Recent Fire Damage Posts

Fire Damage In Shrewsbury, NJ

3/31/2021 (Permalink)

After fire cleaning.

This soot damage was caused by the chimney of the fireplace.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls was called in to do the soot cleanup.  There were several rooms affected from this loss.  Our crews were ready to get going once the customer called.  This loss was straight forward cleaning and had no issues.  The insured was pleased with the results of the cleaning.  We take a lot of pride in being able to get to our customers fast and work quickly to get them back to “Like it never even happened.”  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls is here for all your fire, water & mold cleanup/restoration needs.  We can be reached at 732-536-7555 or visit us at  We look forward to hearing from you.

Fire Damage in Brielle, NJ

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

We test all surfaces with sponges to see how bad the soot damage is.

During a fire we want to see the firefighters/first responders blazing down the street to come and save one of our loved ones and our lifelong cherished belongings.  Once the first responders have left you are wondering what is next.  This is where SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls comes in.  It is our job to come in and put your house and contents back to “Like it never even happened,” depending on how severe the damage is.  We take pride in bringing homeowners belongings back to them restored because it brings a smile to their face even though they have been through one of the toughest times of their life.  

During restoration there are a lot of moving parts such as cleaning your contents, demo and cleaning of your home and reconstruction.  We work with you the homeowner to ensure the scheduling is good for your timetable.  One of the many benefits with working with SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls is that we work directly with your insurance.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls will make sure that all parties involved are on the same page with your restoration.  This is a difficult time for your and your family and we understand this, so we are here to help you through this entire process. 

If there is ever damage done to your home or business, we are here to help you in every way possible.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls services all areas of Monmouth County, NJ.  We can be reached at 732-536-7555 for your restoration needs. 

Fire Damage In Colts Neck, NJ

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

This fire was cause by the dehumidifier located in the basement of this home.

Winter is known for being a busy time for fires.  At this fire loss a dehumidifier caught on fire in the basement of a Colts Neck home the day before Thanksgiving.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls place air scrubbers in the home so the customer could still have their Thanksgiving at home.  The fire cleanup started after the holiday and the customer will be ready for Christmas.  The insured was incredibly happy with the results of our work.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls is here for you 24 hours 7 days 365 days a year for your cleanup and restoration needs.  We can be reached at 732-536-7555 or our website  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls staff would like to wish everyone a very happy and healthy holiday season. 

Thanksgiving Dangers

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving Dinner

SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls would like to say Thank You and Happy Thanksgiving to all our valued customers.  We wish that everyone stays safe during this holiday season.  We would like to remind you of potential dangers during this season. 

  1. When cooking please do not leave dish towels or potholders near your stoves
  2. While deep frying turkeys do not leave the grease unattended and ensure your turkey is properly defrosted
  3. Keep an eye on candles that are lit and make sure to cut the wicks down
  4. Let us not forget about our furry friends, fat trimmings and bones are dangerous for our pets so please make sure to double check your not giving them any

If you need our services, please give us a call @ 732-536-7555.  Happy Thanksgiving from SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls.

Fire Damage In Brick, NJ

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls were called into clean up this fire loss in an apartment building in Brick, NJ.

Fall is approaching fast, and with this it means we all love to decorate for the holidays.  We know customers like to be spooky for Halloween and like to light candles for the effect of spookiness.  We suggest using battery operated candles but if you feel like you must use the real thing then please ensure that decorations are away from the open flame.  Halloween decorations can be very flammable and cause a lot of damage to your home if caught on fire.  Also remember never to leave a candle lit unattended.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls is here for your fire restoration needs.  Please call us at 732-536-7555 or visit us at We will be more than happy to assist you in your time of need. 

Fire Board-Up In South River, NJ

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

The cause of loss was fire works. Fire works from another house damaged this home.

SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls should be your first and only call for your fire restoration needs.  Calling upon us will give you the peace of mind knowing our highly trained technicians will be helping you during this difficult time.  It is important that you hire a company that does this type of work daily because if you or a nonprofessional tries to clean up your fire loss there could be more damage done.  Our priority is to get you back into your home to preloss conditions and make your loss look “Like it never even happened.”  We take our work and training very seriously, and that is why you want to call SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls.  Our technicians are always up to date on their certifications and training.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls is waiting for your call @ 732-532-7555. 

Fire Damage in Brielle, NJ

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot damage to contents.

Fire jobs are not always about doing the actual work.  On this loss we were called by the insurance company to come in and do a follow estimate for them.  We were to provide them with an inspection of the items determined to be a total loss or if they can be cleaned/restored.  Provide an inventory, with photos, of any items that are deemed a be a total loss and provide an estimate to clean/restore any salvageable items.  Insurance companies trust us because of our highly trained staff and great reputation in being fair on our estimates.  Once the inspection and the reports are sent over to the insurance company they will review and contact the customer and public adjuster on our findings.  If you are in need of a trust worthy restoration company give SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls a call @ 732-536-7555. 

First Reponders

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

This was the before and during photos of Super Storm Sandy. Listen to the warnings.

As we sit here and watch the fire in Australia, we hope that everyone is safe and that the fires get under control.  Wildfires are not a common occurrence here in Monmouth and Ocean Counties but once in a blue moon will have to endure one.  In any type of disaster, we always say be prepared and listen to the local authorities on when it’s time to evacuate.  It is important to listen to what the authorities are saying because they have minute by minute information on these disasters as they have then we do.  Listening to being evacuated could save many lives, not just your own but those first responders that are out in the filed trying to keep you safe.  So, we want to thank all the first responders out there protecting us from these disasters.    

Fire Damage In Robbinsville, NJ

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Electrical fire in Mercer County, NJ

During this electrical fire the garage, attic and foyer was affected by soot damage.  The contents on this loss needed to be cleaned and moved into a storage pod while the garage was rebuilt.  As you can see from the picture that the soot damage was heavy in the garage and required a lot of elbow grease and our highly advanced SERVPRO cleaning products.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls corporate office has on staff a top-notch chemist that produces our cleaning products for our jobs.  Being part of the SERVPRO franchise system gives us a lot of opportunity and knowledge to produce the type of quality work or customers expect.  The products that were produced for us helped us to get this fir loss looking “Like it never even happened.”  We take pride in the work that we do and the customer on this loss conveyed that they were very pleased with the work that was performed by SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls.  If you ever find yourself in the need of a fire clean up, SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls is a phone call away, 732-536-7555. 

Oil Burner Puff Back Damage In Jackson, NJ

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

The customer started his oil heat for the season and ended up having a back fire of his oil heater.

Cold weather is upon us again.  Winter can bring many fire dangers.  One we see a lot of are puff backs.  If you are unaware of what a puff back is let me explain.  A puff back is when your oil burner backfires and shoots smoke and soot into your home or business.  Puff backs can cause anything from minor to major damage to your home or business.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls specializes in cleaning of these types of losses.  We suggest you don’t try to do the cleaning yourself and leave it to the professionals.  Most of these losses will be covered by your insurance but we do suggest you check with them.  Either if you must pay out of pocket or your insurance is going to cover the loss you need it to be done right.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls can be reach at 732-536-7555 for your puff back cleanup needs. 

Fire Damage In Asbury Park, NJ

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

Soot damage from the fire in the next door unit.

Fire mitigation should be left up to the professionals.  Recently SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls received a call to give an estimate for fire cleanup.  The fire wasn’t in the house we were cleaning but it was in the next-door unit.  The customer explained that they had a contractor and a maid service come in and do the work, but they didn’t do a detailed job.  If SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls had been called in prior to any other work being performed it would have saved the customer time and money.  The contractor didn’t have fire mitigation experience and did some work that should have been done by a professional prior to the work being performed.  There could be issues with this in the future depending on the environment (i.e., humidity causing the smell of smoke to come back).  We here at SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls are here to assist you in your fire mitigation needs.  Please contact us at 732-532-7555, or at our website   

Fire Extinguisher Cleanup In Marlboro, NJ

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher clean up in Marlboro, NJ

SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls has been trained to industry standards on how to clean up after fires.  We also take all precautions for our employee’s protection and use personal protection equipment while cleaning.  These include goggles for eye protection, rubber gloves, and respirators or dust mask. 

