5 Things to Do After a House Fire Damage
A house fire, regardless of the damage caused, is always a stressful and frustrating experience that can put you in a state of vulnerability.
While it’s always best to prevent house fires from happening in the first place, it certainly won’t hurt to be fully prepared for the worst-case scenario. A house fire can happen to anyone and once the unthinkable happens, would you know what to do?
A fire is a situation where quick thinking is required and if it happens to you, the worst thing that you can do is to throw yourself in a panic.
Here are the things that you should do if you have experienced a fire in your home.
5 Things to Do After a Fire Damage in Your Home
1. Get in Touch With Your Insurance Agent Before Anyone Else
After the fire, expect that you will get left and right calls from contractors and public adjusters to help with your fire disaster recovery. However, they don’t really know you, your needs, or your policy coverage. These calls will only confuse and stress you out.
Thus, it’s highly recommended that you talk with your insurance agent instead.
Your agent will have enough experience dealing with emergencies like fire and he or she can talk about your coverage options. On top of that, insurance agents can also refer you to restoration professionals that will help put your house back together.
2. Secure Your House and Prevent Further Property Damage
Even after the fire has been put out, there’s still a possibility that damage to your property can continue.
For instance, the water left due to firefighting efforts can result in mold and mildew growth. The chemicals used to put out the fire may also cause damage to surfaces of your home. Your home’s roof and floors may also collapse. If you fail to secure your home, it will become susceptible to looting.
There is no shortage of professional services that can help secure your home after a fire. They also specialize in proper water extraction and dry outs. These companies will help put your home ready for future rebuilding efforts.
3. Document the Damage
Documenting the extent of the fire damage should be done as soon as possible.
For this step, you can start by taking numerous photos of the damage. Use both up-close and wide-range shots. If you are working with mitigation experts, you can ask them to take photos of the interior and structural damage.
Damaged items and equipment should also be photographed as they are removed from the property. A good tip would be to separate the damaged items from the undamaged ones. This makes it easy for you to list the damaged items. When making the list, try to be as detailed as possible and include information like purchase date, brand name, cost, and description of each item. For good measure, submit the inventory list along with the receipts.
4. Clean and Secure Undamaged Items
Before the facilitation of the repair and restoration processes, you will want to move the undamaged appliances and equipment out of the way.
Even if an item looks undamaged and not scorched, there’s a good chance that it contains some degree of soot or water damage. Don’t just stow away the undamaged items without proper cleaning. The undamaged items need a lot of attention when cleaning in order to remove odor and other contaminants.
This type of cleaning can be rather demanding, making it a job that’s more suited for professionals.
5. Remove Smoke and Soot
The cleanup job after a fire is far from a straightforward task. As mentioned, fire damage is likely deeper than what the eye can see.
In particular, soot, smoke, and extinguisher residue are generally difficult to remove on your own. If it looks like the damage is not that extensive, you can use a mixture of trisodium phosphate and water to get rid of the soot off the walls. A commercially-rented vacuum also does a good job of cleaning soot and extinguisher residue.
The most challenging part is removing the smoke and soot from your attic, crawl spaces, and HVAC systems. In this case, you will be better off hiring a reliable fire restoration company.
Call Fire Damage Restoration Pros in Nashville, Percy Priest and Hickory Hollow
When you’ve experienced a residential or commercial fire damage, restoration is almost always cheaper than total replacement. If the unthinkable happens and you need the help of a reliable fire damage restoration company, give SERVPRO a call.