Wind Damage

A tree fell on my home or business. What do I do?

First, call Aztec to get emergency services started and a crew heading your way. Second, prevent further damage by making emergency repairs that are in your comfort zone. (Save all receipts). Third, call your insurance agent as soon as possible, so an adjuster can visit your property to inspect the extent of damages. Fourth, take notes and take pictures if you can. The evidence will help if a dispute arises between you and the insurance company. Finally, don’t throw out any damaged property before your insurance adjuster can look at it.

Will my insurance policy automatically cover the damage?
Generally, damage from wind and falling trees are covered. So is the cost of removal of trees that have fallen on a building. The damaged property inside your home or business is also covered.

What if I cannot live at home because of storm damage?
Under most policies, your hotel and storage policies will be covered. So are extra food and furniture rental costs. Save your receipts.

 

What if the tree belonged to my neighbor?
Call your insurance company anyway. Your neighbor is responsible for the damage only if he was somehow negligent and the tree was rotten. The neighbor should call his or her company as well, but that company is not necessarily obligated to pay up.

Wind damages can occur any time of the year.
From a down fence to missing shingles and the large tree branch into your structure. These are all typical wind-related losses that need immediate attention to prevent and mitigate any further substantial damages to your property. If you are unsure what to do, just give us a call and ask for help, our project managers are knowledgeable and will be able to direct you in the right path in saving and salvaging your structure from further damages.

 

Fire Damage Prevention

Fire Season Preparation – save time, money and peace of mind…

Nobody wants to think about “life after fire”, but if/when it does happen people are always forced to live out the aftermath. Losing everything is disheartening to say the least but imagine trying to explain your losses to an insurance agency that views your claim as just another pay out. To minimize guess work on behalf of your insurance company and allow you the confidence when submitting your claim…

Scott Says, “Take video inventory of everything you own of any value at all.”

On a yearly basis a video (I like the week after Christmas) inventory of your personal property with a digital cam recorder, this will provide rock solid evidence for your insurance company in the event of a loss. This video catalog system will help enable you and your adjuster in processing your claim more efficiently and effectively. Remember to store your video media file in a fire proof safe or an offsite safe deposit box. Try to save receipts of your personal property items along with this documentation.

Summer is here; is getting ready for fire season part of you summer list?  Resources can be found at Cal Fire website 

BEING READY—WILDFIRE PREPAREDNESSBeing Ready for wildfire starts with maintaining an adequate defensible space and by hardening your home by using fire resistant building materials. Defensible space is the buffer you create by removing dead plants, grass and weeds. This buffer helps to keep the fire away from your home. Hardening your home means using construction materials that can help your home withstand flying embers finding weak spots in the construction, which can result in your house catching fire. It takes the combination of both Defensible space and the hardening of your home to really give your house the best chance of surviving a wildfire.”

 

 

 

Remodels

Aztec is dedicated to being your full-service general contractor of choice for the multi-family housing industry and all commercial needs, including tenant improvement and open bid work. Our restoration services goes well beyond just repairing damages from disaster-related occurrences. We can also assist with any capital improvement project, big or small, ranging from common maintenance issues and safety hazards to complete renovations and updates to the property.

Our goal is to do everything we can to expedite the process and get you back to in home or business as quickly and safely as possible

 

 

Maybe you are ready to add some closet space to the master bedroom retreat.

What does your dream closet mean to you?  Maybe it’s the perfect sanctuary where you start your day.  Or it’s a retreat at the end of the day to unwind and let go of the stress of the day.

Making that dream space into a reality is what we do best.  Need more room to showcase your treasures?  Maybe a chandelier to provide the perfect lighting? Or maybe you just need someone to help you organize the chaos, so you can find what you need.  Aztec will create the perfect space – just for you!

Spoil yourself!

Take charge!  Take advantage of a lonely wall in the spare bedroom and gain your dream closet!

 

 

 

Or is it time to add or renovate a bathroom?

What would the ideal bathroom look like? A space that is all your own, where only calm and serenity reign? Aztec will create the perfect space – just for you!

