Know who to call
Many homeowners think that they can clean-up smoke damage to their home after it has been burned in a fire. Unfortunately, that is never a good idea. Cleaning up smoke and soot damage requires professionals to do the job.
Bring in the Fire Damage Pros
First off, a house that has been burned in a fire is typically not safe to enter or spend time in. The integrity of walls and floors may have been damaged, along with other hazards. It’s important not to enter the home until professionals tell you it is safe to do so.
While you should not undertake trying to clean up smoke and soot damage from a house fire yourself, you should get the professionals into your home as soon as possible. Ash and smoke, if left untreated, will cause corrosion, discoloration and a lingering powerful and offensive odor. Ash, specifically, will start causing damage and discoloration almost immediately and the damage may be permanent and irreversible. Anything that was made of plastic will begin discoloring within minutes. Metals will easily tarnish and corrode and fiberglass will begin to yellow.
If you get fire damage restoration professionals in quickly after a house fire, they can mitigate or eliminate the smoke and ash damage from the fire and prevent further damage to your property. Unfortunately, if you don’t get the pros in early, the damage becomes worse and worse and the costs to repair will begin to skyrocket within just a few weeks!
Know Who to Hire
Many companies claim to be fire damage restoration specialists, but they may not actually have the proper training and certification to do the job. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the primary oversight agency for the industry. Companies recognized, registered and certified by the IICRC will have taken extensive coursework to earn their certification.
What a Trained and Certified Fire Damage Restoration Professional Does
A trained and certified fire damage restoration professional will first identify all affected materials and the source of odors, if possible. They will be extremely thorough. They will identify what can be salvaged and cleaned and what cannot be and must be completely replaced. They will then begin the clean-up process by removing built-up ash residue. Once the ash is cleaned, they can better identify the sources of odors, which they will treat with special detergents made to neutralize the odors. Once fire damaged materials are treated, they will be sealed to prevent future odors from emitting into your home.
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