If you've ever known anyone whose home has been needed fire damage cleanup and have been gutted by fire, I'm sure they can attest to the fact that it's probably one of the most traumatic experiences you can ever endure. Remember, apart from the fact that all your possession
s end up getting destroyed in the flames, you're also left with having to try and piece your life back together again.
One of the first things you'll need to do is to have a fire damage assesment. Then you can start the fire damage clean up process, and of course this involves not only your home itself, but also the rest of your property. Contrary to what you may believe, cleaning after fire and water damage is incredibly time consuming and also notoriously expensive, but of course it's something which simply cannot be avoided. Until the clean up has been completed you'll be unable to get on with your life again.
Tackling Fire Cleanup after a House Fire
Unless you have quite a bit of spare cash saved up, you should seriously consider doing the fire damage cleanup yourself, and providing you have a general idea as to what you should be doing, the process can actually go quite smoothly.
Fire Damage Restoration
First and foremost, you'll need to contact your insurance company so that they can send one of their representatives to assess the extent of the damage. The person or people they send to your home will also be able to advise you as to whether or not any of your items can be salvaged. Your insurance company should also be able to make certain recommendations with regards to a fire damage restoration company should you decide that you don't wish to do it yourself. Remember, insurance companies have been through this a million times before, so of course they're experts in the field. Most importantly however, your insurance company can help you to submit your claim. If the fire has only recently been extinguished then you should also refrain from entering the property until you're given the go ahead by the fire department.
Getting Down to the Basics
If you're doing the fire damage cleanup yourself then one of the first things you'll need to do is rent a dumpster because you'll inevitably have to throw many things away. Ideally, you should start by sorting through and removing the biggest items first and that which can be salvaged can be stored away separately for cleaning at a later time. Once all the larger items have been removed from the property you can then go ahead and begin with all the smaller items, while at the same time throwing away as match debris as possible. Bear in mind however that there are many things which can usually be saved after a fire, so you don't just begin throwing things away indiscriminately.
How to eliminate fire damage smoke smell
Contrary to what you may believe, fabrics can prove to be extremely difficult to clean even if they weren't directly damaged in the fire. This is largely because of possible smoke damage, and in many cases it is almost impossible to get rid of the smoky smell. However, nothing stops you from trying, but of course you'll need to use a relatively strong detergent, and you may need cleaning fire smoke damage smell many items several times in order to achieve the desired results. Professionals fire restoration contractors use thermo fogger to supercharge deoderizer particles to neutralize and treat the odors. When the fire occured, the heat spread the molecules allowing odors to penetrate deep and to remove the odor, specialized equipment can treat that.
Any wooden furniture will more than likely need to be standard down thoroughly unless it has only sustained minor damage, in which case you may be able to clean the surfaces with various solvents. Exterior walls and walkways should ideally be cleaned with a high pressure washer, while most interior surfaces such as work tops for example can usually be cleaned with chemical sponges. Many of these surfaces should be sealed too.
Doing a fire damage cleanup is not something anyone should attempt unless you're prepared for a tremendous amount of work. However, depending on your financial situation, you may have no other option, but to try yourself, but it is not recommended. Hiring a professional fire damage contractor is your best option to insure the work is done right and all surfaces are clean and free of soot, and all the smoke damage odors are removed.
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