Photo by Oli Woodman
With tens of thousands of acres burning in Northern Idaho this past September, it’s no surprise that people worry about what would happen if their home or business fell victim to a fire. Fire is one of the most destructive forces in the world. Unfortunately, fires are a constant threat, especially here in Idaho and Oregon.
Once the fire goes out, you’ll feel relief until you see the massive cleanup in front of you. It’s not just the visible destruction that you can see. When synthetic materials catch fire, it can create byproducts that can damage your health. Smoke damage is also a major concern, especially for those with breathing problems.
What can you do if your home or business catches fire? Can you salvage the structure? With fire damage restoration services, you can. What does fire restoration services do? What do these processes do, and how can you find a reliable company to handle this massive task for you? Read on to find out more.
What is Fire Damage Restoration?
Fire damage restoration is the process of reversing the damage caused by fire. It includes cleaning smoke damage and eliminating the byproducts and soot that fire causes. The process can take a while and is a difficult thing to do. Without the right tools and knowledge, you could cause more damage to your home, which is why it’s important to leave it to professionals.
There are several steps involved in fire damage restoration, each one requiring a comprehensive plan, special equipment, and years of training and experience. Let’s look at these steps so that you have a better understanding of the road ahead.
Step One: A Professional Inspection
The damage that you see after a fire is only part of the problem. One of the biggest concerns to think about when you’re dealing with fire damage is that it could have weakened the structure of your home. The heat of a fire can damage any wood that it comes into contact with.
The smoke from the fire can also have long-lasting effects on your health. It can also find its way into anything in your home, from the carpet and furniture to wood and clothing.
You may also have water damage from the process of putting the fire out, which can cause mold and other issues in your home.
A lot of what we find depends on the situation. Was the fire contained to one or two rooms? Did the fire reach your roof? Was the fire contained to the outside of the home or business and only damage the exterior, or did it start inside and spread? These factors determine the level of damage and the amount of work that’s needed.
In short, there are a lot of problems that a fire can cause that you may not think of. During the inspection process, inspectors will look for these problems and determine the best way to handle them.
They’ll then present you with a detailed fire damage repair plan that outlines the steps they’ll take to fix your structure. As a part of this plan, you’ll have an idea of how much time and money repairs will cost. We’ll also work with you to develop a timeline that fits your needs.
Step Two: Stabilizing Your Home
Stabilization is the first thing that your home needs. A fire is a physically traumatic experience for your home or business. Not only does it do damage the day of the event, but it also leaves it exposed to further problems.
After a fire, your structure could face exposure from the elements such as rain and flooding if it storms afterward. Bad fires can leave holes in your building that gives animals access, and there’s also the risk that bored teens could enter your home or business to vandalize it. Smaller threats, like termites, can also use this opportunity to gain access to your building.
All of these threats need mitigation before the real work begins. Professional fire damage restoration companies will tarp your roof and board up any exposed areas and check the structural integrity of your home before beginning the fire damage repair process.
Step Three: Fire Water Restoration and Drying
Water damage is the second-highest reason for homeowners making insurance claims in the United States. Not only does water damage present a real threat when it happens to your home, but it can also have long-term effects on your health.
Water Causes Structural Damage
There are some serious structural issues that water damage could cause. First, your home’s struts could warp, making your home unstable. Your roof could also sag due to water buildup, or your walls could warp, which could cause your home to collapse if not remedied.
Apart from physical issues, mold that gets into your walls or anywhere else in your home could cause mold, which is a serious health concern.
The Health Issues of Mold
Anytime water gets into your home, it can lead to toxic mold. Unfortunately, mold isn’t easy to get rid of and requires professional remediation to eliminate. Mold can grow anywhere and spreads through the release of spores. If these spores get into your air vents, it can spread throughout your entire home and get into your lungs.
Mold exposure can cause a number of health effects, including:
- Itchy eyes and nose
- Chronic sinusitis
- And more
These health effects can be even worse in people that already have asthma and other respiratory issues. Small children and the elderly are also at a greater risk for complications from mold.
Removing The Water
The process of water removal requires several steps and special equipment. The first thing that we’ll do is use pumps and vacuums to suck out any water. Depending on whether the water has any animal or human waste and the type of material that has water damage, we may need to use special techniques and safety procedures.
