How to Recover After a Fire
Fire is one of the most destructive and violent events that can happen to you as a homeowner in Warwick. One minute you have a beautiful home where you and your family are safe from the outside world. Then in a blink of an eye, everything changes, what do you do now? Who do you turn to? The first thing you need to do after the fire has been put out would be to call in a local fire damage cleanup team, like Advanced Disaster Recovery Inc.Hudson Valley DKI.
Once the fire has been extinguished and the visible damage has been taken care of, the focus will shift to the even more important, the hidden damage to the structure of your home, not to mention the health risks it creates. Even if the fire damaged only a small portion of your Warwick home it is essential to have the structure checked because the heat from the fire may have weakened parts of your foundation.
Damage to your foundation can cause weak spots that can lead to the total collapse of your home. Damage to the structure of your home isn’t the only damage that a fire can cause. There are several types of damages you may have to deal with, unless you call in a fire damage cleanup professional, they can take care of the damages for you. Plumes of smoke that are produced by fire spread a nasty brew of chemicals that damage everything that it settles on. The Chemicals and water used to extinguish the fire will accelerate the rusting in the metal units in your home. Smoke and soot particles can form a weak acid that if left unchecked will begin to eat away at the wood in your home. Wood will weaken and become discolored. Over a period of time, the wood will peel and crack.
Of all the things that smoke damages, none is more precious than the health of your family. Constant exposure to smoke residue can trigger various skin rashes and respiratory ailments. In some of the most severe cases, asthma attacks can be induced by smoke and cause additional casualties long after the fire’s last embers are extinguished. Even after the worst of the fire damage has been removed and repaired, the smoke odor and soot can become increasingly harder to repair. After a short amount of time soot will cause the carpets to become permanently discolored, the glass will need to be replaced as well as all fixtures. The caustic acids in soot and ash can continue causing damage until your home has been properly cleaned and sanitized.
Smoke and soot cannot be cleaned by normal cleaning products, soot collects in hidden spaces and hard to reach places in the structure of your home. It is extremely important to have a team of fire damage professionals can help you recover from your fire experience. Professionals will have access to all the equipment needed to restore your home to pre-fire conditions. Any fire damage cleanup company worth their salt will be available 24/7 so they can respond quickly to your call for help.
Smoke Damage Hazards
After the immediate damage caused by a fire, the lingering smoke damage is one of the most damaging effects of a fire. Smoke damage can discolor your walls and carpet, make your home smell terrible, and cause you serious health problems. Below are some of the specifics of 4 of the most common hazards posed by smoke damage. Advanced Disaster Recovery Inc. in the Goshen, New York area, is here to help you with all your smoke damage restoration concerns.
This is the most hazardous result of smoke damage. Smoke and soot can be very dangerous and hazardous if inhaled. Even though the visible smoke is no longer present, its effects linger. You should be very cautious going back to your home after a fire. It would be wise to wear the appropriate respiration protection as well.
Soot particles are a part of the smoke and pose a serious threat. Soot particles are microscopic and will spread everywhere. They also contain burnt particles or a variety of materials. Oftentimes, those particles are remnants of plastic or metals. As a result, you could potentially inhale many dangerous materials without even knowing it.
Skin and Eye Irritation
Along with damaging your respiratory system, the smoke and soot particles can also irritate your skin and eyes. Along with irritation, the could also cause skin dryness. You can use some lotion to combat the dryness, but if you are exposed to the smoke enough, it could cause more serious skin issues to develop.
When it comes to discoloration, the more porous the material, the worse shape it will be in. If it is porous, the smoke will seep into it and potentially even cause the discoloration to be permanent. Soot that is acidic is important to look out for as well. The acid in the soot will cause discoloration to occur more quickly. Therefore, in response to a fire, it’s critical that you contact the professionals as soon as possible so they can begin working on it right away to prevent the damage from becoming worse.
Lingering Smoke Smell
The smoke smell that remains after a fire is just terrible. It’s that the last thing that anyone ever wants to have to smell. Fortunately, there are restoration companies, like Advanced Disaster Recovery Inc. that have trained technicians who have the equipment necessary to get the smoke smell removed from your home. Not only does this just remove the unpleasant smell, but it will make your home safe to be in again by preventing you from inhaling the smoke and soot.
It’s important to remember that once the fire has been put out that there is still plenty of work to do. The smoke and soot that lingers can have many hazardous results for your health and for the shape of your home.
Getting Your Home Winter-Ready
Parts of the Midwest have already seen snowflakes flying this fall, and as we all know – Hudson Valley won’t be far behind! Before it gets too frigid and snowy, there are some things you can do to make sure your home is ready to withstand another winter and another potential water damage emergency. The professionals at Advanced Disaster Recovery Inc. would like you to take some precautions and make sure you don’t have to experience a disaster this year.
When was the last time you took a good look at your gutters? It’s important that gutters are free and clear of debris year-round, including going into winter so ice and snow have a place in which to melt and drain away from your home. Overflowing gutters put unnecessary strain on your roof, which would eventually collapse under the weight. So many basement floods are the result of clogged gutters – we’ve seen it happen more times than we care to admit! As you’re cleaning your gutters, it’s a good idea to make sure water is being sent away from your home all around.
This includes cracks in the foundation of your home, or in walkways, steps, or other stonework. This will help ensure water and cold air stay outside your home, and where walkways are concerned – gives you a nice, smooth surface for shoveling. Cracks can cause water to leak into your home and the water can damage the structure of your home. Protect your walls, ceilings, and floors so that water does not destroy them.
- Look for energy efficiency problems
Have you ever walked past a window or door in your home and felt a draft? It’s a good idea to think about making some energy efficiency improvements if that’s happened to you. This could mean caulking around doors and windows and adding weather stripping, adding extra insulation in the attic, and repairing cracked or broken windows. Often, local energy companies offer free energy efficiency audits of customers’ homes to show you where improvements could be made in your home to improve energy efficiency and in turn, reduce your energy bills.
No one wants their furnace going out at 1 a.m. in the middle of January. So, it’s a good idea to spend a little bit of money now to have your furnace or boiler inspected to make sure everything is running as it should, and you are getting maximum efficiency from your system.
If you’re one of those homeowners who can’t get enough of a real wood-burning fireplace, make sure it’s ready to go for the winter months! If you haven’t had your chimney cleaned out in some time, you should consider having a chimney sweep come and do the job for you. Even if everything looks fine to the naked eye, there could be creosote buildup on the inside of the chimney, or even internal water damage, where some bricks need to be tuck-pointed.
Oh …. And while you’re having the fireplace readied for some cozy winter nights, don’t forget to stock up on nice, dry firewood.
Are you ready in case there’s another massive snow or ice storm this winter? Usually, we have enough warning to stock up, but it’s still a good idea to have an emergency kit with water, non-perishable food items, flashlights, etc. on hand just in case. If you’ve been without power for long periods of time in previous winters, you could also consider purchasing a generator. Also, have contact information ready to contact a professional service just in case you do experience water damage or a fire disaster.
If you are in Hudson Valley, keep in mind that if you happen to experience a water damage emergency and need professional services to help restore your property, contact the certified & insured professionals at Advanced Disaster Recovery Inc..
Fire Damage Myths and the Truth Behind Them
Fire can cause catastrophic amounts of damage to your home or business, you may even call it the ultimate annihilator. Fire consumes almost everything in its path and what it doesn’t consume it damages. The path left behind fire usually consists of the charred, sooty, and oily residue of what used to be there. As a home or business owner, you are responsible for the safety of the people, contents, and property. Fire prevention safety should be on the top of your list. With that in mind, Advanced Disaster Recovery Inc. in has decided to debunk some common fire damage restoration myths that you may have heard.
First Fire Damage Myth: Smoke Detectors Are All I Need.
Smoke detectors are great at providing an early warning…when in working order. Make sure your smoke detectors are installed properly and have well-charged batteries. Smoke detectors can provide you and your family with the opportunity to stop before it gets out of hand, however, there may be some unforeseen factors that can go wrong. It is crucial that you have an evacuation plan in place for fire damage emergencies. Sit down with your family, housemates, or employees and put together an emergency preparedness plan so, if the time comes, everyone can evacuation the property safely.
