Recent Fire Damage Posts

How Thorough Is Fire Restoration Cleaning in My New Haven Home?

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

smoke stained kitchen after a stove fire Fires can leave smoke residues and odors that can be hard to get out without professional help. Call SERVPRO.

Cleaning after a structure fire is a balance of specific sciences, and with careful consideration and planning, can be efficient and thorough for our customers.

Structure fires can have a devastating effect on New Haven homes or businesses. While many mitigation tasks must begin quickly to ensure that we can do the most to protect your home and its contents, cleaning up after these disasters can be a lengthy and intricate task. Fire restoration cleaning involves several scientific elements working together to reach an efficient and satisfactory result. In many cases, this blend of fundamental cleaning elements gets used to address widespread smoke residues of varying origins.

We have talented cleaning technicians who can begin their responsibilities and fire damage restoration for New Haven homes as soon as emergency services and mitigation efforts are completed. Regarding how we address the removal of soils and residues from affected surfaces and contents in your home, we can rely on four specific elements working together to achieve complete restoration and recovery to original conditions. Our professionals often refer to these factors collectively as TACT, though each branch is vital in the recovery of materials and content within your fire damaged property. These include:

  • Temperature
  • Agitation
  • Chemical Action
  • Time

How Does Temperature Impact Cleaning Practices?

Because many New Haven homeowners do not actively clean up after disasters like fire losses, you might not realize that many of the products that we use work best at different temperatures. Heat, in general, allows molecules to move faster, intensifying the reaction time of cleaning solutions and the soils they are interacting with on specific surfaces. We must carefully determine the best temperature in the damaged area to ensure that the cleaning solution chosen for present residues and soot is as effective as it should be. Warmer temperatures can also have other advantages regarding residue removal and eliminating soils on specific porous surfaces. Warming reduces surface tension and allows a higher penetration of these materials to dissolve soils more effectively.

What Does Agitation Mean?

Agitation is one of the fundamental elements of clearing thick residues before the final product is applied for emulsification or other chemical reactions. Agitative cleaning practices seek to reduce the thickness and severity of residue coatings by dislodging soils and removing them. Depending on the situation and the surface, agitative cleaning practices can vary. Choosing the right approach often involves identifying the type of smoke residue present and the best method to avoid marring or staining the underlying material. Some of the practices that we utilize for pre-chemical treatment agitation include:

  • Pressurized water or air
  • Sandblasting
  • Steel wool scrubbing
  • Brushing
  • Vacuuming

Do Chemical Reactions Play an Active Role in Fire Restoration Cleaning?

You might not realize there are multiple types of cleaning products that can address varying smoke residues and soils present after a structure fire. Between wall systems and contents in the house, widespread cleaning is a necessary effort that begins during mitigation and continues through the restoration phases to come. Identifying what products are required for what specific residue your home is facing involves data collected during the job scoping phase and continued monitoring of the property during mitigation. We follow the premise that like dissolves like, meaning that water-based solvents can best address water-based soiling. Likewise, adding oxygen through bleaching removes oxygen from the composition of the soil. There are multiple products in our inventory that we can use to recover services, contents, and other items damaged by a fire. These include:

  • Solvents
  • Water-Based Detergents
  • Alkaline Solutions

How Much Time Is Necessary for Effective Cleaning?

Many chemical processes do not happen instantaneously, meaning that patience is a virtue for fully restoring your home to its original condition. Understanding the specific times for chemical reactions to occur and become most effective can ensure that we take the necessary steps at the appropriate times to efficiently recover the damage. The time needed to dissolve soils through chemical actions is known as the dwell time. Various factors can help determine the time necessary to eliminate soils on the surface of specific materials. These include the type of content, the chosen method of agitation, the temperature used when applying a cleaning solution, and the type of smoke residue or soiling our professionals face.


Cleaning and restoring your home after a fire loss incident can feel overwhelming, especially when you are uncertain of whom to call and what to expect. Our SERVPRO of New Haven team understands cleaning sciences to make fire losses “Like it never even happened.” You can count on our fast response and experienced professionals available 24/7 at (203) 234-1100.

How Do I Get Rid of Burnt Odors From Upholstery?

6/19/2020 (Permalink)

"We can help" Contact SERVPRO any time. Our experts are trained in fire & smoke restoration, odor control, upholstery and fabric cleaning.

SERVPRO Specializes in Fire Damage Odor Removal for Home and Contents.

Why do odors come from upholstery after a fire?