 

The kitchen is the center of your home.

Where everyone gathers to start their days and to check-in when you get home.  Our kitchens set the stages for family gatherings, celebrations, heated

discussions, and to pass down to new generations family traditions and recipes. It’s where you prepare your meals and it’s where all of your parties gather. Is it any wonder that kitchen remodels are so popular and have the largest payoff in terms of boosting a home’s resale value?

The first step in determining kitchen renovation estimates is considering your kitchen as a whole. Before you get to the smaller questions, such as whether to reface your cabinets or replace them, ask yourself the big questions. What do you want from your kitchen? How do you want it to look and function? Is the size and configuration right?

You dream it, we will built it. 

Call us today: 530-275-3327

Reconstruction and Repairs

Aztec Construction & Restoration offers expert property restoration services and professional quality reconstruction for all types of insurance losses. Whether you’re in need of our services to repair damage caused by natural disasters, structural fires, water, or mold, we’re here to help. On call, on time and on budget, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is standard operating procedures here at Aztec.

  1. Fire, smoke and water reconstruction for residential and commercial properties
  2. Emergency services available 24 hours a day 365 days a year
  3. Personalized customer service with in-house project management and production staff
  4. Full-service drafting and design services available
  5. Software generated detailed estimates completed by skilled and experienced estimating staff
  6. Coordination for water, smoke, and fire restoration to mitigate damages. Simply, at Aztec, we pride ourselves in good old fashion customer service. We are a quality service construction company that thrives on pleasing our clients, our goal is to exceed your expectations

  

Pre-construction Process:

  1. Conceptual Estimate
  2. Construction Documents
  3. Site Evaluation
  4. Design Development Consultation
  5. Cost Estimating
  6. Purchasing
  7. Construction Management Plan
  8. Design Assist with Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing

 

Water Damage

Water damage cleanup or water restoration is so advanced that they have developed a word for the process and science of drying:

Psychometry: the science and practice associated with atmospheric air mixtures and water vapor, their evaluation, control, and effect on materials.

Simply stated, the most efficient drying is accomplished when the restoration technician understands the scientific relationship between open and closed drying systems, natural versus mechanical dehumidification, and, most importantly, the relationship of temperature, humidity, and airflow.

An experienced water technician will utilize the practices of balanced drying – the balance of evaporation and dehumidification. By maximizing the use of airflow, temperature, and dehumidification, faster drying is maximized. If one, two or all three of the properties is misused or over depended upon, damage can occur, increasing microbial growth and increasing the drying time.

Structural Drying & Dehumidification
When a property has undergone extensive water damage, structural drying and dehumidification are required to eradicate water accumulation and future damage that can occur as a result. Aztec Construction & Restoration uses dehumidifiers, thermal drying systems and other leading-edge technologies to remove moisture from the air, while air movers are used for wicking away moisture and drying building materials. Thermal Imaging Cameras are also used, allowing us to see hidden pockets of moisture in the structure to be dried out, thus preventing the growth of harmful fungus such as mold.

Water & Sewage Extraction
Water is the number one cause of damage to properties. It can result from pipe failure or natural disasters such as hurricanes or numerous other manmade or natural events. While water damage from a broken pipe is commonly covered in a conventional insurance policy and national flood insurance covers water from natural disaster, few realize that their coverage isn’t adequate for many other causes of flooding—causes that often go overlooked by property and homeowners, such as water run-off or sewage backups.

There are 3 categories of Water Loss: Clean Water, Grey Water, and Black Water

   

Clean Water – is generally the result of a broken water line, appliance water line, sink or tub overflow, broken toilet tank, rainwater, etc. Called Clean Water because the source is likely not a source of contaminants. While passing through a property, Clean Water can quickly become classified as Grey Water.

Grey Water – may contain contaminants or bio-pollutants such as bacteria, fungi, and algae, and is found to be a result of damage from aquariums, appliance waste lines, waterbeds, toilet bowls, and other such water containers. As with other classifications, a Grey Water situation can quickly become a Black Water classification, as microorganisms that cause illness or breed disease spread.