Dry powder (most common) fire extinguisher cleanup requires certain equipment and cleaning products.  Hepa vacuums are used to remove the dry powder from non-porous surfaces.  We also use SERVPRO approved cleaner to wet clean surfaces.  All food prep areas get sanitized.  Porous surfaces need to be hepa vacuumed to but may take a little more elbow grease to accomplish.  After hepa vacuuming wet cleaning with SERVPRO approved cleaners are needed. 

Wet chemical (less common) fire extinguisher cleanup requires the excess liquid to be removed.  We also wet clean with SERVPRO approved cleaners in this method too.  Sanitizing of food prep areas are required.

All food, cooking grease or other indigestible items that may have been in contact with the fire extinguisher chemicals must be disposed of. 

SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls is here for you in your time of need.  Please call us if you need our services, 732-536-7555.   

Small Fire Disasters In Colts Neck , NJ

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

Small Fire Disasters In Colts Neck , NJ

Fires don’t need to be large to do major damage to your home or business.  A small fire can cause a lot of soot and smoke damage.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls have the trained staff to restore your home no matter the size of the fire.  With small fires some of the time fire fighters don’t have to put out the fire with water they will use a fire extinguisher.  Not only the soot and smoke damage have to be dealt with, now we must deal with the clean up of the agent discharged from the fire extinguisher.  Once the fire is out fire fighters will put large fans in to vent the house out which in turn spreads the soot and fire extinguisher agent around the home. 

SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls is here for you in your time of need.  Please call us if you are in need of our services, 732-536-7555.   

Dryer Vent Fires

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Loss In Tinton Falls, NJ

Time to clean out those dryer exhaust vents.  Dryer exhaust vents are a major concern for fires.  There are many people out there that have dryers and have never cleaned out their vents (the hose that goes from the dryer to the wall that vents outside), well its time.  Vents should be cleaned and inspected at least once a year.  If you have a larger family and do a lot more laundry two to three times a year is better.  But it’s just not the vent it’s self you should clean the dryer filter after each use.  The drum it’s self doesn’t need to be cleaned unless there was something forgotten about like gum, lipstick or pen.  If you notice that its taking 2-3 cycles to dry your clothing properly then it’s time to clean things out.  If you are in need of a clean up due to fire give SERVPRO of Marlboro/ Tinton Falls a call.  

Holiday Dangers

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Holiday Decorating In Toms River, NJ

As December falls upon us so do the holidays.  If you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa there are dangers that could be associated with these holidays.  Candles lit for your celebration should not be unattended because they could cause fires.  Christmas trees should be kept away from heating elements, keep hydrated, and don’t leave the tree lit when no one is around.  Overloading electrical circuits with outdoor lighting could be an issue and cause fires.  Your pets should be considered during this time too.  Keep the sweets out of the reach of your animal especially chocolate because this could be very dangerous to them.  Secure decorations such as your Christmas tree so it doesn’t fall on top of your pets.  New Years can be scary for your pets because of all the noise, plan to have them in their own space so they don’t get nervous.  We here at SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls hope your holidays are safe and happy.

Turkey Frying Tips

11/21/2018 (Permalink)


As Thanksgiving and Christmas falls upon us some of us will want to deep fry those turkeys.  Deep frying a turkey can be very dangerous.  The National Fire Protection Association discourages using a turkey fryer.  If you are set on frying a turkey, we encourage you to follow some of the following tips. 

  1. Do not fry the turkey indoors.
  2. Do not fill the fryer past the fill line.
  3. Preheat oil in the fryer to 375 degrees
  4. Place fryer on a flat surface and keep away from the house or garage/shed.
  5. Ensure the turkey is fully defrosted and pat dry before cooking.
  6. Keep the kids away from the fryer.
  7. Don’t leave the fryer unattended.

With these tips you should have a successful fried turkey for the holidays.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

Thanksgiving Cooking

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

Fire During Cooking

With Thanksgiving coming up here in a few days some of us will be cooking for the holiday.  Cooking for the holiday can be joyous for us but could turn dangerous.  If you are going to be cooking at home, ensure you take proper cooking precautions.  Follow these few simple tips and you should have a good experience.

  1. Make sure to cook all foods to proper temperatures. This will ensure food poising doesn’t happen.  Follow all food prep directions.
  2. When using the stove all pot and pan handles should face toward the back of the stove. Following this tip will help from family members who have gather in the kitchen not to knock the pot or pans off the stove causing them to burn themselves or others. 
  3. Putting the turkey in the oven? Make sure to remove the insides (sometimes these are placed in a bag) of the turkey and any plastic that might have the turkey tied up for shipment.  Plastics or paper could cause a fire, and no one wants that to happen. 

These are just a few tips to keep in mind while cooking your family’s Thanksgiving dinner.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls wishes everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving.  

Fire Restoration Process

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Loss in Jackson, NJ

After the smoke clears and you need help cleaning up the mess.  Here is the process we take to make you and your family feel safe after a major disaster.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls.  Once we have spoken to you we will send out a project manager to assess the loss and come up with the best course of action. 

Step 2: Inspection and Assessment

We carefully inspect and test the rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. 

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we will board up any missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs as necessary.   

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying 

Any standing water removal will (drying out the structure) begin almost immediately as long as there is power available at the loss and removes the majority of the water. We will use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process. 

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

Specialized equipment and techniques are used to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. 

Step 6: Cleaning

Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting of all restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire will be performed. 

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new flooring; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Call SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls 732-536-7555 or visit us at

Hidden Fire Dangers

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

Fire loss in Tinton Falls, NJ

Knobs on the front of your kitchen stove/oven can be very dangerous.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls has recently encountered a couple fires caused by dogs jumping up on the stove to reach food and accidentally turn on the stove by hitting the knob.  These fires caused lots of damage because the homeowners were not home at the time.  It is good practice not to leave any items on the stove or in close proximity.  Another way to ensure your pets don’t turn on the knobs is to remove them from the stove if you are leaving the house or at night while sleeping.  We all love our furry little family members so let’s help them to not be tempted to grab for those pizza boxes left on the stove.  If you do encounter a fire in your home please remember to call 911 first then reach out to SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls for your cleanup and rebuild needs 732-536-7555.       

Holiday Fires

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Caused During The Holidays

Celebrations in the old fashion days involved wax candles on live trees inside homes.  We know better today, however there are still some risks when you prefer a real tree.  Please be sure to water your tree every day as the needles and wood become dry they can catch fire more easily.  You can use many strings of lights however for safety purposes only plug three strings into each other.  Do not use strings that are worn or broken.  And most importantly unplug the lights at night and before leaving your home.

The same holds true for menorahs and kinaras.  Electric ones can be purchased however if you choose the traditional candles please attend to them in a fire smart way as 58% of home fires are started by candles.  Keep all flammables at least 3 feet away from them.  Place your menorah or kinara on a non-flammable surface to catch the wax. And last but certainly not least never leave lit candles unattended.

One Stop Shop for Your Restoration Needs

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Loss To A Commercial Building in Avon By The Sea, NJ


During a fire customers always have a million questions.  Know that our friendly, caring and knowledgeable technicians will guide you through the whole process.  At times you will also be in touch with the office staff that too has the knowledge and training as our technicians do.  If we don’t know the answer to a question you might have we will find out because if it’s important to you it’s important to us.

 Fires are a big inconvenience to clients so we try and make a bad situation bearable for them.   For instance we will deal with your insurance directly so you can direct your attention to other issues that might arise like finding a place to live during restoration.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls is a one stop shop for all your restoration needs such as handling your dry cleaning, contents cleaning (or getting rid of non-salvageable contents), structure cleaning and reconstruction.  For more information feel free to contact us at 732-5336-7555 or email us at

Fire Damage Help

10/27/2017 (Permalink)

Soot Damage in Linden, NJ caused by Faulty Light

When a fire strikes your home, the priority is to make sure that all occupants of the house are safe. However, once the fire is put out and everyone is accounted for, you are left with a heavily damaged home that is unfit for living. Fire damage restoration is the act of cleaning and restoring property as well as personal belongings that have sustained smoke and fire damage. The goal of SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls is to salvage damaged items and restore your home to make it feel like it never even happened.

SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls specializes in providing fire damage restoration services to remove soot or smoke damage as well as odors from various surfaces and personal items.  We also help the homeowner make decisions regarding the repair or replacement of certain elements of their home.  The duct work needs to be cleaned to not release smoke and soot particles back into the air. If the duct work is not cleaned, the soot particles it releases could contribute to respiratory problems and other health issues.

If your home has been heavily damaged in a fire, it is important to SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls at (732) 536-7555 immediately to help limit the damage and restore your home.  Fire damage restoration is a tough job why not let the professionals handle it to ensure the best possible results.  By acting quickly and calling SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls you can help get your life back on track after such a devastating event.  Our website also has more information of fire damage that might help you

After Fire Damage Tips

10/26/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage in Morganville, NJ

After you’ve been burdened with just going through a fire the last thing you want to do is deal with the aftermath.  A fire can be very stressful and an inconvenience.  We have come up with several tips for you to remember during this trying time in your life. 

  • Don’t move about the house too much, this causes more damage sometimes.  If you have carpets you might be embedding the soot into the fibers more and that could make it harder to clean. 
  • Try not to touch any surfaces that have soot with your bare hands.  Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can impregnate upholstery, walls, and woodwork, causing more damage.
  • If the electric company has turned off your power, empty the refrigerator / freezer of all food and inventory before throwing away.  Keep the doors open after empting the refrigerator / freezer this is to help so mold won’t grow.
  • Do not eat any food that has been in a fire.  The food has been contaminated by the fire. 

We hope that you never have to use these tips but if you have to they are very simple to follow and will help in the longer run.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls is here to help if you are in need (

Fire & Water Damage in Middlesex, NJ

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage to home in Middlesex, NJ

There's something terrifying about fire damage especially if you come across the wrong restoration company.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls had a customer that called us in after another restoration company had started the job but the customers just were not comfortable with what was happening on site.  Our team sat down with the customer and explained the process of our work with them and also informed them of some facts about fire damage.  Fire damage is caused by fire, smoke and heat and they affect the structure of a home as well as the contents within the home.  In this blog we will be pointing out fire damage facts that could help you in the future. 

Smoke and soot residues are a common effect of fire even the smallest of fires.  Not all soot is the same, some soot is easy to cleanup and others are extremely hard to clean.  You need to learn about smoke and combustion to understand the different types of soot.  As combustion takes place, the burning material is actually breaking own and combining with oxygen while heat is given off.  Fuel, oxygen and heat are 3 components that have to be present for combustion to happen.   

Smoke is created when burning materials decompose, and release solid particles, gases and aerosols that suspend in the air.  Some of the gaseous by-products generated in a fire, such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, are extremely dangerous if people are exposed to the smoke while the fire is in progress.  In addition to fire gases, smoke also consists of fine particles of matter and aerosols. The solid particles of unburned material are usually small particles of carbon. The aerosols are extremely fine solid or liquid particles suspended in the gases. These particles—while they are suspended in the air—are what make smoke visible to our sight. The particles are also odor-absorbing, which makes soot smell. 

If you are near a fire in progress, keep down low to avoid breathing smoke-filled air. Technicians working long periods where heavy, loose smoke residues are present should wear a respirator. Smoke particles from incomplete combustion can contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which may be cancer-causing (carcinogenic). 

Once smoke settles on surfaces as residues, it is often referred to as “soot.” Soot residues can contain different types of acids since chlorides and sulfides in smoke mix with the humidity in the air or with moisture to form acids. Acidic soot residues will cause discoloration and corrosion if they remain on materials over time. 

Not all soot residues are the same. Some types of soot are easier to clean than other types. Technicians will most often clean one of four different types of soot: 

  • Dry smoke residues
  • Wet smoke residues
  • Protein smoke residues 
  • Fuel oil smoke residues

Every fire progresses through stages, generating both wet and dry smoke. Some fires produce a large enough proportion of one type of smoke to characterize the entire exposure as predominately wet smoke or predominately dry smoke. Different cleaning methods are used to remove different types of residues. Generally, wet smoke is more difficult to remove than dry smoke. 

Whether smoke residues tend to be dry or wet is determined by several factors: 

  • The rate of combustion 
  • The amount ofoxygen present during the fire   
  • The type of material or substance that is burning.

In many fires, the more oxygen available while the fire is in progress, the faster the combustion process takes place. Fast-burning, oxygen-rich fires usually produce a dry smoke. Oxygen-starved, slow-burning, smoldering fires usually produce a wet smoke. 

The type of materials burned also affects the smoke particles and aerosols produced by a fire. Natural materials tend to produce dry, powdery, small, non-smeary residues, or dry smoke. Examples of natural materials are dry wood, paper, cork, and natural fibers (wool, cotton). Synthetic materials tend to produce wet, large, easily smeared particles of residue, or wet smoke. Examples of synthetic materials are plastics, foam rubber, and similar polymers. 

More types of materials are restorable in dry smoke conditions than in wet. Dry smoke residue carries few aerosols and deposits small, dry particles on surfaces. Dry smoke does not stain surfaces as deeply as wet smoke, and the odor is less pungent. Less aggressive cleaning procedures will usually remove dry smoke residues. One problem, however, is that dry smoke generally comes from hotter fires, which cause more heat damage than do cooler fires. 

Wet smoke residues are more difficult to remove than dry smoke, making restoration more difficult. Wet smoke typically contains a high proportion of aerosols such as varnishes, solvents, and other liquid components. With a slow-burning fire, air currents do not drive the smoke from the heat of the fire. Wet smoke moves slowly and has time to work its way into crevices and enclosed areas that normally would not be contaminated by a faster-burning fire. Within minutes of contact, very hot oily residues will discolor plastic materials. 

In many instances, contents exposed to a smoldering fire and wet smoke are not restorable even though heat damage is minimal. Aerosols in wet smoke soften, penetrate, and stain finished surfaces. Unfinished surfaces also absorb and entrap these residues. Burning plastics and rubbers produce large, black particles that tend to smear or smudge. Removing wet smoke may not be possible, and sometimes even stripping and refinishing may not prove adequate. 

Kitchen fires often involve burning meat, poultry, or fish. Burning these materials leaves protein residues, which may be yellow or amber in color or virtually invisible, causing only slight discoloration of painted walls and cabinet surfaces. Protein smoke odors, are extremely pungent, so odor removal is usually the biggest problem in protein fires. Odors in protein fires cannot be controlled without thoroughly cleaning all surfaces contaminated with the greasy protein residue. Sometimes an entire home may require cleaning even though residue concentrations are not visually obvious. 

Furnace puff-backs, very common in the Northeast, occur when a malfunctioning oil burner suddenly ignites, jarring loose old soot. Improper venting or a crack in the heat exchanger may cause a puff-back. Soot from a puff-back consists of dust particles from the ductwork and fuel oil that did not properly burn. It may be gray to black in color, greasy, and consist of small or large particles. The fresh soot is usually removable without damaging painted surfaces. However, the soot particles are sometimes hard and crusty, so one must be careful not to scratch surfaces. If the furnace has been emitting smoke over an extended period prior to ignition, the soot may bond to wall paints making it impossible to remove the soot without removing some of the paint. 

During a fire, soot and smoke particles settle on and adhere to surfaces. Restoration means removing those soot residues. If you understand how smoke behaves during a fire, you will know where to find the heaviest deposits of smoke residues when you inspect a damage. Two factors of smoke behavior deal with temperature—the temperature of the smoke and the temperature of surrounding surfaces. 

