A home fire is far from uncommon. In 2020, US fire officials responded to 356,500 house fires. Several million dollars’ worth of property losses occurred. It is probable that homeowners will eventually face a fire; when they do, it is important to take the right steps to restore and rebuild.
The National Fire Protection Association reports that cooking fires are the most common cause of residential fires. Heating and lighting equipment, respectively, are the next top causes of home fires. Smoking causes approximately five percent of house fires in a five-year period.
Home structure fires are catastrophic events that require the expertise of professional fire damage restoration crews. Overlooking any of the following steps to restoration can lead to safety hazards. Experts in fire damage remediation have the experience to return safety to a fire damaged home.
1. Notify the Insurance Company
A homeowner’s first task after a residential fire is to notify the insurance company of the damage and begin the claims process. Document the fire damage with photographs, videos, and notes. Detailed documentation of the ruin will push the insurance claim forward.
2. Stabilize the Property
Stabilization of the fire damaged property is crucial. Destructive flames compromise the structural integrity of the home. Prior to beginning repairs, the homeowner must know the extent of structural damage. Trained and licensed restoration professionals perform an accurate post-fire assessment.
Restoration experts look for exterior signs that the home is safe to enter. Fire damaged concrete, wood and steel elements are carefully evaluated to determine their stability. Damaged structural components are listed in the order in which they should be repaired or replaced.
Schedule an inspection of the electrical system. A licensed electrician will perform the inspection and any repairs necessary. Oftentimes, fire damaged homes require a replacement of the breaker box and testing of all wiring, outlets, and fixtures. Replace damaged electrical components.
3. Board Up
A fire that has ripped through a home is likely to have left gaping holes in the siding and damaged windows and doors. Board up all openings. Securing the damaged home prevents additional ruin from the elements, pests and wildlife, and potential thieves.
Use three-quarter inch marine-grade plywood to board up windows and doors. Fasten the plywood from the inside of the home to prevent vandals from unscrewing the bolts from the outside and entering. Lay tarp on a fire damaged roof using a piece of wood and screws.
4. Dry the Home
Water damage may result after local fire officials extinguish the fire with hoses. Moisture can also enter the home when the flames damage the plumbing system. Weather conditions may lead to rain during a fire or in its aftermath, causing substantial water damage to the home.
Homeowners must thoroughly dry the home to prevent mold infestations and the loss of structural integrity associated with water damage. Fire damage restoration crews are key to accelerating the drying process, as technicians run commercial dehumidifiers and powerful air movers.
5. Clean Soot
Even after the fire is extinguished, smoke and soot damage will linger. Without emergency pre-cleaning, soot adheres to surfaces, discoloring the items and causing permanent damage. Certain materials, like metals, plastics, grout, and wood, are highly susceptible to soot damage.
The longer soot remains on a surface, the more damage it will cause. Soot particles are tiny, meandering into crevices and remaining unseen. While homeowners can remove some soot with a vacuum, restoration professionals will efficiently eliminate all soot particles from the property.
Plus, soot reduces the air quality within the home. Foul airborne odors are a nuisance after a fire. Homeowners can rely on smoke damage remediation experts to run air scrubbers and air movers that clean the air. Specialized cleaning products lift odors from surfaces that absorb smoke.
6. Repair Possessions
After a home fire, valuable goods will likely be destroyed. Certain possessions may be unsalvageable. However, the fire may have left other goods with minimal damage; these items should be packed up and sent to a facility for repairs. Content pack out can save these goods.
The pervading soot and smoke can cause damage to furniture, artwork, and photographs. Cleaning delicate items like these requires special tools and training. Restoration experts are equipped with the professional-grade tools to restore fragile items that have the potential to be saved.
Carpets and curtains are easily destroyed in a home fire. Inspect these items to determine the extent of mildew, mold, or smoke absorption and whether or not they are salvageable. Carpets may be shampooed, and curtains laundered. Restoration crews will assist in the evaluation of salvageable goods.
Professional Fire Damage Restoration Services
While a fire damaged home is devastating, working with the right restoration company will ensure that the safety and health of the home’s occupants are safeguarded. ServiceMaster EMT is a local fire damage restoration company with the experience to return your home to its pre-loss condition fast.
As a company that has earned a stellar reputation in the community, ServiceMaster EMT will provide you with top-notch, reliable fire damage cleanup services. Our skilled crews proficiently tackle the soot, smoke and resulting damage quickly, thereby preventing the further spread of ruin.
We perform all the above-mentioned services using professional-grade equipment, safe cleaning products, and proven techniques. Our fire damage restoration specialists also perform reconstruction and replacement services—both of which exceed industry standards. We offer water damage restoration services when water damage results from the fire extinguishment.
From identifying the scope of the reconstruction project to reviewing the extent of repairs with your insurance adjuster, ServiceMaster EMT professionals cover all your fire damage restoration needs. Homeowners will find dependable, comprehensive fire damage restoration services by working with us.
A final property inspection completes our efficient restoration. We also work with your insurance company. Reduce the stress of a home fire by working with the experienced pros at ServiceMaster EMT. We serve residents in Southern California and Nevada 24/7. Call us when fire damage strikes.