No one ever expects their home will have a fire – it’s not something anyone actively plans for. Because of that, if your home does have a fire, you may be at a loss for how to begin restoring the damage.
Fire damage is particularly devastating because what fire leaves behind is a mixture of smoke and soot. This not only destroys the air quality of your home but can destroy many of your favorite belongings.
There is hope though. There are items you can salvage and steps you can take to mitigate the damage. Keep reading below to learn more about the aftermath of a home fire and what can be saved from smoke damage.
What should you do first after a fire?
Returning to your home after a fire is an emotional trip. After you have ensured that everyone is okay, you’ll want to take photos of the damage for your insurance company. As you do this, take as many photos as possible to document the full extent of the damage. Once you finish documenting the damage, reach out to your insurance company, or call WeDry USA. Our team at WeDry USA can take care of reaching out to your insurance agency for you if you want to take this off your plate!
The claims process can take some time, so you’ll want to ensure a claim is submitted as soon as possible.
After you make that call, you’ll want to decide which items you will want to restore, and which items you will want to get rid of. In the next section, we outline what can be saved from smoke damage to help you determine what to keep vs. toss.
The final step you will want to take is reaching out to a professional restoration company. Now is the time to contact WEDRY USA. A professional restoration company that is certified and trained in removing smoke from your walls and fabrics, and in restoring your walls, furniture, floors, and other surfaces.
Can smoke damage be removed?
Smoke damage can be removed, especially if you call a professional early. Smoke damage is an issue you don’t want to ignore because it will continue to permeate your walls and furniture. Professional restoration companies specialize in this type of removal and these technicians have the tools to remove visible signs of smoke and any lingering, unpleasant, smoke odors. Often the only way to fully rid your home of smoke damage is to contact a professional.
What can be saved from smoke damage?
At first glance you may feel like many items in your home are a lost cause, but that isn’t the case. Below we’ve listed what can be saved from smoke damage following a fire so you can ensure you don’t toss anything you don’t need to.
Fabric or cloth items
Clothing or fabric items are salvageable following smoke damage but the most important step you need to take to restore these items is to dry them out as quickly as possible. If you leave the clothing or fabric wet for too long, mold will form on top of the existing fire and smoke damage. It’s best to dry these items out outside but for any items indoors, use fans, turn on dehumidifiers and keep your windows open. If you are drying these items indoors, change the furnace daily until most of the soot has been absorbed from the air. As fabrics become clean, or if there is any clean fabric that wasn’t damaged, be sure to cover those with plastic to protect them from becoming damaged.
At this point, it may be beneficial to utilize a professional restoration service to remove soot, deodorize your fabrics, and wash smoke-damaged clothing. If you do have some clothing or fabric items that weren’t burned or subject to extreme damage, you can opt to try to wash them by putting them in the washer with 4-6 tablespoons of tri-sodium phosphate and 1 cup of cleaner or chlorine bleach.
Outside of your clothing, other items in your closet can also be saved. If any of your pursues and shoes have survived a fire, take the proper steps to first treat any odors or stains as outlined above. Then stuff those items with newspapers to help retain their shape. If you have suitcases that are salvageable, leave them open to air them out.
Pots, pans, baking sheets, and flatware are not cheap to replace, but luckily you may not have to. These items will likely survive a fire and can be restored with just some soapy water. Once you rinse and polish them, you can go right back to using them again.
When assessing damage, if your electronics only experienced smoke and/or soot damage, they can likely be restored. If they experienced water damage, it probably is cheaper to replace the item.
If wood items survived a fire, you’ll want to bring those items to a dry location with good ventilation to air out. Once you bring these items there, you may want to wipe down them with a towel. If this item is a dresser or something with a drawer, be sure to take out the drawers so that each piece can dry individually.
Glass and/or metal items
Some items in your home are likely made from hard, nonporous materials that are extremely resilient to fires. For instance, glass is known to withstand high temperatures and is easy to dry. Additionally, glass is unable to absorb smoke particles, so it won't trap any smoke odors. Metal on the other hand also withstands high temperatures and has a high melting point. Metal is also easy to dry and isn’t susceptible to smoke damage, making these items extremely salvageable. Even if your glass or metal belongings experience some staining, they can be restored after some cleaning.
If your home had a tragic fire, it can often be restored as long as there isn’t any structural damage that occurred. Your home can be restored and any odors, soot stains, and smoke damage can be removed with professional restoration help from WEDRY USA
If you are living in the aftermath of a fire, get in touch with WeDry USA. Following a fire, your home is subject to smoke damage that is best left for a professional to handle. We can not only help you determine what can be saved from smoke damage, but we can also fully restore your home.
WeDry USA offers emergency service and is available 24/7, 365 days a year. No matter when you need us, we are here to help.