Common Misconceptions About Fire Damage Restoration Process

Just about every home and business owner fears a fire. Not only because it can be fatal for people living in the home but also for those around it. In addition, fire damage can devastate a home, if not restored in time and professionally, can lead to a ton of frustration and heartbreak.

Common Misconceptions About Fire Damage Restoration Process

Just about every home and business owner fears a fire. Not only because it can be fatal for people living in the home but also for those around it. In addition, fire damage can devastate a home, if not restored in time and professionally, can lead to a ton of frustration and heartbreak.

However, it is worth noting that fire damage restoration is also a dangerous process. It is imperative to understand the facts around fire damage restoration, not only to keep you safer but also so that you know what to expect.

This article will discuss some of the most common misconceptions about fire damage. The goal is to understand each of these so that you don’t make the same mistakes as dozens of other home and business owners in Fayetteville, Raleigh, Wilmington, and other parts of North Carolina. Plus, you will know when is a good time to hire fire damage restoration services.

As always, being able to distinguish the myths from the fact is key to saving time and money if you ever encounter fire damage.


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It is Easy to Clean Up Soot Damage

You have probably heard quite a few people say that cleaning up soot damage is easy. In reality, it isn’t easy because soot can’t be cleaned up using a wet rag.

To understand how cleaning up soot works, you need to know what soot is. It is microscopic particles with carbon that haven’t been burnt. So, it’s partially intact organic matter. However, because these particles are so small, they are everywhere. Therefore, cleaning it can be so challenging.

The best way to clean soot damage is to hire a professional to do it for you. A certified fire damage restoration company has the experience and machines needed to pull off the job. However, lots of soot often raises subsequent fire damage restoration cost.


You Never Want To Board Up The Home During Restoration

It is often recommended that homeowners shouldn’t board up their homes after a severe fire. This suggestion is usually made because the house is too damaged to board up or because the work isn’t worth it. However, the benefits of boarding up your home far outweigh the cons. Boarding up a home keeps burglars and other opportunists out of your property; they would otherwise take advantage of.

Finally, the other benefit of keeping your home boarded up is preventing the invasion of squirrels, birds, and other creatures. However, it takes a little work to board up a home that’s been fire damaged, but the effort is worth it because it will protect your possessions. Also, remember that what might appear damaged beyond repair may not be the case.



Smoke Detectors Offer Adequate Protection In The Event of Fires

In the fire damage industry, we know that smoke detectors are an essential safety feature in just about any home or office building. However, they don’t provide protection. Instead, they serve as early warning devices in the event of a fire. This allows people to take immediate action, whether evacuating the building or putting out the fire. That said, these devices are known to malfunction, and often that can be caused by dead batteries. That’s why you should consider installing a sprinkler system alongside smoke detectors, which will attempt to extinguish a fire, potentially preventing the fire from spreading and causing significant damage to the home.

It also can provide additional protection for the home’s occupants by activating even before the fire department arrives. Furthermore, it can reduce the risk of injury or death caused by fire. Additionally, having a fire sprinkler system in a home can lower home insurance rates which is always a big plus!

Also, it is worth noting that having a sprinkler will not raise fire restoration cost.


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You Only Need Fire Damage Restoration If There Is Significant Fire Damage

This is another pervasive myth and is often perpetuated by people who think that restoration of fire damage is only needed when the entire home is devastated. However, this is not always the case, as sometimes, if there is extensive fire damage, a lot of the damaged items can’t be restored.

Homes with minor fire damage can and often benefit from professional fire damage restoration and debris removal.


Smoke Damage Isn’t As Bad As Fire Damage

Smoke damage can be just as bad, if not worse, than fire damage in some cases. Smoke can travel throughout a building and cause damage to areas that were not directly affected by the fire. It can also cause discolouration and damage to walls, ceilings, and other surfaces leaving behind a strong odor that can be difficult to remove during regular fire damage cleanup.

Additionally, smoke can also cause damage to electronic devices, appliances, and other equipment. It also can cause corrosion and damage to metal surfaces. Inhalation of smoke can cause health problems such as respiratory issues, eye irritation, and other symptoms. The overall cost of cleaning and restoring a property after smoke damage can be high.

We know from years of experience restoring fire-damaged structures that smoke can penetrate building materials, leading to numerous long-term issues if it isn’t addressed properly. In addition, it can affect the home’s structure. Compared to fire, smoke damage is a lot more challenging to repair and thus costs more. Therefore this is a myth that shouldn’t be believed at any cost.



Smoke Damaged Items Can’t Be Restored

So, this is the exact opposite of the myth above. Smoke-damaged items may take longer to repair and often require more effort. The fact is that smoke damage restoration is a thing and thus items can be restored. Generally, items like electronics, clothing and other documents can be fixed by most professionals.

