Fire Damage Repair Process

Quick Summary

Dealing with a fire’s aftermath is overwhelming. Not only has your home been damaged by fire, smoke and soot, but the firefighting efforts also likely caused significant water damage. The longer you wait to address fire damage, the more repairs you’ll need. To get your home back to its original condition, you need the help of a fire repair and restoration company.

What Is Fire Damage Repair?

Fire damage repair is a multistep process best left to fire damage restoration services that are IICRC-trained in fire, soot and smoke damage repair. After a fire, there will be smoke damage, soot residue and even water damage, which may result in more damage to your home or business when left for too long.

Water damage, if left untreated, may lead to mold, which causes additional problems to address. By promptly bringing in a professional to assess the damage, the quicker and more affordable the repair process will be.

Experts trained in fire and smoke damage repair will assess your property and create a plan to guide the contractors in returning your home or business to pre-fire conditions. During fire damage repair, tradespeople will address damage to your home’s physical structure as well as its materials, such as drywall, flooring, roofing, windows and more.

What Are the Steps in the Fire Damage Repair Process?

Almost immediately after your property has been damaged by fire, repair technicians take over, alleviating you of the responsibility of fixing your home post-fire. Many technicians provide emergency response services and will arrive quickly after you call. Once they arrive, they’ll begin the repair process, which includes using techniques approved by the restoration industry.

Step 1: Initial Inspection

After the fire has been extinguished, a qualified inspector will account for the extent of the damage and determine what repairs need to be done, including structural damage repairs. Depending on the type of damage done to your home, you may need to hire multiple different professionals, such as roofers, carpenters, carpet installers, plumbers and more. In this case, hiring a general contractor to oversee the fire repair process may be necessary.

Though the fire damage technicians need to do a thorough investigation, they’ll also act fast during this step. The more smoke, soot and water linger, the further damage they cause.

Step 2: Safety and Prevention

After the initial inspection and assessment of fire damage to the property, the fire restoration experts will isolate and block off unsafe areas to prevent injury or further damage. Blocking off these areas also protects you from liability, such as if anyone were to injure themselves from the various hazards found in a fire-damaged house.

Firefighters or fire technicians will board up the property, preventing anyone from entering the building. Adding a tarp to the damaged roof also protects your home from the elements, minimizing further damage.

Step 3: Soot and Debris Removal

After a fire, your home will be covered in soot and will be overwhelmed by smoke smell. Fire repair technicians quickly work to remove soot and smoke, as well as other debris.

During this initial cleanup process, they’ll scrub the walls and ceilings of soot and apply deodorization products to handle odor removal using air-scrubbing technology. They’ll also sort through personal items and leave salvageable belongs aside for restoration.

Step 4: Water Removal and Sanitization

Once the initial debris, smoke odor and soot have been removed, and it’s safe for technicians to proceed, water damage restoration technicians will remove standing water and dry out the affected area.

Specialized equipment, such as air movers, fans and dehumidifiers, prevents mold growth, helps to disinfect the site and minimizes further damage to the home’s structure.

The fire restoration team may use various cleaning agents to salvage furniture, upholstery, flooring, drywall and other items impacted by smoke, soot and water. They’ll also neutralize any lingering odors and dispose of items that are beyond saving.

Step 5: Repair Damage

Repairing the damage done to your property is the final step in restoration. This step involves reconstructing your home’s physical structure.

Repair technicians create a full list of what needs to be repaired, which might include:

  • Removing and replacing drywall
  • Replacing windows and doors
  • Installing new flooring
  • Repairing or replacing the roof
  • Fixing damaged plumbing parts

Once you know what types of repairs your home needs, the next step is to hire the necessary tradespeople, which might include:

  • Roofers
  • Plumbers
  • Carpenters
  • Drywallers
  • Painters
  • Carpet-layers and flooring installers
  • Window installers

Many fire repair companies have subcontractors they hire to perform these jobs, eliminating this responsibility from the property owner. Additionally, some fire restoration services also work with insurance companies directly, which speeds up the claims process and ensures a smooth transition for the homeowner.

How Long Does the Fire Damage Repair Process Take?

The repair timeline depends on the extent of fire damage, including how much smoke, soot, water and debris need first to be cleaned up and removed. The time frame also depends on how quickly contractors are available to begin fixing your property.

For minor repairs to drywall, paint and flooring, the process can take a few days. For extensive damage to a large property with multiple floors, the process may take several weeks to a few months.

Keep in mind that the repair process can’t begin until the site has been thoroughly inspected by the fire department, which may take a few days or weeks, depending on the jurisdiction.

Finding Fire Damage Restoration Companies Near You

Hiring a trusted leader in fire and water damage restoration ensures that your home repairs will be properly handled after fire damage. It‘s essential to find a reliable and experienced fire restoration expert who is able to offer a range of services. This includes everything from smoke damage restoration to soot damage repair to water restoration and removal.

When looking for fire restoration and repair experts, look for the following qualities:

  • IICRC-certified—the restoration industry standard
  • Able to offer emergency service and arrive on short notice
  • Experience in restoring and repairing your type of property, whether it’s a multi-story home or office building
  • Ability to provide or recommend tradespeople to perform the needed repairs
  • Testimonials and positive reviews from other customers who have gone through similar incidents

If your property is in need of fire damage repair, find an experienced and certified fire damage restoration service near you.

Author:
Water Damage Advisor

The Water Damage Advisor content team is made up of multiple contributors, writers, and editors. We are your resource hub for anything related to water damage, mold and restoration needs that you may be challenged with facing.

2 References
  1. AERIndustries. (2016). Guide to Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration. https://aerindustries.com/blog/2016/11/08/guide-fire-smoke-damage-restoration/
  2. Malcolm Tatum. (2020). What is an Air Scrubber? https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-an-air-scrubber.htm
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