When you survey your home for damage after a fire, it’s important to make sure that you know how to look for invisible damage in addition to the kind that is clearly apparent. Cleaning up such damage tends to be outside the skillset of the typical DIY enthusiast, or even professional home decorator or rebuilder. It takes a professional fire damage restoration company to ensure your home is thoroughly inspected for serious structural damage as well as properly cleaned. Established and experienced restoration companies use restoration project management tools and software to keep track of equipment, upload photos, and take notes.
What is invisible damage?
Smoke: The acrid stench of smoke that remains after a fire can be hard to get out of your home. It can hang in the air no matter how hard you scrub every surface area, or how well you use air ventilation. The reason why the smell lingers is due to smoke remaining in inaccessible parts of the house such as wall spaces, floor spaces and air ducts, leaking out slowly over time. A professional fire restoration company has the expertise needed to go after these pockets of smoke.
Chemical contamination: Burning plastics can let out more than just smoke. There could be harmful chemical vapors hanging in the air and in hidden spaces. Such contamination require professional attention for proper neutralization.
Water: If water is used to put a fire out, it can soak into every surface. If such water isn’t quickly dried with industrial fans and other methods, it could cause mold growth, and even structural damage. Professional drying techniques are critically important.
Electrical damage: Even if the electricity around a fire-damaged house appears to work well, there could be heat damage to the insulation. This could result in dangerous short-circuits down the line. A professional restoration crew will thoroughly check the wiring around a fire-damaged building for problems.
There’s no time to waste
Just as tobacco smoke lacquers the nails and whiskers of smokers in a yellowed tint, the smoke that hangs in the air in a closed space can lacquer every surface available in a hard coating. This includes furniture, china and fabric. The yellowing is impossible to remove. It’s important to get a professional cleaning crew in as quickly as possible to clean all smoke out.
There are other reasons to act quickly. Soot and ash are acidic substances. If allowed to remain on furniture, flooring, walls or anything else, they may soon begin to corrode them. These surfaces can quickly become rough and pitted.
Make sure that the crew is certified and well-equipped
Cleaning the site of a fire requires more than just knowledge of where to clean. It requires special cleaning equipment and protective gear. Thermal fogging equipment, for instance, is important for the successful removal of acrid odors. Anyone working at such cleanup sites require special protective gear to protect against sickening through exposure to toxic fumes. Rebuilding after a fire is mostly about careful cleanup. Calling in a certified cleaning service may appear expensive at first. It is likely to save you a great deal over time.