Air System Fire Damage in Fort Myers
SERVPRO's Four Main Assessment Questions Help Technicians Determine an Effective Remediation Plan
With all of the problems homeowners have right now with cleanup and recovery, the last thing anyone in Fort Myers wants to deal with is a fire. Unfortunately, this is precisely when many fires happen because residents are busy with other issues and perhaps get a bit careless when it comes to prevention.
Most Fort Myers residential fire damage is the result of smoke and soot, not heat or open flames. It is better for the homeowner since it is easier for SERVPRO to clean these effects than to remove and replace damaged personal and structural property; it is cheaper as well.
One of the first structural property items we isolate and check is the air conditioning system, aka the HVAC. It is simple for our technicians to seal off the vents and shut down power. It isolates possible contamination and also helps to prevent accidentally spreading residues to unaffected parts of the residence. Once sealed off, we run down a checklist with the owner and perform a visual inspection to determine the possibility of damage and its extent.
First, was the air system in operation at the time of the fire? If it was, then the chance of smoke getting into the vents is certain. It also makes it more likely the residues spread through many of the ducts and probably into other areas of the house.
Was the fire origin point close to the air vents or a furnace unit? If the vents were only a few feet away from the start of the fire, then we can be confident that smoke got in even if the air or heat was turned off at the time.
How long did the fire burn or smolder before the sprinklers or fire department stopped it? A long burning fire creates air pressure that can force smoke into the vents even if the system was not on at the time.
Did smoke get into the returns or the supply side of the air conditioner itself? We only know this for certain by looking inside. If the residue extends past a flashlight beam, then we may need to insert a camera or decide just to clean all the vents.
These four questions help SERVPRO inspectors determine not just the extent of the fire damage, but also the type of residue. A longer burning fire may leave more residue, but if the fire itself burned hotter, then it is not as sticky and easier to clean.
Understanding all of this helps our SERVPRO of N. Ft. Myers / Punta Gorda office create a cleanup plan tailored to your home. If you have recently had a fire or are just getting to this part of the cleanup, call us today at (941) 575-5910 with any questions or to schedule an inspection.
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