Recent Fire Damage Posts

Dealing With the Aftermath of a Fire

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

house engulfed in flames After a fire, SERVPRO of Western Lancaster County knows exactly what steps to follow to restore your home. Let us help guide you through the process.

Damage to your home from even a small fire can be difficult to deal with. In many cases, the water and smoke damage cause more problems than the fire actually does. Dealing with the clean up after a fire can be a huge task and for many people, calling in a professional restoration service is the way to go. Learn more about how to recover from a fire below.

Insurance Coverage and Inspection

Before you begin to clean up after a fire, you need to have the insurance company come and assess the damage to your house. You need to know what is covered by your insurance and what is not. You should not move things in the house until after the adjuster has looked everything over and give you the okay to start working on cleaning up the mess.

Most insurance policies will cover smoke and water damage to the home as result of the fire, but if you want to hire a company to do the clean-up, check your policy to make sure the insurance coverage will cover the cost of that service. 

Structural Damage

Before any work can start inside the house, inspect the structure of the home. Hire a contractor to come to inspect the entire building to determine if it is safe to enter and begin cleaning up. If the structural integrity of your home is compromised in any way, stay out of it until a professional can handle repairs.

The contractor may need to shore up the building and replace some framing to support the structure properly. Whatever needs to be done to make your home safe to enter and work in, make sure it’s done safely and before anything else.  

Smoke Damage

Once the house is turned over to you after the fire, you need to look at the damage and figure out where to start. Smoke damage is one of the hardest parts of cleaning up after a fire because the odor gets into the fabric, wood, and other material in the home.

Washing the walls down with a mild detergent and water will clean soot and other chemicals off. Take the drapes down and get them out of the house. Remove all the furnishings as well and take a look at the carpeting.

If the carpets are not too wet, you could have a professional carpet cleaner come in and clean them. If there is damage to the carpets, you may have to remove them have them replaced.

Water Damage

Water damage in your home is more than likely a result of the extinguishment efforts, and it can be one of the most extensive problems you have. Inspect the home thoroughly for signs of water damage, which includes mold and mildew forming in nooks and crannies throughout the interior of the home. 

Water can seep through floorboards, into wall spaces, and get into fabrics and wreak havoc. If you are working with a restoration company, they will inspect all the areas where water can settle and will have the tools to remove the water.

Mold and mildew can start to grow pretty quickly, so once the water has been cleaned up, you need to check the house for mold. If you find mold, call a mold remediation company and have them come inspect the situation. Removing the mold yourself can be unhealthy, and there are rules about the disposal of the mold. Let the contractor handle it for you. 

SERVPRO of Western Lancaster County offers water, fire, and smoke restoration and cleanup services to help you recover from a disaster in your home. We have the knowledge and experience to get your home clean and ready to move back into quickly. Give us a call to have a member of our team come out and give you an estimate for repairs and restoration.

SERVPRO of Western Lancaster Helps Clean Up After Fire in Manheim

1/3/2019 (Permalink)

This fire was caused by a grease fire.

Nobody ever plans for a fire, but when one does happen, SERVPRO of Western Lancaster is here to help!

This loss was caused by a grease fire in a kitchen. Now, our natural instinct would be to use water for any fire, but avoid this practice with grease fires! This will just make matters worse.

Grease fires are caused when the cooking oil gets to hot and catches on fire. If you should find yourself in this predicament, turn off the heat and do the following:

  • Cover with a metal lid, this will deprive the fire of oxygen it needs to burn. Do not use glass, it will shatter.
  • For small fires, use baking soda. 
  • If available, use a kitchen fire extinguisher.
  • If it becomes too much or out of control, get out of the house and call 911 immediately!

Safety is of utmost important. For any help with clean-up after, be sure to call SERVPRO!

SERVPRO Rebuilds a Lebanon Home from Fire

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Front of home was burnt in fire. SERVPRO removed and rebuilt.

