FIRE DAMAGE F.A.Q
What are dangers posed by smoke damage?
The thick plumes of smoke that a fire produces spreads a caustic brew of chemicals on everything it touches. This weakens your structure, damaging its contents and creating a health risk for the people in it. If you’re done cleaning up after a fire occurred but you still smell a burnt odor that doesn’t seem to go away, it’s time to call our team of fire damage experts to do the job for you. We have the knowledge and equipment necessary to get your place back to its pre-disaster state.
What happens if I let smoke residue linger?
- Damaged Woodwork– When mixed with water or moisture, smoke particles can form a weak acid that eats away at wood. While you may not immediately notice the effects, wood can discolor, weaken, peel or form cracks over a period of time. This affects wooden floors, walls, ceilings and furniture that were exposed to smoke as the fire happened.
- Metal Corrosion– Smoke’s caustic properties combined with water can accelerate the rusting process in metal parts of your building or its furnishings. Rust isn’t only unsightly, it also eats away at iron and forces you to cough up more money in maintenance work.
- Broken Electronics– The circuit boards and other sensitive components found in electronics can malfunction when exposed to caustic and corrosive substances. Since smoke moves around in gas form, it can easily pass through the ventilation slits that serve as heat exhaust terminals for most gadgets and appliances.
- Ruined Artwork– Paint on canvas is very delicate. If smoke’s acidic particles come in contact with paint, it can cause chemical reactions that will result in discoloration. This alters the overall look of the art piece and lowers its monetary value. Similarly, acids from smoke can weaken the surfaces of stone sculptures, making them more susceptible to chipping and breakage.
- Health Risks to Humans– Of all the things that smoke can damage, none is more precious than the health of the people who regularly enter your property. Constant exposure to smoke residue can trigger various skin and respiratory ailments. In some of the most severe cases, asthma attacks can be induced by smoke and cause additional casualties long after the fire’s last embers are extinguished.
What do I avoid after a fire?
While waiting for our fire damage restoration teams to arrive on the scene, you can help keep everyone safe and minimize additional damage to your property by following the following safety tips:
- Don’t try to wash or wipe absorbent surfaces such as wood and drywall. Doing it the wrong way can result in soot and other caustic particles boring down deeper into the surfaces, making it harder to clean out. Since smoke and soot particles are caustic, adding water to them only helps create weak acids that can eat away at both wooden and metallic parts of your structure.
- Avoid contact with any upholstered surfaces for now. The soot on them could be pressed further down and this can make restoration more complex. Sitting or lying down on upholstered furniture exposed to smoke can also release the soot into the air, raising the chances of people inhaling it and suffering from respiratory problems.
- Don’t consume any food and drinks exposed to extreme heat or smoke. High temperatures can create dangerous chemical reactions that can make food unsuitable for use. Soot and other caustic chemicals can also contaminate food and cause people to get sick.
- Hold off on using any appliances until the restoration team gives you the go-signal. Fire and smoke can damage both electrical and electronic components. If you turn them on before restoration measures are applied, you could risk short circuiting them and breaking them beyond repair.
- Any clothes, draperies and floor coverings that were exposed to smoke shouldn’t be sent right away for regular washing or dry cleaning. Ordinary cleaning methods can seal in the smell of smoke into the fabrics, rendering these materials unfit for future use.
For best results in disaster recovery, leave the cleaning and repair work to a qualified team of professionals.
Help with insurance claim after a fire?
Trying to get back on your feet after a fire devastates your property is one of the toughest things a person can go through. There are a lot of things to repair so that you and the people around you can get back to how you were before the disaster happened. With everything you have to worry about, finding the services to get repair and restoration projects underway should be the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, this will be the circumstance for most property owners in South Florida who have had to endure a fire related disaster. Most of the time, insurance companies will require a lot of paperwork and evidence presentation before they cough up the money needed for repairs, reconstruction and restoration (link to construction page). We are here to change that situation for you, please call us for our expert help.
We can make that process a lot easier for you. When you come to us for help, we provide you with comprehensive help to restore your property. That includes helping you submit an accurate and successful insurance claim without the hassle and stress that usually comes with it.
Most home and business owners in Florida protect their property with comprehensive insurance policies that cover just about every foreseeable disaster recovery cost. However, shoddy documentation and incorrectly filled out forms could give insurance firms the grounds they need to deny your claim. When this happens, you may be forced to cover the costs of restoration with your own money or you could wait a long time before they provide you with the funds you are rightfully entitled to
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