Virtually no one expects to experience a fire at his or her home. Once the members of your household are safe and the fire department has done its job, it’s time to rebuild and renew your home with the help of fire damage experts. Here are six steps commonly taken during the fire restoration process.
Readying Your Home for the Pros
While it’s generally wise to leave almost all of the fire restoration to the pros, there are two things you should do before they arrive. First, photograph the damage in its entirety. This will be useful for your insurance company. If it’s unsafe to enter your home, however, you can hold off on this step and instead work with your local fire restoration company to record the extent of the destruction to your home under safer conditions.
The second thing you should do — again, only if it’s safe to enter the premises — is remove any furniture that wasn’t affected by the blaze and let it air out. Smoke sticks around. A couch that escapes a fire unscathed, for example, can quickly take on smoke odors that will require professional equipment to remove.
Initial Damage Assessment
Once your local fire restoration company arrives on the scene, its first step will be to assess the situation. Technicians will likely examine the following:
- To what degree fire impacted your home’s essential structure
- The amount of soot and smoke damage to walls and other surfaces
- Signs of heat damage to your home’s fixtures, furniture, and walls
After examining the premises, the restoration team will draw up a plan of attack and provide you with an estimate for the job’s cost. They should also be able to give you an idea of the project’s timetable.
Tarps and Boards
Before cleanup can begin, it’s imperative that your home is safe, structurally sound and sealed off from both the elements and ill-intentioned people. If your home’s windows, doors, or roof were damaged — either by the fire itself or by fire-associated events such as a burst pipe or a fallen beam — those cracks, breaks, and holes will be sealed up or otherwise covered in order to prevent the rest of your home from suffering additional harm.
Water Curtailment, Removal, and Drying (As Needed)
Water damage is often a side effect of a residential fire. Fortunately, most fire damage experts are also water damage experts. Before starting the cleanup process, professionals will stop the flow of water and remove excess water from your home. Then they will clean, sanitize and thoroughly dry the premises using fans and dehumidifiers to prevent mold.
It takes more than elbow grease to clean soot and smoke out of most materials. Fire damage can dig deep below the surface, thereby requiring the resources of a trained restoration team. Once the professional cleaning process begins, it will likely involve a variety of cleaning methods focused on several areas of your home:
- Soot and smoke will be removed from all affected surfaces, such as walls and ceilings, using special equipment.
- Lingering smoke odors will be eradicated using fogging gear and industrial-strength air scrubbers, both in the affected rooms, as well as nearby rooms if necessary.
- Carpets may be cleaned.
- Items that cannot be repaired, such as furniture or rugs, will be removed and properly disposed of on your behalf.
Repairs and Renovations
Once your home is clean and the items that couldn’t be salvaged have been removed, you can expect your restoration company to begin repairs. Some will be small, such as hanging new drywall or repainting a room. Others may be larger, such as reconstructing a staircase. The goal is to return your home to as close to its pre-fire state as possible by fixing damaged areas.
There may be some items that can’t be fixed, such as your kitchen cabinets and island for example. In these instances, you can work with the restoration team to renovate the area and replace damaged items.
The aftermath of a fire at your home will likely be a blur. There are a multitude of decisions to be made, all while you’re simply trying to get your legs back under you after such an unexpected event. Take cleanup and repairs off your overcrowded plate and leave them to trained professionals. Trust the fire damage experts at United Water Restoration Group to restore your home to its pre-fire condition quickly, safely, and thoroughly.