You may also want to invest in the appropriate fire extinguishers or sprinkler system for your home or business. Providing that additional layer of safety can go a long way in preventing fire damage to your property and saving the lives of property residents. Fun Fact: fire sprinkler systems are eligible for insurance rate savings and can increase property value.
Second Fire Damage Myth: Sprinklers Cause Way More Damage
When a fire occurs, typically, only the sprinkler within range of the fire will active, releasing water directing on the fire. The other sprinklers will remain dormant unless the fire spreads. Roughly 85% of the time, during a fire, only one sprinkler will be active.
With that in mind, fire sprinklers can reduce damage and property loss significantly. The sprinkler system will quickly eliminate the heat and control the smoke from the fire, limiting the damage the fire is able to cause. Any resulting water damage is minimal compared to the water damage caused by fire-fighting hose lines.
Third Fire Damage Myth: Most Fires Are Caused My Electrical Malfunctions
According to FEMA, The US Fire Administration, electrical malfunctions is not the leading cause of fire damage, nor is it the second-leading cause of fire damage. Cooking is responsible for nearly half of all house fires reported in the United States. Heating comes in a far second, causing over 12% of the house fires in the US. Electrical house fires come in third with consisting of only 6% of the house fires in the US.
Fourth Fire Damage Myth: Flames Pose The Biggest Threat In A Fire
Flames can cause some major destruction, but smoke inhalation is responsible for most fire-related deaths. Smoke is chalk full of toxic chemicals and is easily inhaled, leading to unconsciousness and then death.
For fire damage and smoke damage cleanup and restoration, make sure you contact a professional certified and insured company like Advanced Disaster Recovery Inc. that knows every step of the fire and smoke restoration process and how to do it correctly.
Tips for Preventing Fire Damage
Fire can break out in residential homes at any time, on any day of the year, and with little warning. Just last month Gardnertown Magnet School was temporarily evacuated when a small electrical fire broke out I the basement. Luckily, local firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading and no one was injured. When a fire breaks out in your home it can be costly and emotionally draining. Lifetimes of family memories can go up in smoke within a matter of minutes. At Advanced Disaster Recovery Inc. in Newburgh New York, we believe in fire prevention and safety. As much as we love helping those in need recover from fire damage disaster, we want to help them prevent these devastating disasters. Take the following steps to prevent a fire damage disaster from occurring.
Smoke detectors are one of the first lines of defense when it comes to stopping a house fire. The alarm should be mounted on the ceiling in the center of the room, hall, or stairway. Be sure and check the battery in the alarm every six months. Never install a smoke detector by a window, vent, or doorway. Fire often occur at night while you are sleeping that is why smoke detectors are so important. Smoke detectors will give you an early warning and help save your loved one’s lives if they are placed and maintained properly.
Check all plugins for any signs of damage and avoid overloading plugins or extension cords. If any cord looks frayed replace it immediately. Faulty wiring and old outlets are two main causes of house fires. Keep all appliances free of grease build up and unplug small appliances when not in use. Home appliances such as stoves and dryers are also known to cause house fires. Keep lint trap cleaned out in the dryer if trap becomes clogged it can cause the dryer to overheat and start a fire.
If your home has a wood stove or chimney always open the damper when starting a fire, leave the flu open even if the fire is only smoldering. Have your chimney cleaned yearly to keep chimney free of debris. If your chimney does not already have one, invest in a spark arrestor to prevent sparks from escaping the chimney. Use a chain mesh screen to keep your flooring and furniture safe from sparks. Woodstove chimneys must be clear of debris rust and or cracks. Never use starter fluid to start a fire, water down ashes before discarding them. If you have a gas fireplace make sure there are two separate locations for a gas valve. You will want a backup valve to shut off the gas if a problem arises.
Having a roof made of fire proof materials such as metal, clay or asphalt shingles can go a long way in preventing fire damage. Trim any overhanging branches and keep the roof free of any other debris that could potentially spread fire. Gutters should be cleaned twice a year to prevent the buildup of leaves and any other fire hazardous material.
Following these steps will go a long way in preventing a house fire but there is no guarantee that a fire still won’t breakout. Make sure you have an escape plan in place, educate family members, be repaired. Hold fire drills regularly so that family members know what to do and where to go if a fire breaks out. You may not be able to protect your loved ones from every calamity but with a little common sense and planning you will be able to spot potential fire hazards and stop them before the unthinkable happens when a fire strikes.
