SERVPRO Professionals Offer Quality Fire and Smoke Damage Cleanup, Restoration and Reconstruction Services
SERVPRO is the Right Choice for Fire Damage Cleanup and Remediation Following a Suffolk County Long Island Home or Business Fire
Home and Business owners in Suffolk County are using more electrical appliances and equipment each day, many Long Island local homes and businesses were not designed for our ongoing and ever growing electrical consumption needs. It’s easy to take for granted the power coming from our walls but if you’ve ever tried to switch on the microwave while the oven, dishwasher and coffeemaker were on before a family dinner and the lights shut off, you’ve created an electrical circuit overload.
This residential fire damage cleanup and restoration project was the aftermath of a fire that started in the family room. When our crews arrived quickly, on the same day as the property damage event there was significant smoke and soot damage throughout the entire home. The homeowners were surprised how quickly the smoke and soot damage traveled. If an electrical overload has caused fire, smoke and soot damage to your home or business, you need the professional assistance of a disaster restoration company. Choosing SERVPRO for your restoration needs, your working with professional remediation specialists with the proper training and experience to clean up damages from fire, including smoke and soot. Our fire damage restoration team works quickly to restore your home or business, “Like it never even happened.”
Circuit breakers play an important part in every property's electrical system.
When the current of electricity going through a circuit is too much for it to handle, an electrical overload can happen. Usually, it occurs when you have too many devices plugged into a single circuit, but it can happen with older homes if you are trying to run an appliance that uses excessive energy. Acting as an important safeguard, a circuit breaker will “trip” shut off the electric flow, protecting your home or business from an electrical circuit overload that can cause the circuit to overheat, which could cause damage to appliances and ultimately result in a fire. While circuit breakers are reliable and do a good job preventing residential and commercial fires due to overloads, if the power surges are excessive they can, over time, result in electrical fires.
The three most common causes of a “tripped” circuit breaker are:
- Overloaded Circuit
- Short Circuit
- Ground Fault
Typically, electrical fires are at their peak during the winter months with additional lighting and heating equipment creating the most common concerns. It’s becoming more important to continue to practice electrical safety all year long air conditioners, mini fridges, pool equipment and outdoor appliances can all contribute to circuit overloads throughout Spring and Summer.
Signs of Overloaded Circuits
The most obvious sign of an electrical circuit overload is a breaker tripping and shutting off all the power. Other signs can be less noticeable; buzzing sounds, burning smells, and unusually warm devices also can indicate other wiring problems, such as loose connections or short circuits. If any of these problems persist after you’ve taken steps to prevent circuit overloads, contact an electrician.
- Dimming lights, especially if lights dim when you turn on appliances or more lights.
- Buzzing outlets or switches.
- Outlet or switch covers that are warm to the touch.
- Burning odors from outlets or switches.
- Scorched plugs or outlets.
- Power tools, appliances, or electronics that seem to lack sufficient power.
See our facebook page for links and resources about additional concerns regarding electrical fires
Following a residential or commercial property fire from a circuit overload, or other fire disaster. It’s important to contact your local SERVPRO for professional fire cleanup and restoration help, our first step is to assess the damages.
Fire leaves different kinds of soot on surfaces depending on what burned in your Suffolk County residential or commercial property. Even a small blaze produces acidic smoke and soot that needs to be cleaned up. During your initial fire damage inspection, SERVPRO of Medford will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Depending on how much smoke damage there is, there are various methods we can use to clean up the surrounding walls and ceiling.
Soot composition can vary quite a bit depending on the underlying causes. All types of soot cause at least some darkening, and in severe cases, any type of soot can look completely black.
Dry soot is caused by very hot fires burning natural ingredients swiftly. It has a dry, dusty texture and almost no smell. Dry soot is often easier to manage than mold or storm damage. In many cases, removing it is as simple as using a vacuum with a HEPA filter on all surfaces.
If a fire smolders for a while on low heat and burns high moisture items, wet soot may be created. This is essentially dry soot that has mingled with steam to create a sort of soggy, sooty mess. Cleaning up wet soot requires a combination of fire damage and water damage strategies.
When plastics, rubbers, and other products containing oil are burned, soot can turn into a sticky, greasy substance. If you try to wipe it up, it will just smear instead of going away. Also, because it contains oil, it will be resistant to water-based cleaning products. Unlike dry soot, oily soot will cling to any surface, even vertical areas.
Protein-based soot is a particular type of greasy soot that tends to occur as the buildup in kitchens or the product of a kitchen fire. It involves overcooked proteins that turn to soot, and it has a very pungent odor. This type of soot is quite hard to get rid of, and the odor may linger if it is not cleaned up properly.
Each type of soot gets a different cleaning method. Our technicians check out all damage and match the best cleaning method to soiling. Once damage does happen, our technicians are fully trained and certified under the guidelines of The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) to restore your home to its original state. Local teams learn the latest procedures to clean carpets, furniture and surfaces of soot and to remove the smoke odor that can linger for weeks in an untreated home. One fire site can need a variety of cleaning methods. We can handle it all.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Specialists use commercial grade vacuums to remove soot and other residue. Our blowers and exhaust fans can be adapted to work from a large family room to a small laundry closet. We use a wide-variety of cleaning products specialized for every surface in a home from marble countertop cleaners to soaps and dry sponges that gently remove soot and not the paint underneath. We can use HEPA grade filtration systems, air scrubbers, and ozone machines to help improve the Indoor Air Quality.
For Fire Disaster Property Restoration Needs Call SERVPRO of Medford at (631) 732-4952
When dealing with soot damage, our SERVPRO teams have a few different options available
Dry Clean the Soot
If you primarily have dry soot in your home, you can use dry cleaning methods to pick up most of the soot. These methods are essentially the same methods you would use for removing dust. A dry cloth can remove soot from tables and furniture, while a vacuum can pick it up off of carpets, upholstery, and flooring. Dry-cleaning will ensure that powdery soot does not smear into a blackened grime.
This method is a little tedious, so it is normally only recommended for smaller areas of soot. It can be helpful for doing a basic clean up and ensuring the soot does not spread before you can get more help. Keep in mind that if you try a dry-cleaning method and the soot begins to smear, you may need to try a wet cleaning method.
Wet Clean the Soot
A wet cleaning method can be effective if you have wet or oily soot. To use this method, combine soap with water to lightly scrub an area with soot. Try testing it in a small area to ensure that it can actually pick up soot without making the mess worse or damage the underlying surface.
Wet cleaning soot does have some benefits because it can pick up soot that is mixed in with oil or moisture. However, it is quite time-consuming and requires a lot of effort. Another downside of wet cleaning soot methods is that they are only feasible on tile or other waterproof surfaces. Using water to clean drywall, wood, or electronics is not advisable.