Recent Fire Damage Posts

Smoke Damaged Books

7/22/2022 (Permalink)

Two books sitting on a table with smoke billowing out of them Smoke damaged books

Do you have smoke damaged books after a fire? Can they be saved? Yes, it is possible, with some time and care. If you decide to attempt to clean up the books yourself, we have supplied a list below to help you with the process:

Book Covers:

  1. In a small bowl mix warm water and a small amount of detergent.
  2. Slightly dampen a soft cloth or sponge.
  3. Being careful not to scrub, gently wipe soot from the book covers.
  4. Immediately wipe dry with a clean, dry, soft cloth.
  5. Allow the book cover to dry completely.
  6. The book cover may dull after being cleaned. If this happens, apply a very light layer of oil-based furniture polish

Book Pages:

Cleaning book pages will depend on the level of damage. It is important to never introduce moisture to the pages as it will make the process more difficult.

  • Slight damage: use a dry sponge to gently wipe off the soot.
  • Moderate damage: use an art gum eraser to rub the edges of the pages. If this is not working, use a hard, rubber eraser.
  • Persistent damage: use a clamp to hold the pages shut and use a piece of sandpaper to gently remove the smoke damage. Move slowly and evenly to avoid waves in the pages. Using a dry sponge wipe away any dust from the sanding. 

Remove Smoke Odor:

  1. Fill a plate or bowl with either baking soda, fresh coffee grounds, activated charcoal, or white vinegar and place it in a box or bag. Place the books next to the plate or bowl and close the box or bag.
  2. Let it sit for several hours or overnight.
  3. Remove the odor absorber and if the smoke smell has not fully disappeared, repeat the process using a fresh odor absorber.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with the post fire clean up process contact us, SERVPRO of East Charlotte is Here to Help®!

Putting out your fire until help arrives

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

If your Charlotte home is impacted by a fire, smoke, or soot here are some tips and do's and don'ts until help arrives...

The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings.

What you can do until help arrives

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage form occurring.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
  • Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
  • Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery. 
  • Do not clean any electrical equipment.
  • Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

 DO:

  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON'T:

  • Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage. 

Fire and Smoke Damage

9/25/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and Fire events happen, we can help you take control, and get your home back, making it "Like it never even happened."

Fires can cause more damage than people think. Water damage, smoke, and odor are other things that people do not think of right away. 

Fire and Smoke 

Fires cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time and luckily for you we know exactly what has to be done to bring your home back to preloss conditions and get your life back on track.

When we first arrive on scene we will have to do a careful walk through to assess the damages and check for safety concerns to make sure our technicians will not be put in harm's way while completing the work. 

Smoke damage is something we can handle when it comes to cleaning savable items, it's a very tedious process but we are more than happy to do that work if it means we can save something of value to you and the item has not been damaged by the fire. 

Water

One thing people do not think about right away is water damage, when the fire department or fire sprinklers go off water is flooded into the area and your walls, floors, carpets, etc will soak that water up or there will be standing water. We are able to help dry out the area and get rid of water affected areas that cannot be saved or dried, if that is not taken care of in a certain amount of time mold can begin to grow and that would open up another can of worms a homeowner would not want to deal with after having to deal with a fire.