Home Fire Restoration | 9 Essential Step
Home fires don’t always end in the complete loss of the structure. The restoration process is complicated, but we can outline some key steps in this article.
It’s an unfortunate reality that home fires are not as rare as you might think. In the Sacramento area as well as any other location with a large population, home fires happen throughout the year. Also, those living in more rural locations must deal with the potential for a forest fire, which has increased in recent years.
If you have suffered a home fire event and are now trying to chart a path forward, this article is meant to provide you with some ideas. The nine steps we discuss below won’t apply to every situation, but they will give you a good outline of how fire restoration often progresses. For professional help with your fire restoration process, please contact Lawton right away for assistance.
Safety Is the Number One Rule
Never do anything regarding fire cleanup or restoration before you are sure the situation is safe. Even if a building is still standing after a fire, it needs to be checked out by a professional before you go back in. There could be dangerous structural damage that would make it unsafe to enter the home.
Once any safety concerns have been cleared, the nine steps below can chart a path back toward a livable building.
#1 – Removing Damaged Items and Material
Some of the things in the home simply won’t be able to be saved, even if their condition looks reasonable. Smoke damage is a serious matter, and at some point, the best bet is to haul away the damaged items and start over. This is particularly true for fabrics and soft materials. Carpeting, as an example, will almost certainly need to be thrown away and replaced.
#2 – A Complete Wipe Down
The whole place is going to need to be wiped off to remove soot. This will be a time-consuming project, but it’s essential. The surfaces you target will include all the walls and ceilings, the windows and their frames, the floors, and any other hard surface that survived the fire. It might help to make a list of everything that needs to be cleaned and then check off each item one by one as you move through the home. This kind of organized approach will prevent you from missing something along the way.
#3 – Check Hidden Spaces
Wiping down everything that you can see around the rooms will take plenty of time, but you aren’t done just yet. It’s also a good idea to check the “hidden” spots in each room, like inside of cabinets and drawers. Even if that area wasn’t burned, it’s very likely that smoke made its way in and left deposits behind.
#4 – Use the Right Supplies
Investing in special concentrated products to clean up your walls and other surfaces will provide better results than just plain soap and water. Remember, smoke can leave deposits that settle into surfaces and don’t want to come out without a fight. Spending money on products that are intended for use after a fire is likely to yield a far better outcome.
#5 – Take Air Quality Measurements
Don’t trust your nose alone to tell you if your cleaning efforts have been successful. Instead, use a device that has been designed to measure the air quality in a room. This is another area when investing in the right equipment can go a long way towards making sure the job is done right.
#6 – Perform Repair Work
At some point, the restoration process is going to turn from cleaning up after the fire to repairing the damage that has been done. The nature of the repairs that are required will vary wildly from job to job. Repainting the walls will commonly be required, as will laying new flooring, replacing drywall, and much more.
#7 – Replace Some Components
In addition to doing repair work, you’ll also need to look at replacing some of the key components that make up the home. This could include all the windows, the doors, and even the plumbing. It’s hard for the average homeowner to assess the damage that has been done in some of these areas, so again, it’s wise to get the help of a professional contractor in this process.
#8 – Address Cosmetic Issues
We already mentioned the need to repaint the interior of the house, but that is just one of many cosmetic points that should be considered. Take a close look at all of the small touches in and around the building and determine where cosmetic improvements can be made to erase any sign of the past fire.
#9 – Work on Lingering Odors
You may be surprised to find that even after all this restoration work has been done, some degree of lingering smoke smell remains. We have written an entire article on the topic of smoke smell removal, so be sure to check out that post.
Protecting Your Home from Fire
It goes without saying that protecting your home from a fire event is far better than having to recover from one later. While not all fires are avoidable, there are some things you can do to make a fire less likely. Here are some basic fire avoidance tips to keep in mind –
- Own a fire extinguisher. A fire extinguisher is one of those things that you think you will never need or use – until a fire breaks out suddenly and you don’t have one on hand. Keep one in your home and make sure everyone in the home knows where it is and how to use it. Also, fire extinguishers have expiration dates, so be sure to keep yours current.
- Don’t smoke in your home. Any source of flame that has a chance to catch nearby materials on fire is an unnecessary risk.
- Monitor open flames. If you like to burn candles in your house, always be sure to keep an eye on those candles – or any other open flames – and never leave them unattended. Before you leave a room with an open flame, be sure that flame has been completely put out.
- Be a responsible cook. By its very nature, cooking creates a potential fire hazard. As you heat things up in your kitchen, you are creating the potential for a fire to start, so good habits and a focus on safety are essential. Some key points in the kitchen include never leaving a pan or pot alone while the stove is on, and always being careful when heating significant quantities of oil. Just like with open flames, don’t leave the kitchen until you know everything has been turned off.
- Get professional help with electrical work. Even if you are handy around the house with repairs and other projects, leave electrical work to professionals. Given the affordable cost of bringing in an electrician for a simple project, it’s not worth the risk to do this kind of work yourself.
- Make sure your smoke detectors work. You should certainly have enough smoke detectors in your home to meet code requirements, and you should periodically make sure all those smoke detectors work. Don’t disconnect them if they start chirping due to a low battery – replace that battery right away so the detector can do its important work.
Bring in the Pros Right Away
The best way to perform a home fire restoration in and around Sacramento is to turn to the team at Lawton. With tons of experience in the industry and all the equipment needed to do good work, you’ll be immediately impressed by what we offer. Reach out today for more information and let’s get started putting your life back together. Thanks for visiting Lawton and we hope to serve you soon!
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