Combusting materials increase air pressure and release chemicals into the atmosphere, which produces burnt odors. It is common for North Haven homeowners to discover that soft furnishings in their homes continue to release malodor after a fire. Upholstery has typical construction of fiber weaves. These weaves are porous, which causes odor particles to lodge inside the fabric. Removing the odor can be challenging because of the diverse range of materials that make up soft furnishings. Some tissues may respond negatively to cleaning methods or solutions and result in visible damage. 

How do you remove odor from upholstery without causing damage?

The advantage of using a professional fire damage restorer in North Haven is that there is less risk of causing visible harm to soft furnishings during cleaning. SERVPRO technicians always conduct pre-tests before applying cleaning solutions directly onto upholstery. Pre-testing involves administering a small amount of the cleaning solution or solvent to a discrete area of the upholstery. After rinsing the solution, technicians inspect the test-area for negative responses. We have a range of cleaning methods for materials that allow us to tailor our approach to any specific item of furniture without causing harm. 

What kind of permanent damage can occur to upholstery from cleaning solutions?

- Discoloration of the fabric or dye bleeding

- Watermarks may occur with non-colorfast fabrics

- Burn marks or wearing away of fibers 

Are chemical agents the only method for restoring fabrics?

We can use chemical agents or mechanical cleaning methods to restore upholstery. Some materials like leather have precise requirements to restore efficiently. Leather butter can help remove discoloration while the leather's resilience makes it well-suited to buffering with a machine. On the other hand, thick fiber upholstery may require a dry emulsifying powder to get rid of soils.

Upholstery can be a challenge to restore without precise method selection. Contact SERVPRO of New Haven at (203) 234-1100.

More about North Haven.

How Do I Decide What to Keep and What to Discard After a Household Fire in New Haven?

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Burned interior after fire Call us at (203) 234-1100 to set our multi-discipline mitigation and remediation response in motion for you.

SERVPRO’s Specialized Cleaning and Deodorizing Strategies Save Time, Expense, and Memories for Our New Haven Customers

The heart of every home is the family and friends finding comfort and security within the structure. Your priority when fire strikes are moving loved ones to a safe space. Then you must find qualified and compassionate professionals to transform the soot-coated surfaces, deep charring, filthy water, and other chaotic circumstances facing you back to “Like it never even happened.”

?Should I Just Cut My Losses and Throw Everything Away?
The devastation of fire damage in your New Haven home affects not only the structure and fixtures in your home but also the furnishings, household goods, and personal possessions you and your family use and treasure. We have highly skilled technicians with decades of successful restoration on their resumes working to save your contents at our production facility as our onsite crews manage the challenges at your home.

When and Why Are Move-Outs Recommended?
Our dedicated move-out division uses SERVPRO’s Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS) to provide a detailed inventory of all items we pack up and transport to our climate-controlled workspace. We move your possessions as quickly as possible after careful packing for two primary reasons:?
    •    Delivering the damaged contents to our team of experienced Contents Processing Technicians (CPT) for targeted assessment, cleaning, disinfection, drying, and deodorization

    •    Clearing the fire-damaged spaces in your home, permitting our Fire and Smoke Restoration Technicians (FSRT) and other certified experts to work unimpeded

What Resources Are Available for Packed-Out Items?
Unique and individualized approaches to cleaning, drying, and restoration include, among many others:

    •    Freeze-drying for wet papers and pictures
    •    Immersion and ultrasonic tanks to clean tenaciously adhered residues
    •    Small drying and deodorization compartments to increase efficiency
    •    Industrial washing and drying equipment?

Many years of experience in restoring contents in tried, true, and innovative ways make SERVPRO of New Haven a trusted resource after fire devastates a home. Call us at (203) 234-1100 to set our multi-discipline mitigation and remediation response in motion for you.

For more about New Haven click here.

What Equipment Does SERVPRO Use to Remove Smoke Odors in New Haven

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

soot and smoke damage on wall and ceiling surrounding smoke detector Fire damage, if not properly cleaned, can leave smoke odors. SERVPRO has the expertise to remove those odors.

How Does a Thermal Fogger Remove Smoke Odor in New Haven Homes? 

Odor removal is an essential staple of fire recovery for New Haven homes. Though there are many deodorization tools that our company uses in fire restoration, few have the mobility or versatility of thermal foggers. As you might think, there are advantages and drawbacks to choosing this device over some of the other options that exist for our SERVPRO restorers, so understanding how it works. Its typical applications can help to showcase areas where you can expect to see it getting used. 