Convection refers to heat being transferred through air movement. Hot air rises because it is not as dense as cold air. As it rises, it displaces cooler air, which flows downwards. As a fire continues to burn, it pulls in the cooler air at lower levels and heats it. This air rises and forces the air near the ceiling to flow downwards. As long as the fire burns, this pattern continues, resulting in a constant movement and circulation of air in a building or room. These are convection currents. 

You probably learned as a child to drop to the floor if ever caught in a smoky room. The reason is hot air rises (which means smoke also rises). Smoke continues upwards until stopped by the ceiling. The greatest concentration of smoke residues will be on the ceiling immediately above the fire area, unless strong opposing air currents were present. 

Smoke moves into adjacent rooms as the upper portion of the room fills to the doorways. Still hotter than the surrounding air, the smoke stays near ceilings and continues to migrate towards upper levels of the home, depositing smoke residues as it travels. 

Heat lines may be visible in rooms where the fire was very hot. Above the heat line, residues are more difficult to remove because heat opens up pores in surfaces allowing deeper penetration (heat makes materials expand). Aerosols and residues can be literally baked on. 

In smaller fires, rooms at levels lower than the source of the fire may have little smoke damage. Ventilating the home immediately will also reduce damage to lower levels. Otherwise, as the air cools and falls, it may carry some residues and odors to all parts of the home. 

As the temperature of air rises, the pressure that air exerts on surfaces increases. To be precise, as the air temperature increases by 10°F, the pressure increases and the volume of the air double. This means that the hotter the fire, the harder smoke is forced against surfaces. This explains the concept of driven smoke and free floating smoke. 

Hot smoke moves by pressurized air with force and is, therefore, called driven smoke. As hot smoke collides with surfaces, it deposits residues and is the cause for soot residues on vertical surfaces. 

Cold smoke was once hot and pressurized, but lost its force as it cooled. Cold smoke is called free floating smoke because it floats through the building until gravity causes it to settle on horizontal surfaces. 

Hot smoke tends to move toward colder surfaces. This principle, expressed as hot goes to cold, results from convection currents—as hot air rises, the cooler air around cold surfaces falls and is replaced by warm, smoky air contacting the cooler surface. Hot smoke, therefore, migrates toward the colder surfaces of outside walls and windows, closed drawers, closets, and unheated rooms. As hot smoke migrates, it deposits residues more heavily around colder surfaces. If walls are well insulated, windows provide a substantial temperature difference so that air currents may concentrate in that area. This difference in temperature (called a temperature differential) around a window causes a heavier deposit of tar and smoke residue on the back of draperies than on the front. Closets receive surprising concentrations of residue because they are cooler than the room interiors. 

Two more factors of smoke behavior deal with smoke leaving residues as it moves through a building—arrangement of building space and ionization (magnetism).  As smoke travels from the source, it flows around building obstructions with the air current that carries it. Each obstruction tends to pick up smoke residues from the air as it passes by, acting as a filter. The farther smoke travels from its source, the fewer residues it contains as they are filtered out by contacting building obstructions. 

Smoke follows airflow patterns through a building, spreading residues within the structure. Convection currents often follow the direction of heating mains and tubing in homes where hot water heating is installed. Smoke flows upward through openings cut for water pipes. Convection currents continue upward behind radiators resulting in heavier deposits on walls immediately above these units. 

Some areas in a building receive more smoke residues than other areas due to the airflow pattern through the building. The cavity above a suspended ceiling may also serve as an air return and have heavier smoke deposits than the finished ceiling beneath. This cavity can also spread residues to a wider area of the building. Since air tends to flow in smooth curves, it bypasses sharp angles and shallow cavities. Corners formed by the junctions of ceilings and walls receive less smoke than adjacent areas. 

