Understanding Professional Fire Damage Restoration Process

The destructive nature of fire is no secret. It can wreak havoc on any property no matter how much you try to prevent it. While home and commercial properties are usually insured against fire damage, they rely on fire damage restoration companies to bring their buildings back to operation in a short time.

If your home or building ever suffers from fire damage, you might wonder whom you should call for restoration work and why? The answer is a professional fire damage restoration firm. That’s because fast and effective action is essential to minimize damage to your property.

Why Rapid Action Is Essential to Minimize Damage?

Smoke and soot are always present at the building where the fire occurred along with residual water. If you don’t act fast, your building can suffer from significant damage.

Soot can Damage Surfaces

Soot is a direct result of burned material. Depending on what the fire burned, soot could be acidic and it can cause damage to nearly any surface it comes in contact with. Textured and porous surfaces are particularly vulnerable to soot staining. Soot damage is troublesome because the soot remains in the air, discoloring plastic, unburned wood, textiles, and carpeting. This goes on even after the fire has been extinguished. The longer the materials stay exposed to soot, the harder it will be to reverse the discoloration effects. You may have to replace the damaged items.

Mold Infestation

Since moisture remains in the air even after the fire has been extinguished, it can interact with mold spores causing mildew. In darker, damper spaces, mold thrives due to the moisture and produces mildew. Mildew will usually stain absorbent and porous surfaces including clothes, marble, wood, carpeting, and others. Full fire damage restoration includes removal of mold infestation and mildew vegetation. Moreover, moisture that can cause the mold to return is also removed using commercial grade dehumidifiers and air movers.

Air Quality will Degrade

A pungent odor will permeate the air in the home or commercial facility after the fire has been extinguished. This is caused by different individual odors being combined into one. For instance, mildew continues putrefying the air until it’s completely removed from all the surfaces which were affected by it. Quickly getting commercial grade dehumidifies, air movers, and air scrubbers into the affected area can reduce the effort it would take to remove the odors otherwise.

Restoration Work

Even minor restoration work should be left to an Institution of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration or IIRC-certified company. These companies are trained to carry out fire damage restoration work safely and effectively. You might be wondering how professional fire damage restoration works. So, we have discussed some important steps involved in the restoration process.  

  • Inspection and Assessment

Fire damage restoration experts will come to your commercial property or home to determine the extent of the damage. This includes inspection of the property for soot damage, smoke damage, and presence of moisture in the air. Assessment of fire damage to your property is essential for determining how restoration work should commence.

  • Sealing Breaches and Tarping the Roof

Experts will seal comprised windows, walls, and doors to ensure that no one tries to enter your premises. If the roof of your property is damaged, they will tarp it to protect your building from water damage.

  • Water Removal (If Necessary)

Before any restoration work, the fire damage restoration professionals will address water damage (if necessary). They will remove all the standing water and use commercial grade air movers and dehumidifiers to dry the affected building.

  • Soot and Debris Removal

The distinct odor that fire leaves behind is in part attributed to debris and soot. So, debris will be promptly removed to reduce the odor’s intensity. It will help the restoration crew in bringing the building to its original condition.

If there are any burned materials present on the ground, they will all be removed by fire damage restoration professionals. Otherwise, the soot that’s covering them could cause significant damage to the property.

  • Deodorization and Sanitation

The next step in the restoration process is the deodorization of affected furniture and materials and sanitization of all areas affected by water. Odors will be removed using commercial grade equipment to ensure better air quality at your commercial building or home. Smoke odors will be completely eliminated; otherwise, they will keep on reminding you of the sad incident.

  • Repair and Reconstruction Work  

The fire damage restoration professionals will take care of all the repair work. They will repair the structure and restore your property’s interior to its former condition.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you now understand the importance of fast and effective fire damage restoration and how professional fire damage restoration process works.  

If your home or commercial property suffers from fire damage, call Square One. The experts from our professional restoration company will bring your building back to its original condition.

Preventing Fire Damage and Water Damage While on Vacation

You have finally booked a flight to your dream destination and are planning to go on a well-deserved vacation with your loved ones. Vacations are great because they allow people to relax and make memories, but sometimes the joy and excitement of the holidays turn to pain when you return home and discover that your place isn’t how you left it. While you are gone, fire and/or water can wreck your home as these forces of nature don’t take breaks and can cause damage anytime.

