House Fire: 5 Steps to Recovery
No two fires are the same, and damage can differ greatly from property to property depending on the size, intensity, and duration of the fire – as well as the structure itself! But even with all those variables, the process of restoring a home after a fire, and getting a family back on their feet, remains pretty constant. Here is an overview of what to expect after a house fire.
- The restoration company, like Clean Masters in Charleston, gets the call and responds as quickly as possible. The longer you let the smoke and soot sit, the harder it will be to fix the damage that’s been done. This includes burnt property and smoke damage to walls, floors, and personal property.
- An estimator will walk through your home, assess the damage, and create a plan to return your home to a condition where you never even knew the fire happened – we call this returning a property to its “pre-loss” condition. This estimator will likely also be able to work with your insurance adjuster or insurance company during the loss.
- Crews come in and carefully organize and box up any contents in your home that may have been damaged – from clothing and bedding to dishes, electronics, etc., that are salvageable. There is really good news when it comes to your possessions! Many of the items in your home could be saved through special cleaning and restoration techniques within our contents cleaning and restoration division. If one of your children has a special stuffed animal, doll, blanket, or other sentimental items that could help them through this tough time, we are happy to clean that first and return it to you as soon as possible. Same goes for any clothing or other items you might need. Items that don’t need to be cleaned, but need to be moved out of them home, will be carefully stored.
- Restoration and any necessary reconstruction begin. This is the most complex part of the process, usually. First, carpet and porous materials are removed. Then, the crew starts scrubbing down walls to remove the soot and the odor and wiping every single surface – sometimes over and over again. It could also mean doing things like removing cabinets from the wall to clean behind them, or removing charred beams saturated with smoke and soot. As the restoration and cleaning process continues, technicians will also be working to eliminate any odors and smoke damage. If not properly removed, the smoke smell can reappear during a change in the weather, the presence of moisture, or other environmental changes. Make sure whatever restoration company you are using truly removes the source of the odors, as well as eliminates the odors … not just covers them up with another smell. Most fires only cause major damage to a small portion of a home. However, that small kitchen fire likely created soot and smoke damage throughout the entire home. Simply cleaning a home damaged by fire is likely not going to be enough, as odors can linger in objects, carpet, walls, and any other porous surface if not properly treated.
- Finally, the last step is to return the restored household items to your home that had been removed for cleaning. When they were removed from your home, they were carefully packed up according to room and location. When they are returned to you, expect things to be put back into the same rooms from which they were initially removed.
Smoke damage can be much more incredible than you’d imagine. Smoke fills the tiniest of spaces and can nestle into spots that you may not realize exist. Professional smoke damage cleanup crews like Clean Masters are trained to find the most difficult smoke damaged areas in your property and restore them to pre-fire condition.