Monday, July 16, 2012

Restoring Your Home After Smoke and Fire Damage

A fire in your home is a catastrophic and life changing event, regardless of its extent. Whether you are dealing with a fire that has demolished a good portion of your house, or a kitchen fire that was fairly quickly taken under control, proper management of the residual smoke and fire damage is essential to returning your home to its pre-damaged state. Regardless of the extent of your fire, you should work with a professional restoration company to help clean and restore your home. With smoke and fire damage, time is of the essence, so get the ball rolling by taking the following steps:

1. The first thing that you should do after your home has been damaged by fire and smoke is to contact your insurance agency. This will allow you to start the claims process so that you can make sure that everything is done in accordance with your insurer's policies and procedures. Your insurance company will also be able to help recommend professional cleaning and restoration services in your area.

2. Whenever it is safe to go into your home again, inspect all of your belongings to decide what to save and what to throw out. A restoration specialist can help you determine what can be saved and what cannot.

3. Circulate as much air as possible. This means bringing in extra fans, opening all of the windows and running the air conditioner or furnace. Make sure to change your air filters frequently (once a day) to avoid excessive soot buildup.

4. Dry all of your linens and upholstery. This includes carpets, bedding, furniture and curtains. Mold and mildew can damage your property after the smoke and fire have gone.

5. Cover any furniture or other items that were not directly damaged in the fire. This will help you avoid any ongoing damage from leftover soot and smoke.

6. Work closely with a restoration specialist to ensure that everything is cleaned properly. When smoke and fire damage is improperly or insufficiently cleaned, you can have recurring or irreversible damage.

By taking the time and care to properly begin the process, you can have your home to its former state fairly quickly. Because of the delicate nature of smoke and fire damage, it is paramount that you work with a trained professional. They can save you time, money and irreversible mistakes. After experiencing damage from smoke or fire, talk with your insurance agent as soon as possible to get a list of recommended professionals in your area. Not only will they get the job done right, but your insurance policy will often foot the bill. When it comes to the safety, comfort and integrity of your home, you just can't risk improper or incomplete cleanup.

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