It can be stressful if you have been affected by fire damage in your home. However, many things can be done to help the situation. Here we will explain the basics of what to do when your home suffers fire damage, including what to remove and the period it will take until you can move back into your house again.
Basics 1: What to Remove When Fire Damage Happens
Here are the fundamentals of what you need to remove when fire damages a home:
- Anything that can be removed should. This includes all items that are damaged, flammable and unsafe.
- The fire department will tell you what to salvage and what needs to go. They'll probably have a list of things they recommend removing from the premises because they're unsafe.
- If something is destroyed, like your couch after being charred by flames, it doesn't mean it's unsalvageable! Call an insurance adjuster right away.
Basics 2: How long it takes to restore your home after fire damage
Restoration after fire damage will take the same time as it takes to complete repairs. The more dreadful the damage, the longer it may take to repair your home. Most homeowners should expect a minimum of six months before they fully restore their home, and some could wait up to 12 months, depending on the extent of damage and what needs to be replaced or repaired.
Basics 3: What to Do if My Home Becomes Uninhabitable After Fire Damage
There are things you can do if your home becomes uninhabitable after a fire:
- You may be able to stay in a hotel, but the American Red Cross recommends that you only do so for up to seven days. If your house is still uninhabitable, you may need another place to live.
- You can apply for emergency assistance from the government by filling out an application at disasterassistance.gov.
- You can get help from family members and friends who want to lend a hand in getting back on their feet after a fire has damaged their property.
Basics 4: What Should be Done About Cleaning Oil-Based Stains
Oil-based stains are difficult to remove, but there are methods you can try:
- Use a dry cleaning solvent. If you have access to professional-grade or industrial-strength solvents that can be applied to the surface of your item and left for several hours, this may be a good option.
- Use wet cleaning solvent and water. This method is less effective than using a dry cleaning solvent alone, but it's better than nothing if you don't have access to such materials or they aren't safe for use around your home.
Basics 5: Difference Between Smoke and Soot
There is a difference between smoke and soot. Soot refers to the solid particulate matter that exits from your chimney or fireplace, while smoke is the airborne particulate matter. This means that smoke is visible and can be seen with your naked eye, whereas you cannot see soot without special equipment or lighting conditions. In addition, the smoke has a greasy feel when you touch it, whereas soot does not have this texture at all.
What to Do After Suffering Fire Damage
There are lots you can do after suffering fire damage:
- Don't panic.
- Don't try to clean up the mess yourself.
- Don't use a vacuum cleaner, wet cloth, chemicals, or solvents to clean the soot from your carpeting.
After fire damage, the fire might have spared some furniture, cabinets, and walls. Others may not have been so lucky. But even if they were spared from the flames, they may suffer some smoke damage. This can be equally devastating because it can destroy materials you thought could survive the fire.