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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Fire Damage Restoration Terms

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

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

When a property experiences a fire, a homeowner and commercial property manager will begin to hear a lot of terms they may be unfamiliar with.  Familiarizing yourself with this vocabulary will help facilitate 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

This is a general term that says a fire occurred on the affected property and now requires restoration services.

Structural Stability / Stabilizing the Structure

This refers to the need to make a structure safe enough for our technicians to begin fire clean up and restoration work.  The fire must be completely put out and we must have authorization from the homeowner to begin with. If the fire department was called, our teams must also wait for their approval to approach the property.  Fire board up services may include roof tarping, board up, temporary fencing, and a 24 hour live security guard.

Emergency Roof Tarp

A thick, weatherproof piece of plastic tarping will be attached to the roof to prevent precipitation from entering the building and causing secondary damage.  

Board Up

We install pieces of board over damaged windows and doors to prevent precipitation from entering the building.  This also signals to possible intruders that the property is being cared for and watched.

Temporary Fencing

We install a temporary fence is installed around the perimeter of the 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.

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 a damage which did not come from the original source.  For example, in a fire damage, the fire is the primary damage. Secondary damage may come from the water damage caused during firefighting efforts.

Pre Loss Condition

Pre loss condition is a common insurance term.  It means to put the property back together the way it was before the fire damage.  

Smoke Damage Restoration

Smoke damage restoration is when we remove smoke particles 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 and odor removal should take place.

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 company offers this service, ask them if they will clean your items in house or use a subcontractor.  Many times, companies send your items to a subcontractor and raise the price of your fire damage restoration. At worst, they may choose to send your items to a dry cleaner which cannot clean soot covered clothing properly and end up embedding it into the fabrics permanently.  

We are a full service restoration company.  When we offer to clean your soot affected items, we will clean them in house.  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.


Demolition means a material has to be taken out of the property.  This happens when the material has experienced permanent damage and cannot be cleaned.  This is often true to badlt burnt walls and flooring. When this happens, our reconstruction team replaces it.  


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

A machine that cleans 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.

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 fogging, ozone, hydroxyl, and using various chemicals to clean.

Structural Framing

Structural framing refers to the structure of the property, like beams.  If the structure has been damaged, demolition must happen. Then, 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 site or taken back to our 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 / Pack Out and Pack Back

When the structure isn’t safe, contents and textiles are moved out of the property 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 would like them returned sooner.


Items that have been packed-out are stored in our facilities until they can be returned.

HVAC and Air Duct Cleaning

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 a fire damage because 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.

You can fill one out on your own using SERVPRO’s READY Plan website or you can schedule one of our team members to visit your property and fill one out for you at no cost.  

Be sure to list SERVPRO of North Irving as your preferred SERVPRO franchise!

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.  The administrator from our office will ask for your claim information to establish a relationship with your adjuster, with whom we will communicate almost every day. 

Insurance Deductible

This 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. 

Do you have a question?

Contact us any time.  We're more than happy to explain our process. 

Trusted Leader in Water Damage Restoration and Fire Damage Restoration in Dallas Texas

SERVPRO of North Irving is a water damage restoration and fire and smoke damage restoration company in Dallas Texas.  We have performed work in Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano, McKinney, Grapevine, Waxahachie, Midlothian, Ennis, and other North Texas communities for over 30 years.  We also have a Texas Mold Remediation Contractor License and offer free mold inspections.

Our crews are available dispatch for 24 hour emergencies every day of the year. We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 986-7677.  Call us any time!

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