“Find A Certified Water Restoration Company”

Standing liquids can cause catastrophic damage to a home and everything inside, which is why homeowners rely on a water restoration company to fix everything quickly and thoroughly. Among carpet and textile technicians, these professionals are perhaps the most knowledgeable and versatile. They must be able to assess and repair damage to carpets, upholstery, and other textiles. In addition, trained professionals must be able to identify structural damage to the home, fight microbial infestation, and eliminate the source of the problem. Handling all of these processes requires extensive training from a respected organization.

There are several oversight agencies in the industry, but the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC, is likely the most revered. More than 50,000 registrants and firms are part of the IICRC, and the organization is recognized around the world. Any water restoration company that wants to improve its knowledge and standing in the field can do so through the IICRC.

The institute’s classes are taught through approved instructors that are spread throughout the country. This means a technician can easily find and attend nearby courses, and get their career going right away. Relevant courses in this field include mold remediation, structural drying, carpet cleaning, and carpet repair. However, the most important class will teach the technician how to identify excess moisture and remove it, how to assess the extent of liquid contamination, how to remove structural hazards, and how to repair any damage done by the liquid. Technicians in the industry are expected to work in many different environments, so students will also learn how to handle the unique threats caused by sewage backflows and major pipe leaks.”

Information sourced from: http://www.iicrc.org/blog/water-restoration-company-102313.html

“Having Smoke Damage Clean Up With A Professional”

“After a fire, smoke damage and subsequent clean up can change lives. Yet it is possible to get back to normalcy. Most homeowner insurance policies will cover the cost of the restoration and repair, so the homeowner does not have to spend much if any money out of pocket.

Whether the project is small or enormous it is important to remember that time is of great importance. Seemingly minor damages can cause irreversible destruction within a matter of days. In fact, the caustic nature of the ash residue causes injury within just a few hours. Over time the deterioration will become permanent and extremely costly.

Clean up that is necessary in the wake of a fire can seem like a daunting task. However, it is important to contact an Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC, technician as soon as possible. IICRC is a name trusted in the industry for excellence. It trains, certifies, and monitors technicians that carry its CleanTrust™ logo. Through extensive training and hands on experience the technician learns how to properly and professionally tackle any job requiring restoration after a fire. Through different levels of mastery the technician is able to learn how to evaluate the scene, prepare a plan of action, and implement the plan.

The first step to hiring an IICRC technician is to contact the insurer. The name is a highly respected symbol in the restoration and repair industry. The homeowner can visit IICRC’s website or call to obtain a list of active members in good standing, or the insurer may be able to point the homeowner in the right direction.

While a fire causes smoke damage, quick clean up by an IICRC-approved technician can have the homeowner back at home in a healthy environment fast.”

Information sourced from: http://www.iicrc.org/blog/smoke-damage-clean-up-103013.html

Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings

“Table 1: Water Damage – Cleanup and Mold Prevention

Table 1 presents strategies to respond to water damage within 24-48 hours. These guidelines are designed to help avoid the need for remediation of mold growth by taking quick action before growth starts. If mold growth is found on the materials listed in Table 1, refer to Table 2 for guidance on remediation. Depending on the size of the area involved and resources available, professional assistance may be needed to dry an area quickly and thoroughly.

An Adobe Acrobat PDF version of this table is available here (PDF, 1 page, 209 K, about PDF)

Go to Table 2 | Go back to Investigating, Evaluating, and Remediating Moisture and Mold Problems