We’ll then completely dry out your home or business and dehumidify it. This will help protect against future mold growth. If the water damage occurred due to the process of putting the fire out, this should take a few days. If there was a storm that also caused water damage, it could take longer. That’s why it’s important to call us as soon as possible after a fire. It could save you a lot of time and money.
We’ll then clean and sanitize everything in the affected area to get rid of mold spores and protect against future growth. As you can see, the process of water removal by itself requires an experienced team with the right training and tools for the job.
Step Four: Fixing Soot and Smoke Damage
Much like mold, soot and smoke can cause health issues. Many of the issues that mold causes can also be issues when dealing with smoke. When there’s a fire, smoke gets into your walls, clothing, furniture, carpets, and even your walls. This smoke lingers unless a team comes in to get rid of it.
The same occurs with soot. Both smoke and soot contain particulates from anything that it burns. When synthetic materials burn, they release chemicals that can cause severe eye, nose, and throat irritants. Cleaning smoke damage is important because it gets rid of these particulates.
It can also include carcinogens. Remember the cloud of smoke and soot that billowed through the streets of New York City? That smoke led to severe health problems for both the citizens of the city and the brave men and women who were attempting to rescue survivors. Even weeks later, the smoke and soot caused rescue workers to develop long-term health effects, with some being lethal.
We’ll use advanced equipment to remove smoke and soot from your walls, ceilings, floors, and everywhere else in your house. We also have special cleaning products that allow us to clean surfaces tarnished by the smoke and soot.
Step Five: Fire Damage Clean Up
Unfortunately, fires are messy. They require a lot of cleaning to get rid of everything that could have a permanent impact on your home.
After we’ve taken care of the fire water restoration, soot, and smoke, we’ll clean everything again and disinfect your home to make sure that you and your family are safe. Fire damage clean up helps protect you from long term health effects and protects our workers as they come in for the final step.
Step Six: Repairing Your Home
Now that the smoke, soot, and water is gone, we can get down to the real work: repairing your home. Fire, as mentioned earlier, is one of the most destructive forces in nature. It’s brought down homes, forests, and entire cities. It takes a high level of expertise to fix the damage that it causes to your home.
Our goal is to get your home or business back to its original condition before the first. The time that this takes depends on the amount of damage. While we work as fast as possible, it could take weeks (or longer) to repair your home.
The first thing that we’ll do is ensure the structural integrity of your home. The more intensive the repair process is, the greater the chance that we’ll have to reinforce certain areas of your home before we start working.
The good news is that there’s nothing that we aren’t capable of doing. We’re a full-service restoration company that employs construction specialists as well. This means that we can replace your damaged walls, flooring, roofing, and more. We’ll do an extensive review of your property and give you an estimated timeline of how long the process will take as well as letting you know whether it’s safe to be in the home as we work.
We do everything we can to minimize the impact our work has on your life, but in some cases, you may need to vacate while we do certain things. If this is the case, we’ll do whatever we can within reason to get you back into your home fast.
Local and State Regulations
Since we do work in both Oregon and Idaho, we make sure that we stay up to date on all local and state regulations. When we repair your home, we’ll ensure that everything is up to code and meets or exceeds the standards of local government. If your home needs an inspection before you can move back in, we’ll make sure you pass.
We can even take care of the items in your home or business before we get started! We will carefully pack and move your belongings into one of our storage facilities if needed. We know that a fire is a stressful and life-altering event, and we do everything in our power to make it as easy on you as possible.
Respect For Your Home
When we come into your home, we understand that we have a responsibility to treat it with respect. Our goal is to make the process of fire damage restoration as unintrusive as possible. We’ll work with you to develop the best schedule for restoration and repair.
If needed, we can pack up and store your valuables and then return them to your home when we’re finished. We’ll never take shortcuts or leave a job unfinished, and we won’t leave you a mess to clean up when we’re finished with the restoration.
We’re with you every step of the way and will treat your home the way that we’d want ours treated.
Why You Can Trust CTR With Fire Damage Restoration
After a fire, it’s natural to feel like your world is falling apart. There’s something especially jarring about seeing your home or business burned; it’s a feeling that too many people have to cope with yearly.
