Soot and Fire Extinguisher Damage
This photo shows the damage that not only a fire can do, but also the damage that a fire extinguisher can do. Even if someone used a fire extinguisher and contained or put out a fire, there can still be a strong odor and chemicals that need to be removed from the building/home.
The chemicals from a fire extinguisher can coat a room quickly and leave a thick dust behind. Normally this extinguisher dusting comes along with a coat of soot. Even if a fire has been small and quickly put out, the smell and chemicals left behind should be properly cleaned out of the space. You can see in the photo how apparent the soot and extinguisher's affects are. This is just one corner of the room, but this entire living room was impacted.
Preparing Your Vehicle for the Winter Weather
Preparing for extreme cold weather is not only important for your home but also your car. Your vehicle functions in rain, snow, ice, hail, salted roads, and freezing temperatures. It is important to make sure your vehicle is properly equipped to handle all of the winter weather elements.
Before the winter weather has begun, you should have your car checked by a mechanic for antifreeze, brakes, tires, windshield wipers, heater, defroster, etc. While using your car throughout the winter, it is best to keep your gas tank at least half full. Salting and sanding your driveway or road is helpful for minimizing ice and increasing traction.
An emergency kit for your car is essential when preparing for the winter's extreme weather. Your vehicles emergency kit should include the following:
- Jumper Cables
- Ice Scraper
- Flares or reflective triangle
- Car cellphone charger
- Sand for better traction
- Extra Blanket
What To Do After a Storm
- Make contact with family and friends in the affected area and let those that you know outside of the affected area that you are safe.
- Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe. Attempting to re-enter the area can be dangerous and it is important to wait until the area has been cleared as safe by officials.
- Avoid areas with debris and downed power lines.
- Avoid flood waters, whether on foot or in vehicle. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock a person down, and one foot of fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- Take note of any damage to your belongings or to your property
- Photograph any damage to your belongings/property for insurance purposes
- Tarp or board up damaged roofs and windows to prevent further damage. Your insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm has passed.
It is important to know what you and your family's plan will be in the case of a flood or any other emergency. Familiarizing yourself with your local emergency contacts and community emergency plans may not feel like a pressing matter, but in the case of a flood/emergency it is valuable knowledge. It is important that all family members are aware of their address, family phone numbers, important medical information, and even email addresses. Other important information to remind family members of includes:
- Emergency hotlines
- School/work phone numbers & addresses
- Childcare phone numbers & addresses
- Personal emergency contacts & addresses
- Indoor meeting places
- Neighborhood meeting places
- Out-of-Neighborhood meeting places
It is also important to have easy access to contact information of:
- Poison Control
- Medical Insurance
- Policy #
House Fire Before the Holidays
Recently our SERVPRO technicians were called out to a property after a large fire. Along with the home owners, our team surveyed the house and the damage to what was left. In this photo, our technicians stand inside the home with the front yard totally visible through the burnt walls. The home was considered a total loss and there was not much left within the property for our team to clean or assist with. As SERVPRO of Brandywine/Wilmington, we did our best to lend a helping hand to the family in any way that we could especially since this trauma occurred right before the holidays. We assisted them in their move to a temporary living space and checked in with them often to make sure they were okay.
Spreading the Holiday Spirit in the Snow
Our SERVPRO team huddling around the bonfire during our Christmas party
SERVPRO's 2017 Christmas party was a hit! The colder weather brings on a busy amount of business for our SERVPRO team. With such hectic and long hours, we were happy to be able to find the time to fit in a great Christmas party this year. Our holiday party just happened to be thrown on our first big snow storm of the winter.
Here is a photo captured early on in this snow storm and in the Christmas party. Such stormy weather ended up being the perfect opportunity for a bonfire, a few snow ball fights, and some holiday fun! Earlier that day we had delivered cookies and pretzels to a few offices around the Brandywine/Wilmington area. We are happy to spread the holiday spirit and what better way than in the snow!
House Fire- Before Board Up
Fire/Soot Damaged Room
This picture was taken right before our SERVPRO team cleaned out and boarded up this house. As you can see, there was a major house fire here that affected almost every single room with either fire or soot damage. The fire originated in the kitchen and spread into the dining room, living room, and then to the bedrooms. Luckily, even with the large size of the fire, the structure remained intact and our technicians were able to save and clean some of the contents. Once our team was sure the structure was secure, they started on the demo of the home, removing all soot and fire damaged sections. After the home was rebuilt and brought back to livable conditions, SERVPRO moved the family's cleaned contents back in for them.
SERVPRO Starts Up Wrestling Season!
Mold Growth Below Wrestling Mats
This year, one of our local school was gearing up for the wrestling season when they came across a problem. When pulling up their wrestling mats for cleaning before they would be put in place for the season, they found some mold growth in various spots and a lot of moisture. When our SERVPRO technicians assessed the mats and the conditions of the floors below them, they found many patches of moisture and mold growth. The mats had to be taken up and cleaned separately while they removed the mold. We mitigated the mold and dried the floor and the mats before they were put back in their place. Now that SERVPRO has taken care of it, the school is ready to start their wrestling season training.
Getting Ready for the School Year
SERVPRO working in the schools
SERVPRO was able to help three schools get ready for the school year after a major storm all at once. Schools were closed for the summer time and they wanted them back up in tip top shape so that everyone would be starting the school year in clean healthy conditions. Some of the schools had little time and strict constraints in order to obtain the desired results! It was quite a time crunch but our SERVPRO technicians came to the rescue and the challenge was met! These three schools opened on time and with a staff that was extremely pleased with our team. We felt a strong sense of responsibility to not only the school, but the students and administration who would be spending the school year in those buildings.
Water in the Crawl Space
Fans in the Crawl Space
There are plenty of places in a home or building that are hard to maintain. One of the most common places that homeowners struggle managing is their crawl space.
Crawl Spaces are dark, damp, hard to move around in, and often dirty. Unfortunately, these conditions can make it hard to detect water damage or mold growth. A common call we get, here at SERVPRO of Brandywine/Wilmington, is that there is a funky odor in the house and the source is unidentifiable. Our technicians can often find the source of the odor in the crawl space due to the wet conditions that have lasted over time. Once the crawl space is identified as the source of the odor or water damage, we bring our big fans down into the close quarters to dry it out.