It’s hard seeing your home go up in flames. After all, that house pretty much represents the fruits of your labor. Watching everything burn can be heartbreaking, to say the least.
Once the fire is out, you’ll get your chance to pick up the pieces. By taking steps toward fire damage restoration right away, you can restore your home to the way it was before the fire hit.
The entire process can get stressful, as so many things can go wrong. To help you through it, here are some of the dos and don’ts of fire damage restoration.
- If you have a homeowners insurance policy, do not delay informing your insurer about the fire. You will get the information you need about filing a claim and how to back it up by talking to your insurance provider right away.
- Do not enter your home immediately after a fire. Your home may have structural damage, and the blaze may have already weakened its walls, floors, and ceiling. You have to wait for an all-clear from the authorities before you do so.
- Don’t attempt to clean up smoke damage and soot from walls, especially if the damage is extensive. You could make a much bigger mess without the proper tools, supplies, and experience. Cleanup after a fire is a job best left to fire damage restoration specialists.
- If the fire left areas of your home undamaged, don’t use any of the electrical appliances you find there. They may look fine, but the heat may have already damaged their electrical circuits. Have a qualified technician check and clean them before plugging them back in.
- Find your family a place to stay. You could be there for the next few weeks or months, depending on the extent of the fire damage. Check your home insurance policy, which typically has Additional Living Expenses (ALE) coverage. It will cover your hotel bills until you can move back home.
- Take pictures and videos of the damage to send to your insurance company.
- Write down or keep a record of all your communications with your insurance provider for easy reference.
- Once your insurer assesses the damage, hire a contractor to board up doors, windows, the roof, and other parts exposed by the fire to prevent any more damage to your home’s structure. It will also help deter looters.
- Get the services of a reputable fire damage restoration company. Its specialists have the tools, equipment, and experience necessary to clean up all the smoke and fire damage your house sustained. Once they’re done with the cleanup, they will proceed to repair the damaged parts of your home. When they finish their work, your home will be just like it was before the fire.
- Keep the utilities turned off to make verifying the damage to your electrical, water, and gas systems easier for the fire damage restoration professionals that you hire.
Anyone can always try to take the DIY path regarding fire damage restoration, but you need to know that it will be an uphill climb. The fire damage cleanup alone is going to require significant effort on your part. It will also take a lot of your time and may even affect your health if you’re not careful.
On the other hand, fire damage restoration professionals know every step of the process. They are properly equipped with tools and experience and will do a much better job restoring your fire-damaged home to its former state.