Sat. Apr 20th, 2024
fire remediation process

According to the National Fire Protection Association, over 300,000 fires occur in the U.S. annually, with most causing massive property damage. Therefore, after surviving a fire, you’ll need to put in a lot of work to rehabilitate your house. And as part of the fire remediation process, you can remodel it, restoring it and improving its looks, comfort, and functionality. So, here’s a look at how you can fix your home after fire damage, including areas where you can remodel.

Call Your Home Insurance Company

According to Angi, the average cost of fire damage restoration is $20,304, but the figure can be higher for more severe fires. Paying for such expenses out of your pocket can be a substantial financial burden you might be unable to shoulder. Fortunately, your home insurance policy can cover the damage to your home, allowing you to restore it with as few hassles as possible.

Therefore, before you begin the fire remediation process on your house, you should contact your homeowner’s insurance provider and file a claim. Usually, the company will send an insurance adjuster to assess the extent of damage to your home. And once this process is over, they will offer you a settlement based on the damage to your home and your insurance coverage.

You can start your fire restoration process once you finish the insurance claim process. Sometimes, your insurance company might insist you use their preferred list of home contractors to fix your home. However, you’re also free to hire other professionals, provided the insurance compensation will adequately cover the services they’ll offer.

Eliminate the Hazards in Your Home

According to FEMA, a house fire can result in several hazardous materials caused by the fire or the efforts to put it out. Some of these materials can threaten your health and safety, while others can cause more damage to your home. Therefore, you must remove these hazards before hiring a remodeling service to fix your home.

The debris left behind is one of the top hazards to remove from your home before the fire remediation process can begin. This can include fallen roof parts, broken glasses, fallen pieces of wall, etc. On top of that, you’ll need to remove damaged furniture, carpets, appliances, fabrics, and other items in your home and throw away what can’t be salvaged.

Water is another hazard you must remove from your home after a fire. The water can be from the attempts to extinguish the fire or leaks caused by damaged plumbing. Unfortunately, its continued existence on your property can lead to issues like water damage and mold that can be expensive to fix.

Lastly, you must eliminate the ash, soot, and smoke left behind by the fire. These are extremely hazardous, making your home unsafe during the restoration process. In addition, the smoke particles can spread to other surfaces in your home, leading to more damage.

Fix Up the Structural Damage

A severe fire can cause heat degradation of various materials in your home, leading to structural damage. Unfortunately, this can cause the house to be unsafe and, in the worst case, lead to the building collapse. As a result, one of the first things to do during the fire remediation process is to fix any structural damage.

During a fire, load-bearing walls and structural beams are some of the top components that can be damaged. Others include the roof, ceiling, foundation, slabs, and staircase. Even the most minor damage in these areas can increase the risk of collapse, so it’s vital to assess them closely.

Unfortunately, you can’t be sure if your home’s structural integrity has been compromised by simply looking at it. However, signs like sagging walls, bouncy floors, severely damaged beams, and stuck doors & windows can indicate structural issues. Nonetheless, you should still hire a professional, for example, a civil engineer, for a more accurate inspection.

Depending on the outcome of the inspection, you can then hire the necessary home contractors to fix the structural issues in your home. For example, you might need a concrete service to reinforce your walls, floors, and beams or a roofing contractor to fix ceiling and roofing problems. With these issues handled, your home will be safe, allowing you to proceed with other remodeling and restoration efforts.

Repair Your Electrical System

According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical malfunctions are among the top fire hazards, accounting for up to 13% of house fires. So, your home’s electrical system will likely sustain extensive damage during such a fire. And unfortunately, fires started by other causes can still destroy your electrical system.

A damaged electrical system can be a safety hazard that can cause electrocutions or another fire outbreak. In addition, even the smallest damages can be inconvenient, leading to issues such as short circuits that damage your home’s appliances. Therefore, repairing your electrical system is another vital task during the fire remediation process.

But before you begin repairs, you should hire a local electrician to inspect your system, which will help you determine the extent of the damage. Then, you can start making necessary revamp, such as rewiring your home, installing new switches & outlets, replacing the light fixtures, installing new fuses, etc. Besides repairs, your electrical contractor can fix some of the appliances damaged by the fire, saving you the cost of replacements.

Check and Fix Plumbing Damage

It might not seem like it, but your plumbing system can experience extensive damage during a fire. While steel and copper pipes and those buried underground might escape unharmed, other plumbing elements might not be so lucky. Therefore, this is another top area to pay attention to when fixing your home after a fire.

Plastic pipes are a top plumbing feature likely to suffer fire damage. This can include water pipes, drain lines, and appliance hoses. Therefore, when restoring your home, you must hire a plumber to assess your system for damage and replace the necessary pipes. And if the damage is extensive, you can redo the entire plumbing system, significantly improving your home’s functionality.

Besides pipes, plumbing fixtures are other top victims of fire damage. This can include sinks, bathtubs, showers, toilets, and water faucets. Therefore, you should have your plumbing contractor check these fixtures for damage and repair what can be salvaged. Unfortunately, you might need to replace some fixtures, so this can be an excellent opportunity to spruce up your home with plumbing upgrades.

