By: Michelle Tunquist
A fire can be a devastating experience—not only is it terrifying in the moment, but afterwards it is necessary to deal with the loss of your home and possessions, as well as ultimately pick up the pieces. Seeing how much damage a fire can cause can be overwhelming for most people, causing additional stress for not knowing where to start or what to do. The experts at Tobin Cleaning & Restoration can alleviate stress by helping clean up the mess and restore your home.
Fire damage can be extensive since the smoke and soot can settle into everything in the home or business. Water used to put out the fire can also have a harmful effect on anything salvageable. It is important to quickly clean up any damage caused by the fire. Allowing water or soot to settle will make the cleanup process more time consuming and costly. Fire can damage all areas of the home or business. Remember to clean up all these types of damage caused by a fire:
- Water Damage. Water is a blessing when it puts out the fire, but afterward, anything not dried can be permanently ruined. Quickly remove excess water from floors and carpets. Thoroughly dry all areas, making sure that floors below carpets are dry. Check walls, ceilings, furniture, curtains and possessions. Moist areas grow mold and mildew. Depending on the water damage and materials used in construction, walls and ceilings may need to be replaced.
- Smoke and Soot Damage. Soot will likely cover most surfaces in the home. Its oily consistency is difficult to remove and many items may need to be replaced. A professional service will have industrial vacuums that can remove soot from window treatments, furniture and other items in your home. Consult with them first to determine if the item is cleanable or needs to be replaced. Special chemicals may be needed to remove soot from walls and ceilings, depending on the paint used.
- Furniture Damage. Smoke odor may be difficult to remove from textiles in your home. A professional cleaning surface can deodorize furniture, curtains, carpets and clothes to remove smoke odors. Sometimes a chemical counteractant is used and other times an ozone generator is used to break up the smoke particles. Household deodorizing sprays only provide temporary odor relief.
- Walls, Surfaces & Ducts Damage. Smoke permeates the walls and can enter the ducts of the house. It also seeps into insulation. As a result, odors can return especially during warm or damp weather. Professionals can use thermal fogging to remove these odors, or chemically seal the smoke to the ducts to prevent odors. It may also be advisable to replace insulation in the attic.
Fire Restoration Steps
It is clear that fire can cause extensive damage and requires clean up and restoration. However, when a fire occurs, you may not know what steps to take. The amount of damage caused can be overwhelming. After the fire trucks leave, take these steps:
- Emergency Contact. Contact Tobin Cleaning & Restoration. We are available to respond in emergency situations to start restoration as soon as possible.
- Inspection and Assessment of Damage. We will inspect the area and determine what steps need to be taken.
- Board-up and Roof Tarp Service. We can immediately secure your home by boarding up windows or putting a tarp over a damaged roof. This will prevent further damage to your home.
- Water Removal and Drying. Water needs to be removed as soon as possible. Once excess water is removed, dehumidifiers and fans can be used to fully dry the area.
- Smoke and Soot Removal. With specialized equipment, we will remove soot from ceilings, walls and other surfaces in your home.
- Clean and Deodorize. Next, any salvageable items in your home will be cleaned and deodorized.
- Restoration. Finally, we can replace and restore any damage to walls, ceilings, roof or floor. We can handle any type of construction, including replacing drywall, painting, or carpet installation. Whether the damage is large or small, we can handle the repairs.
It is important to start the process of cleanup and restoration immediately after a fire. Allowing water damage and soot to sit will make the process much more difficult. If you need to restore your home after a fire, give Tobin Cleaning & Restoration a call. We will inspect your home and help you determine a plan of action to get your home returned to normal.