Harsh odors can cause living with fire damage in New Haven homes unbearable, even when the other effects are not as challenging. The choice of using thermal foggers over other devices like hydroxyl machines or ozone generators is one that comes down to several factors. Choosing the deodorizing tool hinges on: 

  • The space that must get restored
  • The presence of porous materials likely to absorb foul scents
  • The presence of people and pets in the restoration space
  • The severity of the odor concentration in the damaged region 

Thermal foggers work by taking one of the SERVPRO-approved fire damage deodorization products and superheating it within the device to convert the solution into a fog. In a gas state, this neutralizing compound can easily penetrate damaged porous materials, contents, and open areas of the house. 

The advantage of using thermal foggers over some of the other options is the mobility of these units. Because foggers are lightweight, they can travel quickly between areas in a house that require deodorization, unlike weightier machines like ozone generators. Thermal fogging machines are also safer to use in most applications because they do not require humans and pets to avoid the affected area. Ozone generators, while highly effective, are hazardous to the health of those directly exposed while the unit is running. 

Deodorization is one of the mainstays of fire recovery, and an obstacle that our SERVPRO of New Haven team has overcome many times. We can utilize tools like our thermal fogging machines to neutralize harsh odors and make fire losses “Like it never even happened.” Contact us today at (203) 234-1100. 

More about New Haven.

Is Your New Haven Home in Need of Fire Damage Restoration? SERVPRO Handles the Entire Process!

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

smoke and fire damaged kitchen. Debris on counter. Not everything is a total loss after a fire. We are with you from start to finish - from debris removal to full restoration.

Preparing a Fire-Damaged New Haven Home for Full Reconstruction 

Fire losses can leave a New Haven home disheveled and destroyed in many ways. It is the job of our experienced restoration professionals not only to take the necessary steps to restore the property as best as we can but prepare the structure for the build back and reconstruction to come. Many structure fires require repair and rebuilding, but this can only happen once our SERVPRO professionals have addressed the other immediate concerns of the property. 

Airborne threats and debris are hindrances to the restoration of fire damage in New Haven residences. With advanced tools, equipment, and products, our technicians can record conditions during our initial walk through to identify the specific practices and products necessary to return a home to its preloss state. Fire effects can spread quickly between soot, odors, smoke, and debris. The right steps taken early can help to reduce the severity and concentration of specific hazardous effects, primarily when structural compromise already exists. 

One of the critical practices that must occur quickly after a fire loss is debris removal. Removing rubbish and the remnants of burned construction materials and contents can help to reduce the source of soot and odor circulation in the house. Our SERVPRO technicians can then deploy air cleaning equipment like our air scrubbers and hydroxyl generators to trap particles and contaminants with the HEPA filtration system and noticeably reduce odors. 

We take the initiative to prepare your home for the build back and reconstruction it might need by performing controlled demolition. This practice not only exposes other areas of your house that could use restoration attention but provides a seamless transition between our mitigation efforts and the build back of our industry partner Connecticut Reconstruction Services. 

Fires can be a devastating force for area homes that can leave structures in need of immediate restoration attention and later reconstruction. Our SERVPRO of New Haven team can work to restore salvageable areas of the property while preparing destroyed areas for full-scale build back to come. Even with so many layers of fire loss effects, our technicians can make these disasters “Like it never even happened,” by calling (203) 234-1100. 

More about New Haven.

Early Mitigation Steps for Fire-Damaged New Haven Homes

11/30/2019 (Permalink)

The side of a home with fire damage, with the windows boarded up. When it comes to your New Haven home fire, get with SERVPRO.

SERVPRO will take on your New Haven fire damage.

One of the most severe disasters that can affect New Haven homes is a fire. While these emergencies ultimately require professional restoration and remediation service, this cannot begin until the appropriate extinguishment process has been completed. In many situations, our SERVPRO team gets notified of the disaster, along with first responders, to have our qualified technicians mobilized and ready to step in with emergency services when firefighters have given the all-clear.

Recovering after a loss involves more than scoping the fire damage and odor in New Haven residences and working to overcome them. Early mitigation work can both reduce the severity of current damages and prevents worsening conditions from developing in the hours and days following the fire. There are a few specific steps that our team can implement immediately to help reduce the cost of restoration and shorten the timeline of recovery.

Many of the emergency services provided by our SERVPRO professionals get chosen for their ability to reduce harsh odors in a residence after a fire. Odors can often be one of the most significant challenges to face for even experienced professionals on our team, so reducing catalysts to the problem can help to make this deodorization process more streamlined and successful.

