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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Fire, Smoke, and Soot Restoration Services

9/7/2023 (Permalink)

Fire, Smoke, and Soot Restoration Services Fire, Smoke, and Soot Restoration Services

Fire damage is one of the most devastating events your home can endure. Not only can it wipe out an entire property, but it can damage your belongings. Whether you're dealing with a large fire or a small one that causes smoke damage and soot damage, we're here to help.

Our ability to mobilize quickly in a crisis has helped multiple schools, businesses, and homes throughout Somerset County over recent decades. We strive to provide our customers with a unique approach, tailored to their specific needs.

Our team has multiple accreditations through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, including Fire and Smoke Restoration and Odor Control. We also do air duct cleaning which can reduce smoke odor in a structure. Here's how we can help with smoke damage cleanup, soot damage removal, and we'll break down our fire damage restoration process.

Structural Cleaning

After smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. Your experienced local SERVPRO Franchise Professional will pretest to determine the extent of damage and then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your structure.

Depending on the amount of soot, SERVPRO of West Somerset County may even be able to reduce the cost of recovery by cleaning lighter soot deposits found on some surfaces, eliminating the expense incurred with repainting or refinishing. In other cases, we will clean to "prepare for painting." This process deodorizes and ensures the new paint will adhere properly to the surface.

Contents Cleaning

All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. We begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. We can provide wet or dry cleaning services, additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition.

This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. Finally, we can provide an inventory list of all "to be claimed" personal items, if requested.


We provide specialized services that rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. We do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, we seek out the sources of the odor and remove them. You can ask one of our SERVPRO professionals to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.

Emergency Fire Damage Restoration Process

We provide a unique process per each situation, but generally the process is the same. Here's what our emergency fire damage removal and restoration process looks like:

  • ONE HOUR: Within one hour from notice of loss, we will contact you to arrange for service. You'll know help is on the way.
  • FOUR HOURS: Within four hours of loss notification, a professional will be on-site to start mitigation services. The key to reducing damage and saving money is responding quickly to your damage.
  • DETAILED EXPLANATION: A trained, uniformed, and equipped SERVPRO professional will walk you through the job process step-by-step, explaining what to expect and the anticipated outcome.
  • PRETESTING: We will begin pretesting for restorability, working from the source of the damage outward.
  • EIGHT HOURS: Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person, normally your adjuster or property manager.
  • CLEANING, RESTORATION, & DEODORIZATION: We will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over. We will use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to ensure your property is taken care of right the first time.
  • FINAL WALKTHROUGH: After the work has been completed, a final walk-through will be conducted with you to help ensure your satisfaction.

Understanding Smoke

We understand that using professional equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing claims loss expense. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. We will answer your calls with fast action, exceptional equipment, and trained, uniformed personnel. Knowing the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns are vital to proper fire restoration.

  • Wet Smoke - Plastics and synthetics; Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.
  • Dry Smoke - Paper and wood; fast burning, high temperatures, dry, powdery, non-smeary residues.
  • Protein - Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
  • Fuel Oil Soot - Furnace puff backs.
  • Other Types - Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue.

Deodorization Equipment

We use specific equipment for specific fire damage situations. These include:

  • Ultra Low Volume (ULV) Foggers: these will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that easily penetrates sites where odor-causing residues accumulate. The device can also be used to apply fungicides and disinfectants.
  • Thermal Foggers: these will dispense solvent-based products in large volume, dense fogs suitable for confined areas. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that pair with and neutralize odor-causing particles.

