Smoke & Fire Damage Clean Up FAQs

Fire Damage Clean Up

For answers to frequent questions about SI Restoration’s smoke and fire damage clean up services, please select one of the links below:

Are all fire damages alike?

No, not all fire damages are alike. Each home and business contain different materials that burn and create their own cleaning and restoring challenges. Let’s go over the four main categories of fire damage and smoke damage cleaning sources.

  1. Natural substance smoke residue – Natural items that burn can be paper, wood, and other items containing those substances. The color of these residues are usually black and gray. These smoke residues can be cleaned using a vacuum and dry sponge. Reader be careful, because smoke particles can be the size of .004 microns. These particles are small enough to go anywhere in the dwelling, even inside wall cavities. It may not bother you if the smoke particles are in the wall cavities, but each particle causes a smoke odor. Not removing these particles can lead to unsolved odor issues. There are solutions to the smoke particle residue removal such as ozone and other processes which professional fire damage restoration contractors and fire damage restoration cleaning companies have.
  2. Protein substance smoke residue – Chicken, beef, and other proteins when burned make a greasy mess all over. Cleaning these residues takes training and understanding of protein burn cleaning.
  3. Synthetic substance smoke residue – To put in simply, any type of plastic or derivative of plastic when burned becomes very smeary to the touch. Again cleaning these types of fire damage residues are complicated and needs specialized training to do correctly.
  4. Oil burner malfunction residue – Otherwise known as a “puff -back,” this residue is caused simply by a oil burner misfiring and then shooting burnt oil residue through the heating system, and then distributing the residue through the house.

Call us at phone number above to assist you in fire damage clean up.

Back to top

How can we safely inspect our house after fire damage?

Although you may have amazing amount of technical and practical experience, legally only a licensed inspector (structural engineer, industrial hygienist, etc.) can determine the safety of any dwelling.

Back to top

We had a severe fire loss in our home, with a lot of water used to put the fire out. What should we do now?

It’s always best to hire an professional restoration company certified with the IICRC who has at least 5 years proven experience in the field. But while you are waiting for help to arrive, here are some tips to get started:

  1. Remove as much smoke from the home as possible by using carpet or fire fans from your local supplier (Call SI Restoration at the number on the top of the page for recommendations).
  2. Extract as much water as possible from everywhere possible.
  3. Remove wet carpet over wooden floors to prevent wood floors from buckling.
  4. Apply Vaseline on all metal objects to prevent corrosion.
  5. Don’t start cleaning walls unless you have been given correct instructions on how to. Doing it incorrectly will create more damage.
  6. Get scraps of hardwood and put them under all objects on the floor. This will help prevent some mold growth and permanent staining.
  7. Find commercial dehumidifiers and place at least one every room in the house. This will help start removing moisture from the home and prevent mold growth. You will need additional equipment, but at least this is a start.
  8. Don’t throw away anything. The insurance company has experts that can determine the most burnt item and pay you the value. Even disgusting looking boxes have some monetary value.

Back to top

The Fire Department recommended that we board up our home (or business). Is that something that you can do?

Yes, we can. SI Restoration is open 24 hours, 7 days a week and has trained board up crews to make sure that your home or business is secure. SI Restoration also offers security services around the clock for even more security (make sure your insurance company approves this service before requesting the service).

Call us at the number above to assist you in securing your property after a fire.

Back to top

What are the best ways to secure my property after fire-related damage?

In most cases a professional board up company should be used who has years of experience. Although an eager handyman might encourage that he/she can do it, if done wrong, intruders can enter in your home. Beside stealing items, if the intruder gets hurt, you are legally responsible for their injuries. A correct board up should include using 3/8″ plywood with 2x4s bolted from inside the dwelling over windows. The front door, if needed, should have a secure lock that you and your restoration contractor has the key.

Call SI Restoration at the phone number at the top of this page to assist you in securing your property after a fire.

Back to top

Can we clean the fire damage or smoke damage ourselves?

The answer is yes and no. Although it may look easy to clean, many home owners and property managers have discovered the following issues which guide them to seek professional (IICRC certified) fire damage restoration clean up companies including SI Restoration

  1. When residues mix – One big challenge is when you have a fire damage with more than one type of residue ( see above smoke residue list ) that burns. The understanding of how to clean these situations and the tools to use is not an easy task for the average home/property owner. You can attempt to clean , but buyer beware.
  2. It looks clean, but it still smells like smoke – A great way to understand why it still smells after you cleaned is to understand the size of a smoke particle. The size of a smoke particle is .004 micros in size ( yes you need a microscope to see it ). Each particle causes a smell or odor. So imagine these small microscopic particles inside your walls, cabinets, behind wood trim , wall base, underneath the carpet, etc. As you can tell, even if you are the best cleaner there are so many places you can not get to or just miss.

This is where a professional comes in with training and experience in fire damage restoration. Call us at the number at the top of the page, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for our fire and smoke damage restoration services.

Back to top

Do we have to throw out all of our food after a fire?

The fire’s heat will expand and contract your food cans, boxes, bags, etc., letting in smoke that will make your food items inedible. Remember that this smoke contains harmful carder-gins that will make you sick or even worse. Wait until your insurance adjuster reviews the products, and then throw them out.

If you can’t wait for your adjuster, make a video of the products carefully then throw away.

Back to top

We have fire coverage in our property and homeowner’s insurance. How does SI Restoration help with our insurance claim?

SI Restoration has experienced estimators and project managers who have over 100 combined years of experience with the insurance adjuster community. SI Restoration will work directly with your adjuster using the same estimating software to work as team with your adjuster. Together we will get you restored and back in your home as if the fire never happened.

Call us at the phone number at the top of this page, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for assistance with your insurance claim.

Back to top

How can we estimate the extent of the fire damage for insurance purposes?

If you are having the insurance company pay for your damages, you’ll need a special software like Xactamate, Simsol, etc. to correctly estimate the costs.

Many homeowners and building owners hire their favorite remodeler or home improvement company and either find themselves in a battle with their insurance adjuster or don’t get the correct amount for their repairs. Be careful with public adjusters ( lawyers posing as insurance adjusters) knocking on your door. They sound like your protectors, but after their 10-20 % commission of your claim, you’ll end up paying out of your pocket or getting less repairs done.

For more information about SI Restoration and the fire damage, smoke damage, and other restoration services we provide, please call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the number at the top of this page or fill out our contact form below.

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 10:12 by kdonnelly

Need More Information?