In many cases, removing charred and partially combusted items that can supply the region with noxious scents is a good starting point. Between the controlled demolition practices available to our customers through our licensed general contractors we have in-house to our content management department that can remove overly damaged personal belongings and seek to restore items not completely ruined, we have effective strategies for contending with fire and smoke odor origin points.

All of the immediate services for a fire-damaged home are vital to prevent further spread and deterioration of the structure. When it comes to reducing and eventually eliminating harsh odors, controlled demolition and content management can be useful starting points. No matter what your home needs after a fire, you can count on the experience and equipment of our SERVPRO of New Haven team to help. Give us a call anytime at (203) 234-1100.

To find out more about New Haven, click here.

Our Professionals Can Save Your Fire Damaged Garage In Hamden

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

damaged kitchen after a fire and everything is covered in soot SERVPRO of New Haven is Faster to Any Size Disaster, no matter when it occurs in your home.

Garage Fire Damage in Hamden Can Be Mitigated By Professionals

Garage fires are not something the average homeowner has to consider every day, but according to the US Fire Administration, approximately 6,600 garage fires occur in the United States every year. The most prevalent cause of these fires is electrical failure. A light with faulty wiring that catches fire near flammable materials like a wooden workbench can be all it takes for fire damage to affect your home.

When fire damage occurs in your Hamden residence, SERVPRO technicians and franchise owners have extensive training in cleanup and safety.  Commercial-grade materials and comprehensive education mean that homeowners get a safer, more thorough clean that protects their home and possessions.

Tips for Preventing Garage Fires
• Keep your garage clean. Not only does clutter make it easier to address a fire when it happens, but it also means fewer materials available to stoke the flames.

• Store flammable materials separately. Put aerosols, motor oil, propane, paint, and other flammable items in a shed or other area unconnected to the home.

• Avoid overloading outlets. Overloaded outlets are one of the most frequent causes of garage fires, so be mindful of electricity use to minimize risks. Using extension cords can create additional risk for wire failures that can start a fire.

• Install a heat alarm. Many garages do not have smoke alarms and may set them off accidentally due to hot temperatures or exposure to dust and fumes. Heat alarms can alert you to unusual changes in temperature that indicate a fire more reliably.

SERVPRO Can Restore Your Possessions
After a team reaches your home, they can get started right away on addressing soot, fumes, and residues generated by a garage fire. SERVPRO uses a variety of advanced cleaning techniques to restore items, including wet and dry cleaning, immersion in eco-friendly cleaners, and much more. If your tools and home repair items are covered in soot, ash, or residues, a combination of immersion, abrasives, spray cleaning, and other techniques may be utilized for restoration.

Lingering odors are common after a fire and can be combated with a combination of industrial cleaners, adequate ventilation, odor counteractant beads, and commercial-grade deodorization. If air is particularly dirty, HEPA air scrubbers can catch odor-causing particulates as small as 0.3 microns in size.

SERVPRO of New Haven is Faster to Any Size Disaster, no matter when it occurs in your home. Call (203) 234-1100 today to get speedy and reliable emergency service.

For more about Hamden click here.

Your New Haven Home Can Be Saved By Our Fire Damage Experts!

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

Give our specialists a call anytime you need us at (203) 234-1100.

Preparing For Fire Restoration In Your New Haven Home

Many New Haven homeowners can attest to their lack of skill and technical knowledge with niches like fire loss recovery. If a disaster like this has taken place in your property, even on a smaller scale, it can be smart to seek the counsel and expertise of trained restorers like our SERVPRO team. There are ways that you can help this process to be more seamless and efficient, getting you and your family back into the property as promptly as possible.

You might not have a great idea of what to expect when professionals arrive to handle fire damage in your New Haven home, but we do our best to explain the entire process, answer questions, and address concerns as our team sets up for mitigation and ultimate cleaning and restoration of the property. With how quickly these symptoms can spread and worsen, especially conditions like soot and smoke odors, it is vital for our team to set up and get started immediately.

Preparing for the arrival of our professionals is much more than getting you and your family out of the house, as there are steps that you can take to ensure that there are no delays in getting work started. Here are several suggestions to help prepare your home for the full restoration phases to come:

    •    If it is safe to be in your property after the fire gets extinguished, take a moment to collect any irreplaceable items and move them to safe areas of your home. If individual treasured belongings have become damaged by the fire, speak with our SERVPRO team about restoring them via our contents department.
    •    Take a few moments to close off vents and registers of your HVAC system to prevent further spread of soot, smoke, and other effects.

