A fire is a devastating event and in the aftermath, you may be wondering what you can do to help and move the situation forward. One of the most positive things you can do is to take part in the fire damage restoration process. This post will help you with practical ideas you can do to restore what you can of your property and possessions and point out what tasks you should leave to the professionals.
Do It Yourself Fire Damage Restoration
If you follow these suggestions in order you will be able to make significant in-roads into the fire damage restoration process.
Make Sure The Property Is Safe & Stabilized To Ensure Safe Entry
If you are at all worried about the safety of the property, it almost goes without saying you should wait for an inspector to declare the property safe to enter before venturing inside. A property inspector will perform a thorough inspection of the property from the outside and look especially hard for signs of possible damage to the structure that may compromise the integrity of the home.
Once the fire has been put out there are various things you need to be cautious of, let’s look at some of them and the challenges they pose:
- Soot in the air following a fire will end up adhering to surfaces and causing discoloration. On some surfaces, the soot staining is completely removable. However, it is tougher to remove from wood, textiles, grout, plastics, carpeting and metals. Professionals are trained to especially focus on these and know how to clean these surfaces properly minimizing the effect of the staining.
- Corrosion and rust can happen to any metals that have become oxidized. Corrosion or rust is caused by the metal interacting with the water. it is vital to be aware of this when dealing with small electronic produces containing metal. The item is often beyond repair and the risk of getting electrocuted is far higher is corrosion has occurred in the metal conductors and components.
- Mildew and mold is especially a problem following a wildfire because of the heavy-duty fire extinguishing. Both mold and mildew can form really quickly so it is vital to look right away for signs of possible water damage. if you find suspected water damage, the mildew and mold removal processes should start without delay to ensure further damage is minimized effectively.
- Air quality is always a primary concern following a fire and it needs the services of a professional if you notice any strange smells or odors that linger. An air mover and air scrubber can be utilized to start the process of cleaning up after smoke damage. Any materials or surfaces that have absorbed smoke should be treated with special smoke damage cleaning products. If you have furniture you especially want to save that has been damaged by smoke you need to let the professionals know to start that process straight away as it greatly improves the odds for a complete and total restoration.
Remove Debris and Soot
Removing the debris and soot will lessen airborne odors and improve the quality of the air. It is necessary to remove the soot and debris before the fire (or water) damage restoration process can start in earnest. The longer soot remains the harder it is to be removed. Once the cleaning has been done, a vacuum cleaner can be used to remove any remnants of soot and it can be wiped down further or swept up.
Possessions That Are Too Damaged To Restore
You are going to have to remove from the home items that are too damaged to be restored. Be especially careful in handling electrical appliances or machines. remember, they can still store a charge even once they are unplugged. To prevent further risks of contamination it may be that you have to remove other items from the home, that do not at first, appear to be damaged by fire. A professional can fully clean these items and prepare them to return once the home is restoration is complete.
Drying Wet Surfaces and Eliminating Excess Water
Standing water needs to be removed by professionals without delay before doing anything else. Water is capable of soaking into flooring, subflooring, walls, and ceilings. They will use commercial dehumidifiers and air movers to make sure everything is dried out completely.
Start Deep Cleaning, Deodorizing And Removing Stains
It is important to make clear cut decisions on what items may be too damaged to be restored and should be replaced as opposed to what items should be deep cleaned and restored. Professionals use special products designed for the task to deep clean and/or deodorize. They consider the material the item is made from, how much smoke, mildew or mold has penetrated into the surface when they make a determination of what product to use. Curtains, carpets and other fabrics will require specialized attention as they are easily ruined. For example, it is sometimes the case carpets can be restored following a thorough shampooing, while fabrics can be cleaned and washed. A quick inspection should render the decision if it is damged beyond restoration or not. A good professional will be able to keep you up to date on what can be salvaged.
Professional Fire Damage Restoration
Although there is much you can do yourself, it should be obvious you are going to need professional services, too. Every fire damage event is different but the following will give you a very good idea of what to expect from a professional service handling a “usual” fire damage situation.
Step 1. Initial Emergency Contact
When you call a damage restoration company they understand the stress you are under and will ask you some questions to ascertain the scope of the fire damage so they can come to you with the resources and the equipment they need to do the job.
Step 2. Fire Damage Inspection And Assessment
A professional will conduct a careful and thorough inspection including testing rooms that adjoin in your property to make a determination of the extent of soot, fire and smoke damage. This is a very important step as the plan of action is developed.
Step 3. Roof-Tarp and Board-Up Service
Damage caused by fire frequently compromise the integrity roofs, windows, and walls. To protect from further damage and to ensure security is maintained they will place tarpaulins on roofs that are damaged and board up windows that have succumbed in the fire.
Step 4. Water Removal & Drying Process
The process of removing as much of the water as possible has to begin immediately. Air movers and dehumidifiers are then brought in to remove the water that remains to so the drying process can be completed.
Step 5. Removal of Soot & Smoke From All The Surfaces
The professionals will use specialized techniques and equipment to facilitate the removal of soot and smoke from walls, ceilings, and other affected services.
Step 6. Sanitizing & Cleaning
The professionals will ensure all your structures and restorable items are cleaned. They use a host of cleaning techniques that will restore your belongings to a pre-fire condition. They use their skills using goffing equipment and industrial air scrubbers to remove lingering odors.
Step 7. Restoration
The final step is restoration so your business or home returns to the condition it was in before the fire. Depending on the damage it may involve minor repairs like new carpet installation, painting and drywall or it may be that major repairs have to be undertaken such as the reconstruction of various rooms or areas of the premises.
Fire damage restoration costs can get really expensive if you don’t take action right away!