AN INSIGHT INTO FIRE DAMAGE RESTORATION

AND ASSOCIATED WATER DAMAGE REPAIRS

Fires have always been a major destructive agent to buildings and the properties contained in them. Fires may arise as a result of electrical faults, gas leaks or one careless act or the other on the part of the people that visit, live in or work in a building.

Fires can result in very serious and substantial damage, as well as several other issues that can both affect your quality of life negatively and cost you a lot of money. Even little fires could be hazardous, although the effects may not be seen right away. There are some things you should know before re-entering a home that has just undergone a fire. Majority of the time, fire damage restoration is necessary.

Fire damage restoration and water damage repairs often go hand-in-hand because fire may cause some damage to water pipes and tanks, thus letting out water that can further damage the building and the property contained therein. Also, if water is used to put out the fire, it may cause damage to the property it gets in contact with.

STEPS TO TAKE IMMEDIATELY AFTER A FIRE

You must first confer with a fire marshal on whether or not it is alright to move back into your home. Although you might want to go in to evaluate how much damage was done, you will still have to take precautionary measures as the fire might have affected the stability of the house, thus making it very dangerous.

Right after the fire, call in a smoke and fire damage restoration expert to help you assess the level of damage to your home, as well as commence the clean-up course of action. Introducing a fire damage restoration specialist when handling fire damage would save you a whole lot of money and time, and also ensure the safety of your family. However, there are a few things you could do prior to the arrival of the professional, which could help expedite the process a notch. Again, remember not to enter your home until the fire marshal deems it safe to do so.

TIPS FOR THE FIRE DAMAGE RESTORATION CLEAN-UP

  • Open all windows and doors to allow for proper ventilation and to get as much of the smoke as you can out of the house.
  • Lay a plastic sheet over any clean or unaltered items of furniture to ensure that they do not get damaged during the cleaning process.
  • Do not clean anything yourself, as inhaling the smoke and soot that has seeped into the furniture and carpeting could be detrimental to your health.
  • Do not plug in any electronics before you have called in an electrician to inspect the place for electrical damage.
  • Dispose of any open food items that may likely have been exposed to and/or contaminated by the fire.
As fire and smoke are very delicate matters to handle, they should only be dealt with by certified professionals, well versed in the field, and experienced fire damage restoration technicians who know the damage-prone areas in the home that may look unaffected by the fire.

Lakeshore Barrier Free, a company, offering a wide range of services with a major focus on barrier-free home modification and damage restoration, guarantees you a thorough and all-encompassing inspection. We leave no stones unturned. We will handle every crevice of your home with the utmost care and attention so that you can move back into your home in the shortest possible time.

THE NEED FOR SMOKE AND FIRE DAMAGE RESTORATION

Fires release smoke. This smoke is driven by the heat to penetrate the crevices of the building where the fire broke out. If humidity combines with the smoke, chemical reactions may occur which would give rise to the formation of corrosive residues. These residues may then cause etching, pitting or chemical burning which can cause lasting damage to your belongings. The risk of such damage increases the longer the affected home is left without the attention of a smoke and fire damage restoration company.

A building that has just endured a fire may also experience structural weakness which may lead to collapse in some areas of the building. The roof may cave in, or some pillars or staircases may fall without warning. This is why it is not advisable to re-enter a house that has just been through fire until the fire marshal considers it alright to do so. Call in the services of professionals instead.

Below is a look at the different ways fire damage can affect you, and how fire damage restoration can help you handle these problems.

EFFECTS OF FIRE DAMAGE

IMMEDIATE DAMAGE

The first thing you may notice after a fire is that your belongings have been badly burned. Some or most of them may have been completely destroyed, depending on the magnitude of the fire. Walls, countertops, furniture and appliances may lie in ruins.