After a few row homes were affected by a house fire, this is one of the homes we rebuilt. Please check out the after picture of the Home's front porch in Before and After Photo Section.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Western Lancaster County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 717-665-1270

Smoke & Soot Facts

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

Fire in Attic Space

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of West Lancaster will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today at 717-665-1270

Dryer Clogs Lead to House Fires

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

A Look Inside a Culprit of Fires

This is a clogged dryer pipe that caused a huge house fire and affected other neighboring houses. It cause not only a total loss to the home, but created a bad lingering odor through out the independent carriage, style home community. We have been here for a few weeks tearing out the home's structure damage and gathering the customers' salvageable items, which were not many.

When is the last time you cleaned out your dryer vent? When is the last time you had a professional clean out your dryer vent?

One of the leading causes of house fires are dryer vents. Improper disposal of vent cleaning between loads of laundry and inconsistent pipe cleanings can lead to disaster.

We at SERVPRO of Western Lancaster can help you regularly clean your dryer vents. Ask about a maintenance plan. Call us at 717-665-1270

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Western Lancaster County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – 717-665-1270

What happens only minutes after the disaster?

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning soot from house fire.

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to personal property and structures. Quick action is the only way to minimize the destruction.

Immediately after a fire, soot residue settles onto the property. Discoloration of porous materials is permanent, but other surfaces may be properly cleaned to remove the discoloration. Acidic soot begins staining other surfaces if not treated quickly.

Within hours all surfaces begin to suffer from fire and smoke damage. Wooden furniture may require refinishing. Metal begins to rust, pit and corrode. Painted walls begin to yellow. Clothing  can become permanently stained. And finally, flooring may require refinishing or replacement.

If left untreated, within weeks the restoration process will take longer and cost more.  Prolonged soot exposure permanently harms all surfaces and embeds in fibers. Replacement of property may be the best option at this point. The structure may continue deteriorating if not properly restored.

IICRC suggests the following steps after the incident:

  • Remember safety comes first. Do not enter the property without proper work gloves and  appropriate respiratory protection. Exposure to soot residue causes respiratory distress and other medical emergencies.
  • Bring along a few box fans. Upon entering the property open the windows and place the box fans in the windows to force out the contaminated air and dust. Proper ventilation helps to prevent further smoke damage and reduces potential injury to people.
  • Remove loose smoke contamination with a professional dry cleaning soot sponge.
  • Clean every surface with soap and water. Begin at the top and work down to the floor. Be sure to get inside cabinets and cupboards.
  • Using a high efficiency vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) Filter, vacuum upholstery and carpet. A good filtration system on a high efficiency vacuum prevents the soot from being blown back into the cleaned space. Clean or change the filter regularly.
  • Launder bedding, clothes, curtains, and other washable materials. An alkaline cleaner neutralizes the acid found in the soot. Fine materials should be professionally dry-cleaned by a dry-cleaner who is experienced in smoke damaged articles.
  • Clean the exterior walls and eaves using a water hose attached to the proper cleaner. Agitate and loosen stuck-on soot. The smoke damage to the outside of the property will continue until the soot is removed.


Though heavy residues require the assistance of professional restoration technicians, a certified SERVPRO technician may be contacted for any amount of smoke damage. Improper processes can further harm the property or belongings.

Our IICRC certified SERVPRO technicians have training and experience in the techniques needed to restore the property. If structural distortion or warping has occurred, it may be necessary to consult a general contractor. Luckily, most insurance companies will cover the cost of the restoration, less your deductible, so get started today to get the property back into original condition.

Silver & Tin? We clean it too!

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

A little bit of elbow scrub and polish makes these pieces shine.

A home damage by Fire in Lancaster County. The customer a collector of silver and tins. We cleaned her silver tray and now you can clearly read the engravings.

We use supersonic cleaning and polish for deep & detailed cleaning of your items. It brings out the dirt in small crevices. It is the same technique used to clean jewelry.

If you're serious about restoring your property after fire damage, SERVPRO is the company to call. Our IICRC-certified technicians offer a full range of restoration services while simultaneously providing each client with 24/7 emergency services. Call us now to learn more about what we can do for you!

Call SERVPRO of Western Lancaster County at 717-665-1270. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

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