We have had some crazy Michigan weather this year. The weather has gone from beyond cold with a ton of snow to rain and wind overnight. As many of you know with strange weather comes many natural disasters. One such disaster recently struck too close for comfort.
Our friends have a fireplace that they use quiet frequently. So when it recently was bitter cold they decided that it was a good idea to use the fireplace. That seems pretty harmless right? The thing is after the fire ashes were left. Our neighbor cleaned out the fireplace and put the ashes in a metal bucket which he then placed on the wood deck. Because the weather had been pretty windy and dry the wood was in ripe condition to use the heat from the metal bucket to create a smoldering fire. This fire smoldered for hours finally catching the floor joist on fire. By the time they had returned from work hours later the home was engulfed in smoke and the smoldering fire had caused major damage to their floor in the living room area which is off of the porch.
Added on top of the damage that was already created by the fire was the damage done in order to eliminate the smoldering hot fire under the house. Once the firefighters added the water the house literally disappeared in a cloud of smoke. Their first instinct was to run in and immediately start putting their lives back in order. Of course this is not necessarily the first action homeowners should take when they find themselves in a situation involving fire and smoke damage. Here are some tips to consider before rushing in to clean your home after a fire.
Tip #1 – Contact your insurance company. Your agent will be able to recommend a professional fire and smoke damage restorer. Often they will help with hints to prevent further damage.
Tip #2 – Once you have determined it is safe to enter into your home through and determine, with the professional fire restorer, go through the house and determine what items can and cannot be refurbished.
Tip #3 – Get the air circulating throughout your home. Open all windows, doors and have fans running at all times. If you are in the heat of summer it will be best to have the air conditioner running along with a dehumidifier. If fire and smoke damage happen to your home in the winter, run the furnace which will remove the moisture. Keep fans going and make sure to change the filters everyday to prevent soot build up.
Tip #4 – Dry everything thoroughly. Especially carpets, furniture and bedding. This will help prevent mold and mildew.
Tip #5 – Place cling wrap under the legs on all furniture involved in the fire. It is also important when dealing with items not directly involved in the fire that are still clean to cover them with plastic to prevent damage.
Tip #6 – Hire a professional to come in and deodorize the house. It is also important that heavy drapery be sent out to be cleaned. Soot is oily and stinky. You really cannot get certain bigger items fresh on your own.
Tip #7 – Take your time in repairing your home. A thorough job is always better that one done in haste.