Recent Fire Damage Posts

Mansfield House Fire Gets SERVPRO Help

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Technicians If suffered damage from a fire call the experts at SERVPRO of Ashland / Richland.

SERVPRO Techs Save Mansfield Homes Affected by Fire

Kitchen fires, which account for 44% of overall home fires, are among the least reported. This problem is exacerbated by how thoroughly soot affects surfaces by imbuing them with tough-to-remove stains and odors.

SERVPRO technicians can respond to Mansfield homes for damage restoration calls within hours of their call. Technicians use sophisticated tools, EPA-registered antimicrobials, and a scientific approach to ensure that homes are restored per Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) standards. 

How pH Factors into Fire Damage Cleanup

While lighter damages can be manually cleaned with dry cleaning sponges or HEPA filter vacuums, technicians must take pH levels into account when treating moderate to heavy fire damage stains and residues. 

  • Most cleaning agents used are alkaline, meaning their pH is higher than 7. This includes household items like dish soap (pH 9) and baking soda (pH 10)
  • The neutral pH level is 7, the same as water
  • Alkalinity is neutralized by an equal amount of acidity and vice-versa when cleaning

Call SERVPRO of Ashland / Richland for home fire damage restoration at (419) 207-8449.

Things you need to know about Smoke Damage

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction.  While fire may be the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house.  Ash and smoke, if left untouched, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration.  Also, powerful lingering odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. This entire process is very detailed.  Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing everything to need restoration.                                                                  

  Things You need to Know About Smoke Damage  

  1. Smoke Migrates to Cooler Areas: The behavior of smoke during a fire is largely dependent on temperature. Smoke is typically hot and migrates to cooler regions of your home. Unfortunately, the cooler regions of your home are often hard to reach places, like cabinets and the underside of furniture. This makes the cleaning process much more difficult and is one of the major consequences of smoke damage. 
  2. Smoke Uses Plumbing to Migrate Through Your House: Smoke naturally travels through plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to travel from floor to floor. This is the best way for smoke to travel throughout homes and buildings and cause further damage. Vents and plumbing systems are cleaned and often replaced if smoke damage is great enough. 
  3. Wet, Smoldering Fires Produce the Most Damaging Smoke: The type of fire and the type of smoke produced by the fire make a huge difference when it comes to cleaning smoke damage. Wet, smoldering fires produce highly volatile and noxious smoke, the effects of which can persist for years if not cleaned properly. 
  4. High Temperature Fires Produce Easier to Clean Smoke Damage: Contrary to what you might believe, high temperature fires tend to be less damaging than smoldering fires. That is because they burn very quickly and produce a different type of smoke that contains less damaging soot. As a result, even though the high temperature fire may seem like it would produce more damage, you may just get lucky. 
  5. A Very Damaging Component of Smoke is Invisible: While the billowing clouds of dark smoke may seem the likely culprit, it’s the invisible protein residues of smoke that can also cause server damage. These residues can break down metal, wood, paint, and even porcelain, and their highly volatile chemical make-up allows them to penetrate deep into almost any substance while remaining totally invisible. Beware of this invisible enemy! 
  6. Smoke Damage Can destroy Metal and Wood Items: You might think that hearty substance like wood and metal would not be affected by smoke as much as upholstery and textiles. You’d be wrong. The noxious protein residues in smoke can break down brass, copper, wood, and even stone, causing them to decay at an ultra-rapid rate. Be sure to let a professional know about the exposure of wood and metal items to smoke and the duration of the exposure. 
  7. The Number 1 Rule to Prevent Lasting Smoke Damage: Get Air Moving: If you want to get a head start on cleaning up your home after smoke damage, follow the cardinal rule. Get air moving.  Use fans and open windows to keep air circulating throughout your home. This will prevent any remaining smoke residues from penetrating even deeper into your house and property.

Fire in Mansfield home starts in Basement

8/2/2020 (Permalink)

smoke and soot Cigarette's can do lots of damage to your home. Be careful!

This Mansfield, Ohio home experienced fire, smoke and soot damage when a cigarette lit this garage on fire.  They called SERVPRO of Ashland / Richland to handle the fire restoration.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) smoking materials, including cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, started an estimated 17,200 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments in 2014. These fires caused 570 deaths, 1,140 injuries and $426 million in direct property damage. SERVPRO of Ashland / Richland has the water and fire damage training and expertise to help you through this tough time. Once the fire department leaves, your home may suffer from water damage caused by firefighting efforts. We have the specialized fire and water damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment to handle fire and water damage and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – SERVPRO of Ashland / Richland (419) 207-8449

Emergency Ready Profile prepares you for fire

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Both commercial and residential clients can take advantage of our expertise in preventing and preparing for a fire damage event. The aftermath of even a minor fire is stressful, and you as a homeowner are rarely experienced in the practical and emotional ramifications of such an event. We have built a rich knowledge base over the years of restoring fire damaged dwellings for other members of our community. Make use of our familiarity, training, and skills, and ready yourself for a problem you and we both hope you never encounter. 

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan, ERP, encourages you to take stock of your situation before a disaster happens. We help you assess your property and work out many of the logistics we need to master to deliver fast and efficient fire damage restoration if a blaze occurs. You assist us and also improve the odds of a successful fire restoration effort by creating a layout of your property, identifying the location of utility shutoffs, and clarifying a chain of command should you be unable to respond yourself. 

