Dealing With the Aftermath of a Fire
Damage to your home from even a small fire can be difficult to deal with. In many cases, the water and smoke damage cause more problems than the fire actually does. Dealing with the clean up after a fire can be a huge task and for many people, calling in a professional restoration service is the way to go. Learn more about how to recover from a fire below.
Insurance Coverage and Inspection
Before you begin to clean up after a fire, you need to have the insurance company come and assess the damage to your house. You need to know what is covered by your insurance and what is not. You should not move things in the house until after the adjuster has looked everything over and give you the okay to start working on cleaning up the mess.
Most insurance policies will cover smoke and water damage to the home as result of the fire, but if you want to hire a company to do the clean-up, check your policy to make sure the insurance coverage will cover the cost of that service.
Before any work can start inside the house, inspect the structure of the home. Hire a contractor to come to inspect the entire building to determine if it is safe to enter and begin cleaning up. If the structural integrity of your home is compromised in any way, stay out of it until a professional can handle repairs.
The contractor may need to shore up the building and replace some framing to support the structure properly. Whatever needs to be done to make your home safe to enter and work in, make sure it’s done safely and before anything else.
Once the house is turned over to you after the fire, you need to look at the damage and figure out where to start. Smoke damage is one of the hardest parts of cleaning up after a fire because the odor gets into the fabric, wood, and other material in the home.
Washing the walls down with a mild detergent and water will clean soot and other chemicals off. Take the drapes down and get them out of the house. Remove all the furnishings as well and take a look at the carpeting.
If the carpets are not too wet, you could have a professional carpet cleaner come in and clean them. If there is damage to the carpets, you may have to remove them have them replaced.
Water damage in your home is more than likely a result of the extinguishment efforts, and it can be one of the most extensive problems you have. Inspect the home thoroughly for signs of water damage, which includes mold and mildew forming in nooks and crannies throughout the interior of the home.
Water can seep through floorboards, into wall spaces, and get into fabrics and wreak havoc. If you are working with a restoration company, they will inspect all the areas where water can settle and will have the tools to remove the water.
Mold and mildew can start to grow pretty quickly, so once the water has been cleaned up, you need to check the house for mold. If you find mold, call a mold remediation company and have them come inspect the situation. Removing the mold yourself can be unhealthy, and there are rules about the disposal of the mold. Let the contractor handle it for you.
SERVPRO of Western Lancaster County offers water, fire, and smoke restoration and cleanup services to help you recover from a disaster in your home. We have the knowledge and experience to get your home clean and ready to move back into quickly. Give us a call to have a member of our team come out and give you an estimate for repairs and restoration.