The Restoration Process: How to Recover from Fire and Smoke Damage

House with fire damageRecovering from a fire can be costly and time-consuming. Even relatively small fires can still result in significant smoke damage and water damage. From assessing the destruction to cleaning up the damage, implementing the correct process goes a long way toward recovering your property.

Although it is possible to recover on your own, it’s always best to hire the services of a company that specializes in fire and smoke damage restoration.

Examine the Damage

Once the fire has been put out, and emergency services have deemed your structure safe for you to re-enter, assess the amount of damage. Insurance companies will want an accurate inventory of all damages in order to adjust their payouts properly.

Note the extent of the fire and smoke damage in your structure, and take plenty of photos for documentation purposes. These photos will be of great use to insurance and restoration companies in their efforts to help you recover from the damage.

Clean up Water Damage

After a fire, there will be a significant amount of water in your structure as a result of the fire extinguishing process. There may be standing pools of water throughout your structure, and most furniture and carpeting will be wet.

Prior to any clean-up, make sure that your electricity supply is off. This is to ensure that you are not accidentally electrocuted while cleaning up water damage.

It’s important to dry out the carpet as soon as possible, to prevent mildew and mold. Cover your furniture and other items in plastic wrap to prevent the pieces from getting wet again during clean-up. Additionally, you should ventilate and air-out your structure as much as you possibly can. Use pumps to clear out any pools of water.

Clean up Fire and Smoke Damage

Once the water damage has been resolved and the accumulated water has been dried, it’s time to work on the fire and smoke damage. Apart from charring, soot will cover walls, ceilings, and even furniture. Smoke odor will also be very strong, and this needs to be dealt with immediately.

Scrape off any loose soot from walls and ceilings with a vacuum cleaner or a dry chemical sponge. Chemical solutions like Trisodium Phospate, or TSP, can be used to get rid of soot that has settled. Deodorize rooms and furniture with appropriate solutions, and use fans and dehumidifiers to further ventilate your structure. Always wear heavy gloves, goggles, and other safety clothing when handling chemicals.

Recovering from fire and smoke damage is both time-consuming and challenging. While it might be tempting to skimp on money after a fire, hiring a professional restoration company is still highly recommended, as the experts will have both the knowledge and tools to effectively restore as much of your structure as possible.

Depending on the type of fire, the smoke damage that your structure will incur might require specialized chemicals and equipment to clean up. Fully neutralizing the smell of smoke can also require professional cleaning.

Especially for structures that receive significant amounts of damage, hiring a professional service is likely the safer, wiser option.