When your home has been through a fire, you’re likely to go through a period of shock, regardless of whether or not you were present. It can be difficult to emotionally process the fact of a home fire, never mind keep your wits enough about you to know what to do to protect yourself, your family, and your home from further damage in the days and weeks after the damage has occurred. Luckily, there are ways that you can start to repair your home without doing harm to its foundation. If you’re cleaning after a fire or hiring Metropolitan Contractors to restore your damaged home, here are a few things to be aware of.
1. Clean and Dry Everything Before Repainting
One of the most important things to do during post-fire cleanup is to scrub everything down with soap, bleach, and other strong household cleaners. This process will take a while, especially if you have a lot of damage to your walls and ceiling. Be patient: the more thorough you are during the cleaning process, the sooner you can start repainting and putting wallpaper back up to cover the stains. When dealing with smoke stains, be sure to use a lot of soap or detergent, since you’ll be looking at a lot of grease and residue. You’ll also want to make sure you’re dousing everything down and not using too much soap. You don’t want to leave anything clinging to the walls when you’re done, since a huge problem for fire damaged homes comes from the leftover moisture from the extinguishing fluid. Before doing any maintenance, make sure your wall is as clean and dry as possible to avoid paint bubbling up.
2. Pull Up Damaged Carpet
If your carpet and floors have seen damage, this is the time to pull them up completely. You don’t want to risk any of the health hazards associated with damaged floors and ceilings, and you certainly don’t want to risk rotting or splintering in your home. Because of the risk associated, this is a job you’ll want to leave to the professionals. However, you can help speed the job along by pulling up your carpet and ordering a replacement to have ready for your new floors. If you have non-wood floors, don’t assume that there isn’t water damage. Even the sturdiest materials tend to crack and hold moisture due to the force of the extinguisher. Your floorboards will already have been weakened from the fire, and you don’t want to take any chances.
3. Be Careful with Dishes and Clothes
After a fire, there can be a lot of invisible damage that you wouldn’t even think to avoid. For instance: Your home dishes and your clothes. Smoke damage is notorious for spreading ash and dust everywhere. It’s extremely toxic to breathe in and even worse to ingest. Before eating off your dishes or wearing your clothes, make sure they’re properly, thoroughly cleaned. Even if nothing looks dirty, be cautious and soak everything first before you eat off of it. For clothes, the best bet is to take everything to the dry cleaners or laundromat. It might seem like a huge expense, but you’ll be protecting yourself and your family in the long run.
4. Take Precaution Against Mold
Because of all the water retention your home will face after being hit with an extinguisher, you need to be on the lookout against mold and mildew in the weeks and months after the fire. Check your ceilings and walls for any signs of water damage, such as paint or wallpaper bubbling up or spreading water stains. If you notice a mildew smell, don’t wait to call in a professional to take care of it. Staying on top of water damage will help you rebuild your home without the risk of further health issues for you and your family. Keep in mind that mold doesn’t just affect your home’s foundation: It can also get into furniture, carpet, and flooring.
5. Hire Professionals to Help
When cleaning up after a fire, there are a ton of basic things you can do to help get your home back to its original state. However, there are a lot of things you shouldn’t be expected to do, especially after such a traumatic experience. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and simply don’t know how to take on such a huge project, think about hiring fire damage professionals to help you out. Not only will these professionals know exactly what to look for and how to prevent further damage to your home, they’ll be sparing you the emotional strain of trying to fix everything yourself after this huge, painful event.