When you experience a fire in your home or business, the aftermath is overwhelming to deal with and leaves you feeling vulnerable. Hopefully, you never have to deal with the fear, loss and helpless feeling that comes with experiencing fire damage.
Be prepared by educating yourself early on, and address fire damage restoration as a priority, should it occur, to avoid long-term issues and costly repairs. Here’s what you should know about dealing with fire restoration.
Contacting the Insurance Company and Fire Restoration Services
Safety and damage must be assessed before you enter the building. Your insurance company can help you find temporary lodging until you get the fire report. Also, contact a fire restoration service to conduct a damage assessment to get the restoration process started.
Credible fire restoration professionals are both licensed and insured to perform their services. A fire restoration contractor knows how to employ their services and resources to reduce the risk of further damage and offer cleanup help as they:
• Try to salvage as much of your personal and home belongings as possible, such as clothing, appliances and furniture.
• Document all items removed from your home in writing and by taking photos, noting differences between structural and personal property damage.
• Work with the insurance company before, during and after the assessment and restoration.
• Work carefully and quickly to get you back into your home, and remain in contact with you to make sure you don’t experience other problems.
If Safe to Enter: Tasks You Can Perform
Did officials clear the building for safe entry? Always put safety first. If approved to enter safely, wear respiratory protection, work gloves and long sleeves and pants. Here are a few small tasks you can perform to minimize initial damage before the restoration company steps in for major cleanup:
• Ventilation: Air out the house by opening the windows. Force out contaminated air and dust with fans. Know that the restoration professionals set up industrial-strength fans and other equipment to remove the contaminated air.
• Cleaning: You need to find your valuable documents and replace them. You can scrub surfaces with soap and water if you need to get to certain items, but leave the heavy-duty cleaning for the restoration professionals. Alkaline cleaners help neutralize acids in soot to reduce the smoke smell.
• Laundry: Wash clothing, bedding and other items that you can machine-wash with alkaline cleaners. Use dry cleaners who are experienced with remedying smoke damage. Don’t use washers and dryers subjected to smoke and fire damage.
Fire Restoration Services Step in For Cleanup
Fire restoration services thoroughly cleanup by using industrial-grade equipment and products. For example, they may use specialized filters as they vacuum. Dry-cleaning soot sponges help lift loose soot. Fire restoration professionals remove standing pools of water with the use of submersible pumps. They sanitize rooms to prevent the risk of health problems, such as those due to mold. Mold begins to grow after 24 hours which may result from water damage from putting out the fire.
The restoration company discards items that are too damaged for repair or restoration. Furniture and other items can also absorb contaminated water or mold. New carpets replace damaged ones. New wallpaper and paint go up. Your home gets a complete analysis and work-over, from top to bottom and interior to exterior.
Did you know that a fire restoration company can leave your property looking better than before? The best companies do more than repair. They renovate to optimize the area for your safety but also look at this as an opportunity to redesign your home to your needs and changing tastes.
Calling a Fire Restoration Company STAT Can Save You More Money
You may think fire damage looks minor and that you can put off repairs. More damage results from negligence, which sends the insurance company a red flag. They may deny future claims. Be proactive in making your claim. Let fire restoration professionals help you document the damage. This makes it easier to file accurate claims, saving you more money in the long run.
Fire restoration services often step in before insurance companies do to assess the damage. They help walk you through the steps you need to take to get back to your normal routines — and back into your home or business. ECOS Environmental assists with documentation, emergency board-up, soot removal, thermal deodorization (for mitigating smoke damage), demolition, repair and reconstruction.