Restoring a home or business after a fire or smoke damage can be challenging. Additionally, the costs of such restoration are often daunting, whether it be the cost to replace damaged goods, clean up and remove smoke and moisture that has penetrated layers of walls, or the cost of repairing extensive water damage from a flood.
Some homeowners progress at restoring their properties but hit obstacles at some point before reaching their goal. To know what hurdles to avoid, one should understand what causes the various stages of restoration. The following are essential tips for smoke and fire restoration:
1. Replacement Materials
Replace damaged items as soon as possible. Always use materials that are identical to the original. Sometimes, it may be impossible to source the same material used in a piece of furniture or artwork, but do the best you can.
Replacing the smoke smell in fabrics can be tricky since many smoke particles are absorbed into materials and may survive through several launderings. If you do replace fabrics, take extra care to ensure good ventilation when arranging furniture.
Ventilate smoke damage as soon as you enter the property. Find places in the house that are free of smoke, and open windows or doors so fresh air can circulate all rooms. Inspect for areas where there could be fire or smoke damage, such as walls, floors, ceilings, and roofs. As much as possible, allow windows in these areas to remain open by using tape to hold them slightly ajar.
Excessive moisture can cause mold and mildew, which will cause odors and must be treated, or the property will remain unfit for use. You can remove some water by using fans in the house to circulate air throughout. Dehumidifiers are also recommended. If you use machines to dehumidify, observe for potential damage to household goods and structures, as they can cause high heat producing an effect similar to driving a car in a garage without maintenance.
Cleaning is essential to fire or smoke restoration and should begin as soon as possible. When sanitizing this type of matter, use products guaranteed to kill the virus and bacteria that cause the odor. If you can, avoid using chemicals because they can be expensive and are more likely to create problems than solve them. Instead, you can use natural cleaners like vinegar or baking soda paired with water in a vaporizer to remove odors.
The fire caused several kinds of damage to the various parts of your house, and it is important to document each step in smoke and fire restoration. This can be done by taking photographs or by writing down descriptions of the damages and any changes you make to the property. If possible, have other people or family members present when you begin making decisions about repairs. The more efficiently you can communicate what was damaged, the easier it will be for insurance adjusters when investigating your claim.
Restoration is a long and potentially complicated process in smoke and fire restoration. When you are not emotionally involved in the decisions about your property, making the right choices for everyone involved is easier. Make sure you are well prepared by preparing a list of critical resources and necessities, taking photographs, writing down descriptions, and communicating clearly to insurance companies what the damages are.