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Fire damage cleaning: How to respond after a fire

House interior damaged by fire March 24, 2022

Experiencing a fire is scary, no matter the size and severity. It’s not only a threat to your safety during the fire, but well after. Structural damage, lingering smoke, soot, and mould are all a concern.

Aside from the health considerations, even a small fire can severely damage your property. Smoke and soot can quickly stain surfaces and become difficult to remove. The water from fighting the blaze can cause damage too.

The aftermath of a fire is overwhelming and you may be wondering what to tackle first. As fire restoration cleaning experts, we have seen our fair share of fires. We go through the fire damage you can expect and tips on what to do to recover your property.

What fire damage can you expect?

Structural damage

Depending on the severity of the fire, the structure of your property may be compromised, and you could encounter dangerous debris. Heat can warp walls, crack foundations and shatter glass. In addition, fire can damage supportive beams and cave in ceilings.

It’s also important to note that sometimes structural damage cannot be easily be detected. Materials will react differently to heat and flames. It’s always best to tread with caution.

Smoke and soot damage

When it comes to fire damage, smoke and soot are a concern. Smoke quickly permeates walls, ceilings and furniture. Soot, the powdery substance from burning embers, settles on surfaces.

Both smoke and soot stain and discolour walls, ceilings and appliances, causing corrosion if left for a considerable time. Smoke can smell pretty bad too, and unfortunately, deep cleaning is required to eradicate it.

Smoke and soot are also health concerns. Smoke causes burning eyes and a runny nose, and prolonged exposure can even cause fatal diseases.

Water damage

Putting out a fire requires water, and unfortunately, this can damage your property. Porous materials like wooden floors soak up water and quickly swell. Carpets are easily ruined.

Water can also become trapped in ceilings, which can result in collapse. The longer water is left the worse damage. After you extinguish the fire, flood restoration is often needed to remove  water, dry the property and conduct mould removal.

Fire damage cleaning tips

1. Assess the safety of your home

Your safety is the priority, so the first thing to do is assess the danger. The Department of Fire and Services recommends contacting a building inspector to ensure your home is structurally safe before you go inside. If you have insurance, your provider may call one for you.

It’s also important to turn off electricity, gas and water. Contact utility providers, inform them of the fire and get their professional attention on whether these elements are still functional.

2. Prepare for insurance

Are you insured? If so, call your provider and inform them of the damage. Your fire damage services and/or flood restoration services may be covered. They may also have a preferred provider – it may be us!

Our team will investigate the extent of the damage and provide a quote for fire damage cleaning and smoke damage cleaning immediately. We will work with your insurance company to restore your property and contents.

3. Ventilate and save

While you wait for professional fire damage cleaning and other professionals to attend to the damage, open windows and doors to ventilate the area so the remaining smoke can escape, which will reduce odour.

Remove any electronic devices near the fire site, as smoke and soot may contaminate them and cause further damage. You may also choose to cover other surfaces, furniture and appliances to protect them before the cleanup.

4. Prepare for fire restoration cleaning

Smoke, soot and water will continue to damage your property well after the fire – the longer you leave it, the worse it will get. The most important thing to do is to act quickly. We recommend calling a fire restoration company immediately if the fire was considerable. DIY cleaning can often cause more damage.

Do you need to book a fire damage cleanup? Get in touch.