This is the most obvious type of damage that will be dealt with by the fire damage restoration company you call in. The company will prioritize those damages that can lead to further damage. For instance, a burned staircase that may collapse if not immediately attended to will be treated as a priority. A hole in the roof or wall that will expose you to the elements or trespassers will be promptly attended to.

If there is any damage that is beyond the scope of the company, they may recommend replacement. However, a lot of restoration companies also offer replacement services.

DIRT AND ODOUR

Fire damage not only destroys property but also leaves a lot of dirt and odour in its trail. Fire normally goes along with smoke, and smoke can seep through your belongings and stain your walls and carpets, as well as leave dust, dirt and soot on your surfaces. Normally, this spreads, not only in the affected room but also to the nearby or adjacent rooms.

These are the reasons why fire damage restoration companies prioritize cleaning and sanitizing your home. By so doing, health issues that may be caused by smoke will be prevented. Specialized cleaning appliances and equipment will be used.

WATER DAMAGE

Fire may cause a pipe or tank to burst. In such a case, the fire damage restoration company will have to offer water damage repairs/restoration.

SOME OTHER PROBLEMS

Property may also be damaged by fire in other ways. Fire can damage the electrical wirings, the plumbing and the electrical appliances of the house. Therefore, you may need a variety of services to ensure that your home actually returns to normal functionality, and is not just restored in terms of appearance.

THE AIM OF FIRE RESTORATION

Fire damage restoration is aimed at reversing the damage done by the fire incident in a home or office as much as possible, so that normal life can continue as soon as possible.

A good fire damage restoration company, such as Lakeshore Barrier Free, will provide you with a wide range of services which together constitute the restoration. The package will definitely vary from company to company, but most of them will go by a certain precedent.

GETTING FIRE DAMAGE RESTORATION

You need to act quickly if your home has undergone fire damage. You must do all it takes to get as much of your property as possible repaired, restored or replaced. Getting the number of a good fire damage restoration company is the first step toward this.

Ensure that the company you are contacting offers a 24-hour emergency contact access so that they can respond immediately to tackle any serious immediate damage that may result in leaks or other progressive issues.

It is also important that you research the company's track record carefully and get acquainted with the kinds of services they cover. You could also check to see if they have good customer reviews and ratings.

Here is a look into what the standard fire damage restoration procedure entails to give you a picture of what to expect when you call in restoration services, as well as better prepare you in the event of a fire outbreak.

THE FIRE DAMAGE RESTORATION PROCEDURE

PHASE 1: EMERGENCY ACTION

Good fire damage restoration companies provide emergency services. This means that they will arrive shortly after being contacted and swing into action to provide speedy relief. This sense of urgency is a key quality to look out for when you want to contact a damage restoration company.

Fire damage should be treated as a matter of urgency because even though it is the duty of the fire department and emergency services to put out the fire if the damage done is not urgently attended to; it may spread through the structure and property. For instance, if a fire burns a hole in your roof, this automatically puts you in a situation where rain can come in through the opening and damage your property even more. The longer you leave it unattended to, the greater the damage grows. Also, the longer the initial fire damage waits, the more the smoke and soot that will settle on the surfaces of your property. Thus, immediate and urgent emergency service is a necessity when it comes to fire damage, so as to prevent the condition from deteriorating further.

The materials used in producing furniture and flooring are often synthetic. Thus, when they are burned, some chemical reactions take place, which, after a short period of time, might make the items they constitute to go from repairable to unsalvageable. If acids and corrosive gases are allowed to remain on surfaces for long enough, pitting and etching will set in. The clean-up service provided by fire damage restoration companies will neutralize the acids and protect the material, be it metal, glass, marble, china, chrome, plastic, wood or other materials.

At Lakeshore Barrier Free, our far-reaching expertise in fire damage restoration requires that we fully understand these dangerous chemical combinations and, as such, are better positioned to efficiently clean up and salvage your belongings. We will also remove the soot from brass, chrome, aluminium, tile, marble, porcelain, as well as the fabrics that make up your upholstery and carpets. Our smoke and fire damage technicians are well-versed in mitigating fires, restoring property and controlling corrosion. And they are continuously being trained to learn all the latest techniques as they come.