Smoke-damaged items can be restored through a process called “deodorization.” This process involves removing the source of the odor, cleaning the affected surfaces, and using specialized equipment.

The first step in restoring smoke-damaged items in a fire damaged house is to clean them thoroughly. This may include dry cleaning or washing with specialized solutions to remove soot and other residues. Special products are also used to neutralize and remove smoke odor.

Once smoke damage cleanup is complete, they are often deodorized using various methods such as ozone treatment, thermal fogging, or ultra-low volume (ULV) cold fogging. These methods involve using specialized equipment to release a mist of deodorizing solutions into the air to neutralize and remove the smoke odor. It’s also important to note that some items may be too damaged to restore and need replacement.


Sprinklers Tend To Cause More Damage

To debunk this myth, we need to briefly dive into how a sprinkler system works in the event of a fire.

A fire sprinkler system consists of a network of pipes and sprinkler heads connected to a water supply. The sprinklers are designed to detect and extinguish fires automatically. The system is activated when heat from a fire causes one or more of the sprinkler heads to open, releasing water onto the fire.

There are two types of fire sprinkler systems: wet pipe and dry pipe. In a wet pipe system, water is always present in the pipes and is released when a sprinkler head opens. In a dry pipe system, the pipes are filled with pressurized air and water is only released when a sprinkler head opens. Both work equally well to quell a small fire.

The sprinkler heads are typically located in the ceilings or walls of a building and are designed to activate when a specific amount of heat is detected. This heat detection can be achieved by using fusible links designed to melt at a specific temperature which releases a lever to open the sprinkler head or through a network of thermal sensors that would trigger the release of water.

It’s worth noting that only the sprinkler head closest to the heat source will activate and release water, reducing the amount of water damage to the building. Also, modern fire sprinkler systems are often connected to alarm systems and fire departments so that they can be notified as soon as a fire is detected and the sprinkler system is activated.

So, by the above, you might guess there isn’t nearly as much water when only the needed sprinklers are activated. Also, compare the amount of damage that a fire would end up doing had these sprinklers not been installed. The fire would be catastrophic. That means having a sprinkler system would save most of the building and your property from damage. On the other hand, the water damage thus sustained would be minimal and the better of two proverbial evils.



Fires Are Caused By Electrical Malfunctions

According to FEMA, only 6.5 percent of electrical malfunctions were reported in homes in 2016. So, if electrical malfunctions don’t contribute to most instances of home fires, then what does? 

The most common causes of fires in homes are cooking equipment, heating equipment, and electrical equipment. Other common causes include smoking, candles, and fireworks.

In fact, cooking causes 50% of fires. A close second to this is heating. While it is essential to take precautions to prevent electrical malfunctions, it is more important to take care when cooking. The best way to avoid a fire is with regular and proper home inspections. Buy and use fire retardant equipment installed in the home. 


Fire Flames Cause The Most Damage in A House Fire

Now, this is a pretty hard myth to debunk, especially if you have some experience cooking on an open flame. However, there is more to it. Usually, the food heats up perceivably as the flames touch the pot. So, while we agree that flames can cause damage, the smoke is just as destructive, if not more, than the fire itself. Not only does the smoke damage your building but also your health. 

The smoke you inhale during a fire is full of toxic chemicals, and that alone has caused more deaths than getting burnt. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), smoke inhalation is the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States, accounting for approximately 80% of all fire deaths. In 2020, the NFPA reported 3,700 civilian fire deaths in the US, of which smoke inhalation was the primary cause of death in 2,955 cases.


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Final Word About Fire Restoration

The truth is that fire will destroy just about anything it comes into contact with within your home. However, more extensive and, at times, irreparable damage can be done by the smoke and soot residing after the fire has been extinguished. That’s why it is essential to clean the area before professional remediation can be attempted thoroughly.

The most significant mistake we see many homeowners making is allowing the soot and smoke residue to remain on the items. Often this will lead to etching, permanent staining and discoloration. In addition, smoke is known to damage electronic equipment like your computer.

It is essential to call a fire restoration company as soon as possible after a fire has occurred. The sooner the cleanup and restoration process begins, the less damage will be sustained and the quicker the process will be completed.

It’s essential to begin the process as soon as possible to prevent further damage, such as mold growth and structural damage. Once the fire department has deemed the home safe to enter, you should contact a fire restoration company like ours. Our team will assess the damage, provide a plan of action, and start with emergency services such as boarding up, tarping, and securing the property.

We are North Carolina’s leading fire damage restoration contractors with years of experience restoring homes and businesses in Fayetteville, Raleigh, and Wilmington. Give us a call today for emergency fire cleanup and restoration.


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