From small kitchen fires to large-scale property devastation, cleaning up water and fire damage comes with a fair share of hazards that should never be taken lightly. Before attempting to manage the potentially life-threatening cleanup process alone, a careful property assessment is key. Since leaks and fire-related damage can easily involve toxic sewage, caustic soot, and electrical hazards throughout the mess, most cleanups require professional equipment and an understanding of safe, step-by-step restoration processes to prevent injury or further property damage.
The Initial Assessment Process
Despite the potential for hazards present in the cleanup process, there are some steps you can take to begin the restoration process in most situations. For example, if a small kitchen fire has only damaged the cabinets and walls near your stove, then it’s probably safe to assume that you can manage the initial damage assessment and basic cleaning alone. On the flip side, if the damage is more severe, home flooding and fires can lead to structural weaknesses, mold development, and other difficult-to-spot risks that you should never attempt to handle alone.
Accurately gauging the extent of the damage is a priority. This information will be important for your insurance claim, approaching the cleanup safely, and deciding which companies you may need to contact for further assistance. Our water and fire restorations in Philadelphia include comprehensive guidance with this essential evaluation process. We arrive with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, and safety gear to minimize hazards, and will verify that your property is safe to enter before attempting a cleanup.
If you do attempt to evaluate any damage alone, always keep a safe distance from the affected areas and proceed with caution. For example, if there was a fire and leak around the stove, ensure that both the power and water supply have been shut off to the affected areas before the inspection. Before looking further, you may need to invest in a quality respirator, rubber boots, and other protective gear to minimize your contact with harmful substances.
Contain the Disaster & Remove Damaged Items
After gauging the extent of the damage, containment and damage removal is the next step. Remove any items that are beyond repair, and do your best to keep the area contained with closed doors, tarps/plastic sheets, and tape to prevent soot and/or mold particulates from spreading throughout the home.
If there is standing water, excessive fire damage, or obvious structural damage, these situations will require professional help. If minor soaking or smoke is the issue, you can open windows/place fans within the contained area to get the drying/odor removal process started. If excessive smoke particulates or soot is present, it may not be appropriate to ventilate the area because this can agitate and circulate the toxic particulates.
If your situation even comes close to severe, it’s always a better idea to seek professional support. Our restoration team provides professionally organized containment strategies and implements step-by-step water removal and drying, smoke and soot removal, and detoxification protocols to prevent the spread.
The Cleaning Begins
After the area has been properly contained and cleared of dangerous debris, it’s time to eliminate deeply-embedded mold particles, fire residue, and any remaining moisture. How this cleanup phase looks can vary significantly. In general, hard and non-porous surfaces can usually be restored, soft and porous materials often need to be replaced, and some materials fall somewhere in the middle. Our experienced cleanup team provides material-specific cleaning services, with a focus on preserving as much of your property as we can.
Since many water and fire cleanups are time-sensitive situations, take action to resolve the mess as soon as possible. Our rapid response teams can help you prevent structural weakness and mold development by extracting any entrenched moisture with powerful pumps, air movers, dehumidifiers, and moisture meters. For fire cleanups, our effective cleaning agents can purge soot stains and restore furnishings, preventing additional damage caused by the acidic and caustic properties of fire residue.
Restore Your Home With Our Help Today
After powering through the mess, the final phase involves the repair and replacement of damaged structures, materials, and furnishings. Our professional water and fire damage crew manage every detail; from drywall replacement to detail-oriented assistance with cabinetry and flooring, our cost-efficient processes simplify every detail of returning your home to its like-new condition.
However major or minor your situation, give us a call first and we’ll take the guesswork out of your cleanup today!