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Small Fire Restoration Tips
Even the smallest fires are going to cause significant damage, but professional restoration may not always be required. There are some cases where smaller fires may be extinguished and the damage they cause can be successfully remediated on your own. You have to remember that fire damage is not limited to what is burned, but can also include damage from smoke and soot buildup.
First off, once the fire is out, determine what items can be repaired and what will need to be replaced. Repairable items may be removed elsewhere for repair and restoration while items that are a total loss should be discarded. Many items that weren’t actually burned may be seriously smoke damaged, and in a lot of cases it is quicker and cheaper to just replace the item as opposed to investing a lot of time and money in a restoration process that may or may not take.
Smoke, soot and flames all tend to gravitate upward, which means your walls and ceilings will suffer considerable damage as a result. Chemical cleaners will be required to remove the soot from these surfaces, namely a cleaner that is designed for removal of tacky substances such as glue or tape residue. The cleaner is best applied with a mop to cover the most area in the fastest amount of time. The ceiling will be the most awkward to reach and work with, so make sure you have a step stool or ladder to help you reach it.
Once these surfaces have been cleaned, some of the smoke smell and residue may remain. In some cases the surface will have to be sealed to get rid of the smell completely. The ceilings and walls may then be repainted to complete the restoration process. The walls will need to be painted even if you are planning to wallpaper the room. Depending on the level of damage, you will need to prime the walls before painting.
Any appliances involved in a fire should be unplugged and no attempt made to use them again until they have been checked out and approved by a qualified technician. Electrical components may have been damaged, and this could trigger another fire or electrocution if the unit is powered up prematurely. In many cases, the unit may be successfully repaired; however, extensive damage may warrant the replacement of the unit.
If the appliance is salvageable, you will still need to clean it up and replace drip pans and burners. The surface will also need refinishing with a heat proof metal paint. This will help cover up any burn marks.
Similarly, the electrical system in the home will need to be inspected before further use. Almost every room has power outlets, which means that any case of fire may have an adverse effect on the electrical wiring and conduits servicing that particular room.
No, not every fire requires professional help. With a little due diligence, minor fire damage can be successfully remediated by the property owner. Just take your time and make sure all steps are taken and all procedures are performed thoroughly.