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What clean-up expenses to expect after a fire

Fire. It may be the homeowner’s worst nightmare. It damages your property. It disrupts your life. The restoration process can take weeks, or even months. The cost of restoration after a fire is unavoidable. In this article, you’ll learn the types of cost you’ll need to cover when you’ve suffered a house fire, and why it’s best to leave the clean-up to the professionals.

What must you do to clean up after a fire in your home?

If your home has been damaged by fire, the first thing to do is to act quickly. Call your insurance company. Fill in those forms. Send photographic evidence. Get permission to start the clean-up as soon as possible. The longer you leave ash and soot untouched, the worse the damage becomes – removing smoke odor from your home becomes more difficult when soot is left to settle and infiltrate furniture, walls, and carpets.

Whatever you do, think safety first

Properties that have been damaged by fire can hide all manner of dangers. You should:

  • Ensure that it is safe to enter the home
  • Wear overalls, googles, and gloves
  • Use respiratory equipment to avoid inhaling soot and ash

When conducting a clean-up after a fire, you’ll also need:

  • Box fans to help remove dust and contamination
  • Dry-cleaning sponges to remove soot
  • An industrial vacuum with a HEPA filter

You’ll also need pumps to remove water, and a range of other specialist cleaning solutions and equipment, depending on the severity of the fire and the damage caused.

What costs can you expect in an after-fire clean-up?

Three are four major restoration costs that you will need to consider after a fire:

1.    Water damage

Water used to extinguish the fire must be removed. Carpets, curtains, and furniture must be dried quickly, before mold forms and attacks them. Any water-damaged items will need to be restored (or disposed of if beyond repair).

2.    Soot and ash removal

Soot stains everything, and there will be a lot of it. Soft furnishings will need to be cleaned thoroughly, as will all furniture. Soot is corrosive, and embeds in furniture if scrubbed – so the soot clean-up needs to be done quickly as well as gently. Left too long, soot stains will become permanent.

3.    Deodorization

Smoke leaves a nasty smell. The odor will be a constant reminder of a tragic event. No one wants that. The problem is that smoke odor can be very difficult to remove after a fire. Odor particles get everywhere: curtains, carpets, furniture, walls, and clothes. You may need ozone treatments and dry cleaning. Often, the only way to ensure that smoke smells don’t return is to have your household items undergo specialist treatment off-site.

4.    Air con and wall cleaning costs

Smoke molecules get into your walls and become trapped in your air con system. If you don’t clean these properly, you can guarantee the smoke smell will return. If you live in an apartment, then other apartments in your block will probably be affected, too. To treat these elements of your home, you’ll need to pay for thermal fogging.

How much should you expect to pay for a clean-up after a fire?

The cost of restoration after a fire depends upon the extent of the damage. If the fire damage is limited to a kitchen, for example, the costs could be as little as $2,000 or $3,000. Larger kitchens with more extensive damage could runs into tens of thousands of dollars.

If your whole home has been affected, then the cost of cleanup and restoration could be $100,000 and more.

Why you should leave the clean-up to professionals

You want to move back into your home as soon as possible. You don’t want pungent smells to remain as a constant reminder of what happened. Professionals have the experience, expertise, and equipment to ensure both. You’ll save time and heartache by hiring professionals to do the clean-up for you – as well as saving money.

If you have suffered the tragedy of a fire in your home in NJ, contact Porter’s Cleaning today – we’ll be happy to provide a no-obligation quote for any clean-up and restoration work that may be needed.

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