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What to Do After a House Fire

This article is written for those who have just experienced a fire and therefore assumes you have already safely evacuated the building. It's important now that you stay out of the building and do not re-enter until firefighters give the OK.

Check for signs of structural damage before entering the building. After verifying that there is no immediate danger of collapse, use a flashlight when inspecting damage in your home at night because smoking remains are often not visible after dark even if they are smoldering.

If possible, turn off electrical power and gas service to the building until an inspection can be made by utility company personnel.

The water used to put out the fire is very often more damaging to your home than the fire itself.  Before cleaning, check any wet items for evidence of fire-related damage such as soot, charring, or cracked glass on a light switch or plug that was near water. If you discover any of these signs then it is recommended that the item should not be used until a certified restoration service has evaluated it.

It is best to leave the wet items untouched in the house until professional help arrives. Not doing so can cause further damage to your home that may not be covered by fire insurance.

While you are waiting for restoration professionals, make a list of all damaged items in your home and create an inventory with photographs if possible. This list will be very helpful when filing a claim with your insurance. Ideally, you've done a video walkthrough of your valuables prior to a house fire. (Tell your family and friends to walk through their homes, rotate valuable items to show brand markings and serial numbers, etc, wherever possible to simplify future claims processes.)

After even a minor fire, it is important to have a remediation company out to the house to handle the water, smoke, and fire damage in your home. The sooner you address this, the more you will be able to save. Like any water or mold disaster, don't move items from room to room. You could potentially spread mold into additional areas of the home.

We work closely with some of the best remediation companies around. Call us for a referral. Once your items have been remediated - it's time to rebuild.

What Kind of Damage Can You Expect From a Burned House?

The damage caused by a house fire is determined by what surfaces come in contact with the hot gases and flames. Damage to some materials can be repaired while others must be discarded. Water and Smoke Damage can extend far beyond the site of the initial fire.

Damage from a house fire will vary depending on:

The type of material involved, how long it was exposed to the heat and flames, where objects are located in a room or building, the presence of burning material such as mattresses which may melt certain furniture finishes, and equipment that have been known to contribute to fires such as electrical appliances, smoking materials, and high-intensity light bulbs.

Restoration may be as simple as drywall replacement or extend to your flooring, walls, structural features, etc.

Rebuilding After a Fire:

Our team here at Green Restoration & Reconstruction is able to quickly provide you with a detailed professional estimate. We are extremely well-versed in working with insurance companies to secure sufficient funds for the project at hand. Rapid turnaround is a core tenant of our business model. It is our purpose to get your family back to pre-fire and pre-loss conditions both as safely and as efficiently as possible.


Smoke Damage

Whether smoke and soot damage occurs because of a brush fire outside the home, an electrical issue behind the walls, or a fire in the home, it is invasive and harmful. First of all, it stinks, and the smell doesn’t go away on its own. The smoke itself acts as an acid and will eat at materials if left too long.  Soot can lead to the permanent yellowing of walls and ceilings, including wood and vinyl. Porous stones like marble or granite countertops can be permanently damaged. The ash can cause any exposed metal within your home to start corroding, leading to blemishes, and possibly structural integrity.

  • Smoke:  Visible suspension of carbon or other particles in the air, usually one emitted from a burning substance.
  • Soot: A black powdery or flaky substance consisting largely of amorphous carbon, produced by the incomplete burning of organic matter.

Smoke and soot cause damage by seeping into small cracks and crevices, as the particles are so fine. This can go undetected for an extended period of time, with a lingering smell of smoke that can last for months. The only way to remove the smell from your home is to remove or clean the affect items.

Smoke damage is considered anything that is has a detrimental effect when it is covered by smoke and soot.  It will pool throughout the home, cling to walls, seep into furniture, sink onto clothing, damage electronics, and fill in any available space within the ductwork.

Smoke and soot damage:

  • Adversely affect the color of walls, as well as ceilings as smoke rises.
  • Corrosion of metals, meaning pipes as well as any exposed metal. This includes smoke and soot getting into an HVAC system.
  • Can affect breathing as particles get into the lungs.

Smoke damage is most noticeable by its smell. If you can sniff out the lingering smoky smell in certain parts of your home or office, you have smoke damage. Electronics will be affected with smoke damage are more likely to overheat. Soot gets into the inner workings of electronics often with a black film, affecting the insulation as well as any moving parts. Depending on the extent of the damage and as well as what structural there may be a need for replacement of damaged walls or flooring.

After assessing the damages, you want to talk to a company that knows how to make your home whole. You want a company that knows how to talk to your insurance company about reconstruction services as well as a company that will listen to YOU for how you want the remodel to go. Green Restoration and Reconstruction is the company for you.  They have years of experience in remodeling and expertise in dealing with the parameters of what is your insurance and staying within budget.

Being prepared for the worst is being proactive against it. Having the right insurance coverage and the right team to assist in making things right again is peace of mind worth having.  Green Reconstruction and Remodeling is the right company for your family to make the worst of times better.


Recovering from a House Fire

The causes for a fire are often beyond our control, whether it is a lightning strike, or a behind the wall fire or fire related to flammable or combustible liquids. A fire is caused by three elements:

  • Heat – From a hot stovetop burner, an unattended lit cigarette, or the spark from a worn electrical wire.
  • Fuel – Nearly everything in your home can be fuel for a fire, from drapes to carpets, to furniture. When fire burns it ‘warms’ up other items which then are easier to burn.
  • Oxygen – The oxygen in the air fuels the fire.

Heat, fuel, and oxygen all act together to produce a fire incident. Fire will continue until the fuel sources are gone. Additional fire damages are the chemical and thermal irritants thrown into the air because of the fire. Carbon monoxide is a result of incompletely burned fuel like gasoline, wood, or oil. Some signs of poisonings are dizziness, weakness, and confusion. Smoke inhalation is another hazard. Getting out of a fire situation is paramount for your health and safety.

After the fire, no matter the size of the fire, the damage can be considerable. Smoke damage and burned items is just the beginning. If the fire is significant enough to have a fire response, i.e., the fire department was called to the scene, it is likely that many items will be drenched and ruined. It is important to contact your insurance company right away; as well as calling for remediation services, which will handle the clean out and cleanup the damage. Beyond fire and water damage, there may also be broken windows to contend with as well as holes cut in the roof.


You want a company that knows how to talk to your insurance company about reconstruction services as well as a company that will listen to YOU for how you want the remodel to go. Green Restoration and Reconstruction is the company for you. They have years of experience in remodeling and expertise in dealing with the parameters of what is your insurance and staying within budget.