Recent Fire Damage Posts

Unveiling the Lingering Menace of Smoke Damage

8/13/2023 (Permalink)

Smoke rising out of a window. While the flames may be the most obvious culprit, there is another silent intruder that can wreak havoc after the fire has been extinguished: smoke.

A fire can be a devastating event, causing immense destruction and leaving behind a trail of chaos. While the flames may be the most obvious culprit, there is another silent intruder that can wreak havoc long after the fire has been extinguished: smoke. Smoke damage is often underestimated, yet it can pose serious risks to both the structural integrity and the health of your building's occupants. In this article, we'll explore the hidden dangers of smoke damage and provide insights into its mitigation and restoration.

The Scope of Smoke Damage

When a fire occurs, smoke particles and chemical substances are released into the air. Smoke can quickly infiltrate every nook and cranny of a building, leaving behind a residue that can cause significant damage. The extent of smoke damage depends on various factors, including the size of the fire, the materials burned, and the duration of exposure.

Structural Impacts

  • Discoloration and Staining: Smoke particles can settle on surfaces, causing discoloration and staining of walls, ceilings, furniture, and other belongings. Over time, these stains can become more stubborn and difficult to remove.
  • Odor: The pungent odor of smoke can linger long after a fire. It can permeate porous materials such as carpets, curtains, upholstery, and even building materials like drywall. This persistent smell can be unpleasant and hard to eliminate without proper remediation.
  • Corrosion: Smoke contains corrosive substances that can damage metal surfaces, electrical systems, and appliances. If left untreated, this corrosion can compromise the functionality and safety of these components.

Mitigation and Restoration

After a fire, it's crucial to engage a professional restoration company experienced in smoke damage remediation. They will conduct a thorough assessment to identify the extent of the damage and develop an appropriate plan of action. Professional technicians will employ specialized techniques and equipment to clean surfaces, remove soot and residue, and eliminate odors. This may include dry cleaning, wet cleaning, air scrubbing, and the use of ozone generators or thermal fogging.

Smoke can infiltrate the building's HVAC system, spreading contaminants throughout the structure. A thorough inspection and cleaning of the system are necessary to ensure the removal of any smoke particles and to prevent further circulation of pollutants. In severe cases, damaged materials, such as insulation, drywall, or carpets, may need to be removed and replaced. This step is crucial to eliminate any hidden smoke residues and restore the integrity of the building.

Prevention and Preparedness

Ensure that your building is equipped with functioning smoke detectors on every floor and in each room. Regularly test and maintain these devices to guarantee their effectiveness. Create an emergency evacuation plan and educate occupants about fire safety procedures. Conduct regular drills to ensure everyone is familiar with the evacuation routes and knows how to respond in case of a fire. Implement fire-safe practices such as proper storage of flammable materials, regular maintenance of electrical systems, and safe usage of heating appliances.

Smoke damage is a formidable foe that can silently compromise the structural integrity of your building and pose health risks to its occupants. Understanding the extent and potential hazards of smoke damage is crucial for effective mitigation and restoration. By enlisting the help of professional restoration experts, implementing preventative measures, and prioritizing fire safety practices, you can safeguard your building and its occupants from the hidden dangers of smoke damage. Remember, when it comes to smoke damage, swift action and expert assistance are key to restoring your building to its pre-fire condition and ensuring a safe environment for all.

Clearing the Air: Understanding Smoke Damage

4/9/2023 (Permalink)

Dark grey smoke. If you are in need of fire, soot, and smoke damage cleanup and restoration services, give our SERVPRO of Sunnyvale North team a call today!

Fire, smoke, and soot damage can be devastating for both residential and commercial properties. In addition to the visible damage caused by flames and soot, smoke can also cause significant damage to your property. Smoke damage can leave behind a lingering odor and can cause discoloration and damage to surfaces and objects.

Smoke damage can occur even if the fire was small or contained to one area of your property. The smoke can travel through the air ducts and spread throughout your property, affecting areas that were not directly impacted by the fire. Here are some common types of smoke damage:

Smoke odor damage

  1. One of the most noticeable effects of smoke damage is the lingering odor. Smoke odor can be difficult to remove and can make it difficult to use your property until it is completely eliminated. Professional restoration companies have specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke odor and restore your property to its pre-fire condition.

Discoloration and staining

2. Smoke can cause discoloration and staining on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. This can be especially noticeable on light-colored surfaces. Professional restoration companies can use specialized cleaning products to remove the discoloration and restore the original color of the affected surfaces.

Corrosion and damage to metal

3. Smoke can also cause corrosion and damage to metal surfaces and objects, such as appliances and furniture. This can make them unusable and may require replacement. Professional restoration companies can clean and restore metal surfaces and objects to their pre-fire condition.

Damage to electronics

4. Smoke can also cause damage to electronics, such as computers, televisions, and other electronic devices. This can cause them to malfunction or stop working altogether. Professional restoration companies have specialized techniques and equipment to restore electronics and prevent further damage.

