Clean-up of fire damage in your house could be both mentally and physically draining. It’s important to understand where to go and who to contact during this traumatic time. This article provides some insight into what to do while trying to clean up after a house fire, a couple suggestions on D-I-Y, and how to contact a specialist.
There will be a number of damage to the house after a property fire. Over and above items which have been melted and destroyed by flames, the home is likely to be damaged by water, smoke and soot too. The walls could also have been chopped by firemen to look for concealed smoke and fire. Rugs, flooring, dry walls, floors, cabinets and appliances may need to be cleaned, removed or fixed before your house returns to normal. It requires hard work and perseverance to recuperate from a house fire.
When are you allowed to enter your property?
Once the fires have been removed, it is essential to keep your family safe as a top objective. If the fire damage was substantial, a fire marshal may have placed a color-coded symbol on your home. Do not come into your home until after you have fully understood the symbol and obtained guidance from authorities. Even though your fire damage was minor, the toxicity produced by the fire might have rendered your home unsafe to live in before it was cleaned and decontaminated. It’s better to get your family stay at a friend’s place until your house is totally clean. Most specifically, don’t enter your home until the officials, like your local firefighter, say it’s all right.
Another urgent concern after a house fire is to notify your insurance provider. You may be tasked with creating an itemized list with all that was destroyed in the fire and the price for each item. The insurance provider might want to take photos of the damage before anything has been done, so don’t do anything until you have communicated to your insurance adjuster. And you are unable to live in your home after the blaze, ask yourself what you can do to retrieve valuable items from your house. You might want to alert authorities that your home has been destroyed and that you will remain away from home.
Finally, be able to ask your broker what they want you to do next, such as immediate needs like going home and trying to pump out water. Establishing adequate ventilation and drying out your house will discourage mold growth and further damage.
Before using power in your house, think about hiring a contractor to make sure it is safe to use. If your electrical equipment has been affected, all gas and electrical outlets should be disconnected before repairs have been made.
After the authorities have provided the go-ahead to enter your home, it is up to you to take the required steps to clean up the mess. If you don’t think you have the time or the ability to completely repair your home, it’s important to hire experts to complete the cleaning process. Ensuring a safe home for your family is invaluable.
1) Disposal of trash–Once your insurance company has given you a go-ahead to start cleaning your home, start removing trash. If your fire damage was extensive and there’s going to be a lot of trash, you might want to consider a trash bin delivery service. Remove any things that promote mold growth, such as sheets, clothes, and other damp fabrics. Wash all things with a powerful soap. If it can’t be dried, it should be discarded.
2) Protect yourself–It is important to protect yourself from contaminants produced by flames while cleaning a house fire. When working, open all doors and windows. Wear tough work gloves and safety glasses.
3) Food Disposal–Once again, toxic chemicals should be taken seriously in homes after house fire and household goods have been disposed of, particularly food. You’re not supposed to eat or drink something near the fire, soot, or smoke. Everything that is in a cardboard box or has been removed. Food in containers or freezers with ice crystals can be saved.
4) Drying out floor–After removal of valuables, trash and removable items, it is essential to dry out flooring to avoid future damage, such as mold and mildew. Create proper airflow by opening the windows, doors and switching on ceiling fans and vents. If you can access a wet / dry vacuum, start by removing as much water as possible. Your objective for your flooring should be to determine if the water has submerged beneath the floor boards and the carpet mats. If so, it may be necessary to replace the flooring. Restoration firms are trained in fire / water cleaning and will be able to determine you if your flooring needs replacing.
5) Cleaning Soot–Spot cleaning products with soot residue from fire with a (TSP) cleaner. Mix soap with water and add to sponge pieces. TSP can be used to disinfect the soot residual walls. Apply to the sponge and let the wall cool. The cabinetry should be totally wiped out, inside and outside, to eliminate the odor. If the smell of smoke persists, the cabinets might need to be sanded and sealed.
6) Decontaminating Fire Extinguisher Residue–Use a wet / dry vacuum to clean the residue left from the fire extinguisher. Following up with TSP cleaning agent to clean up the traces of the soot.
7) Cleaning Walls and Ceiling–It is important to ensure that the foundation of your home is protected from future damage, such as mold growth. So long as there is minor damage to your walls and ceiling, such as slight dampness and soot stains, you can complete the cleaning process with a hot water and bleach solution. Combine 2 tbsp of bleach in 1 gallon of hot water. Use this solution to clean the interior surfaces and prevent the growth of mildew. Ceilings are expected to be cleaned last. When you intend on painting walls, do this only once the substrate is completely dry. If the drywall or ceiling has been completely soaked in water, experts should be consulted to see if the structural stability of your home can be preserved or if the drywall is to be replaced.
When hiring a professional cleaning after a house fire can be a challenging task, mandating an instant response. Don’t let immobility, lack of knowledge, or a busy schedule stop you from trying to repair your house. Fire damaged residences require extensive cleaning and immediate treatment. There are several businesses specializing in the cleaning of fire damage that can be at your service.
Carpets, ceilings, walls and hardwood all require extensive cleaning after house fire injury. Accutech is a renovation and refurbishment company specializing in water removal, mold mitigation and fire damage services. We’re passionate about returning your home to a perfect, living condition as quickly as possible. Time Machine Contracting & Restoration offers a wide range of services to those suffering fire damage, including exterior cleaning, house cleaning, structural repairs, IICRC-certified water removal services and wood floor restoration. We also offer boarding services, where the technician will be on-site within an hour to secure your property and belongings.
Fire disasters happen so rarely that most of us are not trained to take the next steps. Time Machine Contracting & Restoration is ready to take you through the best options for you and your family. If you’re facing the aftermath of a recent house fire or struggling with mold growth due to improper fire damage clean up, give us a call today. We look forward to helping you in this stressful period and rebuilding your house.