Fire can leave a destructive mess; No matter the reason or how big or small the fire is, it spreads and encompasses everything in its path. However, most of them occur due to an accident. Dealing with the aftermath is physically and emotionally draining. There is a lot to clean up as you deal with the feeling of loss. Over time, we have witnessed how powerful fire can be due to uncontrollable wildfires. So, if your property caught fire, you may need help with the restoration process. Here’s what to take care of before restoration can begin:
Understand that the process takes time
You may be in a hurry to clean up the debris and restore your home. But the cleaning process takes time. That does not mean that your home cannot be saved. It just means there is too much to clean. Don’t let anxiety control you and start fidgeting when you can’t see results right away. If you have children and pets, be sure to move them to a comfortable home for now, but never try to rush the process.
Get the professionals to analyze the damage
You may want different professionals to come by and tell you what you are dealing with and start by hiring a professional water damage consultant to inspect the pipes for good. A firefighter professional can conduct a survey around your home and verify the damage and let you know how much work to expect for the restoration process. These professionals can also see how much water was used to cool the fire and inevitably soak your home.
Call your insurance company
Your insurance company will inform you of the cost of the repairs. You may need to document the damage and ship it to you. Insurance company representatives may even stop and look around to give you an adjusted amount. Not all damage to your home is due to fire. Firefighters can break down your property, such as windows and doors, to gain access. Therefore, an insurance representative will consider all bills and take care of the damages. The money also depends on the amount of damage. If it is a minor repair process, the insurance company will take care of it.
Secure your property
Fire exposes your property to other people while you need to cover windows and doors. At the same time, insurance companies also advise you to protect your property, as you do not want strangers to enter illegally and destroy your home. You also don’t want things to be stolen or destroyed even more. Therefore, you need to tape the area and lay down a tarp. A restoration company can help you further protect your home. You can ask them for help when they start working at home.
Understand the dangers of fire
Long after the fire is out, the effects of harmful residues in the air still persist. These can include fire, ash, soot, and even smoke. When plastics or any non-organic compounds in your home burn, they release toxic fumes. These fumes have long-term lingering effects that significantly impact your lungs. The more time you spend cleaning up debris and debris, the more exposed you will be to these particles. So properly ventilating the house is part of the restoration process. If you are entering the house, you are trapping these fumes even more. Therefore, it would also be a good idea to visit a hospital and get checked for any lingering smoke that you have inhaled. When visiting your home, try to wear protective gear over your clothing.
Inspect properly for fire damage
You may need to check all the appliances and furniture you own. Fire not only burns products, it can also discolor them. You may see permanent etching, smudging, and even discoloration. Your electronic equipment, such as computers, can also burn. Instead of melting, they can become damaged and black. Even if your appliance may look good on the surface, it may have internal damage. Therefore, when you turn it on, a short circuit may occur. You may need to replace all the plugs in your home. The cleaning process includes checking the wiring and replacing it if it appears damaged. You cannot start a restoration process on a whim. You want to make sure you know how to guide planning.
Do not retrieve products
You will need to drop certain items no matter what they look like after fire damage. Any canned or packaged food you have around the house should go away. Even if the food is in sealed aluminum cans, it can release toxic fumes. Sealed packages should also go to the trash can. Perishable items like dairy and meat should be thrown away. Fire may have penetrated your refrigerator, rendering the ingredients unusable. You may also need to dispose of medications and makeup. Soot can cover your packaging and your products can show signs of discoloration. The last item to get rid of is clothes. These include all the clothing items in your home, fabrics, sheets, and even your everyday wear.
Check for molds
Firefighters discharge large amounts of water on the fire. There is a chance that the amount they use could soak your home. It doesn’t take much for mold to grow. If the house is damp and dark and there is porous material around it, it grows. Mold weakens the structure of your home. If it is on the wooden floor, it can cause the surface to soften. You may need to check between the walls, wood frames, and wood paneling to clear it. You cannot start restoring your home if there is mold. The mold cleaning process can extend your timeline to return. However, it is better to be safe than sorry and allow a thorough cleaning.
Handle all waste with caution
While moving around the house, stay away from damaged structures. If the house is burned badly, the structure can collapse. The rubble is a mixture of different burned items. Some can release toxic fumes on contact. Therefore, you may want to wear protection while removing debris. Use solid plastic bags to dispose of all your trash. Do not dispose of anything outside your home. Let the restoration company take care of it. You may even have chemical debris in the place from cleaning products. Let the professionals drain these fluids before you can clean them. Once the debris is cleaned up, the professionals will begin to do a deep cleaning of your home. That means scrubbing, sweeping, and airing.
Fire damage is painful to witness, while flames can engulf anything and destroy it in seconds. If your house catches fire, you will need help to get your shelter back. Professionals dealing with the aftermath of any disaster can help. They can help you identify visible and possible structural damage. Through your inspection, you can also dispose of all dangerous items from your home. Such as cast or plastic appliances. When combustion occurs, it also releases fumes into the air. So it’s not just about flames, but also about potential biohazards. Therefore, never attempt a restoration process on your own. Safety comes first, no matter how urgently you want to resume a normal life.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism