November 14, 2023
The National Fire Protection Agency reported in 2019 that fire damage claimed more than $14 billion worth of property; and that hiring restoration professionals immediately after a fire had been taken out may help save a lot of money during repair and restoration.
Fire damage may be caused by different home incidents like faulty electric wires or appliances. The kitchen stove is another common source of severe fire damage.
Fires, regardless of the source, may do significant damage to a home, leaving a lingering smell of smoke and soot.
In this article, we will look at the steps that experts follow to restore fire damage, how much fire damage restorations cost, and what to do immediately after fire damage.
What Is Fire Damage Restoration?
Fire damage restoration is a set of steps taken by a professional restoration organization to return a fire-damaged property to its original state.
Depending on the severity of the accident, repair and restoration on a fire-damaged home might take a lot of weeks, and sometimes several months. This is because the experts must ensure they properly eliminate every indication of smoke, soot, and caustic elements, as well as their odors.
Fire and water damage usually happen simultaneously as the fire may melt or even break pipes permitting water to seep through different corners of the property.
Water damage also occurs when the fire department uses water to put out the fire instead of other chemicals. Due to this, removing any leftover water that might cause more harm to the property is usually the first and most important step a restoration expert will take.
Below are the steps experts typically take to repair and restore fire damage.
Before permitting specialists to enter the damaged property and assess the degree of the fire damage, proper approval from the local fire station is required.
The restoration specialist may then proceed with the evaluation after authorization has been given. This entails inspecting the contents of the property and determining what can be removed or fixed.
In addition, the inspection must be completely noted for insurance purposes. This is critical for structures or properties that can’t be salvaged.
Furthermore, any intact furnishings or clothes should be removed from the apartment and aired out, as the smell of smoke lingers even after the fire has been extinguished. Following a thorough assessment, you will have a better sense of the degree of the damage as well as an estimated duration and overall cost of restoration.
Fire damage restoration steps
The next phase of restoration after damage assessment is to secure the site by:
- Erecting fences around it.
- Taking care of the junk and waste on the ground.
- Using boards to fill gaps or strengthen weak walls.
- Deploying tarps to secure vulnerable roof parts.
Water and fire damage restoration
The use of water or other chemicals to extinguish a fire can eventually do greater harm to your home. Water may seep through different parts of the structure, ruining walls, plasterboard, and rugs.
The goal of this stage is to eliminate water and dry out the property to minimize mold or rust.
To effectively repair the damage, the water extraction crew may use huge fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the premises.
Certain chemicals are used by some fire crews to put out fires. These chemicals leave a harmful residue throughout your house, and the chemical contamination that results has to be treated. In such circumstances, chemical sealants may be necessary to prevent further damage or serious health risks.
Intensive cleaning and odor control
As the most time-consuming phase of the restoration process, this step includes eliminating soot and smoke from your property.
Soot is a result of a fire that is composed of partly burned materials. It is a deposit of polluted carbon particles that, if not properly cleaned up, can be dangerous to the health. These polluted carbon particles can permeate any porous surface, such as furnishings, curtains, building materials, carpets, and clothing.
Depending on the sort of item burned, soot is categorized as either dry or oily. Dry soot can be removed using dry brushes and a low-alkali solvent; however, greasy soot can be cleaned with high-alkali detergents.
After the soot has been removed, your air filter and ventilators may need to be deep cleaned to minimize further soot damage. Smoke damage may then be addressed after properly handling soot and water damage.
As flammable objects burn, fire creates smoke which clings all around and is usually very tough to clean. Common cleaning treatments can help to remove visible indications of smoke. But smoke can still infiltrate tiny spaces and gaps that conventional cleaning methods may miss.
Several pieces of household appliances may also need to be replaced since smoke might damage their sensitive elements. Carpets, curtains, rugs, and other clothes fabrics, demand extra attention as they may be easily destroyed.
To remove any lingering smoke odors, the restoration expert may spray the entire premises with deodorizing chemicals. Thermal fogging or ozone therapy will be used in this method.
Thermal fogging may remove smoke odor from clothing by employing the same properties that put the smoke odor into the fabric in the first place. By using ozone devices or chemicals, ozone treatment breaks down smoke particles and removes their smell.
Finally, the majority of the destroyed goods on the property are extremely dangerous and carcinogenic, and you should have safety gears on when handling them.
The final phase of the fire damage restoration procedure includes restoring the structure to its original condition.
It all starts with mending the damaged areas. Unfortunately, certain portions of the structure may have to be demolished or reconstructed from the ground up
This procedure typically includes actions such as:
- Repairing or replacing the whole roof.
- Refaxing all wirings on the property.
- Repainting salvageable wooden buildings and structures.
- Replacing floorboards and countertops.
The cost of repairing fire damage is determined by the restoration specialists. To restore a fire-damaged residence, most specialists will not charge by the hour. Most times, you may be quoted a fixed charge for the overall project
This usually runs from $5,500 to around $25,000. But, if they charge by the hour, labor prices per hour may still range between $60 and $90.
Most specialists urge that you call for help as soon as possible, generally within 48 hours of the fire. This allows contractors to save as much of the property as feasible.
If the problems are not handled quickly, any soot, water, or chemicals that stay within the premises might cause severe harm.
