When Do You Need Fire Restoration Services?

Reputable fire restoration services can help out even in the direst of circumstances, and they should be contacted immediately after the flames die down. The acidic ash residue left behind by the disaster will make a bad situation even worse if it is not removed within a few days, and the only way to do so is with a thorough cleaning. This isn’t an undertaking that home or business owners are equipped to handle on their own, and professionals have access to special equipment and cleaning  products to make the job much easier.

Fire restoration services are equipped to respond quickly to a disaster and have the manpower to approach a full-scale cleanup. During cleanup, the technicians will treat walls, ceilings and anything else that has been affected by ash. If smoke odors are present, and they usually are, they will also require removal to make it possible for people to inhabit the building once again. Smoke odors, though, are extremely hard to remove and can’t be done with standard equipment. Fortunately, experienced firms keep thermal foggers and other sophisticated odor removal equipment on hand to counter noxious smoke odors. They can reach into all parts of the home, including inside floors and walls.

As long as a home or business owner selects a certified firm to handle their cleanup, the problem can be eliminated with no further damage done to the building.

Fire Damage Repair Should Be Done With Professionals

With responsive and precise fire damage repair, even the worst disasters can be put in the past. Roaring flames have been one of man’s greatest enemies since the dawn of history, and though it’s easier to handle these days, it can still cause havoc if it gets out of control. Not only can the flames cause enormous damage, the ash, soot and smoke residue that remains will make the home almost noxious to live in. Both can create irritating odors, discolor walls or ceilings and cause breathing issues if there is a high concentration of ash left over.

Professional fire damage repair will remove the ash and smoke residue left behind. This has to be done quickly because ash is acidic and will cause materials to deteriorate if allowed to sit for long. Restoration professionals work hard to provide a thorough cleanup.  This will include treatment of every surface that is affected by ash and soot. This includes cleaning down walls, ceilings, furniture and countertops. Ash and smoke will almost always be present in the vents and ducts as well, as they are quickly taken up by the HVAC system. Professionals will access the home’s ducts to clean them out as well, preventing either from entering the home once again.

Upon eliminating all of the ash, soot and smoke, the home will quickly be free of any lingering odor.

How Should Fire Damage Cleanup Be Handled

If a house sustains fire damage, proper cleanup is crucial as the ash, soot and water will wreak havoc on what remains.  It’s bad enough there was a fire, but the water and chemicals used to extinguish it can cause secondary damage.  The remnants will continue to do damage long after the flames are extinguished.

The average person will attempt conventional cleaning methods like renting a steam cleaner and using common cleaning agents available at the store.  Unfortunately, this will barely make an impact on the problem and could cause bigger issues.  Chemical agents could react with the residue and cause permanent damage, and in some cases, they may cause toxic fumes.  Fire damage cleanup is one of the most difficult jobs out there, and it should be left to a professional for the best results.

When selecting a firm that does the restoration, consider what type of training they have. Do they have health and safety certifications? Are they experienced in a wide range of repair? Do they have proof of proper insurance and licenses?  The company that has the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) fire and smoke restoration Certified Firm meets all of these expectations and conditions. An IICRC-certified firm understands the need for a quick response.  Immediate action is necessary because the longer the delay, the harder and more costly the job will be as reactions within the damaged material can continue to occur. The fire may be gone, but the ash, soot and smoke odors that remain can continue to do harm.  Certified firms will use their knowledge of fire restoration to accurately test the damage and apply the proper repair techniques to bring the items back to pre-loss condition when possible.

Also, when hiring an IICRC certified firm you can be sure that they are up to date with the latest technologies and techniques. In order for these firms to keep their certification, they are required to take continuing education programs.  So when confronted with fire damage cleanup, choose an IICRC-certified professional.

How Can Fire Damage Be Harmful To Homeowners?

Some of the biggest challenges associated with fire damage occur after the flames have gone out. During combustion, water vapor and intense heat are generated, both capable of causing extreme destruction. On top of this, smoke and soot will result in ongoing problems as they both contain toxic chemicals and pungent odors.  Just how bad the odors and toxic effects are will depend on the composition of the fuel used for combustion, the intensity of the heat, and the length of time the fire ran before it was extinguished.

Plastics and other synthetic materials can leave behind chemical residues that are harmful if inhaled. Wood smoke, usually the greatest contributor to the amount of smoke in the building, contains methane, carbon monoxide, benzene, sulfur dioxide, formaldehyde, formic acid, acetic acid, and traces of heavy metals. This toxic soup will cause major problems for anyone who inhales the smoke or comes in contact with surfaces harboring smoke residue. Soot and smoke particles have a tendency to settle on carpets, furniture, countertops and walls in the hours following combustion. Before the flames go out, they will send smoke throughout the home, into ductwork, and into wall cavities. In short, there  may be no place in the building untouched by smoke, and its presence means trouble.

Smoke particles are incredibly small and may be smaller than .01 microns in size. This is typically too small for standard residential air filters to catch. If the smoke particles are allowed to settle inside the home’s walls, they will create odors that are difficult to track down. Smoke is also acidic in nature, so it will slowly deteriorate various materials within the home. What this means is that a homeowner should contact a professional fire damage restorer as soon as possible. Acting quickly is the best defense in reversing the damage.

Removing smoke and soot requires  the proper machinery and expertise. Homeowners should only consider professionals who have been certified through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC. This agency has overseen the certification of fire damage restoration companies for decades and is responsible for regularly updating the best practices in the industry. Technicians with IICRC certification are aware of the most advanced techniques and technologies in the industry. They are among the most knowledgeable members of their field.

During restoration, the technician will need to remove any items that have been destroyed and address any standing water left behind. Pooled water can foster the growth of mold and mildew in carpets and other textiles, so it must be removed quickly. The technician will also have an arsenal of counteractants capable of breaking down any soot or smoke they come in contact with. This is handy for removing ash and soot residue left behind on surfaces. Neutralizing odors left behind will be more difficult, but new methods, including thermal fogging or ozone treatment can break down smoke particles and force odors to dissipate.

It may seem like life will never return to normal following a disastrous fire, but with the help of IICRC certified technicians, a family can get back on track before long.

Selecting A Restoration Firm To Preform Fire Damage Clean Up

Home or business owners who are faced with fire damage clean up are almost always encouraged to employ the services of a certified restoration firm to perform the task in an effort to minimize loss.

Time is critical in the aftermath of a fire and, ideally, restoration efforts begin right away. Aside from destruction caused by flames and heat, the acid contained in soot is a primary cause for ongoing damage to a home or commercial building.

Acidic soot begins to deteriorate metals and glass within minutes after a fire. For this reason, quick action is imperative and removal of the soot is urgent. If left to accumulate, the acid soot can form a thick layer that is extremely difficult to remove and may irreversibly destroy textiles, furnishings, carpeting, walls, appliances, and fixtures. Unless the problem is contained without delay, soot accumulation can increase the cost of restoring a building to pre-loss condition exponentially.

Building owners can certainly initiate fire damage clean up with a vacuuming device, box fans, and soapy water. However, intricate and detailed restoration is best suited to professional technicians who possess the expertise and equipment to properly rehabilitate the property in question.

Consumers have numerous choices regarding restoration firms and technicians. Not all, however, offer the same level of expertise and professionalism. Reputable restoration companies should be able to produce licensing documentation along with current insurance papers, health, and safety certificates. The most qualified firms have extensive experience in a variety of restoration methods and techniques.

A great resource for finding trustworthy candidates is the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), whose website features an online locator tool. IICRC-certified firms are endorsed with the CleanTrust™ logo, a symbol that stands for ability and professionalism.