Water-Damaged Material  Actions
Books and papers
  • For non-valuable items, discard books and papers.
  • Photocopy valuable/important items, discard originals.
  • Freeze (in frost-free freezer or meat locker) or freeze-dry.
Carpet and backing – dry within 24-48 hours §
  • Remove water with water extraction vacuum.
  • Reduce ambient humidity levels with dehumidifier.
  • Accelerate drying process with fans.
Ceiling tiles
  • Discard and replace.
Cellulose insulation
  • Discard and replace.
Concrete or cinder block surfaces
  • Remove water with water extraction vacuum.
  • Accelerate drying process with dehumidifiers, fans, and/or heaters.
Fiberglass insulation
  • Discard and replace.
Hard surface, porous flooring§ (Linoleum, ceramic tile, vinyl)
  • Vacuum or damp wipe with water and mild detergent and allow to dry; scrub if necessary.
  • Check to make sure underflooring is dry; dry underflooring if necessary.
Non-porous, hard surfaces
(Plastics, metals)
  • Vacuum or damp wipe with water and mild detergent and allow to dry; scrub if necessary.
Upholstered furniture
  • Remove water with water extraction vacuum.
  • Accelerate drying process with dehumidifiers, fans, and/or heaters.
  • May be difficult to completely dry within 48 hours. If the piece is valuable, you may wish to consult a restoration/water damage professional who specializes in furniture.
(Drywall and gypsum board)
  • May be dried in place if there is no obvious swelling and the seams are intact. If not, remove, discard, and replace.
  • Ventilate the wall cavity, if possible.
Window drapes
  • Follow laundering or cleaning instructions recommended by the manufacturer.
Wood surfaces
  • Remove moisture immediately and use dehumidifiers, gentle heat, and fans for drying. (Use caution when applying heat to hardwood floors.)
  • Treated or finished wood surfaces may be cleaned with mild detergent and clean water and allowed to dry.
  • Wet paneling should be pried away from wall for drying.

* If mold growth has occurred or materials have been wet for more than 48 hours, consult Table 2 guidelines. Even if materials are dried within 48 hours, mold growth may have occurred. Items may be tested by professionals if there is doubt. Note that mold growth will not always occur after 48 hours; this is only a guideline.

These guidelines are for damage caused by clean water. If you know or suspect that the water source is contaminated with sewage, or chemical or biological pollutants, then Personal Protective Equipment and containment are required by OSHA. An experienced professional should be consulted if you and/or your remediators do not have expertise remediating in contaminated water situations. Do not use fans before determining that the water is clean or sanitary.

† If a particular item(s) has high monetary or sentimental value, you may wish to consult a restoration/water damage specialist.

§ The subfloor under the carpet or other flooring material must also be cleaned and dried. See the appropriate section of this table for recommended actions depending on the composition of the subfloor.”

Information sourced from: http://www.epa.gov/mold/table1.html

Hard Surface Cleaning

“In today’s home decor, hard surface flooring is playing an increasingly important role. Examples of popular flooring materials include stone, concrete, ceramic/clay, wood, resilient and specialty flooring. These materials appear to be easy to clean, maintain and restore, however, soils on hard surface flooring have a tendency to build up progressively, resulting in erosion. Sooner or later, it’s necessary to clean beyond routine dusting and damp mopping; that’s the time to call in a certified professional for help.

Certified technicians have the specialized training and experience it takes to select the proper cleaning chemicals, equipment, tools and materials in conjunction with the proper methodologies for maintaining or restoring hard surface flooring to its original beauty. Certified technicians can offer advice on how to clean and maintain the appearance of hard surface flooring and how to maximize your investment and extend flooring life.

xamples of popular flooring materials today include stone, concrete, ceramic/clay, wood, resilient and specialty flooring.

To protect and preserve the life and durability of your hard surface floors the cleantrust offers the following general guidelines for care:

  • Use Entry Mats. 80 percent to 90 percent of the soil found on floors is tracked in from outside.
  • Remove Dry Soil Often. Vacuuming is the most efficient method of dry soil removal.
  • Wet Clean Regularly. Use a neutral floor cleaner or one formulated for the floor surface you are cleaning. Note, when cleaning wood floors keep moisture to a minimum.
    • Identification is Key. There are six categories of hard surface floor covering: natural stone, concrete, ceramic/clay, wood, resilient and specialty. Within these categories are numerous classifications that require different cleaning methodologies. By knowing what the flooring material is, a proper floor maintenance program can be developed.
    • Use Walk off Mats. The number one enemy of flooring materials is soil because of the damage caused by eroding the surface of the floor, keeping it out is paramount to a successful program. Studies  indicate that five feet of walk off mat will reduce 33 percent of the soil  entering into a building, and 25 feet of walk off mat will reduce almost all of the soil entering a building.
    • Spot Mopping. Slip and falls are a significan challenge with hard surface maintenance. Spills should be removed as soon as they occur. When a spill occurs, cordon off the area with wet floor signs, placards, cones or tape, remove the spill with appropriate cleaning solution, wet mop, bucket and wringer and dry the floor completely with floor fan before leaving the area.
    • Daily/Routine Maintenance. Reducing or eliminating the soil that gets past the walk off mats on a daily or routine basis is the best way to reduce the damaging effects caused by erosion to the floor surface. This is accomplished with the dry service procedures (sweeping, dust mopping or microfiber cloth systems and vacuuming) followed by wet service procedures (spot, damp, and wet mopping) using the appropriate cleaning solutions in conjunction with mop buckets and wringers ,microfiber cloth systems or automatic scrubbing machines in large open areas.
    • Periodic and Restorative Maintenance. Professional floor maintenance technicians are the best choice for the periodic and restorative maintenance of hard surface flooring. Because of the number of categories and classifications of hard surface flooring available, mistakes can be made. A certified floor maintenance technician will know how to identify and provide the proper floor maintenance solutions.”

