What to do after a fire
After the smoke clears and the soot settles in your home, you’re left with some critical questions. To help you overcome the devastation of a fire, here are the answers to some common questions about fire damage restoration:
- What is the first thing I should do after a fire? Call your insurance agent and submit your claim. He or she will provide you with information on securing your home.
- Can I inspect my house after the fire? Legally, only a licensed inspector like a structural engineer or industrial hygienist can determine the safety of a building. Besides, the risk of checking the fire damage yourself is too great. Call a professional.
- Do I really need professional clean-up if the fire was small? In most losses, cleaning the soot and smoke is the toughest part. Moreover, even small fires can cause major damage within minutes and leave lingering odors if not cleaned up properly. If you don’t act within a day or two of the fire, soot and smoke can leave permanent damage. Professionals have the tools and know-how to restore your home as fast as possible and mitigate the loss.
- What should I do with all the water that was used to put out the fire? Water can lead to more damage such as mold growth. Reputable restoration companies also extract the water from the damaged area as part of the fire restoration job.
- Can I stay in my home during the fire damage restoration process? This depends on the degree of the damage, your home’s layout, and your comfort level. As an alternate plan, talk with your insurance agent about off-site housing and staying at a hotel – these might be covered by your policy.
- How long will the restoration process take? The length of time varies on the extent of the damage. Additionally, local authorities and your insurance agent will also want to investigate the damage before the restoration company can start the clean-up.
- Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – SERVPRO of Lake Charles 337-478-1133
How do you know if you have a mold problem
Mold in a closet
How Do You Know if You Have a Mold Problem?
If you see mold growing in your home, then obviously you have a mold problem. However, mold often grows in places where it’s not easily spotted, like inside walls, under floors, in attics, and inside heating and air conditioning ducts. If you smell a musty odor in your home, you probably have mold growing somewhere. If your home has been flooded or had extensive water damage of any kind, you almost certainly have some mold, even if you don’t see any. Even a small water leak can cause mold to grow. If you, a family member, or a pet have any of the symptoms described above and you’re not sure of the cause, it’s also possible you have a mold problem.
To find out if you have mold in your home, we recommend hiring a professional mold tester. You can purchase mold tests to conduct yourself, but a professional has been trained to perform the tests correctly in order to get the most accurate results, and also knows where to test for mold in order to make sure all the mold in the home is discovered. They will also return after you’ve had the mold cleaned up by a mold remediation company to test your home again to make sure no mold was missed.
Preventing Water Damage
Water can enter your home in many ways and end up damaging the foundation. To fight back against water intrusion, take preventative measures both on your home’s interior and exterior. Here are essential tips to safeguard your home’s exterior from water:
- Check your roof to ensure the shingles, flashings or tiles aren’t missing, broken, cracked, curled or damaged in other ways.
- Make sure the vents, flues, chimneys, air conditioners, and evaporative coolers are properly installed and in good shape.
- Check for leaks around rooftop air-conditioning units, vents for exhaust or plumbing, or other specialized equipment.
- Cut tree limbs that hang above your roof so they don’t cling to shingles and trap moisture. Leaves or twigs can also clog your gutters.
Gutters and Downspouts
- Ensure these are clean, free from debris, and in good condition so that water can flow freely.
- Install metal screens to prevent leaves, twigs, silt and other debris from clogging the gutters and drainage holes.
- Ensure downspouts direct water at least five feet away from your home’s foundation. Install downspout extensions if needed.
Doors and Windows
- Check for leaks near the corners of your doors and windows. Signs of leaks include peeling paint, paint discoloration or swollen frame.
- Protect exterior doors and windows from the sun, rain, and snow by installing overhangs above them.
- Close your doors and windows to check for a tight fit. Look for cracks between the sash and frame of your windows.
- Repair or replace damaged flashing or weather-stripping around windows.
- Check and repair cracked or broken siding boards, bricks, stone or other masonry, as well as structural sheathing.
- Seal any openings from wiring, plumbing, phone, cable, and heating and air conditioning lines with foam or caulk. Repair any damaged or unpainted wood surrounding these openings.
- Check for signs of termite activity on the walls and the wooden structures around your foundation. Termites can eat wood, plaster, and even metal siding.
- Ensure that the exhaust vent doors properly open and close.
- Remove any shrubs and other landscaping features from along the walls.
- When irrigating the garden, avoid directing water towards the house to prevent excessive water near the foundation.
For professional water damage repair or mold removal service, call SERVPRO of Lake Charles @ 337-478-1133
AIR DUCT CLEANING
This is a photo of a filter after a duct cleaning was conducted in a commercial building. By completing the duct cleaning, the air quality has improved in the building for all employees. According to NADCA, "Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to act as a collection source for a variety of contaminants that have the potential to affect health, such as mold, fungi, bacteria, and very small particles of dust. The removal of such contaminants from the HVAC system and home should be considered as one component in an overall plan to improve indoor air quality."
Call us today at 337-478-1133 for an estimate
Did you know that SERVPRO of Lake Charles is the leading provider for Fire/Smoke damage claims in the Lake Charles area. We have completed Large Commercial fire/smoke damage jobs and We have completed small Residential fire/smoke damage jobs. No job is too big or too small for SERVPRO of Lake Charles. Locally owned and operated right here in Lake Charles, we are there when you need us. We have 24 hour on call service to assist you with your fire/smoke claim day or night. We also specialize in the cleaning/deodorizing/storing of your contents when the structure is a total loss. Please call us today at 337-478-1133 to learn more about this service. Office Manager Lori is ready to take your calls NOW.
LOCAL Cleaning/Disaster Restoration
SERVPRO of Lake Charles specializes in Residential and Commercial Cleaning and Restoration Services. Some of these include: Carpet/Tile Floors/Furniture and AC Duct cleaning. On the restoration side, we can help with any Fire or Flood that you may have.
We are availabe 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Our office is Located here in Lake Charles for quick response.
Insurance Claims are welcome