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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Can Dishes Get Reused After Being in a Fire?

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

green SERVPRO box truck parked at house SERVPRO fire and smoke damage technicians arrive swiftly to mitigate damage to personal contents and treasures of our Dallas customers.

SERVPRO technicians have the training and cleaning methods to restore all types of Dallas home contents

When it comes to cleaning up after a fire in a Dallas home, a much-loved dishes set can be something a homeowner has their heart set on using again. There are some factors to consider before the dinnerware can get reused, such as:

  • If the dishware absorbed heat, it could contain fine cracks that may not be visible before cleaning, so there is no way to predict the outcome until the piece gets cleaned
  • Dishes covered in greasy, wet smoke residues have a great possibility of stress cracks due to the high heat of this type of fire
  • Crystal and china are delicate and get gentle cleaning by hand as the acidic nature of the soot can etch the surface
  • Off-site ultrasonic immersion cleaning

How is Salt Cleansing Used in Fire Damage Cleanup?

There are decorative items in Dallas homes that need specific applications during fire damage cleanup, but the item cannot withstand typical cleaning methods. One good example is in the handling of dry flower arrangements. While agitation is a great way to clean the soot off many articles in a home, delicate items require a little finesse. SERVPRO techs use a few different approaches to restore dried flower arrangements as follows:

  • Smoke particles can get removed through the use of canned (compressed) air or a soft brush
  • Wet solutions never get applied to any part of the process
  • Adding small portions of the arrangement to a large amount of table salt in a plastic bag and repeatedly tipping the bag to pour the salt over the flowers can work to remove any remaining residues

Cleaning Carpet and Area Rugs Takes Detailed Attention

After SERVPRO techs inspect carpet and area rugs present during the fire, they determine if there is heat damage on the carpet or rug. In instances where the floor covering has construction materials containing synthetic fibers, they can melt or turn hard and ruin the prospects for restoration. If no charring or heat damage gets found during the inspection, the techs move on to the next step:

  • The fibers get tested to determine that materials that compose them
  • Technicians chose the best method for cleaning away the smoke damage
  • Area rugs may get removed for in-facility cleaning
  • SERVPRO techs have access to an array of carpet cleaning products and stain removers
  • Generally, vacuuming is the first step

Window Treatments are another common item in most homes that get affected by a fire. Much like carpet and area rugs, one of the most significant factors that affect the item's overall restorability is the construction materials and if it has heat damage. Other factors to consider are:

  • The condition of the draperies, such as loose seams and other wear
  • How bad the smoke residues are in the fabric
  • Presence of water stains
  • If there is backing on the drapery fabric

SERVPRO technicians handle draperies by testing the fibers to determine if they have a propensity to bleed or shrink. Often, either dry cleaning or cleaning through the use of hot water extraction methods get used.

Blinds of all types are also a common element in many homes. If the blinds do not have a fabric covering, they often respond well to immersion in ultrasonic cleaning units to power off the smoke residues. Techs can also put them on a padded surface and hand-clean.

Bibliophiles are people who love books, and seeing their book collection with a coating of soot can be anxiety-inducing. SERVPRO technicians have multiple methods to assist in the restoration of books. Every case is unique, and it depends on the amount of smoke, water, and heat exposure. The book has undergone, with books in the upper part of the room, usually getting the worst damage. Other considerations include if the paper used to print the book was coated or uncoated as the uncoated paper absorbs soot particles. In contrast, the glossy surface of a coated page resists the smoke. The downside is the coating can fuse pages together after contact with water or extreme heat. In the case of valuable books, SERVPRO can arrange for a local professional to inspect and recommend how to proceed for restoration outside the scope of the fire cleanup.

Odor control methods are the final step in the restoration process to get the house prepared for any needed repairs and reconstruction to bring the home back to the way it was before the fire.

SERVPRO of Northwest Dallas at (214) 361-7887 when your property and contents need expert fire damage cleanup. The trained technicians have comprehensive experience in removing post-fire damages so they can make it, "Like it never even happened."

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