You had a fire now what?????
ACT QUICKLY and here's why.....
Smoke and Ash is everywhere. …Smoke is the fuel from the fire that did not burn it contains small particles of carbon and other materials. Fire gives off light, heat, carbon dioxide and water vapors. Smoke has all of this in it in microscopic form. It also contains soot ash and residuals from anything that was actually burning during the fire. Various types of smoke can contain chemicals that are dangerous to your health. While every fire will not contain it all, it is good to have an understanding of the importance of getting rid of the smoke. EPA studies show that methane, formaldehyde, Acetic acid, formic acid, toluenes, oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, organic carbon, and traces of heavy metals have all been found in smoke after fires. Ash will discolor most surfaces throughout your home or business and many surfaces and start to discolor immediately. If left for too long these discolorations may be permanent. Due to the acid nature of ash the longer it is there the more damaged it will cause.
Because wood is not the only thing that burns in a fire. Plastics, fabrics, foods, and other materials used in construction these too can produce toxic gases and other odors. While visible smoke may dissipate once the fire has been stopped. It does not mean that there is still not a great deal of damage to deal with. There are two kinds of smoke what they call driven and free floating. Fire also has two classifications high or low oxygen content and they will produce different kinds of damage.
When a fire is put out it changes from a dry heat to a hot humid heat. Depending on the method used to extinguish the fire the soot could be wet or dry and have a chemical residue left by extinguishers. This changes the relative humidity of the home or business depending on how much is needed to suppress the fire. Wood will expand and absorb the odors from the fire making it difficult to remove on your own.
Quickly removing soot and smoke damage is easier as some types of soot become more and more difficult to remove over time. Keep in mind even though items do not look damaged they could have suffered damage. Items could have melted slightly under the heat, things could be internally water logged, or the smoke film could be so thin you do not notice it and it has gotten inside the cracks of the items.
Contacting help as soon as possible also helps reduce the cost of the loss as many items may be salvaged if addressed right away. A professional will assess the situation and ensure that each and every item that needs to be restored is processed and what cannot be salvaged is removed so that the ash will not continue to coat surfaces. Using specialized odor neutralizing materials will be used and items should also be sealed off from the rest of the home to reduce permeating into the air until they have been restored.
Immediately calling your insurance carrier and notifying them of the damage is very important. Make sure you are asking for an adjuster to explain your situation and get the recovery process started as soon as possible. It is important to keep you and your family safe and ensure there are no toxic chemicals or hazardous materials in your home. Have a safety check conducted before you go back inside.
Contacting someone to help immediately will reduce the cost of the loss as many items may be salvaged if addressed right away. A professional will assess the situation and ensure that each and every item that needs to be restored is processed and what cannot be salvaged is removed so that the ash will not continue to coat surfaces. Using specialized odor neutralizing materials will be used and items should also be sealed off from the rest of the home to reduce permeating into the air until they have been restored.
Getting the right materials to remove the smoke from the various surface types throughout your home is exceedingly important. Knowing the proper drying times, humidity levels and pieces of equipment and chemicals needed to the job done properly will assist in getting you back to normal as quickly as possible. This is not always as easy as it seems which is why hiring a professional is strongly recommended. They have the formal training and products at their fingertips.