Recent Fire Damage Posts

Creating a Reliable Fire Escape Plan | SERVPRO of Downtown Chicago/West Loop/Bucktown/Greektown

10/27/2023 (Permalink)

Fire in the kitchen, residential fire. Have you had a fire in your home recently? SERVPRO of Downtown Chicago/West Loop/Bucktown/Greektown is “Here to Help”!

No matter where you live in the loop or in downtown Chicago, knowing how to get out of your home in an emergency is crucial. You may only have minutes or even seconds to find a reliable way out before you are stuck and put into an incredibly dangerous position.

This is especially true when fire is concerned. Fire travels quickly, so getting out immediately should always be your top concern. 

Creating a fire escape plan that your whole family can utilize and understand is essential to your safety. Follow these tips below for creating a fire escape plan that will help everyone in your household make it quickly.

The Creation Of Your Plan 

If you live in a single-family home, take the time to map out your home on a piece of paper. Let your kids go through each room and identify the different exit points, ensuring that there are at least two out of every room. Don’t forget the windows! 

Once the map is drawn, go outside and choose a central meeting location that is far away from your home but easy to get to. Mailboxes across the street or a neighbor’s front porch can be safe locations to choose.

If you live in an apartment or high-rise, go on a tour of your building to locate the stairwell as well as the fire escape for your level. Since elevators are not a safe choice during an emergency and they probably won’t work anyway, having at least two other reliable ways to get out is crucial. 

Make sure your children know how to get to each of these locations on their own in case you aren’t there when the fire breaks out. You should also still choose a meeting location for once you are all safely outside, which could be a spot across the street or down the block. 

Putting the Plan Into Action 

Creating a fire escape plan is one thing, but putting it into action is completely different! Many kids learn by experience, so going through the motions can ensure that your children retain the information they need to react accordingly. 

Practice different scenarios of them being in bed, sitting at the kitchen table or playing in the family room. Push the test button on your smoke alarm and have your kids respond like it was a true emergency. 

As they make their way to the exits, have them army crawl on their bellies or on their hands and knees to simulate staying below the smoke line. Toxic smoke from fires can be just as dangerous as the flames themselves, so practice this all together! Once you are all outside, remind your kids how to call 911 and what to say when a dispatcher picks up. 

Responding to Fire Damage

House fires can be devastating. They can cause a significant amount of damage in just a few minutes, leaving entire sections or levels of your home entirely destroyed. We understand the sensitive and emotional nature of recovering from a house fire, so let us help walk you through the process. 

Our team will handle your entire restoration, from the initial debris removal to the final repairs of your walls, floors and ceilings. We will even handle soot and smoke removal from parts of your home that were never on fire. We will help you recover faster and more efficiently, so give us a call 24/7 for immediate fire restoration assistance. 

House fires can cause serious damage to your home and property. Contact SERVPRO® of West Loop/Bucktown/Greektown for a fast restoration.

The Best Way to Cleanup Fire Damage in Chicago

3/28/2023 (Permalink)

Garage and car burned down by fire damage Contact SERVPRO for certified technicians to help with fire damage remediation efforts in your Chicago home or business.

Chicago SERVPRO Fire Cleanup Professionals Can Detect Smoke, Soot, and Water Damage

Even when it comes from minor kitchen stove flare-ups, fire damage can appear surface-level at first glance. While that is sometimes the case, Chicago property owners may not immediately detect other odors and residues left behind by it. When extinguishers or water put out a home fire, the materials used to suppress flames can impact HVAC systems and other surfaces. These components may require professional restoration to salvage affected structures and belongings thoroughly.

Chicago SERVPRO fire damage cleanup technicians can perform mitigation per restoration industry best practices established by the IICRC. The key to saving the most items possible after a fire is having the right tools for the job and knowing how smoke damage works. SERVPRO staff is educated in both topics and uses commercial-grade equipment and knowledge to return fire-affected properties to a clean, soot- and odor-free condition.

Can Homeowners Inspect Fire Damage Themselves After a Fire?

While homeowners can determine the extent of a minor, surface-level disaster, fires affect more than just a wall or ceiling even after a small incident.

  • Soot particles settle in ducts and HVAC components, where they can become sticky or corrosive on exposure to moisture. These residues can collect dust and potentially create future fire damage risks while lowering home air quality
  • Cooking fires involving meats leave greasy, odorous protein residues nearly invisible to the naked eye. These soils require specialized enzyme digester and sanitation solutions for removal. Residents can unintentionally spread residues during a DIY inspection, spreading unpleasant odors throughout the home
  • Smoke residues can impart soot and soils on electrical components that put them at risk for future ignition
  • Water damage from flame suppression can also impact wall cavities, carpet, and pad, which can allow for mold proliferation in as little as 24 to 48 hours

While a DIY inspection may seem like a good idea on paper for saving on restoration costs, this approach can potentially cost more. Handling this process without professional assistance can hurt a proof of loss claim and unintentionally damage structures and belongings in the home.

SERVPRO Fire Inspection Tools and Process

During fire damage inspections, SERVPRO techs can look at the following:

  • Ventilation registers, ducts, and other components
  • Pretesting results for cleaning solutions to determine ideal cleaning strategies
  • Moisture levels in various surfaces, which are ascertained by penetrating and non-penetrating sensors and meters as well as imaging
  • Mold detection if conditions that allow its growth are present

SERVPRO's multi-pronged inspection process prepares homes for a thorough cleaning process that pinpoints structural damages and restores as much as possible to a pre-damage condition. Technicians can also demolish unsalvageable drywall, flooring, and insulation per homeowners' and insurance adjusters' wishes.

Light soils may only require cleaning with dry cleaning sponges or mild, EPA-registered antimicrobials. Alkaline cleaners, dry ice blasting, or soda ash abrasion cleaning may be necessary for more odorous or heavy-duty fire damage soiling on walls, ceilings, and fixtures. Crew members also inspect the property during and after restoration to ensure that restoration goals are met per homeowners' and SERVPRO's standards.

Homeowners can receive "Like it never even happened" quality services from SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown when they call (773) 434-9100.

Work with SERVPRO for Effective Fire Restoration in Chicago

1/23/2023 (Permalink)

pinocchio with soot damage Pinocchio doesn't lie! Call SERVPRO for fire and soot cleanup in your Chicago property. "Like it never even happened."

Fire Restoration in Chicago Homes Requires Experience

It is daunting to predict or imagine the devastation a fire causes. Even small fires can cause significant destruction from the blaze and the damage created when putting them out. If a blaze has engulfed your home, you must know several vital things before repairs begin.

After unexpected property damage resulting from a fire, finding effective fire restoration services in Chicago can help restore your property to normal. The fire damage repair process involves several steps like stain removal, addressing structural damage, hard surfacing cleaning, and smoke damage remediation.

Your home might have sustained structural damage based on the fire's heat and severity. SERVPRO's professional fire remediation services include the following:

  • Debris removal
  • Protection
  • Removing water and moisture
  • Cleaning

Debris removal

Once the fire department and insurance company complete their reports and release the property, our technicians can eliminate the debris at the fire's source. Debris is often the cause of most of the odor.


Your home is different after a fire. Parts of the roofing might be falling into living areas. The fire may have damaged windows and pieces of drywall that could be hanging from the ceiling. Our SERVPRO technicians can immediately offer the necessary board-up for windows and doors to protect your residence. If the roof sustained damage, our team could tarp it to prevent rain and other forms of precipitation from entering your home.

Removing water and moisture

SERVPRO's fire emergency services also include mitigating the water damage associated with fire extinguishing efforts. We can remove the water using electric submersible pumps and complete the drying process using air movers and dehumidifiers to prevent mold contamination.


We can choose the most suitable cleaning method based on the smoke permeating your home and the surface we are cleaning. Smoke residues bond with the surfaces they contact. We can remove the loose soot using dry cleaning sponges and then wash and deodorize the surfaces. We can dispose of the cleaning waste and debris appropriately.

SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown can handle the mitigation and structural repairs required for complete recovery. Please get in touch with us at (773) 434-9100. 

Electrical Fire and Fire Damage in Your Chicago Home

9/28/2022 (Permalink)

laptop on fire; flames on keyboard Excess power through power spikes or damaged cords can cause your laptop to overheat and result in an electrical fire in your home.

SERVPRO Knows the Proper Techniques to Restore Every Part of Your Home after Fire Damage

You use your laptop daily in Chicago for work or fun. Excess power, provided through poorly regulated power flow or power spikes, causes heat damage to electronics. It includes wires in a damaged power cord, plus metal parts of your laptop connected to it. The chance for combustion grows as the heat in your device builds. When the heat reaches the flashpoint of nearby furniture or carpeting, it can set other materials ablaze.

An electrical fire leaves your Chicago home with fire damage to clean up and repair, but knowing where to start can be daunting. Your Chicago home needs professional expertise to restore it to its pre-fire condition, so calling on our technicians at SERVPRO is the wisest thing you can do once the fire is out.

Our goal is to clean your home to preloss condition, which involves removing the effects of the fire damage. We also remove smoke residues from surfaces of your home. The debris also gives off smoke odors, so we must deodorize the affected areas to eliminate malodors. Fires can damage parts of your structure badly enough that they cannot be restored, so we need to dispose of these structural items.

Before SERVPRO techs start cleaning, we test to determine the correct cleaning method, effectively removing the residues from the material or surface without damaging it. We can wet clean washable materials; we apply a water-based cleaning agent to the area that does not damage the item. Non-washable materials cannot be wet cleaned. Applying a water-based cleaning product could cause more damage, so we use a dry-cleaning method instead.

The type of residues on a surface can also help us choose the cleaning method. Residues that are oil or grease-based need a cleaning agent, which is a dry solvent, even though water-based products would not harm the surface being cleaned.

SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown works efficiently and thoroughly to clean your home in Wicker Park, West Loop, or Bucktown after fire damage. Just reach us at (773) 434-9100 as soon as the fire is out so we can help restore your home.

Effective Ways of Removing Fire and Smoke Residues from My Chicago Home

8/21/2022 (Permalink)

burned down garage and car Fire damage cleanup is not a DIY job for this Chicago property owner. Call SERVPRO for professional help.

Count on SERVPRO to Use Industry Best Practices for Fire Damage in Chicago

The hours and days you spend recovering from a fire in your house are not the time for you to shoulder the brunt of the cleanup. As the fire made its way through your home, it consumed building materials and contents, leaving chemicals and compounds floating in the air and adhering to many surfaces.

Should You Try to Clean Fire Residues as a DIY Project?

Because of the hazardous nature of the residues, experts recommend against completing fire and smoke cleanup of your Chicago dwelling on your own. 

How Do Professionals Approach Fire and Smoke Cleanup?

The Fire and Smoke Restoration Technicians (FSRT) at SERVPRO realize that deep cleaning is essential to returning your home to its preloss condition. The cleaning techniques, tools, and products used vary depending on the type of soot and the surface coated. Efforts to remove the soot must balance with the durability of the surface, or the affected materials might need removal and replacement at a more considerable expense and disturbance.

