Clean & Restore Hotels, Resorts, Stores, and More
If your Summit or Eagle County business needs help with cleaning, contaminated water damage, fire restoration or mold remediation – we’re here to help
At SERVPRO of Summit, Lake, Park & Eagle Counties, in addition to offering services to homeowners, we specialize in emergency cleaning and restoration for commercial businesses in these counties, too.
Unfortunately, there's never a convenient time for damage to strike your business. Whether it’s fire, water, or mold damage, every hour you spend cleaning up yourself is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. Call the experts – we’re available 24/7 and because we are locally owned and operate in Summit & Eagle Counties – we’ll get there fast and start helping you immediately.
Call Us for Emergencies With Your Business – (970) 949-3235
We specialize in the following types of emergency services:
- Commercial Water Damage Mitigation & Restoration
- Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
- Commercial Mold Remediation
- Commercial Storm Events
We Have What It Takes To Restore Your Commercial Property
At SERVPRO, we know that cleaning and restoring commercial properties requires a unique blend of the right training, hands-on experience, and specialized equipment. We have the resources and expertise to give you excellent results while minimizing the disruption to your clients and your business.
We service the following types of commercial businesses:
- Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
- Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
- Manufacturing & Industrial
- High-Rise Residential
- Hotels & Motels
- Small Office Buildings
- Apartment Buildings
- Small Retail Stores
Our Specialty Commercial Cleaning Services
Whether you need to remove a pesky odor problem or you need to deep-clean flooring or carpets, you can depend on SERVPRO of Summit, Lake, Park & Eagle Counties to get the job done right – the first time. We’ll respond to your call quickly and get to work immediately – making your business look its very best.
We offer a wide range of commercial cleaning services. From removing biohazard contaminants to removing lingering odors like cigarette smoke, SERVPRO has the specialized training and products to get your property back to business as soon as possible. We will help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Some of our commercial cleaning services include:
- Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
- Odor Removal and Deodorization
- Biohazard and Sewage
- Trauma and Crime Scene
- Carpet and Upholstery
- Drapes and Blinds
Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – (970) 949-3235
Colorado Ski Country Mold Remediation – We Make It “Like it never even happened.”
We specialize in mold remediation in Colorado Ski Country homes and businesses. Call us today for 24/7 emergency service.
At SERVPRO of Summit, Lake, Park & Eagle Counties, we know that every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution.
We are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and we will begin the mold cleanup and restoration process as soon as you call us. Our representative who answers your call will ask you a series of questions to help us determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel that we should bring to your property for the remediation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (970) 949-3235
We Get There Fast and Begin Remediation Immediately
In general, the mold remediation process will stay the same no matter what type of property we are servicing. Because we are locally owned and operate out of Avon and Frisco, Colorado, we are able to arrive very quickly to your Ski Country property and begin the remediation process almost immediately.
See the steps listed below to learn more about our mold remediation process.
- Step 1: Inspection and Damage Assessment – We carefully inspect your property for visible signs of mold. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.
- Step 2: Mold Containment – Our professionals use various containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. We may use advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.
- Step 3: Air Filtration – Our specialized filtration equipment allows our team to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. We utilize powerful air scrubbers with HEPA filters and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of mold spores while remediation is in process.
- Step 4: Removing Mold and Infested Materials – Our process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. We’ll use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. It may be necessary to remove and dispose of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, to remediate heavy mold growth.
- Step 5: Cleaning Contents and Belongings – We clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. We’re also trained to remove odors using fogging equipment.
- Step 6: Restoration – Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. This step returns your home or business back to normal.
Call Us 24/7 for Emergency Mold Remediation – (970) 949-3235
Wildfire Recovery & Restoration – How to Restore Your Ski Country Home & Clean Up After a Wildfire
When Wildfire Takes Control of Your Life, we help you take it back. [Pamphlet]. (2011). SERVPRO.com 47014
When wildfire takes control of your life, SERVPRO of Summit, Lake, Park & Eagle Counties helps you take it back. As local residents of Colorado’s Ski Country, we know that wildland fires have made an unfortunate impact on many of us this season.
Ski Country Wildfire Restoration Pros
When a wildfire hits too close to your home, the results can be especially overwhelming. Cleaning up after a wildfire takes specific knowledge and skills. Since our team members live here in the Colorado mountains, we are very familiar with wildfire cleanup, and we know exactly what techniques to use to help you get your property back to preloss condition.
We will help guide you through your wildfire cleanup and restoration project, as well as offer some helpful tips on what to do after you’ve experienced a wildland fire event – like how to tackle the fire retardant solution your home was doused with.
Keep reading to learn more.
Wildfire Retardant Clean-up Experts
One of the hardest parts about cleaning up your property after a wildfire is tackling the reddish-pink fire retardant that firefighters may have dumped on and around your home. While this fire retardant may have saved your home from the wildfire, it can be very difficult to clean off of surfaces, and it does contain ammonia – which can over-dry and sting your skin if you come into contact with it.
Since firefighters drop large amounts of fire retardant on structures to protect them from burning, there may be a substantial amount of the substance left on your home after the fire has been contained.
Call Us at 970-949-3235 for help with your wildfire damage event – we respond quickly and can get to work with cleanup immediately.
For more help, check out these Fire Retardant Clean-up Tips:
- Wash retardant off as soon as possible. If the retardant solution has dried and is present for several days in the hot sunshine some discoloration may result.
- To remove retardant solutions from smooth surfaces, use a garden hose to wet the surface followed by scrubbing to clean the surface.
- Some products may discolor or corrode metal. Corrosion generally occurs over a prolonged period. Unless removed from painted surfaces before the retardant dries, it is possible that fading may occur.
