Home fire restoration advice
A home fire, no matter how small, is a frightening and often devastating event. Along with the obvious damage to the home and its contents from the fire and smoke, there is often a substantial amount of water damage as a result of extinguishing the fire. Taking the steps necessary to avoid a fire in the first place is vastly preferable to dealing with extensive fire repair after the fact. Some important recommendations for lowering the risk of home fires include:
- Keep a small fire extinguisher or box of baking soda in the kitchen to quickly snuff out kitchen fires.
- Check appliance plugs regularly for fraying.
- At Christmastime, keep the tree watered regularly and ensure Christmas lights are in good working order.
- Place smoke detectors in each room and hallway, and test them regularly.
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Smoke and Fire Damage
There are two forms of smoke damage: soot and odor. Soot is visible and must be thoroughly cleaned before the house is suitable for occupation again, but odor is not visible and is sometimes not noticed until homeowners have moved back into their home. The basic steps for fire restoration and smoke removal are:
- Remove structural components (walls, ceiling, etc.) with charring, smoke damage, or moisture damage.
- Remove floor coverings.
- Evaluate structural framing and sub-floors for charring and warping; dry, replace and repair as needed.
- Inspect HVAC system and replace or restore as needed.
- Deodorize each room, using an ozone generator to eradicate smoke odors, if needed.
- Replace, reseal and paint drywall and structural components.
- Evaluate and restore all furnishings and removable fixtures.
Fire Restoration Services
In most cases, recovery from a home fire requires help from a professional fire restoration company. These professionals can advise homeowners on which damaged items can safely be restored and which items are beyond repair. Damage from fire, smoke or water is not always apparent from the outside, but an expert in fire restoration can ensure that resources are not wasted by repairing items that in reality cannot be salvaged.
Important considerations when choosing the best fire restoration professionals include:
- Find out about their hiring process, including background checks on employees.
- Inquire about guarantees on work performed, as much of the damage caused by a fire is not always obvious right away.
- Investigate the company's workers compensation and liability insurance.
- Obtain a detailed written estimate of the work to be performed, including timeframes, as homeowners often have to make alternative living arrangements while work is performed.
- Check past customer references thoroughly to assess the quality of work and integrity of the company.
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