To ensure that your vacation doesn’t turn into a bad memory, we will show you some important things you must do before going on holidays to prevent fire damage and water damage while you are away.

Things to do to Prevent Fire Damage

Fire can wreak havoc in minutes. While the firefighters will extinguish the fire while you are gone, the damage will be done by the time they are finished. Therefore, take these precautions before going on a vacation to decrease the probability of your home catching fire.

  • Check the Smoke Alarms

The battery of your smoke alarms may have worn out. If that is the case, it won’t go off when a fire starts. So before you leave for the trip, test all your smoke alarms to see if they are working fine and replace the batteries. You won’t be in the house, but your neighbors might be able to hear the alarms going off and call the firefighters who can extinguish the fire before it turns your home into ashes. It would be a good idea to inform your neighbors that you are going on a vacation so that they can stay alert to respond to fire damage.

  • Unplug all Unnecessary Electronic Equipment

Since you will be away for several days or a couple of weeks, it makes no sense to keep unnecessary electronic items and applications plugged. So before going on a vacation, unplug all unnecessary electronic equipment like TVs, video game systems, microwave, computers, mobile chargers, etc. This will reduce the risk of fire from an electrical malfunction.

Things to do to Prevent Water Damage

Water damage can destroy your home, especially when you are away and can’t do anything to minimize the damage. Therefore, do the things listed below before leaving for a vacation to decrease the risk of water damage.

  • Turn off Water Supply

Turn off the main water supply to reduce the risk of water damage. If you have to leave it on due to some reason like to keep the sprinkler system operation, then consider turning off valves to your bathrooms, laundry room and kitchen. In the unfortunate event that there’s an issue, water won’t flow unrestricted while you are away since you turned off the valves.

  • Clean the Gutters

If your gutters are clogged and it rains, the rainwater wouldn’t drain away from your home. When that happens, water will start accumulating around your home’s founding, leading to water coming inside your home through the foundation walls or basement windows. Therefore, before leaving for a vacation, remove debris and leaves from gutters. If you can’t do it yourself, hire a plumber to clean the gutters for you to ensure that you are protected against water damage from clogged gutters.  

  • Make Sure Your Sump Pump is Working

Sump pumps collect excess water and pump it out of your home’s basement. If you have one installed in your basement, make sure that it is working fine before going on a vacation. To see if your sump pump is working, pour some water into the sump and see it pumps it out. Also, check the battery backup of your sump pump if you have the backup system and consider adding it if you don’t.

  • Get Leaks Fixed

Minor leans often conceal internal corrosion that could result in a rupture any time. So, if you notice any nagging leaks, get them fixed before you leave for your vacation.

Final Thoughts

We have discussed some important things you should for preventing fire and water damage to your home while you are away on vacation. However, despite taking these precautionary measures, your home can still suffer from fire damage or water damage. If that ever happens, call Square One for water damage or fire damage clean-up and restoration. If you find out about the damage while you are still on a vacation, call us at 602-714-1092 and give us your approval to do the clean-up and restoration work while you are away.

Water Damage Remedial Procedure

Water damage due to flooding, sewer back-ups, plumbing leaks, and major spills can occur at a home or commercial building at any time. Water-damaged materials, mechanical components, structural components, and interior furnishing can become a source of bacteria and fungi contamination if they aren’t managed appropriately. Exposure to these harmful contaminants can lead to health problems like environmental sensitivity, allergic responses, irritation, and even infection.

This is why it is so important to start remedial work after water damage as soon as possible. If you haven’t been a victim of water damage yet, you might not know how professionals carry out water damage restoration work. So we are going to provide an overview of the steps involved in it.

Water Damage Restoration

Several variables have to be considered by the restoration team when water damage occurs in a property. However, drying wet things as quickly as possible is the top priority as it helps in limiting damages. Bacteria (microbials) are found in both indoor and outdoor environment and when moisture is present, they will grow. It is, therefore, important to remediate water damage before they can grow. During the water damage remediation process, one of the most important things to consider is the ‘water quality’.

Water Quality

Generally, water quality is divided into three categories – clean water, grey water, and black or unsanitary water.