Additional Services For Fire Damage Restoration

We offer additional services if needed for a fire damage situation. This includes:

  • Board-ups: In some cases, it may be important to secure openings to your home or structure using sturdy, durable materials designed to protect it from both weather intrusion and by outsiders. We will perform the board-up ourselves, or outside subcontractors may be utilized if necessary.
  • Inventory - Utilizing Contents Claims Inventory Service (CCIS) technology, we can generate comprehensive room-by-room inventories. Contents are categorized as salvageable, non-salvageable, and questionable - allowing for easier content settlement.
  • Move-Outs: If prolonged exposure to the loss event could cause additional damage to your contents, your contractor requests relocation of the contents, or the safety of your contents is a concern, a move-out may be recommended. In these situations, we are trained to properly take inventory, move out, and control the contents from the structure during the cleaning, restoration, and deodorization process.
  • Electronics Cleaning: Smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces when moisture is also present. If the residues are not removed, corrosion can eat away at the metal casing and can ultimately cause electronic failure in the device. We can clean the outside casing correctly, as well as refer your equipment to a qualified electronics vendor.
  • Artwork: Artwork ranges from inexpensive framed pictures to extremely valuable fine art. Restoration of valuable art requires the use of a trained art restorer, while less expensive art may not warrant these costly specialized services. We will usually subcontract fine art restoration to a conservator. If desired, we may attempt to remove smoke residues and odors, after qualifying with the customer that such cleaning procedures may affect the visible appearance of the items.

Important Information About Fire Damage That You Should Know

In order to start an emergency and restoration service, you must sign the "Service Authorization Form." This allows us to take action immediately. We do not know your insurance coverage, therefore, it is impossible for us to know exactly what your insurance will cover.

It is important to understand you are financially responsible for our services. Your deductible is payable before we start work. If for any reason insurance coverage cannot be verified at the time of our emergency service, an additional deposit may be required.

With that said, the steps we complete in the emergency service includes:

  • Surveying and Pretesting: We'll walk you through the job to determine the areas that have been affected. We will then pretest the clean-ability of surfaces as needed. Pretesting is a process designed to identify those items that will be restorable. Third, we'll make a detailed scope and inventory of each affected area. Finally, we will give you a summary of our findings and explain the best steps for restoration.
  • Extent of Cleaning: We will review the full extent of smoke damage. However, you and your insurance company have the final say as to the extent of cleaning to be performed. Please consult with your adjuster if you have any questions.
  • Window Cleaning: For normal smoke damage, windows will be cleaned on the inside.
  • Metal Polishing: Unless conditions warrant chemical restoration, metals such as silver and brass will be cleaned and buffed only. Polishing will only be done if we are authorized by both you and the adjuster.
  • Floor Finishing: Hard surface floors will be mop cleaned. Stripping, sealing, and refinishing will only be done if conditions warrant them if we are authorized.
  • Clean/Preparation for Paint: Wall and ceiling surfaces, which are heavily smoked and cannot be cleaned completely, will be cleaned so that sealer and paint will adhere. These surfaces may clean up better with additional work.
  • Deodorizing: We guarantee our deodorizing to be complete provided that all sources of odor have been removed, cleaned, or sealed.
  • Clothing: Your insurance company may encourage you to clean any affected clothing in your home. If the damage is too heavy or if facilities are not available, we will recommend a local professional laundry and dry cleaner we use to do the work. You may use any laundry or dry cleaner you wish. However, they must be familiar with smoke damage to do the job properly.
  • Ductwork: If you have forced air or heat, we will inspect your system to determine if smoke has entered the ductwork. If so, we will recommend measures to remedy the situation.

Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Fire damage is especially devastating for a business or commercial property. In addition to the fire and smoke damage, significant water damage from firefighting efforts and fire suppression systems may occur. Every hour spent restoring your business back to pre-fire condition is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If your business experiences a fire loss, call the fire and water damage restoration experts and we'll respond right away.

SERVPRO of West Somerset County has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial fire damage emergencies. Whether your fire emergency occurs in a restaurant, motel, or office building, we will respond to quickly mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion. We will come with a fire and smoke restoration technician, odor control technician, upholstery and fabric cleaning technician, and a water damage restoration technician.

About SERVPRO Team Harvey
SERVPRO of West Somerset County is proudly owned by Lance and Jennifer Harvey - a husband and wife duo that owns three other SERVPRO locations, including SERVPRO of Lower Manhattan, SERVPRO of Hoboken/Union City, and SERVPRO of Aberdeen/Holmdel.

We understand the stress and worry that comes with a fire or water damage and the disruption it causes your home or business. Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it “like it never even happened.”


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