How Long Does Fire Restoration Take?
If your home has been damaged by a fire, having it restored to its former condition is probably your priority. But fire restoration can be a long-drawn-out process that requires trained professionals. Here’s what fire restoration usually involves:
Stages of Fire Restoration
Fire restoration can take anywhere from four to six months to complete. The amount of time can vary based on several factors, including the extent and type of damage, the floor area, and the method used to put out the fire.
Professional fire restoration specialists typically undertake restoration projects in phases. The first stage is mitigation and demolition, which in most cases takes only a few weeks. The second stage is rebuilding, which usually takes three to six months.
Here is what each stage involves:
Mitigation and Demolition
This process can take up to three weeks to complete. During that time, fire restoration specialists will check your home thoroughly for damage caused by soot and smoke. They may also use special vacuum cleaners known as HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) units to remove harmful substances from the air.
Part of the process involves assessing the property to determine if any part of it needs to be demolished. This is often the case when the damage is too extensive for repair or restoration.
In some cases, the fire restoration specialists may recommend more extensive testing. This may be a necessary precaution to detect the presence of asbestos, lead, or other harmful substances. Specialists may recommend further testing depending on how old the house was or when it was built.
The actual rebuilding stage could take anywhere from three to six months. This is when most of the fire restoration work occurs, after which time your house should be restored to its former condition.
The rebuilding process usually involves calling in a contractor who will estimate the restoration cost for approval by your insurance company. This is a necessary step that ensures the restoration of your home to the same condition it was in before the fire took place.
Keep in mind that getting authorization for the repairs can take a significant amount of time. This is apart from the time it will take to actually do the restoration work.
Let’s say the construction team expects the rebuilding to take six months. If it takes you a month to get approval, you can expect the rebuilding phase to take up to seven months to complete.
Fire Restoration Methods
Fire restoration specialists have different methods for cleaning up the damage caused by a fire. Cleanup will require trained professionals and isn’t something you can do without experience or qualifications.
Fire produces a lot of different substances and compounds, many of which can cause health issues. Soot, smoke, burnt materials, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can all produce problems ranging from allergic reactions and irritation to more severe effects.
Furthermore, many of these substances cannot be cleaned effectively using standard home cleaning solutions. Even if they aren’t inherently harmful, it will be very difficult or even impossible to remove them with typical household cleaning products.
Fire restoration usually involves the following steps:
Water or Chemical Cleanup
Even the act of putting out a fire can cause significant damage to property. Whether the fire department personnel used water or chemicals, it will be necessary to fix the damage caused by putting out the fire.
Any piece of property that experiences a fire will always have varying amounts of soot. This is the dark gray or black deposit left by partially burned materials. These are made up of carbon particles and can cause serious health issues if they remain on the premises.
Smoke Damage Removal
Even smoke can cause significant damage to property. Smoke has a way of getting everywhere, even into cracks and crevices that soot won’t reach. It will cling to every surface it comes in contact with and leaves an odor that remains for months and even years afterward.
Burnt Materials Cleanup
Finally, all burnt materials will have to be removed. These can cause short-term and long-term health issues, so they will have to be disposed of by trained professionals.
Fire restoration can be a lengthy and expensive process, but the alternative can be even worse. If you need to have your home restored after a fire, rest assured that this step will help you avoid more serious health issues later on.