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Fire Damage Restoration: DIY vs Professional
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
The thought of our homes being damaged or destroyed by fire is not a pleasant one. We work for years to accumulate what we have, and in the event of a fire, it can all be gone in a matter of minutes. When fires do happen, even the minor ones, the level of damage left behind can still total in the thousands, not to mention the disruption of your life while the damage is repaired and your home restored.
Many homeowners jump the gun on the restoration process, getting back into their homes and trying to clean everything up without having a proper restoration plan in place. They soon discover that they are in over their heads as the expertise required to restore a fire damaged home is a bit beyond what most property owners can effectively perform.
Yes, there are some things folks can do to secure their home in the immediate aftermath of a fire. Professional restoration services are recommended for the bulk of the work, but until they arrive, consider taking steps to ensure your safety.
Make sure the site has been cleared by the local fire marshal. Reentering a home too quickly could be hazardous. Fires may reignite as the result of a simple gust of wind in the right place or structural aspects and walls may have been seriously weakened, increasing the likelihood of a collapse. In addition, smokes and fumes may be present, some of which may be toxic.
Other Steps to Take
If you plan on doing part of the cleanup yourself, take these tips into consideration:
- You should also shut off all gas and electricity at the source. Even a spark may ignite leaking gas, causing the fire to re-ignite.
- Discard all items that are obviously beyond repair.
- Determine what areas may be safely traversed, avoiding flooring or walls that show signs of weakness or instability.
- Remove insulation from walls, if possible, and discard.
- Open windows and doors to get air circulating throughout the structure. It may seem like a small thing, but it goes a long way towards eliminating smoke odor.
A professional fire restoration company is armed with the knowledge, experience, training, and equipment to handle all aspects of the cleanup following fire damage. A proper fire restoration process is designed to prevent or minimize any further damage to the property as well as salvaging whatever can be salvaged, restoring both property and individual items to their pre-loss condition. It is not an inexpensive process, but it is infinitely preferable to having to pay to replace your lost valuables.
The fire restoration provider you choose should be certified, available 24/7 and offer same-day service. Time is important following fire damage and your home needs to be stabilized and the restoration process begun in order to prevent long-term damage from developing. Certified companies will be able to handle all aspects of the restoration process, as well as work with your insurance provider and claims adjuster, billing them directly and taking that particular headache off your hands.
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