What to Do in Case of Fire Damage
A fire strikes a home or business suddenly, but leaves a lengthy and emotionally trying process in its wake. When standing face-to-face with damaged valuables, ash, soot and smoke damage, figuring out your first steps can feel overwhelming. Consider the following key “to-dos” in your fire restoration decision making.
Known When to Call a Professional
You may be able to fix minor fire damage like bubbling and blistering on some surfaces on your own with cleaning, scraping, and repainting. However, when you are dealing with major fire damage, seek the assistance of a licensed professional. A professional restoration company will assess the situation and recommend the necessary remediation steps. These steps could include clearing out odors and removing residue to prevent on-going damage to your belongings. Unfortunately, if proper precautions are not taken, a fire can still wreak havoc on your belongings and health long after it has been extinguished. It may also be necessary to simultaneously remove water and address obvious water damage. A professional inspection can determine the need for structural repairs or techniques to dry out moisture hidden under floorboards or behind walls.
Protect Your Health and Safety
Fire and smoke can create breathing hazards in the damaged area; however, this contaminated air can spread to other parts of the home or business. Also, fire can compromise a building’s structural integrity. Floorboards or walls that appear solid may not actually be so. Do not immediately assume that an area that looks mostly undamaged is safe for habitation or working. Only re-enter spaces after fire or contracting professionals have assessed their safety. A fire damage restoration service can help you close off and protect unaffected areas. A service can also guide you to safe techniques and cleaning supplies for fixing minor smoke and soot damage. Who would ever guess that natural cleaners like baking soda and vinegar can be effective when dealing with minor damage?
Resist Hasty Purging
When all seems ruined, it can be tempting to just throw things out. For insurance purposes, resist this urge. Your insurance company will want to inspect and assess the damage and value of everything affected. This process may try your patience, especially when you are eager to make progress and return to a sense of normalcy. However, hasty purging will likely only make things more difficult with your property damage claim. Hasty purging could also negatively impact your reimbursement’s bottom line. As soon as possible after the fire, work with your insurance representative to ensure you understand all the necessary steps and requirements for filing a claim.
A home or business fire is a daunting experience, but you do not have to go it alone. Relying on family, friends, and trusted professionals can help you rebuild and restore your home or business while protecting your health, financial interests and sanity. For additional steps to take and issues to consider after fire damage, review information provided by the experts at Express Damage Restoration.
Author Bio: Carolyn Clarke is a freelance content writer from San Jose, California. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering at her local pet shelter and doing arts and crafts with her two young daughters, Jamie and Jessa.