A Complete Guide to Fire Cleanup Mitigation Services
When you have had a fire or water damage issue, who is going to clean your contents, make sure the smell is gone, clean up the soot, and dry the structure and contents? That is where we come in. ServiceMaster Advanced, The Master of Disaster (251) 653-9333 in Mobile & (251) 928-1028 in Baldwin County.
REMEMBER THIS IS YOUR HOME. YOUR CONTENTS. THE INSURANCE COMPANY MAY HAVE A KNOWN VENDOR, BUT ULTIMATELY IT IS YOUR CHOICE WHO ENTERS YOUR HOME AND WHO IS ALLOWED TO HANDLE YOUR MOST PERSONAL OF BELONGINGS. DON'T TELL THE INSURANCE COMPANY YOU WANT SERVICEMASTER, TELL THEM THAT YOU WANT SERVICEMASTER ADVANCED - THE MASTER OF DISASTER.
* As information, we hire only background checked and fully trained individuals. No scary temporaries are going to work in your home! Period.
WE WORK WITH CONTRACTORS AND CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES & WE DO NOT COMPETE WITH THEM. We can handle a full scale water damage repair, fire damage repair, or mold remediation project of any size. We can work under the contractor, or be a total one-stop provider and bill for the contracting and repair services in one invoice. We are amenable to any arrangement and we work with any and all contracting companies to find the best fit for a total solution for the customer. We arrange moving where need be and arrange packout and storage, and finally can provide detail post-construction cleanup at the completion of the job.
Flexibility. It's what the homeowners, contractors and insurance companies want. We deliver. ServiceMaster Advanced Restoration works WITH construction companies and homeowners in a variety of ways, and we tailor make our approach based upon the needs of the client and the requirements of the insurance company.
Unlike a conversion start-up ServiceMaster franchise, (or any other repair company), who is essentially an insurance re-build contractor; our company is primarily an expert water damage mitigation, fire damage mitigation, and mold damage remediation company. We are experts in this field. We should be. After all, we have been doing it for nearly 30 years and have some of the most highly trained staff in the industry. We do not promote ourselves as a one-stop shop that competes with contractors, we are a flexible mitigation and repair company that will arrange for anything that a customer wants. We keep the interest of the customer first. Period.
Over the years, we have learned that it is a far better business model to become the area's industry leading expert in one field - migitation & remediation - and asist our customers in their repair needs. By doing this, we have cultivated some very thankful customers, have saved many of them thousands of dollars in repairs, and have made many friends in the construction and home repair industry as well.
The following is a list of services that the mitigation company - ServiceMaster Advanced can provide. Think of us as your overall fire coordinator. We will arrange for everything to be done and our services may include:
1. Meeting with the adjuster with you to ascertain limits of coverage and job scope.
2. Providing complete pack-out of all contents, and a full inventory of all cleanable and non-cleanable contents.
3. Arranging for the move-out of all contents and furniture.
4. Complete and through detail cleaning of all contents and furniture.
5. Storage of all contents and furniture while repairs are underway.
6. Structure cleaning to remove all soot, smoke damage and odor.
7. Duct cleaning.
8. Clothing Cleaning and Storage.
9. Appliance and Electronic Cleaning and Evaluation
10. Recommendation of a re-build contractor (where allowable), or working with this contractor as detailed in the next heading below.
11. Post-construction and detailed final structure cleaning.
12. Move back and unpacking of contents.
Here are some of the many ways in which we have helped customers with their repair needs in conjunction with fire, water or mold damage:
1. Full service. We provide the water or fire mitigation and we hire a known contractor who has many many years of service in the industry. Several of the contractors that we work with are also APPROVED insurance program repair contractors. The service is seamless and we submit one bill to the insurance company or the homeowner and we warrant all of the contractors services. From the customer's standpoint, it is one entity providing all services.