If your home does suffer from fire damage contact your local authorities first and foremost and then call a professional fire damage restoration company to clean up and damage left behind.
Dealing with Fire Damage from a Fireplace
Fireplaces and wood stoves are cozy and warm throughout the season. But in order to keep the air healthy and reduce the risk of fire, you need to be aware of how to safely operate them and the risks they pose. Dealing with a fire damaged home because of a faulty or ill-kept fireplace is probably the last thing you want to do. Here are some tips on staying safe and healthy all while staying warm this winter.
Burning wood improperly can produce dangerous emissions such as carbon monoxide, organic gas, and heavy smoke. To avoid this danger:
-Avoid burning softwoods, and never burn newly cut or wet wood.
to allow the dissipation of creosote oil.
-Don’t burn wood that has been painted, treated or made with glue (such as particle boards).
-Never burn papers that contain bleaches or dyes. The particles produced by these can clog the air passages in a fireplace or wood stove and also produce noxious, corrosive or even carcinogenic gasses.
-In the fall, it’s necessary to watch for a weak chimney draft. The difference in temperature between chimney smoke and the outdoor air can cause all sorts of problems such as cracks, a faulty chimney, and smoke not rising as quickly as it should which could cause too much smoke to be in the room.
-Back-puffing is also a danger. An obstructed chimney causes smoke to build up in the house. Blockage can be caused by soot and creosote buildup or by other acts of nature such as bird’s nests.
-Have your chimney inspected and/or cleaned at least once a year
Precautions to Take Before Lighting a Fire
-Use proper fireplace equipment.
-Keep a grate under the firebox that allows the fire to “breathe” and ensures proper combustion of the firewood.
-When building a fire, place the wood at the back of the fireplace.
-Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
-Don’t put rugs in front of the fireplace unless they are non-combustible hearth rugs made especially for the purpose.
-Have protective doors or a fire screen in front of the fire.
-Keep all combustibles at least 36 inches away from the fire, but the further away, the better.
-Make sure that your fireplace has proper clearances when it is installed. If not, the heat of usage over the years can cause a dangerously low “ignition” temperature to surrounding wood, in a hidden space behind your wall or in the flue chase. You won’t know it’s happened until a fire breaks out.
-Check for bird’s nests not only in the flue or chimney but on the roof or in trees above the chimney opening. The first fire of the season could send a hot ember to a nearby nest that falls on your roof or in your attic.
Having a fireplace can truly bring a room together and make it that much cozier, but the last thing you want is for it to turn your room into a health hazard or worse, light up in flames and settle into ash. Take the proper precautions to prevent fire damage and continue to cozy up next to the fire this winter.
If a fire does break out in your home or on your property do not hesitate to contact Advanced Disaster Recovery Inc. for fire damage cleanup and repair services. Our technicians are available 24/7.
Smoke & Fire Damage Dangers
Fire damage is one of the most violent and traumatic events when compared to all types of elemental-based disasters. Some of the damage is obvious just by looking, but there are, however, a few subtle (yet still potentially deadly) effects that fire damage can cause that are harder to recognize.
Soot health risks
Even after the home has been restored after a fire if it’s not adequately cleaned some soot residue may remain. Soot is composed of tiny little particles of burnt material. The particles are so small they can actually penetrate into your lungs and bloodstream before you even know it. Breathing in soot is no small danger as it can cause reproductive harm and even cancer. Don’t take the risk after a fire. Make sure your home has been properly restored by professionals so this doesn’t happen to you.
Hidden structural damage
Once the immediate and most visible effects of the fire have been taken care of, don’t forget to focus on something even more important, the structural integrity of the home. Even if the fire just affected a small portion of your home it is essential to get this checked because the heat could have weakened some vital, foundational spots of your home and when too much pressure is put in the wrong place it could cause a total collapse.
