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Fire Damage Handling Tips

Media accounts of a house fire will often report that the home suffered only smoke and water damage. Even though the reporters can make this seem like a minor problem, it is not necessarily the happy ending they would lead you to believe.

Fire damage restoration can be a difficult task and toxic smoke damage from burning carpeting, plastic, and other flammable materials in the home can be very extensive. Even more problematic may be the hundreds of gallons of water the fire department had to use to extinguish the blaze.

The first priority in fire damage restoration is removing smoke and water from the home. Industrial fans are used to remove the smell and the humidity from the air. Windows and doors should be opened to allow smoke and water vapor to escape as much as possible.

Large rubber squeegees are often used by fire damage restoration companies to sweep the water from the house. Water damage clean-up can include a flooded basement. To prevent injury to fire fighters it is common to cut power to the burning structure. This, of course, means that the sump pump is not able to clear the water used by the fire department as it drains into the basement. Large industrial pumps will then have to be used to remove excess water from the wet basement.

Furniture and Carpeting and Other Possessions

Carpeting is almost always ruined by water damage and needs to be removed quickly to reduce the chance of mold and mildew. This is not an easy chore because the carpeting will absorb a lot of the water used by the fire department.

Clothing and drapes will need to be washed and/or dry-cleaned. Walls will need to be cleaned, resurfaced or refinished and painted or wallpapered

Cleaning furniture quickly before mold and mildew can begin to grow is essential to saving it from smoke and water damage. Some furniture that is damaged beyond repair will have to be replaced.

If there is structural damage to the home, furnishings that can be salvaged will need to be moved to a dry storage location. However, if there is no structure damage the furniture can be propped up on boards to prevent water damage to the legs or bottom part of the piece.

Flood Hub and Your Insurance

Flood Hub will work with the property owner after their homeowner’s and fire insurance agents have provided estimates on costs to return to the home to a livable condition. It is always a good idea to provide the insurance companies with an itemized list of the losses. It may take time to compile a complete list and there are some items with sentimental value that may never be replaced.

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