Is There One Cleaner that Can “Do it All” When Resolving Soot Damage?

One of the fundamental things our managers and technicians learn during certification and follow-up courses from the IICRC is that the characteristics of fire residues vary greatly depending on the fuel consumed during the fire. Because the materials and contents burned from room to room change, our crews must be alert as to the consistency of the soot on each surface, changing products and methods frequently for best results. Selecting just one master cleaner for all soots and damaged surfaces result in poor outcomes for many spaces and articles damaged by the fire.

What Are Examples of Types of Soot Appropriately Matched with Products and Techniques?

Soot has three main types--dry, wet, and protein-based, the latter from kitchen fires. Here are the most commonly used approaches our crews take when managing each.

What Are Best Practices for Dry Soot?

The residues deposited after a hot, high-oxygen paper or wood-fueled fire are loose and ashy, responding well to brushing, dry (chemical) sponging, vacuuming, and feather or cloth dusting. Wiping or scrubbing at the friable debris smears this soot, grinding it into the surfaces, staining and scraping them, and leaving odors embedded.

What Are Best Practices for Wet Soot?

Sticky and thick, this soot occurs when plastics, rubber, textiles, and padding burns or smolders at low temperatures and oxygen levels. Our project managers determine whether the soot is water or oil-based and choose like-formulated cleaners to remove. When cleaning up wet soot, our technicians first test inconspicuous areas to ensure the surfaces can withstand the combination of products. Applying the cleaning elements is usually successful at removing soiling of this kind. The elements of cleaning include:

  • Agitation--towels, brushes, air and water pressure, and sonic vibrations in special ultrasonic machines all work to dislodge the debris mechanically
  • Chemical action--provided by the cleaning products chosen
  • Temperature--higher temperatures accelerate the chemical action
  • Time--dwell time is the period a product is allowed to soak into the residue, breaking the bonds between the residues and the surfaces before rinsing or wiping 

What Are Best Practices for Protein-Based Soot?

The residues left after food or grease “burns” are more like what remains after complete dehydration. It is mist-like when airborne and then like a varnish when deposited. The coating is highly-malodorous and tightly clings to surfaces, although it is often nearly transparent. Because of the oil base of much of this soot’s fuel, solvents are frequently needed to loosen the coating. Abrasion, an intense form of agitation, might become necessary to encourage the soot to release. Abrasive tools like sandpaper are helpful. Some cleaning products have inert abrasive substances mixed to help scrape and scrub these tough-to-clean residues off of contents and structural components.

Cutting-edge products and research-based methods are how SERVPRO of West Loop/Bucktown/Greektown efficiently cleanses a broad range of fire residues. Call us at (773) 434-9100 as soon as practical so that we can arrive as the firefighters release your property for restoration.

SERVPRO - Chicago Fire Damage - How it Forms

7/23/2022 (Permalink)

charred trusses in an attic Soot and charring destroy structural elements and emit gross odors. Call SERVPRO for fire damage cleanup and restoration for your Chicago property.

The Characteristics of Fire and Soot in Chicago Homes 

Most fire restoration costs to a Chicago home come from removing smoke and soot residues. Even a small fire in one area, such as a kitchen, can leave a residue coating throughout multiple rooms.

SERVPRO is an expert in restoring the effects of Chicago home fire damage. We start by determining what burned and how the combustion of the material forms the different types of residues. Once our SERVPRO technicians understand that, it is easier for us to determine how to clean and restore everything from a single-family home to an apartment complex.

Combustion needs three sources: Oxygen, heat, and fuel. When all three mix, materials burn. With high incomplete combustion, residues form and settle on everything the smoke reaches. We say poorly, but if all three sources were in a perfect mix, the fire would burn everything faster, causing more damage and replacement costs. The smoke moving throughout a home is composed of solid particles of carbon that did not burn completely, gases released from burning organic material, and tiny liquid particles called aerosols.

The aerosols and solid particles are what make smoke visible. If they are not present, then the gases are invisible. That is more dangerous since nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide comprise the gases. Both are very hazardous to anyone near an active fire, and why every firefighter now uses a breathing mask. The aerosols and carbon particles also leave a visible residue after the smoke settles and absorb odors which provide the smells found in a structure after the fire has been put out.

That also means the smoke leaves a heavier residue than the cooler fire. A lower temperature heat source and less oxygen mean thicker smoke since the fire burns less clean. The smoke travels less distance, which means less property is affected further away from the fire's origin point

If you need our services, call SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown at (773) 434-9100.

Checking For Fire Damage Hazards in Chicago Basements

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

electrical fire, outlet two wires SERVPRO says to our Chicago Neighbors--be safe with electrical loads and stored flammable in your basement.

Safe Storage Can Prevent Chicago Fire Damage

Basements are highly vulnerable to fire disasters in Chicago, especially since this is where most of us store our heat-generating equipment. Putting out a fire in the basement is often challenging, and the damage can extend to the rest of the house if not controlled. Having the firefighters neutralize the situation can be helpful, but the aftermath should worry you.

Here at SERVPRO, we understand the seriousness of fire damage in Chicago.  We have highly experienced, IICRC-trained technicians ready to respond to your emergency at any time of the day. Our stock of tools and equipment is at your disposal, waiting to return your home to its preloss conditions as soon as possible, "Like it never even happened."

A thorough inspection of your basement can help detect several fire damage hazards. The combination of electricity, combustibles, and heat generators that are unattended can be hazardous. As a general rule, always have emergency escape areas with clear paths leading to the exits.

Flammable liquids are one of the most dangerous causes of fire damage in the basement. They produce denser vapors than air, which may ignite from a tiny spark produced by a water heater or furnace. Ideally, flammable liquids should be kept outside, in a shed - away from open flames, sparks, and heat. If you have to keep them in the basement, maintain enough clearance (at least 3 feet) around such appliances as the water heater.

Safely Store Flammable Materials and Liquids

A considerably large amount of combustible materials can fuel a small fire. Minimize the amount of storage by cleaning yearly or having a yard sale. Avoid storing things such as propane cylinders, snowblowers, and lawnmowers indoors as they contain flammable liquids that present a severe fire hazard.

Over-loaded electrical boxes can also lead to extensive fire damage. When a fuse overloads due to too many connected appliances or some defective device/wiring, it may blow and cause an electrical fire. Do not use extension cords for devices that require permanent electricity supply, such as freezers, refrigerators, and air conditioners. These items can overpower the cord, causing it to overheat and ignite.

All fixtures should be adequately secured, with junction boxes covered and wires adequately insulated. If you use the basement for storage, do not allow kids to play in there. Additionally, avoid storing lighters and matches in the garage and, if possible, keep them out of the reach of children.

 As a locally owned and operated company, SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown can respond quickly to your fire damage emergency. We have all the necessary resources to restore your property to its original state in no time. For any assistance, call us today at (773) 434-9100.

Skilled Fire Restoration is Critical for Best Results in Chicago

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Equipment and technicians Our certified technicians come prepared with state of the art equipment your property needs after a fire incident occurs.

Call SERVPRO’s Chicago-Area Fire Damage and Restoration Team 24/7!

Not only is a fire extremely destructive, but any blaze leaves behind pungent odors and corrosive soot residue. Rather than making matters worse with DIY or failing to get started on house fire cleanup soon enough, SERVPRO is here to help! We understand that the faster we can get to work, the better the chance of limiting your restoration project's overall scope and cost. We're available 24/7 so your Chicago home, business, or apartment complex gets the attention it deserves. 

Fire restoration in Chicago calls for proven methods, which you only get with trained IICRC-certified fire and smoke restoration technicians (FSRT). SERVPRO comes in, assesses the damage, and puts together a plan tailored to the specific situation. We inspect surfaces to determine the nature of residues and gauge charring to ensure structural elements are safe. 

Secondary Damage Is The Enemy With Any Fire Damaged Homes or Businesses

Various factors bring on secondary damage, which becomes costly and lessens the chance of recovery for contents and building materials. These factors include:

  • Fire residue and soot deposits that react with materials to cause discoloration, corrosion, tarnishing, etching, and pitting
  • Exterior elements and weather that may penetrate the structure – making tarping and board up services paramount to secure your property
  • Moisture and chemicals left behind from extinguishing the flames that can lead to materials degradation and the onset of potentially harmful black mold growth

Scalability is something we pride ourselves on at SERVPRO, meaning we have access to thousands of pieces of equipment and tools to quickly adjust to meet the demands of any project. Whether you have a fire in a single-family dwelling, at a high-rise apartment complex, restaurant, or industrial facility, we adapt and plan accordingly to get the results you need!  

Contact SERVPRO of West Loop/Bucktown/Greektown today when you find you require help with fire restoration. Contact our customer care team to dispatch a crew to your door by calling (773) 434-9100.

Why Do I Still Smell Smoke After Cleaning My Chicago House?

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO vehicles You can depend on our SERVPRO teams to cleanup and restore your property and personal belongings after a fire takes place.

SERVPRO Can Help You Get to the Root Cause of Fire Damage Odors in Your Chicago Home

As fire engulfs a section of your Chicago house, it spreads smoke deposits all over the structure and contents. Such deposits contain volatile compounds that evaporate into the air, and your nose picks them up as odor. Ideally, cleaning up your home should eliminate all the residues, and therefore the smoky smell should disappear. However, other factors can interfere, leading to long-term odor issues.

What Makes Fire Damage Odors Linger in Chicago Properties?

  •   Residue remnants on some surfaces 
  •   VOCs embedded in materials
  •   Smelt odors might be non-existent

After a fire in your Chicago home, most of the cleaning efforts are directed towards areas with visible soiling, staining, or charring. However, since some of the fire residues spread thinly over surfaces or might be invisible to the eye, your cleaning efforts might ignore areas that should be cleaned, thus leaving a source of new odors.

Our SERVPRO technicians take steps to trace the spread of residues around a property, starting close to the seat of the fire. Alternatively, we clean the entire property to ensure we remove all traces of the residues that cause odors.

What are VOCs?

Volatile Organic Compounds can be described as chemicals that have high vapor pressure even at room temperature. Since such compounds are in a continuous state of evaporation, they supply a steady stream of bad odor even when absorbed deep within materials. There is a need to reach and neutralize such materials to eliminate the odor, yet regular cleaning cannot get to the areas where the compounds are embedded.

Our SERVPRO technicians rely on a range of sophisticated deodorization procedures to reach and neutralize the odors, including:

  •   Thermal fogging
  •   ULV fogging
  •   Use of Ozone generators or photocatalytic oxidizers

Fogging utilizes odor counteractants that neutralize the odor molecules. It also mimics the process that creates the odors by atomizing the deodorizers, thus reaching deeply embedded odor molecules.

If the odor in your house does not go away, call SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown at (773) 434-9100 to help remove it. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.

