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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Homeowners Refocus on the Beautiful Ocean View While SERVPRO of Jacksonville South Restores Fire Damage

When choosing a home on the Atlantic shore with sweeping ocean vistas, the last amenity you consider is whether the community boasts a full-service disaster restoration company. Dirty soot deposits, malodors, and various other types of destruction inevitably follow fire damage in Jacksonville, stressing homeowners coping with sticky, toxic residues. Fortunately for local residents, a rapid turnaround from the chaos of significant fire and smoke damage to “Like it never even happened,” is possible with the assistance of SERVPRO of Jacksonville South.

What Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration and Cleanup Challenges Present in a Jacksonville Bathroom?

Although a high percentage of Jacksonville fire events occur in the kitchen, near open flames, or because of malfunctioning appliances, this homeowner instead coped with the aftermath of a blaze in the wiring of a beautifully appointed bathroom. Grimy soot coated the white and black basketweave-look tiles and trimmed in this luxurious master bath. Under the sink, bottoms of cleaning products shielded circles of clean cabinetry while sticky residues coat the remainder of the space. This house fire clean up requires:

- Assessment of the characteristics of the soot and matching the residues to appropriate water or oil-based cleaners

- Evaluation of the surfaces affected in terms of durability when subjected to different soot removal products, tools, and techniques  

- Close examination of materials that appear impervious but might be porous such as unsealed grout

- Attention to potential water damage behind walls and beneath the floor because of firefighting methods

Why Is a Quick Mop-Up of Visible Soot an Inadequate Response?

Contemplating the fire damage with the naked and untrained eye could make necessary water and fire damage restorations seem relatively straightforward. The training SERVPRO workers master provided by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) leads to different conclusions:

-     Safety Issues

Can the cleaning and personal care products stored in the fire-damaged bathroom safely be retained and used? Heat can cause chemical changes making items hazardous to use and aerosol cans dangerous to operate. SERVPRO technicians guided this homeowner to make decisions on what to toss and what to keep.

-     Progressive Deterioration of Surfaces

Fire residues are incredibly corrosive, capable of destroying protective glazes, metals, and glass. Plastics discolor, and drywall or concrete backer board slowly crumble if soot and smoke remediation are incomplete. SERVPRO technicians use proprietary products to break the bond between the black and even “unseen” soot and the elegant soaking tub, stall shower, and custom floors, removing the corrosive substances entirely.

-     Toxic Effects

The residues from fire damage are not ordinary dirt. As the blaze consumed fuels and created smoke, the incompletely combusted building materials and wiring plus insulation first floated and then settled as soot. Previously “benign” substances became health hazards because of chemical changes. SERVPRO technicians don personal protective equipment (PPE) to manage fire restoration to avoid touching or inhaling the residues.  

The glorious ocean views at this Jacksonville home are a strong draw, even when disaster lurks around a corner. The owner of this top-end home did not resist the healing power of the sea, confident that SERVPRO of Jacksonville South trained and certified professionals would treat the dwelling with care and skill even as the waves continued their relentless roll.