You can designate another person to act on your behalf in the plan, helpful if you are injured or out of the area when the fire crisis occurs. This precaution is if you spend any time traveling or just as insurance if you think it possible you may have an issue with clarity of thought after a fire damages your property. Making decisions ahead of time helps SERVPRO follow a well-thought out plan rather than waiting for your instructions after a frightening event like a fire makes it hard for you to respond.


SERVPRO of Ashland / Richland wants to be certain our efforts always lead to the outcome you desire. Give us a call at (419) 207- 8449 to schedule an assessment that will help us collaborate on an Emergency Ready Plan to protect and restore your property.

Fredricktown Area Smoke and Soot Cleanup

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

soot on garage wall Smoke and Soot can leave lots of damage to your home. Call the professionals today!

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Ashland / Richland 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. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today –
SERVPRO of Ashland / Richland (419) 207-8449.

House Fires: How to prevent them and what to do if you experience one

7/21/2020 (Permalink)

Every day, 7 people die in house fires- most in homes that lack working smoke alarms. In less than 30 seconds a small flame can evolve into a colossal fire and become life threatening; in less than two minutes your home can be consumed by flames, producing toxic smoke and gases with temperatures hotter than your oven. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths and surprisingly, heat is more dangerous than flames- Room temperature can reach 100° at floor level and a smoldering 600° at eye level. With that being said, smoke and toxic gases are responsible for more deaths than flames and heat.

Kitchen mishaps, electrical sparks, space heaters, playing with matches are all common causes of house fires. However, they are preventable:

  • Do not leave cooking unattended- More than 60% of kitchen fires begin on the stove. Also, do not use stove range to heat your home.
  • Keep grills at least 10 feet away from siding and out from under branches and roof overhangs.
  • Smoking is the leading cause of home fires. ALWAYS smoke outdoors, never in bed, and always use an ashtray, making sure butts are completely stubbed out.
  • NEVER smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off.
  • Replace all worn, old, or damaged appliance cords immediately. Frayed wires = fires!
  • Avoid having multiple appliances plugged into the same receptable and try not to run extension cords underneath rugs.
  • Keep combustible objects at least 3 feet away from portable heating devices, such as portable heaters- Make sure they have a thermostat control mechanism and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
  • Remove lint from dryer filter after every use.
  • Change heating and air conditioning filters regularly.
  • Avoid unattended/careless use of candles.
  • Portable generators should never be used indoors.
  • Make sure combustible and flammable liquids are kept away from any heat source.
  • Discuss at least two escape strategies with your family or housemates prior to a fire and designate a meeting spot that is a safe distance from the home.
  • A working smoke detector significantly increases chances of surviving a deadly fire. Place alarms on each floor of your house, even the basement, and if possible, in every bedroom. Test batteries monthly and replace them once a year. Replace the alarms themselves every 8-10 years.
  • *Contact your local fire department for information on obtaining alarms for people with functional needs, i.e. a vibrating or flashing alarm.
  • Have fire extinguishers on each level of the home and/or in fire-prone areas like the kitchen and near the fireplace. Check gauges often to make sure they have a proper charge.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas found in fumes from combustible fuel- it is potentially deadly as it has no odor, taste, or color. Install CO alarms in central locations on each floor of the home, especially outside sleep areas.

Although preventable, fires still occur and figuring out what to do afterward can be an incredibly stressful and overwhelming process; it can be hard to decide what to do first as your mind is running around in a million directions.

  • Immediately call 9-1-1! But make sure you are out of the house before doing so.
  • Call your insurance company. You will most likely receive calls from public adjusters and contractors trying to get your business. It is recommended you speak to no one but your insurance agent.

If you do not have homeowner’s insurance, your family and community might help you get back on your feet. Some organizations that may help are:

  • American Red Cross (ARC).
  • Salvation Army.
  • Religious organizations.
  • Public agencies, such as the public health department.
  • Community Groups.
  • State or municipal emergency services office.
  • Nonprofit crisis- counseling centers.
  • A fire in your home can cause serious damage to your home and many of your belongings may be badly damaged by flames, heat, smoke, and water. In order to fight the fire, firefighters may have broken windows and cut holes on the roof- Ask your agent or adjuster to recommend restoration companies, like SERVPRO, that can help with cleaning up soot or water damage, boarding up windows, and other construction.
  • Contact your landlord or mortgage lender as well as your credit card company to report any cards lost in the fire.
  • Check with an accountant or the IRS about special benefits for people recovering from fire loss.
  • Save undamaged items from any further destruction. Any items not damaged should be put in a safe place, such as a storage facility.

Handle burnt money as little as possible. If money is only partly burnt, you can take it to your regional Federal Reserve Bank to get it replaced or send it to the Treasury:

Bureau of Engraving and Printing

MCD/OFM, Room 344A

14th and C Streets SW

Washington, DC 20228

  • Fully cooperate with the insurance company’s investigation. When a fire claim is reported, it becomes top priority and in most cases the adjuster will be out to see the loss within 24 to 48 hours after receiving the claim.
  • Find somewhere to live if you home is unlivable. Most policies include “Loss of Use or Loss or Rents” coverage, which pays for shelter, food, and clothing you may need- Make sure to let local police know that the site will be vacant.
  • Do not enter your house or apartment unless the fire department says that it’s safe to do so. If utilities are unsafe, they will be turned off- Do not try to turn them on yourself.