Advanced Fire Damage Restoration Services Available Throughout Chicago

11/11/2021 (Permalink)

a fire damaged kitchen with soot covering the cabinets Team SERVPRO arrives on the fire damage scene with certified technicians and the professional equipment necessary for fire damage remediation job.

SERVPRO Technicians Remediate Fire Damage Methodically for Best Results

There are two very different types of fires that can occur on your property. Insurance companies separate structure from contents when determining compensation, causing restoration companies to perform services similarly.

Fire damage to your Chicago home can lead to problems that affect both the structure of your home, as well as contents. When restoration technicians address incidents on your property, your contents get moved to a clean area, either on or off-site, to receive the proper attention in a safe environment.

With your belongings moved, SERVPRO technicians check each section of your home for fire damage, using superior cleaning and restoration methods to correct existing problems and prevent additional damage from forming. We focus on many structural components, including your walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and windows, ensuring to address all damage found in your home. 

Many homes also have attached floor coverings, cabinets, lighting, bathroom fixtures, and a home ventilation system that count towards structural damages. Anything connected to your home falls into this category, presenting SERVPRO IICRC-certified technicians with various challenging situations to overcome.

House Fire Clean Up

SERVPRO technicians work with you and your insurance company to get you the help you need to restore your home to a quality preloss condition that you and your family can enjoy. We eliminate soot, ash, and smoke residues that continue to cause severe damage long after the flames are under control and help identify items where restoration remains questionable.

Our restoration teams put years of experience, advanced training, and professional equipment to use to determine the appropriate cleaning methods to use as they address each damaged area of your home. We are putting items into specific categories to receive the best results. We use water-based cleaning solutions on materials that resist water damage and use dry cleaning methods where contact with water may lead to additional damage.

SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown has technicians available 24/7, quickly responding to homeowners with situations just like yours. Please take advantage of our experience and get started on your home’s recovery today. (773) 434-9100

What Few People Know About Fire Damage Remediation Strategies in Chicago

10/13/2021 (Permalink)

picture Pinocchio with soot cleaning SERVPRO can clean the soot from a fire-damaged Pinocchio in your Chicago home--no lie!! "Like it never even happened."

Various Strategies Used to Deal with Fire Damage in Chicago Homes

After a fire in your residence, the best chance of recovering your property and possessions is to call SERVPRO franchise professionals. It is daunting to deal with fire damage, and it is not a job that anyone can complete. A fire emits soot and various chemicals that create challenges for cleaning and decontamination.

The fire damage in your Chicago property requires a prompt response. It is essential to treat the affected areas promptly and effectively with specialized equipment and skills. We have the resources needed to restore your home to its original condition. We face various challenges when restoring homes, but we overcome them by using multiple strategies.

Treating Different Materials

After a fire, we can salvage some materials in your home. Different materials require different cleaning procedures. Our technicians can determine if the various materials in your home are salvageable and clean them properly.

  • Drywall – When cleaning up drywall, our technicians determine if smoke residues have seeped behind it. In that case, it may be necessary to replace the drywall.
  • Tile Counters – We can clean tile counters. Tiled surfaces comprise the tile itself and the grouting. Tile varies in porosity based on how it was constructed, while grouting varies in porosity based on how well it is sealed. If the tile grouting is not well sealed, it can absorb smoke residues. We can use a strong acid cleaner, like one containing muriatic acid, phosphoric acid, or a stabilized acid, to clean grouting stains.
  • Granite and Solid Formica counters – If counters remain exposed to smoke for lengthy periods, permanent discoloration can occur. We can use general surface cleaners to clean your countertops.
  • Carpets – If your carpets have light smoke, we can clean and restore them to their pre-damaged state by using the right cleaning solutions and equipment.
  • Laminate Flooring – There is a layer of absorbent foam under laminate floors. If the smoke seeped beneath the floor, removing it is necessary to allow for the replacement of the porous foam.
  • Salvageable surfaces – Our technicians can seal smoke-damaged surfaces that need not be removed so that smoke odors do not escape.

Removing Chemical Residues

Our SERVPRO crew removes not only smoke particulate materials like char, ash, and soot from affected surfaces. We also remove chemical components like semi-volatile and volatile organic compounds that can cause long-term contamination. Our restores inspect the affected areas, searching for particulates and chemical residues. The inspection also enables us to know which materials burned during the fire so that we can identify the smoke residues present. We then use the most effective cleaning techniques to eliminate the particulates and chemical residues.

Some challenges are involved when restoring fire-damaged houses. Fortunately, the technicians at SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown have the experience and sophisticated equipment required to restore your property effectively. Contact us 24/7 at (773) 434-9100 for immediate help.

Can SERVPRO Remove Lingering Odors After Fire Damage in Downtown Chicago?

9/15/2021 (Permalink)

heavy smoke surrounding smoke detector Smoke and soot travel far from the blaze and deposit residues throughout your home.

Rely on SERVPRO to Restore Your Property After Fire Damage

Fire damage results in a home filled with the odors of smoke and fumes from various burned materials. The stench can be overwhelming, and it is difficult to remove. Additional complications arise from water damage left by emergency fire crews. The situation may seem overpowering. Your possessions are no longer usable, and many surfaces in the home are layered with soot and smoke residue. Displacement is traumatic, but there is something that you can do. Get professional help from a fire damage restoration company.

For fire damage in Downtown Chicago, SERVPRO is fast to respond. Conscientious and skilled technicians understand the need to move quickly to restore homes and possessions to their pre-fire and water-damaged condition. In many cases, furnishings can be restored, saving replacement costs. Soot is cleaned from every surface; any remaining water is removed, and the home is thoroughly dried. Smoke and other odors caused by the fire are removed with state of the art equipment like ozone machines, thermal foggers, cleaning products, and techniques to leave the home in excellent condition for occupancy.

Benefits of SERVPRO Fire Damage Restoration Services

Professional and caring staff are fast responders who are committed to working hard to get families back into their homes. Years of experience combine with IICRC and franchise training to make each crew member aware of the urgency that is involved in completing fire damage restoration. Whenever possible, personal possessions are cleaned and restored rather than discarded. Rescuing belongings helps homeowners to retain a sense of familiarity and contributes to a reduction in trauma and stress. The house is cleaned and deodorized in its entirety by professionals who can work with fast precision because of the specialized equipment that reduces the amount of time involved in cleaning and restoration.

If you're dealing with residential or commercial fire damage, call SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown at (773) 434-9100.

How SERVPRO Assesses Clean Up After Fire Damage to Your Downtown Chicago Home

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

house made of matchsticks burning A house fire in Downtown Chicago is no match for SERVPRO. "Like it never even happened."

Damage to Your Downtown Chicago House or Apartment by Fire Has Many Degrees of Harm

Fire damage can happen more quickly than most people realize. An unattended candle, hot oil, or a faulty appliance are all potential house fire causes. Facing the aftermath of a fire can be emotionally draining and upsetting. Cleaning and restoring your home is a vital part of getting back to everyday life after fire damage. SERVPRO is on hand to help clean up your property.

One of the biggest challenges after fire damage to your Downtown Chicago home is deciding how and what to clean. Some items cannot be cleaned and need to be discarded. Others can be cleaned and restored "Like it never even happened."

We train our IICRC-certified technicians to assess the cleanability of your home and belongings thoroughly. Some of the factors which affect how easily your home can be cleaned include:

Type Of Surface Affected by Fire Damage

Porous surfaces are harder to clean because soot particles penetrate deeper into them. Non-porous surfaces such as vinyl or enamel-based paints are easier to clean.

Fire Damaged Materials

Synthetic materials leave behind residue when they burn. Burning rubber or plastic creates a more challenging cleanup task. Soot should not be confused with smoke particles. Natural materials such as wood do not leave the same residue and are easier to clean up. The heat and fuel dictate if an organically burned element is dry smoke (powdery) or wet smoke.

Air Pressure

The greater the air pressure, the harder it is to clean up after fire damage. As air pressure increases, the air expands and pushes soot particles into nooks and crannies because of the fire's intense heat.

Heat Levels

The hotter the temperature, the more the potential damage; this includes cracking, bubbling, or melting of surfaces and more soot being pushed into materials. The hotter the fire, the more complex the cleanup job afterward.

Age Of Surfaces

Older surfaces are generally more difficult to clean. This is because they have more wear and tear, making them less resistant to damage or dirt.

Moisture Presence

Moisture in the air sets residues and makes them harder to clean up. This happens in situations where a fire hose is used during the firefighting effort or sprinklers were activated.

Our trained SERVPRO technicians have the skills and equipment to evaluate the damage to your home and belongings. Assessing each surface and item helps us build a thorough picture of the extent of the damage. From there, we put together a plan of which cleaning techniques should work best. Not everything can be saved after a fire, but we aim to salvage whatever is possible so you can get back to your everyday life.

Call SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown at (773) 434-9100 today. Our teams are ready to assess your home.

Can SERVPRO Help with Fire Cleanup in a Downtown Chicago Home?

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

green ozone generator SERVPRO techs place ozone machines to help eliminate odors and smoke damage in Downtown Chicago homes and businesses

SERVPRO Is a Leader in Fire Damage Cleanup and Restoration for All of Downtown Chicago

Although the Great Chicago Fire happened about 150 years ago, homeowners in the Windy City still find themselves in need of fire restoration services. Outdated wiring, space heaters, and even human mistakes can be behind house fires that damage your home and personal belongings. Relying on a professional fire restoration team ensures that all fire and smoke damage aspects are reviewed and addressed so your home can return to pre-fire conditions.

In Downtown Chicago, fire cleanup services are available shortly after you place a call to SERVPRO and our round-the-clock crew. Equipped with the latest technology available in the water and fire damage restoration industry, we arrive at your home and begin the process by assessing the damage and recommending a course of action. Our decisions are based not only on our experience but also on industry best practices. We are an official Downtown Chicago Licenses Operator.

It is common for our SERVPRO team to visit a fire-damaged home and find that homeowners worry about the fire clean-up as much as they do about smoke remediation and removing the pungent smell the smoke and flames leave behind. Part of our commitment to our clients is to use any of the techniques necessary to clean the air and kill smell particles. Some methods we may use include-

  • Odor counteracting pellets to help fight the lingering smell
  • Air scrubbers to remove the particles from the air and purify it
  • Ozone generators to kill the scent by using chemical pairing

Regardless of the technique we use, our team at SERVPRO of West Loop/ Bucktown/ Greektown is ready to help. Call us at (773) 434-9100 and let us do what we do for all of Downtown Chicago: leave your home “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Damage in Downtown Chicago - Basic Restoration Guidelines

7/9/2021 (Permalink)

Soot on wall Smoke and soot can settle on the walls and other areas of your home. Contact SERVPRO for certified technicians to help with remediation efforts.

Fire Damage Restoration Guidelines

Fire can destroy entire homes and businesses in minutes. While fire damage is quick, damage restoration takes time to clean efficiently, repair, and restore your home or business in Downtown Chicago. 

