House fires are devastating.  Once you get over the initial shock, it’s important to stay as positive as possible and take action.  When it comes to assessing what’s left behind, be mindful of the different kinds of damage, visible and non-visible, that affect your family’s health and safety.  Often times, there’s damage done to a home even when it isn’t burnt by the flames.

Two Kinds of Damage

When it comes to smoke damage, there are two different but equally harmful and destructive types: visible soot and invisible odor/residue.

There are a variety of different forms of soot, many of which can be cleaned up. Dry smoke, or the result of a fast burning fire from high temperature, leaves a dry and powdery soot that’s relatively easy to clean up. There’s also wet smoke, or the result of a slow burning, low temperature fire.  Wet smoke leaves a sticky residue fuels oil smoke (the result of burnt oil) leaves the classic black soot and protein smoke (the result of protein rich substances burning) leaves virtually no visible residue behind.

Once the soot is cleaned up, you might think you’re home free, but sometimes, there’s the lasting odor and chemical residues you can’t see.  All types of smoke leave pungent smells behind, even after the visible evidence has been removed, especially protein smoke and wet smoke.  Having a professional come test your home is the best idea, especially during dialogues with the insurance companies.

Restoration Options

Once you’ve determined what kinds of smoke damage your home and furniture have sustained, the next step is deciding what type of fire damage repair is necessary. There are three basic options:

  • Cleaning – This is the initial step of restoration and the easiest. The removal of some residues may be more difficult than others.

  • Resurfacing – If simple cleaning is not enough, the next step is to attempt resurfacing. If the damage hasn’t penetrated too deeply, replacing wallpaper, carpets, and upholstery is the next best option in ridding yourself of the smoke damage.

  • Replacing – If your home and the items in it cannot be salvaged through cleaning or resurfacing, then there’s only one thing left to do. For the sake of everyone’s safety, the best and most expeditious option is to get all new furnishings. Fortunately, this is only needed if the home is beyond the help of general cosmetic repairs.

Helping Florida Heal

If you live in Florida and are looking for the best fire insurance and restoration specialists, give Florida Catastrophe Corporation (FLA-CAT) a call today.