Remediating Embedded Smoke Odor in a Mattress Pad Warehouse
It seems to be the way of things in the restoration world; large losses at 2 a.m. on a holiday. In this case, it was the early morning hours of the Fourth of July when PHC Restoration, in Lillington, NC, was called to a client's warehouse that had just experienced a fire. The fire activated the sprinkler system, and once the fire trucks arrived, more water was used to put the fire out. Once the smoke cleared, the client was left with a considerable amount of standing water and a significant fire odor, affecting over 50,000 square feet of their business.Their warehouse stored an especially porous product: foam mattress pads.
When PHC’s Technical Director arrived, he quickly assessed the damage and worked to establish priorities. Three main issues were immediately identified:
- The client wanted to be fully operational by Monday, July 8, meaning most of the work had to be completed in four days.
- All of the client’s raw materials were stored in the warehouse. The inventory had to be deodorized. If we were not successful, it would take six weeks to replenish the inventory, causing them to lose six weeks of production in their manufacturing plant.
- Standing water throughout the facility had damaged inventory that was being stored on the floor.
First, the PHC team extracted the standing water throughout the affected area. While extracting, the damaged inventory was relocated outside and unaffected items moved onto pallets to allow for airflow to dry the concrete slab.
By the end of the first day, a trailer-mounted desiccant dehumidifier was up and running, pumping warm, dry air throughout the building. This was supplemented with air scrubbers and more than 100 air movers to circulate the air.
Over the next three days, the team removed affected drywall, cleaned work spaces and contents affected by soot and odor, and made paths for forklifts to safely maneuver through the warehouse on Monday morning. To address the fire odor throughout the building and within the foam mattress pads, 20 Odorox hydroxyl generators were quickly shipped to the loss site. To ease concerns the client had over the integrity of the product, PHC put them in touch with the scientists at Odorox who guaranteed the process would not compromise the inventory we were deodorizing. Within four days, the odor was completely gone.
On Monday, July 8, the company opened their doors for business as usual, with many of their employees mentioning they couldn't even tell there had been a fire.
Over the next two weeks, the PHC team was still on location every day cleaning the walls, the ceiling grid, and the ductwork for multiple HVAC systems. In the end, the business experienced no business interruption from a large scale fire and water loss thanks to quick, educated work from a trusted local restoration company.
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