Basic Fire Damage Restoration Guidelines 

Fire damage restoration in Downtown Chicago depends on the type of materials that were damaged by the fire. They can be put into three categories. These categories determine the type of restoration response or action to treat, clean, or repair these surfaces or items. These divisions are soft materials, hard porous materials, and less porous hard materials. 

Soft Materials 

Carpets, upholstery, draperies, tapestries are all soft materials. When cleaning objects or items in this category, remember to start with the soot that remains. Use a strong vacuum cleaner at an angle to avoid trapping more soot in the fibers of the material. 

In Downtown Chicago, when fire damages your carpets, consult a carpet cleaning company for the best results. Restoration companies can handle cleaning fire and water damaged carpets with their specialized equipment. It is essential to remove smoke odors with a chemical deodorizer before cleaning. 

Porous Hard Materials 

All painted surfaces, wallpaper, drywall, and exposed wood are considered hard porous materials. These can require extensive cleaning from fire damage to your Downtown Chicago home. Remove soot with a dry chemical sponge. Smoke odors can remain for a long time in soft materials like clothes and curtains. It is, therefore, a great idea to use chemicals to deodorize the fabric before cleaning it. 

Once smoke and soot damage have been removed or cleaned, see if your walls need repainting. Further, remove damaged wallpaper quickly to save money on unnecessary expenses later. Remove all damaged painted surfaces and ventilate the area for proper smoke odor removal. 

Less Porous Hard Materials 

For less porous hard materials such as glass, metal, vinyl, or counters, use a sponge and chemical detergent solution. Remove all dangers of electric shock before beginning the cleaning process. In Downtown Chicago, your fire damage might need the help of a restoration professional.

When you need fire damage restoration in Downtown Chicago, call SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown at (773) 434-9100.

Take an Opportunity to Lace Up Your Ice Skates in the West Loop Area

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

A person with ice skates on. Get out and take part in the ice skating tradition in Lemont.

Have some family fun in nearby Lemont with weekend Ice Skating. 

Every weekend through April, The Forge in Lemont can send you back to growing up in the Chicago area with hours of ice skating fun. This is a long-standing tradition of the Windy City, and even with more significant regulations and rules, it is one that perseveres. You can reserve your spot on the ice on Fridays from 2 PM to 8 PM and on Saturday and Sunday from 5 PM to 8 PM.

You don’t even need to own skates. You can rent some at The Forge. Call (630) 326-3301 to reserve your spot for this traditional winter fun.

When the fire you deal with is not how quickly you blaze a trail up the ice rink, you can count on SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown to help with fire and smoke cleanup for West Loop homes and businesses. We have experienced professionals available 24/7 at (773) 434-9100.

Protecting Chicago Landmarks and Cultural Centers After a Fire

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

Different signs that say Chicago. Our SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown is ready and available for your fire damaged property always.

Fires can be devastating in Chicago, so our restoration technicians stay ready to help businesses and homes in a crisis.

As the third-largest city in the entire country,Chicago is home to close to 2.7 million people. This whole region has grown and developed as a result, becoming one of the cultural epicenters of the United States and one of the most heavily visited municipalities in the world every year. As a result of the dense population, certain disasters are inevitable. Fires are among the most common call-outs that our professionals must address and can quickly and thoroughly impact homes and apartments throughout the city. While none of these disasters has been quite as destructive as the Great Fire of 1871 that destroyed more than three square miles of the city, fires that happen today must get met with the same urgency. This need for experienced fire restoration is critical in cultural and historic centers across the city. 

Cultural Centers and Museums 

BecauseChicago is its own melting pot of cultures and backgrounds, it is no great surprise that education and acceptance are always key ingredients in helping the city grow positively. Many structures are designed to protect and preserve the history and heritage that make Chicago such a diverse location. For those visiting the city for the first time, a tour of some of the most famous museums and cultural centers can help to showcase everything that someone should know about this ever-changing city, including the highs and lows of its history. 

Field Museum

The Field Museum of Natural History is among the largest museums of its type throughout the world. Because of both its size and educational programs available, this has become one of the most respected structures in preserving and conserving our most treasured artifacts. This building and its purpose have been part of the Chicago area since 1921. As a renowned museum with more than 24 million specimens, its exhibits and programs receive more than a million and a half visitors every year.

Art Institute of Chicago

Much like the Field Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago expects roughly 1.5 million visitors every year. There are classic works of art recognized by many across the globe permanently on display here in this renowned structure, including Pablo Picasso's The Old Guitarist and Grant Wood's American Gothic. Because it is one of the largest art museums on the planet, its permanent collection boasts almost 300,000 works. Several special exhibitions are happening annually that illuminate specific portions of this extensive collection or showcase traveling programs. It has been in this iconic building adorned with lion statues since 1893.

Chicago History Museum

Because the History Museum was established in 1856, it became part of one of Chicago's most notorious historic events with the Great Fire of 1871. Much of the artifacts and exhibits compiled for the structure at this time were destroyed during that disaster. However, they have since worked perilously to create a true spectrum of the city's history and its surrounding areas. Current collections date back even before settlers first began living near the Great Lakes when the indigenous people inhabited the land.

Museum of Science and Industry 

Since 1933, the Museum of Science and Industry here in Chicago has helped introduce many visitors to some of the most iconic and memorable exhibits that they will remember for a lifetime. Among the most popular of these, which has helped maintain the average of 1.5 million visitors every year, are items like a captured German submarine from World War II, the command module of Apollo 8, and the first diesel-powered stainless-steel passenger train. All in all, the museum has more than 2000 exhibits stretched over 75 halls.

American Writers Museum

While this museum has only been in operation since 2017, it quickly became a captivating attraction for both residents and tourists to Chicago. This entire cultural center is devoted to American literature and features many different exhibits to educate the viewer. From displays like American Voices and Readers Hall to the Children's Gallery and an area focused on Chicago's top writers of all time, this is a place that travelers will want to see if they enjoy a nice novel.

How SERVPRO Addresses Fire Damage in Chicago Homes 

While the city has been fortunate not to contend with the severity of the Great Fire of 1871 since this devastating event occurred, it is not to say that fires do not occur regularly in the city. Our fast response to these emergencies can directly affect the out-of-pocket expenses and time spent in restoration for area homes. Getting mitigation started as soon as possible is critical to lessening the impact of post-fire effects in the house, including harsh odors and soot damage.

Among the primary mitigation steps that our professionals can take, which is especially important with damaged properties like the museums mentioned before, is content cleaning and relocation. Our Content Claims and Inventory Service (CCIS) division works to evaluate individual items in your home to determine the best approach to restoring them entirely. these processes generally take one of three paths:

  • On-site cleaning
  • On-site relocation to a safe and unaffected area
  • Off-site relocation and cleaning at our SERVPRO facility

Because of how quickly fire losses can spread through a property and is vital to address circulating loss effects like soot and smoke particles. While air scrubbers and negative air chambers can affect preventing these carcinogenic particulates from moving around the house, it is often more beneficial to utilize tools like the hydroxyl generator that can also work to deodorize the property at the same time. Thermal fogging can also be instrumental in removing harsh odors after a fire gets extinguished. 

Fire losses can be devastating when customers have to wait for the response of experienced technicians to help. Our SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown team is available 24/7 to mobilize quickly when disaster strikes. Give us a call today at (773) 434-9100.

Get into the Holiday Spirit, and Shopping, in Chicago

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

Close-up of holiday lights Let us worry about fire damage so you can enjoy the holiday events!

Visit the Christkindlmarket at Two Chicago Locations 

Due to health concerns, the Christkindlmarket will host this year's event virtually. Visitors will be able to take part in an online marketplace and family-friendly activities. The event runs from November 1st-December 31st, 2020.

More Virtual Events This Year

Christkindlmarket increased the number of online events for customers concerned about their health and helped out with the already growing bad weather. Here are two to watch out for in November alone: 

  • 14th – It’s Beginning to Look Like a DIY Christmas! A digital course on creating decorations with what you already have around your home.
  • 21st – German Cooking – Learn how to make a traditional dish of Baked Apples with Vanilla Sauce! 

If you need fire damage cleanup in your Chicago home after the holidays, call SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown at (773) 434-9100. We are here for you.

What Should a Homeowner Do if a Fire Burns Their Ceiling and Leaves Behind Debris and Soot?

10/15/2020 (Permalink)

green ozone machine with coil Fire Damage to Your Chicago Property? SERVPRO Can Remove the Debris and Place an Ozone Machine to Clean the of Odors and Particles

If You Ever Need Fire Cleanup Services After the Ceiling Inside Your Chicago Home Burns Call SERVPRO

If your furnace malfunctions or you have an electrical short in your attic inside your Chicago residence, heat can rise and cause your ceiling to burn. Once your ceiling starts to burn, debris can begin to fall and settle onto your floors. Soot residues can also accumulate on your walls and your contents from the smoke created and the fallen materials.

How can you safely remove burnt debris from floors?

As a part of fire cleanup inside your Chicago residence, our SERVPRO team can start by removing large burnt materials by putting them in sealed trash bags. We can also create a containment chamber around the affected areas of your home so that soot residues and dust cannot travel throughout your home during the debris removal process. We can then clean up the remaining soot and other small burnt particles using a vacuum equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.

How can you remove soot residues from my walls and contents?

  • Vacuuming: At first, our SERVPRO technicians can use a HEPA vacuum to remove excess soot from your drywall, furniture, and other items.
  • Dry Sponge Cleaning: Next, we can use dry sponges or other cleaning tools like rags or feather dusters to remove soot from porous materials such as drywall or unfinished wood.
  • Wet Cleaning: For non-porous, hard surfaces like finished wooden surfaced items, we can utilize a cloth with a general surface cleaner.

What can you do if my house smells burnt?

  • Fogging: We can use an ultra-low volume or a thermal fogger that breaks down deodorant chemicals to a size similar to the smoke particle size.
  • Ozone Machine: We can also use an ozone generator to dispense unstable O3 particles that can oxide malodor molecules, under extreme cases.

If your ceiling burns after you have an electrical failure, it is wise to call SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown at (773) 434-9100 as soon as possible.

How is Structural Integrity Addressed After a House Fire?

10/2/2020 (Permalink)

Burnt wood and beams from a home. Call SERVPRO today when it comes to your Chicago fire damage. We know what it takes.

SERVPRO Carefully Inspects Your Chicago Home for Structural Integrity While Handling Fire Damage Cleanup

Any building involved in a fire, big or small, could have some level of damage to the structural integrity. There are several factors that SERVPRO takes into consideration while assessing your Chicago property. When we get called in for cleanup and restoration after a fire, we use our specialized methods and planning to ensure no stone is left unturned. It is essential to our team that your family is safe and sound in your home once we complete the project. Once we get done, your structure and interior will be left "Like it never even happened."

What Can Happen to a Building's Structure During a Fire?

