By: Holly Merrill & Barbara Rapoza, SERVPRO of Maine
Most property owners know that the worst thing which can happen to them is fire damage. What many do not know is the fact that the toughest part of dealing with commercial fire damage comes in after the fire trucks and the firefighters have left, and one has to assess and mitigate the damages they have suffered. Below are a few of the things you need to understand about fire damage and the fire restoration process.
The fire suppression: As a property owner, there are measures you are supposed to put in place to alert people in case there is an electrical fire or any other fire. These include smoke and electrical fire alarms. Mechanisms such as fire exits and fire extinguishers should also be in place to minimize loss of lives and property in case of a fire. When an electrical fire does break out, the first step should be getting everyone out of the building to a safe place and calling 911.
The fire restoration after fire suppression: You will only be allowed to access a building affected by fire damage after the firefighters have removed their fire equipment and declared it safe for re-entry. In case the fire was so extensive and destroyed structures such as the roof and parts of the drywall, board up, and roof tarp will be done to hold the structure upright and protect the structure from vandalism. Note that the use of powerful fire sprinkler systems and fire hoses can also weaken the internal structure of the house. The following are some of the steps followed during fire suppression and utility room fire damage restoration.
• Fire cleanup: Fire damage leaves behind problems such as smoke damage, soot damage and lots of charred debris. If the fire were extinguished using the water fire sprinkler system, or the fire hose the restoration experts would have to start by removing the water and drying up the rooms before proceeding.
• Soot damage and smoke damage removal: smoke will adhere to upholstery, furniture, and other appliances after a fire. It is the responsibility of the restoration company to use the appropriate detergents and cleaning agents to make sure that any smoke damage and soot damage on the floors, walls or appliances has been completely removed.
• Fire restoration: This part of the process aims to make sure the house goes back to the state it was in before the commercial fire damage. To make this happen, the commercial fire damage restoration experts assess the damage caused by the fire after the cleanup and give a quotation of what is needed to be done, and the cost. They will repair any drywall which has fallen apart, replace parts of the roof that could have gotten burnt in the fire, and repaint the areas inside the home that could have stains from smoke damage and soot damage.
The quality of the commercial fire damage restoration depends on the competence of the company which you hire to handle the fire restoration for you. It is best to take time, look at the offers on the table from different companies and select the one which best suits your needs.