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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Why Rapid Fire Cleanup is Important

2/1/2023 (Permalink)

Image shows soot damage and black marks on brown kitchen cabinets after a fire. SERVPRO of Jacksonville Beach/ Ponte Vedra can clean up after any house fire, making soot damage and smoke smell, "Like it never even happened."

A house fire can be a traumatic event. Your top priority, of course, will be to make sure everyone is safe. Once the fire is out and the danger has passed, you’ll need to have the building cleaned and restored as quickly as possible. Beyond what’s lost in the fire, smoke, and soot can cause extensive damage. That’s why rapid-fire cleanup is important. 

What does a fire do to your belongings? In part, it depends on the type of fire. Food burning on the stove is a protein fire, and it can leave a strong odor and smoke residue behind. Complex fires are fires that burn natural and synthetic items. These fires cause noxious odors and black smoke residue that must be cleaned to prevent corrosion. When trees and landscaping burn, it’s a natural fire that causes smoke and ash to enter the building through doors, windows, and attic vents, leaving strong smells and residue. When a heating appliance malfunctions, smoke fills the building. Fires can create electrical hazards because they burn wires and connections, and they can affect ducts and insulation within walls, in attics, and in crawl spaces. What’s more, the ashes and smoke that come with fire can cause discoloration of walls and surfaces, corrosion, and etching of glass. Textiles can become discolored and absorb long-lasting odors. 

It’s crucial to begin a cleanup of the fire and smoke damage as quickly as possible. The longer ash remains on your belongings, the more it can damage them and some of that damage can become permanent after a few days. Even metal, glass, wood, and vinyl can become permanently damaged after a few weeks. In addition to handling things quickly, it’s equally important to be calm and organized as you work through the process. Inform your insurance company about the fire immediately, then call in an expert to help with the fire restoration.

Why call in an expert? Your property and belongings will need to be examined and assessed to determine what is safe and what can be salvaged. Trying to do this on your own is ill-advised because you will not be able to identify what’s salvageable and what isn’t. The experts understand advanced recovery techniques that can save more of your belongings; they also know how to properly dispose of contaminated items that can’t be saved. 

Another reason to call in a professional fire damage restoration team is that you don’t have the equipment and knowledge necessary to deal with the soot and smoke damage or remove all the water and moisture. Your shop vac and a bottle of degreaser aren’t going to get the job done because all the surfaces must be deep cleaned. A thorough, safe fire restoration requires professional knowledge and professional equipment. Don’t wash your smoke-damaged clothing in your washing machine, either. This can further damage the clothes and cause a bad odor in the washer. 

It’s important to note, too, that health hazards are present after a fire. Exposure to the lingering residue and items that have been damaged by smoke and fire can be dangerous to your health. In fact, soot can contain toxic materials like asbestos fibers, ammonia, formaldehyde, tar, and more. By trying to do the cleanup on your own, you’d be exposing yourself to chemicals that can cause respiratory issues, heart attacks, or even cancer. It’s not worth the risk when there are professionals who can handle this for you. 

When you need help cleaning up after a fire, call SERVPRO of Jacksonville Beach/Ponte Vedra for expert fire damage restoration. Our highly-trained restoration technicians have the experience and equipment to restore your Jacksonville beaches area property and get everything back to normal. We’ve served our community for more than 40 years, and we’re experts in fire and smoke damage repair and restoration. Call us today to ensure your property is restored to like new condition following fire damage.

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