Information sourced from: http://www.iicrc.org/consumers/care/hard-surface-cleaning/

Moisture Meters: Continuing to Change for the Better

he focus of this issue is innovation. We tend to associate change with innovation and progress. But, to paraphrase Ellen Glasgow, not all change is growth, just as all movement is not forward. There has been tremendous change in water damage restoration in the three-plus decades I have been involved in the industry. This article will focus on change in products for detecting and tracking moisture. I think the changes discussed here will prove to be innovations that will move the industry forward in this regard.

We’ll begin with Chris Ranwell, Global Product Manager for GE Measurement & Control Advanced Sensors, and his thoughts on the trends of meters for our industry:

  • Hygrometers: “Fast response and reliable – ability to calculate dew point, GPP and enthalpy. Non-contact IR surface temperature measurement with calculation for surface condensation (alerting to possible secondary damage).”
  • Design improvements: “More durable, sleeker and more user-friendly design is a growing trend in instrumentation.”
  • Data logging: “When users take measurements or capture data, they will be able to archive and access their information more easily.”
  • Fewer tools with more capabilities: “As our technologies become unified, this will enable a rich consumer experience providing the ability to use various types of devices within one instrument.”

“Tom Rochenski, who represents the Flir and Extech line of moisture meters, describes the direction for improvement in those meters: “The key to a good moisture meter/hygrometer is speed and accuracy. I always look for a hygrometer/moisture meter that is fast and accurate. Restoration professionals need results in minutes, not hours. Also accurate repeatable readings on invasive and non-invasive readings are vital to assessing the amount of moisture in building materials. Using the dry standard and setting a base line for moisture levels is extremely important.”

Tips to Take Advantage of Innovation

Innovations in heat-based drying systems and other methods of heating play an ever increasing role in assuring rapid and complete structural drying. Paul Laurenzi of Delmhorst recognizes that when he discusses the need to adjust readings for temperature. Laurenzi also includes some other important points to get the most from your moisture meter:

“Interpreting moisture meter scales can be a challenge. Not only do different materials require different scales, but within a particular material you may still have to make adjustments to your readings based on certain variables. Obtaining a precise reading for a particular wood product may require you to make a conversion using a species correction table or to use a meter that makes the conversion for you.

“The temperature of wood can impact moisture meter readings. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get an accurate reading when wood is hotter or colder than the meter assumes, but may mean that you have to use a table to convert the reading into an accurate moisture measurement. If ambient temperatures are below 50°F or above 90°F, variations in the readings will be significant, measure the temperature of the wood itself to determine any needed adjustment.”

When using the reference scale to test materials such as brick, concrete block and other non-wood building materials, be sure that you understand exactly what those readings mean. The reference scale standing alone will only indicate high or low moisture content, and readings from different meters cannot be directly compared.

With most moisture meters, drywall is measured using the reference scale and comparisons to dry materials. However, Delmhorst offers several moisture meters that are calibrated specifically for drywall.

Some meters may show readings that drift downward after a few seconds. For best results, make sure that you note your reading within 2-3 seconds.

Remote Monitoring

Many of the best innovations save time, make our life easier or make our businesses more profitable. Meters that remotely monitor job conditions and control your equipment provide all those benefits.

“In my classes the adjusters are wanting more and more data because they want that documentation and verification that their claim is done and back to pre-loss condition and they want that data as fast as possible,” says John Otero, who provides continuing education classes for the insurance industry,

Today, more remote technology is entering the field, whereby users no longer have to connect to Ethernet, get a separate modem or connect to Wi-Fi. SIM cards, similar to those on your cell phone, are used to communicate and collect data at any time. Plus, you can even turn on or off your equipment from your phone or other device and get an e-mail or text message when you lose power on the job or when that customer decides to turn off the equipment. You can also download and supply your adjuster or client real-time readings like air temperature, surface temperature, moisture content, GPP and surface temperature.”