When handling fire damage cleanup in Chicago, we must look at everything from contents and building materials to structural elements. We must consider various things when determining the strength of structural details, such as:

  • The duration of the fire
  • The intensity of the fire
  • The proximity of the flames
  • Materials impacted, and more

Having direct flame or heat on materials such as wood, steel, and concrete can reduce overall strength. This then becomes an issue in terms of safety and why it is vital to have a full structural evaluation done post-fire. This helps determine the level of the damage and the need for repair or replacement moving forward. 

What is a Post-Fire Structural Evaluation?

Whenever structural components seem to be compromised, the evaluation helps provide a clear picture of whether or not they can stand up to their design's original intent. Evaluations such as these will include non-destructive and destructive testing of wood, concrete, and steel. Depending on the fire's temperature and the damage, some of the components must get cleaned to remove any soot or other contaminants so that a full visual inspection may commence. Such cleaning may take place by:

  • Brushing
  • Abrasive blasting with sand or baking soda
  • Pressure washing
  • Chemical washing

SERVPRO will take a look at a variety of collateral items and learn more about the characteristics of the fire. We look at:

  • Plastics
  • Windows
  • Plumbing elements
  • Door handles
  • Lamps, and more

This part of the inspection sheds light on the fire's temperature and intensity so that we can make an educated determination of the potential damage to the structural items around these contents.

How Does Fire Impact Structural Components?

  • Wood – When wood chars, it consumes the outer layers, and size gets reduced.
  • Concrete – Exposed concrete may remain unaffected up to 500 degrees F of exposure. When exposure exceeds these temperatures, concrete begins to spall and crack.
  • Steel – Intense heat can start to weaken steel to the point where it becomes deformed. The result may show the steel to be warped or buckled.

To facilitate efficient cleaning and restoration of your Chicago property, SERVPRO takes the time to address other structural components:

  • Lighting fixtures
  • Cabinetry
  • Insulation
  • Attics or crawl spaces
  • Glass and windows
  • Window treatments fixtures, and more

After a fire in your home, it is essential that you do not attempt to clean various surfaces or contents on your own. Using the wrong methods or the wrong cleaning agents could cause permanent damage. It is also best to limit movement throughout your home so that you can keep the amount of contamination tracked from one space to another to a minimum.

Will the Smoke Corrode Certain Surfaces?

When left to fester too long, smoke and soot can become corrosive to certain materials. We take the time to wipe down residue found on lightly-painted or plastic surfaces, fiberglass, finished furnishings, and countertops made of Formica. When handling some surfaces, our SERVPRO technicians may also use a pre-cleaning treatment using lubricants to help inhibit corrosion until the full restoration process commences. We also take the time to protect a range of metal surfaces that have iron or chrome, including:

  • Faucets
  • Door and cabinet hardware
  • Lamps
  • Window Frames, and more

What if There is Smoke Residue on Hardwood Floors?

Various hardwood flooring materials contain cellulose, which means that it can quickly absorb water. We have water damage restoration technicians on our team to ensure that we halt damage during the fire damage cleanup by adequately drying the floors. We can then remove lighter or moderate smoke residue with a mop and our Bright-N-Neutral Cleaner. If the smoke residue contains an aerosol that may have penetrated the floors' finish, our team will use more aggressive measures such as sanding, stripping, or refinishing.

Once your home gets overtaken by fire, you should never wait to begin fire damage cleanup. Call in the help of SERVPRO of West Loop/Bucktown/Greektown right away, and we can send a crew out as soon as possible. We can be reached 24/7 for emergency service at (773) 434-9100.

Who to Call in Chicago When Fire Damage Property?

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

fire damaged property When fire damages your property, call SERVPRO.

Call SERVPRO to Treat Fire Damage in Chicago

Fire is a homeowner's worst nightmare. A fire can destroy a lifetime of irreplaceable possessions and precious memories. Fire can happen to any home, no matter the condition or age. If steps are not quickly taken to minimize the damage, smoke and fire can be disastrous to structures and personal property. Quick action is necessary to reduce the effect of a fire. It is best to be prepared ahead of time for Chicago fire damage so that you are aware of what steps you can take to reduce the consequences of fire.

Do Not Enter Your Home Until Given Permission by the Fire Department
Your home may not be safe to enter after a fire depending upon the extent of damage to your home. There may be electrical hazards and other issues that pose a danger to you. It is important to wait until you have the go ahead by the fire department before you try to enter your home. Also, do not turn on utilities until the fire department says that it is safe to do so.

Contact Your Insurance Company
Homeowner's policies require that losses be reported as soon as possible. Do not expect that someone else will contact your insurance company after a fire. This is one of the first things that you need to do as the homeowner. Therefore, in the event of Chicago fire damage, contact your local agent right away.

Minimize Damage to Your Home
Typically, most insurance policies require that homeowners take immediate measures to mitigate damage to a home after an event. Sometimes, they will refuse the claim if appropriate steps are not taken to prevent further damage to your home. Therefore, cover doors, windows and other openings. Make sure that the smoldering has stopped. If it has not, then contact the fire department to help prevent a flare-up. It might also be a good idea to put up a temporary fence around your property to prevent theft and vandalism.

Contact a Professional Right Away to Handle Restoration
Timing is imperative when dealing with water and fire damage. Mildew and mold can begin growing within a day after a house fire because of water used to put out the fire. It is essential to commence the restoration process as soon as possible. Contact a company that specializes in fire restoration to begin the cleanup and renovation process.

If you have Chicago fire damage, it is important to act quickly to minimize damage to your home. The professionals at SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown are committed to restoring your home to its previous condition as efficiently as possible. Call us today at (773) 434-9100 for help.

For information on fire safety in Chicago check out the Chicago Fire Department.

Info: Space Heater Fire Safety and Fire Damage

4/19/2020 (Permalink)

fire damaged room Even minor to moderate fires can cause heat and smoke related issues.

Preventing Fire Damage In Your Chicago Home From A Space Heater

Chicago can experience some frigid winters, and one of the favorite ways to heat homes here is with space heaters. They are especially popular because of their small and portable size, which makes them easy to reposition. However, this preferred method of keeping warm can put your home in danger of a fire if it is not safely used.

When you have had minor fire damage from a space heater in your Chicago home, you still need the assistance of a professional remediation company to help you clean and restore your home. SERVPRO is always ready to help you with our expertise and tools to get the job done thoroughly and quickly.

Even with a minor fire, smoke residues affect the immediate area, plus may have traveled to other rooms of the home. Even with a light to moderate amount of smoke, SERVPRO technicians need to restore your home with dry or wet cleaning methods, depending on the surface where the soot and smoke are. A few areas may even need repainting, and only minor items need replacement.

To help prevent space heater fires, start by choosing the right one for your home. These appliances run on electricity, natural gas, or kerosene, and each type is recommended for use in different settings. Newer models have more safety features, so stick to these. Among these features is a safety switch in case the unit tips over. It lets the space heater turn off automatically if it tips, which helps prevent a fire.

Treat space heaters like candles. They should never run while unattended. If you leave the room, turn them off and keep about three feet of space around them. Operate them on a stable, level surface so avoiding tipping by passing pets or people. You also want to avoid putting the heater near curtains, furniture, or anything else flammable. Nothing should be on top of the heater, and do not hang clothing on it to dry. Learn more about space heater safety from the Chicago Fire Department.

Fire Causes More than Just Fire Damage

Whenever dealing with fire damage, heat and smoke are both elements that can ruin items inside your home. Not all fires that burn on Chicago properties destroy the entire structure. Many times, the burns are much more minor, but they still can cause many issues with your contents and building materials. Even the most minor burns can create many problems including smoke-related issues. Smoke can solidify in the form of soot residues and cause unappealing smells to become present inside your structure. When anything torches inside your living area you should call in a professional disaster restoration company like SERVPRO.

Even minor to moderate fires can cause heat and smoke related issues.

During any fire damage project in Chicago, soot removal and deodorization are major parts of the process. If anything burns inside your home, our SERVPRO technicians start with removing the severely burnt materials. Next, we clean any soot residues that remain on the surface of your building materials or contents. If unpleasant, burnt aromas still exist after these first two steps, we can take further steps to get rid of these foul odors.

When dealing with different situations, our highly trained team at SERVPRO knows how to distinguish between minor, moderate, and heavy smoke odors. Moderate smoke odor situations exist when there are smoke residues present on both horizontal and vertical surfaces. In these cases, structural damage may be present, but it is confined to a single room or limited area of the home.

In these situations, vapor diffusers and crystals may get used including other odor control techniques like a thorough cleaning of your house's HVAC system. We may also apply vapor crystals to your attic's insulation and the forced air furnace systems. We then complete thermal fogging procedures if we deem it necessary. Whatever the case is, we strive to eliminate all odors, so its “Like it never even happened.” If you ever need help with smoke or fire-related problems call in SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown at (773) 434-9100.

What Other Things Can Fire Damage in a Chicago Property?

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

fire damage home interior Our top priority is to mitigate the effects of fire damage in your home while keeping your family safe.

Effects Of Fire Damage

Once the flames have been extinguished, homeowners are often overwhelmed by the amount of damage that is left behind. It is not just ashes and smoke that result from fire damage, but several other surprising things ranging from flooding to lingering odors.

If you are a homeowner dealing with fire damage in Chicago, you know that fire emergencies can affect a home in many devastating ways. Here's how the experts at SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown tackle these challenges to restore your home.

Smoke Particles
The big problem with remaining smoke particles caused by fire damage is that it's notorious for causing odors. It also severely affects indoor air quality by not only imparting off smells by making the air itself harder to breathe in. Our technicians are equipped with advanced professional tools that effectively eliminate these particles, so your home will feel much cleaner and fresher.

Soot Residue
It's typically easy to see soot that has settled on home surfaces after fire damage has occurred, but soot is more than just an eyesore. It can be corrosive, damage surfaces, stain fabrics, and will wear through paint over time. SERVPRO professionals do not just wipe and vacuum away soot; we work to obtain a deep clean to prevent future damage throughout your home.

Water From Fire Damage
Firefighting efforts inevitably deposit additional residue as well as large quantities of water. Though it's necessary to tame flames, this type of fire damage can also be destructive to a home's structure. We're careful to extract water to not only make your home fit for occupying again but to ward off mold and mildew growth down the road.

Damage To Possessions
Furniture, clothing, electronics and other items can be ruined as a result of fire damage, but we're often able to salvage certain possessions. Our industry leading techniques and equipment allow us to restore what others end up throwing away, which saves you time and money.

