In our last blog, we began talking about what to do after a fire. First, we recommended that you call us immediately. The sooner we get to work cleaning your home or business the better. Not only will you be able to live in your home or begin work at your business sooner, but more possible damage will not occur. Often, fire damage and water damage go hand in hand, not only from the effects of the fire, but also as a result in the delay of sealing your property, allowing rain and the elements to cause additional damage. After a fire damage restoration company, such as Disaster Response, has sealed your home and assessed the damage, it is time for clean up and restoration to begin.
Timing Is Pertinent!
Before we discuss the cleanup process, we wanted to make sure you understand why it is so important that you begin the cleanup process right away. Smoke and soot are extremely corrosive. The acidity of the soot within minutes of the fire will cause plastics to turn yellow and appliances to discolor. Other materials such as marble, alabaster, and other porous substances will permanently discolor. Hours after a fire, tile grout will stain and other fixtures in the bathroom, including countertops will yellow. Metals will tarnish and furniture will begin to discolor. Within days of a fire, walls will yellow permanently, other metal elements will corrode, and vinyl flooring will be permanently damaged. Any left behind clothing will be stained as well. Waiting to begin restoration weeks after a fire will cause the most costly damage: Most of your property left behind will be permanently damaged. If you’ve been a victim of a house or business fire, do not wait to call for fire and smoke damage cleanup and restoration!
The first part of the restoration process includes removing all damaged parts including your personal property and parts of your home. Removing clothing, furniture, and other damaged elements will get rid of much of the smoke smell and decrease the opportunity for further damage. Next, it is time to assess the structural elements of your home and begin removing the damage. When a fire damage restoration company begins looking at the structure of your home and what needs to be replaced, here is what they will be looking for:
Some framing can be saved and will still possess its structural integrity. However, if the framing is charred ¼ inch or more, then it will need to be replaced. Often the damaged framing will be removed or in some cases, another framing piece or beam will be added for strength and stability.
Drywall is a forgiving part of your home for it will come clean of staining and smoke damage most of the time. If smoke made it’s way into the wall cavity, then most likely, due to soot and smoke’s corrosive nature, the drywall will need to be replaced.
Tile and grout can be cleaned, so many restoration companies try to clean and can save it. Sometimes chipping away the top layer of grout can save you from having to take out and replace everything. However, sometimes chipping away at the top layer and other salvaging techniques do more harm than good.
Stay tuned for a follow-up blog, next week to learn more about the fire damage restoration process and if you have recently been a victim of a fire in West Michigan, contact Disaster Response! We have the tools and expertise to help you pick up the pieces and restore you home. Visit our website to learn more!