Information Sourced from: http://www.icsmag.com/articles/92152-moisture-meters-continuing-to-change-for-the-better

Structural and Commercial Drying

“While there are many methods for drying structural components and contents, the “in-place” drying system has been taught in the industry and used by drying contractors since the early ’80s. In those days, this method of drying components, without significant removal of furnishings or fixtures, was somewhat restricted, due to limitations imposed by extraction, evaporation and dehumidification equipment. In recent years, however, drying technology (extraction, evaporation, dehumidification), along with better understanding of psychrometry, has advanced in major ways so that in-place drying has, in some cases, become far more safe and practical.”

Information Sourced from: http://www.iicrc.org/consumers/care/structural-and-commercial-drying/

IICRC: What Are The Kinds Of Water Restoration Equipment Used?

“There are several pieces of water restoration equipment needed to complete the job properly. This field is technically complex and requires a lot of technology and expertise to do right. Before entering a job site, workers must protect themselves with special clothing. Technicians must also bring devices for drying out the interior and removing moisture from the air. Chemical cleaners and disinfectants are also needed, and moisture detection devices are invaluable for spotting problem areas. For properties that have sustained heavy damage, some demolition tools may be required to quickly removed compromised material.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC, categorizes these jobsites into three groups. If the standing liquid is from a sanitary source, it is placed in category 1. If there are some contaminants present, it is a category 2 situation. If standing liquid is thoroughly contaminated and capable of causing severe illness or death upon ingestion, it is a category 3 jobsite. When working around category 1 liquids, it is possible for a technician to do his job without protective clothing for a short time. However, this is risky because category 1 liquids can become contaminated quickly and without notice. For this reason, it is always best to bring protective clothing in a water restoration equipment kit.

This consists of full body protective clothing, rubber gloves, rubber boots, safety goggles or glasses, and a respirator calibrated for areas with high amounts of moisture. The respirator is especially important because it will prevent a technician from inhaling airborne contaminants like mold or fungi. If damage to the property is extensive or complete, demo tools like sledgehammers or axes may be pieces of water restoration equipment worth bringing. Finally, a pressure washer may be brought in to clean out the areas affected by the liquid. These washers may use detergents, and once done, other compounds might be employed to help dry the area quickly.

Before a technician can get to work repairing the property, he needs to know where the worst of the damage is. In general, the worst effects are in areas where the liquid has thoroughly penetrated materials. However, it’s impossible to detect this just by sight, so a moisture meter is like the technician’s right hand. This piece of water restoration equipment is extremely important and precisely measures the moisture percentage of most material. This is useful for drywall, wood and paper materials. With a moisture meter, a technician will know which areas need the most attention and which areas are safe. As the property begins to dry out, the technician can use the moisture meter to check the progress of the job. In short, this device is the most crucial information gathering tool at the technician’s disposal.

Once the source of the standing liquid is dealt with and the technician has taken stock of the damage, it’s time to dry out the area. There are many pieces of water restoration equipment that are used for this purpose. Most are heavy duty fans that can remove moisture, but some devices function using static electricity to move liquid around. Industrial strength vacuums are also handy for removing small patches of water.”

Information Sourced from: http://www.iicrc.org/what-are-the-kinds-water-restoration-equipment-used-a-130.html

IICRC: The Concepts Of Water Damage Restoration Courses

“Water damage restoration courses teach technicians the proper concepts and techniques for repairing destruction and loss caused by water. Technicians learn the procedures necessary to handle loss, backflow, and contamination. An intensive 19 hours over 3-days prepares the personnel for repairing disastrous situations with proficiency, and an official IICRC certification adds credibility to the technician.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration, or IICRC, is a leading promoter of higher standards of care within the industry. It is also a valuable consumer tool for obtaining referrals to certified technicians and experts. While IICRC does not offer water damage restoration courses personally, it carefully monitors and refers technicians to approved local schools or online classes. The organization is a leader in the industry backed by ANSI, and it sets the standards higher to ensure the safe handling of the property they are treating.

What are the concepts that water damage restoration courses teachHow can the technician get startedHow long does it take?

Extraction of the liquid is generally the first step. Technicians will learn to properly extract the excessive moisture and the proper means of preventing bacterial and mold growth, and how to reduce the chance of structural injury. Technicians learn how to use extraction machines, fans, dehumidifiers, and natural ventilation to begin the repair process. The extraction phase sets the stage for subsequent techniques in the process, so it is vital to get the job done right.