PHASE 2: DAMAGE ASSESSMENT

The next step a good fire damage restoration company will take in the restoration process will be to assess how much damage was done by the fire to your property. This will normally entail examining how far the fire, smoke and soot travelled, and also how much the walls, flooring, roofing and furniture have been affected.

This assessment step is very crucial to the restoration process. This is because it is only when the full extent of the damage has been well understood that the restoration company will be able to come up with an effective course of action, as well as give you a precise quotation of what the restoration procedure would cost you. They will also provide an estimation and breakdown of the time the entire process will take.

PHASE 3: SEALING SERVICES AND TARPAULINS

When the intensive fire damage restoration process commences, the major priority will be to prevent the damage from worsening. Let's say you have a leak in your roof due to a hole burned in by the fire or a hole in your wall, the restoration company's first course of action would be to attend to that. In order to seal holes and leaks, they will make use of tarpaulins and other waterproof materials.

Additionally, fire damage restoration often goes together with water restoration. This is especially necessary if the fire has caused a pipe or water tank to burst. In such an instance, the fire damage restoration company will take immediate action to stop the source of the water, so it does not spread through the building and cause more damage.

PHASE 4: CLEAN-UP SERVICES

Intensive clean-up can now commence. The fire damage restoration service will get rid of the soot, smoke and dust from the surfaces in the building. Property normally gets darkened, stained and charred after the event of a fire. Thus, the fire damage restoration company will begin with cleaning up all this damage and getting your property to look as normal as possible.

Water damage restoration also begins intensively at this point. Any standing pools of water can be removed with the use of submersible pumps, and the affected areas can be dried and sanitized, as water damage may lead to health problems due to contamination. Sanitization is thus highly necessary at this point. [Note that Lakeshore Barrier Free does not carry out any water clean-up, however. We only step in to repair the areas damaged by water to get your house in tiptop shape again.]

The fire damage restoration company will also make sure that any lingering odour associated with the smoke of the fire is removed from your rooms. This may entail cleaning the carpets and addressing all adjacent rooms to those directly affected by the fire.

The final part of the clean-up phase of the fire damage restoration process will be to remove and dispose of all items that are damaged beyond repair. Furniture that has soaked up contaminated water or carpets that are too badly burned, for instance, might have to be disposed of and replaced with new ones. The fire damage restoration will take care of all of this for you.

PHASE 5: RENEWAL AND REPAIR

The next phase of the restoration procedure will be to commence the actual restoration of furniture, and the repair of the damage the fire has done. Repairing those items that can be repaired and replacing those that cannot is the major part of what the fire damage restoration company will do for you. New carpets can be laid, and walls can be repainted and repapered.

The whole idea of this phase of the restoration is to get your belongings to an as-good-as-new state and generally return things back to normal for you. However, an excellent fire damage repair company (like Lakeshore Barrier Free) will not just return things to normal, but go a step further to renovate your property. They will put in the extra effort to rejuvenate your property so much so that it looks even better than it did before the fire. This will definitely a sort of silver lining for you. You get an opportunity to have your property renewed, perhaps with an entirely new design. That can bring joy out of a situation that might otherwise have seemed hopeless. This is where we specialize at Lakeshore Barrier Free.

PHASE 6: CONSULTING SERVICES

After your fire damage restoration has been completed, the company that rendered you the service may offer a sort of "debriefing" and consultation to enlighten you on how to avoid fire outbreaks in the future. A lot of times, fire outbreaks could have been quite easily avoided if the adequate precautionary measures had been put in place. If yours is such a case, the fire damage restoration company will furnish you with some design recommendations for your rooms, or help you get a hold of the most effective smoke detectors, as well as other alarms that can help you to nip small fires in the bud.