Fire Damage Restoration
Delays in fire damage clean up can have serious consequences. In addition to the obvious devastation created by heat, flames, and soot, water and smoke are powerful contaminators and destructors in their own right. Immediate intervention is critical to minimize exposure to these damaging agents in hopes of limiting restoration costs.
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. Pungent smells will start to be more intense and can fill the air with harmful pollutants.
- 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.
- How We Help: Expert Solutions certified technicians will be onsite to help the customer in every step of the loss. We are a family based company , “Leave it to the Experts to clean it up”
It should be very obvious to you now why you cannot wait. Fire restoration and securing the property 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.
PREVENTING FURTHER DAMAGE
You as the customer can minimize further damage by following these guidelines. “Be sure you have permission from your fire marshal to safely re-enter your home”
Get the air moving. Open windows to ventilate the area. Install a fan (if power) to start circulate air. Dry wet items as soon as possible. Use fans and dehumidifiers to dry carpets and draperies. If not thoroughly dried, carpets and floors underneath may be quickly damaged beyond repair by mold and mildew.
Remove brass and copper items and clean them using brass or copper cleaner (smoke can etch brass or copper in 24 hours).
Place aluminum foil or plastic food wrap under furniture legs. Remove oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpeting.
Cover dry, clean items with plastic while repairs are in progress.
Removing Soot from Household Textiles
Soot is oily and easily stains carpets, draperies and other household textiles. For this reason you must remove it before you attempt to clean or deodorize items.
If possible, hire a professional restorer to remove soot with a heavy-duty vacuum. If you don’t plan to hire a professional, you can remove some soot by holding a vaccum cleaner nozzle slightly off the surface of the item. Do not use vacuum attachments or an upright vacuum because the brushes tend to force soot into fabrics.
Cover carpets after removing the soot to keep other soil from being tracked in during clean-up.
Removing Smoke Odor from Textiles
Smoke odor may remain in clothing, upholstered furniture, carpets and draperies unless they are properly deodorized before cleaning. Professional assistance is recommended.
Consult professional fire restorers and/or dry cleaners about using “counteractants,” chemicals or additives that break up smoke molecules to eliminate odors. The type of counteractant used will vary with the type of material burned in the fire. Counteractants may be professionally applied to furniture, carpets and draperies. Restorers also may provide them for laundering clothes.
Fire restorers and dry cleaners sometimes use an ozone treatment to break up smoke molecules and eliminate odors. If the process is done in the home, items are put under a tent while an ozone generator is operating.