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The recent marsh fires in our area have created a familiar phenomenon for us that some of you may now be experiencing for the first time in your own lives and homes. 

When we are called upon to help a client with a fire damage claim in their home or office, sometimes the damages can extend into the neighboring homes and businesses, in the form of a lingering and persistent smoke odor that eventually becomes an unwanted part of the indoor environment these neighboring homeowners, tenants and workers are now forced to live in and physically breathe in, until the smoke and the smell either drifts away or is professionally removed as a part of our original restoration project. 

In the case of the marsh fires, this same smoke drifting phenomenon has happened on a massive and widespread scale, affecting multiple households in the same way that one or two might suffer in the more locally contained single-dwelling fires we typically service. 

Our solutions for removing smoke odor remain the same on this wider scale, and we are prepared to inspect your home or workplace to determine the best strategy to get you taking clean and fresh breaths every time you step inside, despite the current outdoor air quality crisis. 

There are several different strategies, techniques and tools we have used to help our community members keep the smoke odors away from the HVAC systems and the families, customers and coworkers who depend on these systems every single day.

First and foremost, in any deodorization job, our top priority is SOURCE REMOVAL

In a typical fire restoration project, source removal is accomplished through a carefully devised plan of controlled demolition—to remove the most damaged components of a fire first so that we can effectively clean the rest of the affected structure and utilities, including the air conditioning and circulation system of the building (or buildings) affected. 

In the case of these marsh fires, we are forced to have faith that the REAL source removal will eventually happen outside and apart from the individual work scopes for the buildings that we attempt to deodorize, and we have already experienced great success in doing this for local clients and families, using a variety of methods that are chosen based upon their proximity to the source and the specific findings of each inspection and odor assessment we are asked to perform.

For some in the Houma/Shcriever/Gray area, all that may be needed is a temporary setup of air filtration devices using carbon filters to absorb and contain smoke odors while circulating clean, filtered air throughout the building. These units can be rented at a daily rate based upon the square footage of the area being treated, and we have already achieved great success for some of our local clients using this one tactic alone.

For others who live or work closer to the source area, an inspection is recommended to determine if there is a need for actual cleaning to achieve the same level of satisfactory deodorization, whether this involves air duct cleaning, surface deodorizing cleaning, or a combination of both.

We can also assist in more active and comprehensive indoor air deodorizing services, such as thermal fogging or ozone treatment of the entire living or working space. 

Thermal fogging is a process that uses a neutral deodorizing agent in a specialized applicator that recreates the same heat from a fire to force this “good” smelling smoke into all the same pores, airspace and fabric materials as the original unwanted marsh fire smoke particles. 

Ozone treatment involves the setup of one or more generating units that produce a concentrated amount of oxygen which destroys the original smoke odors on a molecular level—essentially achieving SOURCE REMOVAL inside your home, even if the REAL source outside has not yet been extinguished. 

Depending upon the recommended method for odor removal based upon your inspection and your building’s location, you may need to remain outside of the building for a certain period of time while the treatment plan is being performed. 

Whatever the case, stay safe out there, pay attention to and please obey all local guidance on fire ban restrictions, and let us know if we can help you get that outside smell out of your inside air!

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