At CTR, we’re here to help. We understand the pain and confusion that a fire can cause. We also know that right after a fire, it’s hard to make the difficult decision of what to do next. No matter what your situation may be, we’re here to help you through this. Here’s why you can trust CTR with fire damage restoration.
We Have Everything You Need
After a fire, most people don’t want to make one phone call, much less five. The good news is that with us, one call is all you need for a complete and professional cleanup.
We have a team of dedicated experts that are fully trained and certified to handle every step of the fire damage restoration process. We can handle fire water restoration, mold removal, cleaning, and construction. We’re one of the few companies in the region that are both certified in restoration and construction, meaning that we can bring any home back to its pre-fire condition.
We also use ultrasonic cleaning technology to restore your personal items. We can restore artwork, electronics, furniture, clothing, and more. We also will pack your items for you, store them in one of our facilities while we complete the restoration process, and then return them to you.
Our ability to handle every aspect of the job saves you money because you aren’t working with multiple companies. It also saves you time, as you don’t have to communicate with multiple contractors and organize their services. Using one company to complete everything also improves accuracy and quality.
Since we’re the ones that do the inspections and all services, we’ll know exactly what needs to be done. You don’t have to worry about another company coming in and disrupting our work or damaging something that’s already been fixed.
The best part of using one company is that it will make your life easier. A fire is hard enough to deal with: you shouldn’t have to stress over the repairs afterward. We’ll take care of everything for you.
Compassion and Honesty
Compassion and honesty are at the core of everything that we do. We understand that people aren’t happy about calling us for fire damage restoration. We know that this might be the greatest hardship that your family has gone through. That’s why we work hard to make everything as easy on you as possible.
We start by giving your property a thorough inspection. Having a proper inspection from one company that will handle all aspects of the restoration helps you in a number of ways. First, we know exactly what to look for. When you use us, you don’t have to worry about surprises later on. We check everything and give you a detailed plan for how we’ll get your home or business back to where it was before the fire.
We do this for two reasons, the first being that it’s important for you to know exactly what to expect throughout the process. We want you to be involved and aware of what’s happening every step of the way. We know that it takes trust to allow someone to work on your home or business, and we show our appreciation by keeping you informed.
The second reason we focus on the thorough inspection is that we believe that compassion matters in these situations. We hope that by showing you exactly what needs to be done and giving you a solid plan, it will let you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
We’ll give you regular updates on what’s happening and let you know if something unexpected comes up. Unfortunately, in these situations, things can happen that require extra work, but we’ll never do anything without informing you first.
We’ll treat you and your home or business with the respect that you deserve. When you use CTR, you’re getting world-class results and small-town hospitality.
The Experience and Tools Needed
While we pride ourselves on offering small-town hospitality, we’re still the largest independent and privately-owned restoration company in Idaho. This means that we can handle any job, big or small. We have the tools and resources needed to take care of your structure.
We also have a mentality of ‘always improve’. This means that we never settle; we’re always looking at the latest industry innovations and make any changes that make our company better. We ensure that our employees keep up-to-date on the latest methods and continuously train our team.
Our offices are also staffed by local people that live and work in the community. When we take on a job, it isn’t a business transaction: we’re helping our friends, family, neighbors, and community. We take that responsibility seriously and pledge to always do right by the people of Idaho and Eastern Oregon.
Start The Process of Getting Your Life Back Today!
If your home or business has recently fallen victim to a fire, we’re here to help you every step of the way. From the initial inspection to the last nail hammered, we’ll keep you informed of what we’re doing and how the fire damage restoration process is going.
We have offices throughout Idaho and Eastern Oregon, so we can get to your home or business fast. It’s important to call as soon as possible after a fire so that we can begin the process of getting your building fixed. The sooner you call us, the sooner you can get back to living your life.
Are you ready to move past the fire and get back to where you were before it happened? We’re the largest restoration and construction business in Idaho and Eastern Oregon. We have the resource, experience, expertise, and compassion that you need to help you move past this troubling time.
Contact us today to talk to a professional about the repairs you need. You can fill out a quick online form or call one of our offices. We also offer emergency services 24/7. We’re always available to talk to you!