House Fire? What Are Your Next Steps?

Posted on: 16 March 2015

Whether you've just suffered a minor kitchen fire or a more extensive electrical or gas fire in your home, it's important to hire professionals to inspect and repair any damage as quickly as possible. Although you may be tempted to clean up any remaining soot or ash yourself, this DIY approach may have unintended consequences. Read on to learn more about the professional fire damage restoration process, as well as why time is of the essence in this situation.

Why is it important to seek damage restoration as soon as possible?

The materials that make up your home -- paint, drywall, wood, and laminate -- create certain byproducts when exposed to extreme heat or flame. These byproducts are often hazardous when inhaled or during long periods of exposure. The longer these fumes are able to settle deep within the wooden surfaces of your home, the more difficult they are to eradicate -- even with professionals doing the job.

Soot and particulates that have settled on hard or soft surfaces in the areas adjacent to the fire can also quickly cause damage and discoloration. For example, if you have laminate counters or floors, waiting several days after the fire can require your damage contractors to have to replace these surfaces, rather than deep-cleaning them. Soft surfaces like carpet and upholstery are even more susceptible to permanent damage and staining from soot and ash.

If your fire takes place over a weekend and you're unable to seek immediate restoration, do your best to remove all upholstered furniture from the area (storing it in a basement or other room far from the fire) and wipe down all sooty surfaces.

What is involved in the damage restoration process?

When you seek professional fire damage restoration, the first step the restorers will take is to remove all contaminated furniture and other items from the area. They'll then bring in air-purifying equipment to filter soot and other particles from the air during the cleaning process. After the area is cleared, the restorers will carefully remove ash and soot from all surfaces, using commercial cleaners and neutralizers. In some cases, they may apply a protective sealant to prevent any small remaining particulates from becoming airborne. If the room is carpeted, heavy-duty carpet cleaning detergents are used to remove any remaining soot or smoke.

After the room has been restored, the contractors will examine the furniture that has been removed to determine what must be repaired vs. replaced. In some cases, upholstery can be vacuumed and deep-cleaned like carpet, but in other cases, soft surfaces may need to be taken to the dump. However, seeking damage restoration immediately will give you the best odds of making it through the entire fire experience without losing a thing. For more information about the restoration process, contact a company like ServiceMaster by Restoration Xperts.


Preventing Mold Damage After A Flood

If you think that having your home flooded is bad, wait and see what happens if you don't quickly and effectively dry the place out. In improperly dried homes, the mold damage can be even more devastating than the water damage. And mold and mildew will start to grow right away, so you have to be on top of it right from the start. This blog is all about preventing mold and mildew from taking over your home after a flood. The bigger the flood it was, the bigger the job it is, but no matter how big it was, you can stop the mold. Find out how.