Attic Fire Restoration

There are two different types of attic fires that leave smoke residue: low pressure and high pressure. A low-pressure fire will cause smoke residue to fall from the air and land mainly on the top layers of the insulation. A high-pressure (low oxygen) fire will deeply penetrate the insulation and structure of the attic area.

 

Effective August 3, 2015, OSHA has implemented a new rule (ASTM D5755) designed to protect workers in confined spaces. This is partially in response to two fatalities. Two workers died while applying primer to floor joists in a crawlspace. They were burned when an incandescent work lamp ignited vapors from the primer. In another incident, a flash fire killed a worker who was spraying foam insulation in an enclosed attic. The fire was caused by poor ventilation.

 

Under the new rule, permits to access specific confined spaces are granted by the general contractor or lead contractor on each job. There are numerous safe entry procedures requiring careful planning and preparation by the contractor ahead of time.

 

The rule will apply to any space that meets the following three criteria:

  1. Is large enough for a worker to enter it
  2. Has limited means of entry or exit
  3. Is not designed for continuous occupancy

 

A space may also be a permit-required confined space if it has a hazardous atmosphere, the potential for suffocation, a layout that might trap a worker through converging walls or a sloped floor, or any other serious safety or health hazard.

 

Employers will be required to train workers to ensure they know about the existence, location, and dangers posed by each permit-required confined space and maintain related records for possible inspection by OSHA or other interested parties in the case of an accident or complaint investigation.

 

Method One: Low-Pressure Fires

  1. Remove any contents from the attic for separate processing and cleaning.

  2. Using a pump-up sprayer, spray all horizontal structural materials and surfaces with Unsmoke 9-D-9 diluted at 3 oz per gallon of water.

  3. Using Unsmoke Degrease-All, clean all affected structural surfaces. Charred and heavily smoke-damaged surfaces will need to be sanded, abrasively cleaned, or replaced. Work from the bottom of the surfaces to the top.

  4. In a 5-gallon bucket, mix 1 gallon of Unsmoke Unsoot Encapsulant, 1 quart of Unsmoke 9-D-9, 5 oz of Unsmoke Last Resort, and then fill the rest of the bucket with water. Using an airless paint sprayer or ULV fogger, apply the solution to the insulation (it should cover approximately 2,500 square feet).

  5. Sprinkle Unsmoke COC directly on the insulation. Apply at a rate of 2-3 oz per 100 square feet.

  6. Using Unsmoke Thermal 55, undiluted, thermal fog the entire attic area.*

  7. It may be necessary to seal affected surface areas using a shellac-based primer like Zinsser B-I-N to which 1-3 ounces of Unsmoke Space Spray has been added.

  8. Apply a new layer of insulation to increase the R-value and hide the discolored insulation.

 

Method Two: High-Pressure Fires

  1. Remove any contents from the attic for separate processing and cleaning.

  2. Remove all insulation, bagging it for disposal.

  3. In a pump-up sprayer, apply 3-6 oz of Unsmoke 9-D-9 to the affected surfaces for initial odor knockdown.

  4. Using a dry cleaning sponge, clean heavy soot from all affected areas. When using dry cleaning sponges, be careful to not apply extreme pressure as this will push the soot into the pores of the affected surface, making it harder to clean and deodorize.

  5. Using Unsmoke Degrease-All, clean all affected structural surfaces. Charred and heavily smoke-damaged surfaces will need to be sanded, abrasively cleaned, or replaced. If odor is extreme, 1 oz per gallon of Unsmoke 9-D-9 may be added to the cleaning solution. Clean from the bottom and work your way up.

  6. Using Unsmoke Thermal 55, thermal fog the entire attic area.*

  7. It may be necessary to seal affected surface areas using a shellac-based primer such as Zinsser B-I-N to which 1-3 ounces of Unsmoke Space Spray has been added.

  8. Apply new insulation.

 

*WarningIt is recommended that before thermal fogging be conducted, the area to be fogged should be evacuated of all non-essential personnel, proper personal protective equipment be worn, and that the neighbors and fire department be warned that thermal fogging will take place.

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  1. Versa-Vac OS 18HP Insulation Vacuum

    The Versa-Vac is designed for fast, profitable removal of blown-in insulation as well as fire-, water-, and smoke-damaged insulation from attics, sidewalls, and crawlspaces.

    • Easy, fast insulation removal - wet or dry
    • Discharge into a dumpster or bags
    • Quick return on investment
    • Recommended Hose Run 200'
    $5,119.00
  2. ODORx 9-D-9 Odor Counteractant

    9-D-9 is a general-purpose smoke odor counteractant specially formulated to manage fire, smoke, and other strong odors. Blended with the finest-quality ingredients, 9-D-9 helps to detoxify and knock down malodors quickly and efficiently.

