1. Why is smoke residue just as dangerous as the flames of a fire?
Answer: It is common for homeowners to think that fire damage was confined to one room—only to find out a few days later that the smell and residue of smoke has traveled throughout their home, even in areas where the flames did not spread.
As smoke travels, its residue clings to soft surfaces such as curtains, bedding, and carpet. It can also cover your roof and walls. This residue is actually unspent fuel and sets the foundation for a subsequent fire. To ensure that your home is entirely free of smoke residue, it’s important that you contact a professional remediation crew rather than simply trying to identify all affected areas yourself.
2.What should I do after my property sustains fire or smoke damage?
Answer: If your home sustained major fire or smoke damage, follow these steps:
1. Relocate Your Family Temporarily: Fire-damaged homes are often structurally unstable, so you should relocate your family until you know the extent of the damage. Due to lingering smoke residue, a subsequent fire could ignite, so it’s important that you get your family out of harm’s way.
2. File a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim: Submit a written notice to your homeowner’s insurance company as soon as possible. If you wait too long, your insurer might dispute your claim.
3. Call Allied Restoration Co.: Our fire damage team will help you secure the area and avoid subsequent fires due to smoke residue. We will evaluate the damage and give you a transparent estimate on the cost of repairs. We can also help you file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance company.
3. What happens during fire damage remediation?
Answer: The first step in fire damage remediation is to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the destruction. An inspector from ARC will identify all areas of your home that have been affected, create a detailed remediation plan, and explain what will be necessary to restore your home to its pre-fire condition.
Every home is different, and no two fires are the same. The process of restoring your home will depend on the size of the fire, the specific rooms affected, and the structure of your home (wiring, plumbing, windows, HVAC system, tiling, and mechanical systems).
4. Is there anyone else I need to call besides the fire damage restoration team?
Answer: If you contact ARC, we will handle every aspect of your fire damage remediation—from the initial assessment to the insurance claim to the repairs. However, if you only consult a general contractor, you might need to bring in specialized teams for smoke residue cleanup, damage assessments, and other aspects of the restoration process.
5. Do I have to move out of my home during the remediation process?
Answer: Relocating can feel like a hassle, especially when it seems that the damage is not extensive. But a fire-damaged home is incredibly unsafe. Besides structural damage, breathing in smoke residue is a health hazard, and a subsequent fire is more likely to occur until the smoke residue has been removed.
If you do decide to relocate your family for a short time while our repair crew gets to work, remember to make the proper arrangements: Mail will need to be forwarded to your new address, and your utilities will have to be temporarily suspended.
6. Do I really need a professional cleanup? Or can I repair the damage myself?
Answer: Fire and smoke cleanup is not a do-it-yourself project. Even if your home did not sustain major structural damage, specific tools and techniques are necessary to remove smoke residue. If you make an oversight, a subsequent fire could start, and your insurance company might dispute your claim, arguing that your own negligence was a contributing factor.
7. How will the type of fire affect the cleanup process?
Answer: The cause of the fire and the specific items that were burnt will affect the nature of the cleanup process since they will determine the type of residue left in the aftermath. For example:
1. If the Fire Involved Natural Substances: Paper, wood, and other organic materials usually leave a gray or black residue when burnt. The cleanup crew will most likely rely on a powerful vacuum and certain chemicals to remove the residue. However, since these types of fires produce the smallest smoke particles, the cleanup process may require thermal fogging or ozone regulation.
2. If the Fire Involved Protein-Based Substances: Residential fires often originate on the stove. When burnt, protein-based foods like chicken and beef can explode in all directions, leaving a greasy film on surrounding walls and floors. When heated further, this grease can sear onto surfaces and require powerful chemicals to remove.
3. If the Fire Involved Oil: When burnt, oils behave very differently from wood, food, or plastics. Oil particles tend to travel greater distances through the air and gravitate toward the ceiling, making the residue difficult to identify and remove without professional help.
8. When will the restoration process start?
Answer: It is important that the restoration process begins as soon as possible to minimize the overall cost of repairs. At ARC, we understand the importance of restoring your home to its pre-fire condition quickly. Our team will arrive promptly and give you a realistic timeline for repairs before the restoration process begins.
9. Can I hire a general contractor instead of a fire damage specialist?
Answer: A general contractor might not have the experience to restore your home after smoke or fire damage. The remediation process is complicated, and one small oversight could lead to a subsequent fire.
10. What should I do with items that are burnt beyond repair?
Answer: At Allied Restoration Co., we take pride in our ability to salvage most fire-damaged household items, but some are simply beyond repair. Before you throw anything away, though, take an inventory of all items that were damaged since you may be able to include them in your insurance claim.
11. Will the smell of smoke ever go away?
Answer: Just because the smoke residue has been removed doesn’t mean your home will smell like it did before the fire. But the pros at ARC have the tools and techniques to permanently remove the smell of smoke from your home.
12. Can cannabis and tobacco smoke be removed from my home or rental?
Answer: Yes . Restoration companies such as Allied can remove tobacco and smoke odors from buildings . This is accomplished through a multi step process of cleaning , air filtration and deodorization techniques .
If you still have questions or if you would like to schedule a visit from our fire restoration team, contact ARC today at 415-877-6415.