Fire damage restoration is a multi-faceted process with a lot of moving parts. First and foremost, ensure you have a support system to help you through the recovery process.
The restoration process should begin as soon as it’s safe for professionals to enter the property. This is because soot and smoke stains can cause long-term damage to surfaces.
Assessing the Damage
When a house fire occurs, the initial relief of knowing everyone is safe is followed quickly by the daunting task of rebuilding and repairing. This can take months, if not longer.
Before beginning, a fire restoration professional will inspect the home for structural damage. This includes the foundation, columns, beams, attic joists, and basement retaining walls. If these structures have sustained irreparable damage, the home may be unsafe.
Homeowners must find temporary housing if the building is deemed uninhabitable until the structure can be safely reconstructed. This process can be lengthy, so keeping track of receipts for meals, rental expenses, toiletries, clothing, and any other living expenses your insurance may cover is a good idea. It is also good to have utilities turned off for safety reasons and arrange for a security company to fence the property and board up the fenestration. This helps keep vandals and scavengers away from the property during this time.
Once the scene has been stabilized, the fire damage restoration process begins. This may involve fencing, shoring, and board-ups to safeguard property and its contents from looters and potential moisture damage, leading to mold growth. This step also includes securing and removing debris, water extraction and drying, cleaning surfaces and contents, sanitizing, and application of antimicrobial agents to prevent future mold growth and deodorization.
This is often the most intensive part of the job, requiring manual labor to clean every surface and item thoroughly. It may be necessary to discard any items that are beyond saving. Deodorizing agents are then applied to remove any lingering odors from the air. Duct cleaning may also be required to remove smoke particles and residue from vents, walls, and ceilings.
It is important to note that this is a dangerous and complicated process, and you should only allow trained professionals from Pure Restore to perform this task. Wear protective clothing like long-sleeved work shirts, pants, steel-toe boots, and gloves if you choose to clean.
After fire restoration professionals assess the damage and determine what needs to be discarded or can stay, they’ll make structural repairs. This might involve covering up a hole in the roof with tarping or boarding broken windows to keep rain and looters out until the building can be reopened.
They might also replace drywall, repair electrical wiring, install new insulation, repaint walls and ceilings, and remove residual smoke and odors. This is an opportunity to rebuild the home better than before and take advantage of modern construction techniques, materials, and finishes.
The professionals must know what they do when making structural repairs after a fire. One wrong move could collapse a wall or ceiling, which can be deadly.
The final phase of fire restoration involves repairing or rebuilding the damaged areas of the property. The process can take weeks to months, but it is usually more manageable when you choose an experienced company.
Your fire restoration experts will work to repair drywall, replace carpeting, restore wood floors, and remove lingering smoke smells. They will also help you recover personal belongings and salvage furniture that can be restored.
Entering your damaged home or business is essential once the fire department has given you the all-clear. There is often hidden damage that you can’t see.
You should always get a copy of the fire report from your local fire department. This will make it easier to file your insurance claim. It will also help you document the damages and recovery costs so that you are fully compensated for your losses.