Black Water – poses the most serious risk of contamination and can be caused by rainwater that has passed over a source that has a negative effect on human health such as oil from a parking lot, pesticides from a yard, raw sewage from a broken waste line, chemicals, etc.

Aztec provides preventative measures as well as structural and content assessment to prevent the further spread of mold. Mold remediation includes evaluation of the affected area (where either mold or moisture are present), the effect on health and safety of occupants, creating a remediation strategy and performing the abatement process. We are committed to providing the utmost care, restoring the property to be declared safe for occupants, as well as the containment and removal of affected materials.

No matter what the source, Aztec Construction & Restoration will assess the risk, measure the extent of damage and determine causation and the classification of water loss to provide the most adequate and safest treatment available to restore your property. Our goal is to mitigate the loss and provide quick, effective and efficient drying procedures to all affected areas. We guarantee results, call us today! Experience the professionalism in handling your disaster.

Water Damage Prevention

Five easy ways to avoid water damage

  • Replace old water heaters. Water heaters do damage when they get too old and the tank rusts and bursts, allowing water to pour into adjacent rooms. On average, water heaters last 10 to 12 years. Don’t wait for them to fail; replace your tank once a decade. Today’s energy-efficient systems will also be cheaper to operate.
  • Switch to stainless steel hoses: Consider replacing standard rubber or plastic hoses with stainless steel-braided or mesh hoses. Worn out hoses with kinks, cracks or bulges need to be replaced immediately.
  • Don’t leave dishwashers and washing machines running if you leave the house. If something breaks while a home owner is away, what could have been a small mop-up job often turns into a thousand-gallon mess best left to professionals.
  • Check attic air conditioners and swamp coolers. When attic systems fail, water damages everything that lies below. At least once a year, go up to the attic or roof to check these appliances before they wear out. Look for wear and tear and loose connections — particularly if the unit is mounted on the roof and exposed to sun and rain.
  • Consider water alarms: Home owners can install water alarms for a quick alert when an appliance isn’t working right. Hooking up the system to an appliance is usually as simple as hooking up a hose to an outdoor faucet.

Emergency tips

If you discover a build-up of water on the floor, find standing water in your home or experience severe, sudden and accidental water damage, take steps to begin ventilating and drying out your home immediately.

Call Aztec Construction & Restoration FIRST 877.529.8320

  • Shut off the water source, if possible. This should be located outside your home near your utility box.
  • Move and manipulate all personal property from the origin of loss and surrounding areas to prevent further damages.
  • Protect your dwelling from further damage with temporary, reasonable and necessary repairs, like plywood or plastic covers over roof or wall openings, depending on the type of loss. (STOP THE DRIP)
  • Move household items to an undamaged area of your home or cover them with plastic. Mop, blot up or wet vac as much water as possible.
  • Don’t leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpeting. Remove oriental or other colored throw rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpeting. Remove the pad from under saturated carpets Place wood blocks or aluminum foil between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture. Open drawers and cabinets to aid in faster drying. Open windows to speed drying.
  • Turn on the air conditioner or fans for maximum drying in hot weather, as long as it’s safe for you to use electricity.
  • Make small holes in sagging ceilings to get rid of trapped water. Be sure to put a pan or bucket below to catch the water before you make a hole. And don’t turn on a ceiling fixture if the ceiling is wet – don’t mix water and electricity!
  • Remove any insulation that is wet and have it replaced with new, dry insulation.
  • If you find or discover MOLD, leave it ALONE and DO NOT TOUCH IT. If possible cover it with plastic and seal all edges to prevent spores from becoming airborne.
  • Finally photograph everything as it happens, documentation will prevail.
  • Once you have all of this in place a call into your insurance agent informing them of this loss. Be prepared to document your claim number as well if you have the name of your adjuster. This information will be helpful during this process.

