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Wildfires have wreaked havoc in Southern California in recent years. The Thomas Fire alone burned 281,893 acres, destroyed 1,063 structures, and damaged 280 more. According to the National Weather Service (NWS) Los Angeles, the 2017-2018 blaze known as the Thomas Fire grew to become the largest wildfire in the history of the state.

Too many homes and commercial buildings have been damaged by fire and smoke in the Los Angeles area. When it’s all over and the firefighters are gone, that’s when the cleanup and restoration begins. Our seasoned professionals at Quality Environmental, Inc. have the knowledge, skills, equipment, and experience to provide superior fire damage restoration in Los Angeles.

Common Types of Fires

Not all fire damage is the same. Our fire damage repair in Los Angeles is custom-tailored to each individual scene. Common types of fires include:

Natural fires, in which trees, bushes, and shrubs have burned and the smoke has penetrated a structure from the outside, leaving smoke residue and odors

Furnace malfunction of an oil-fired furnace, causing smoke to be distributed throughout the property

Protein fires, in which food has burned in the oven or stove, leaving smoke residue on surfaces and strong burnt-food odors

Complex fires, in which multiple synthetic and natural items have burned, leaving synthetic smoke odors and black smoke residue on surface and requiring emergency corrosion mitigation

Types of Damage Caused by Fire and Smoke

Fire and smoke damage can go far beyond the items or structures that burn:

  • Walls and surfaces can become discolored in a matter of minutes.
  • Finishes on kitchen appliances can turn yellow in as little as several hours.
  • Ash and smoke left behind can continue to cause damage and corrosion to materials.
  • Smoke can tarnish metal quickly and cause etching in glass within a short time.
  • Odors and smoke can remain in a room or structure long after a fire is extinguished and cause health problems if not fully extracted.

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Preventing Fire and Smoke Residue-Related Health Issues

Fire and smoke residue is one of the main challenges of cleaning up after a fire. These residues are apparent as smoky odors or soot, char, and ash on surfaces. They can also be detected by the effects they may have on a person’s health, including difficulty breathing and burning eyes.

During a fire, chemicals are released in the air which may be contained in the soot and ash when the fire is extinguished. Fires release large amounts of particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and varying amounts of volatile organic chemicals, hydrocarbons, metals, and other substances. After a fire, this residue must be removed to prevent potentially harmful health effects, which may include:

Toxic Materials Found in Smoke and Soot During Fire Restoration

The degree of toxicity of smoke and soot will depend on the types of materials burned in the fire. Types of toxic materials found in fire restoration may include:

  • - Asbestos fibers from building materials used in the 1950s to 1980s
  • - Carbon monoxide, ammonia, hydrogen, nitrogen oxides, and tar from burned carbon materials
  • - Harmful chemicals caused by partial oxidation of released hydrocarbons
  • - Hydrogen chloride and a range of toxic chemicals released when PVC is burned

Why Call the Professionals for Cleanup after a Fire?

Residue left behind after a fire is a biohazard. This residue can lead to serious health problems if not handled thoroughly and correctly. Our professional team at Quality Environmental, Inc. in Los Angeles has the training, equipment, and experience to ensure the job is done properly and quickly.

In some cases, time is of the essence with fire and smoke damage. Even after the fire is extinguished, smoke can continue to cause damage, corroding the structure and its contents. Smoke that has penetrated or coated surfaces can continue to affect the composition of walls, ceilings, tiles, metals, and fabrics unless completely removed.

It takes a full scope of professional skills and state-of-the-art equipment to safely remove all smoke, ash, and soot that can remain after a fire, causing further property damage and posing a serious risk to human health. Our team will safely discard all contaminated flooring, insulation, materials and furnishings and work hard to recover the items within a structure that can be restored.

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