Let us start by saying we are so sorry you had a fire in your home. We understand the road to recovery looks long – both physically restoring your home and overcoming the trauma of something you treasure being damaged or destroyed. Please know there are professional restoration companies, like ServiceMaster Century in Katy that are here to help you recover, work with your insurance company, and get you back in your home as soon and smoothly as possible.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were about 370,000 house fires in the U.S. in 2013 that caused $6.8 billion in property damage. While many people realize fires leave behind extensive physical damage, there is another element to a fire that you can’t see – but that leaves a very lasting, annoying impact if not properly taking care of: smoke damage.
The goal of any reputable restoration company is to return a fire-damaged property to its pre-loss condition. This means no evidence of a fire, and no smell. When there is a fire, the smoke seeps into every porous surface from carpet and bedding to wall cavities and even woodwork like cabinets.
The Type of Fire
There are different kinds of fires, and the type greatly impacts the amount of damage done to a property. While we won’t bore you with the details, a fire called a “protein fire” can leave extensive smoke residue throughout your home. Plus, the more water used to put out the fire, the more likely it is that all the surfaces that got wet or damp absorbed the odor as well. Smoke stains can set it within hours. The longer a property sits untouched after a fire, the more damage there will be to restore later.
Most of the porous and hard contents in your home can probably be restored by a well-trained contents cleaning crew. The items will be carefully packed up and taken to ServiceMaster Century’s facility to be carefully cleaned. On top of special tools used to clean things like electronics, photos, and clothing, there are special machines that can remove smoke odors without damaging the items.
Any contents removed and cleaned will be brought back to your home, and placed in the rooms from which they were first packed up, once the restoration project is complete. However, if you have clothing or other sentimental items you would like returned sooner, most restoration companies are more than happy to accommodate.
In the Home
Again, smoke damage can seep into everything. That is why restoration crews will thoroughly clean things like framing, drywall, tile counters, and wood floors. Floor coverings like carpet and linoleum may need to be replaced – again, that is depending on the damage.
Counteracting the Odor
Professional restoration companies have special chemicals and solutions they can use to counteract a strong smoke odor. Plus, there are unique innovations in restoration that can also help. Ozone or hydroxyl machines have the ability to truly get rid of the odors in the home.