Psychrometry is the science of studying the properties of moist air
. Psychrometrics aid the technician in understanding how the excess moisture affects the surrounding structure, and it is a vital part of the certification course. The data is continually analyzed during the drying process, so it is vital to know the difference between specific and relative humidity and dew point. The lessons teach the technician how to use and calibrate a hygrometer, and where the device should be used for the most accurate results.

Air movers are important machines used during the repair process. The classes teach the technician how to use and measure Cubic Feet per Minute, or CFM, when choosing an air mover. The technician learns how to angle the air mover against the right surfaces and in tight spots for optimal results. Air movers help with the removal of excess moisture, and the understanding of which air movers to buy are part of the lessons.

Evaporation and dehumidification methods are also important steps when learning how to dry the moisture, and this process teaches how to control the environment through airflow
. It compares the difference between using outside air and heated air in the drying process, and introduces the technician to Dalton’s Law of Evaporation. By calculating the moisture in the air, the temperature of the air and the surface, the student will learn which tools to use.

Technicians taking water damage restoration courses are introduced to a number of methods used in drying excessive moisture. Improperly handled situations can lead to structural instability, health issues, and excessive mold growth. Obtaining certification proves that the technician in charge is qualified to repair the damage, and the classes are easy to attend either at an approved school or through distance learning.”

Information Sourced from: http://www.iicrc.org/the-concepts-water-damage-restoration-courses-a-28.html

IICRC: The Basics Of Water Damage Restoration Training

“Water damage restoration training is one of the important skill sets that a team of professional cleaners need in order to offer comprehensive services. This is a service that involves going into a home or business after a wet disaster, such as flood, burst pipes, or snow destruction, and not just cleaning up the mess, but actually drying and repairing the substructures that high volumes of moisture will affect, such as plaster and drywall, wood, concrete, and metal. Mold is a concern, of course, but there can be many other problems related to moisture damage; crumbling drywall and plaster, weakening beams and supports, rusting metal surfaces, and more. If the moisture is left to sit long enough, it will eventually bring the house to ruin. By having professional water damage restoration training, a cleaning crew will be able to properly assess the situation and devise the best plan for repair.

According the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification), which sets the standards for the cleaning industry and water damage restoration training, there are several different levels and classes involved in liquid destruction. From the IICRC’s S-500 standards, there are three categories describing the type of liquid involved.

•    Category 1. This is liquid from a clean and sanitary source, such as faucets, toilet tanks, drinking fountains, etc. But, category one can quickly degrade into category two.
•    Category 2. This category of liquid used to be called grey water, and is described as having a level of contaminates that may cause illness or discomfort if ingested. Sources include dishwasher or washing machine overflows, flush from sink drains, and toilet overflow with some urine but not feces.
•    Category 3. This is the worst classification and is grossly unsanitary. It could cause severe illness or death if ingested. It used to be called black water, and sources include sewer backup, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow with feces, and stagnant liquid that has begun to support bacterial growth.

Next are the classes of destruction.

•    Class 1. The lowest and easiest to deal with, this has a slow evaporation rate. Only part of a room or area was affected, there is little or no wet carpet, and the moisture has only affected materials with a low permeance rate, such as plywood or concrete.
•    Class 2. With a fast evaporation rate, this level affects an entire room, carpeting, or cushioning, the wetness has wicked up the walls at least 12”, and there is moisture remaining in structural materials.
•    Class 3. This class has the fastest evaporation rate, and ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet and sub-floors are all saturated. The liquid may have come from overhead.
•    Class 4. This class is labeled as specialty drying situations, which means there has been enough liquid and time to saturate materials with very low permeance, such as hardwood, brick, or stone.

The education involved in water damage restoration training teaches the technician to tell the difference between all the classes and categories and form a restoration plan based on those factors
. Whether the work is done with a professional, broad-spectrum cleaning company, or if it’s a company limited strictly to moisture damage work, it’s important to make sure the technician has the right knowledge and tools for the job. Infrared probes are used to tell the extent of the destruction, as well as air movers, air scrubbers, different sizes and types of dryers and blowers, special hardwood dryers, and dryers designed specifically for drying the sub-floor and inner wall cavities.  Armed with water damage restoration training and the proper tools, most situations are salvageable.”

Information Sourced from: http://www.iicrc.org/the-basics-water-damage-restoration-training-a-23.html

Fire and Smoke Restoration

The fire trucks may be gone but without proper immediate response, the real damage and the costs are just beginning. To return your residential or commercial property to its pre-loss condition requires professional restoration. This is not the job for a do-it-yourself property owner.

For results you can have confidence in, the cleantrust recommends hiring a certified restoration firm. Restoration to a property can be complex. Proper smoke and odor removal are tasks that require technicians certified in these specific areas.

When selecting a certified restoration firm several factors must be considered:

  • Formal and up-to-date specialized training
  • Health and safety certifications
  • Experience in a wide range of restoration projects
  • Proof of proper insurance and licenses

In the wake of a fire that has covered homes with smoke and ash, it’s important to begin clean up as soon as possible in order to prevent permanent damage or discoloration from soot residue. The IICRC provides the following tips for fire victims facing clean up:

  • Practice safety first. Use a dust mask (like painters use) and gloves as you work.
  • Ventilate the home. Place a box fan in an open window to draw the air and dust out.
  • Clean from top to bottom. Start with the ceilings, walls and fixtures, and work your way down to the contents of the room, then to the floor.
  • Vacuum floors and upholstery. Make sure your vacuum cleaner has a high efficiency filter. Otherwise, you risk blowing soot back into the air.
  • Some draperies, clothing and machine-washable items may be laundered. Use a mild alkaline cleaner to neutralize the acid in the soot. Fine clothing should be dry cleaned.
  • Most exterior walls (brick, stone, wood, paint, siding) and eaves can be cleaned by spraying with a detergent, agitating soot with a soft-bristled brush, pressure washing from bottom to top, then rinsing from top to bottom.
  • If the damage and residue are heavy, it may be best to hire a professional to thoroughly restore your home and belongings.
  • Check with your insurance company to see if smoke damage from outdoor sources is covered by your policy.
  • If the fire has warped or distorted the structure, consult a licensed general contractor.

Professional restoration technicians know that damage increases and restoration costs escalate the longer neutralization, corrosion control and cleaning is delayed. When homeowners prolong the restoration of their home, they extend the effects brought on by the smoke exposure. The following is a timeline of the effects of fire and smoke on a home.

Within Minutes: Acid soot residues cause plastics to yellow; small appliances located close to the source of combustion discolor; highly porous materials (marble, alabaster) discolor permanently.

Within Hours: Acid residues stain grout in bathrooms; fiberglass bath fixtures may yellow; uncoated metals tarnish, counter tops may yellow; finishes on appliances, particularly refrigerators, may yellow; furniture finishes may discolor.

Within Days: In time, acid residues cause painted walls to yellow permanently; metal corrodes, pits and rusts; wood furniture requires refinishing; vinyl flooring requires refinishing or replace­ment; clothing becomes soot stained; upholstery stains permanently.

Within Weeks: Restoration costs escalate tremendously. Synthetic carpet fibers may yellow or discolor permanently; silver plate is corroded permanently; glass, crystal, china may require replacement due to severe etching and pitting caused by prolonged exposure to acid soot residues.

Cleaning up soot residue must be done as quickly as possible. During combustion, soot residue and volatile vapors are carried by rising and expanding air to surfaces throughout a structure, and are deposited. This process occurs repeatedly until combustion ends, with soot residue building up on surfaces layer by layer. By the time restoration technicians arrive, lacquer-like soot residue may be quite difficult to dissolve and remove.

In addition to removing residue, ridding your home of its smoky odor is necessary. Professionals use this four-step process to remove odors:

  • Remove the source of the odor, as possible, including unsalvageable debris that contributes to odor generation and recontamination of cleaned and deodorized areas.
  • Clean salvageable surfaces and items to physically remove odor-causing residue.
  • Chase remaining odor with an odor counteractant. In the case of smoke, create a deodorizing fog or gas that seeks out and combines with odor-causing substances.
  • Seal salvageable surfaces that are inaccessible or slightly scorched, not only for aesthetic purposes, but primarily to encapsulate odor and prevent progressive recontamination.

Understanding the effects of a fire can help homeowners evaluate the damage to their home. By learning more about residue clean-up and deodorization after a fire, you can minimize the need for costly repair. Fire and smoke restoration experts can help you return your home and furnishings to a “pre-loss” condition.

Information sourced from: http://www.iicrc.org/consumers/care/fire-smoke-restoration/