Clean Water

The category 1 water damage is from sanitary and clean sources like toilet tanks, water lines, faucets, and drinking fountains. Although clean, this water comes with risks. If the cleaned water isn’t cleared and dried quickly, it can degrade into relatively more harmful category 2 water damage.

Grey Water

The category 2 water damage is from sources that contain contaminants that could cause discomfort or illness if ingested. Common sources that can cause this kind of damage include washing machines, dishwashers, and toilet overflow with urine.

Unsanitary or Black Water

The category 3 water damage is from sources that contain dangerously unsanitary contaminants. Black water can cause serious illnesses and even death if ingested. This type of water damage can result from flooding, sewer backups, and toilet overflow with feces.

Water Damage Restoration Process

A water damage restoration process consists of the following steps:

  • Evaluation of Safety Aspects

Before water damage restoration professionals enter the water-damaged area, they will evaluate the safety aspects like structural integrity, the potential for electric shock, exposure to toxic gases, and gas leaks. If the building has been exposed to category 2 or category 3 water damage, restoration professionals will equip themselves with personal protective equipment.

  • Isolating the Damaged Area

The water damage restoration professionals will isolate the damaged area by placing warning signs and barriers. This is done to ensure that intruders don’t find their way into the building while the professionals are doing their job.

  • Locating the Source of Water Damage

The next step is to identify the source of water damage and repair or eliminate it to prevent further damage.

  • Moving Furnishings and Equipment

Water damage restoration experts will move furnishings and equipment (if required) to protect them against further damage. They will also seal exhaust systems and air-handling units.

  • Removing Standing Water

All standing water will be first removed thoroughly by absorption or extraction using wet-vacuums, pumps, etc.

  • Drying Damaged Materials

After the standing water has been removed, the wet, damaged materials will be dried by using heaters, fans, and dehumidifiers. Windows will be opened if outdoor conditions can assist in the process of drying. Air movers will also be used during the restoration work. They are effective at removing the moisture from hard-to-reach areas like below carpets and behind walls. Unpleasant odors will be removed using air scrubbers, fogging machines or hydroxyl filters.

  • Remediate Components

After the moisture has been removed and everything has been properly dried, the water damage restoration professionals will proceed with restoring the damaged components. Minor repairs like replacing drywalls as well as major repairs like reconstruction will be completed.

Final Thoughts

You know now how professional water damage restoration works. Can you imagine doing everything that the professionals do on your own? Obviously not. Call Square One any time your home suffers from water damage.  We understand that a rapid response to limit water damage and cleaning, drying, and removal of wet and contaminated material is critical to minimize the opportunity for microbial growth. This is why we offer 24/7 emergency service and will arrive at your doorstep as soon as possible to start the restoration work. The experts from our professional restoration company will bring your building back to its original condition.

How is Mold Removed?

Mold is an insidious problem for homes and businesses and it can do more damage than people realize. Mold spores often bring about allergies, fungal infections, chronic sinus issues, and asthma attacks. Not only that, but they can also lead to mental health issues like depression and a constant feeling of fatigue.

Mold and mildew grow in damp areas. These microorganisms are present everywhere in the environment, but when the mold problem exacerbates, it can cause health problems and damage your home and the belongings in it. This is why it is so important to have mold and mildew removed as soon as you discover it.

If you have never faced a mold issue in your home, you might not know how mold is removed. To help you become familiar with the steps involved in mold removal, we are going to explain the complete process of mold removal.

Step #1: Assessment of Mold

If you don’t see mold anywhere, but notice signs that indicate the presence of mold, it makes sense to have your home inspected by a professional mold remediation team.  

When the mold remediation experts reach your home, they will first assess the mold damage. Mold remediation experts have gadgets that they can use to determine if mold is present in your home’s surfaces, walls, and equipment.  

Step #2: Fix the Source

Mold growth is often caused by some source of water. Mold will continue growing even after repeated cleanings as long as there’s a source of moisture. Whether it is a leaky faucet or a persistent condensation, the source of moisture must be identified and properly fixed before the mold is removed. Therefore, mold remediation experts will identify the source of water and fix it.

Step #3: Water Removal

If water is present in your home, the mold remediation experts will remove it before moving to mold removal. They will use industrial grade fans and dehumidifiers to eliminate moisture.

Step #4: Removal of Affected Materials and Contamination

Once the source of moisture has been fixed and water has been removed, the next step is to remove the affected materials that cannot be restored.