Smoke can work its way around some obstructions. Rooms that were closed off may have surprising concentrations of residue. Remember: Closed doors cannot stop smoke! You may notice heavy residue concentrations under or around closed doors, around cracks, and around the edges of carpets. As smoke flows around and through cracks, it deposits heavier residue concentrations. Generally, smoke concentrations will be present on the far side of door openings and ceilings immediately above them. Also, drawer interiors and other seemingly inaccessible areas can attract smoke. 

Some areas of a building’s space actually provide shortcuts that carry smoke to areas that otherwise might have received little or no residue. For example, air currents may flow within the HVAC ductwork even if the blower is not operating. If forced air heat or air conditioning is operating, air returns, registers, and walls and ceilings near them will show a greater concentration of residue. 

Generally, smoke residues are less concentrated in building areas farther from the source of the fire. The longer a fire continues, however, the more evenly distributed smoke will become throughout the structure. As long as the fire continues to heat the air, circulation patterns are created by hot air rising and cool air falls. All the air in a building will eventually become involved in this circulation, even air in basements and lower levels. 

Ionization refers to smoke particles (especially those from burning plastics) that become electrically charged. Since opposite electrical charges attract, smoke residues with strong charges may be attracted to surfaces with the opposite electrical charge. 

This charge is present in many synthetic fibers and plastics in general. A synthetic lampshade will frequently attract noticeable concentrations of residue, while a silk or paper shade sitting next to it remains unaffected. A plastic dry-cleaning bag covering clothes also attracts more residues than an unprotected cotton dress hanging beside it. 

Due to ionization, you may see smoke webs on surfaces in a structure. Residues (such as from burning plastics or the soot from some furnace disorders) may form long chains of ionized smoke particles that assemble in corners or at junctions of walls and ceilings. Smoke webs look exactly like cobwebs, but homeowners are happy to learn they are actually smoke webs. 

Ionized smoke particles cluster on metal surfaces just as metal filings cluster on a magnet. Through magnetism, charged smoke particles are attracted to metal surfaces such as plumbing pipes and coat hangers. Nail heads that are invisible beneath drywall become clearly outlined by smoke because their magnetic attraction remains effective despite the covering of paint and plaster. This is often referred to as nail pops, but the statement is misleading since the nails are still in place; it just looks like they have come to the surface. 

These are just some fire damage facts that you should be aware of if you ever encounter this problem.  Always ask your restoration contract questions and keep asking them till you feel comfortable with them.  Remember it is your decision who you use to restore your home and no one else they can only make suggestions.  

Please take a look at our website for more information. 

Fire Damage Contents Monmouth County, NJ

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

Fire in Monmouth County, NJ

Hopefully none of us will ever have to encounter a situation where we will need to see a first responder coming to our aide.  Unfortunately accidents happen and on a fire we want to see those firefighters blazing down the street to come and save one of our loved ones (god forbid) or lifelong cherished belongings.  After the firefighters have gone your standing there wondering what’s next.  You might be thinking about the family photos or the blanket your great grandmother knitted for you as a baby.  That’s where SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls comes in and can help you with the question, what’s next?  Sometimes our belongings become damaged even though the firefighters made it on time.  Just because the items are damaged doesn’t mean they are unsalvageable.  As a restoration company we here at SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls can restore your lifelong belongings back to conditions like the fire damage never even happened depending on how severe the damage is.  We take pride in bringing homeowners belongings back to them restored because it brings a smile to their face even though they have been through one of the toughest times of their life.   

In doing the restoration sometimes the cleaning can be done right on site or if the damage is too severe then we can bring the belongings back to our warehouse and restore them there.  We work on the homeowner’s time table, so if your house is being restored we can store your belongings till the restoration is complete (that’s one less thing you have to worry about).  We work directly with your homeowners insurance to provide a seamless process.  Once your home is complete we will return your items and put them back into place where they were before the fire.  Each step of the way we treat our customers as if they were our family.  If this happened to one of our family member we would want them treated in the same manner as we treat our customers.  If there is ever damage done to your home we are here to help you in every way possible.  SERVPRO of Marlboro/Tinton Falls services all areas of Monmouth County, NJ.