A house fire can be a devastating and life-altering event. Beyond the immediate dangers posed by flames and smoke, the aftermath of a fire can leave a lasting impact on your home and your life. When it comes to fire damage repair, we at 1-800 WATER DAMAGE understand the physical and emotional effects of a house fire and the process involved in handling the recovery. Our property restoration services company has curated the following insights into the common causes of fire damage to help you prevent it from happening in the future.
Fire Damage Restoration
When disaster strikes and your home falls victim to a fire, it’s crucial to act swiftly and decisively to mitigate the damage. Fire damage restoration is a complex and multifaceted process that involves repairing the physical damage as well as addressing the emotional and psychological toll it can take on homeowners and families.
Damage Repair After a House Fire
The extent of the repairs needed following a house fire depends on the severity of the damage. In the aftermath of a fire, our trained professionals assess what surfaces and materials can be cleaned and restored and which ones must be replaced. Common repairs after significant fire damage include:
- Cleaning up debris: Disposing of the debris left behind by the fire is a crucial first step to ensure the restoration process can proceed effectively.
- Boarding up damaged entryways: Covering broken doors and windows is essential to secure your property and protect it from further damage or intrusion.
- Closing holes in the roof: Roof damage can lead to extensive water infiltration during firefighting efforts, so covering these areas is vital to protect the rest of your belongings.
- Installing temporary power: Temporary power installations are essential to accommodate the need for lighting, ventilation, and drying equipment during the restoration process.
How to Get Rid of Smoke Damage
Proper ventilation and thorough cleaning are key to ensuring that your living space is free from the lingering effects of a fire. However, dealing with the persistent smell of smoke following a fire can be a hassle. Smoke odors have a way of stubbornly clinging to surfaces and materials, making it tough to get rid of completely. One essential approach to dealing with damage due to smoke, according to the American Red Cross, is through the use of trisodium phosphate (TSP), a potent cleaning agent. Here’s how you can utilize TSP to remove smoke odor and soot from your belongings and living spaces:
- Test Garments: Before applying any treatment, it’s crucial to test garments to ensure compatibility. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the label of each item.
- TSP Solution: In a large container, mix 4 to 6 tablespoons of TSP with 1 cup of household cleaner or chlorine bleach for every gallon of warm water you plan to use.
- Cold Water Alternative: Alternatively, you can wash smoke-damaged clothing in cold water using your regular household laundry detergent. To enhance the cleaning process, add one tablespoon of pure vanilla extract.
For Walls, Furniture, and Floors
- Prepare the Cleaning Solution: Create the same cleaning solution by following the steps outlined above. Remember to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands.
- Clean Thoroughly: Wash the affected surfaces one small area at a time, working from the floor upward. This approach prevents streaking and ensures comprehensive cleaning.
- Rinse and Dry: After cleaning, rinse the surfaces with clear, warm water and dry them thoroughly. Ceilings should be the last to be cleaned. It’s important not to repaint until both walls and ceilings are completely dry.
- Prevent Mold and Mildew: To reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth, wipe down all surfaces that may have become wet with a solution of one cup of liquid household bleach to a gallon of water. Before applying this solution, conduct a test on a small area of the surface and allow it to dry for at least 24 hours to ensure it won’t cause discoloration.
For Washable Wallpaper
Washable wallpaper can be cleansed in a manner similar to painted walls, but it’s crucial not to saturate the paper. And make sure to use a commercial paste to repaste any loose edges or sections.
By following these cleaning and deodorization steps, you can effectively remove smoke odor and soot from various materials and surfaces.
Tips for Future Fire Prevention in the Home
The best way to deal with fire damage is to prevent it in the first place. Here are some safety tips to help reduce the risk of fire in your home:
Avoid Kitchen Accidents
Cooking accidents are a leading cause of house fires. To reduce risk, never leave cooking appliances turned on and unattended, especially if you’re tired. It’s also important to keep flammable materials away from cooking elements and keep an easily accessible fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
Inspect Electrical Systems
Regularly inspect your electrical system for signs of malfunction, such as strange burning smells, discoloration around outlets, or sparks from appliances. If you notice any of these signs, have a qualified electrician inspect and repair the system.
Follow Critical Heating Equipment Rules
Keep heating equipment, including space heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, and wood stoves, at least three feet away from flammable materials like clothing, mattresses, and upholstered furniture. It’s also good to have your chimney and heating equipment inspected and cleaned annually.
Practice Safe Smoking
Smoking inside the home poses a significant fire risk. Avoid smoking indoors, and never smoke while lying down, especially if you’re drowsy. Lastly, always ensure that smoking materials are fully extinguished before disposing of them.
Don’t Leave Candles Unattended
While candles add ambiance to a room, they can also be fire hazards. Never leave candles unattended, and keep them at least 12 inches away from flammable objects. Consider using flameless candles as a safer alternative.
Fire damage repair is a complex and challenging process. Still, with the right guidance and a professional disaster restoration company like 1-800 WATER DAMAGE, you can restore your residential property to its former glory. By following these tips and being vigilant in fire prevention, you can significantly reduce the risk of a devastating house fire.
Contact us at 1-800 WATER DAMAGE to learn more about fire safety and our smoke damage restoration services. Give us a call at (800) 928-3732.