Effects of Fire and Smoke Damage
The complexity of property loss or destruction due to fire damage is due to the unique behavior of smoke. A trained fire damage professional should survey the loss site to determine the extent to which fire, smoke, heat, and moisture impacted building materials and contents.
Experienced fire restoration professionals know that areas seemingly unaffected by fire damage are still a danger to homeowners. Smoke can penetrate within cavities of the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. The knowledge fire restoration professionals have of building systems helps them investigate how far fire and smoke damage may have spread.
Some things you may not know about smoke
• Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
• Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor.
• The type of smoke may greatly affect the fire damage restoration process.
Types of Smoke Damage
Once at a fire scene, a Franchise Professional will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Cleaning procedures will be based on the information identified during fire damage pretesting.
Types of soot include:
• Wet Smoke Residues – Result from smoldering fires with low heat. Residues are sticky, smeary and with pungent odors. Smoke webs can be difficult to clean.
• Dry Smoke Residues – Result from fast burning fires at high temperatures. Residues are often dry, powdery, small, nonsmeary smoke particles.
• Protein Residues – Virtually invisible residues that discolor paints and varnishes. Extreme pungent odor.
• Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace puff backs distribute fuel oil soot.
• Other Types of Residues – Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residues also need cleanup.
Inspection and Pretesting
• The Franchise Professional pretests while inspecting the property to determine the extent of fire damage and the scope of needed cleaning, restoration, and repairs.
• The full extent of the smoke and fire damage. How many materials are affected by smoke or fire? What is the proper method for cleaning? Will your personal belongings need to be relocated while your house is restored? These are just a few of the decisions that must be made.
• Unaffected areas – It can be vital to protect areas that were not affected by soot and odor before the damage spreads to these areas. It will save you money!
• What materials can be restored and what materials must be replaced. Are the smoke residues cleanable? Who is completing the inventory of items that are damaged beyond repair? Fire damage pretesting is vital. A complete inventory is invaluable! How long will the cleanup take? We’ll let you know what to expect.
• The most effective cleaning methods. What work procedures will restore the damaged materials?
Pretesting also allows the Franchise Professional to focus on saving precious items or keepsakes for you.
Once the fire damage mitigation begins, the Franchise Professional will keep you informed and answer your questions, all while working to help make the fire damage “Like it never even happened.”