 After a fire, your sense of security may be lost, which can significantly disrupt the regularity of daily life and it can become difficult to take care of yourself with so many other anxieties preoccupying your mind. Experiencing such a tragic loss can take an emotional toll on you so pay attention to how you and your loved ones are handling stress, whether related to the fire or not. Make sure to get plenty of rest and ask for help if needed. Watch pets as well for any changes in their behavior. Scared animals often react by biting or scratching. Keep them out of the home until after the cleanup is done to keep them safe.

It is common to experience a variety of reactions such as:

  • Feeling physically or mentally drained.
  • Having difficulty making decisions or staying focused.
  • Becoming easily frustrated more frequently.
  • Becoming more argumentative with family and friends.
  • Feeling overly tired, sad, numb, lonely, or worried.
  • Undergoing changes in appetite or sleep patterns.

Try to accept whatever reactions you experience as most of them are temporary and should go away over time.  If the above reactions hang around for two weeks or longer is it suggested that you seek help from a medical professional.

For more advice on fire prevention and what you should do after a fire, contact SERVPRO of Ashland / Richland at (419) 207-8449.

Fire Safety Around the House

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

Practicing fire safety is one of the best methods that individuals can use to keep themselves and their households protected against a disaster. Fires can happen for a plethora of reasons, but by implementing prevention tips, their likelihood of occurring is significantly reduced.

There is an abundance of fire safety information around the internet, but much of it is in different locations. In order to make researching and practicing fire safety easier, we put it together in one place for your ease of reference.

Tips to Know About Fire Safety

Frequently Check Smoke Detectors. Having a working smoke alarm system in your home is the top tip that experts recommend for fire safety. Smoke alarms significantly reduce the chance of becoming injured in a fire and can alert the entire household at once if it is time to escape.

Have a Fire Escape Plan. Evacuating the house quickly in the event that the smoke alarm sounds is essential due to how quickly fires can spread. Make sure everyone in the household is aware of their options for escape routes and rehearse your evacuation regularly.

Know How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher. Keeping a fire extinguisher stored in a convenient location and knowing how to use it will give you the power to put out a fire before it gets out of hand if it is safe to do so. Make sure to purchase the correct classification for the type of fire you are likely to experience.

Never Leave Flames Unattended. Many of us encounter open flames every day on a small scale, such as when a gas stove is turned on or a candle is lit. Though small, these flames still have a large potential for error, and they should never be left in a room unsupervised as they can quickly spread.

Keep a Closed-Door Policy. The deadliest fires are the ones that break out during the early morning hours, mostly due to the reduced reaction time of sleeping family members. However, one keyway to combat this is by closing bedroom doors before going to sleep. The door can slow down flames, allowing more time for everyone to execute the escape plan.

Be Prepared When Disaster Strikes

7/30/2019 (Permalink)

Both commercial and residential clients can take advantage of our expertise in preventing and preparing for a fire damage event. The aftermath of even a minor fire is stressful, and you as a homeowner are rarely experienced in the practical and emotional ramifications of such an event. We have built a rich knowledge base over the years of restoring fire damaged dwellings for other members of our community. Make use of our familiarity, training, and skills, and ready yourself for a problem you and we both hope you never encounter. 

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan encourages you to take stock of your situation before a disaster happens. We help you assess your property and work out many of the logistics we need to master to deliver fast and efficient fire damage restoration if a blaze occurs. You assist us and also improve the odds of a successful fire restoration effort by creating a layout of your property, identifying the location of utility shutoffs, and clarifying a chain of command should you be unable to respond yourself. 

You can designate another person to act on your behalf in the plan, helpful if you are injured or out of the area when the fire crisis occurs. This precaution is if you spend any time traveling or just as insurance if you think it possible you may have an issue with clarity of thought after a fire damages your property. Making decisions ahead of time helps SERVPRO follow a well-thought out plan rather than waiting for your instructions after a frightening event like a fire makes it hard for you to respond.


SERVPRO of North Richland & Ashland Counties wants to be certain our efforts always lead to the outcome you desire. Give us a call at (419) 526-2701 to schedule an assessment that will help us collaborate on an Emergency Ready Plan to protect and restore your property.

Grill Fire Danger and How to Prevent It

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

This grill was destroyed after it's flames were left unattended; the damage done to homes by a grill fire could be even more devastating.

As summer begins and holidays like the Fourth of July approach, families and friends will be gathering for outdoor celebrations, cookouts, and barbecues. However, these fun summer activities can soon lead to disaster when grills and bonfires are left unattended. According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), more than 5,000 grill fires occur on residential properties each year, and outside fire pits and bonfires caused nearly 3,700 grass and brush fires in 2016.

It is important to make safety a priority when it comes to hosting family cookouts and other events this summer. You can avoid a fire-related accident with these six safety tips:

Grilling

  • Ensure that your grill is on a flat surface, kept clear from overhanging branches and away from flammable materials
  • Keep your grill a safe distance away from where people will be playing games, walking or sitting
  • Use long-handled grilling tools to give plenty of space between you and the flames

Recreational Fires

  • Pick your fire pit spot wisely and make sure the weather conditions are appropriate for a fire
  • Build the fire at least 15 feet away from trees, shrubs or flammable materials
  • Always make sure to completely extinguish the fire when you are done by letting it burn down to ashes, pouring water over the embers and stirring everything in the pit 

Reminder: Check Your Home Fire Alarms!