This is one most people don’t consider. Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that is used in many parts of a home. A fire will disturb the asbestos and cause some its fibers to go throughout the air. This is dangerous because when these fibers are inhaled, they aggravate and scar lung tissue. It will cause shortness of breath and a crackling sound when inhaling. It can even lead to lung cancer and mesothelioma. These asbestos fibers aren’t released unless they are disturbed and a fire is the perfect thing to set it off.
Mold and mildew
Mold and mildew damage is another often overlooked danger. It can take thousands of gallons of water to extinguish a fire in a home or business. A lot of that water will be evaporated because of the heat of the fire, but where does the rest of it go? The answer isn’t too complicated. It just sits there. That is the perfect recipe for mold and mildew growth. Many common types of mold will cause irritation and other small symptoms, but be on the lookout for black mold. Black mold grows in dark, damp places so it can be hard to detect. The symptoms caused by black mold can be mental and neurological problems, skin conditions, vision problems, issues with your immune system, and in severe cases death.
There’s a lot more to fire damage than meets the eye. Don’t just sit back and relax because you can’t see the effects anymore. When this type of damage occurs look to Advanced Disaster Recovery Inc. located in New Hampton, New York area. We are experienced in fire restoration and know how to not just get your home looking good again, but make sure it is safe too.
How to Rebound from Fire Damage
Fire is the one natural disaster that doesn’t discriminate. No matter where you live, fire is always a risk. We hope that you and your family won’t have to deal with fire and the resulting damage (or any other natural disaster), but if you do, it’s important to be prepared. While you can take several precautionary steps like making copies of important documents, installing smoke detectors, and exercising good judgment in the kitchen, there is one preparation step often missed by homeowners: creating and maintaining a home inventory.
What is a home inventory?
In short, a home inventory is a list or collection of pictures that keeps track of your valuable items. It is a comprehensive report that includes descriptions, price values, and locations of your personal property in Goshen. Since fire has the capacity to wipe out nearly anything, it’s important to have a working inventory for insurance purposes as well as your own personal benefit. Here are some reasons to make the compilation of a home inventory one of your top priorities in preparing for fire damage:
- Protect your investments by having proof of ownership.
- Speed up your insurance claims by having concrete evidence of your belongings.
- Preserve your family legacy by documenting prized heirlooms.
- Know what to replace after fire damage occurs.
Why should I have an inventory?
The first question that might come to mind is, “Why should I create a home inventory? It sounds overly time-consuming.” Yes, it does take a bit of time. However, that time will be worth the effort. After living in constant connection with your valuable items, you will want them replaced as soon as possible. Trying to recall these items, although they mean a lot to you, will be nearly impossible. Especially when attempting to remember hundreds of items, it’s almost guaranteed something will be left out. Overcome fire damage faster with a current home inventory.
How to create a home inventory to prepare for fire damage:
- Take pictures of every valuable item. Be sure to take clear snapshots to ensure quality. Make sure to open drawers and look under beds to find the overlooked items.
- Upload the pictures to your computer in a word or excel document.
- Next to each picture, include its current condition, cost, and location. Be specific. This step is especially important for your most used and most expensive items like electronics, furniture, and appliances.
- Continue to update as you replace items. The point of a home inventory is to keep tabs on your current Every year or so, go through your home and note new items.
This is just one way to create an inventory to prepare for fire damage in Goshen. There are even apps specifically designed to help you maintain an inventory of your valuables. Whatever your method, be sure to remember the benefits. If you’re ever subject to fire damage in your home in Goshen, you will be thankful for a home inventory to help you rebound quickly after damage.
What should I do if I have fire damage?
Although a home inventory is a great step to prepare for fire damage, it won’t prevent a fire. Unfortunately, fire ravages thousands of homes a year. If you’ve fallen victim to fire and the following damage that occurs, let Advanced Disaster Recovery Inc. in Goshen help you in repairing your home. The smoke, soot, and ash is too overwhelming and complicated a task for the average homeowner. Get in touch with us today if you need to get rid of fire damage ASAP.
Steps to Smoke & Fire Damage Restoration
If you’ve had a fire in your home, first let us tell you we’re sorry you’re going through that! Any fire, no matter the size, is traumatizing for those involved. Having an experienced restoration team on your side will help get you back on your feet sooner than later, with the goal of restoring your home and the items inside to pre-loss condition.
