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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Dallas Fire Damage Restoration Terms

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

man in a black shirt, khaki pants, and orange shoe covers cleans a soot damaged wall We offer free estimates for fire damage restoration in Dallas. Call or contact us anytime. We're here to help.

When a property experiences a fire, you may begin to hear a lot of fire damage restoration terms you are unfamiliar with.  Familiarizing yourself with this vocabulary will help your understanding of what is happening.

Rest assured that if you should ever need our help, our team of fire damage experts will walk you through the process of cleanup and restoration.

Fire Damage Restoration

Fire damage restoration is a general disaster cleanup term that says a fire occurred on a property, and the property now needs to be restored. 

If you have a fire today, there are many fire cleanup companies in Dallas to choose from.  It's up to you to decide which company or companies to use.  Many insurance companies and adjusters now prefer a full-service damage restoration company because they often result in less stress, faster service, better quality, and decreased claims costs.  

Contact A Fire Restoration Company in Dallas

If you need fire damage restoration guidance, call or contact us.  We are a full-service fire damage restoration in Dallas with more than 30 years of experience.  Estimates are free. 

Structural Stability / Stabilizing the Structure

"Stabilizing the structure" or "structural stability" refers to the need to make a structure safe enough for fire damage technicians to begin fire clean up and restoration work.  

Before we can begin, the fire must be completely put out.  If the Dallas fire department was called, our teams must also wait for their approval to approach the property. 

Once we have permission to begin restoration services, our first step is to start with emergency fire damage services, like roof tarping and board-up. 

Emergency Roof Tarp

A roof tarp is a thick, weatherproof piece of plastic that is attached to the roof.  It prevents weather from entering the building and causing secondary damage.  You may have seen roof tarps before--they are usually bright blue, but they can also be other colors. 

At SERVPRO, roof tarping is considered an emergency service.  If we can safely perform the installation of a roof tarp, we will dispatch 24-hours a day. 

Board Up

A board-up is when pieces of board are installed over damaged windows and doors.  Board-ups help prevent weather from entering your property, and they also signal to possible intruders that the property is being cared for and watched.

Temporary Fencing

Temporary fencing is when we install a temporary fence around the perimeter of your property.  If an entire fence isn’t needed, we’ll only install it around highly damaged areas.  A temporary fence helps prevent possible theft and keeps the general public away from sensitive areas.

24-Hour Security Guard

When a structure cannot be immediately stabilized (for example, it’s raining and it’s not safe to tarp the roof), a 24-hour security guard will be hired to protect the property.

Secondary Damage

Secondary damage is damage that did not come from the original source.  For example, in fire damage, the fire is the primary damage.  If the property owner did not install a roof tarp and a storm passed by, then the water damage inside the property would be considered secondary damage.

Some secondary damage may not be covered an insurance claim if the insurance company determines it was caused by negligence. 

Pre Loss Condition

Pre loss condition is a common insurance term that refers to the condition a property was before a loss occurred.

It's the goal of damage restoration companies to put your property back to preloss condition through cleaning and restoration techniques. 

Smoke Damage Restoration

Smoke damage restoration is when we remove smoke particles that have embedded themselves in a material, like a wall, clothing, or piece of furniture.  Smoke damage cannot usually be seen, but it can be smelled. 

Smoke damage cleanup involves smoke odor removal, deodorization, and debris removal. 

Soot Damage

Soot damage is when soot has embedded itself into a material.  Soot is produced by the incomplete burning during the fire.  It is acidic and causes damage to materials when it’s not properly or promptly cleaned.  

Only some fire damage restoration companies have the technology and training to clean soot-covered clothing and textiles.  If your Dallas fire damage restoration company offers this service, ask them if they will clean your items themselves or if they will use a subcontractor.  

Many times, restoration companies send your items to a subcontractor and raise the price of your fire damage restoration.  Worst, they may choose to send your items to a dry cleaner that cannot clean soot-covered clothing properly.  

