Fire Damage Restoration: 3 Key Steps to a Fast Recovery
First things first: if your home or business catches fire and you cannot safely put it out, evacuate and call the fire department. You can replace possessions; you cannot replace a life. The fire damage restoration process takes a backseat to the health and safety of you, your family or your employees.
Your attention can turn to cleaning up and restoring your property to its preloss condition after extinguishing the flames. Here are three key steps to ensuring a fast recovery from residential or commercial fire damage.
1. Call Your Insurance Company
Before you do anything to clean or repair your fire damaged property, call your insurance company. Many homeowner insurance policies cover cleaning up, repairing and replacing fire damaged property, but there are often conditions or exclusions. Fortunately, the state of California currently prohibits insurers from dropping policyholders who experience wildfire damage.
Regardless, you don't want any action taken following a disaster to void your coverage. Talk to your insurance provider before beginning any fire restoration work. Knowing what your policy will, and will not, cover can help you prioritize what steps you take next.
In fact, many of the best restoration companies, including SERVPRO of North Hollywood, work with insurers to streamline the damage claim and recovery process. Tedious but important chores, like documenting itemized details of your loss into an electronic database, can expedite your claims process.
2. Secure The Building
Depending upon the extent of the damage, you may need to take steps to secure your property following a fire. Board up broken windows and doors to restrict entry and deter vandalism or looting. Roof tarps prevent further damage to your property from rain and wind.
SERVPRO of North Hollywood offers a variety of building and reconstruction services to mitigate damage and ensure an efficient clean up and restoration process.
Important: do not reenter the property until you have permission from the fire department. Even if the flames are out, firefighters need to ensure the building is structurally safe for reentry before you go inside.
3. Assess The Damage
If the damage is mild or confined to a small area, you may decide to handle some cleanup yourself. But remember that some forms of fire damage won't be obvious to an untrained eye. There may be water damage to electrical systems or sub flooring. Cleaning up residue from fire extinguishers, smoke odors, ash and soot may require specialized equipment and techniques to recover from the damage.
It is important that fire damage be properly and thoroughly cleaned up. If not, the damage can worsen over time. For example, if water isn't fully removed and dried it can foster mold growth in drywall, carpeting, upholstery or hardwood flooring. Ash and soot are acidic, so any leftover residue can degrade wood and metal surfaces.
It is also important to use the right cleaning products on the appropriate surfaces. Some products are too abrasive for certain surfaces and may do more harm than good. Other products simply aren't effective for the type or material damaged. To determine if the affected can be restored or replaced, pretesting is vital.
To be certain of a comprehensive clean up and restoration process, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood. Our experienced and certified fire restoration technicians can inspect the damage to your property. We'll then determine the best approach to clean, repair and restore your property from any size fire damage disaster.
Trust the Fire Damage Restoration Leader
SERVPRO of North Hollywood is a trusted leader in restoration services. We have helped hundreds of property owners and managers across Los Angeles clean up and restore their homes and businesses since 2007.
Recovering from a fire can feel overwhelming and emotionally exhausting. We understand the amount of stress and worry that comes with a fire damage disaster of any size, and we're here to help.
Our team of highly-trained and certified fire damage restoration specialists uses advanced cleanup technology and responds to your call 24/7. More importantly, we take pride in our teamwork, communication and professionalism. So you can feel confident that your property is good hands every step of the way!