Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Water Damage Restoration - When You Need It, You Need It Fast

The single biggest purchase you'll probably ever make is your home. And if your home is damaged by fire or water, you may be overwhelmed at the scope of the damage. While there are some similarities between the two, fire damage is usually even more extensive than water damage alone. Fire damage is often accompanied by water damage due to the efforts to put out the fire. So there are some overlaps, with different tools and procedures for each form of damage.

Water damage can come from three possible sources, each creating a different set of challenges for the cleaning professional. Category 1 is clean water, like from broken water lines. Category 2 is water from a source which may be contaminated. And category 3 is "black" water-water which may contain sewage, as from a sewer backup.

Fire damage may also be classified in three categories. The first is minor damage, small in size, with no structural involvement. Second is a larger fire, and may cause structural damage to a small area of the home. Finally category three represents significant structural damage, and will most likely require professional repair.

No matter which type of damage your home has suffered, the damage doesn't just stop after the incident. Mold and mildew can grow on damp surfaces, even behind walls where it can't be seen. This can represent a significant health hazard, especially if a family member has a history of respiratory problems.

Untreated mold or mildew can make a home uninhabitable, destroying its value.

So when your home has been damaged by fire, water, or both, time is an important factor. The quicker repairs are done, the less chance there is for growth of mildew or mold, or further aftereffects of structural weakness.

While some people elect to do their own repairs, using tactics like opening the doors and the windows and running air conditioners at full blast, water damage restoration professionals have special equipment to hasten the drying process. You may research the process of repairing water damage to learn more about do-it-yourself options. But if boots, rubber gloves and disinfectants aren't your thing or if damage is more than minor, you'll probably ve best calling a professional.

Many carpet cleaning companies advertise water damage restoration services. While very good at cleaning carpets, these companies lack the equipment and expertise to deal with the other aspects of fire and water damage: damage to personal property, furniture damage, and especially structural damage.

Still other companies advertise restoration services, but use unaccountable undertrained subcontractors with little or no equipment or training to perform the work. If the contractor doesn't show, or does a substandard job, you might not have a local contact if the company is based on the Internet hundreds of miles away.

Choosing a qualified local professional for water damage restoration may be your best bet for getting your home back to normal and protecting the value of your assets that are even more valuable than your home-your family.

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If water damage should occur from exterior flooding, broken water pipes, sewer backups, or any other source, Servpro of Fairfield can help. The quicker mitigation services begin, the less damage occurs. That's why we strive to call you within 1 hour of your call for help, and have crews on site if needed within 2 hrs of your call (24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year). Our services include emergency water extraction and mitigation, Dry-out with "state of the art" equipment, Carpet, Vinyl, Hardwood, and other floor covering restoration or replacement, insulation, drywall, and paint repairs, mold remediation, and contents Drying and Restoration.
(707) 207-0122

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays

SERVPRO Of Fairfield Would Like To Wish You And Your Family A Very Safe And Happy Holiday!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

When Is The Best Time To Have Your Carpets Cleaned By A Professional?

You won't notice it immediately, but as years pass it becomes obvious that your carpet doesn't appear as bright and fresh as it did the day you had it installed. Over time regular wear and tear, coupled with accidents and various over the counter cleaners, will affect the pile and overall appearance. When standard vacuuming won't do the trick to restore your rugs to their former glory, you may wish to look into the services of a professional cleaner to handle the job.

Is there a right time to have your carpets cleaning with professional, truckmounted water extraction? A licensed cleaner may tell you that there is never a wrong time, but if you need an occasion or situation to encourage you to make that call, there are good reasons to look into this service:

Moving: Whether you rent or own, if you intend to move it's a good idea to have a pro go over your carpets once you have the furniture removed. It may surprise you to discover how much soil and grime is embedded, and how the color in the pile returns after everything is washed and dried. You can practically leave your home as clean as the day you claimed it.

