Thursday, July 10, 2008

Water and Fire Damage Restoration

Without exception, regardless of what your DIY handyman capabilities are, fire and water damage restoration is best left in the capable hands of an experienced restoration contractor. The reason is because properly handling the house restoration process can be tricky business. Creating possible health hazards for both the person handling the cleanup and house occupants.

More than posing a possible health hazard, if the home restoration process isn’t handled correctly, bacteria and mold caused by water damage, and contamination caused by fire damage can prove life-threatening.

Water Restoration
In the event of water damage, home restoration efforts by a water damage specialist using the proper equipment are necessary. Not only to restore the home cosmetically and structurally; but safe Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) air, as well. And time is of essence.
There is a 48 to 72-hour window required to effectively inhibit the onset of mold and mildew created by water damage. If damage was caused by a sewage leak, extra steps are required to prevent toxins and bacteria from contaminating the home environment. Water damage extraction restoration is only part of the process.
Aside from room content removal, water extraction, and removing any carpet and padding, special disinfectants and chemicals are required. Water damage cleanup may also involve removing molding and at least the bottom section of walls if there is wall covering or drywall water damage. The entire affected area – including walls, ceilings, floors, crawl spaces and vents – will require drying with high-powered air movers. As well as use of dehumidification equipment to speed up the process.

Fire Damage Restoration
Because of the unique behaviors of various kinds of smoke, fire damage control and restoration can be a complex, complicated procedure. Smoke not only causes visible damage to house structure and contents, but flows through plumbing systems and in behind walls, as well.
Smoke webs caused by wet smoke created by low, smoldering heat have a strong pungent odor that permeates into cloth furnishings and walls; leaving a sticky, gooey residue that is difficult to clean.

A protein based fire produces smoke that is virtually invisible, but which discolors paints and varnishes; it, too, has a pungent, hard to remove odor. Fuel oil soot caused by furnace puff backs and other types of smoke from fire all effect the type fire restoration process necessary.

Besides requiring the services of a fire and water restoration company, water or fire and smoke damage to a structure may also necessitate the services of a contractor remodeling restoration expert. Because of the special skills required to effectively handle fire and water damage restoration emergencies, homeowners should become familiar with service providers in their area.

Prudent homeowners will keep contact information on hand for restoration contractors in case of an emergency. Not only to reduce panic should fire or water damage happen to their home. But also to ensure measures are taken to eliminate further damage to their home within the narrow time span required, avoiding further loss and expense.

Learn what should be done in the event of water damage – while waiting for the restoration expert to arrive. Things such as:

-Wipe furniture dry
-Lift drapery off wet carpet
-Place small wood or Styrofoam blocks, or aluminum foil, under furniture legs

Or in the event of fire damage, things such as:

-Cover carpeted traffic areas with towels or old sheets to prevent additional soiling.
-Discard open food packages that could have become contaminated.
-Wipe residue from porcelain bath and kitchen fixtures to prevent etching.

Also, inquire as to what to avoid. Things such as using an ordinary vacuum to remove water. Or trying to lift carpet that has been tacked down, without professional help. Or attempting to wash soot off flat painted walls without consulting with a professional cleaner, or attempting to use appliances that could malfunction because of fire damage.


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