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

Great Advice from American Red Cross!

Did you know:

  • Every day 7 people die in the United States due to a home fire
  • You have two minutes- that 120 seconds – to escape a home fire
  • On an annual average, the Ohio Buckeye Region of the Red Cross responds to over 3 home fires per day in our 45 counties!

The American Red Cross cares about your safety and encourages you to test your smoke alarms and replace your batteries as needed.  This is a lifesaving action of our Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, which rallies communities across the country to protest people from these every day disasters.

Home Fires are the most significant disaster our Ohio Buckeye Region faces. We encourage you to TURN and TEST!

Take the extra moment needed  to check those Fire Alarms.

Extension Cord Safety Tips

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Overloading outlets and extension cords is a huge fire hazard!

If your home is anything like ours in Mansfield Ohio , you find yourself making use of extension cords.  Lights on the tree, lights on the home, other decorations needing power... the list can expand quickly.  Usually, these items end up plugged into an extension cord, and sometimes the extension cords end up plugged into other extension cords!

All of these cords present a number of hazards - the Fire and Smoke Damage experts of SERVPRO of North Richland & Ashland Counties want everyone to have a happy and safe holiday season, so we are offering these safety tips related to extension cords.

  • Inspect all cords for damage prior to use. Cords that have exposed wires, frayed or cut insulation, cracked sockets or loose (or missing) prongs should not be used.
  • Ensure the cords are designed and rated for the intended use and power load. Indoor/outdoor use, gauge of the cord, gauge of the items plugged into the cord and load through the cord should all be considered.
  • Stop using any extension cord that feels hot to the touch - the danger presented by a hot cord is very real.  Unplug any hot cord immediately.
  • Avoid pinching cords under doors, windows or heavy furniture. Extension cords are easily compromised if the insulation around the wires in the cord gets damaged.
  • Extension cords pose a tripping hazard. Keep them out of walkways, doorways or any high traffic area.
  • Do not run extension cords through walls, ceilings or under rugs. This may cause the cord to overheat.
  • Extension cords should be a temporary solution - if you are using them year round, you should consider upgrading your electrical system in your home.

Here at SERVPRO of North Richland & Ashland Counties, we use extension cords nearly every week.  Safely using them is something we train on regularly, and being aware of potential hazards is always on our mind.  Keep the safety tips above in mind this holiday season and you should enjoy all of the festive decorations you desire.

Fire Damage: What To Do Before Help Arrives

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

Have you ever had a fire in your home?

If your answer is yes, then you understand how devastating it is. And if you haven’t, take the necessary precautionary measures as early as possible.

SERVPRO will help you and your family get your life back on track. 

What Fire Restoration in Richland County is All About

Whether small or big, fire can cause significant damage to your home. The damage is usually due to the actual flames, smoke, and heat from the flames.

Moreover, the water used to put out the fire can cause significant damage. The results of water damage include:

  • Warping
  • Growth of mold
  • Structural damage
  • Electrical and electronic equipment damage

Tips for Fire Restoration in Richland  County Before Fire Restoration Arrives

When your home is destroyed by fire, you need to call SERVPRO as soon as possible - we’ll be there in no time.

But before we arrive, here’s what you need to do: 

1. Don’t Clean Up the Soot

It’s understandable that the ashes and soot can be quite annoying.  However, don’t be in a hurry to clean them out on your own, mainly if they are on furniture and walls. You may make the situation worse.

2. Get a Fire Report

Get a copy of the fire report from the local fire marshal.  It’ll help in the general restoration process.

3. Documenting the Damage

Ensure you document the damage. List down the damaged items and take pictures and/or videos for your insurance purposes.

4. Change the Filter of Your AC

Changing the filter in the air conditioning and heating system should make your home a little bit livable even before the fire restoration takes place.

Fire Restoration Services by SERVPRO in Richland County

You need to get a professional for your fire restoration because you may not have the necessary skills and equipment.

At SERVPRO, we have a dedicated team of fire restoration professionals in Richland County, Ohio  that are always ready to help. Contact us today!

Home Safety: Rodents are a fire hazard too

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

We are pleased to share an article written by Greg Geilman, President and CEO of South Bay Residential.

Home Safety: Rodents are a Fire Hazard, Too

Rodents may be labeled as pests, but they actually have the power to be more destructive than some may believe. They chew up wires, create the perfect kindling in the form of their nests, and can be the root cause of a truly terrible fire. The worst part is that homeowners may not realize just how much damage they're causing to the home until it's too late. Learn more about the habits of rodents and why they're not a threat to be taken lightly. 

Gnawing Feeling

A rodent is going to chew on anything around them when their teeth are coming in. If they don't chew then their teeth will actually get too long and they won't be able to eat. And because their teeth are always coming in, they tend to chew on a lot of things. A squirrel, mouse, or rat will even gnaw on hard elements of the home, such as metal pipes. So when a homeowner starts to hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet, they need to be aware that those feet are attached to some very active teeth. 

An Electrical Disaster 

When a rat cuts through the plastic insulation that protects the electrical wiring, it exposes nearby objects to the heat of the electricity. Fires aren't just destructive because of the evident flame damage, but also because of the smoke damage. The smell of smoke is notoriously difficult to remove, which means that even a fire that's put out quickly may cause more damage than homeowners realize that may not be covered by a home insurance policy. 

