The occurrence of fire at a property and the restoration it involves, can be both devastating and overwhelming to those affected. After the firefighters have left and the smoke has cleared, home and property owners will need professional restoration services to return the damaged property to its pre-loss condition. DAI Restore’s certified staff of technicians are here to help. Depending on the severity of the damage, the restoration process could take weeks or even months to complete, and DAI Restore will be there for you every step of the way.
Initially, the risk of physical injury is paramount, therefore, prior to the first step of restoration, a licensed authority must sanction that the structure is sound enough to allow access to the fire restoration technician. Once the contractor has been granted access, the restoration process can officially begin.
Damage Assessment: The first step in the fire restoration process is to complete a walk-through inspection of the property to assess the damage that has been sustained during the fire, and the water damage that extinguishing the fire, or bursts pipes may have caused. The entire structure is assessed as to how deep the smoke and flames have penetrated into materials in order to determine the time-table and extensiveness of cleaning necessary. Swipe samples of affected surfaces will be taken, all affected contents will be noted, and a decision on what is to be restored or discarded will be made. Once the assessment is complete, a plan of action can be put in place.
Securing the Property and Removing Debris: Once the assessment is complete, the property needs to be secured. This may involve fencing or partitioning to be put in place surrounding the property, tarping portions of the roof, as well as boarding-up any broken windows or openings in the structure. If only a portion of the property is affected, containment will be erected around the affected areas in order to stop cross-contamination of unaffected areas. Any exterior debris and non-restorable interior debris will be immediately removed and disposed of. Personal contents that are to be moved to a cleaning facility are packed-out for transport at this point, and any leftover charred/unsalvageable materials are to be disposed of. Removing both the contents and charred materials also helps in odor-reduction before chemical deodorization is instituted.
Drying, Mitigation and Demolition: Any water left inside the structure will be extracted, and a drying process will be put in place. Any content inside the structure will be removed and set aside for storage and cleaning. Damaged structural materials that cannot be restored will be removed (usually down to the studs). See DAI Restore’s Water Mitigation page for a better understanding of the water damage cleanup process.
Cleanup and Deodorization: The cleaning procedure is the most intensive and extensive step in the fire restoration process. In most cases, the entirety of the affected area—interior and exterior—and its contents will need to be cleaned. There are numerous aspects to the cleaning process depending on the materials affected and finishes on these materials. Structural cleaning involves the materials used to build the structure, and any items that are physically attached (e.g. floor and wall assemblies, ceilings, etc.). For structural cleaning, the restoration technicians must be familiar with different paint and wood finishes (or lack thereof), plus the different cleaning methods and chemicals or solvents that will properly clean the materials to their pre-loss conditions. Content cleaning is typically done off-site (in-house); after pack-out inventory is completed, the contents are brought to the DAI Restore facility and either cleaned manually, or with specialty equipment such as an ultrasonic cleaning machine. Preconditioning for soot removal is typically done using a HEPA vacuum with a soft-bristle attachment; any dry soil and soot removal on flat surfaces will be done with the use of a soot or chemical sponge; soot that has been embedded into surfaces will need wet cleaning—whether water-based, solvent-based or abrasive products are used is dependent upon the pH of the cleaning product and target surface to be cleaned. Liquid deodorizers are applied using equipment that will create a spray, mist or fog of the chemical used in order to cover a wider range of surfaces. Oxidizing agents such as Ozone or Hydroxyls may need to be used to treat odors within the air.
Reconstruction: Once all cleaning and deodorization has been completed, it is time to begin returning the property to its pre-loss condition. The replacing and finishing/painting of wall and flooring materials is done; fixtures, counters and cabinets are replaced; if necessary, plumbing, electrical and structural repairs or rebuilds will be completed, also.