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.