- The highly colored, fine particles (iron oxide or rust that make the drop more visible to pilots) present in fire retardant can be very stubborn to remove from rough or porous surfaces such as stone and rock. Use clean-up procedures that do not have a tendency to drive the color pigment deeper into the rough, uneven surfaces.
- Rinse retardant off of vegetation like trees as soon as possible to avoid leaf “burning”.
Learn more about Wildland Fire Retardant Clean-up.
Call us at 970-949-3235 for immediate help with your wildfire restoration project. Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond fast to your Ski Country fire damage event.
Need Commercial Cleaning Services in the High Rockies? SERVPRO is here to help!
At SERVPRO, we offer commercial cleaning services for your office or business in the High Rockies of Colorado.
Most people don’t have time to worry about the daily wear and tear that soils their office workplace or commercial business. When your regular janitorial staff needs help tackling grime, odor, and moisture challenges, call SERVPRO of Summit, Lake, Park & Eagle Counties for fast and efficient service.
Have Questions? Call Us Today – (970) 949-3235
Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your place of business look its very best.
We Specialize in Cleaning Commercial Spaces
SERVPRO offers a wide variety of cleaning services – from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing biohazard contaminants – we can clean-up almost any commercial space. We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business.
Some of our specialized cleaning services include:
- Carpet and Upholstery
- Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
- Odor Removal and Deodorization
Commercial Carpet Cleaning
Carpets act as a filter, trapping dust, dirt, gases, animal hair, and other soils. Carpet and upholstery tend to show soiling over time. A great way to protect your investment is to clean and maintain these items. SERVPRO offers a number of cleaning options to match any type of upholstery or carpet.
Here are some of our specialized cleaning methods:
- Bonnet Cleaning – a less aggressive method for short piled carpets
- Hot Water Extraction – a deeper cleaning method for all types of carpet
- Deluxe Precondition and Rinse – helps restore deeply soiled areas.
- Showcase Premier Cleaning – the most thorough cleaning method in the industry.
Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
Your business’s ceilings, walls and hardwood floors may be exposed to dirt and dust, pet dander, cooking oils and grease, cigarette smoke, and other contaminants. The heating and air conditioning system can distribute these contaminants throughout your property. Soils tend to accumulate on these materials over time, and eventually you’ll need professional cleaning to remove this buildup.
At SERVPRO, we have specialized training in time-tested and industry-approved cleaning methods.
Our proprietary cleaning system allows our team members to properly clean and restore your property’s original beauty.
Professional Odor Removal and Deodorization
As experts in deodorization, we are trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors. SERVPRO teaches IICRC technical classes in the proper removal of odors. Masking and other short cuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent.
By identifying the cause of the odor and determining the conditions in which it contact any surfaces, the odor can often be removed over time without a trace.
Our technicians have access to several odor removal products capable of penetrating surfaces to neutralize an unpleasant odor thoroughly.
Need Professional Cleaning? Call Us Today (970) 949-3235
Always There When You Call: Why 24-Hour Emergency Service is Crucial in Water Restoration
Call SERVPRO of Summit, Lake, Park & Eagle Counties at 970-949-3235 any time day or night for your water damage emergency.
At SERVPRO of Summit, Lake, Park & Eagle Counties, we provide 24-hour emergency water restoration services 7 days a week, 365 days per year – including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response from us anytime you call, day or night.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (970) 949-3235
Why We Take Immediate Action
Many water damage events require immediate action to be taken to find the source of the water and begin mitigating. An immediate response helps to minimize the damage, cleaning and restoration costs. Water is particularly invasive. That’s why SERVPRO arrives quickly and starts working immediately.
Our water damage timeline below will give you a better idea of how water damage affects your home or business – and more importantly – how quickly the damage can spread.
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Within 1 – 24 hours:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
Within 48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
As you can see, taking into account the information above, it’s best to call a water restoration professional as soon as possible after your water damage event.
Call Us 24/7 for Emergency Service – (970) 949-3235
When Cañon City Experienced Severe Storms, We Were There to Restore the Flood Damage
This photo of storm damage in a Cañon City, Colorado, home shows water and mud that flooded in and caused damage to the floor and walls.
Flood cleanup and ground water damage restoration can be a messy business, especially when you don’t have the help you need to mitigate the damage and restore your home and belongings back to their original condition.
At SERVPRO of Summit, Lake, Park & Eagle Counties, we recently had the opportunity to travel down to Cañon City, Colorado, to help a number of homeowners who experienced flooding due to a severe storm event. The storms caused significant temporary ground water flooding, heavy hail, and very high winds.
We Were There FAST
Even when a storm event takes place outside of our immediate service area – SERVPRO is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for emergency storm damage and flood cleanup in the Central Colorado Mountains.
When we received the first call from a homeowner in Cañon City, we were there within a matter of hours to begin mitigating the storm damage. A fast response to begin mitigating and extracting water is essential to keep damage and restoration costs down for homeowners.
Severe Weather Means Serious Cleanup
Restoring storm- and flood-damaged properties is the cornerstone of our business. Our highly trained professionals use specialized equipment to quickly restore your property to pre-storm condition. We’re dedicated to responding immediately, which helps to minimize secondary damage.
We are storm damage specialists and have extensive water damage and storm restoration training that allows us to get your home back to normal quickly.
From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Qualifications – IICRC Training and Certification
The IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certifies and sets the rules for the water restoration industry.
At SERVPRO of Summit, Lake, Park & Eagle Counties, our team members study IICRC standards and best practices and are certified in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and more.
This gives us the ability to take your water damaged home from wet and muddy to “Like it never even happened.”
Have Storm or Flood Damage in Colorado?
Call Us Today (970) 949-3235