Wind Damage Prevention

Residential Property Prevention from Wind and Win-Driven Rain

This guide is intended to make the process easier by walking property owners, landlords, property managers and property management companies through the proper steps, beginning with an inspection of the property, followed by the installation of permanent hardware to put up shutters when the weather turns severe and ending with the best way to respond should water get inside the building.

Wind damage can be very extensive and costly. Let Aztec educated you on how to spot potential disasters before they happenDistaster Response Inc. can greatly reduce potential wind damage hot spots to help you save time and money in the future

Maintenance and Preparation:

Windows, Walls and Doors:

  • Check for leaks around your windows and doors, especially near the corners.
  • Check for peeling paint, it can be a sign of water getting into the wood.
  • Inspect for discolorations in paint or caulking, swelling of the window or doorframe or surrounding materials.
  • Flashing, which is typically a thin metal strip found around doors, windows, thresholds, chimneys, and roofs, is designed to prevent water intrusion in spaces where two different building surfaces meet.
  • All vents, including gable vents, roof vents, and exhaust vents should be well anchored to the roof, flashed and sealed to prevent leaks.

Damaged Material:

Check for termite damage in wood materials such as walls, beams, or floors. Any wood exposed to the elements can decay and lead to moisture intrusion and insect infestation.

Exterior Wood Sheathing, Siding and Walls:

  • Replace wood siding and sheathing if it appears to have water damage.
  • Inspect wood-sided walls to ensure there is at least 8 inches between any wood and landscaping materials or dirt.
  • Exterior walls should be kept well painted and sealed.
  • Use a high quality silicone caulk around outside wall openings such as vents, outdoor electrical outlets and locations where cables or pipes go through the wall. Just before a storm, close restroom and any other vents with duct tape (but remove it after a storm and before using the vents.)
  • Check the roof for signs of deterioration or leaks. Make sure all drains and gutters are clear.
  • Shutter and seal gable end vents to prevent wind driven rain from entering attic space.

Landscaping:

  • Landscape features should not include soil or other bedding material mounded up against walls.
  • Keep trees trimmed so that branches are at least 7 feet away from any exterior building surface. This will help prolong the life of your siding and roof and prevent moisture and insects from entering the building.
  • Vines should be kept off all exterior walls, because they can help open cracks in the siding, which allows moisture to enter the building. Inspect and adjust the spray pattern of the irrigation heads to minimize the water sprayed directly onto the building to avoid excessive water near the foundation.

Protecting Windows and Doors in Advance:

Windows:

The highest level of protection normally available for windows is professionally produced shutters that meet the Dade County (Florida) standards for opening protection. These standards require that the product be able to resist the impact of a 9 lb 2×4 traveling at 34 mph without penetration of the shutter, and if installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, the impact should not break the glass behind the shutter. IBHS has created a Shutter Selection Guide to make the process of choosing window protection much easier. With so many new shutter materials on the market, it’s more affordable than ever before.

Doors:

All doors should have three hinges and a dead-bolt lock with a minimum 1-inch bolt throw length. Metal or solid wood doors may withstand hurricane pressures and windborne debris, but if you have double entry doors (French doors), doors with glass or hollow-core doors, you may want to shutter them. For double entry doors, add barrel bolt restraints to the inactive door to help keep them from bursting open during a storm. Make sure the bolts connect through the door header and through the threshold into the subfloor.

Act Quickly if Water Intrusion Occurs:

  • The outside of the building may have survived the storm, but inside water intrusion may have soaked documents, computers and other valuable supplies. Water damage can threaten a business’s ability to quickly bounce back after a storm. In addition to preparing the building against water damage, leaks can find their way in through any opening, it’s important to plan for the worst before it happens. The IBHS suite of Open for Business® continuity planning and recovery tools can get you on the road to preparation. Should your building become damaged by a catastrophic event such as wind-driven rain, take appropriate actions to prevent further water damage once it is safe to do so. Water damage left unattended can result in structural failure or, potentially, mold growth.