SERVPRO's Methodology and Equipment Restore Smoke Damaged Properties

When a fire occurs, the most vital thing is to get it under control. After this crucial factor has been achieved, the next stage is to restore your home and belongings to their pre-fire condition. However, even after the initial cleanup has been completed, the smell of the fire can linger. Many homeowners find that even after all charred and damaged items are removed, and surfaces are thoroughly cleaned there is still a smoky smell in the air.
If you can still smell a burned or charred scent after fire damage to your Chicago home, further work may be needed to deodorize your house. SERVPRO technicians are trained to deal with lingering fire odors swiftly and efficiently. Our professionally trained and certified IICRC teams have the skill and equipment needed to deodorize your house and leave it smelling fresh once more –"Like it never even happened."
We train our IICRC certified technicians to assess what is causing lingering odors after a fire. Confined areas, attics, rafters, and the insulation in your home are all especially susceptible to odor entrapment after a fire has occurred. Each area needs to be treated carefully to ensure the odor is removed.
SERVPRO does arrive at your home equipped with deodorizing equipment. The first step is to assess what is causing the smell to linger. The next step is to tackle the smell at its source. We thoroughly vent the problem area, and clean surfaces to help scrub away the source of the smell. For some spaces, an odor counteractant can be used to clean away those odors. In some cases, placement of an activated charcoal unit overnight can absorb the smell. IF the home is vacant of the residents, live plants, and pets, we can set up ozone machines which chemically capture smoke particulates in the air. This process is typically used during the initial phases of fire and smoke cleanup. Hydroxyl generators are also very useful in purging the ambient air of unwanted particles, thus mitigating, and finally, eliminating the smoke odors.
If cleaning and ventilation fail in tackling stubborn smoke smells after a fire, our technicians are equipped with thermal fog equipment. Thermal fogging equipment mimics the heat and pressure of the fire in a safe manner. Materials that picked up the smell of smoke from the fire now pick up the deodorization droplets from thermal fogging in the same manner. Thermal fogging is one of the most effective ways to tackle lingering odors after a fire.

At SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown, our top priority is to mitigate the effects of fire damage in your home while keeping your family safe. We will perform speedy and efficient restoration so you can start enjoying your home once again. To receive further information or for a quote about our fire damage restoration services, call us 24/7 at (773) 434-9100.

Removing Kitchen Fire Damage In Chicago

3/12/2020 (Permalink)

fire damaged home SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown provides mitigation that is Faster to Any Size Disaster.

Removing Kitchen Fire Damage from a Chicago Condo

Fires, particularly in home kitchens, are one of the most common disasters that occur in the United States. In 2018 alone, fires incurred a whopping $25.6 billion in property damage. The staggering costs of a fire are not limited to property, however. Fires also cause long-term damages that consumer-grade products are not formulated to clean.

If your Chicago residence needs kitchen fire damage mitigation from certified restoration professionals, a SERVPRO crew can be at your home within hours of your call to address damages and restore your home and its contents to a preloss condition. SERVPRO prioritizes extensive training and education for all staff members, including franchise owners, so that they can provide as much assistance as possible to property owners in need of disaster cleanup. This includes continuous learning opportunities and online education to extend mitigation knowledge for professionals after certification.

Tips for Containing Cooking Fire Residues
    •   Fires that ignite in pans or pots should be covered, and the heat turned off immediately to smother the flames. Never move burning pans.
    •    Oven and microwave fires should also be smothered by keeping the door closed. Unplug the microwave if it is safe to do so.
    •    Baking soda and salt can be effective at dousing small kitchen fires. Never use sugar or flour for the same purpose. Water and Type-A fire extinguishers should never be used on grease fires. Use a Type B extinguisher, which is made for flammable liquids.
    •    Minimize personal fire risk by wearing short or tight sleeves and keeping long hair pulled back.
    •    Never microwave metals. This includes aluminum foil, silverware, and twist-ties that seal packaging.

How SERVPRO Removes Soot and Proteins
Protein residues and soot can work together to create foul odors, contaminate food, and discolor and corrode surfaces with long-term exposure. SERVPRO technicians can use enzyme digesters to turn protein residues from cooking fires into odorless, water-soluble byproducts. Soot deposits and charring can be addressed with mechanical agitation, wet cleaning solutions, and odor-killing blast media like baking soda.

SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown provides mitigation that is Faster to Any Size Disaster. Call (773) 434-9100 for professional-grade disaster cleanup services.

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We Are The Choice You Can Trust In Chicago After A Fire Disaster

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

A stove top covered in grease and soot after a fire This grease fire on the stove top of this home caused soot and smoke damage and our experts arrived right away and began restoration.

Manipulating Temperature for Pre-loss Fire Damage Restoration in your Chicago Home

Fire Damage Chicago

While a recent house fire may seem like catastrophic harm has come to your home, necessary cleaning and restoration tasks can go a long way toward reducing the expense of your claim. You may also find that with professional cleaning solutions, many of your possessions can return to their preloss condition and return to your home "Like it never even happened." The cleaning procedure relies on a good knowledge of how fire works and being able to identify the different types of smoke damage as well as the materials they effect. By using trained experts in the field, you give your home the best chance of returning to a preloss condition.

Our roster of fire damage restoration technicians here in Chicago is capable of performing a detailed assessment of your home. During SERVPRO pre-testing, we try to locate smoke residues, use ph testing equipment to help us identify different residues, and note down the type of surface material. These steps are essential to successfully capturing, removing, and disposing of smoke residues. Often, we may need to take debris to a waste facility for correct, safe disposal, which we include in our service.

Each surface in your home is going to respond differently to cleaning efforts. These individual responses are what can make fire restoration a challenge. SERVPRO may use temperature as a means of removing soiling. With higher temperatures, chemical reactions speed up as well as the movement of particles on a molecular level. Heat can help to remove soils that bond with surfaces or speed up the dissolving of smoke residues into a cleaning solution. We can use truck-mounts to heat chemical cleaning solutions or bring in portable heaters to increase the overall temperature of the room.

Another method of removing stubborn soiling from fire damage is to agitate the surface. SERVPRO technicians may use necessary equipment like scouring pads, brushes, or dry sponges to loosen soiling from walls or ceilings. In some situations, we may use more advanced equipment like air whips or sandblasting. Often this equipment have more of an aggressive impact on the surface itself and can sometimes be useful at removing layers of the material that are soiled beyond repair. Certain woods can benefit from being sanded down and refinished rather than replaced.

When dealing with fire restoration, many different methods require know-how to enact correctly. Contact SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown at (773) 434-9100.

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Fire and Odor Cleanup in a Chicago Apartment

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

fire damaged property “Like it never even happened.”

Advanced Skills Ease the Challenges of Fire and Odor Cleanup in a Chicago Apartment

When a fire broke out at a Chicago apartment, most of the residents were concerned they would lose their valuables to the flames. Fortunately, most of the materials in the affected unit were not highly combustible, so the fire did not spread quickly. However, the smoldering combustion process produces significant volumes of smoke, spreading odor around the unit and adjoining areas.

Identifying odor sources
The main challenge when dealing with the fire and odor cleanup at the Chicago apartment was identifying the odor sources. We had to check contents and construction materials, including those hidden in wall cavities, to identify likely odor sources. For items covered in layers of residue, it was easier to pinpoint them as the odor sources. However, since odor molecules are invisible, we could not rule out those without residue. Common walls within the apartment complex also meant that odor spread from the unit affected by the fire to other unaffected units. Our SERVPRO technicians opened up the walls to reach hidden materials such as insulation, which we suspected, would act as odor reservoirs.

Multi-step odor control
Odor molecules are volatile, so they spread quickly around the affected property. We had to use several steps to clean up the apartment, and get rid of the odor. Our SERVPRO technicians cleaned off residues from surfaces by wiping them off with cleaning sponges and other manual agitation methods. Physical removal of residues eliminates a considerable percentage of the odor. We then applied water-based odor counteractants through direct spraying and ULV fogging. Ventilating the area and running air filtration devices finally helped remove odor molecules suspended in the air.

Cleaning the HVAC system
During a fire, soot and other smoke residues find their way into the heating and ventilation system. Later on, when the system is turned on, the residues emit odor, which is reintroduced into the indoor air. We cleaned the ducts at the apartment to ensure this did not happen.

Odor issues can linger long after a fire incident. Call SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown at (773) 434-9100 to help restore your apartment after an incident, “Like it never even happened.”

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Why Immersion Cleaning Is Crucial After A Fire In Chicago

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

fire in a home You can rely on us to apply the latest restoration standards and technology to every job we do.

Applying Immersion Cleaning to Fittings and Fixtures that have Fire Damage in Chicago Homes

When burning materials release hot-smoke, it can apply pressure to surfaces as well as wear away finishes. As a general rule, hot air is attracted to cold surfaces, which is why homeowners often find the recipients of the worse damages are chandeliers, drapery rods, or other solid metal fittings. In some cases, these materials can be costly to replace and unsuited to agitative or aggressive cleaning methods. We operate with a restore over replace mentality and utilize the latest technology in our everyday restoration services.

The extent of fire damage in your Chicago depends on the size and scope of the fire. However, smoke damage is consistent in every fire restoration service we carry out and can often spread far from the source. This can be particularly problematic for fittings as well as ornaments or lighting. Since smoke particles are microscopic, they can quickly enter into the smallest fixture gaps or buildup on the surface of a well-designed fitting.

For dense items that have attracted a significant amount of smoke damage, SERVPRO technicians can use immersion cleaning techniques. Immersion cleaning involves completely covering an object or material in the solvent cleaning solution. Ultrasonic soundwaves are then emitted into the solvent, which causes it to bubble. When these bubbles burst, they create both heat and friction, which can be exceptionally effective at removing deep-set soots from hard materials.

Ultrasonic cleaning methods can be a valuable tool for a restorer of contents. However, not all materials are suited to immersion cleaning. Porous materials can quickly become damaged by the pressure, heat, or friction created during ultrasonic cleaning. During the inspection of your property, a SERVPRO technician can identify which items in your home are suited to immersion cleaning.

Other items may respond more readily to traditional cleaning methods or maybe deemed non-salvageable. As part of our restoration services, SERVPRO can inventory non-salvageable items or structural contents. These materials can be removed and replaced by your technician. The removal of materials can be logged for passing onto your insurer.

You can rely on us to apply the latest restoration standards and technology to every job we do. Contact SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown at (773) 434-9100 to begin.

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Restoring Fire Damaged Items in Your Chicago Home

7/6/2019 (Permalink)

wood wall with left side burned Rather severe or slight, SERVPRO will help you.

Let us get you back to the basics.

If your home experiences a fire damage incident, then the cabinets are part of the structures that are likely to experience some damage. No matter how small the fire is, efficient measures need to be taken to restore your property and prevent further deterioration. Usually, smoke travels around the building and can affect walls, furniture, ceilings, and other items that are far away from the point of combustion. We are going to look at some of the procedures we use to reface your Chicago home. 

The seriousness of the fire determines whether the fire damage outcomes in your Chicago home are severe or slight. There are instances where our SERVPRO technicians reface the cabinets by removing their exterior doors, removing the smoke damaged finishing, and make the needed repairs such as refinishing and repainting. However, replacing the cabinet’s is the best option when there is significant smoke permeation. 

