There is no doubt that it is tough to recover after a fire. However, dealing with the fire is just the beginning. It’s the fire damage cleanup that happens after a fire, including smoke damage restoration, that is the hard part. In many cases, parts of the building that have been damaged by fire need to be disposed of. When it comes to smoke and odor, though, it can be a bit more tricky. Many restoration contractors have differing opinions on how to deal with smoke damage and odor. Here are some general tips to help.
Identify What You Are Dealing With
Every fire is different, depending on what materials are burning, the climate, and how much oxygen it consumes, among other factors. If water was used to fight it, then the humidity in the building can go up drastically, which means that wood and other materials will absorb more smoke. This damage starts very quickly, and the longer smoke damage and odor are left to set in, the harder it will be to remove them. Within minutes, certain materials, such as plastics and marble can start to turn yellow as they are penetrated by acids. This discoloration is permanent. After only a few hours, your fixtures, grout, countertops, and the finishes on appliances will start to turn. As acid residue builds up, then more damage can appear well after the fire is out. After a few days, any metal can start to corrode, and painted surfaces will start to yellow. A smoke damage restoration contractor should get into the building as quickly as possible to inspect the situation and start fire damage cleanup.
Removing the Odor and Smoke Damage
If smoke and odor cleanup are done incorrectly, then you may never be able to remove the smell from your home. There are documents and materials from fires from over 100 years ago that still smell smoky. The key to removing an odor is to attack the source. Wherever the smell is originating, get it out of the home. If it can be repaired, then your contractor can do that. If not, then it should be discarded. There are standards for when to know if materials are beyond repair, and your contractor will know what those standards are. Once those major items are removed, then it is time for the deepest clean your home has probably ever experienced. Everything must be properly scrubbed and cleaned to make sure that there are no lingering odors or materials that can cause those odors. The contractor may also elect to use a product to counteract the odor if the deep clean was not enough. For materials that aren’t being removed, the smoke damage restoration contractor may also seal those salvageable components, which will protect their pores from opening and releasing more odor into the building.
After a fire, a home might seem fine, but in actuality it may be very unsafe. The structural integrity of the building may have been compromised. That means you should never try to go into a home damaged by fire unless you have been given the go-ahead by a professional. Plus, what you do inside the home could even have an impact on the smoke damage restoration and fire damage cleanup that are to come.
Damage from a fire can be devastating to any homeowner, and having to live with the odor afterwards can be unbearable. A professional restoration contractor in San Antonio can help remove odors and make your home liveable again.