New Baby: If you have added to your family recently, or are expecting a new arrival, you may think about carpet cleaning only after the little one has made a mess or two. Actually, it's a good idea to schedule a cleaning before you bring baby home. A thorough shampoo and extraction helps remove bacteria in your home and disinfect the rooms. For a baby immune to germs, this is a good illness prevention measure.

Renovation: Redecorating? Buying new furniture? Take advantage of the moving to get your carpets cleaned. With the space available, it provides less work for a cleaner to perform, and you can start living anew after a major makeover.

New Pets: If you have welcomed a four-footed companion to your home, it's a good idea to give your carpets not only a good cleaning but protection and sealant. This helps upkeep for your rooms so when accidents happen, they won't damage your carpets too much.

Once a year or every six months, depending on traffic through your home, is a good schedule to keep for cleaning and deodorizing. Because rugs and carpets absorb much of the daily dirt coming into your house, you want to make sure they remain as clean as possible to prevent illness.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Be Safe And Fire Smart This Holiday Season

December is a month full of festivities, holiday parties and family get-togethers. Unfortunately, it is also a month when firefighters are especially busy, with December 24th and 25th topping the list of busiest days of the year for home fires. Did you know that according to a study done by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) every year there are almost 250 home fires that begin with Christmas trees, plus holiday lighting accounts for an additional 150 fires. This year, play it safe with these holiday fire safety tips.
1) You can skip this one if you have a fake tree because first and foremost, water your live Christmas tree! Dry trees are the number one cause of fires during the holiday season so be sure to water them daily and don't place them near a heat source.
2) Use candles with caution. Nothing creates a festive mood quite like candles, that's why it's a good thing someone invented the flameless variety.
3) Check your smoke detectors. Ensure that your smoke detectors have new batteries and are functioning properly. It may be slightly annoying if it goes off while cooking dinner, but you'll be thankful if there's a real fire emergency.
4) Stockings should be 'hung by the chimney with care.' Not only is it a Christmas story, it's also a fire safety tip. You shouldn't hang them decoratively on the mantle if you plan on having a roaring fire. Your electric fireplace may not seem that hot to you, but hang a stocking a few inches above it and you might hear that smoke alarm while your poor stocking goes up in flames.
5) Don't overload electrical circuits when plugging in festive decorations as electrical fires are neither festive nor fun. Purchase the appropriate powerbar for your decorations and their electrical needs.
6) Unplug. The holidays are a time for us to relax, unwind and 'unplug' ourselves from work. Using that same analogy, remember to unplug your Christmas tree and all of your indoor festive decorations before leaving the house or going to bed at night.
7) Practice Kitchen Safety. When baking goodies or cooking a big family dinner, be sure to set a timer. There are many distractions over the holidays, especially when entertaining friends and relatives, so make it a point not to leave any cooking unattended. In the case of a small kitchen fire, don't immediately turn on the overhead fan, as this could spread the fire and never put water on a grease fire.
8) Finally, practice your home fire safety and escape plan. Make sure everyone knows what to do, where to go and who to call in the event of an emergency. Have a predetermined family meeting spot, preferably somewhere warm this time of year.
Article Source:

Friday, December 16, 2011

How Smoke Damages Your Home

Smoke damage is both seen and unseen in the aftermath of a house fire. It is tricky to tackle in a cleanup effort, and the care that must be taken to do it correctly is a major reason why people tend to hire a fire restoration firm to get it done professionally.
The damage that you can see is from soot. Soot is actually very oily, because when the plastic that makes up household and building materials burns, there are greasy molecules released into the air. The microscopic particles travels with smoke and are deposited on everything. Soot is also composed of ash. When soot lands on fabric, such as upholstery, drapes and carpet, the inclination would be to brush it off, because it appears ashy. But the oily residue is holding the ash in place, and it will usually smear if brushed. Even the brush at the end of a vacuum hose will create a smeared mess. Professionals utilize very high velocity vacuums, which are needed because the hose must be kept a few inches off of the surface in order to prevent smearing. A home vac does not have enough of the power needed to remove soot at the distance off of the surface that is needed to avoid smears.
The damage that you cannot see, but can smell, is smoke odor. This is also a molecular problem, and must be dealt with at the molecular level. Odor molecules, following a fire, will have penetrated fabric, walls, insulation and any permeable material. The problem with smoke odor is that it cannot simply be covered up. No deodorant is powerful enough to permanently overcome the acrid, unique smell of smoke. The fact is that once smoke molecules permeate, they can't be removed. They must be disabled.
Professionals have to deoderize smoke - to take away the odor. That does not mean a deodorant, in the sense we think of some flowery-smelling cover up. They have to attack the part of the smoke molecule that holds the odor. This can be done with specially designed fogs. Some literally "kill" the odor molecule. Another technique is an ozone fog. It is very effective. The way it works is to deactivate the odor molecule. Ozone removes the molecule's innate ability to release a smell. Ozone treatments require the rooms to be sealed off. But fogs and ozone are effective tools of smoke damage professionals.
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Role Of Professionals In Smoke Damage Cleanup

The sooner you begin the restoration process after fire or smoke damage, the better. Early assessment makes it easier for you to evaluate and act on the damage. Your chances of saving your possessions depend on the quickness of your response.
A fire can strike at will, rendering homes and businesses uninhabitable. It creates smoke, odor and soot accumulation that can destroy a building if damage mitigation measures are not taken quickly. At the time of disaster, instinct may prompt you to jump in and begin the restoration process yourself. However, there are things to consider before you start doing the work yourself - it may be in your best interest to hire a restoration company.
Professionals are better trained and equipped to prevent further damage and can return your property to a pre-loss condition faster. Thanks to their innovative processes and restoration solutions, they are often able to save property that would otherwise need to be replaced. They have the ability to provide top-notch services while keeping inconveniences to a minimum. You often need not worry about the cost, as your insurance policy (provided you have bought one) will most likely take care of it. You're main concern with hiring a restoration company is to choose one that is reliable and that you are comfortable working with.
The sooner you begin with the restoration process after fire or smoke damage, the better. Early assessment makes it easier for you to evaluate and act on the damage. Your chances of saving your possessions depend on the pace of your response. Metals tarnish and furniture yellows within hours, while flooring stains within days of the damage. Your response time can save your valuable possessions.
Fire damage isn't limited to burnt surroundings and char damage. Property is often left with wet smoke residue, dry smoke residue, fuel oil soot, residue from fire extinguishers and other chemicals that can all affect your health if it is not cleared out. Restoration services that you hire must be able to deal with any kind of challenges that fire damage presents.
Each fire causes different types of damage from the other, and different measures need to be taken for restoration. Professionals are experts in fire and smoke damage, making them capable of dealing with these situations appropriately. They will not only clean up residue, but also get rid of the smoky odor that lingers after the incident.
Fire damage can be devastating and damage may look irreversible. Smoke may seep into the duct or plumbing system, jeopardizing the quality of air as well water. Seeping into a number of hidden places, smoke causes a variety of damages that you may even not know of. Professionals will inspect the property and make an assessment, coming up with a smoke damage clean up plan based off of years of experience.
After identifying the potential risks, a trained professional will come up with a smoke damage clean up plan. He will determine the articles that can be restored or the ones that need to be replaced and which cleaning technique will be the most suitable for a specific situation. Above all, the professionals are equipped with all the necessary tools to conduct property cleanup after a fire and ensure your property is free of damage.
Reliable fire/smoke damage companies offer a 24-hour service, proven techniques and a warranty to assure their clients. They conduct regular training sessions for their personnel, making sure that they are up-to-date with the latest developments regarding smoke damage restoration. They take every step needed to restore the properties that they work with.
Article Source:

Friday, December 9, 2011

10 Key Fire Safety Tips

In 2007, the most recent year statistics are available:

1,557,500 fires were reported in the United States. These blazes caused 3,430 deaths and 17,675 civilian injuries while costing more than $14.6 billion in damage.

Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature or unpredictable accidents, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable. The following tips, courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association, can help reduce the likelihood of a fire in your business or home.
  1. Watch Your Cooking-Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.
  2. Give Space Heaters Space-Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.
  3. Smoke Outside-If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.
  4. Keep Matches & Lighters Our Of Reach-Keep matches and lighters in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.
  5. Inspect Electrical Cords-Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs or have loose connections.
  6. Be Careful When Using Candles-Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.
  7. Have A Fire Escape Plan-Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.
  8. Install Smoke Alarms-Install alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.
  9. Test Smoke Alarms-Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.
  10. Install Sprinklers-Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving your property.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


The holiday season is fast approaching. It's a time for celebration with family and friends. Unfortunately it is also a time when the number of preventable residential fires increases. 

A very important holiday tip that should be followed all year long is to make sure that smoke alarms are working and that there is one on every level of the house, and outside all sleeping areas.

Here are a few simple safety tips to keep your home fire-safe during the holidays:

The Christmas Tree
  • When purchasing a real tree, check for freshness by tapping it on the ground - dropping needles indicate a dry, highly flammable tree. Needles should be hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, they do not break.
  • When purchasing an artificial tree, make sure it's 'fire resistant.' Although this label does not mean the tree won't catch fire, the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. It should also bear the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) label.
  • Place your tree away from fireplaces, floor heaters and other heat sources. Heated rooms dry out fresh trees, so be sure to keep the stand filled with water by topping it up daily.
  • Never use lighted candles on or near the tree.
  • Dispose of a real tree within 10 to 14 days of purchase, or when the needles begin to fall off in large quantities; otherwise it can start to dry out and pose a fire hazard.
The Fireplace
  • Ensure the chimney flue is open and clean before you light a fire.
  • Remove all decorations that could be burned around the fireplace, such as stockings.
  • Always use a screen in front of the fireplace to protect against flying sparks.
  • Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result, as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
  • Never leave the fire unattended or let it smoulder.
  • Do not use Christmas trees for firewood. Only use seasoned and dried wood.
  • Choose decorations that are flame-resistant, non-combustible and non-conductive.
  • Do not use metallic ornaments on the tree. If they make contact with defective wiring they could become a shock hazard.
  • When decorating the tree, place breakable ornaments on the higher limbs. It will protect your children and pets as well as safeguard the breakables. 
  • New or old, check light strings for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets. Make sure you do this before putting lights up. It is much easier to replace bulbs on the ground, than on the roof.
  • Do not use electric light strings/sets on metallic trees. A faulty system could energize the tree and shock or electrocute anyone coming into contact.
  • Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets, and never string more than three sets of lights per single extension cord.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended, and always keep out of reach of children.
  • Keep candles in sturdy holders on a stable surface, well away from curtains, trees or any other potentially flammable objects.
  • To eliminate the risk of an open candle flame, use battery-powered candles whenever possible, especially when using candles in a decorative setting.
  • Put out all candles before leaving the room or going to sleep. 
The Kitchen
  • Never leave your cooking unattended. This is the leading cause of kitchen fires.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing while cooking.
  • Make sure items that can catch fire, such as paper towels, are kept away from the stove.
  • Use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on when roasting or baking food.
  • In case of a fire, never turn on the overhead fan - this could spread the fire.
  • If a fire starts and can't be quickly put out, leave your home and immediately call the fire department from a safe location.

Take every precaution to ensure this Holiday Season is one that is safe and happy.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Storm Team

SERVPRO of Fairfield is part of a National Storm Team. When there is a disaster, SERVPRO Corporate gets a lot of the local and national franchises together to work together as a team to make a difference.

During this past summer, SERVPRO of Fairfield helped out in Minot, North Dakota and New Jersey. Currently we are helping out with the fires in Reno, Nevada.