Also, homeowners should endeavor to hire contractors that understand how to enter a fire-damaged building securely.
The cost may also differ depending on whether the fire is simple or complex.
Simple fires, which normally occur outside of the home, burn pure fuels like dry grass and wood. Simple fires are linked with low levels of soot. Home fires are linked to complex fires. Complex flames generate a lot of smoke and soot.
The cost of repairing a fire-damaged house is also affected by the source of the fire. For example, due to the source, stove fire damage may be more expensive to repair. If the fire was caused by a grease fire, it may have left behind oily soot, which is more difficult to clean than dry soot.
The expense of fire damage in the attic might also be high. Because this area is on the roof of the property, structural integrity has to be assured to prevent the entire structure from collapsing.
The fire can also extend from the roof to other parts of the property, which may lead to problems on the levels below. Furthermore, the fire might have destroyed any wiring or vents in the attic.
Cost by Fire Damage Type
The charges for various types of fire damage range between $250 and $6,500. The most prevalent types of fires that cause considerable property damage are house fires and the type of expertise required for a phase of the restoration process usually influences the total cost.
Cost of Structural Repairs and Renovations
The first element that specialists analyze after a fire is structural damage. Structural renovations for a fire-damaged home, such as wood restoration, plasterboard construction, and installing a replacement insulating system, per room might cost between $15,000 and $25,000.
Smoke Damage Restoration Cost
This usually costs between $250 and $1,200. Smoke damage cleaning prices may be comparable to soot cleanup charges, with specialists most likely providing you with a similar quotation for both.
Another alternative for specialists to aid with smoke-damaged portions of the property is thermal fogging treatment, which would cost between $250 and $550 per floor.
The cost per floor of ozone treatment for homes ranges between $300 and $600, and it is a regular smoke damage restoration procedure.
Soot Damage Restoration Cost
Soot elimination, ventilation duct cleaning, and odor control cost around $400 to $1,700 on average. The expense of soot cleaning may be comparable to the cost of smoke damage restoration. Pricing varies depending on whether the soot is greasy or dry.
Oily soot cleaning is typically more expensive because it is a result of grease fires. Dry soot does not spread like greasy soot. Dry soot treatment costs between $400 and $700, whereas greasy soot removal can cost up to $1,000.
Water Damage Cost
The expenses for both fire and flood damage restoration are comparable as they both require the removal of excess water from the site. Restoring a single water-damaged room may cost around $3,000 to $6,000.
Chemical Damage Restoration Cost
A thorough cleaning of chemical residues may cost around $600 to $2,000.
Debris Removal Cost
When it comes to offering a quotation for burned debris removal, restoration contractors have numerous alternatives. You may be charged a fixed fee of $300 to $1,600 to remove all the debris. However, other experts may charge per pound of weight beginning at $60.
It takes a long time to renovate a fire-damaged property. The duration of renovation depends on several factors like the extent of the damage and the scope of the reconstruction; it might be weeks or months before the house is safe for reoccupation. Several experts may also be employed for the reconstruction after the removal of smoke, soot, chemicals, and water.
The cost of remodeling after a fire is high since numerous integral structures may have been harmed. Every area of the property will be evaluated to determine whether drywall, wiring, power components, or HVAC needs to be repaired.
Aesthetic adjustments may also be necessary, which means that you will most likely need to install new floorboards and repaint all the renovated spaces.
Restoration experts usually aim to recover as much of the property as possible except if the property has suffered a lot of irreversible damages and must be demolished. Sometimes, the total cost of remodeling may exceed the property’s market value. When this happens, your insurance provider may declare your claim as irreversible damage.
Some experts may charge restoration costs based on the floor space of the site. Remodeling costs usually go for roughly $50 per square foot
Miscellaneous Factors and Costs
- For house insurance clearance, all restoration contractors must be certified. Based on the extent of structural damage, restoration experts may require permits to begin repairs. Fire damage restoration is a risky task, and completing any cleaning on your own may nullify your insurance cover.
Miscellaneous expenses may occur as a result of wildfires passing close to your property. You should document the price of alternate housing for insurance purposes. These expenses may range from $200 to $1,500 or even more.
Paying experts to conduct a “fire watch” after fire damage might incur additional expenditures. The watcher’s job is to monitor the premises for sparks, soot, and concealed embers. Homeowners should budget between $25 and $50 per hour for the service.
The cost of cigarette smoke cleanup ranges from $600 to $2,000. This price is usually based on the number of bedrooms that require cleanup. For this form of smoke elimination, ozone treatments are typically employed.
As you can see, fire damage restoration entails more than just cleaning and restoring areas affected by the fire.
You must also consider how the fire changes the structure of the house as well as all of the properties within.
This is because every fire is unique, burning at a distinct pace, fed by various materials at varying temperatures, with varying quantities of air, and quenched uniquely.
And you may even want to try to repair the damage yourself immediately rather than calling a restoration firm.
However, you must follow the measures outlined above to recover rapidly, because without a professional examination the situation might worsen.
Whatever your circumstance is, making these difficult decisions under the pressure of what has just occurred can be daunting. Hence, it is advisable not to make any decision on your own. Consult with professionals that will provide you with all of the information, tools, and alternatives you require to reclaim your home.