Fire damage can wreak havoc on homes and businesses alike without any warning. What makes fire even worse is that you can be dealing with damage and problems caused by the fire long after the flames are extinguished.
To make sure you can recover effectively after fire damage, there are certain things you should and should not be doing to deal with the damage. By understanding what to do and avoid you can speed up the time it takes to recover from the damage and help prevent and unintentional issues from popping up along the way.
What to Do and What to Avoid Fire Damage in Richmond
Make Sure the Environment is Safe
No matter the scale or amount of damage caused by the fire, you absolutely need to make sure the environment is safe. Homes and structures affected by fire can have very visible and many invisible issues that you need to be aware of before going anywhere near the area.
Depending on the scale of the fire damage, it could be obvious or more difficult to understand if there is any serious damage. With a property that has been badly damaged and burnt, it is best to let the experts determine when it is safe to work around. Even with smaller fires, best judgment is needed to know when to wait before going back to the fire site.
Get Rid of Smoke
One of the major elements of fire restoration that people never really think about is getting rid of the smoke that is caused by the fire. Many people seem to think that the smoke just kind of disappears and goes away, but that is rarely ever the case.
Smoke has the unique ability to get trapped in areas and sticks to structures. Getting rid of smoke is not just leaving doors and windows open as you often need deeper cleaning to really get the smoke out.
Clean Out What Can be Safely Salvaged
Once it has been determined that the area of the fire has been safely taken care of, you can now consider looking to salvage certain items. Depending on how bad the fire was, you may need to dig through burnt rooms to find things or may have just had one area badly burnt while other areas are untouched.
Being careful not to cause any more damage, you can look around and get out items that could be damaged more by sitting out exposed. While this is not always a possible step depending on the scale of damage, reducing further damage is always advised.
Work With the Experts
Fire damage is something nobody should have to deal with, but unfortunately many people do. With limited exposure to recovering from and dealing with fire damage, it is best to work with professionals who have experience dealing with fire recovery and restoration.
Work with a restoration company from Richmond, VA that knows when it is safe to go back to the site of the fire and work together to make a plan with restoration goals. It can be relieving to hear from the pros that there is a way to recover and restore property that you previously thought was lost forever.
What Not to Do
Go Into a Damaged Structure
The last thing you want to do when a property has been damaged by fire is rush in to try and save things. For all you know, there could be one or two structures supporting the entire property that are waiting to come down at the slightest nudge.
Unless specifically told that the structure is safe to go into, you need to resist going anywhere near a fire damaged structure. It is easy to get emotional and want to recover items as soon as possible, but potential harm that can be caused must be considered.
Treat All Items as Safe
A common mistake that is made when people try to recover from fire damage is to assume everything that isn’t burnt is safe. While upon first glance it may look this way, many items suffer damage that seems invisible until you look closer.
In particular, nearly all food that has been affected by smoke and fire should be avoided as it has been contaminated and is not safe to eat. Even things like doors may still be very hot to the touch and electrical appliances could have batteries that are waiting to blow if they get disturbed.
On the topic of electricity, it is never a good idea to assume your power is safe after fire damage has occurred. Anything from charging a phone to turning on the oven could spell disaster if elements of the properties power systems have been damaged.
In many cases, those who are dealing with the fire will have already turned of the electricity to prevent any further issues from arising. All it takes is one rouge spark or flick of a switch to cause even more problems to deal with and can even get another fire going without you realizing it.
Try to Fix Problems Yourself
With so many things not to do after fire damage has occurred, you should never try to fix these issues alone. Many property owners want to take control after a bad fire so they can get back on their feet, but you won’t know what really needs to be fixed until you reach out to the restoration experts.
Simply trying to repair structural elements or remove smoke damage is nice in theory, but you are likely doing more harm than good when you think this way. Any structure that has been subjected to fire damage needs to be treated very carefully and the experts are going to be your best chance of getting things back to normal.
Contact Virginia Restoration Services
Take the next fire restoration steps with VRS so you can get your property back to normal in to time at all.