When it is necessary to clean the cabinets, we have to choose a method that suits finished or unfinished surfaces. Most cabinet interiors are made of unfinished wood, so, our SERVPRO technicians may use a dry cleaning sponge to remove the residues. In some instances, we use the sanding technique to remove any remaining residues. 

Another challenging location that our SERVPRO technicians need to clean during the restoration process is the attic’s. They are hard to clean since they are porous, comprised of unfinished wood, and their shapes are irregular. If you had stored some contents in the attic, we need to first remove them before the cleaning can take place. Whenever we come across unexposed structure timber, we use a deodorizing pre-sealer or a duct sealer to do the sealing. 

Smoke may also change the appearance of your home's insulation. Our SERVPRO technicians usually replace the insulation as opposed to cleaning it. In some cases, we may remove and replace the top layer of the insulation when the lower section is free of smoke damage. 

SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown follows the regulations of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) when attending to commercial and residential properties. Call (773) 434-9100 to learn more about the restoration and cleaning services that our experienced technicians offer. 

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Call Our Crew Of Technicians If Your Chicago Home Experiences A Fire

5/14/2019 (Permalink)

24/7 service sign written on orange on a white background Contact us 24/7 at (773) 434-9100 for quick remediation.

Using Debris Removal Services After Fire Damage In Your Chicago Residence

One of the leading causes of direct property damage is electrical lighting and distribution equipment. Many home fires occur because of faulty electrical or lighting systems. To prevent these fires, it is vital to ensure that a qualified electrician does all the electrical work in your home.
In the unfortunate event of fire damage to your Chicago residence, you need to hire experts who can help you restore your home to its pre-fire damage condition. Apart from charring the floors, ceilings, and walls, a fire can ruin other items. Smoke from the fire can damage your pictures, clothing, and furniture. This is where a restoration company like SERVPRO comes in handy. We have the equipment, manpower, and experience to offer you high-quality fire damage cleanup and debris removal services.
Depending on the seriousness of a fire, removing debris is the initial step in remediating a fire loss. Our technicians can conduct debris removal to prepare for the rest of the remediation project. A fire can leave a lot of debris behind that can pose some health risks to the residents of a home. Sharp objects like broken utensils and nails can cause injuries. Our technicians can remove such items to make it easier for the restoration process to begin.
The exteriors of your home may also have things that need to be disposed of like damaged shingles, torn gutters, and ash. We have portable storage containers that are useful for debris removal. We also abide by waste disposal laws to dispose of the debris safely. Once we remove the debris, we can take the other steps to restore your home to its normal condition, including deodorizing the scents.
Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover the expense of debris removal but may not offer reimbursement until after the work is complete. Our SERVPRO technicians can work with your insurance company and provide the adjuster with pertinent information about billing. We also monitor a fire damage restoration job daily and remain accessible to our customers.
When there is fire damage in your home, SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown is the right remediation company to call. We have the expertise to make the damage look “Like it never even happened.” Contact us 24/7 at (773) 434-9100 for quick remediation.

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Our Experts Explain How To Prevent Structural Burns To Your Chicago Property

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

table with decorations and a mirror burned and covered in soot damage Any time something burns inside your Chicago apartment, items inside can get ruined.

Fire Damage Crews From Chicago Give Advice On How To Prevent Structural Burns

Any time something burns inside your Chicago apartment, items inside can get ruined. Even the smallest blaze can cause you to have to call in a professional fire damage restoration company such as SERVPRO. Even minor burns can create smoke that can travel throughout the structure and cause problems far away from the fire's source. Partially combusted particles can stick to surfaces throughout your apartment unit and cause unpleasant aromas to exist inside the building. The longer fire damage goes without being properly treated, the worse the foul odors can get.

Having something burn inside your home is not very common, but it does happen more often than it should. The best way to prevent fire damage in your Chicago dwelling from occurring in the first place is to take steps to keep the blaze from taking place. There are several things that can be done that help burns from starting and help keep them from being very devastating.

One main practice that can help prevent destructive fires is to have smoke detectors and make sure they are operating at all times. These tools are a requirement to have for most insurance policies because they can warn people of a burn before it gets out of hand.

Heat sources are a common source of structural blazes, and they should be checked regularly. Always make sure your furnace's filters are clean and if you are using a space heater do not place it close to any flammable items.

A common source for structural burns is your kitchen. Making sure all of your kitchen's appliances are clean can help keep grease from setting ablaze. When you are cooking inside your kitchen, never leave items you are preparing unattended. Unattended cooking accidents account for a major part of all structural fires.

Another part of being prepared for these types of accidents is always to have a fire extinguisher handy and ready to use. However, if something does ever burn inside your home, call SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown at (773) 434-9100 24/7.

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We Can Help Return Your Fire Damaged Home In Chicago To Pre-Damage Condition

3/28/2019 (Permalink)

living room with yellow couch and walls burned and covered in soot damage SERVPRO's emergency services are available to assist you 24/7 to restore your home to its preloss condition.

Specialty Fire Damage Cleaning In Chicago

Every fire damage situation we handle is unique. Even though the science behind cleaning and restoring property that has been damaged is relatively finite, it must be applied individually to each site we remediate. A procedure that worked well at one location may not be as effective at another. That's why our technicians pursue continued education in restorative sciences so they can stay on top of the latest developments and trends.

SERVPRO technicians know that the quicker homeowners call them, the faster they can begin to turn around fire damage in Chicago homes. Expediting cleanup lessens the potential for secondary damage from standing water from extinguishing the fire, odor problems, and mold growth.

Drying areas drenched in the fire fighting efforts is a double issue for SERVPRO technicians. First, the longer water stands, the more contaminated it becomes along with the potential for structural damage. Second, odor-causing particles from the fire smaller than the naked human eye can see, and they can spread throughout the home and create pungent problems in currently unaffected rooms. Our IICRC-certified technicians know that containment is crucial and set up barriers to limit the spread of soot particles before positioning air movers and humidifiers. After drying, our technicians often employ negative air fans which move contaminants from a contained space through ducts to an outside area creating a vacuum (negative air) effect.

HEPA-vacuums remove dangerous particles from surfaces prior to hand cleaning to remove all traces of smoke and residue from surfaces. Carpeting, furnishings, drywall and other porous materials are not automatically a loss due to a fire because they absorbed the foul odor and are smoke damaged. SERVPRO has Odor Control Technicians who specialize in removing fire odors mitigating loss to homeowners.

Cleaning up fire damage, even for small fires, is never a DIY project. Call SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown at (773) 434-9100. SERVPRO's emergency services are available to assist you 24/7 to restore your home to its preloss condition.

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Fire Damage Effects and Efforts in Cicero

8/31/2018 (Permalink)

room with burned chair and walls covered in soot damage When any portion of your home has suffered from fire damage, it is time to contact SERVPRO for effective remediation and cleanup services.

Team SERVPRO Understands How Different Materials Burn and Create Residues During a Fire

No matter the level of destruction, Cicero home fires are difficult to clean and restore. Dozens of different types of material burn in every home, even it lasts for only a few minutes. Temperatures vary over the life of fire, which affects how quickly and cleanly it all burns.
Many factors affect Cicero fire damage. Understanding them allows SERVPRO restoration teams to tailor a cleanup and restoration plan for each home. Different items burn quickly or slowly based on moisture and temperature, so anything that can melt on the surface of something like a kitchen counter can affect how we can clean it or decide to dispose of it.
First, one of our technicians examines each surface to see if it is porous or non-porous. A porous surface like latex paint or plastics, lets particles penetrate them even under normal circumstances. When a fire heats them up, particles can penetrate even deeper which make them more difficult to clean. Non-porous surfaces like vinyl and enamel paint resist better, making them easier to clean, even when heated in a house fire.
At the same time, other team members look for sprinklers and ask about fire suppression efforts by firefighters. A large amount of moisture increases the risk of staining surfaces and sets residues in a tougher layer, making them more difficult to clean. That applies to not just horizontal surfaces, but walls as well. Higher temperatures can also work with moisture on many surfaces to give them a yellowed appearance.
Now, SERVPRO technicians determine what burned. Physical damage from the flames means that the item requires disposal, but its material content tells our restoration teams what type of residue is left after the fire ends. Plastic and rubber kitchenware, for example, leave wet residues that can smear across surfaces. Technicians either allow the residue to dry, or use a stronger cleaning agent to make it easier to wipe it off the surface. Natural materials like wood burn more evenly and usually leave a powdery, dry residue that technicians can wipe away with a sponge and perhaps a mild cleaner.
There are other factors like age of the item, and how long the fire burned which help determine our cleaning and restoration efforts, but material, type of surface, and moisture are the main concerns for SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown when it comes to helping our neighbors return to their homes. If you need our help, call (773) 434-9100 today to set up a visit and inspection.

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The Proper Way Of Cleaning Your Cicero Property After Experiencing A Fire Damage Disaster

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

room with charred items covered in soot damage Cleaning is an essential procedure during fire damage restoration.

The Proper Way Of Cleaning Your Property After A Fire

Cleaning is an essential procedure during fire damage restoration. Though it sounds a bit straightforward, it is challenging since there are instances when you have to deal with finished, unfinished, painted, or unpainted surfaces. That is why restorers pretest surfaces for cleanability and then come up with the most appropriate cleaning methods. We are going to look at some of the procedures we perform when addressing fire incidents in Cicero.

When our SERVPRO technicians are cleaning ceilings and walls in your Cicero property after a fire damage event, we organize the structure such that the falling soils do not cause resoiling. If the team is using dry cleaning as an option, we start by cleaning the ceilings before moving to the walls. We also dry clean the floors after dry cleaning the walls. By cleaning walls from top to bottom and wiping from the dirty regions to the clean places, we avoid resoiling.

During wet cleaning, our SERVPRO technicians clean walls first before moving to the ceiling area. We do that to prevent streaking the walls since there is a possibility of the cleaning solution dripping. The cleaning process also starts from the bottom to the top to ensure the dirty areas do not streak. In situations where the ceiling is so high, we can use an extension pole together with a spotting pad holder. Alternatively, we can reach 8-foot ceilings by using a 5-foot ladder.

If your property has an acoustical ceiling, our SERVPRO team uses a unique technique that preserves its sound-deadening properties. The method is known as peroxide active ceiling cleaning. It is also effective on porous surfaces as far as such areas do not deteriorate after exposure to water-based solutions. Since stabilized hydrogen peroxide is present in the product, we cover natural materials such as cotton, paper, and wool as a precautionary measure.

The goal of SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown is to return your property to its earlier state after experiencing Any Size Disaster. You can get in touch with our specialists by calling (773) 434-9100 to learn more about the available options.

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Chicago's Fire Damage Technicians Explain Cleaning Soot Residues

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

room with charred items covered in soot damage Smoke coming from a fire that burns a house in Chicago can leave behind soot residues and pungent, burnt odors.

