The Reality of Smoke and Fire Damage Restoration

Once the fire is out and the first responders pack up and leave, many families are left wondering what to do now. The immediate danger has passed, but other threats are still creeping up. The process of tallying the damage and moving forward is left to the smoke and fire damage restoration team, who move in to handle what comes next.

Assessing the smoke and fire damage

The first step in restoration is seeing how far the damage goes. The restoration team must thoroughly inspect the house. While some soot is easily wiped away, other things like melted plastic and deeper char have to be scraped off. The assessment is documented to help with insurance claims.

Accounting for water damage

You’re not done once the team assesses the smoke and fire damage. The restoration team assesses water damage next. Water is great at putting out fires, but presents its own risks to a home. Rot and mold both follow where water lingers. The restoration team’s top priority is cleaning water.

Assessing damage to property

The property then has to be inspected for structural damage as well as damage that doesn’t affect how sturdy the home is. This is also when items are looked over and discarded or the decision to go through the restoration process is made. This is an often painful time for families who have to choose whether to keep or write off furniture and other items. While some furniture can be easily restored, some will almost invariably be lost to fire or water damage even in a relatively minor disaster.

Industry-grade cleaning for soot and mold

The main cleaning process involves scrubbing soot and ash out of the house. Treatments to ensure mold doesn’t grow follow. This process is labor intensive and time consuming; every room affected will be gone over dozens of times by the time this is done. The restoration team does most of the cleaning with industry-grade tools, steam cleaners, dehumidifiers, and more. Finally the home is clean.

Structural repairs

Repairs to the house take place next. Sealing water or soot into a repaired wall could lead to further problems down the line, so the area has to undergo cleaning to some extent first.

Deodorizing and sanitizing area

Finally, treatments to get the soot and smoke smells out of carpets, drapes, walls, and ceiling takes place. This comes with a final sanitizing of the affected area. The difference between the pre-fire damaged home and current version should be fairly minimal. While there may still be things like repainting to do, the house is now as it was before the disaster.

Returning cleaned property

Any restored property is returned to the restored home and the process is, at last, over.

The reality is that smoke and fire damage linger far beyond when the fire was put out. Something that took a few minutes to burn could take weeks to repair. Smoke and fire restoration is a long, complex process. The more experience you have on your side the better going into a fraught situation like this.

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