Here’s what to do:

  • Immediately contact Aztec Construction & Restoration 877.529.8320
  • Remove standing water and all moist materials, such as wet, damaged flooring or rugs, carpet, personal property, stock, equipment or inventory, and consult Aztec a licensed building professional that can determine the extent of the repairs necessary and work with your insurance company.
  • Board up damaged windows and doors.
  • After you have dealt with the immediate crises and Aztec is in route, contact your insurance agent to report the loss. Photograph everything that is affected by this loss and start your own file for this loss.

Mold Damage

Mold can grow and spread just about anywhere moisture and a food source are present: walls, carpet, floors, insulation, wood; to name a few. Exposure can cause a variety of health problems as well as allergic reactions. To protect the health of occupants, Aztec Construction and Restoration removes and eliminates future mold growth beginning with assessing the way a structure was built, evaluating humidity levels and controls, and recommending and repairing any structural deficiencies.

 

What You Need to Know About Mold

Cleanup and Remediation 
Fact sheets from CDC and EPA on mold cleanup, removal, and remediation.

General Information
Basic facts about molds, exposure, adverse health effects, and prevention.

Related Issues
Information and links on mold-related issues, such as hurricane-related damage.

Resources
Useful documents and FAQs about mold from various federal and state agency resources.

“Was your home flooded? If so, and you were not able to dry your home (including furniture and other items) within 24-48 hours, you should assume you have mold growth. You need to completely dry everything, clean up the mold, and make sure you don’t still have a moisture problem.

You may see or smell mold on clothing, drywall, furniture, cardboard boxes, or books, but it may also be hidden under or behind items like carpet, cushions, or walls.” (https://www.cdc.gov/mold/cleanup-guide.html)

 

      

 

When in doubt, you can always call a professional to check out the problem. We are ready to assist you 24/7. Call Aztec Construction & Restoration: 530-275-3327.

Mold Damage Prevention

The toxic mold environmental risk may be one of the next major real estate “due diligence” concerns, especially in property development areas where major flooding has occurred. The problem is that this not only includes known residential and commercial flood areas incidents, but also numerous minor water releases due to plumbing failures, conductive condensation, house water leaks and accidents. The toxic mold concern could also be a problem where fires occurred at residential properties.

Mold Prevention

The key to mold control is moisture control. It is important to dry all affected water damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. If mold is a problem in your home, contain the mold and get rid of the excess water or moisture. Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water. Wash and clean off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely. Absorbent materials (such as ceiling tiles & carpet) that become moldy may have to be replaced. Remember to always first consultant a professional to identify the problem and provide solutions for your drying process and if needed mold abatement. Here at Aztec Construction & Restoration, we offer FREE estimates and consulting throughout this procedure. 877-529-8320 call us today!

  • Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
  • There is no practical way to eliminate all molds and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
  • If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
  • Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  • Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60% ) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
  • Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  • Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
  • Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  • In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
  • 10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

Stachybotrys Chartarum (atra) is a greenish-black fungus found worldwide that colonizes particularly well in high-cellulose material, such as straw, hay, wet leaves, dry wall, carpet, wall paper, fiber-board, ceiling tiles, thermal insulation, etc. The fungus (mold), before drying, is wet and slightly slimy to touch. There are about 15 species of Stachybotrys, with a worldwide distribution. The toxic mold grows in areas where the relative humidity is above 55%. This type of fungus does not grow on plastic, vinyl, concrete products, or ceramic tiles. It is not found in the green mold on bread or the black mold on the shower tiles.

Fire and Smoke Damage

Understanding the effects of a fire

The following information is provided to help owners evaluate the damage to their home or business caused by smoke and fire damages. Throughout the clean-up and deodorization process, we are able to minimize and mitigate the costly repairs caused by fire loss. Aztec Construction & Restoration will assist and help you understand fire and smoke damage, and the residue and unseen odors that accompany them. We invite you to discuss any information on our site with our restoration professionals. This will ensure your home, business and furnishings are being correctly restored to pre-loss condition, or better. Moreover, by working with our restoration experts you can increase your knowledge base pertaining to your loss.

