Restoring your home or space damaged due to fire can be stressful, frustrating and messy. The last thing you want to do after a fire is to be near the scene, much less remediate the property on your own. After the fire trucks leave, your property or space is likely to suffer from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. A fire damage restoration professional has the experience needed to handle the fire restoration process properly and make your home safe again.
There are certain processes that professionals use when rebuilding a house after a fire and repairing fire damage, and as a homeowner, you must be aware of what these processes look like. The fire damage restoration process involves certain steps, they are:
CONFIRM SAFETY AND STABILIZATION
The first and major step of a remediation professional is to confirm that the property is safe to enter. The professionals will check for signs of structural damage that may compromise the home or property and carefully inspect the property from the outside before opening the door.
It is important to be patient and wait for an inspector to deem the property safe before you enter.
DAMAGE DETECTION AND MINIMIZATION
After confirming the safety, the foremost step in any fire restoration process is to jump to detecting every possible damage caused by both fire and the damage caused during the fire extinguishing process. It is vital for you and the professionals working in the affected space to be cautious of damages like soot staining, mold and mildew, rust and corrosion and the air quality in the home.
Materials like metals, plastics, grout, carpeting, textiles, and wood are quite sensitive. Soot staining occurs when the soot in the air stays to surfaces and causes discoloration. The soot staining may still be completely removable, however, it depends on the surface material and the time elapsed. In other cases, it will leave behind a permanent discoloration. Specialists will carefully examine all possible materials in the affected area or property and properly clean them to reduce damage.
Water damages can be caused to your belongings in the fire extinguishing process and Mold and mildew damage can turn out to be a problematic matter. Due to the rapid formation of mold and mildew, one needs to look for any signs of water damage even if there is no presence of mold or mildew formation yet. If water damage is not detected soon, the restoration process will slow down. The mold and mildew removal processes should begin as soon as possible in order to minimize any further damage.
In case of metals and electronics, rust and corrosion is a risk factor. Water interacting with metal can cause the metal to corrode or rust. This applies to any metal, but it’s especially essential to be careful about the small and valuable electronics that contain metal. If the components and conductors in the electronics corrode, the item is unlikely to be back to its normal condition, and the risk of electrical shock is amplified.
Air quality is one of the major concerns after a fire and should be one of the important sectors a professional should emphasize on if any lingering odors are detected. There may be valuable belongings like furniture pieces or a particular piece of cloth, carpets, etc. that was fortunately safe throughout the fire. Its great news but something to be cautious about is the smoke these materials might have absorbed along the way with time elapsed. Professionals need to start cleaning up smoke damage by using air scrubber and air mover to clean the air. If there is any smoke-damaged furniture that might be saved or you hope to save, professionals should begin the smoke-damage restoration process on them immediately to increase the chance for a complete restoration.
SOOT AND DEBRIS REMOVAL
Once the damages have been detected, the restoration process needs to start immediately. However, before any water damage or fire damage restoration processes can begin, all debris and soot must be removed from the home. The soot can cause more damage the longer it remains on a surface, while the debris is only going to get in the way the restoration process.
Removing the soot and debris will further help in the improvement of air quality and reduce airborne odors. A vacuum can help remove some of the remaining soot — it can be swept up or wiped down.
REMOVAL OF PERSONAL POSSESSIONS TOO DAMAGED TO RESTORE
If it’s too damaged to restore, it means it’s time to bid goodbye. It’s of no use to hold on to the personal possessions that are too damaged to restore or repair. So rather than holding on to it, it is better to get it off the site for the easy restoration process. It may be necessary to remove items that don’t appear to be damaged by the fire from the home as well. This will prevent the items from being contaminated any further. A professional can clean these items and prepare them for re-entry once the home is restored. Take extra caution in touching electrical machines or appliances because they can store electricity even after they’re unplugged.
ELIMINATION OF EXCESS WATER
Professionals must clean up the presence of any excess water as soon as possible before running other water restoration equipment. Since water can soak into walls, flooring, and even subflooring, they will require air movers and commercial dehumidifiers to dry everything out properly.
DEODORIZING, DEEP CLEANSING AND STAIN REMOVAL
It’s essential to reflect on the items that should be deep cleaned and restored and other items that are too damaged and should be replaced instead. Professionals may use specific cleaning products depending on the product being cleaned or deodorized. They will consider the nature of the material and the amount of mold, mildew or smoke that has penetrated the surface when determining the correct cleaning product to be used. Keep in mind that the professionals are to consult with you to determine any priority items.
Items like carpets, curtains, and other fabrics usually need special attention because they are easily stained. In some cases, carpets can be shampooed and restored, while fabrics can be washed or cleaned. You should be able to tell if an item is far too damaged with a quick inspection.
The professionals are responsible for determining the products salvageable and updating the homeowners throughout the restoration process.