Having a fire in your home is one of the most devastating events that can occur in a homeowner’s life. Even in the best-case scenario, there can be a tremendous amount of fire damage clean up to be done.
Returning your home to normal is a process that requires the assistance of professional cleaning and restoration.
What are the steps needed to restore your home after it’s been exposed to fire damage?
1. Contact a Professional Restoration Company
A professional restoration company getting on-site quickly after a fire is crucial, not only to begin mitigation work but to make sure the property is safe to be around. Many hazards can develop after a house fire and restoration companies are familiar with how to best handle all of the aspects those fires can present.
Make sure your professional fire restoration company is a licensed and insured General Contractor. A large part of the fire restoration process involves extensive construction. Having a restoration company that is knowledgeable and licensed in current construction codes/practices makes a world of difference in the quality of the job done.
2. Contact Your Homeowners’ Insurance Company
Once the immediate danger of a house fire has passed, you need to call the insurance company. This begins the claims process and gives you access to guidance and resources to help with the restoration of your home.
3. Assess the Structural Damage Caused by the Fire
Fire can cause varying degrees of damage. More extreme situations cause structural damage, which affects the safety of your home.
Before you re-enter your home after a fire or begin any cleanup or restoration efforts, you’ll need to know if there was structural damage. A structural engineer’s inspection evaluates your home’s foundation, walls, and floor joists on every level of your home.
If there is any structural damage, you’ll want to address it first with the appropriate professional assistance.
4. Secure Your Home Before Beginning the Fire Restoration
After you’ve received the “all clear” regarding structural damage, you’ll want to make sure your home is secure from trespassers. Board up all windows and entryways except for one. This reduces the risk of vandalism as you’re rebuilding your home.
5. Assess Damage to Your Home’s Electrical System
Next, you’ll want to make sure the electrical system hasn’t been damaged by the fire. Even if a fire was relatively controlled, it’s important to know there are no problems that could lead to a worse situation if not addressed. An electrician can help you with an assessment and repair any issues with your breaker box, wiring, outlets, or fixtures after a fire.
6. Address Additional Fire Damaged Areas
Though structural and electrical damages are your priorities, there will likely be other issues after a fire. These need attention too.
After a fire, specialized cleanup is needed to ensure your home is safe. Smoke and fire both cause problems and if they are not addressed, these issues can make the space unlivable or create bigger problems in the future.
7. Keep a Detailed Record of Everything You Do for Your Home’s Fire Restoration
One of the most important things you can do during fire restoration is to document the work you do to bring your home back to normal. Rebuilding is an expensive and time-consuming process, but there might be support available to you.
Take plenty of photographs of the damage and throughout the restoration process and keep a file that includes price quotes, receipts, and all other paperwork and information you receive. Both your insurance agent and restoration contractor might need to see this information. The more organized and readily accessible it is the better things will go.
Working with a fire restoration company after your house has been ravaged by fire makes the entire process easier. A professional can guide you toward the resources you need and answer your questions about the restoration process.