In this article I will be going over some of the basics you should know about fire damage restoration. The process involved will definitely differ depending on the severity and size of the fire and damage caused, as you can see in the image above this is quite severe fire damage. However the principles of fire damage restoration will for the most part be the same.
Like in most restoration projects the main goal you are trying to reach is pre-loss condition, that is you want your property to be restored back to how it was before the damages occurred; you want it to be safe, clean, free of smokey odors, and of course looking like nothing ever happened.
Now at this point we are going to assume that the fire has been put out, everybody is safe, and you are now looking at the damage caused and are wondering what to do next.
Before you start any work ensure that:
- the property is structurally sound and is safe to re-enter
- you have identified any safety hazards that may be present
As you re-enter the property you will want to get rid it of any lingering smoke and gasses that may still be present. You can do this by opening windows and doors and releasing them outside. In situations where there is a lot of smoke still lingering inside the property and you have neighbours close by then you will want to exhaust the air through an air filtration device (AFD). An AFD unit will process the air through a series of filters reducing its potency and potentially harmful contents.
Once you have taken care of these initial steps and are ready to assess what work needs to be done. You should be taking note of the two main types of possible damage; the obvious burnt and charred materials and the less obvious smoke and soot damage.
Next up you should identify what type of fire it was, take a look at my 3 types of fire smoke and soot damage article for further explanation; as knowing what type of fire damages you are dealing with will help ease the cleaning process.
Now, you will need to make a decision wether to repair or replace the affected items or property. Any items or property that got burnt and charred will be easier to spot and will likely need replacement, if you are not sure on what to do with a certain item you should get it out of the property until your decision is made. As once we start the cleaning process we will want all burnt and charred materials out of the property.
Once all the burnt materials are out of the home you can start looking at what got damaged indirectly. It becomes trickier to decide whether to repair or to replace an item that has been affected by smoke and soot as the process can be difficult and costly. If you are wanting to get started on this process then take a look at my removing smoke odour article for a better understanding of whats involved.
Ok so now you know the first few steps on how to get started on a fire damage restoration project. I will be continuing this discussion on a more advanced level so stay tuned for its release. In the meanwhile as I always recommend, if your property has suffered a fire damage incident that is of a large scale or simply outside your comfort zone to handle yourself you should contact a local property restoration company to assist you.