The Nature of the Fire 

The fire is caused when the wire shorts out or when the heat of the electricity causes some else to catch flame. Insulation, nests, or other types of trash inside the walls of the home are the most common culprits behind the origin story of the fire, but there are times when a wire can spark close to a wooden beam and cause the whole home to catch flame. Experts believe that up a quarter of all fires with undetermined causes may have actually been due to a rodent infestation. 

Attention and Prevention 

While there are plenty of traps and repellents to be found at the store, consulting an expert is usually the best way to go in the case of rodent prevention or elimination. An owner certainly can go through their home to determine where the holes are so they can seal them up, but the chances they'll miss at least a few of the openings are rather high. And of course, homeowners should have plenty of smoke detectors to get the warning they need to exit the home in time. 

Rodents may be small, but they can wreak some major havoc on the lives of property owners. To keep them out of the house, call a pro to either exterminate the pests or to prevent them from entering the home entirely. 

Greg Geilman is a Los Angeles native of over 40 years and owner of South Bay Residential. Greg believes knowledge is power when it comes to staying safe at home, and that the "little" issues can snowball over time if left unchecked.

Smoke Damage And Your Possessions

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and Fire Damage Are No Match for SERVPRO od North Richland and Ashland Counties.

Once a fire takes place on your property, you will likely find yourself experiencing anxiety and concern regarding the condition of your residential living space. Smoke damage to your possessions presents unique challenges to SERVPRO for successful salvaging. For example, the smoke that results from a fire can leave behind a residue that coats your property and causes issues such as warping, rusting, corrosion, etching, discoloration, and staining. Smoke generates unwanted odors that that are stubborn to remove.  There are four categories of property items that are specifically susceptible to extensive, expensive damage from the smoke and soot that fires generate. 

Wooden Furniture
Wooden furniture will often require careful, extensive treatment due to smoke and soot damage. Typically, wood is very porous, which makes it more susceptible to retaining odors, acquiring residue, and taking on staining. Hard surfaces offer a landing point for oily soot.

Carpets, Drapes, Upholstery, and Rugs
Each of these items is recognized for absorbing and subsequently retaining unpleasant smells. Depending on the level of penetration and type of material, the odors generated by smoke soot can be difficult to remove completely. SERVPRO utilizes specialized dry cleaning services for fabrics.

Books
A library replete with well-kept books in good condition can quickly deteriorate into a library full of damaged books. The heat and acid generated by the smoke can degrade book bindings and cause discoloration of the pages. If the books were wetted, we have specific equipment and techniques for drying and restoring, if possible.

Artwork
Different media of artwork can be adversely impacted from smoke damage, including antique sculptures, original paintings and framing, and family photographs and albums.  Although you may feel inclined to complete the restoration process on your own, it is always best to contact industry experts to do the job. If you complete the cleaning process incorrectly or incompletely, you could permanently damage or even destroy your valuable artwork. SERVPRO can restore many artifacts but recognizes limitations and liabilities. We can secure the services of an art museum or a private company for restoration.

Choose SERVPRO Now!
Once your property is impacted by smoke damage there's only one company to call for professional restoration: SERVPRO. With over 57 years of experience in the industry and all members of our team IICRC-certified professionals, we are passionate about offering customized services that suit your individual needs and preferences. We offer free estimates, a fast response, and immediate customer service. Don't put up with unwanted smoke damage and odors for a moment longer. Instead, allow us to restore your property "Like it never even happened."

Have Smoke or Fire Damage?

SERVPRO of North Richland and Ashland Counties is dedicated to responding immediately day or night to your Mansfield or Ashland Ohio home or business. We offer 24/7 service to Mansfield,Ashland,and surrounding areas. Call us at (419) 207-8449

What to Know About Salvaging Belongings After a Fire

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

House fires can be devastating. Not only do you have to deal with the fire damage, but many possessions and furniture can be ruined by soot and smoke. Luckily, dry-cleaning, as well as other types of cleaning methods, can restore many of your belongings. Here are a few things to know about the content cleaning process.

Damaged Content Must Be Thoroughly Cleaned 

Soot can be toxic and harm your respiratory system, if inhaled. Other materials that are exposed to flames can release harmful chemicals into the air that can be detrimental to your health. So, don’t just throw soot-covered clothing into the washing machine. Clothing and other possessions must be treated properly to eliminate all soot and smoke. It’s best to go to professionals who can help you by dry-cleaning or properly washing your valuables. 

Act Quickly

Smoke can cause permanent damage to valuables in as soon as 24 hours. If you have items of sentimental value, you should get those cleaned and restored as soon as possible to reduce the amount of damage. Documenting and cataloging everything that was damaged can help you prioritize valuables and get them cleaned quickly. Then, you can take care of content storage at the same time.

Proceed Wisely

After such a disaster has occurred, you might feel the need to help professionals in Mansfield,Ohio in any way possible. Some steps you can take might include:

* Giving the experts any information that they might need
* Ventilating your home
* Covering soot-free carpets or furniture with plastic to prevent damage during the restoration process

House fires are scary, but the fire damage and content cleaning can be taken care of when you have the right information and expert help available. Valuables and belongings can be repaired through dry-cleaning, vacuuming, and professional restoration. By being aware of what needs to be done, you can salvage many of your possessions.

