The extent of fire damage at a home or business is the single most important factor in terms of fire damage repair cost. Expenses associated with cleaning equipment and labor go up with the square footage affected by fire.
What Expenses Are Associated With Primary Fire Damage?
Fires burn combustibles, melt plastics and metals and spread soot and smoke particulate. Property owners should also keep in mind that fire and water damage usually coincide at the location of fires extinguished by fire hoses. A single fire hose can dispense up to 500 gallons of water per minute, and any water that is present in a structure will intensify damage caused by soot and smoke.
Combined fire and water damage increases the risk of secondary damage with lasting repercussions, such as mold. It is important to arrange for timely prevention or testing and remediation. Fire damage repair should start with mitigation measures. After extracting water left standing after extinguishing efforts and boarding up holes in walls or roofing, fire damage repairs typically start with removing ash and soot residues from surfaces and solid materials.
Once all of the ash and soot that can be removed from a property has been cleaned and the contents have been removed, the affected area can be treated with cleaning solutions and wiped down with chemical sponges made of rubber. Experts may recommend the use of other specialized equipment such as an air scrubber to filter out particulate followed by an ozone machine, hydroxyl generator or thermal fogger to neutralize the odor of smoke particles.
Content cleaning takes place off site and may involve specialized methods such as abrasive blasting or immersion in cleaning solution combined with the application of ultrasonic waves. Compare the costs of cleaning or repairing individual items with replacement costs to determine the most cost-effective and efficient approach to damage restoration. Find out more about factors that may impact fire damage repair cost at a residence or commercial building.
The Cost of Repairing Fire Damage
Any building materials that sustain major damage will need to be torn out and replaced after the surrounding area is clean. It may be necessary to reinforce or rebuild structural components in addition to refinishing areas with a paint primer formulated to stop smoke damage from resurfacing through fresh paint.
Fire damage restoration experts can recommend building materials and contents for which cleaning and restoration may be cost effective and have a high rate of success. Otherwise, the total cost of fire damage repair should include replacement costs for building materials and the labor needed for repairs or installations.
Possible Secondary Damage Costs
Property owners who do not hire trained professionals to repair fire damage may run a heightened risk of secondary damage. From persistent smoke odors to chemical re-contamination due to burned or charred building materials or contents that remain on the premises, the costs of putting off professional fire damage cleanup and restoration can be much greater than the total investment called for in the hours and days immediately following a fire.
Does Property Insurance Cover Fire Damage?
It is important to carefully document the full extent of damage and allow a claims adjuster or authorized insurance representative to complete any investigation necessary so that your policy will cover as much of the restoration cost as possible. As long as a property was occupied during the month leading up to the fire, most fire damage should be covered under homeowners and commercial property insurance policies. Review the terms and limits of your coverage when you are considering the best approach to damage restoration and comparing fire damage repair estimates.
Professional fire damage repair and restoration is well worth the expense. Furthermore, the lowest fire damage repair cost estimate is likely not for the highest quality of work. An amateur cleanup team that has not been trained in industry-standard cleaning methods may not be aware of which materials can be safely restored and which require replacement. Textiles with fire damage such as carpeting, clothing or upholstery may be cleaned with special treatments. Other porous materials should be disposed of and replaced to avoid re-contamination. Rely on the expertise of restoration companies in the United Water Restoration network for the best fire and water damage repair services.