    • Dilutes 1 to 3 ounces per gallon of water
    • pH: 7.7
    • General-purpose smoke odor counteractant
    • Additive to wall, upholstery, and carpet cleaning solutions
    • NOT for use with thermal foggers

    Starting at: $82.80

  3. B&G Chemical Resistant Pump-Up Sprayer (2 Gallon)

    These sprayers are designed with a fan tip for optimum coverage during application. The sprayer's solvent-resistant viton seals and heavy-duty, chemical-resistant poly tank make this a top-of-the-line product pick.

    • Holds 2 gallons
    • Fan tip designed for maximum coverage during application
    • Solvent-resistant seals
    • Chemical-resistant tank
    $57.20
  4. Flex-A-Lite 2600 ULV (Ultra Low Volume) Fogger

    The Flex-A-Lite is simply the most rugged ULV fogger available. Great for applying deodorizers, disinfectants, and duct sealers.

    • Formerly called Blastmaster ULV Fogger
    • Nozzle mounted on 48" hose
    • Sprays up to 25 feet!
    • 1.5-gallon tank
    • Adjustable flow rate
    $281.33
  5. Zinsser B-I-N Shellac-Base Primer/Sealer (5 GL)

    Fire damage restoration pros love B-I-N because it seals in the acrid smell of fire, as well as sealing in water, soot, and grease stains that plague such jobs.

    • For interior and exterior use
    • Seals pet, smoke, and musty odors
    • White pigmented
    • Covers up to 500 sq ft per gallon
    • Lightning fast dry - recoat in 45 minutes
    $188.83
  6. Zinsser B-I-N® Shellac Sealer, Clear (5 GL)

    Fire damage restoration pros love B-I-N because it seals in the acrid smell of fire, as well as sealing in water, soot, and grease stains that plague such jobs.

    • For interior use only
    • Seals pet, smoke, and musty odors
    • Drys clear
    • Covers up to 600 sq ft per gallon+
    • Lightning fast dry times - recoat in 45 minute
    $233.26
  7. Unsmoke Unsoot #1 Encapsulant

    Unsoot #1 helps to improve indoor air quality, particularly in structures affected by fire or smoke damage, including "puff backs" and furnace malfunctions. This product creates a long-lasting barrier that helps prevent the release of particulates, which can irritate breathing and carry strong odors.

    • Great on unlined ductwork
    • Dilutes 4:1 (makes 5 gallons)
    • Coverage: 500-1,000 sq ft per diluted gallon
    • Pale opaque coating
    • pH: 4.9

    Starting at: $46.80

  8. ODORx Thermo-55 Cherry Scent

    Thermo-55 is a solvent-based, heat-activated odor counteractant specially formulated for application using a thermal fogging apparatus.

    • Ideal for aggressive odors
    • Ready-to-use, solvent-based formula
    • VOC compliant
    • Treats 128,000 cubic feet
    • Not for use in Electro-Gen 2000

    Starting at: $71.35

  9. Unsmoke Degrease-All Degreaser

    Degrease-All offers a special blend of tough cleaning agents formulated to remove silt and soot from walls, fixtures, sealed wood, painted surfaces, yet gentle enough to be used as a traffic lane cleaner. It is tough enough to remove the heaviest smoke odors.

    • Multi-surface degreaser
    • Highly effective for removing soot
    • pH: 12.3 (RTU 11.0)
    • Safe for stain-resistant carpet
    • Various dilution options

    Starting at: $26.93

  10. ODORx C.O.C. Commercial Granular Odor Absorbent

    For tough odors, such as sewage, smoke, decay, putrefaction, located in insulation, wall cavities, ceiling voids, and other hard-to-reach areas, rely on the amazing blend of chemical odor neutralizers and natural absorbents in ODORx C.O.C. (Crystal Odor Counteractant).

    • Ideal for furnace plenum, attics, voids, and devastated areas
    • Coverage is 2 oz per 100 sq ft of floor area
    • Time release formula
    • Can be placed on foil or in glass dishes
    • Cherry scent

    Starting at: $41.61

  11. Dry Cleaning Soot Sponges

    These heavy-duty vulcanized natural rubber sponges excel at all types of cleaning applications, especially surfaces damaged by soot, smoke or fires. Wait until you see how much soot and dirt this sponge can power through on your restoration site!

    • Bulk packed (not individually wrapped)
    • Non-greasy; will not leave a residue
    • Small: 6 x 0.75 x 3 inches
    • Medium: 6 x 1.5 x 3 inches
    • Large: 8 x 1.75 x 2.75 inches

    Starting at: $41.84

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