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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Three Things to Look for in a Quality Fire Restoration Company

6/29/2022 (Permalink)

If you've recently experienced property damage as the result of a fire, you will have to find a company that can provide fire restoration services. 

Restoring a property to its pre-fire condition is fairly difficult. Even if a fire was contained to just one room or office, the fact is, odors, soot, and smoke may have penetrated far into the rest of the  structure. So, when you go to select a restoration company, make sure you select a company that has fire-remediation experience and a reputation for being thorough. 

The professionals at SERVPRO of Coeur d’Alene believe the following suggestions will help you to select a good fire restoration company.

1: 24-Hour Availability 

After a fire is out, you may think you have some “down time” to figure out what to do. But fire damage can actually get worse quickly after the fire is out. Water damage from fire-suppression hoses, burst pipes, or a sprinkler system can dramatically increase the damage to your building in the hours after a fire. 

For example, water saturating the dry-wall and framing in your walls and ceiling will cause expansion of the material as it sits, compromising the integrity of the structure beyond where the fire actually occurred. The water inside the walls also encourages mold and mildew to grow and may encourage the infestation of pests. 

You also may not realize how the fire has created other hazards. Did the fire release toxic chemicals which are now on all your belongings? Has the entire electrical system created further electrical or fire hazards? Have conduits or pipes melted or weakened? You cannot assume that the rest of your property belongings are “safe” after the fire is out.

Staying ahead of the damage will not only improve your outcome, it will minimize the amount of work that has to be done as well as the cost. Some steps, such as protecting the burned area from the elements or setting up dryers or dehumidifiers, may need to be done right away. Do not wait until “normal business hours” to contact a fire restoration company to come out and assess the damage and begin necessary work. Having a cleanup company available 24 hours a day can help ensure that problems are addressed before they become catastrophes.

2: Cleanup Expertise

Some clean-up companies may be very good at general clean-up, but fire clean-up requires another level of training. As noted above, a lot of fire damage is not just what you see in the burned area. Smoke and soot can cause a lot of damage in other parts of the building, and can also cause a lot of health problems long-term, particularly for people with respiratory issues. Damage from chemical particles does not just “go away.” Microscopic particles can embed themselves in paint and other finishes, causing problems of toxicity and odor that can linger for years in your walls, cabinets, fixtures, furniture, decor, floors, carpets, drapes, and so on.

Consequently, post-fire clean up has to be very thorough and exacting. Structural elements as well as items in the building will have to be deep-cleaned and deodorized. Some items may have to be discarded, even if they did not have direct fire damage, because they simply cannot be cleaned sufficiently to remove chemical residue.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that good enough is good enough when it comes to cleaning after a fire. Hire a company that has fire clean-up know-how.

3: Fire Restoration Process Knowledge

There is a specific order in which fire restoration work should be done, and simply hiring any construction company to come in and rebuild after your fire will likely leave you with unresolved problems.

A company with fire restoration expertise will first thoroughly inspect and assess the damage, including performing chemical tests to know the full extent of damage from all causes. It will work with fire department and insurance investigators, so that you do not jeopardize your ability to get adequate coverage. It will take steps to minimize further damage. It will clean and sanitize. All of this has to be done before any re-building can begin.

There is no substitute for expertise and experience. Companies that specialize in fire restoration have the technicians, technology, and experience in-house to perform the remediation you need, so that you can get your property back in shape faster. If you or someone you know needs fire remediation, SERVPRO would like to help.  Contact SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene today to schedule an appointment or speak with someone about your fire restoration needs.

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