Our Professional Restoration Company is always conscious of timelines in a fire loss, we understand that just because the fire is out it does not mean the damage has stopped. We know that the longer corrosion control and emergency cleaning are delayed, the greater the costs increase on the loss.

Our team of IICRC certified professionals has the experience and training to work with home and business owners and act on your behalf with the insurance companies. We then coordinate the efforts that will return the structure and contents back to pre-loss condition, or better, by choosing the best avenue in restoration techniques. We specialize in advanced and modern technical cleaning and restoration procedures in smoke and fire restoration.

A fire loss is not just the physical destruction of combustible materials, there are unseen damages that are the side effects of fire and smoke damage. For instance, you did not have a physical fire in your home, but instead, you put a Turkey or some other meat on the slow burner and went out for a while. For some reason, you forgot to turn it off or did not make it back, or some malfunction happened and the meat was burned to a pile of disfigured black coal looking clump, without actually catching anything on fire leaving a foul odor in the air. You air out your house and even spray deodorizers for weeks, and that burnt odor just won’t go away.

Let’s take a look at this type of loss, first, the slow carbonization of most any meat on the stovetop or in an oven is called a “Protein Fire”. They usually reduce the meat into ashes or charred bone, and occasionally destroy the pot or pan it was being cooked in. The protein particles are released into the air and attach to almost any surface, this residue is unseen in most cases, and is sometimes oily to the touch. It will invade cracks in walls attach itself to carpeting, furniture, and any porous surface, not to mention in most cases it will venture into the return vent of the HVAC system. When it gets into the ventilation system, it spreads throughout the entire structure, and as you can see where this is going, it can infect the entire structure with this foul odor.

Cleaning such problems involves special training and equipment, as time will not remove the odor in all cases. Because it involves an oily substance that attaches to almost all surfaces, dirt can be attracted to it, and compound the problem. It is important that the damage is cleaned properly and promptly, by cleaning all affected surfaces and having the HVAC system professionally cleaned. Taking a look at the science of fire, how a fire actually starts, burns, at the microscopic level, helps us understand the fundamental information necessary to understand the fire restoration process.

As we all know fire has been with us since before the beginning of recorded history. Fire causes the transformation of matter into energy, ash and carbon monoxide will result. These physical characteristics of fire cause most of the problems in a loss, due that the transformation of matter causes secondary damage to a structure at the microscopic level. Fire cannot start without some source of ignition. This ignition must provide sufficient heat to maintain the fire process. Almost anything can be the source of this ignition; gas, match, cigarette, electricity, candle, heaters even the sun reflecting through a piece of glass can cause the necessary ignition needed to start and maintain a fire.

These forms of ignition, as well as any form of ignition, cannot result without the correct heat range for the material to catch on fire. For example, a paper will burn at a lower temperature than wood. Almost any material on earth will burn or melt given the right temperature.

Once you have the right temperature for the material in question, you have ignition. This is the beginning of the decomposition process that is caused by the process of fire, also known as “Pyrolysis” (transformation of a substance produced by the action of heat). Pyrolysis is a chemical change -in a material brought about by heat, enough heat the fire results in either flaming combustion or smoldering combustion, that cause by-products of gases which begin to come out or vaporize. The gases will generally be both flammable-combustible (methane, hydrogen) and, or non-flammable (carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, water vapor, etc.). The non-flammable gases venture throughout the structure or general environment, and the flammable gases usually are hot enough to combust as soon as they mix or combine with oxygen in the air showing the actual presence of a flame, or flaming combustion. In addition, the flame cannot be seen in smoldering combustion, but instead, a red-hot glowing is seen on the surface.

When these types of fires get going well they cause smoke and soot, tars or tarry residue, burned gases and heat. Moreover, the heat coming out of the flame and combustion process is hot enough to keep the burning material at or above its decomposition temperature and will continue until it runs out of fuel, or a means to extinguish the flame is attained. Depending on the fuel involved, and the amount involved in a fire, and the heat, will determine the resulting by-products caused by the pyrolysis process. For example, when wood alone burns, the chemical by-products of decomposition are so complex that it is estimated there are over 1000, separate chemical compounds that can be identified from its burning, and this does not include near the materials involved in an average building composition today.

