Fire damage cleanup is a complex process. It’s going to involve cleaning up water damage, smoke damage, and damage from the fire itself. There may even be structural damage if the fire was severe enough, and in some cases, the property could be a total loss. There is a lot to learn about fire damage, but it’s one of the most devastating things that can happen to a home.
Smoke can be more damaging than fire, unless of course the fire itself gets entirely out of control. There are so many claims for smoke damage each year, and several of them never involve fires in the area that was affected by the smoke. The odor and damage from smoke can spread to every room in a building even if the fire is contained to 1 area. When you hire a professional to mitigate the smoke damage, make sure they are IIRC-certified.
Fire Damage is Dangerous
Even if a property has been “cleared” to be safe to enter, it might be hiding some unassuming dangers like chemicals and toxic compounds in the air (ever heard of VOCs?) so you have to be careful. Even if it seems safe or you think you can handle cleanup, it’s probably best not to and let the professionals do their job.
You’ll also want to handle everything with caution because there are often carcinogens in burned items and structures, as well as ash that can be irritating to the lungs and the skin. Everyone in the property should be wearing gloves and masks, even if they are just there to look around.
Also be aware of weakened structures from the fire. Don’t assume a floor or wall is safe without professional inspection and clearance.
How Long Does it Take?
This is one of the most common questions from people who are trying to learn about fire damage restoration. The short answer is that there is no timeline. Fire damage can take a long time to clean up properly, and smoke damage can take even longer to remediate. It depends on the extent of the damage in the first place, as well as the type of work that needs to be done.
If there is any red tape that is keeping things from progressing, that could add to the timeline. It can be stressful, but part of your home insurance should include Loss of Use coverage, which pays for accommodations and expenses related to being put out of your home.
The best thing that you can do is call a reliable, experienced restoration company that will get started right away and get the job done as quickly as possible.
Fire is Devastating, But it Isn’t an End
It can be hard to get back on your feet and get your home back after a fire, no matter how big or small it might have been. Take the time to deal with your emotions about the event and take advantage of the professionals and others available to assist you in the cleanup process so that you can focus on getting your life back in other ways. Don’t think of this as an ending—think of it as an unfortunate event that is giving you a chance to start fresh. Get started on the right foot with the right fire damage restoration team.