There is no type of fire in a property that will not result in some lasting effects, both from the fire itself and the smoke that comes with it. Smoke effects can continue to linger and cause both damage to property and health. This is without even taking into consideration that water damage that can occur from firefighting efforts to combat a fire.
A fire will take an obvious toll on people, property and possessions and the damage can often be devastating. It is important to get started on restoration right away and ideally this needs to be carried out by professionals. Thankfully our fire and smoke experts here at ServiceMaster by Timeless are available 24/7 in order to provide you with the support you need to get your life back on track as fast as possible.
Common types of fires
Protein Fire Food from the oven or stove has burned, leaving strong, burned-food odors and smoke residue on contents and surfaces.
Complex Fire: Multiple natural and synthetic items inside your home have burned, causing black smoke residue on contents and surfaces and synthetic smoke odors. Here, emergency corrosion mitigation is needed to protect at-risk surfaces.
Natural Fire: Trees, shrubs and bushes have burned, and smoke has penetrated the structure from outside, so smoke residue and odor are present.
Furnace Malfunction: Heating appliances like oil-fired furnaces have malfunctioned and caused smoke to be distributed throughout the property.
Fire damage goes beyond burning items
- Ash and smoke can continue to cause damage and corrosion to materials left behind.
- Odors from smoke will stay in a room or a home long after the fire and continue to cause problems if they are not removed.
- In a few minutes, walls and other surfaces can become discolored.
- In a few hours, finishes on kitchen appliances turn yellow.
- Smoke causes etching in glass after just a short time, and smoke will tarnish metal quickly.
Not all fire damage is the same. Our thorough fire restoration process includes:
- Identifying the source to determine the type of fire that occurred
- Evaluating the areas that are wet as a result of firefighting that may need treatment
- Remediating water damage (if necessary)
- Evaluating sensitive materials that may be damaged as a result of smoke & soot particles
- Removing contents—including the collection of immediate items you may need for the next seven days, such as clothing, prescriptions, toys, school books, business needs, etc.
- Packing out remaining contents for cleaning & storage
- Performing structural restoration, including removal of charred contents that may seal in smoke, such as insulation & burned wood
- Evaluating carpets & floor coverings that may need to be removed
- Inspecting the framing of the house & subfloors for safety
- Treating affected surfaces for smoke odors
- Sealing to prevent odors from leaking back into the house
- Cleaning, eliminating odors & deodorizing surfaces to pre-loss condition
- Returning items to the original location & helping to restore your normal life
Don’t try to do it yourself!
The residue left behind after a fire is a biohazard and can cause health problems if it is not taken care of correctly and thoroughly. You do not want to attempt to clean up your home on your own after a fire, or you may cause more damage. Only experts with the right training and tools can ensure that the job is done properly.
Quick tips for when you’re in the middle of a loss
- If the temperature is above 60 degrees, air out the house to reduce smoke odor.
- Clean laminate surfaces as well as chrome, porcelain and aluminum fixtures to prevent permanent tarnishing or etching.
- Change the air filter on your furnace if it uses forced hot air.
- Tape damp cheesecloth over returns and supply registers to capture loose soot in the air.
- Discard any open food packages.
- If the electricity is off, clean out the refrigerator and leave doors propped open.
- Send clothing with heavy smoke damage to a qualified restoration dry cleaner.
What not to do
- Do not touch anything with your bare hands. Oil from your hands can permeate upholstery, walls and woodwork, causing additional damage.
- Do not wash walls. Incorrect cleaning could compound the soot residue.
- Do not attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture.
- Do not use electrical appliances until having them checked.
- Do not use ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet.
What To Look At For When It Comes To Fire & Smoke Damage
It is sometimes difficult for an individual to tell what damage the fire and smoke have done straight away to a property and belongings, as it can be much worse than it might appear at first and it is best to let our team of experts assess the damage to the property.
Fire damage will often compromise roofs, windows and walls in a building, so it is vital that safety measures are put in place to avoid further damage or injuries. This can involve temporary boarding of windows or stabilizing of walls for example. Carpets and furniture can be left with stains, corrosion, discoloration and soot and smoke can settle into material. This can mean they require either thorough cleaning or even disposal. It is not sufficient to just vacuum upholstery as this will just force the smoke and soot deeper into the material, so proper techniques must be used here.
Make Sure You Are Healthy Whilst We Restore Your Property
It is not just the actual property that can be badly damaged by fire and smoke, as they can also take quite a toll on the health of people. A loss of breathing can occur, not only can skin be badly burnt it can also become severely irritated by smoke and soot, causing longer term rashes.
Eyes can also be badly affected by the smoke and it can take a long time for the eyes to recover from this damage. Long term health effects from being involved in a fire can be the likes of heart attacks, strokes and even cancer, mainly as a result of exposure to smoke.
Get Talking To Our Restoration Experts
Restoration of a building after fire damage (if possible), can be a very lengthy process to get it back to the pre-fire condition. Minor repairs may be needed, as well as decoration and replacement of carpets etc, but major building work may also be necessary.
At the first sign of a fire it is vital to get yourself as far away from the fire as possible and call the emergency services as quickly as you can. They will work to put out the fire as soon as possible, once it’s out it’s time to get your restoration team in to assess the damage and get started with your restoration. If you have any questions about the service we offer here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Timeless, or even just about fire & smoke damage in general, pick up the phone and give us a call or get in touch online and a member of the team will be more than happy to help.
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