Fire restoration is a process that includes assessing property damages caused by fire, securing the property, and restoring it back to its original state. Fire restoration is part of the larger disaster restoration umbrella that can include water damage restoration, weather damage restoration, and more. The process involves removing and repairing the parts of the structure damaged by a fire while also removing any smoke damage that might have come as a result of the fire as well.

Fires are devastating forces. In the US alone, fires accounted for $21.8 billion in damages, according to the 2020 NFPA report.

Fire Restoration Process
The fire restoration process may take a bit longer than other disaster restorations. Fire restorations can take weeks or months to complete, as they usually comprise more steps than water damage restorations and other similar processes.

During the process, professionals may board up the property, demolish certain structures, and reconstruct others.

Generally, fire and water damage can happen right after the other. A fire, whether caused by a man-made intervention or a natural disaster (e.g., flood) can do a lot of damage to the structure. From there, firefighters will extinguish the fire using water and other methods, which can further damage the building.

Fire restoration professionals understand the damage that fires can cause along with the potential consequences of putting out the fire. From there, they will take all measures necessary to restore the building or structure in a safe manner back to its original state.

How Do Professionals Fix Fire Damage?
Fixing a property that was damaged by a fire can be a long and complicated process. While all fire restoration service professionals may have their own techniques to restore a structure, most of them follow a similar procedure. Typically, the procedure consists of the following steps.

1.) Damage Assessment
The first step in restoring a property after it was damaged by fire was to have a proper assessment of the damage. Professional technicians enter the property once it has been deemed safe to enter by the firefighters. From there, they can use inspection checklists to see what areas of the property have been damaged and what type of damage occurred.

This way, they can determine what steps are necessary for restoring the building. During the damage assessment, the team will note all types of fire and smoke damage in the building or structure. This step also involves determining what things are to be discarded and which things are still possible to restore.

The goal of the assessment is to determine the extent of the damage and what the team can do to restore the property. The assessment is then used to create a comprehensive plan for restoring the property.

2.) Secure the Property
The next step in restoring a building or structure is securing the property. This usually involves installing a fence and boarding up the building to ensure that it’s safe from weather and no one enters the structure unauthorized. Additionally, if parts of the building or structure weren’t damaged, then the team needs to seal off the damaged parts of the structure to reduce the chances of cross-contamination.

3.) Preventing Further Damage
During fires, firefighters extinguish the flames using various methods, but the most common method is water. While water effectively extinguishes most fires, water damage can also occur, leaving parts of the building wet can lead to further damage from mold, corrosion, and more. So, the next step in fire restoration is preventing future damage by drying out the structure and removing as much water as possible.

This also involves demolition and removing anything that the fire has too damaged. For example, damaged drywall and flooring need to be removed, which the technicians do during this process step.

4.) Clean Up and Smoke Removal
The cleaning phase is one of the most labor-intensive parts of fire restoration. During this phase, the team has to clean up any remnants of the fire. This includes all soot and smoke stains on the floors, walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. It’s crucial for the team to ensure that every inch of the affected and contaminated areas is clean during this phase.

Once the areas are cleaned, the team then applies deodorizers. This removes any smoke or fire smell that could be lingering in the area. If water damage occurs due to the fire extinguishing techniques, the team may also apply a disinfecting agent and antimicrobial chemicals to prevent mold and bacteria growth.

The cleanup phase also involves going through the vents and ducts before the team moves on to the final step.

5.) Construction and Restoration
The last step in the fire restoration process involves rebuilding everything that was damaged by the fire. This could involve fixing the floors, rebuilding the roof, and restoring walls. The team will try their best to salvage and restore whatever is possible. But in most cases, some things have undergone too much damage and require a complete replacement or reconstruction.