In the majority of cases, mold cannot be properly removed from porous materials like carpeting, wood, and drywall. Therefore, these materials must be replaced to eliminate the risk of mold spores affecting your home environment. These kinds of contaminated materials are properly bagged and discarded by mold remediation experts to prevent mold growth in the future.

If the mold contamination is too severe, professionals will isolate the contaminated area to ensure that the mold spores don’t spread to the rest of the premises.   

Step #5: Mold Removal

Next, the mold remediation experts will clean and sanitize the non-porous fabric, clothing, furniture and other items to remove all mold spores. They may also use air filtration equipment for limiting mold spores in the environment. After that, the affected materials and areas will be deodorized.

Step #6: Restoration

The final step in the mold remediation process is restoration. After the professionals have removed the mold, they will restore the affected areas to their original condition. This may include painting walls, hanging new drywall, and/or installing new tiles.

Should You Remove the Mold Yourself?

Although DIY mold removal is possible in some cases, we usually advise against it.  The reason is that if mold isn’t properly removed, it can spread sending out millions of airborne mold spores. These spores will worsen the problem. Moreover, if you don’t wear proper safety equipment and breathe in mold spores, your health would be in danger.

Professional mold remediation experts know how to contain the mold to ensure that it doesn’t spread. Moreover, they wear proper protective equipment so that the mold doesn’t come in contact with their body, causing health issues.

Generally, you could consider a DIY approach for mold that has grown in the tub, glass, sink or tile. However, if the mold spores have affected a surface that isn’t easy to clean, a rational decision would be to hire a certified Mold Remediation company like Square One. If you have health issues that can worsen with a mold removal effort, don’t try to remove the mold from even the easy to clean surfaces. Give us a call and we’ll take care of your mold issue.

Final Thoughts

We have explained the professional mold removal process and showed you exactly how mold remediation experts eliminate the mold. Now if you ever experience a mold issue in your home or business, reach out to us and we’ll come to your place to eliminate the mold.

Why Mold Grows and How to Prevent It?

Everyone loves their home and wants to protect it against all kinds of damage. Houses are exposed to a variety of damage including fire damage, smoke damage, flood damage, and mold damage. Among these damage types, the most preventable is mold damage. Despite this, many homeowners become victim to it.

To help you keep your home safe from mold damage, we are going to talk about why mold grows and what you can do to prevent it.  

Why Mold Grows?

Mold exists everywhere around us. It’s a type of fungus that’s present in the air and is a component of dust. Generally mold doesn’t present a health risk, however, when it is allowed to grow, it can create problems for you.

Mold growth commonly occurs after water damage or flood damage. Usually, mold grows in the form of thread-like structures and it may appear green, grey, blue, or even black.

Most home materials are made up of organic matter where mold can thrive. Drywall, wood, carpeting, cardboard, insulation, paneling, ceiling tiles, upholstery, fabric, lint, dirt, and paint can all provide the nutrients to encourage the growth of mold when moisture is present. When these items get wet, mold will start spreading rapidly. In order to prevent mold, it should be ensured that no moisture accumulates anywhere in your home.

Preventing Mold Growth

Here are some things you can do to prevent mold growth in your premises.

  • Identify the Source of Moisture and Fix it

Stay on the lookout for condensation, standing water, and damp spots. If you notice them, identify the source of moisture and fix it immediately. If can’t fix the source of the moisture yourself, hire a plumber to do the job for you.

  • Use Exhaust Fans

In bathrooms and kitchens, use exhausts fans to ensure that air is properly vented outside.

  • Avoid Using Humidifiers

If you notice condensation forming on walls, ceiling and/or windows avoid using applications that generate moisture – like humidifiers.

  • Use Dehumidifiers

Consider using dehumidifies in areas of your home that are prone to moisture or when it’s extremely humid outside.

  • Clean and Dry All Affected Areas After Water Damage

If your home suffers from water damage, immediately call a reputable water damage restoration firm to complete the clean-up process and dry all affected areas. Mold can grow if moisture isn’t removed thoroughly and quickly.

Some Common Places Where Mold Generally Grows

You should check the locations listed below at least once a week to ensure that there isn’t any sign of mold growth.

