Fire Damage Restoration
The process of fire damage restoration is neither simple nor easy. It doesn’t help either that homeowners are usually already traumatized enough by the fire itself. Nevertheless, restoration must begin from day one. Otherwise, you place your home at risk of even greater damage.
Timeline Of Damage
We want to start by taking a look at the timeline of damage. Reviewing this should help you understand why time is of the essence:
- Damage During The First Few Minutes: The immediate soot residue after a fire causes discoloration among plastics, appliances and all porous materials like alabaster and marble.
- Damage During The First Few Hours: Simple discolorations start to turn into deeper stains. These stains affect bathrooms grouts, counter tops, appliance finishes, furniture finishes and more.
- Damage During The First Few Days: Discolorations and stains on walls, appliances, etc. start to become permanent. Plus, the finishing on furniture and floors becomes so damaged that it must either be redone or replaced altogether.
- Damage Afterward: The costs of fire damage restoration continue to dramatically rise as more and more structural household components and personal items corrode.
It should be very obvious to you now why you cannot wait. Restoration must start the very same day that the fire gets put out. And ideally, a licensed and trained fire restoration company should complete the entire restoration for you.
Manual Restoration Process Outlined
We now want to take a look at the actual restoration process. We understand that some of you may not want to reach out to a professional right away. For that reason, we are going to present the process with easy to follow steps.
- Protection: The first thing you need to do is protect yourself. This means putting on thick clothes and wearing gloves, at a minimum. Preferably, you should also take advantage of an oxygen tank to avoid breathing in harmful chemicals.
- Ventilation: The next step involves ventilating your home by opening all windows and doors. If you’re lucky, it’ll be a windy day. If not, try to at least turn on a couple fans to help speed up the ventilation process.
- Cleaning: Here’s where things get fun. You need to clean everything, including but not limited to walls, fixtures, ceilings, doors, windows, floors, etc. Below are some tips that can help with this.
- Use high-efficiency vacuum cleaners to remove soot from carpeting and upholstery.
- Clean fine clothing via dry cleaning. Regular clothes and rugs can be washed in a washer/dryer, but make sure you use a mild alkaline detergent.
- Spray and/or pressure wash exterior paint, wood, brick, etc. walls from top to bottom. Use detergent if possible.
- Odor Removal: Removing the horrible smell will require more than just ventilation. You’ll need to use deodorizing sprays, disinfectant sprays, aerosol sprays, etc. Unfortunately, this will only provide temporary relief.
Professional Restoration Process Outlined
The previous guide should be used only as a starting point. To fully restore your home and belongings, you will inevitably need the services of a professional restoration company. Below is a simplified outline of the many, many things they will do:
- Inspection: The specialists will closely inspect your entire home and pinpoint every single trace of fire damage. They will then provide you with a quote.
- Cleaning: If you accept, the specialists will then utilize their own professional equipment to do everything in the last section.
- Treatment: Specialists will also take advantage of ozone technology. It’s a powerful non-consumer technology that lets them permanently remove all odors.
- Restoration: Any items needing more stringent methods will be packed and taken to a facility to be professional deodorized and cleaned.
The fire damage restoration process is fairly complex and time-consuming. If done yourself, expect it to take several weeks minimum. Keep in mind that every day that passes only further worsens the damage that’s already present.
The simple truth is that properly restoring a home after a fire isn’t something meant to be done as a DIY project. It’s a very, very, very serious undertaking that must be done correctly and efficiently. It is for this reason that we again highly recommend you at the very least get a free inspection. Remember, it never hurts to just check with the experts!