By definition, emergencies are unplanned events, usually accompanied by the stress of handling many difficult issues at once. Emergency preparedness is a big deal for families. In some cases, it’s just a matter of knowing who to call first. If you have smoke or water damage in your home, it can be overwhelming. Before a fire or water crisis strikes in your North Texas home, it’s important to know the ins and outs of emergency restoration. Here’s a rundown of how the process typically works.
Restoration After Fire and Smoke Damage
Fire damage remediation ranges from soot removal and neutralizing smoke odor, to substantial reconstruction. This process can vary and depends on the extent of the overall damage.
- Assessment and Evaluation: Fire restoration experts compile an inventory of primary fire and smoke damage. They test the air and residue on surfaces to assess the extent of the damage. Then, they formulate a restoration plan.
- Boarding Up and Roof Tarping: Fire damage frequently includes broken windows and a damaged roof. To protect the building from rain or other elements, the restoration crew boards up missing windows or doors and tarps a damaged roof. This is all temporary, of course, but extremely helpful in preventing further damage to your home.
- Water Removal: Water used to put out the flames of the fire may have caused extensive damage to your home. Restoration after a fire includes extracting water from the interior and fully ventilating the premises to speed up the drying process.
- Soot and Smoke Odor Removal: Soot frequently contains corrosive elements that can permanently damage and/or discolor materials. For this restoration contractors use specialized equipment and chemicals to remove soot residue from walls, ceilings, and other affected surfaces. Air scrubbers and foggers neutralize smoke odor that lingers after a fire, giving you clean, breathable air.
- Structural Restoration: Structural restoration involves physical removal and replacement of fire-damaged elements. This can range from building materials and carpet, to paint and cosmetics. In many cases, major structural reconstruction may be required.
Restoration After Water Damage
Emergency restoration after major water damage is definitely not a good time to test out your DIY skills. It’s important to make sure the water damage restoration process is done correctly. This will help prevent further unhealthy or unsafe living or working conditions. Here’s how professionals handle it.
- Water Extraction: Water inside a home must be removed ASAP to prevent further damage and an unhealthy living environment. Restoration contractors use powerful pumps to remove standing water in areas such as flooded basements. Specialized industrial wet/dry vacuums can suck water out of carpeting and padding, often making it unnecessary to remove or replace them.
- Dehumidifying: Extremely high humidity inside a flooded home can cause damage to areas not already touched by water. Using powerful vent fans and dehumidifiers, restoration professionals remove water vapor to prevent secondary damage.
- Disinfection: Where toxic water originated from outdoor flooding or from a sewer backup into the house, disinfection techniques will be required to make the home safe and healthy to occupy again.
- Removal of Saturated Materials: Waterlogged drywall, wet ceiling panels, soaked insulation in the attic and inside walls, and other building materials ruined by water exposure are removed and replaced. Components such as the electrical system and HVAC equipment must be inspected and cleared.
Read More: What is Water Damage?
The Benefits of Hiring a Restoration Contractor
Smoke and water damage can leave behind particles that will irritate your lungs and can cause both immediate and long-term health risks. Fire can damage the structure of your home, leaving weak spots that are not immediately visible to an untrained professional. For health and safety purposes, it is important that you don’t try to fix your fire or water damage on your own. Restoration contractors take the required and crucial steps to ensure that your space is safe to be in again.
When a disaster has occurred in your home or office, the added hassle of having your space compromised comes into play. In order to save you from a headache and heartache, it is important to know who to call and when to call them. Whether the damage was caused by a burst pipe in the kitchen or a fire in the copy room, an emergency restoration contractor is a person that you want on your team.
Why Choose a Restoration Contractor
When damage has hit your home or place of business, the first thing you may think of is to call a contractor. Yes, you do need someone to replace water-ruined floorboards or soot-covered walls. However, you need to make sure that person is the right person. You need a company and contractor that specializes in restoring buildings that have been damaged by water, fire, or smoke.
General contractors are great at their jobs. They understand what it takes for a home or office space to work, often starting with a clean slate. Emergency restoration contractors can see what was there before the damage occurred. They can properly assess and decide what needs to be done to move forward in the restoration process. A restoration contractor can visualize the space as it was and get it back into working order without needing to start fresh. They are not just in the business of building, but in the business of rebuilding.
Learn More: Upgrading Your Home During Emergency Restoration
The Right Tools for the Job
The benefit to working with a restoration contractor is that they have all of the right tools needed for the job. An emergency restoration company understands that estimating the scope of work cannot be completed by the naked eye. For example, when working with water damage, a contractor needs to have a moisture meter to see where there is still water lurking and check for unwanted growth. Walls don’t always need to be opened up in order to get to the nitty-gritty of the damage. Your contractor will have the tools they need to give you an accurate assessment, whether looking for water in walls or fire damage to electrical units.
Salvaging the Building
A general contractor may come in and want to rip everything out to start fresh. A restoration contractor takes a different approach. Thanks to tools like a dehumidifier and an air mover, a flooded building can be dried and restored rather than gutted. If you’re worried about price or keeping the job as green as possible, the contractor you choose is extremely important. Restoration contractors feel that if the building can be saved, they’ll make every effort to save it. Just because a little damage took place does not mean that all is lost.
Getting the Work Covered
A restoration contractor knows the ins and outs of an insurance claim. Because they specialize in this type of work, they know what many companies will and will not cover. This gives them the ability to tell you what you may have to pay, as well as what insurance companies will most likely give to you.
Any damaged items must be correctly documented as required by your insurance carrier to be covered by your policy at all. This is one of the areas that a professional restoration contractor can be extremely helpful. The best ones have experience in nearly every situation you can imagine, and most likely work consistently with your carrier. They know how important it is to do things right the first time.
A fully bonded restoration contractor will be familiar with billing. They will work with insurance companies so that you get reimbursed for the work more quickly. Whether it’s a home or business, time is money and the process is stressful. A restoration contractor will help restore your home, office, and quality of life as quickly as possible.
Getting Back to Business
No one plans for an accident. Whether it is a tough winter that causes kitchen pipes to burst, or an electrical overload causing the office to go up in smoke, disaster is devastating. Getting back to business as quickly and easily as possible is extremely important to everyone. Restoration contractors have the skills, the tools, the insurance knowledge, and the experience to make everything look as good as new. Trust the pros that can turn back the clock to a time before the trauma.