There are many elements of fire loss recovery that homeowners look to our SERVPRO of New Haven team to address. No matter when a disaster strikes, you can count on our skilled team to arrive quickly with the equipment and products to help. Give our specialists a call anytime you need us at (203) 234-1100.

For more about New Haven click here.

Fire Damage tips for New Haven area Homeowners

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning up after fire damage in a New Haven home

If you have experienced fire damage in your New Haven, West Haven or Hamden home, here are some important things to know before SERVPRO gets there:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent further damage
  • Place dry colorfast towels or old linens on carpeted traffic areas to prevent more soiling
  • If the electricity is off, empty the freezer and refrigerator and prop the doors open
  • Wipe soot from the chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets and appliances then protect them with a light coating of lubricant.
  • Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO
  • Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting with SERVPRO
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water without consulting a repair service.

For more tips about Fire Damage, follow this link

These tips are important and will help you get back into your home as soon as possible. If you have any questions, call us at (203) 234-1100

Keep Summer Safe

7/14/2016 (Permalink)

Soil Embers

Public Service Announcement – Keep Summer Safe

A: Three

Q:  How many fires has Team Randolph mitigated in the last year that started in potted plants?

Potting soil is comprised of peat, bark, perlite and coconut coir.  This highly flammable mix can turn a lazy afternoon on a deck to tragedy with the tamping of a single cigarette butt.  If you doubt it go to the Wizard of Oz (or Google) and type in “fire potting soil”.  The picture is not pretty.  

Dry potting soil requires only a tiny catalyst to begin smoldering and this is significantly underappreciated hazard. What’s worse the embers can expand unseen and burn out the bottom of a plastic hanging planter box. 

Avoid tragedy by using ashtrays, keep  your plants watered, use clay pots, keep  combustible material away from plants, and dispose of potting soil carefully.

Latex Foam reopens two weeks after fires

7/16/2014 (Permalink)

Firefighters are on scene in the aftermath of an early morning fire at the Latex International on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

SHELTON -- The prospect of Latex Foam reopening two weeks after two significant fires was doubtful.

But that's what happened Monday, as many of the company's 150 employees returned to work.

"It was a tremendous undertaking by everyone," said Allen Randolph, owner of SERVPRO of New Haven, Waterbury, the Naugatuck Valley and northern Westchester County which managed the cleanup. "Half of our staff lives in the Valley. We consider the Valley our home turf, so we're proud to have helped save these jobs."

Mayor Mark Lauretti said he drove by the company Monday morning and noticed the parking lot was full.

"This is good news for those who are employed there," the mayor said. "People need to work. They need the paycheck to pay their bills and feed their families."

Attempts to reach officials at Latex Foam by telephone were unsuccessful Monday. The general voicemail box was full and not accepting new calls.

Randolph credited David Fisher, Latex's chief executive officer, and the company's insurance team with providing the necessary resources to get the business back in operation.

Fisher "told us early on that it was his expectation to reopen July 14 and it was our job to do it," Randolph said. "There was never any discussion of failure to meet that goal."

There may not have been any discussion, but there were obstacles, like the second fire which struck just four days after the devastating first one that had required firefighters to pump more than 150,000 gallons of water on the blaze.

It seems black clouds have loomed over Latex Foam, which arose from the ashes of an arson that destroyed its predecessor -- Sponge Rubber Products -- on March 1, 1975. There was also the catastrophic 2001 weeklong fire that consumed the company's Ansonia headquarters, sending the company to its present River Road site. And two company executives are serving federal prison terms for embezzling $3.5 million. And there is the current bankruptcy petition to reorganize $29 million in debts.

The June 26 and 30 fires could have been the final straw.

"We were about 90 percent finished drying the basement when the second fire struck on June 30 at 11 a.m.," Randolph said. "That was a smaller fire and a lot less water was used."

But Randolph's crews, which worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week and at times numbered 170 people, attacked the clean-up in three stages. SERVPRO brought in extra employees from their Rhode Island, New York and Tennessee companies and members of ERS Services in Indiana to clean inside the machinery.

The first cleanup, which began June 26 and ended July 2, involved drying and cleaning the offices. The second, which ended Sunday, involved drying, cleaning and disinfecting rollers, conveyors, presses, machinery, pipes, rollers and conveyors through which the product moves.

The third stage, which is still progressing, involves cleaning non-critical working areas.

During the cleanup, Randolph said, SERVPRO brought in 200 air movers, 17 scissor lifts, a gigantic trailer-based desiccant dryer which removes condensation from compressed air and "a lot of guys with mops and wet-vacs."

mmayko@ctpost.com, 203-330-6286