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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Assessing Damages After a Fire

10/10/2016 (Permalink)

Glossy paint can be easier to clean. Call SERVPRO so that we can quickly assess the damage!

Many Factors Contribute to Fire Damage Remediation

If you ever experience a house fire, small or large, you will naturally be concerned with what items in your home can be salvaged. There are different factors that will determine this, and a professional restoration company such as SERVPRO will be able to inform you which things can be saved and which need to be replaced once they come out to your home and evaluate the damages.

Once you have had any type of fire damage in Layfette, it is good to understand that fire damage makes a lot of different challenges when it comes to cleaning up the mess. A building that has burned includes a lot of complicated reactions amongst various elements which include: 

  • The kind of material that has burned
  • How much heat, oxygen, and moisture are present
  • The air flow patterns in your home
  • The kinds of smoke residues which are present
  • The kinds of surfaces which were impacted by heat and smoke

Depending upon how these elements interacted as the fire progressed, fire damage can cause very different restoration and cleaning methods to be needed, and our technicians at SERVPRO are trained to know what is needed.

Kinds of Surfaces
Surfaces which are porous will let particles and odor penetrate farther and are a lot harder to clean up. Surfaces that are nonporous like vinyl wall coverings or glossy enamel paint are much easier to clean than wallpaper or flat latex paint. Fibers which are synthetic will attract more concentrations of residue than natural fibers. However, synthetics usually clean better than natural fabrics.

Surface Age
The older the surface is, generally the harder it is to clean. It does not matter if the surface is fabric, paint or carpet. As older paint deteriorates, for example, it will become more porous, and its surface adhesion is weakened.

Amount of Heat
It will be harder to clean surfaces the hotter the fire was. Heat makes surfaces expand and therefore become more porous. Odors and residue can penetrate surfaces more effectively in this situation. Heat will also break down the materials or bubble and melt finishes. In cases like this, just cleaning the surfaces will not restore them. Instead, refinishing will be needed.

Amount of Moisture
Moisture can make residues set impermanently to surfaces. If sprinklers were activated or firefighters saturated surfaces, residues will be a lot more difficult to clean.

Materials Burned
Synthetic materials make residues a lot more difficult to remove than natural materials. Rubber and plastics make smeary, wet residues which can stain. Wood or other natural surfaces leave a drier residue.

Air Pressure
Hot air expands and as the temperature increases the volume of air will also increase. Expanding air makes pressure which will drive soot into crevices and cracks which make it hard to clean.

Even with the many factors that can determine how well your fire damaged home can be cleaned, our trained technicians at SERVPRO of Lafayette will be able to identify what can and cannot be cleaned. Give us a call at (765) 420-0077 so that we can create a plan of remediation for your fire damage.

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