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Your priority during a fire is getting yourself and your family out of the structure. Once you are safe and have contacted emergency services to get help, you can start thinking about your next steps. How far did the fire spread? What sort of damage did your home or property sustain? How will you go about restoring your property back to what it once was? Many people fail to think about fire damage restoration until they are dealing with the aftermath of a fire. You undoubtedly have lots of questions, and the professionals at United Water Restoration are here to help.

 

Why You Might Choose Restoration

 

The amount of restoration required for your home depends on how big the fire was and how far it spread. However, it is possible for the fire to not touch much of your home or belongings and still be in need of restoration services. Smoke permeation is a common result of house fires, and leaving possessions that have absorbed a lot of smoke in your home without cleaning them could have adverse consequences for your health, including coughing spells, a hoarse voice and trouble breathing. 

 

Deciding to use professional restoration, also called remediation, is often a personal decision that you may wish to consider if the fire was large or moved a lot of smoke through your property.

 

When Restoration May Be Needed

 

There are a few situations where restoration may be required for your safety or the safety of others who live in or visit your home:

 

  • You have attempted to clean your home but lingering smoke odors and damage remain
  • There is extensive water damage from broken pipes or other water sources
  • You plan on selling your home but need to prove remediation first

 

When using an insurance company throughout restoration and remediation, some providers may require that professionals such as United Water Restoration perform the damage assessment and provide an estimate of cost for remediation. Make sure you check with your insurance provider and follow the steps your policy may require.

 

The Restoration Process

 

While it is possible to do some cleanup on your own, there are benefits to hiring professional fire damage restoration companies to get out smoke that has permeated belongings and water that has seeped into the deeper layers of your floors and furniture. At United Water Restoration, we have the training and the proper tools to deep clean not only your walls and floors but also your furniture and other belongings.

 

Many pros have the same process for going through restoration or remediation. We understand the emotional toll a fire can take on you and your family, and we are here to support you and help the aftermath go as smoothly as possible. Here is what to expect when you choose us.

 

1. Contacting the Pros

 

In the heat of the moment, your focus is bound to be on your family and your home. Make sure you call for emergency help and let the firefighters do their job first. Afterward, once you start thinking about contacting your insurance provider and going about cleanup, give us a call to schedule an inspection. Our services often fall under home insurance policies, but you will need to check with your provider to see what is covered in your policy. We offer emergency services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

2. Assessing Damage

 

Once the fire is out and it is safe to enter your home again, we can inspect the property to assess the extent of the damage. Sometimes, inspecting a fire-damaged property requires the use of personal protection equipment, or PPE, to avoid inhaling particles of incomplete combustion and other chemicals and debris. Some fire damage is apparent right away with scorch marks and charred remains. Other types of damage are harder to see but you can smell it, such as smoke that has been absorbed into pillows, sheets and upholstery. We will assess the extent of the damage to the property and belongings and consult with you to create a plan of action on remediating as much damage as possible.

 

3. Boarding and Tarping

 

A fire can leave certain parts of the home vulnerable to additional damage. In addition, broken windows put your home's interior at risk of damage from the elements and trespassers. Our team may board up compromised walls and windows to protect them from further harm. If a section of the roof is missing, we can place a tarp to prevent rain, snow and other debris from entering the house.

 

4. Removing Water Damage

 

It may seem counterintuitive to look for water damage in a fire, but they often go hand-in-hand. And just because you live in Florida, that does not mean your home is immune to water exposure. For example, if the fire department used water to put out the flames, then there is likely to be water wherever the firefighters used the hose. Sometimes, fires can expose and damage pipes throughout a home or building, which may then leak throughout the structure. If waterlogged items are not removed or dried as soon as possible, there is also a risk of mold and mildew developing. Our pros are familiar with mold and mildew remediation and know how to approach water-damaged property to prevent the spread of pathogens.

 

5. Removing Soot and Smoke

 

After taking steps to take care of water damage, it is time to target areas of the home that have soaked in soot and smoke. This can permeate every surface of the home, not just those covered in cloth. Our team has professional equipment designed to pull the soot and smoke from the deepest pores of these surfaces so the odors do not linger. 

 

6. Sanitizing and Cleaning

 

The next step is to sanitize and clean surfaces and belongings. This can be tricky, particularly if you are dealing with pictures, paintings and electronics. If delicate or sensitive items have been damaged from smoke or water but may still be salvageable, we have a few processes we can use to hopefully get them back in their pre-fire condition. This usually involves the use of fogging equipment and air scrubbers.

 

7. Restoring

 

The last step in the fire restoration process is the actual restoring or remodeling the home back to how it was before the fire. This may mean tearing out and replacing drywall as well as installing brand new carpet or floorboards. For example, if your drywall was soaked while the fire was being put out, it is no longer structurally sound and likely requires replacing. We will check for areas of your home that need rebuilding and even handle the installation and painting for you. If the fire damage was more extensive, restoration may include completely rebuilding a room or more.

 

 

Professional vs. Self Cleanup

 

It is possible to take care of some of the post-fire cleanup on your own. You should do whatever you feel comfortable doing. However, when it comes to getting rid of permeated soot, smoke and water, you are likely to be better off hiring professional services with trained technicians and the proper equipment. Not only will this save you time, but it also saves you the stress of having to handle the cleanup on your own. How do you know if you can clean up something yourself?

 

Post-Fire Cleanup You Can Do:

  • Wash clothing
  • Wash and polish metal pots, pans and silverware
  • Clean walls with mild detergent, 4 to 6 tablespoons of tri-sodium phosphate and 1 cup of a household cleaner or chlorine bleach (rinse with warm water and immediately dry afterward)
  • Remove debris (if the structure has been deemed safe to enter)

 

The benefits of cleaning up the damage yourself include that it is likely to save you some money upfront. However, you may still need to pay for cleaning solution and for renting any professional-grade cleaning equipment, if it's not covered in your insurance policy. Materials for repairs should also factor into your budget. Handling cleanup yourself also takes time and can be mentally and emotionally taxing.

 

Post-Fire Cleanup Best Left to the Pros:

 

  • Soot and smoke-soaked walls, floors and furniture
  • Water-damaged drywall removal
  • Rebuilding of structure

 

Advantages to hiring professionals for cleanup include getting the cleanup completed faster and done right the first time. Our services may be covered under your insurance policy, which may take much of the financial burden off of you. We are also experienced with the processes insurance companies require. If you are finding it difficult to talk to your insurance company about restoration services following a fire, let us help you out.

 

Call To Get Started Right Away

 

When fire remediation may be needed, it is a good idea to get it taken care of right away. The sooner our professionals can get in to assess the damage and start cleaning up, the more property we may be able to save. We treat your home and property with the care it deserves, and we work with your insurance company throughout the process. For additional questions regarding our process and services, call United Water Restoration at 386-487-4866 or contact us online.