  • Basement

Mold can thrive if there is moisture in your basement. Check for mold around windows and along the foundation. In addition, look near the hot water tank as well as the cooling and heating systems and by laundry facilities. If you spot water stains and/or damp spots, identify what’s causing them and fix the issue before it leads to mold growth.

  • Kitchen

Check the caulk work around the sink and faucet. If they aren’t in good condition, have them fixed. Make sure that the kitchen is properly ventilated. Check for signs of mold growth inside the kitchen cabinets and under the sink.

  • Bathrooms

Check for mold around the bathtub and the toilet. Ensure that the grout and caulk work in the shower or tub are in good condition. If your bathroom isn’t properly ventilated, consider installing an exhaust fan.

What You Should Do If Mold Has Already Grown?

If mold has grown anywhere in your home, you must deal with the problem before it gets worse. The main reason behind mold growth is moisture; so, identify the source of this moisture first and then fix it. Then use dehumidifiers and fans to dry out the area. If mold grows on a hard surface, clean it with bleach and water. If mold has taken refuge on porous materials, throw them away as they’ll continue harboring mold spores even after you clean them.

Although you may be able to treat the surface mold yourself, you will likely not be able to remove mold permanently. Even after you have cleaned the surface with bleach, mold may continue to lurk behind drywall or wallpaper, underneath carpeting or flooring, or in the ceiling and walls.

Therefore instead of trying to remove the mold yourself, consider calling the mold remediation experts at Square One. Our mold remediation team knows how to remove the mold and contain it so that it doesn’t spread and degrade the air quality. They will remove the mold and disinfect the surfaces to prevent mold growth in the future. Call us today at 602-714-1092 if you want us to remove mold from your home and fix the damage that it may have caused.

Cleaning and Restoring Your Home After Damage

Our homes are vulnerable to many types of damage and each type poses unique challenges in terms of cleaning and sanitizing. It’s not as simple as picking up a broom and a mop to clean your home. After water damage, fire damage or other similar kinds of damage, commercial-grade equipment is required to handle the clean-up.

Since it’s unlikely that you have this equipment on hand, you should never take on the job of cleaning and restoring your home after water damage, fire damage, mold damage or any other type of catastrophic damage. Instead, you should hire a professional home restoration company to clean, sanitize, and restore your home after damage. Home restoration specialists have an arsenal of tools that they can use to clean and restore your home after different types of damage.

You might be wondering how home restoration specialists can clean and restore your home after damage. So we are going to discuss how they handle fire damage, water damage, and mold damage.

Water Damage

Water damage is divided into three categories – clean water damage, grey water damage, and black water damage. Water can cause mold if it isn’t dried properly and clean water is no exception. Microbes and minerals live in clean water. Although they aren’t as harmful as those in sewerage water, they must still be handled properly.

If water damage in your home has occurred due to clean water, home restoration specialists will treat the items contained within the affected area with special solutions to prevent mold growth. All porous items will be thoroughly dried. Specialists may also use a dehumidifier for removing moisture lingering in the air.  

If your home has sustained category 2 or category 3 water damage – grey water damage or black water damage – the cleaning crew will take on a more proactive approach for cleaning your home and killing the dangerous bacteria without exposing themselves to the microorganism in the dirty water. They may wear full-body decontamination suits to protect themselves from harm.

Strong antibacterial agents will be used to disinfect nonporous items and surfaces. Some porous items may not be salvageable so the restoration specialists will dispose of them properly.

Fire Damage

Fire leaves behind potentially harmful ashes, contaminated air, and lingering smells. After fire damage, you will need more than just surface cleaning to remove the soot and lingering odor from the air. Cleaning and restoring the home after fire damage is an extremely difficult task and should only be left to professionals from home restoration services. They possess the equipment required to improve your home’s air quality after fire damage.

After fire damage, upholstered furniture and salvageable linens will be properly dried and deodorized to remove the smoke’s smell. Soot and ashes will be thoroughly removed and vacuumed from each and every corner of the home. They might have accumulated in your home’s central air conditioning system so home restoration specialist will clean all your ducts and replace the filters to ensure that you breathe in clean air and stay safe from harm.

Mold Damage

Mold can cause respiratory issues and it can prove to be fatal to people who suffer from allergies or have compromised immune systems. Therefore, it is imperative to have the mold removed as soon as you discover it.