Call SERVPRO of North Richland and Ashland Counties for more information. (419) 207-8449.

Help Protecting Your Mansfield Ohio Property From Fire Damage

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO handles everything from small kitchen fires to large structural fires that require additional resources.

Protecting your North Richland and Ashland Counties property's is your main priority. You invested in and maintained a residence to give your family a safe, secure place to call home. Just like many of us, you want to provide your family with the best possible experiences and eagerly take the proper steps to ensure success.

You can protect your investment by securing the assistance of highly-trained restoration specialists available throughout the Colorado Springs area. We specialize in fire damage as well as a variety of emergency services that help homeowners just like you recover after tragedy strikes.

SERVPRO handles everything from small kitchen fires to large structural fires that require additional resources. We train in every aspect of home restoration, providing you with unique solutions to your specific situation so that you never have to call or schedule anyone else. You can count on us to be there for you, 24/7, day or night.

SERVPRO provides you with access to all of the latest fire damage restoration methods and techniques. Our technicians take the time necessary to address smoke, soot, and ash residue on every surface, cleaning furniture, cabinets, counter tops, and other personal belongings, limiting any losses you experience wherever we can. Our services adapt to your specific situation, providing you with precise, detailed work that you can count on to restore your property.

SERVPRO technicians enjoy providing members of our local community with solutions that meet or even exceed your expectations. We provide you with a variety of repair, restoration, and rebuilding options that help return your home to a quality condition as fast and efficient as possible. Our IICRC-industry certified technicians work hard to restore your home after an emergency occurs, making sure to provide our customers with exceptional service.

Contact SERVPRO of North Richland and Ashland Counties to begin your home’s restoration as soon as possible. Remember, we can also inspect your home to look for possible hazards, helping you take a proactive approach to preventing emergency situations, today (419)207-8449

Frozen Water Pipes are a problem. Don't use a blowtorch to thaw.

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen water pipes are a serious risk during very cold winter weather. When water freezes in a pipe it expands and can exert pressure at over 2,000 pounds per square inch. This pressure is enough to rupture almost any pipe filled with water, which provides no place for the ice to expand. A burst pipe can spill several hundred gallons of water per hour, and that equates to thousands of dollars of damage to your home. Pipes are most susceptible to freezing when they are located:

  • in an outside wall
  • in a cabinet under a sink (especially near an outside wall)
  • in an unheated crawl space or basement

If your pipe is frozen but not yet ruptured, you must thaw it right away. There are a few thawing techniques to try, depending on where the frozen pipe is located.

Warning: Never use a blow torch or other open flame to thaw a pipe. This presents a serious fire hazard and can damage the pipe.

A frozen pipe that hasn't burst yet often reveals itself at a faucet: when you turn on the faucet and no water comes out or it has slowed to a trickle, there's probably a blockage of ice somewhere in the line. It's time take immediate action: 

  • Shut off the water to the faucet locally or at the home's main water shutoff valve.
  • Open the faucet that is supplied by the frozen pipe; do this even if you don't know where the blockage is.
  • Identify the frozen pipe and locate the blockage: Follow the pipe back from the faucet to where it runs through cold areas, such as an exterior wall or unheated crawl space. Look for areas on the pipe that have frost or ice; it may also be slightly bulged.

When you find that the frozen—but not yet burst—pipe is behind a wall or ceiling, you've got a challenge on your hands. You have three options for thawing the pipe:

  • Turn up the heat in the house and wait.
  • Cut out a section of the wall or ceiling to access the frozen section of pipe, then thaw the pipe as an exposed pipe (see next slide).
  • Use an infrared lamp to help heat the wall section in front of where you believe the pipe is frozen. Infrared lamps are better than regular heat lamps because they pass through the air without heating it and will direct more energy to warming the wall and frozen pipe.

If the frozen pipe is exposed, you have several options for thawing it. Whichever remedy use use, heat the pipe from the faucet toward the frozen area. This allows water to flow out as the ice melts.

  • Hair dryer: Usually the easiest and safest way to thaw a pipe. If the pipe is close to the wall, place a cookie sheet behind the pipe to help radiate heat onto the backside of the pipe.
  • Heat lamp: You can use an infrared or incandescent heat lamp. As with a hair dryer, if the pipe is close to the wall, use a cookie sheet behind the pipe to help reflect heat onto the pipe.
  • Portable heater: A small, powerful heater works great for warming pipes under a kitchen or vanity base cabinet. Direct the heater onto the frozen section of pipe. It will work like a hair dryer on steroids!
  • Electric pipe heat tape: Heat tape is a ribbon-like wrap that contains electrical heating elements. You wrap it around the pipe you want to heat and plug it into the wall. The temperature of the tape is controlled with a thermostat. Heat tape can also be used to prevent pipes from freezing in critical areas; you can leave the heat tape on the pipe and plug it in only when needed.

