Professional Fire, Soot and Smoke Restoration Services
The fire trucks may be gone but without immediate and professional follow-up work, the real damage (and costs) may just begin.
To return your residential or commercial property to its pre-loss condition requires a professional restoration service. When the fire department finishes their job, we are just getting started.
Repairing not only the direct fire, soot and smoke damage, but also the water destruction left by firefighting efforts (incl. broken water infrastructure such as pipes), our specialized restoration experts are here to pick up the pieces and return your home to a pristine condition. We’ll professionally remove the pervasive smoke odor from your entire home, as well as the soot from your upholstery and carpets.
We understand that dealing with all this fire damage is a very heavy burden on you, which is why we make a special effort in providing a restoration process that is straightforward and stress-free.
To minimize the damage to your home (and chances of claim rejection by your insurance’s hidden “gradual water damage” clause) due to post-fire mold, it is important that you contact us as soon as firefighters end their work.
What should you do after a fire?
First of all, CALL US. The sooner you do, the sooner we arrive. We’ll prevent any additional damage from occuring and immediately begin the process of returning your life to normal.
However, until we arrive, there are a few things you can do to minimize damage and help in the restoration process of your home:
- Limit your movements. Footsteps can result in soot particles becoming embedded in the upholstery and carpets.
- Keep your hands and feet clean of soot to avoid further soiling upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Cover rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas with clean towels or old linens.
- If the power is off (or the electricity infrastructure damaged) empty your freezer, refrigerator and prop their doors open.
- Apply a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil to chrome surfaces.
- Rinse the leaves of houseplants on both sides.
- Replace your HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth (or something similar) over air registers.
There are also a few things you should NOT do on your own. These include:
- Cleaning any electrical appliances that may have been exposed to the fire, excessive heat or the water that put out the fire.
- Using any canned or packaged food or beverages that might have been exposed to the fire, excessive heat or water.
- Turning on the ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Sending clothing to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning can fixate the smoky odor in your clothes.
Soot and Smoke Damage Restoration
Ash and soot left by a fire will continue to impact your home long after the dust has settled. Ash and smoke, if not properly treated, will result in extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration as well as powerful and persistent odors. The good news is our professionals at DryCare Restoration can reverse this damage before it turns into a major problem.
We clean up smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but most importantly, we need access to the site and begin operations as soon as possible before ash residue can cause ongoing problems. The first noticeable effect of ash in a home is discoloration of most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or that was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes. After a few hours, fiberglass and finishes on your appliances will begin to yellow. Metals also tarnish. Within a few days, ash residues can result in permanent discoloration of your walls as well as clothing and upholstery.
Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced entirely.
If a professional isn’t on-site immediately to treat the ash and smoke damage, the costs of restoration will skyrocket within weeks. Metals may need to be replaced, carpets will be permanently discolored and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. Furthermore, the smoky odors will persist. Since ash is acidic, the longer it lingers, the more destruction it will cause.
The first thing we do when we arrive on-site of a fire damaged building is to identify all affected materials and locate the source of any odors. “Thoroughness” is the name of the game when dealing with ash and smoke damage. As ash residues are easily disturbed, they can spread through the building with ease, damaging nearly every item and surface in the affected building and escalating costs of restoration the longer treatment of the damage is deferred. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and eventually forms into lacquer-like consistency which is much harder to remove. Call us immediately so we can remove ash residues before they get a chance to build up. Once we do that, we will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents designed for neutralizing smoky odors.
Fire, Smoke and Soot Damage Restoration Process
After the fire trucks leave, your home will likely remain damaged from fire and smoke damage, as well as extensive water from firefighting efforts.
While each specific damage is unique and requires a unique solution, the general process we put in place to assess the damage and offer a solution follows a standard template.
Our supervisor and foremen will personally deal with the fire department, your insurance carrier, and all other parties involved, thus lifting those burdens off your shoulders so you can focus on taking care of your loved ones.
The following steps will be included in any fire restoration process:
Step 1: Emergency Contact
The restoration process begins when you call the DryCare Call Center which is staffed 24 hours a day. Our representative will ask a series of questions regarding the fire damage event and then dispatch an expert with the appropriate equipment and resources.
Remember: the sooner you call, the earlier we arrive. If you don’t want to face additional damage, and lower chances of claim rejection by your insurance company for gradual damage, call us as soon as you can.
Step 2: Free Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
In order to determine the scope of work when dealing with fire damage, our certified IICRC technicians will look for 3 things during the inspection:
- Severity of the situation. If the loss is too great, it is sometimes more cost effective to just level the property, while salvaging whatever we can. However, if the severity of the situation isn’t as catastrophic (when there’s only smoke and soot damage, for example), the property can be cleaned, deodorized, and fully restored to a pre-loss condition.
- Does the situation require drying in addition to clean-up? When fire sprinklers go off and/or the fire deptartment shows up, the situation can sometimes become more of a water problem, rather than a fire and smoke problem.
- Are personal belongings and content affected? Are they salvageable? If the answer is “yes” for both questions, we have the tools, experience, and the knowledge to get the job done.
Step 3: Emergency Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service
Fire damage often compromises the integrity of your home (roof, walls, windows etc.) exposing it to additional destruction, including water damage. Our first priority, therefore, is to board up missing windows, walls and place tarps on damaged roofs, protecting your home from additional damage.
Step 4: Water Removal and Dry Out (if water damage is present)
As soon as your home is secure from additional damage, we will begin the water removal process, using dehumidifiers and air movers to remove any water left over from the work of the fire department.
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
We utilize specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and all other surfaces.
Step 6: Clean Up, Deodorizing and Packing of Salvageable Personal and Home Content
We believe in restoration, not replacement. We will always seek to lower your costs and preserve the items that are precious to you. Accordingly, our experts will clean all restorable items in your home that were damaged by the fire and firefighting efforts, utilizing a variety of innovative cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to their pre-fire condition. Our experts are specialists in removing smoke odors, using negative air machines with a carbon filter and ozone generators to eliminate the smell of smoke.
Throughout the entire process, we will take care of managing insurance issues regarding the restoration of you possessions and are prepared, should you so require, to accept out-of-pocket payment.
Step 7: Removal of Damaged Structure Elements
Before your home can be restored to its pre-fire condition, the structural damage by the fire must be removed. The process can be troubling to the homeowner – but have no fear, we do everything to make sure this process is as painless and rapid as possible, laying the groundwork for the restoration of your home to its pristine pre-fire condition.
Step 8: Build-Back Restoration
This is what you have been waiting for – the restoration of your home or business to its pre-fire condition. This includes the replacement of damaged structural elements and may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing a new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. Rest assured, that once the process is complete, your home will return to its pre-fire condition and you can return to your daily routine.
Throughout this process, the supervisors and foremen of DryCare Restoration will personally deal with the fire department, your insurance carrier, and all other parties involved, leaving you free to recover from the disruption caused to your lives.
We pride ourselves in providing professional and timely service, regardless of the cause or severity of the fire damage you face, and are prepared — as leading experts in the industry — to utilize state-of-the-art equipment and techniques, to take on even the most challenging situations.
Our motto is that while not all fires can be avoided, any home damaged by fire can be restored — and we are here to do just that!
Reach us whenever you need us!
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. DryCare Restoration is ready when you need us most. Don’t hesitate to call for all your fire damage restoration needs.