A fire isn’t just a problem in the moment. You’ll be dealing with cleanup and repairs for some time, even after a relatively small fire. These seven tips will help you make a thorough recovery.
The longer you allow fire damage or smoke damage to sit unattended, the more difficult it will be to recover from. Even worse, there’s a significant risk in leaving such damages, as there may be unnoticed structural damage — damage which can get worse or result in catastrophic failures.
Before you start working hard and spending money on cleanup, make sure you’ve thoroughly identified everything that needs to be cleaned, repaired and replaced. You don’t want to invest in one aspect of recovery only to find out your next step overlaps with the previous or renders it completely pointless. A good plan can save you time, money and frustration.
Although it can be frustrating to sit back and leave smoke and fire damage in place, amateur cleanup attempts often make problems worse. Be alert to the risk of trying to clean various absorbent surfaces, such as walls, floors and furniture, as you can end up setting smoke into the surface. Similarly, avoid using, wearing or machine-washing any clothes, upholstery or similar materials. Take smoke-damaged clothing to a professional cleaner, contact an upholstery cleaning service, etc.
Be careful around your home after fire damage and pay close attention to anything potentially affected by smoke or flame. This means checking furniture, tools and staircases to make sure they’re not going to fail. It means checking canned foods and other potentially spoiled goods to make sure they didn’t get too hot and go bad. It means being careful of machinery that might be damaged if run while clogged with smoke, such as electronics.
General cleaning services aren’t always equipped to deal with the unique challenges of cleanup from fire damages or smoke damage. Make sure you’re working with a team well-versed in fire damage cleanup so your home can be back to normal as completely, quickly, and cost-effectively as possible.
Perhaps the biggest threat of fire damage, after the physical threat of fire and the potential structural damage, lies in the ongoing presence of smoke. Smoke in your walls, vents and other surfaces can greatly worsen air quality, which will in turn directly impact the health of every occupant.
While it may be tempting to run fans and other ventilation systems to clean out smoky air, it can be a risk. You don’t want to fill your ventilation system with smoke and debris if it’s not already messed up, adding an additional problem to resolve.