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It’s hard to imagine many situations that could be worse than your home going up in flames. Not only do our homes provide us with protection and security, they house our greatest memories and hold items dear to us. For all these reasons, dealing with a fire in your home is emotional and devastating. Soften the devastation by arming yourself with knowledge of the proper steps to take after a fire. You can’t take the emotional pain away, but you can remove several hassles if you understand what you need to do for fire damage restoration.
First of all, fire damage restoration involves several factors. Not only do you need to consider the items and structures that have been destroyed by fire, you need to think about smoke damage, water damage from the fire being put out, mold growth from the water, and more. For these reasons, expect to deal with water extraction, removing damaged materials, deep cleaning, assessing your items, odor elimination, and more. Your entire house can be affected by traveling smoke and ash, even if only a portion of your home was burned.
Costs for fire damage restoration increase significantly as time goes on. Within days, mold can grow (and spread) and ash can permanently discolor your walls. The faster you begin cleanup, the less money you’ll spend in restoration — and the more areas of your home you’ll be able to save.
Not only that, but lingering smoke and soot particles can cause serious health problems for anyone in your home. Inhaling these particles can cause respiratory damage, potentially leading to more serious conditions like heart disease, bronchitis, asthma, and more.
As soon as the fire department has put out your fire, you should be on the phone with a disaster relief company. Many companies are available 24 hours.
Many people will try to save money and handle the fire cleanup themselves, but fire cleanup is not a do-it-yourself project because it requires specialized equipment and a knowledge of scientific procedures. Neglecting to hire a disaster relief company could mean some infected areas will go untreated, causing significant damage to your home — and potentially your health — later on.
First, the disaster relief company will secure your home, boarding up doors and windows so you don’t have to add vandalism to your long list of woes. They’ll also use tarps to cover any exposed areas on the roof.
With trained eyes, the crew will then go through your home to determine what can be saved and what must be tossed. A good company will make a detailed inventory of everything in your home to help with your insurance claim.
The crew will then begin cleanup. They’ll remove the contents of your home, remove soot, cut out fire damaged areas, take steps to control odor, deep clean your home, and more. As they do this, they’ll thoroughly inspect your home to uncover all damaged areas. Remember that smoke particles can travel throughout your home; the disaster relief company should spend time in all areas of your home.
This process is vital for getting the most out of your insurance claim. As the disaster relief company makes a detailed and thorough inspection of your home, cataloging what is unsalvageable, you’ll be able to more accurately present your damages for the best claim.
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As mentioned above, your disaster relief company should be taking detailed notes of the damage to help you get the most from your insurance company. They may even work with the insurance adjuster and negotiate with the insurance company for you.
Once you have your final number from your insurance company, you can begin the restoration process. While you can focus on simply restoring your home to its former state, this may also be a good time to upgrade. Using some of your own money, in addition to the money paid by the insurance company, you may be able to actually improve areas of your home.
If your disaster relief company also specializes in restorations, you can work with them to get ideas of how to make a bad situation turn out in your favor in the end. With the right team on your side, you can end up in a better place.