Mold growth should never be approached without proper protective gear. If the skin is exposed to mold, it can cause health problems. Moreover, the cleaning process should be handled carefully as mold spores can spread in the air if not contained properly, causing more damage. This is why mold clean-up should only be left to professionals.

Mold remediation experts wear protective equipment to ensure that the mold spores don’t cause them harm. Moreover, they know how to contain the mold so that it doesn’t spread. If the damage isn’t extensive, nonporous items and surfaces may be properly treated. However, if they are beyond restoration, mold remediation experts will dispose of them. Sometimes patches of floors or walls will have to be replaced.

In the mold remediation process, the experts will first identify the source of moisture that may have been causing mold growth and fix it. They will then remove the water present in your home if any. The next step they will take is the removal of affected materials. After that, mold remediation experts will clean and sanitize the affected materials to remove all mold spores. They will finish up with restoring the affected areas to their original condition.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning, sanitizing, and restoring your home after any kind of damage is a difficult process. You might not have access to commercial grade equipment and proper cleaning and deodorizing products to complete the clean-up and restoration job. This is why it is best to leave the clean-up and restoration of your home after water damage, fire damage or mold damage to experts like Square One.

Fire Damage Restoration Process

No matter how big or small the damage is, attributed by fire, it can be very devastating to its owner. The effects of fire do not just end after extinguishing the fire itself. There’s more to do. Actually, there are numerous things to do, cleaning, salvaging contents and restoring the property. Thus, seeking professional help is highly advised.

Doing the cleanup process yourself can be very challenging as it requires a lot of effort, time and knowledge. DIYing is not applicable as a fire cleanup can be very dangerous. Immediate response is critical in this kind of situation to avoid more serious and severe damage to your property and even to you and to your whole family. Restoration companies have all the means required in helping owners do the cleaning and restoring the property.

Moreover, safety is on top of their list. They make sure that your home is perfectly out of danger to live in.


Advanced Tools and Equipment

Fire damage restoration companies are fully equipped with all the tools and equipment they need in doing the job. Mitigating the damage vary depending on how much the effect is in an area or how severe the damage is. Thus, proper equipment is important for each step of the process.

Expertise and Knowledge

Professional technicians have enough knowledge in doing the job correctly and quickly. They are trained and educated before they could handle the situation. They know what they are doing and are careful in avoiding further damage. They understand how fire damages the property and have a list of guidelines that they follow throughout the process.

Cost Effective

You can’t really be confident with the work of non-professional restoration team. They might leave your property with some invisible effects such as discoloration, odor or some electrical damage. That could lead you to hiring another set of restoration team.

Let the professionals do all the necessary actions. Make sure to hire a fire damage restoration team that is IICR certified. Our company has sufficient equipment and tools and experienced people who can handle minor to major kind of disaster. Avoid doing DIY. Better contact our team right away.


Fire Damage Inspection

The first thing we have to do after receiving your call is giving a thorough inspection of the area. This is to assess the extent of the damage and to figure out the cause of the fire. Detailed inspection of the area is really important as Square One professionals will base their action plan to what they have seen and documented. Our team will then give the owner the estimated cost and period of the restoration process.

Immediate Property Security

To some extent, fire damage involves damaging the structure of the walls and roof. Thus, this could lead to further damage or what they call secondary damage. During this time, our team will board-up damaged doors, windows, and damaged outer walls. This part of the restoration process secures the physical safety of your property.

 Water Removal and Drying

Water left in the property is normally caused by extinguishing fire. Water set in the property could lead to further damage such as penetrating the infrastructure of the building and furniture or other belongings.

Our expert technicians will then need to remove any excess water and dry out the whole area to abstain mold from growing.

Smoke & Soot Removal

The next step we have here is removing smoke and soot residue. Smoke and soot can be harmful to health and could cause further damage to the property if not taken care immediately.

Our professionals will use specialized equipment and state-of-the-art techniques making sure that we carefully clean, sanitize and remove any residues in the affected area.

Complete Property Restoration

The last stage is about repairing and restoring. This stage usually includes repainting the walls and ceilings, replacing wallpaper or tiles, repairing broken furniture and so much more, like a total renovation.

Our team will make sure that we bring back your property to its original condition or even in better shape.

Square One Company is and will always be here to provide excellent and quality restoration services.