These gasses, smoke and soot, tars or tarry residue, can venture into the HVAC system of a structure. This will cause what is called a “puff-back”, which results in these gasses, smoke, soot, tars or tarry residue to spread through the entire building should the system fan be running during the fire. This will result in the contamination of the HVAC system severely, not to mention other areas of the structure that was not in direct contact or closed off from the fire. In addition, soot can collect on previously unseen spider webs causing “soot webs” or “smoke webs”, which are sometimes seen after a fire, even in rooms on the opposite side of the building where the fire occurred.

With the known characteristics of the air current in a building, we can expect smoke to migrate toward outside walls and windows and consequently deposit residue more heavily there. With insulated walls, the window will provide a substantial temperature difference, and the circulation of currents may concentrate in that area. This is the reason a far heavier deposit of smoke or soot residue may be found on the back or lined portion of the drapery rather than on the surface that faces the room. Now that we have learned how a fire starts, and what happens during the fire, let’s take a look at what happens when the fire is extinguished. There are several ways a fire is extinguished, the best by far is by starving the fire of oxygen, but this is hard to do in a building unless you can afford a Halon fire extinguisher system. I would caution the use of as these systems as they will deprive an area of oxygen, resulting in the suffocation of anyone in the area.

With the many methods of extinguishing a fire; Freon type gaseous fire extinguishers, water, and foam extinguishers, they all have the same method in mind, smother and cool the fire and fuel. Each of these methods extinguishing will require different methods used in the restoration process. As the freon and foam fire extinguishers leave a mess that invades those cracks and crevasses, and of course water, which it the most common will mix with the ash and soot to form an acid that will cause further damage to anything it contacts.

The presence of water and steam in fire deposits as acids and acidic smoke-soot. There so many fire decompositions that are acidic in nature, either from organic or inorganic acids, sometimes we wonder which does more property damage-the fire or the water?

  

All these factors contribute to acid damage and deterioration of the contents and materials in a fire. In some cases, the acids may be strong enough to corrode metals, metal fixtures and even etch glass and chrome. Chemical and corrosion damage is another major source of damage, and the cost of losses from acid corrosion can be enormous.

The measurement of the success rate of the practical restoration experience, as well as business success, is clearly evident through the restoration technique, though the underlying science of it is not. By contrast, however, the scientific measurements of the actual fire process are many and quite sophisticated.

We all should be knowledgeable in the basics of fire and fire risk, including some of the most important issues and means of fire prevention. Let’s face it, knowledge is power, and preventing fires saves lives as well as property. Be sure to follow up on fire prevention and test your smoke detectors regularly, as it is reported that most fires with smoke detectors installed were not operational.

In addition, you may want to look into flame-retardants. With all the ways that these fire retardants can be used, some treatments use chemicals that are absorbed by the fibers or fixed somehow on the material. Still, other treatments are applied to the back coating in mattresses or upholstery or the backing as carpet latex. Still, other fire retardants are formulated into shampoo or detergents, leaving some protective residue after the cleaning process.

Smoke Residue Removal
Even after a small fire is put out, the damage left in its wake can be overwhelming. A fire doesn’t necessarily have to burn a structure extensively to require a thorough professional clean-up. Smoke may travel throughout the ductwork system and affect an entire building. Even a light smoke residue should be treated properly and not smeared onto the surface, in order to prevent a lingering odor and damage from the potential chemical makeup of the soot residue.

Aztec professional team can help identify salvageable personal items, classify their condition and arrange for proper cleaning and storage of these items. We also provide a comprehensive, detailed inventory of items that remain, including proper documentation, photos and video for all contents listed to ensure proper processing with your insurance claim.

Be fire safe and if you do have a fire, protect yourself and property by calling 911 first!

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