Cleaning up after a fire is a lot of work. Even if the fire is small and put out quickly, ashes and smoke left behind can damage your home and the belongings inside. Cleanup must start quickly because the longer the acidic ashes contact your walls, furniture, and clothing, the higher the risk of permanent damage. Plus, your home may be wet from the water used to extinguish the fire. If it isn't dried quickly, mold may grow. Here are steps for getting your house back in order after a fire.
Secure Your Home
You'll probably need equipment such as fans, a wet vac, dehumidifiers, and cleaning supplies that a restoration company can have at your site in a hurry without you having to rent or buy equipment. Plus, the service can provide a crew of people so the cleanup progresses as quickly as possible. However, the first step may be to secure your home so no further damage occurs. This might entail boarding windows and placing a tarp on the roof. When the fire cleanup company arrives on the scene, they assess the situation and work quickly to do what's necessary to protect your home the best and fastest way possible.
Decide What To Salvage
One of the important things a fire cleanup service does is decide what can be saved. You may not have a choice if it's best to throw out an item, but sometimes you may decide if it is worth the trouble to save some of your furniture and clothing or if you just want to throw them out. An old sofa that is waterlogged and singed, or a wet and moldy carpet may not be worth saving. Once the crew knows what to salvage, the serious work can begin.
Dry Out The Water
If your home is still wet or damp, the water can be removed with a wet vac. Drywall may need to be torn out if it is wet and swollen. Fans might be placed in windows or dehumidifiers placed in your home to help dry it out. The service may need to pull up your carpet to dry out the pad underneath it. All this work has to be done using safety precautions so the workers don't inhale mold or soot.
Clean Up Ashes
Cleaning ashes off everything in your home is labor-intensive work. Ashes can spread throughout your home from a kitchen fire, especially if the HVAC unit was left running. Ashes are acidic and they will destroy or discolor walls, appliances, fabrics, and documents. You may need your entire home cleaned. You'll most certainly need the room cleaned that contained the fire unless it was destroyed and the contents are removed. The fire also leaves a smoke odor in your home that can linger for a very long time unless your home is cleaned properly. This could include cleaning out the ducts of your HVAC and other hidden areas with cleaning solutions designed to neutralize smoke odor.
Cleaning up after a fire can be tedious work especially if you need to have all your clothing professionally treated and your important documents and photographs restored. It can be an overwhelming job especially when you're dealing with the trauma of a fire. That's an important reason a fire restoration company, like Sweeney Cleaning, is such a big help.