House fires are one of scariest things that homeowners can go through, and after a fire many often feel overwhelmed and not know where to start when it comes to the fire damage cleanup process. Most homeowners will need to get help from fire restoration services in Greater Pittsburgh before they can move back into the home. Leaving the restoration process up to the professionals is always the quickest and best way to ensure your home is restored after a fire, but homeowners should still know what to expect in the process.
Steps to Cleaning Up After a Fire
Companies that provide fire damage cleanup services in Greater Pittsburgh understand that this kind of cleanup needs to follow a detailed and precise plan to be effective. Most companies will follow a process like this:
- Confirm Stabilization- Companies that provide restoration services in Greater Pittsburgh must first obtain clearance from the fire inspector that the home is stable enough to begin restoration and cleanup.
- Removing Personal Items- Teams will move through the home looking for furniture and personal belongings that can be moved out. These will be separated into garbage and what can be cleaned and salvaged.
- Soot, Water, and Debris Removal- One of the most extensive parts of fire damage cleanup is the removal of the soot, water, and debris left after firefighting. The restoration crew will look for mold and mildew and focus on water damage cleanup if necessary. Water and soot cleanup can often take several days, including the drying process.
- Deodorizing and Deep Cleaning- Carpets and walls, as well as personal possessions will need to be done carefully and with commercial cleaning products to avoid issues with mold and mildew. Special attention will be paid to curtains, drapes, and upholstered furniture.
After these four steps are completed by a company that does restoration services personal belongings can be moved back into the home and homeowners can move back in also. The process can take anywhere from several days to several weeks to complete depending on the amount of damage.
If you need fire damage cleanup, call ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh or visit us on Facebook.
One of the predominant reasons for homeowners to seek out a fire damage cleanup company is to help remediate the effects of firefighting. Not only does fire do a lot of damage to homes, but smoke and the water from fighting the fires can be devastating to your property and require professional cleanup.
One of the best ways to prevent widespread fire damage is to keep the batteries in your smoke alarms charged, but some homeowners worry that the smoke detector will go off all the time. However, a fire is not always the reason your smoke alarm might be going off, and do not worry, they will not all result in the need for a fire damage cleanup crew.
Top Reasons Your Smoke Detector is Going Off
- Burning Food- Leaving food in the oven or on the stove for too long is one of the biggest reasons why smoke detectors go off. The toaster and microwave can also easily burn food and cause a lot of smoke to build up. Popcorn is one of the easiest foods to burn in the microwave.
- Fireplaces- If your fireplace is not properly ventilated the smoke can enter your home and cause the fire alarm to go off. If your smoke detector is going off every time you start your fireplace, you might want to have your chimney cleaned or the dampers reset.
- Steam and Humidity- Your smoke detector may not be able to differentiate between smoke particles and steam or humidity molecules. If your home has high humidity you should consider a dehumidifier or reevaluate your ventilation systems.
- Insects- Gnats, spiders, mosquitoes, and other small bugs can crawl into the tiny crevices in the smoke detectors and cause them to malfunction. Open the battery lid or take the smoke detector apart to check for insects and sweep them out. Dust and dirt can also cause malfunctions and false alarms.
Fire Damage Cleanup is never something homeowners want to deal with, but fires and other home disasters are sometimes unavoidable. Make sure to keep your smoke detectors up and with charged batteries to keep your family as safe as possible. The detectors should be outside every bedroom, in the kitchen, and main living areas and hallways.
ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh is here to help when disaster strikes your home or business. Call us today at 412-376-4645.
Many homeowners love the chance to jump into a DIY project; however, there are some projects that really should be left to the professionals. Fire damage cleanup is one of those projects. The aftermath of fire takes days and sometimes even weeks to complete and much of the restoration takes professional knowledge that only carpenters, construction workers, or engineers are trained in.
Many homeowners do not realize how big of a project fire damage cleanup can be. Here are the elements that make up the process:
- Checking for and sealing structural breaches
- Water removal
- Soot removal
- Repairing walls, ceiling, floors, and foundation
- Furniture restoration
The longest processes to complete are water and soot removal and repairing the structural elements of the home. These repairs can take weeks to complete depending on the extent of fire damage. These processes are all incredibly detailed and have their own best practices to make sure a complete restoration takes place. There are specific cleaning solutions and tools needed for water and soot removal and while those processes can sometimes be easy to DIY, others are not. Repairing the structural elements of your home such as beams, posts, and framework, replacing the roof or flooring, or needing to fix cracks in the foundation should always be handled by professional contractors and companies that are trained in fire damage cleanup.
Cost of Fire Damage Cleanup
Returning your home to its pre-fire condition will always be costly. There is no way around the cost of renovations and remodeling, repairing structural elements, mold mitigation, and water removal. However, homeowners or renter’s insurance should cover a lot of these expenses. Make sure when you are working with a company that does fire damage restoration, the company is approved to receive payments and reimbursement from your insurance company.
If you have recently suffered from a fire disaster in your home and need help with the cleanup and restoration, call ServiceMaster of Pittsburgh at 412-376-4645.