Surviving a fire can be a traumatic and challenging experience for all those involved. Safely making it out of your house or commercial building doesn’t mean the end of this crisis. After the flames have been put out and the smoke has cleared, it’s time to take a deep breath and begin restoring your property.
If you’ve experienced fire damage in your home or business, it’s natural to have millions of questions about the next steps you have to take. To help you out in these difficult times, we’ve gathered answers to these frequently asked questions about fire and smoke damage restoration.
What Damage Can Fires Cause?
Property fires can cause different degrees of damage depending on factors such as:
- The cause of the fire
- How hot the building got during the fire
- How long the fire raged before it was extinguished
- The amount of smoke created
- The amount of water that was needed to put out the fire.
Taking these factors into consideration, fire damage is usually classified into three categories:
Minor Fire Damage
In this category, light to moderate smoke and soot are discovered in a specific room or portion of the building. Fire damage restoration usually includes cleaning and deodorizing the area’s floors, walls, ceilings, and contents.
Medium Fire Damage
More aggressive cleaning, disinfecting, and deodorizing are necessary when dealing with medium fire damage. Additionally, building materials and items may have to be repaired or replaced due to moderate smoke and soot and more extensive damage to surfaces.
Major Fire Damage
Major fire damage refers to severe damage to a home’s surfaces, structural framing, and contents. In most cases, the smoke has also infiltrated most of the building. Restoring major fire damage may involve boarding up windows and doors, cleaning personal items off-site, and performing painting and repairs.
What Is the First Thing I Should Do After a Fire?
After the firefighters have put out the flames, the first thing to do is ensure that you, your family members, and your pets are safe. After affected individuals have received the medical attention they need, it’s a wise decision to call a fire damage restoration company immediately to begin the repairs.
While waiting for your restoration professionals, consider finding a place where your family can relocate temporarily. Fire-damaged buildings are often unstable, and there’s still the possibility of a subsequent fire igniting. Get your loved ones out of harm’s way until you are cleared to return to your home.
Can I Inspect My Home After a Fire?
It’s strongly advised that you stay out of your property following a fire. Homes affected by a blaze are considered unstable and unsafe. Additionally, fine particles from smoke and soot may also be present inside, and inhaling them can cause various health problems.
More importantly, remember that only a licensed inspector can safely and legally determine the safety of your building. Reading numerous fire restoration tips alone is not enough for you to do this yourself without endangering yourself or causing secondary problems.
Letting the experts do their job and staying outside your fire-damaged property are the best ways to avoid further issues.
How Do I Secure My Home After a Fire?
If the recent fire has damaged your doors, windows, and roof, your fire and smoke damage restoration company can install board-ups and tarp covers to protect your home from theft or further damage.
If the Fire Damage Is Minor, Can I Clean It Myself?
No matter the scale of damage your property has sustained, it pays to remember that trying to clean up fire and smoke damage yourself can put you and your loved ones in danger.
First, exposure to smoke and soot from fires can cause breathing difficulties, respiratory irritation, and headaches and can also worsen other existing medical conditions. The unstable components inside a fire-damaged building can also collapse and cause injuries.
The most important factor to remember is that cleaning up fire and smoke damage alone can be counterproductive, especially if you don’t have the proper cleaning equipment and products to do a thorough job.
What Should I Do With the Water Used To Extinguish the Fire?
If your home or commercial facility is flooded with water from the firefighting efforts, a fire damage repair team can extract the standing water using equipment such as sumps or extraction tools. They also check for saturation in the flooded area and use drying systems to prevent further damage, like mold.
Can Smoke Damage Be Removed?
Smoke and soot damage on floors, walls, ceilings, and other surfaces can be stubborn, but they can be removed. Companies specializing in fire and smoke damage repair generally do take the following steps to make your property safe and healthy again:
- Remove floor coverings to keep soot and dust from settling on the floor.
- Use specialized cleaning products and odor counteractants to treat odor and contamination.
- Clean, repair or replace the HVAC system to restore indoor air quality.
Do I Need To Move Out During the Restoration Process?
The idea of relocating may seem like a hassle initially, but living in a fire-damaged home can be more stressful and unsafe. This is especially true if your floors have suffered extensive damage, the building’s structural integrity has been compromised, and your utilities have to be cut off temporarily.
At the end of the day, your best bet is to consult with your trusted restoration professionals and follow their recommendations.
What Happens During Fire Damage Restoration?
Fire and smoke damage restoration involves the following:
- Removing unsafe components that can no longer be saved
- Removing floor coverings that can collect harmful elements like soot
- Evaluating framing and subfloor materials
- Treating salvageable framing for odor and contamination
- Restoring or removing the HVAC system
- Cleaning salvageable materials and contents
Every property is different, and no two house fires are the same. Therefore, the steps that your technicians will take will ultimately depend on the extent of the damage and the parts of your home affected by the fire.
How Long Does Fire Damage Restoration Take?
The timeline for a fire and smoke damage restoration project varies depending on the scope and severity of the damage. Your home’s size and amount of affected contents can also impact the time needed to restore your property.
A full-service company like Restoration 1 will provide you with an estimated timeline of all the necessary repairs to set your expectations and help you make the necessary arrangements.
Rebuild Your Life With the Help of Thorough and Efficient Restoration Experts
Learning more about fire damage and the appropriate steps to take after it can make or break your property restoration project. As such, this summary of fire damage repair FAQs and fire restoration tips should give you more ideas on how to respond to such incidents in the safest and most productive ways.
If you have recently experienced a property fire, let the thorough and efficient experts at Restoration 1 help you get your normal back. Our 24/7 rapid response and commitment to quality mean you can get your property back to how you remember it in no time. Get in touch with us today to get started!