Thermal fogging after a fire to change the smell and get into small cracks and crevices.
One way to help reduce smoke and soot odors after a fire is to re-smoke the area with a smoke which smells better. This coats the original smoke in the tiny cracks and crevices where the original smoke may have gone.
Doing the procedure requires having everyone and pets, etc., out of the building for several hours and then filling the area up again with the chosen smoke. Application requires the person preforming the re-smoking to wear breathing protection.
After the application and the smoke dissipates/settles, then work can begin cleaning the structure and contents affected by the fire damage.
We usually recommend, and use, a cherry fragrance product. Cherry is one of the fragrances best for use with smoke/fire smells.
Not a fan of cherry? Other fragances are available.
Water Heater Burst
It burst at the seams.
Something sound like it popped/burst?
Sometimes we forget that since our water heater actually heats the water, it can also build up pressure...steam pressure.
All water heaters have a pressure release valve designed to open up when the pressure begins to build.
Sometimes, rarely, debris/deposits get into the vale and prevent it from opening.
It is unlikely it is going to shoot through the roof or spew steam all over everything wildly. It is likely the water tank inside the heater will pop open. That means a sudden release of water as happened with the one pictured.
This one was a 50 gallon capacity heater. The person taking a shower at the other end of the house heard it, as did the young persone in the next room from the water heater. Within moments they began to see water coming into rooms and down the hall.
Water from the heater came out very qucikly and by the time it finished leaking and the water to the heater was shut off, about one fourth of their home was very wet.
If you hear a pop, don't for get to have a fast look at your water heater.
Clean Up in Isle 6
A little too much water
Did you know sprinkler systems also have pipes that aren't in the ceilings?
Just like at your place, businesses have water surprises now and then too. Say, for example, in the middle of the night between Friday and Saturday on a holiday weekend.
It was a good clean water washing of the floors...at just the wrong time.
The pipe was fixed very quickly and the store personnel got busy getting out what they could, which was not an insignificant amount.
SERVPRO of Waco was called in to get water out of the less open areas of the store and re-extract areas which refilled from neighboring areas.
The store folks did a wonderful job of getting the store re-opened and being sure each customer was safe while work finished.
Water Meter Moving
Typical water meter face
Water bills high?
Water where there shouldn't be and can't find out where it comes from?
A good way to tell if you have a pipe leak in your home/building is by checking the water meter.
The water meter is usually out near the property line or street/alley.
After lifting the lid on the meter a meter face with dials/numbers should be visible. If it is not you may need to wipe it off or gently dig a bit to find it.
The meter face generally has a wheel of some sort, such as the asterisk one shown in the picture, which moves if any water is moving through the pipe. Generally, the more water going through it the faster it spins.
Be sure anything in the house/building which uses water is off and see if the wheel is moving. Sometimes the movement can be very, very slow.
The face of the meter usually has a line at the top or bottom behind the wheel so you can tell if the wheel is moving slowly.
If the wheel is not moving, there is no leak in the water pipes. The meter does not measure water in drains of from devices such as air conditioning units.
If the wheel is moving with everything shut off, there is a leak on the property/in the building somewhere. One may well need a plumber at that point
The Wet Spot
A wet spot in the yard most likely a water pipe leaking, though not in the building.
Wet, maybe very green, spot in the yard?
It is a pretty sure bet an unexplained wet spot out in the yard/property is a water pipe or drain problem.
There have probably been higher than normal water bills leading up to a spot/area such as this.
For some reason, these spots are good at occurring where folks don't go into the yard/property very much.
It is a pretty sure sign a plumber is needed.
Ironically, this one was found outside a home which had a small, bet very smelly fire. The spot kept slowly getting wetter with any water being used in the home, so it was most likey a water pipe instead of a drain pipe. A drain pipe would only leak when water water turned on.
Recipe for Gray Soot and Terrible Smell
The 15 hour, simmered plastic container
A recipe you don't want to try!
Take one plastic food container and place it on an electric burner to simmer for 15 hours or so.
This particular one did not cause massive flame damage but did cause a good bit of soot.
A good practice for everyone is not to set anything on the stove burners which isn't cookware and isn't being used right away.
And if you are visiting someone's home, for whatever reason, don't fool with the stove. If you have to check it for some reason, be sure it is off when you finish!
The biggest specialty of this recipe is an incredible bad smell which is extremely hard to get eliminate.
Lots a new painting happened afterwards.
We See the Darnest Things.
It is great...whatever it is.
A Baby Buggy??
One thing about working around the Baylor University arts buildings is you see some of the most interesting things.
This just appeared one afternoon near our vans, seemingly right out of the blue.
Wasn't there in the morning. Was there in the afternoon.
It certainly is interesting. Appears to be a real camper, be it very small, welded onto a rail yard type metal cart.
That and the opera annex were pretty classy things for for a bunch of restoration folks. We certainly did appreciate it though. That little corner of the Baylor University campus has art objects around in the grassy areas and numerous steeples to view.
Fortunately, the work which needed our help was on the smaller side, though the shiny surface left when we were finished was sort of "artsy".
Inside the Containment
Inside the "containment"
Ever wonder what it looks like inside a mold containment area.
As you can see, it is pretty exciting inside the containment area.
Not shown are people in full personal protection suits and gear.
And, of course, missing is the debris which can accumulate in large quantities needing bagged and removed correctly.
The ladder to the left was 10' tall which was needed to get the containment all the way up to the ceiling. It was also needed for higher up demolition. Consequently, it couldn't be removed without compromising the containment...so it became a cleaned and treated part of the chamber.
Oh, and it is usually very hot inside as well.
After demolition though, it is a lot like a normal room.
Negative air and air machines are always running to capture mold spores and clean the air.
Almost a surreal environment when mold spores become the "can't see 'ums".
The mold containment "chamber"
Oh what these conjures up in the imagination when thinking of movies and TV series shows.
Our's are for mold removal. Keeping the bad spores trapped inside until we can tear out their habitat and catch them in HEPA filters.
By the way, HEPA stands for "High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance" or "High Efficiency Particulate Air". Quite the mouthful and most people have forgotten the full name.
The containment shown covers a ceiling over 12 ft tall and using two machines for negative air pressure and then air scrubbing.
Negative air is used to pull air out of the room right through the HEPA filter and exhausting 99.97% particular free clean air. Scrubbing the air is done after the demolition and keeps the air inside the containment inside the containment. The air is repeated forced through the HEPA filter and returned to the room(s) "scrubbing" the air.
The look of this containment captures one's imagination.
It also captured the spores necessary to pass a post remediation testing.
Covering the Customer's Product during post Fire Damage Clean Up
Covering the products before cleaning the soot and debris above it.
Here our crew covers the customer's finished products. The products were produced after the fire damage but before cleaning the soot and debris from the structure above the storage racks in this Waco manufacturing plant.
Varying cleaning hours to times when the skeleton crews worked kept production running with no disruption.
Passage through the facility was narrow in most places for an articulated arm lift, necessary to reach the upper structure areas. We used small crews and carefully maneuvered our way among the assembly line areas and the storage areas.
SERVPRO of Waco cleaning products and cleaning techniques produced excellent results removing the fire smoke damage.
No product or production time were lost or damaged in the cleaning process.
The continuing operation (or quickly resumed operation) are of paramount importance in business/commercial restoration work.