Restoring Your Home After a Fire
One of the most traumatic experiences a homeowner can face is a devastating fire. If out of control, a fire can destroy all of your possessions making it imperative to follow the proper procedure to rescue your personal belongings.
The only way to ensure you don’t suffer permanent damage to your belongings is to start the restoration process the day of the fire. Within the first few minutes of the fire being extinguished soot residue will cause discoloration of plastics, appliances, and porous materials like alabaster and marble. Within the first few hours these discolorations can turn into deeper stains affecting bathroom grouts, counter tops, and appliance furnishings among other things. After the first few days those discolorations can become permanent.
The process of fire restoration is slightly complex and time consuming. To complete the process yourself it would take several weeks so it is highly recommended that you immediately contact the professionals at SERVPRO to do the job for you. These professionals have the specialized fire restoration training to complete the job in an efficient and timely manner. But you still might want to understand the process of fire restoration. So here are the steps that will be taken to restore your home to its pre-fire condition.
Before beginning the restoration, it’s very important to protect yourself. Wearing thick clothes and gloves will protect you from the hazardous materials in the house. Professionals will arrive wearing special clothing and equipment to protect them from harmful chemicals.
Once properly attired, a professional fire restoration company will inspect the entire home for every trace of fire damage. They will inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property, which will help to determine the extent of the damage of your home, caused by fire, smoke, and soot.
With the preparation complete, it is then time to begin the restoration process. The first step will be to ventilate the building. Opening all windows and doors will allow fresh air into the building. While a stiff wind may help the process, turning on some fans will expedite the ventilation process.
Often fires will compromise windows, walls, and roofs so it’s important to cover those areas to secure and protect them against further damage. SERVPRO professionals will board up missing windows and place tarps over missing roofs.
Occasionally there will be water damage following a fire. Like with fire restoration, water removal must begin almost immediately to minimize lasting damage. Professionals will remove the majority of the water and then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove any remaining water.
The next step will be to clean the building by using specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from the ceiling, walls, carpeting, upholstery, or any other areas that might have been affected. Professionals will treat the damaged areas with special equipment using ozone technology, powerful non-consumer technology that enables them to permanently remove odors.
The final step to completing the recovery of your home following a fire is restoration. This can include minor repairs like replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet. It can also include major repairs like reconstruction of various areas or rooms within the building.
For homeowners, fine clothing that has been damaged by smoke will need to be dry-cleaned. Regular clothing with smoke damage can be cleaned using warm water in a washer and dryer but a mild alkaline detergent will need to be used. You also may need several launderings to rid the clothes of the smoke odor.
Sometimes there will be items that can’t be restored on site. These items will be packed up and shipped to a facility for professional deodorization and cleaning.
If immediate action is not taken to restore your home after a fire, the affects can be irreversible. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that you immediately call the folks at SERVPRO to help save your possessions and not attempt to accomplish the feat yourself. At the very least have these professional come to survey the damage and provide you with a quote.
If you come across a fire in the home, you can contact SERVPRO to serve your fire restoration needs.