2. Partial full service. We provide the water or fire mitigation and we hire the mitigation related services such as duct cleaning, dry cleaners, moving & storage and demolition; but the customer hires the contractor, perhaps one that we suggest or one that has done work for the customer before. The customer is billed separately for our part (mitigation and the mitigation related services), and the contracting. This system works well when the customer wishes to upgrade their interior, rather than rebuild as it was before.
3. Totally separate service. We provide water damage mitigation, fire mitigation or mold remediation services, and a contractor who is suggested by the insurance company or who is known to the homeowner, provides rebuild services. Any other mitigation related services are contracted individually by the homeowner as well. Some insurance companies insist that the claim is handled this way.
4. Working FOR the contractor. Because of our many relationships in the home repair business, many contractors call us to help dry small areas before they rebuld floors and walls among other interior structures. Many call us out for mold remediation in conjunction with a home repair or remodel project. These are the type of contractors that we enjoy working with. They know that they can't fully assure a customer that the structure is either dry, smoke odor free, or mold free; and they call the experts in to asssit. This delivers a higher quality of service, and a level of comfort to their customers that they otherwise would not be able to provide. Many times, we are called out and asssit the contractor in finding moisture or solving odor or mold problems, and there is little actual work for us to do. We are nonetheless glad to serve these contractors and we know that in the long run, there will be plenty of actual work to do. We also provide a large number of post-construction cleaning projects for these same contractors in both homes and businesses. Water Damage Restoration, Fire Damage Restoration Mobile, AL, Daphne, AL, Fairhope, AL, Foley, AL, Gulf Shores, AL & Orange Beach, AL - You Have A Choice
This is one of many articles we have posted to help the public in how to effectively handle a fire mitigation loss. ServiceMaster, The Master of Disaster in Mobile, AL has posted a series of these articles on our web site: http://www.servicemastermobilealabama.com. If you need help, please call us at (251) 653-9333 or (251) 928-1028 in Mobile or Baldwin County. We would be honored to serve you.
THE FOLLOWING IS SOME GENERAL INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH.
Understanding the Chemistry of Fire
The chemistry of fire is a series of complex reactions, sometimes involving well over 100 chemical elements. The many different substances that can fuel a fire and the different resulting chemical reactions that take place mean that fires may be very different in their cause, their composition and their waste. Mitigation professionals must understand the chemistry of fire in order to react appropriately and to effectively restore the area.
Fires are classified into two groups: Simple and complex. Simple fires result in complete combustion and are usually fueled by a relatively pure fuel, producing no soot and only small amounts of gasses, fumes and smoke. Complex fires, on the other half, are the result of incomplete combustion and are fueled by many materials, including those found in toys, carpets, furniture, clothing, plumbing, and bathroom equipment. As complex fires cause the most damage and leave the most waste, they are usually those handled by disaster restoration professionals like ServiceMaster Clean.
Acids Cause Permanent Damage
In a complex fire, the acid gasses combine with heat and water vapor and penetrate cracks and crevices, when the surfaces cool. The gasses from highly corrosive solutions.
These solutions can permanently etch and stain many sensitive surfaces including machinery and tools, precision instruments, ad household appliances, plus marble, glass and aluminum surfaces. In addition, salts are produced when acids mix with metal and can cause further damage to a metal surface, like the corrosion on cars from salty snow and ice treatments.
Another common product of fire is soot, which is comprised of carbon and other materials, that are completely burned or oxidized. Some soot particles are dry and can be vacuumed effectively, but most are combined with grease and oils and cannot be vacuumed, These situations require an alkaline solution that reacts with the oil or grease and releases particles, creating a water soluble product that can be washed away with water.
Other soot deposits depending on their chemical make-up and the surface on which they rest, may demand physical removal with a putty knife or similar instrument.
Even though the chemistry of fires may vary, the most important thing is to dry out the area as soon as possible to avoid further damage caused by acids and contaminants. A careful consideration of the materials and surfaces affected will them provide an understanding of the fire’s chemistry and allow for a targeted and informed restoration effort.
