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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to deal with smoke damage in commercial buildings

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

When a fire occurs, SERVPRO of Central Auglaize Hardin & Logan Counties works to assist business owners and proprietors to move forward and put their lives and businesses back together. It can be overwhelming. The restoration process after a commercial fire is laborious if not time-consuming. It includes:

  • damage assessment
  • debris removal
  • odor, soot, and residual water mitigation

Fire and smoke damage restoration professionals are there to advise and direct business owners to sift through the damage and greatly aid in rebuilding their businesses and commercial properties.

Once undertaken, the goal of commercial fire damage restoration is to thoroughly clean every nook and cranny of a business or commercial property after a fire. In a fire’s aftermath, much of the damage restoration focuses on eliminating the persistent smoke odors and the accompanying soot and residual water. Every trace of the contaminants responsible for odors must be scrubbed clean and deodorized. High-powered equipment such as air scrubbers can help clear the air of particulates and odors. Industrial air movers and dehumidifiers mitigate residual water and moisture from putting out the fire.

It all hinges on taking action quickly. In doing so it’s possible for smoke and fire restoration professionals to minimize damage and loss. Here are several steps to anticipate how your restoration professional deals with smoke damage after a fire occurs on your commercial property.

Smoke Odors

As with most fires, commercial fires leave a pungent odor that permeates the building, furnishings, fixtures, and air throughout the property. Those odors are in large part a result of the fire source itself—the debris from the fire, the soot and residual water and chemicals that were used to extinguish the fire. The debris must be dealt with first.

Once the fire and insurance company have determined an origin and cause of the fire, restoration crews move to quickly remove the debris and soot from the premises. Materials such as charred furnishings, rugs, and ceiling tiles are carried out until the property is emptied of any burned remnants of the fire. Debris removal also mitigates odors by removing microscopic dust particles, airborne and settled, that derives from soot deposits and burned debris. Debris removal reduces the intensity of odors, but will not completely eliminate them. Soot and residual water also combine to contribute to smoke odors, and they must be dealt with.

Soot Removal

Thick layers of soot mixed with moisture cover a good portion of commercial fire sites. Soot is the black, powdered carbon and chemical byproduct of the burned material after a fire. Depending on the material burned in commercial fires, the chemical or acidic composition of soot can cause further damage on its own to just about any surface it is in contact with. Soot can stain porous and textured surfaces, permanently discolor granite, plastics, grout and the un-burned fixtures made of wood or textiles.

Removal of soot can reduce the likelihood of permanent soot staining discoloration and may reduce the costs of replacement. As an important step in fire damage restoration, industrial vacuums are very helpful in removing the layers and bulk of powdery soot after fires.

Residual Water

Not only is mold a problem after flooding but after fires as well. Residual water from extinguishing the fire can lead to mold spreading throughout the property if it is not properly mitigated. The increased moisture in the air interacts with mold spores. In a confined space this allows mold to grow rapidly, covering and staining porous surfaces. The smoky odor after a fire rapidly combines with mold to further contaminate the air and interact with surfaces. The longer such odors interact with surfaces the more difficult it will be to completely eliminate the odor.

Commercial fire damage restoration entails industrial-grade air movers and dehumidifiers to remove water and moisture that can lead to airborne mold spores. All interior walls must be checked for water damage. All surfaces must be cleaned thoroughly and wiped down with anti-bacterial agents throughout the process.

If you have a commercial building with fire damage, give us a call to help get you back and running. Our number is (937) 354-3540.

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