A house fire is undoubtedly one of the most devastating things anyone can go through. Unfortunately, fires are quite prevalent. According to the NFPA, fire departments respond to about 300,000 house fires annually.
While the architectural structure of these houses is often saved, putting out a house fire is only half the battle. After the ashes settle, you have to deal with the smoke and soot damage caused by the fire. The task is daunting, but the fire restoration tips discussed herein will make it a tad easier.
After the Fire: Five Things to Include on your Smoke Damage Restoration Checklist
Even a small fire has the potential to cause thousands of dollars worth of smoke damage. Here are five smoke damage restoration steps you can take to mitigate it:
1. Declutter First
After the fire is out, you’ve talked to the relevant authorities, and you’re over the initial shock, your next step towards recovery should be decluttering. Go through the remains to see if there’s anything you can salvage.
Identify items that can be cleaned and restored and throw away items damaged beyond repair. While evaluating an item’s damage, consider the cost of repair vs. the cost of buying a new one to determine whether it’s worth saving. Consider sentimental value too.
This step is likely to be emotionally taxing as just seeing items you treasured destroyed beyond repair can weigh you down. So, handle it one step at a time, or better yet, leave the job to fire restoration experts.
2. Air it Out
Once you salvage what you can and throw away what you can’t, open up the windows and doors to let in the fresh air, turn on working fans and, if possible, bring in portable ones.
Proper ventilation helps limit smoke and fire damage by removing some of the smoke particles and preventing smoke odor from sticking.
3. Inspect for Additional Smoke Damage
You ought to determine the extent of damage in your home before you begin any smoke damage restoration efforts. It’ll help you figure out what to do next. Go room to room, inspecting how much damage each one incurred. This might not make sense if it was only a small fire, but smoke tends to drift from room to room and can even cause damage in rooms furthest from the fire.
4. Vacuum Soot and Ash
Time is of the essence when handling smoke damage. This is because smoke and soot tend to settle onto surfaces immediately after a fire. The sooner you act, the easier it’ll be to prevent permanent damage.
That said, get a smoke vacuum or a dry vacuum cleaner and remove the soot and ash before professional fire restoration experts come in. If you don’t have either of the aforementioned tools, use a standard vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment but run it gently, so you don’t spread the soot and ashes further.
5. Call in the Restoration 1 Experts
While you can always deal with smoke and fire damage yourself to cut costs, calling in professional smoke damage restoration experts is the wisest decision because:
- Professionals Have Smoke Damage Restoration Equipment: Professional fire restorers usually have advanced smoke restoration equipment such as professional-grade smoke vacuums. Moreover, there are certain areas you can’t inspect for damage with the naked eye, but pro fire restoration experts can because they have the equipment needed.
- They Have Professional Training and Experience: Fire restoration experts use advanced techniques to deal with the damage. For instance, they carry out ozone deodorizing to remove smoke odor and are experienced enough to handle any and all challenges they may encounter, such as water damage from the water the fire department poured on your house while trying to combat the fire. They’ll know what to do to save items you thought are damaged beyond repair.
- They’ll Save You the Emotional Distress: It’s difficult to see what you’ve worked on for years, burned to ashes in just a few minutes. Letting experts handle the smoke damage restoration process for you, saves you the emotional distress caused by digging through the remnants of your life.
Let Professional Smoke Damage Restoration Experts Help
A house fire is not only an emotionally taxing experience but also a truly disastrous one. However, as long as you’re unharmed, you can rebuild your home, replace possessions, and eventually, that fire will become a distant memory.
While you can always deal with the aftermath, it’s wiser to leave smoke damage restoration to the experts. Not only will the whole process be faster but also you get to skip the emotional distress and salvage more items.
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