Whether you’ve contained a few mishaps in the kitchen or a full-scale house fire, it’s always best to visit the experts for assistance.
Regardless of how big or small the extent of the smoke damage might be, an experienced smoke and fire damage restoration vendor is professionally trained and equipped to handle any size fire cleanup. In addition, they will also make sure that your home is safe to return to and live in again.
Even though most of the steps in the cleanup process will (and should) be performed by a professional fire damage expert, there are things you can do prior to the experts arriving and the fire mitigation process officially beginning.
The Way A Home Is Restored After Fire Damage
Fire and smoke damage impacts specific aspects of a house differently and therefore each area may call for a different method of sanitizing, restoring or rebuilding.
You may not be able to really notice the extent of the fire damage because often it has happened in areas that aren’t visible, such as behind walls and in the attic, or it has affected the structural, electrical or plumbing systems.
Even walls or surfaces that are not in the same room where the fire originated, can be damaged. Furthermore, surfaces with smoke damage and soot require specific cleaning agents, as ordinary household cleaning products can be ineffective or may even cause additional damage.
If water damage does happen – from extinguishing the flames, or if the sprinkler system goes off through the fire, then there is a potential for mold growth, which may also have to be addressed, alongside the fire and smoke damage.
A trained Smoke and Fire Restoration Professional will be able to assess the degree of the fire damage and figure out the areas and contents of a home that can be cleaned and restored and which ones need to be replaced.
Commonly Used Equipment
A pivotal part of fire cleanup mainly focuses on purifying contaminated air and neutralizing odors caused by smoke.
Most Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration experts will use some of these pieces of equipment to aid in cleaning and sanitizing the air and make a home safe to breathe again.
HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuum – A high-powered vacuum with filters that trap airborne particles such as soot for example. It can be used on surfaces such as ceilings, walls and floors.
Air scrubber – This machine aids in eliminating odors and clean the air with a filtration system to suck air in and filter it, prior to releasing it back in the house.
Negative air fan – Removes contaminated air that’s inside a home through ducts, creating negative air pressure (a vacuum effect).
Ozone machine – Neutralizes odors and should only be used after a house is cleaned, emptied of all materials and vacated.
The machine is generally employed for a couple of days and the home has to be ventilated for an additional 24 hours prior to reentry.
Steps Performed By A Professional Fire Restoration Company
While there are specific steps only a fire damage restoration professional must perform, there are ways you can aid throughout each phase of the process as well.
Most Smoke and Fire Damage Remediation Experts will recommend you attempt to get advice and instructions from the company you hire to make sure that you finish any tasks that will make the fire cleanup run more smoothly, as well as avoid doing anything that will alter advancement.
The first steps from the fire mitigation process is figuring out the cause of the fire, as well as the degree of the smoke damage, and then documenting it through photographs to provide to the homeowner’s insurance company.
All rooms are tested for soot or smoke damage. Evaluation cleanings (which utilize a special dry cleaning chemical sponge) will figure out what surfaces are affected and the degree of damage.
The Fire & Smoke Restoration Company should then go into detail about the cleaning procedure to the homeowners, as well as what the demo/rebuild phase may consist of (if applicable) and begin to make a decision as to what things are salvageable after a comprehensive inventory has been completed.
Prevention Of Further Damage
A fire cleanup vendor will remove any materials from the home as quickly as possible to avoid further damage because the longer they are from the affected area, the more difficult they’ll be to clean.
Before fire damage restoration services arrive, homeowners can place coffee grounds out through the house to help with decreasing the smell, as they absorb odors.
Switch off HVAC systems until the home is inspected by a professional to avoid additional contamination to unaffected areas. Some fire cleanup companies may advocate having vents, ducts and furnaces cleaned/serviced to prevent soot from circulating throughout the home.
Removal Of Things Damaged By Fire/Smoke
Homeowners must be actively engaged during the inventory process and notify the fire restoration company of very important/sentimental items, or things they may need returned to them quickly if they are in temporary home.
Since the fire cleanup procedure can vary depending on the company and the individual homeowner’s situation, it is common for fire- or smoke-damaged items to be inventoried and later identified as salvageable or non-salvageable.
Containment, Repairs and Completion
Containment – This measure is recommend to help limit odors from contaminating the air across the house and maintaining the damage contained at the source of the fire and affected areas of the home.
Repairs – If the fire restoration company isn’t able to finish some of the required structure, the homeowner should find a general contractor to do the job when the fire damage restoration expert completes their part of the repairs.
Our fire and smoke Damage Restoration Experts say that once pricing, scheduling and other specifics of the reconstruct have been agreed upon, then the contractor can begin rebuilding and get the homeowners back into their home as fast as possible.
The homeowner and fire restoration company should be in some sort of agreement that the home is clean and the smell of smoke is no more present. If there’s a discrepancy, the two parties may dictate an air sample evaluation after the fire cleanup is completed and prior to beginning any construction.