Losing your home and possessions in a fire is traumatic. There is no easy way to handle it. You've got lots of things to do before you can get your life back to normal. Complete cleaning will have to be done of the house and yard. This is a tough, long and expensive job, but it's one of the most important steps. It also can be cathartic; many people who have suffered through house fires have felt that finishing the clean-up allowed them to move on. |
Even though it's hard and expensive, doing your own complete cleaning can save you lots of money. Everything can go well if you know what you're doing. Here are the basic steps to doing your own complete cleaning after a house fire.
The first thing to do is to call the insurance company. They usually have 24 hour hotlines, and they will come out to the property and make assessments. Your insurance company can tell you which items are salvageable and which should be tossed.
They can also recommend a company to help with the clean-up if you choose not to do it yourself. They are experts in the area of complete clean-up after fire damage, so they can also give you some pointers on what to do. They will also guide you through the steps to make your insurance claim. Keep all receipts for items used in the clean-up.
Don't go back to your property until the fire marshal says it's safe. Fires can smolder for days, and it takes nothing more than a gust of wind to rekindle it. A tiny bit of smoldering ash can become a raging inferno quickly. Once they've decided it's safe, you can go back and get started.
The Basic Process
When you start your complete cleaning, rent a dumpster. You will be throwing away lots and lots of things, and you'll definitely need it. Basically, you will remove all of the big items first. The things that are salvageable will be saved for further cleaning, and the things that are ruined will be tossed in the dumpster.
Once you've finished with the big things, you'll start shoveling out the debris. You should sift through the small things for things that can be saved. Lots of items from house fires can be saved, including books, clothes, wood planking and other parts of the house like concrete blocks. Don't throw away anything that can be used.
Clothes and other items that use fabric, like pillows, cushions and upholstery, are tricky to clean. Smoke damage isn't always visible. Sometimes there will be soot, but other times there will just be a smoky odor that is particularly tough to get rid of. Use a good detergent and wash the inside linings of things as well as outside. A good fabric softener also helps.
Solvents can work for wood furniture that has minimal fire damage. For more serious damage, furniture must be resanded. Heavy soap and water will work for most surfaces of the house, and sidewalks and driveways should be pressure washed.
You can do your own complete cleaning if you know how to get it done right. Doing it yourself will save you lots of money and give you the opportunity to recover your things and move on.
After fire damage, Rhode Island based professionals offer services to help prevent further damage to your property. They are experts in the area of complete clean-up after fire damage, so they will guide you. To know more, visit http://www.purocleanRI.com
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