How your home can rise like a phoenix after a fire
A house fire is a terrible event. It can seem like a wasted exercise to even try to get your home back to how it was before the fire. You look at the blackened mess, and the enormity of the exercise overwhelms you. However, delaying the fire restoration process will not make things easier. Quite the opposite, in fact:
- The longer it takes you to get the restoration process under way, the more damage the soot will cause
- If the roof has been destroyed or even partially damaged, any rain that gets in will cause more destruction, too
- Then there is the water from the efforts of the firefighters: that starts to do its worst as soon as the fire has been extinguished
The faster you act, the easier and cheaper the repairs and restoration will be. This article explains the fire restoration process in general terms, so that you know what to expect at each stage as your home is returned to its original state.
Fire restoration process steps:
#1: Make that emergency call
Companies that are serious about fire restoration understand how important it is to act fast, and so they will offer an emergency hotline. (In New Jersey, contact Porter’s on our 24/7 emergency hotline.) You’ll be asked a few questions to help assess the need and equipment required, and to help decide what preliminary resources should be provided.
#2: Detailed damage assessment
When on the scene, the fire restoration professionals will make a more detailed assessment. This helps to identify how damaged your property is – whether by fire, soot, smoke or water. This allows a detailed plan or action to be drawn up, and is essential to provide you with an accurate quote.
#3: Sealing, boarding, tarping
This stage must be done as quickly as possible. Sealing your house form the elements and unwanted attention is crucial in ensuring that further damage does not occur and that your property is safe from unwanted intrusion:
- Doors and windows will be boarded up
- Water mains will be turned off
- Damaged roofs will be tarped
With your home safe and secure, the restoration professionals will swiftly move to the next steps – the clean-up.
step #4: Drying out
The first stage in the clean-up process is to remove water and dry the property out. This will start almost immediately. It is an essential step to prevent health issues and contamination from infected water. Excess water will be pumped away, and dehumidifiers used to help the drying process.
#5: Cleaning up smoke and soot damage
A large fire needs a little more attention than employing the five easy ways to remove smoke odor from your home. You should expect to see specialized equipment, tools and techniques used to ensure complete removal of soot from all surfaces. Only after this is complete can your home be cleaned and sanitized.
#6: Cleaning and sanitizing
Any items that can be restored will be cleaned and sanitized: cabinets, sofas, white goods, etc. Different techniques will be employed on different items, as they are restored to pre-fire condition where possible. Personal property will be restored, and then renovated if needed – though you should be aware that not every item will be able to rise from the ashes.
#7: Property restoration
Finally, the property itself can be restored. There may be renovations and repairs to be made. For example, drywall may need replacing, there will be painting and decorating to do, and new, value-for-money hardwood flooring may be needed. Depending on the severity of the fire, some reconstruction work may be needed.
With your home restored, it is time to review what has been done and to ensure that future fire hazards are minimised.
Your home and needs are unique – so will the fire restoration process be
The eight-step process above is a general process. Our experience is that each fire restoration is unique. No two fires are the same, and client requirements are individual. Therefore, there will always be slight differences between restorations, though the broad process remains the same.
If you are the victim of a fire in NJ, contact Porter’s Cleaning. We’ll be happy to provide an estimate for the clean-up, and to provide the personal and bespoke restoration your home deserves.