Our SERVPRO franchise is a full-service restoration company.  When we offer to clean your soot affected items, we will clean them ourselves.  We are also one of the few certified Esporta Wash System businesses in North Texas.  This machine is the latest and best technology that exists to sanitize clothes back to food-grade safe, even after fire damage.  Our technicians have been specially trained to clean smoke and soot out of clothing.


Demolition means a built-in material is removed from a property.  This happens when the material has experienced permanent damage and cannot be cleaned.  This is often true for badly burnt walls and flooring. 

When demolition is needed, we work with your insurance adjuster to get repairs approved.  After approval, our reconstruction team replaces what was thrown away. 


Containment is when thick plastic is installed in order to isolate the air space of a room.  This is done so that odor removal techniques can be more effective or to prevent an unaffected area of a property from becoming contaminated by smoke particles and debris.

Air Scrubber

An air scrubber is a machine that cleans the air.  They are used in conjunction with HEPA filters to remove the smoke and other odor particles from the air. 

HEPA Filter

HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance.  This is a type of air filter that can catch particles as small as 0.3 microns.  This is our filter of choice when using an air scrubber, and it helps us remove smoke odor from a home. 

Odor Removal or Deodorization

Odor removal or deodorization is when an item or property is rid of smells caused by the fire damage.  We use various techniques to achieve this, such as ULV fogging, ozone, hydroxyl, and a variety of detergents. 

Structural Framing

Structural framing refers to the structure of the property, like beams.  If the structure has been damaged, demolition must happen.  If demolition is necessary, our reconstruction team will replace it.

Contents or Household Items

Contents or household items are things that are not part of the structure, like furniture, appliances, and toys.  When affected, contents can either be cleaned on your property itself.  The most common scenario is for your belongings to be packed and taken to a professional cleaning facility.


If you turned the property upside down and everything fell out, the items that fell and did not break are textiles.  These include clothing, shoes, plush animals, etcetera.  When affected, textiles are taken back to our facility for cleaning.

We are one of the few certified Esporta Wash System businesses in North Texas.  Our technicians have been specially trained to clean smoke and soot out of clothing.

Moving Services or Pack Out and Pack Back

When a property isn’t safe to live in, contents and textiles are moved out and taken to our facilities for cleaning and storage.  They are returned when the property is clean, reconstructed, and safe for inhabitants.  

Items may also be delivered to a second location if the owner has found a temporary home and would like them returned sooner.


Items that have been packed-out are stored in our facilities until they can be returned.  Storage is usually approved as part of a fire damage restoration insurance claim. 

HVAC and Air Duct Cleaning in Dallas

HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Condition system.  Air ducts are the pathways for the cold or warm air to travel around the property.  Many times, the HVAC system needs to be cleaned after fire damage because the smoke has accumulated inside of it.  

The last thing we want to happen is to have the entire property cleaned only to turn on the HVAC and have smoke particles blow out of the ducts and contaminate everything again.

SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile helps provide a plan of action for a property before any disaster happens.  It provides us your property’s information, like room sizes and types of flooring.  This way, our response is faster, should anything ever happen.

SERVPRO Emergency READY Profiles are free to create.  Call or contact us today to schedule one of our fire damage restoration experts to visit your property and complete one for you. 

Insurance Claim

When you report your fire damage to your insurance company, your agent or insurance adjuster will file an insurance claim and provide you with a claim number.  

We will assign a Project Coordinator from our office especially to you, so they can help you from start to end.  Your Project Coordinator will ask for your claim information to establish a relationship with your adjuster and start the insurance process. 

Insurance Deductible

An insurance deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay out of pocket for your insurance claim to be processed.  Ask your insurance company for your deductible amount.  Since we are not allowed to look at your insurance policy, we cannot tell you what your deductible is ourselves. 

We’re a SERVPRO in Dallas

We are a full-service water and fire and smoke damage restoration company in Dallas, Texas.  Our franchise specializes in residential and commercial fire damage restoration.  We have serviced our hometown of DFW for over 30-years, and we are ready to help you, too. 

Our fire restoration technicians are available to dispatch for 24-hour emergencies every day of the year. 

We can be reached 24-hours a day at (972) 986-7677.  

Call or contact us anytime.

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