Fire Prevention Tactics
Fires can begin anywhere, but two areas in your home pose the biggest fire threat- the kitchen and the garage. You can reduce your risk of fire in these vulnerable places with the following precautions:
- Use only UL-listed (Underwriter’s Laboratory) or FM (Factory Mutual) approved appliances and tools.
- Check regularly for frayed or worn power cords or plugs and replace them immediately.
- Don’t operate appliances, switches or outlets with wet hands.
- Never plug in more appliance than a socket is designed to handle.
- Don’t store flammable items near the stove.
- Turn pot handles inward so that children do not pull them down.
- Keep fire extinguisher on a wall near the stove.
- Keep areas around the stoves, refrigerators, and dishwashers clean to prevent dust particles from igniting.
- Keep trash and other items away from the furnace or water heater, preferable stored in sealed containers.
- Check heating equipment annually.
- Store gasoline and other flammables in metal containers, away from the house- never near heating equipment or pilot light.
Do’s & Don’ts
In the event that smoke and fire do invade your home, it is important to take the appropriate action to prevent further damage. Here are some helpful do’s and don’ts to aid in the restoration process.
- Blow off, brush or vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes and carpets.
- Cover carpeted traffic areas with towels or old linens to prevent additional soiling.
- Discard open food packages. The food could be contaminated.
- If electrical service is turned off, clean out your refrigerator and freezer. Leave the doors propped open or place charcoal in the unit.
- Send clothing with heavy smoke damage to a qualified professional dry cleaner.
- Clean Formica and chrome fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom to prevent [permanent tarnishing.
- Wipe residue from porcelain bath fixtures to prevent etching.
- Wipe the leaves of houseplants to remove smoke residue.
- Change the air filter on your furnace if it uses forced hot air.
- Tape cheesecloth over intake and outlet air registers to capture any loose soot in the air. This is even more effective if the cheesecloth is damp.
- If the outside temperature is above 60 degrees, air out the house to reduce smoke odor.
- Don not attempt to wash any papered or flat painted walls without consulting your professional cleaner. Incorrect cleaning procedures could compound the soot residue problem.
- Do not attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture. Again, incorrect procedure could increase damage.
- Do not use electrical appliances that have been close to fire or water before having them checked. They could malfunction.
- Do not use ceiling fixtures id the ceiling is wet. A short could result.
- Do not touch anything. Soot on your hands can permeate upholstery, walls and woodwork, causing further damage.
- Do not eat food that has been exposed to fire or smoke.
- Do not wait to call for professional help.
- The little known secret in the insurance industry is that you have a choice in contractors should you experience damage to your home. It is not your insurance agent's choice. It is not your insurance adjuster's choice. It is not your insurance company's choice. It is your choice who enters your home and performs repairs for you. ServiceMaster Advanced Cleaning and Restoration is an approved vendor for virtually all of the insurance companies that operate in our regional area. At one time or another, over nearly 30 years, we have worked with virtually every insurance company that has ever written a policy here. In fact, many of them recommend us because we have been pre-qualified to work for them, meaning we are on their mitigation "program". This means that we have met their standards with regard to insurance, training, procedures etc. and that they are comfortable dispatching a claim to us, if the homeowner agrees. This is the important stipulation. The homeowner must agree and contract directly with us. ServiceMaster Advanced is one of a small handful of companies locally that are approved as such. We appreciate the business that the insurance programs send to us; however out of the few that are approved as such, we want to stand alone as the best. We want to earn your business be deserving of your trust, not only, because the insurance company recommended us, but because our reputation and policies are such that you would have hired us anyway. We want to stand alone out of all of the recommended companies, that you will tell your insurance agent, company or adjuster that you want ServiceMaster Advanced Cleaning, Enterprise number 7027, (251) 653-9333, (251) 928-1028, or (866) 653-9333 to service your home or business. "We would be honored to serve you."