Contact a restoration company near you for help

If you have experienced fire, smoke, or soot damage, it's important to contact a professional restoration company as soon as possible. The longer you wait to begin the restoration process, the more damage can occur, making the restoration process more difficult and costly.

When choosing a restoration company, it's important to choose a company with experience and expertise in fire, smoke, and soot damage restoration. Look for a company that is certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and has a track record of successful restorations.

In addition to professional restoration, there are some steps you can take to minimize smoke damage to your property:

  • Open windows and doors to ventilate the area.
  • Clean and vacuum any visible soot or debris from surfaces.
  • Change the air filters in your heating and cooling system.
  • Cover and protect furniture and other objects to prevent further damage.

Fire, smoke, and soot damage can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. However, with the help of a professional restoration company, you can restore your property to its pre-fire condition. If you are in need of fire, soot, and smoke damage cleanup and restoration services, give our SERVPRO of Sunnyvale North team a call today!

Most common causes of house fires in the US

2/1/2023 (Permalink)

Fire damage Fire damage

House fires are devastating and can take a toll on your life. Most of the time, the cause of these fires is preventable. There are many things that you can do to help keep your home safe from fire and avoid being one of the unlucky people whose house catches on fire. It's also important to know what signs to look for if you suspect your house is at risk of catching fire so that you can call SERVPRO Sunnyvale North immediately in order to minimize damage and repair as quickly as possible.

House Fires are Devastating and Should be Avoided

House fires are devastating, and they can be prevented. House fires cause damage to your home and belongings. They also cause injury or death in many cases. To avoid house fires, you should avoid these dangers:


Cooking is the second most common cause of house fires in the US, accounting for 13% of all reported fires each year. Cooking equipment is responsible for over half of all fatal home heating fires in 2013 and 2014, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

  • Keep pot handles turned inward so they can't catch on fire when you're cooking.

  • Never leave cooking food unattended on the stovetop or in an oven--even if it's just for a minute!

  • Keep baking soda on hand incase of a grease fire.

  • Keep a fire extinguisher easily accesi

  • ble in the kitchen.


Electrical fires are the most common cause of house fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). These fires can be caused by faulty wiring, overloaded circuits and faulty appliances.

To prevent electrical fires:

  • Keep electrical cords away from water or other liquids.

  • If you have a power strip or surge protector with exposed wires, replace it immediately!

  • Don't use extension cords outside unless they're rated for outdoor use and have an appropriate grounding conductor attached at both ends

  • Never run them under rugs or carpets where they may come in contact with heat sources like baseboards or radiators.

  • Always unplug small appliances when not in use.

  • Don't overload outlets by plugging too many things into one outlet at once.

  • Don't leave lights on overnight if you're going away for awhile because this increases risk for fire damage due to overloading circuits.

  • Never use an extension cord if it is damaged. If you find that your extension cords are frayed or have exposed wires, immediately discard them and purchase new ones. You should also inspect all cords periodically to ensure they are in good condition before use.

Additionally, you should make sure you aren't using extension cords improperly by daisy-chaining or plugging too many appliances into one cord at once, as these practices could lead to overheating or sparks.

The third most common cause of house fires is heating equipment.

Most heating equipment is safe, but it's important to use caution when using it. Space heaters, fireplaces and electric blankets can all cause fires if not used properly. You should never leave your home while these appliances are on -- even if you think they're turned off or unplugged.

To prevent house fires caused by heating equipment:

  • Never use an extension cord with a space heater because it could overheat and start a fire (this goes for any other electrical device). Instead, get an outlet with enough outlets for whatever you need to plug in at once; there are some with built-in surge protectors as well!

  • Make sure that nothing flammable touches the area where your fireplace is located -- including plants or curtains -- because any sparks could ignite them easily! If possible, opt for gas vs wood based models for extra safety measures against accidental combustion..

More than half of all fatal home heating fires in 2013 involved space heaters.

Space heaters are the most common cause of fatal home heating fires. If you use a space heater, make sure it is used in well-ventilated areas and doesn't generate excess heat or fumes. Space heaters should never be placed near flammable materials such as curtains and bedding. Never plug a space heater into an extension cord or power strip; this can cause the device to overheat and start a fire.


Smoking is a leading cause of fire deaths in the home. Don't smoke in bed, and never leave lit cigarettes or cigars unattended. If you do smoke, take it outside!

If a fire occurs call SERVPRO Sunnyvale North for fire and water damage remediation

If a fire occurs, call SERVPRO Sunnyvale North for fire and water damage remediation. SERVPRO of Sunnyvale North is a 24-hour emergency service that can respond quickly to your needs. We have the equipment and expertise to handle any type of fire or water damage.

If you have questions about how to prevent fires in your home, contact SERVPRO Sunnyvale North for fire and water damage remediation. We are available 24/7 and can help with any type of restoration project!