Most fires only cause major damage to a small portion of a home. However, that small kitchen fire likely created soot and smoke damage throughout the entire home. Simply cleaning a home damaged by fire is likely not going to be enough, as odors can linger in objects, carpet, walls, and any other porous surface if not properly treated.
Let’s walk through the process of properly getting rid of fire and smoke damage in your home.
- The restoration company gets the call and will respond as quickly as possible. Good restoration companies, like Advanced Disaster Recovery Inc., understand the longer you let the smoke and soot sit, the harder it will be to fix the damage that’s been done.
- An estimator will take a walk through your home and see the damage, and create a plan of action. This estimator will likely also be able to work with your insurance adjuster or insurance company during the loss.
- Crews will come in and box up any contents in your home that may have been damaged – from clothing and bedding to dishes, electronics, etc., that are salvageable. Believe it or not, many of the items in your home could be saved through special cleaning and restoration techniques in an experienced contents restoration division. If one of your children has a special stuffed animal, doll, blanket, or other sentimental items that could help them through this tough time, we are happy to clean that first and return it to you as soon as possible.
- Restoration begins. This could include removing carpet or other porous materials, scrubbing down walls with special solutions that will remove the soot and the odor, and will wipe down every single surface over and over until it’s clean. It could also mean doing things like removing cabinets from the wall to clean behind them or removing charred beams saturated with smoke and soot.
- Address the smoke damage. There are a number of innovations restoration companies, like Advanced Disaster Recovery Inc., can use to address smoke damage. If not properly removed, the smoke smell can reappear during a change in the weather, presence of moisture, or other environmental changes. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced team making sure not only that your home is clean and the visible damage removed, but also that the smell is removed as well.
- Return the items to your home that had been removed for cleaning. When they were removed from your home, they were carefully packed up according to room and location. When they are returned to you, it will be the same scenario – except everything will look as it did before the fire.
The best restoration companies go above and beyond when helping you after a traumatic loss like a fire.
Dealing with Fire & Smoke Damage in Goshen
A small fire broke out in your kitchen and the fire department came racing to put it out. Your Goshen home is still standing and there doesn’t seem to be much damage on the outside. Good news! The fire didn’t destroy everything. Now for the bad news. There is still a lot of damage on the inside. The fire department has come and gone and now you are stuck hopelessly staring at the charred and smoke-filled remains of your kitchen. What do you do now?
Dealing with a fire can be traumatizing and knowing what to do once the fire has been put out is very important. There are roughly 370,000 house fires a year in the United States. How many of those homeowners do you think were prepared to deal with the after math of the fire? You may think that cleaning up the mess on your own is daunting but doable, but don’t fool yourself. Cleaning up the damage dealt by a fire and the water that was used to put it out can be a huge undertaking and if not done correctly, can lead to even more damage. Performing do-it-yourself fire and smoke damage cleanup can also put your health at risk.
Most people don’t understand how much damage smoke can cause. So what exactly is smoke and why is it so dangerous?
Smoke is the fuel that didn’t burn. It is made up of particles of carbon, tar, and other materials including tiny particles called PM10. PM10 means “Particulate Matter less than 10 microns in diameter”. Most smoke particles are less than 1 micron in diameter. Smoke from house fires can contain a big range of toxic gases. Smoke leaves behind a black powdery residue, film, and an odor. The film is a greasy yellowish brown color. It is hard to get off and the longer it is on, the harder it gets. The soot, film, and odor need to be cleaned out of the house. Any materials that don’t need pulled completely out need to be properly cleaned so they are free of toxins.
Unless you have gained permission from your fire marshal you should refrain from entering your home. There are several reasons why the fire marshal might not let you enter your home, including integral damage to the buildings structure.
Cleaning up your home
What you need to do is call a professionally trained company. The professionals will come in and decide what can be saved and what cannot. It is understandable that you will be shaken up and exhausted after dealing with the fire incident, but don’t put off call the professionals. Time is not on your side when it comes to fire and smoke damage cleanup, but we are! Ash is acidic and will continue to cause damage until it is cleaned up and soot will cause permanent staining if left for even a short period of time. If you end up needing fire and smoke damage repair in Goshen, call Advanced Disaster Recovery Inc..