When the fire trucks pull away from the scene of a fire, the damage left behind is caused by more than smoke and fire. The essential use of water to extinguish the flames leaves behind a set of restoration problems of its own. Professionals have the experience and specialized training needed to deal with the flooding and widespread damage caused by the necessary firefighting efforts.
It is the goal of experts to clean up the home or business as quickly as possible and restore it to its pre-fire condition. A deep clean method will be used to remove soot from the carpet and upholstery. The pervasive odor of smoke will be removed.
Steps to Take While Waiting for Help
Until help arrives, there are some precautions and actions victims can put in place. Only perform these tasks if they can be done safely. Slip and fall hazards and electrical issues are the most prevalent concerns to be on guard against. Be careful with wet objects. They can be very heavy.
1. Limit movement. Soot particles can become embedded in carpets and upholstery.
2. Use clean hands to work on woodwork, walls, and upholstery to prevent further soil buildup.
3. Place old linens or clean towels on carpet traffic areas, upholstery, and rugs.
4. Empty the refrigerator and freezer, then prop open the doors, if electricity has been shut off.
5. Use a light coat of petroleum oil or jelly to protect or clean chrome.
6. Wash both sides of houseplant leaves.
7. Change the filters in HVAC systems
8. Tape a double layer of cheesecloth over heat and air-conditioning registers.
Avoid These Things
There are things that should not be done. They include:
• Attempting to wash walls or painted surfaces without contactinga professional water damage restoration technician. The same is true of shampooing carpets.
• Cleaning electrical appliances that have been near water, heat, or fire before consulting a repair service authority
• Using beverages or foods that were stored near water, heat, or fire; even if they are packaged or canned
• Turning on wet ceiling fixtures; there may be damage to the wiring.
• Sending garments to dry cleaners; smoke odor can be set in if improperly cleaned.
Water Damage Restoration Process
Water removal is begun almost immediately. The majority of the water is removed. Air movers and dehumidifiers are used to remove water that remains and complete the process of drying. Specialized techniques and equipment are used to remove soot and smoke from surfaces such as walls and ceilings.
All restorable structures and items, damaged by fire, will be cleaned. A variety of techniques is used to restore the belongings to pre-fire condition. Technicians are trained in the use of industrial fogging equipment and air scrubbers that will remove odors.
The final step is restoring the business or home to its condition before the fire. Minor repairs such as installing new carpet, painting, or replacing drywall may be involved. Major reconstruction repairs may also be necessary.
These are the typical steps taken when doing water damage restoration at the scene of a fire. Every event is somewhat different and requires solutions unique to the situation. The general process will be the same.