There are a few things you can do to prevent the problem of freezing pipes from occurring again:

  • Leave the faucet dripping slightly during the coldest time of the day or night.
  • Open the cabinet doors to allow the heated air from the room to reach pipes inside the cabinet.
  • Wrap the problem pipe with electrical heat tape.
  • Insulate problem pipes with foam insulation wrap, especially those that run through unheated spaces. Note: Insulation merely slows the transfer of heat and will not prevent a pipe from freezing if the surrounding air is cold enough.
  • Heat unheated areas with a permanent heater, just to keep the temperature above freezing, or about 40 degrees F. Warning: Do not use portable heaters, which should never be left running unattended.
  • Remove garden hoses attached to outdoor faucets (hose bibs or sill cocks). If the faucet is not a frost-proof type, turn off the water to the faucet inside the house and drain the exterior section of the pipe.

Keep your dryer vent clean

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

The Importance of Dryer Vent Cleaning in your home.

Dryer vent cleaning prevents fires. If you live any within Richland or Ashland Counties, you will want to make sure that your home or commercial property is completely safe. Whether by flooding, fire or some other mishap, there are plenty of ways that your property can be threatened. One of the best ways to ensure that you are prepared for a catastrophic emergency is always to have a local residential and commercial property cleanup and restoration service.

Dryer Vent Cleaning Prevents Fires 

Keep your property from sustaining irreversible fire damage. Making sure your dryer vents are clean and free from obstruction will help keep your property safe from the possibility of a fire. It's also an excellent precaution to take to keep the air in the building from getting choked up with dust, lint and other health hazards that can accumulate in a dryer vent. 

Get Help from a Local Cleanup and Restoration Service 

It's up to you to contact an expert local cleaning and fire restoration service to ensure that your vents get cleaned in a correct and timely fashion. When you are in doubt as to whether the vents or other areas in your home are functioning correctly, a good, thorough cleaning is never a bad idea. 

Even if it turns out that your property is not quite yet due for a full cleaning, a reputable local cleanup service can help such as removing any excess pollen or debris that has accumulated in the vents. This way, you can save a great deal of time, money and worry by taking timely preventative measures. Keeping the proper level of air quality in your home or commercial building will go a long way toward keeping the structure safe for your family or employees to inhabit. An expert local service will ultimately save you a great deal of time and stress.

Fire damage in your Mansfield Home or Apartment

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

You’ll probably be anxious to start cleaning your home after a fire, however, unless you take the time to get a professional to help you, you’ll be wasting your efforts and time or even creating more damage. Contact your insurance agent immediately; they can give you advice on replacement or restoration of any items which sustained fire damage. If you are a renter, speak with your landlord so you can both assess the damages.

Your insurance agent might also be able to help you find a professional fire damage restorer. These companies can give you hints to prevent any more damage, and help you figure out what items can or cannot be refurbished, plus give you estimates and services for thoroughly deodorizing and cleaning your home. Even if you think the services are pricey, it is well worth it to avoid more costly damages or replacing furnishings and floors they might otherwise be able to restore for you.

Avoiding More Damage

Before you get the professional fire damage restoration company in your home, there are some things you can do to prevent more damages. However, make sure that you have permission from the fire marshal first that it is safe to enter your home again before you do anything at all. Open up windows to get the air inside moving and ventilate areas of your home. If you can, place a fan inside as well to help circulate the air. If there has been water damage which is substantial and it is warm outside, you will likely have to keep the windows closed and use a dehumidifier. With cold weather, your heating system, if operable, plus the cold air will help to start to take the moisture out. Change your furnace filter daily in this case until no soot shows. When the professionals get there, they will have the proper industrial equipment to continue and finish the process of drying your structure out completely. You can begin the dry out process to help mold from forming, which can happen quite quickly. Put plastic food wrap or aluminum foil around the legs of our furniture, and over items that are clean and dry with plastic, so they are not damaged during the repairs process.

Soot in Household Textiles

Soot is oily and will easily stain your draperies, carpets, and other household textiles. This is why it needs to be removed before anything is cleaned or deodorized. Let a professional restoration company remove the soot with a heavy-duty vacuum. They will be able to get the soot out properly and thoroughly so that your belongings have the best chance of being restored. They will also know how to avoid other items from being damaged from the soot during clean up. The professionals will also be able to remove soot from walls and other items in your home before they professionally remove the odors left behind as well.

Reducing the Risk of Air Conditioner Fires

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

There is no better feeling than walking out of the blistering summer heat and into the cool climate of your air conditioned home. However, what many people don’t know is that the same AC unit that makes summer temperatures more bearable can sometimes be a major fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association, air conditioner fires caused 20 deaths and an estimated $82 million in property damage across the nation in 2016. There are several reasons why these potentially catastrophic fires might occur.

Overuse

With sweltering temperatures outside, you might not think twice about letting your air conditioning unit run all day and night. However, prolonged overuse can cause serious issues and create a risk of your unit catching fire. Continuous use of the AC can lead to parts of its internal machinery breaking down and can shorten the lifespan of your unit as well as making it a fire hazard. Instead of leaving the air conditioner to run all day, consider shutting it off whenever you leave the house and turning it back on when you return. Turning the AC off at night when temperatures are less unbearable is also advisable to keep your unit running well and home safe from fire.

Improper Maintenance

Another potential cause of air conditioner fires is improper maintenance of the unit. Annual checks should be performed on your AC unit to ensure that all of its pieces and parts are in proper working order. Filters should be inspected and cleaned regularly and replaced when needed. It is also important to never use extension cords when plugging in you air conditioner unit, and to make sure that it is securely attached to the window. As well, it is essential to keep the space around your AC free of debris, as any stray materials might get sucked into the unit and catch fire.