Fire Damage Technicians Explain Cleaning Soot Residues

Smoke coming from a fire that burns a house in Chicago can leave behind soot residues and pungent, burnt odors. Soot residues have different chemical compositions based upon what fuels were burned in the blaze. Some soot adheres better to certain surfaces than others.

When cleaning smoke damage, different methods get utilized to clean the various types of soils. The method and chemicals used to clean soot created by fire damage in Chicago depend upon what type of surface got affected. Porous surfaces are cleaned best using dry cleaning methods so that wet chemicals to do not soak the soot into the material. Hard, non-porous surface materials usually get cleaned using a wet chemical that is made specially to clean the type of soot present.

Many homes have wallpaper or other types of wall coverings on top of the drywall. Depending on what the wallpaper is made from can change the type of methods and chemicals used during restoration. Paper wall coverings are porous, so they get cleaned with dry sponges whereas vinyl and foil wallpapers resist moisture making wet cleaning the best method.

Most foil wallpapers have a glossy, metallic finish that does a decent job of repelling moisture. If acidic soot residues stay on the foil surface for too long, they can eat away and fade the shiny finish. Our SERVPRO technicians know that the best way to clean foil wallpapers is to use a wet cleaning solution and gently wipe the affected walls so that scrubbing does not ruin the metallic finish.

Some walls are covered with grasscloth which is any covering that consists of natural dried fibers such as hemp or flax woven together. These types of wall coverings are porous and can only be cleaned using dry methods. If the smoke damage is severe, then the hemp or flax fibers may be uncleanable and require removal.

Another type of wallpaper called flocked wall coverings consist of design-shaped fibers applied to the paper surface. Flocked wall coverings can only be dry cleaned since they are made of porous paper and fiber materials. It is best to gently wipe the walls with a dry sponge so that the friction does not pull off the flocked fibers.

Knowing which methods work best for various kinds of damage situations requires experience and knowledge in the restoration industry. For professional help with smoke-related issues, call SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown at (773) 434-9100 seven days a week.

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Fire Damage from a Kitchen Fire in Your Cicero Home

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

pot on a stove with a flame rising up Even a small fire can cause damage to your home. Call SERVPRO for assistance.

SERVPRO can help clean your kitchen after a fire

The kitchen is the center of most Cicero homes, with people walking in and out of it all day prepping meals or grabbing a snack. Unfortunately, the kitchen is also where a majority of home fires originate. Cooking is one of the top causes of house fires and can do devastating damage to your kitchen and home. Taking safety precautions while you are cooking is always essential, but sometimes accidents still happen.

A kitchen fire and fire damage in your Cicero home are undoubtedly overwhelming. Much damage can happen quickly, and your kitchen may be unrecognizable. Cleaning up and restoring the area afterward is a big task, so reaching out to our staff at SERVPRO is the best thing to do. We are specially trained to handle these situations, and we have the equipment needed to do the job thoroughly.

There are various structural components we have to clean after a fire in your kitchen. For cabinets, the cleaning method varies depending upon whether the surface is unfinished or finished. Knobs and other hardware are removed if needed so we can clean in crevices and recessed areas. The interiors of cabinets are usually unfinished wood. A dry cleaning sponge is used to remove residues, and denatured alcohol is used for any remaining residues to avoid setting the smoke residues into the pores of the wood. Sanding may be required if any residues remain.

SERVPRO technicians usually clean lighting fixtures when cleaning the ceiling. We ensure the power is shut off first before cleaning any electrical fixtures. Cleaning solutions are pretested to ensure they do not affect the finish on a fixture. We clean behind light fixtures as well, not just around them.

When cleaning windows, we not only clean the glass but the framework and any hardware which are part of the window construction as well. We use a low-alkaline glass cleaner to get rid of residues from the glass without streaking, using a spray bottle and squeegee. Drapery rods and fixtures are also cleaned.

SERVPRO of West Loop/Bucktown/Greektown works to thoroughly clean your home in West Garfield, Bucktown, or Cicero after a kitchen fire. Do not hesitate to give us a call at (773) 434-9100 once the fire is out to avoid additional damage.

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Fire and Odor Damage Cleanup from an Electric Blanket in Your Chicago Bedroom

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

smoke billowing under a white door SERVPRO Restores Smoke & Fire Damaged Properties in Chicago

SERVPRO Can Abate Smoke Odors After House Fires

For many people in Chicago on a freezing night, the warmth of an electric blanket is excellent. If you hate getting into a cold bed, then turning on your electric blanket and letting it make a comfy place for you is appealing. Most of the time these blankets are safe, however, things can sometimes go wrong. Electric blanket fires happen for two main reasons: The element overheating to the point that it combusts or a broken electrical conductor arcing.
It is a very frightening event to suddenly have your electric blanket burst into flames, especially when you are under it. Even if put out quickly, the fire damage left behind in your Chicago bedroom needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Our technicians at SERVPRO are not only prompt in answering your call but also understand that times like these are stressful for anyone who has gone through them.
One challenge after a fire is removing the smoke odor after a portable heater or blanket fire. Though the fire is quickly extinguished, the odors are often a challenge. We have been trained to understand how odor molecules permeate a structure and how to use various methods for odor removal. We also know how to perceive odors. Whether an odor is pleasant or not is in the mind of individuals. Some odors are unpleasant to everyone, while others such as paint fumes or gasoline, could be thought of as good odors by some, but very offensive to others.
The deodorization techniques that SERVPRO staff use deal with both real odors and imagined scents. The real odor is the sensation of smell made by a substance. Odor molecules interact with olfactory nerve cells in our noses. These nerves send a message to our brains which is interpreted by the olfactory lobe. An imaginary odor is what people think they smell. They are stimulated by a set of circumstances and strong impressions from previous, similar circumstances. Some think they are smelling something because of these events, not because there is an odor present. We can explain this phenomenon to clients, but that is all.
Deodorizing unpleasant odors can be a challenge. Real odors must be neutralized by using hydroxyl generators, thermal fogging, air scrubbers, and sprays.
SERVPRO of West Loop/Bucktown/Greektown understands that any fire in your home in Cicero, Wicker Park, or Greektown is stressful. When you call us at (773) 434-9100 for help, we want to make sure we do our job to your complete satisfaction.

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Checking For Fire Damage Hazards In Chicago Basements

9/14/2017 (Permalink)

A burning fire in a room with hardwood flooring and maroon wallpaper Basements are extremely vulnerable to fire disasters in Chicago, especially since this is where most of us store our heat generating equipment.

Checking For Fire Damage Hazards

Basements are extremely vulnerable to fire disasters in Chicago, especially since this is where most of us store our heat generating equipment. Putting out a fire in the basement is often times challenging, and the damage can extend to the rest of the house if not controlled. Having the fire fighters neutralize the situation can be helpful, but it is the aftermath that should actually worry you.

Here at SERVPRO, we understand the seriousness of fire damage in Chicago. We have highly experienced, IICRC-trained technicians ready to respond to your emergency any time of the day. Our stock of tools and equipment is at your disposal, waiting to return your home to preloss conditions as soon as possible, "Like it never even happened."

A thorough inspection of your basement can help detect several fire damage hazards. The combination of electricity, combustibles, and heat generators that are unattended can be hazardous. As a general rule of thumb, always have emergency escape areas with clear paths leading to the exits.

Flammable liquids are one of the most dangerous causes of fire damage in the basement. They produce vapors that are denser than air, which may ignite from a small spark produced by a hot water heater or furnace. Ideally, flammable liquids should be kept outside, in a shed - away from open flames, sparks, and heat. If you have to keep them in the basement, maintain enough clearance (at least 3 feet) around such appliances as the hot water heater.

A considerably large amount of combustible materials can fuel a small fire. Minimize the amount of storage by cleaning yearly or having a yard sale. Avoid storing things such as propane cylinders, snow blowers, and lawn mowers indoors as they contain flammable liquids that present a serious fire hazard.

Over-fused electrical boxes can also lead to extensive fire damage. When a fuse overloads due to too many connected appliances or some defective device/wiring, it may blow and cause an electrical fire. Do not use extension cords for devices that require permanent electricity supply such as freezers, refrigerators, and air conditioners. These items can overpower the cord, causing it to overheat and ignite.

All fixtures should be properly secured, with junction boxes covered and wires adequately insulated. If you use the basement for storage, do not allow kids to play in there. Additionally, avoid storing lighters and matches in the garage and, if possible, keep them out of the reach of children.

As a locally owned and operated company, SERVPRO of West Loop / Bucktown / Greektown can respond quickly to your fire damage emergency. We have all the necessary resources to restore your property to its original state in no time. For any assistance, call us today at (773) 434-9100.

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Cleaning Smoke Damage With A Cicero Professional

6/12/2015 (Permalink)

White smoke on a black background Specialty equipment has to be used in order to clean smoke damage.

Cleaning Smoke Damage With A Professional 

It is best to live the job of cleaning Cicero smoke damage to a professional. Many business owners and homeowners have the tools that they need, it can be difficult to restore drapes, carpet and upholstery that have been blackened by the fumes of a fire. Many people believe that they can use basic and simple techniques to clean up Cicero smoke damage. However, if they make a mistake, then they may cause even more damage. As a result of this, the item may need to be replaced. Professionals, like SERVPRO, who have received training from the Institute Of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration can ensure that the job is properly done and has the best results.

A powerful vacuum is the first tool used to clean up smoke damage. Soot is the most important thing to remove from drapes, carpet and upholstery. Soot is oil-based, so it has to be removed as soon as possible. If it is not removed, then it may attract additional dirt. The proper methods have to be used in order to avoid pushing the soot deeper into the carpet and fabric. The furniture and carpet will likely be covered in order to keep it from getting soiled again.

Specialty equipment has to be used in order to clean smoke damage. Rotary devices that eject steam, wet cleaning tools and rotary scrubbers are examples of items that may be used. One advantage of using extractors is that there is minimal or no residue or detergent foam. This allows for deeper suction within the furniture or carpet. Two applications are often required regardless of the tools that are used.

Not protecting the carpet from the furniture, wetting the carpet and using too much shampoo are some of the mistakes people often make when people attempt to clean up Cicero smoke damage. A professional will use the proper methods in order to ensure that your furniture and carpet does not suffer any damage.

Furniture is one of the main factors that affects one's ability to clean Cicero smoke damage effectively. The dye from wooden furniture can cause the carpet to stain. Metal furniture may rust and cause the carpet to stain. Without protective squares and foam blocks, it is very hard to separate the carpet from the furniture until it is dry.

Not only do professionals, like SERVPRO, have the proper tools, but they can also resolve a dispute with the insurance adjuster. Homeowners insurance policies often cover this type of damage. However, adjusters often recommend replacing drapes, carpet and upholstery instead of repairing it. A certified professional, like SERVPRO, can help you decide which is the best option for you.

Professionals, like SERVPRO, will be able to convince the adjuster that items can be restored with the proper techniques and materials are used. Restoration costs may be covered by the policy.

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.