Repair Your HVAC System

A house fire can cause damage to your HVAC system, either through direct flames or high voltage surges following an electrical malfunction. In addition, according to a report by PR Newswire, smoke, ashes, and other airborne particles can clog your system, causing it to become inefficient. Furthermore, the trapped particles can be circulated by the HVAC unit throughout your home, leading to more damage.

Therefore, repairing your heating and cooling system is another vital task during a fire remediation process. You can hire several HVAC services, including air duct cleaning, filter replacement, and HVAC maintenance. In addition, you can have a technician fix and restore your unit, provided it didn’t suffer excessive damage during the fire.

Lastly, you can improve your home by replacing your HVAC unit. This might be necessary if it sustained severe damage during the fire. However, you can also upgrade the system if your current one is too old and nearing the end of its lifespan. But more importantly, a new HVAC unit can help to improve your home’s indoor air quality and energy efficiency.

Repair or Replace Your Roof

The roof is another part of your home likely to suffer from fire damage. And even if the roofing survives without structural issues, it can still suffer significant damage requiring extensive repairs. For example, the heat from the fire can cause your roofing shingles to deform, while the smoke and ashes can damage the insulation.

Therefore, roofing services are another vital solution for fixing your home during the fire remediation process. The services can include repairing or replacing damaged roofing shingles, fascia boards, gutters & downspouts, flashing, etc. In addition, you may also need to hire other services, for example, chimney repairs, to restore your home’s roofing.

A roof replacement is another top solution to consider when restoring your home after fire damage. Of course, you must replace the roof if it’s irreparably damaged during the fire. However, you can also consider replacement as a way to spruce up your home; this can improve its aesthetic appeal, comfort, and energy efficiency.

Lastly, you can make upgrades when working on your roof after fire damage. For example, you can install energy-efficient shingles or even solar panels, thus making your home more sustainable. Other top upgrades include improving the ventilation, installing a skylight, and fireproofing your roof.

Restore the Flooring

The floor is one of the most common areas of your home that can be damaged by fire. The direct flames and heat can cause extensive damage to the floor material, be it concrete, tiles, wood, or carpets. Additionally, your floors will likely suffer second-hand fire damage from smoke, soot, ashes, and water.

The first place to start when restoring the floor is by drying out any water that’s remaining in the house after the fire. Next, you should handle urgent repairs such as water damage and mold & mildew growth. Then, you should assess the condition of your flooring, which will give you an idea of the restoration solutions you’ll need.

If your floors are not severely damaged, you can restore them through flooring services such as cleaning, polishing, and refinishing. However, you may have to resurface your floors or even replace the entire material in the event of extensive damage. And as a bonus, a new floor can improve your home’s appeal, comfort, functionality, and value. Alternatively, consider simple upgrades, for example, installing new carpets, which can be just as effective in refreshing your home.

Redo the Carpentry for Your Home

Carpentry is another area you may need to fix during your home’s fire remediation process. That’s because wood is very likely to suffer damage from direct burning, heat from the fire, smoke stains, and soot. In addition, the smoke smell can penetrate deep into the wood material, where it can remain for a long time, even after solutions like repainting.

When fixing the carpentry, the kitchen is one of the top areas to start. After all, according to Fort Wayne Fire Department, most fires are likely to originate in the kitchen when cooking. And with such a fire, affected surfaces can include cabinets, storage shelves, and wooden countertops.

You can restore your kitchen carpentry through deep cleaning, resurfacing, re-staining, and repainting for minor fire damage. However, you may need to replace your carpentry for more extensive damage. And during the replacement, you can even consider custom carpentry options, for example, by hiring a cabinet maker for new kitchen cabinets.

Besides the kitchen, you’ll also need to repair carpentry in other areas of your home. This includes bathroom vanities, closets in the bedroom, dining and living room furniture, etc. In addition, you might also have to restore outdoor carpentry pieces like the gazebo, deck, patio, arbor, and fences.

Fix the Cosmetic Damage

Cosmetic damage is one of the top side effects of house fires, even with the smallest fires that are put out immediately. The main reason for cosmetic damage is smoke and soot, which can spread quickly through your home, staining every surface. Therefore, an essential part of the fire remediation process will be restoring the aesthetic appeal of your house.

Smoke damage restoration is one of the top solutions you can hire when fixing cosmetic damage from a fire. A smoke damage cleanup will help remove the fire’s physical stains. It will also eliminate the pungent stench from the smoke particles, thus helping your home to smell nicer.

Painting is another top service that can restore the cosmetic appeal of your home after a fire. With painting services, you can cover damage to your walls, floors, and wooden surfaces such as cabinets, doors, window frames, and fences. A fresh coat of paint is also an excellent way to improve your home’s aesthetic appeal and atmosphere.

A house fire can be a life-altering event, leaving your house with so much damage. Fortunately, it’s possible to restore your property to its original condition. In addition, you can do some much-needed remodeling during the fire remediation process, which can significantly improve your home.

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