Faulty Wiring

When the temperate begins to cimb, many homeowners rush to take their air conditioning unit out of storage and reinstall it immediately. While the heat might be unbearable, it is nothing compared to the tragedy of losing your home and belongings to a house fire that could have been avoided. When setting up your AC, take some time to check that all the equipment is in the same state as it was when you last put it away. If there are any broken panels or loose wires, the unit might not be safe for use. If you stored your air conditioning unit in a garage, shed, or storage unit throughout the fall and winter seasons, the wires could have been tampered with by mice, rats, or other small rodents. One chewed up wire inside your unit is all it takes for a fire to start.

In the case that your air conditioning unit does catch fire, our clean-up and restoration experts at SERVPRO of North Richland & Ashland Counties are here to help. Our employees are experienced, well-trained, and have all the necessary tools to restore your property after a fire “like it never even happened.”

Smoke Webs

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke Webs

Did you know?

Residues (such as burning plastics or the soot from furnace disorders) form long chains of ionized smoke particles that assemble in corners or at junctions of walls and ceilings which are called smoke webs!

The picture is from a fire damage that our large loss division assisted with out of state. The building had 35,000 square feet that was affected, it took our team a few weeks to completely clean the facility. 

Does your business have a plan? Check out these tips:

Protect your people : Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.

  • Fire Plans: Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol. 
  • Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs. 
  • First Aid: In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen

Eliminating Heating Hazards This Winter

1/26/2018 (Permalink)

The winter season is in full swing! The days are shorter and temperatures are lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is responsible for an estimated $893 million in property damage annually. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire. 

-Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater. Have a three foot "Kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters. 

-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 

-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters. 

-Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home. 

-Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. 

-Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions. 

How Do Professionals Achieve Cleaning After Fire Damage to Your Ashland, Ohio

1/26/2018 (Permalink)

Many methods are used when restoring a home after a fire. Contact SERVPRO right away and let our expertise work for you.

SERVPRO Follows Scientific Principals When Restoring Your Property After Fire Damage

Fire can wreak havoc on your North Richland and Ashland,Ohio home. The smoke and soot can cause irreparable damage if it is not taken care of promptly and efficiently. Successful cleanup and restoration after a fire is a job for the professionals. Trying to get the damage repaired or restored by yourself can worsen the already bad situation. 

SERVPRO professionals have years of experience in successful restoration and cleanup of hundreds of homes after a fire damage here in North Richland and Ashland Co.Ohio. Our meticulous technicians use tested scientific methods to get rid of the damage due to fire. Our state-of-the-art, multi-step cleaning process restores your home back to the pre-damage condition in no time. Here are the four scientific principles that enable SERVPRO technicians to restore your home after a fire damage. 

Modulating the temperature can hasten the cleaning process  
Smoke and soot can build up on the walls and ceilings after an incidence of fire. These residues are notoriously difficult to clean even with some of the best and most active cleaning agents. SERVPRO technicians use their knowledge of chemistry to handle such stains. We use an elevated temperature that speeds up the reaction between cleaning agents and the stain causing residues. 

Agitation can speed up cleaning process 
SERVPRO technicians use various agitation techniques such as brushing, air, and water pressure and even sound waves at high frequencies to clean difficult to clean stains. Our technicians have a thorough understanding of how the process of agitation works and how it can be successfully implemented depending on the nature of the damage. 

Chemical cleaning products can work wonders 
Various chemical cleaning products can work wonders cleaning the smoke and soot residue if they are carefully selected depending on the type of the damage. Our expert technicians use their extensive experience and knowledge to choose the best possible chemical cleansing agents that can clean the damage in no time. 

Restoring fire damage is a process that involves careful planning and expertise. You can trust us to ensure that your home looks, smells and feels like home again in no time. Call SERVPRO of North Richland and Ashland Co. today at (419)207-8449 to speak to one of our experts. 

Being prepared is the key.

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Both commercial and residential clients can take advantage of our expertise in preventing and preparing for the aftermath of even a minor fire is stressful, and you as a homeowner are rarely experienced in the practical and emotional ramifications of such an event. We have built a rich knowledge base over the years of restoring fire damaged dwellings for other members of our community. Make use of our familiarity, training, and skills, and ready yourself for a problem you and we both hope you never encounter. 
 
The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan encourages you to take stock of your situation before a disaster happens. We help you assess your property and work out many of the logistics we need to master to deliver fast and efficient fire damage restoration if a blaze occurs. You assist us and also improve the odds of a successful fire restoration effort by creating a layout of your property, identifying the location of utility shutoffs, and clarifying a chain of command should you be unable to respond yourself. 
 
You can designate another person to act on your behalf in the plan, helpful if you are injured or out of the area when the fire crisis occurs. This precaution is if you spend any time traveling or just as insurance if you think it possible you may have an issue with clarity of thought after a fire damages your property. Making decisions ahead of time helps SERVPRO follow a well-thought out plan rather than waiting for your instructions after a frightening event like a fire makes it hard for you to respond. 
 SERVPRO of North Richland and Ashland County
wants to be certain our efforts always lead to the outcome you desire. Give us a call at (419) 207-8449 to schedule an assessment that will help us collaborate on an Emergency Ready Plan to protect and restore your property.

Fire Damage Tips

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency? 
Call SERVPRO of North Richland and Ashland County 419-207-8449

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor