What You Absolutely Need to Know about Fire Restoration

How long does the fire restoration process take?

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Just as no two fires are alike, no two cleanup and restoration processes will be alike either. To put it simply, the extent of the repair will be directly tied to the extent of the damage and can span weeks or months in either scenario. Regardless of the time, the most crucial factor is having a well-skilled, well-trusted restoration resource to help you navigate such a devastating time because the better the restoration company, the faster the cleanup. 

As the restoration process will vary in time given the individual details of each situation, there will be basic and common guidelines to expect with every scenario. 

  • Assessment will occur first. This will be immediate and rapid as the safety concerns will be of greatest importance. Assessing the damage will be the key to knowing the extent of the work that needs to be completed. This can be one day or several. 
  • Cleanup and damage control will be next. This can be a time variable depending on the amount of damage that has occurred. This can be days or even weeks dependent upon the scope of work that is necessary for repair and rehabilitation. In most cases this may be the most lengthy timeline of the process. 
  • The primary factors that will determine the length of time at this stage will be extent of damage from the blaze, condition of the remaining structure and foundation, the presence of any water and smoke damage and lastly if there is any mold growth beginning.
  • Repair and rebuild is the final component. Again, dependent upon the scope of damage, the scope of repair is determined. Any restoration company that is worth its weight will truly take the repair to the deepest level ensuring that your home and your family are in the safest conditions possible. 

A house fire can easily be one of the most devastating occurrences for a family.  Having the right resources at hand will be priceless for peace of mind alone. Part of managing this overwhelming experience is having a trusted support system in place to help you understand the process and guidance in the scope of work and timeline required. Time is of the essence and a trusted restoration resource will provide the much needed peace of mind to a homeowner during this stressful time.  The tools to alleviate stress will be a homeowners greatest resource of all and Affordable Home Works aims to

Everything You Should Know About Disaster Restoration

A complete guide to disaster restoration

disaster restoration

It’s no secret that the world has experienced many natural disasters in the last few years and as a result, disaster restoration is the most sought after service. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported 2021 as being in second place for experiencing the most natural disasters within a calendar year. 

Last year, the US saw two major floods, three tornado outbreaks, one widespread drought and heatwave event, four tropical cyclones, one winter storm event across the South and Texas, and one widespread wildfire event combined from Arizona to Washington.  We don’t know about you, but we prefer to be armed with information, just in case. This is your complete guide to disaster restoration after an unexpected weather event. We’ll go over what counts as a natural disaster, common types of home damage, and what to expect in disaster restoration services. 

What Is Disaster Restoration? 

Disaster restoration is the process of restoring a property back to its original condition after damage caused by a natural disaster. 

Natural disaster restoration can be a dangerous process. The damage caused to structures can create more hazards that are best handled by a team of experts who can professionally guide you through the process.  

What Counts As A Disaster?

Simply put, any catastrophic weather event can be considered a natural disaster. To be certain, here is the list of weather events that qualify, according to FEMA.

  1. Winter Storm
  2. Flood
  3. Tornado
  4. Hurricane
  5. Earthquake
  6. Wildfire 
  7. Avalanche 
  8. Hail
  9. Drought
  10. Coastal Flooding
  11. Ice Storm
  12. Landslide
  13. Lightning 
  14. Tsunami
  15. Volcanic Activity 
  16. Extreme Heat/Cold

Here in California, the most common types of natural disasters are floods, fires, and earthquakes. 

Common Types Of Home Damage From Natural Disasters

Since the most common natural disasters in California are floods, fires, and earthquakes, we’ll focus on those here. 

Flood Damage

Flooding can be caused by weather events, yes, but that isn’t the only cause. Urbanization strains existing sewer lines. When a natural disaster, like coastal flooding happens, the effects can cause flooding inland from sewer system issues. 

Damage to homes from flooding can include structural damage to drywall, insulation, electrical wires, or damage to a foundation. 

Earthquake Damage

The most common home damage from an earthquake is structural. Columns, foundations, beams, walls, roofs, and ceilings can shift dramatically and quickly. In severe cases, this type of damage can cause collapse. 

As the structures can be damaged through a small magnitude earthquake too, damage to your home will still most likely be structural. Damaged columns, foundations, or beams can disrupt duct work, water, gas, and electrical lines. 

Fire Damage

Fires can cause catastrophic damage to the structural integrity of a home, but burning can spread across property to other structures too. 

Fire damage often leaves behind water damage either from burning of pipes or damage to a hot water heater. This simultaneous water damage can also come from the first responder efforts to put out the fire. 

Further, fires destroy furniture, carpets, and personal belongings. If not from the flames then from left over soot or smoke damage. 

What To Do In The Aftermath Of A Natural Disaster 

As you try to grapple with the reality of the damage, many emotions may take over. Shock, panic, grief, overwhelm, anger, or sadness. Don’t worry, we’re here to help guide you through the whole process.

 

The first step is to wait for emergency responders to clear the property for safety. In widespread natural disaster events, this can take a while as the number of calls is high. Try not to give in to the temptation to enter the property to assess the damage for yourself until the structure has been cleared. Without the clearance, it may be illegal to enter the property for any reason. Once it’s cleared, be sure to call the insurance company. 

What To Expect For Disaster Restoration 

After the property is cleared for safety and the insurance company has been notified, it’s time to contact a restoration service. A reputable service will be licensed, insured, IICRC-certified, knowledgeable and friendly. 

Give Affordable Home Works a call. Our team of IICRC professionals are available 24/7 for all your emergency needs. Upon arrival, we’ll start the assessment process.  

Some factors considered in the assessment are the size of the property and structure, type of natural disaster damage, water lines and pipes, potential mold damage, smoke and soot clean up, and electrical damage. 

Once the assessment is complete, the AFW team will provide an estimate of the cost of disaster restoration. 

Then, we’ll begin boarding up the outside damage or using tarps to temporarily cover any structure damage to exterior walls. This step is to mitigate any further damage. 

The next steps are dependent on the assessment, damage, and the type of natural disaster. Most often, large debris is removed at this step and remaining personal belongings like furniture may be removed. 

Finally, our team of expert reconstructionists will make a plan to repair, rebuild, and restore your property to its original condition down to the structural core. 

While most home owners insurance covers fire damage, not all cover flood or earthquake damage. It’s best to check with your insurance company throughout the process. This ensures that everyone involved is informed on pricing, the disaster restoration progress, and estimated timelines.

Affordable Home Works Is Your Comprehensive Disaster Restoration Service 

At AFW, we’re committed to providing expert customer service 24/7. Our team of dedicated professionals are certified through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certificate (IICRC). We service both commercial and residential properties. 

Affordable Home Works is proud to offer 30 years of expertise. And, as we like to say, turning turmoil into organized recovery through the disaster restoration process. Our goal is to help you return home as quickly as possible by providing guaranteed quality services.

In addition to restoration services, we are specialized in mold remediation, basement and sewer flooding clean-up, attic and crawl space mold remediation, board up services and water and fire damage restoration. 

We’re available at all times at 951-261-8075 or contact us online for a free estimate or to get started on your disaster restoration service today. 

Everything you Need to Know About Fire Restoration

Things to know before fire restoration begins

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restoration

A home or business fire is devastating regardless of the size. The overwhelming amount of what to do and when to do it seems to grow by the minute. It’s a time of stress and emotion, confusion and panic. Large or small, a home or business fire will knock anyone back on their heels without a clear thought path as to “what’s next.”  The most helpful first step, once personal safety is met, is a good and thorough restoration service.

Fires happen frequently, some areas more than others but we always have a tendency to think of it in terms of “that won’t happen to me.” And while this thought might be true for any, fire is a common and devastating occurrence. Should you find yourself in the position of needing remediation from fire damage here are the top issues to know and what to expect before restoration begins:

  • First and foremost, call your restoration company. The work will be in their hands and assessment and management will be the initial scope of work. This is not something you want to do on your own. The list will feel insurmountable and cannot clearly and effectively be managed by you alone. Restoration companies have the training, expertise and experience in this process. Guidance and management throughout this most difficult and dangerous cleanup process is crucial. 
  • Contact your insurance agent. Again, a reliable resource to partner with is a vital component and one that will be woven throughout this list. Your insurance agent will be an integral and necessary ally in the cleanup and recovery process. An insurance agent will jump start the recovery process, filing the claims and establishing the starting point of the restoration. 
  • Personal safety and living arrangements will need to be made. This point is specifically valid if you have experienced a large-scale home fire. Living arrangements will also be part of the insurance process which will be addressed very early on in the proceedings. 
  • Understand that the restoration process will take time. There are a tremendous amount of moving parts involved within the clean-up and restoration process. Fires large or small have very specific safety procedures and protocols that must be followed to ensure the safety of all residents. This may seem like a very tedious and drawn-out process but ultimately it is in your best interest to let the scope of work unfold as it is meant to. Again, a reliable restoration resource will be the peace of mind and trust that is needed in this process. 

In the aftermath of a fire, the stress and emotional fallout will feel paralyzing at times. This is an experience that most people, while moderately prepared, are not fully prepared to handle.  The blanket of preparation begins with all of the right support systems in place. The right insurance, the right “in case of emergency” resources and ultimately the right clean up and restoration partners.  The tools to mitigate stress will be a homeowners greatest resource of all and while full preparation may not be flawless, the foundation can certainly be planned. 

Recover From a Fire Quickly with AHW

Recovery from water damage from a fire

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If a fire breaks out in your home or the surrounding land space, there is no doubt that the amount of damage can potentially be catastrophic depending on the size of the blaze. Large or small, any fire will leave a certain amount of destruction to the property, which is not solely a result of the flames, but also a variety of effects and conditions from extinguishing the fire itself. Dangerous and destructive after effects can include the chemicals used to extinguish the flames, smoke and soot left within the remnants of the structure and most specifically, subsequent water damage from putting out the flames. A necessary element in fighting the fire but an element nonetheless, that can cause its own damage to the structure. 

As we all know in the process of putting out a fire, vast quantities of water are needed to fight and extinguish the flames. Depending upon the size of the fire, large quantities of water pumped through fire hoses will pump at a high speed, high pressure rate until the flames are completely out. Often this battle can take hours, which is a sight we have all seen time and time again during California fire season. A result everyone knows all too well this time of year. 

The consequence of this necessary action to put the fire out, is substantial water damage to the remaining structure. Resulting water damage can affect the foundation of the home, damage to a homeowners belongings and create a potential mold issue. And considering all of the potential issues as a result of putting out a fire, it is imperative as a homeowner to have the right emergency resources available immediately. Not only can the damage affect your home but more importantly it can affect your health, which is a risk far too high to take lightly. With this in mind, it is crucial to take necessary, swift action in the wake of a structure fire

Partnering with a highly trained, highly effective restoration service will make all of the difference as the sooner the damage is assessed, the sooner the work can begin and therefore, mitigate any further damage to the property. Time is of the essence and a trusted restoration resource will provide the much needed peace of mind to a homeowner during this stressful time.  The tools to alleviate stress will be a homeowners greatest resource of all and while full preparation may not be flawless, the foundation can certainly be planned. 

Carbon Materials Danger: How to Protect Yourself

Carbon materials danger

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Fire of all shapes and sizes produce a tremendous amount of destruction and material consequence. With the ever growing reach of the California “fire season” and on-going range of wildfires, land and structure damage and loss is at an all-time high. One of the unexpected and ever growing concerns is the environmental consequence of toxic chemicals and the complications created when carbon building materials are burned. The overall developing concern is that many building materials are widely considered to be a sustainable alternative to materials of the past. However, what is coming to light is that these materials, carbon based, are in fact releasing toxic gasses and particles when burned. The level of health and sustainability seems to be sliding down the scale. 

As carbon building materials are so readily available and so commonly used, the residual dangers arise if those materials are involved in a structure fire and in turn are not cleaned, eliminated and the building restored properly and professionally. If these toxic materials are not treated with the appropriate sense of urgency and care, the dangers to human exposure can be catastrophic. When burned, carbon materials release particles and gasses such as nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, ammonia and tar. All elements known widely to be overwhelmingly dangerous to human contact. 

In many of these situations, the dangers can go fairly unseen. The general public can easily be put at risk through a series of events that were completely unrelated to them directly. When the toxic gasses are released from a fire immediately the particles become airborne and additionally the toxic elements can become embedded in the neighboring ground and water supply , polluting the entire surrounding system. These are elements that cannot go unchecked and unattended. Immediate and urgent assessment and restoration is crucial. 

While we know that all smoke is dangerous to breathe, it is also important to know how and why the levels of toxicity occur when something seemingly “normal” was used in the construction of a building. Smoke is a mixture of chemicals and particles produced by incomplete burning of carbon based materials. It’s the remaining materials left from a fire that create the largest problem. The resulting smoke from a structure fire is oftentimes very concentrated and easily poses more of an immediate health concern to anyone that may breathe it in. It is the chemical compound of carbon based materials that is creating the problem. This is all the more reason to treat fire restoration with the utmost urgency. The materials left behind are easily the most toxic and dangerous element of all. 

While no two fires are identical just as no two structures are identical, the finished product of a quality fire restoration process involves leaving the structure as it was or just as close to what it was before the fire even happened. As the building materials continue to evolve for the betterment of the environment, the immediate goal is to mitigate any surrounding exposure and danger, while erasing all footprints of the incident.  A tall order in an area that is highly prone to fire dangers but an order that is accomplished nonetheless by the most skilled  restoration professionals available. 

Fire Damage Repair | Chemical Dangers | Wildfire Restoration

Chemical dangers of fire

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After a fire, the damage sustained by a building can be dangerous and significant. That resulting damage can pose a serious health risk to any persons in contact with the remaining structure. If improper fire restoration is not performed, the ensuing hazardous conditions and chemical dangers alone can become life threatening. 

Simply and directly put, appropriate skilled restoration service is mitigating the exposure to toxic substances and further preventing chemical and structural hazards from worsening. In short, to remove any and all traces that the fire even happened. What is left is a foundation and framework that is structurally sound, cleaned and fully restored to proper environmental conditions.

The unseen chemical dangers of a fire are easily the most alarming and threatening residual component of the destruction. Construction and building materials when burned release a host of toxic chemicals that immediately transmit into the surrounding environment. The air itself becomes threatening. The primary material culprits in this situation that require immediate removal and cleaning are plastics, upholstery, carpets and flooring, all organic materials such as wool, wood and cotton based textiles and all foam based goods. 

Beyond soot and smoke, odor and discoloration are a clear indicator that a chemical release has occurred as a result of the burn and likely is still present in the aftermath. Now it’s time for a brief chemistry lesson, understanding why this is SO dangerous:

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) the world’s third-most widely produced synthetic plastic is generally used in construction and building materials from pipes to doors and windows, electrical cable insulation, flooring, many applications that substitute for rubber as well as in the production of canvas. Basically , everything around you can be and is likely to be made of PVC. The problem is that while PVC is flame resistant when it is heated it releases a chain of chemicals that are highly detrimental to humans. The resulting hydrogen chloride gas is lethal when inhaled and can easily trap an occupant before they realize what is happening. In many cases the damage is done before the damage is done. These corrosive gasses can spread more rapidly than flames and subsequently leave the remaining toxic dangers to the surrounding environment. 

The necessity of skilled and proper fire restoration services, repair, recovery and renovation is imperatively left up to the professionals. At Affordable Home Works our goal is to be your most trusted , professional and reliable resource in the restoration process. Your peace of mind is our top priority and with this much at stake, we take our job very seriously. 

Fire Restoration Near Me | Fire Damage Repair

Fire restoration is not an option, it’s a necessity.

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After a fire, the aftermath and subsequent damage can be daunting and the residual impact of a fire can pose serious health risks. If the damaged structure is not treated properly and with tremendous skill and scrutiny the impending risks can be catastrophic to the inhabitants. 

The primary goal in fire restoration is to remove any and all traces that the fire even happened. To wipe clean all indicators that the fire was ever there is precisely what the outcome should be once the process has been completed.  The prevention of significant health risks is the prime focus and specifically the target of the assessment and cleaning procedures and protocols and the reason being that serious and even fatal heath dangers are common in the after effects of a structure fire. Health risks such as shortness of breath, breathing complications, asthma and bronchitis are prevalent. Additionally, skin and eye irritants as well as long term and fatal conditions like cancer and heart attacks can easily occur if the toxic elements of smoke and soot are not remedied properly. 

Pointedly, children can be highly susceptible to the dangers of the residual toxic conditions of a fire.  As they are still in the crucial development stages of growth, the harmful elements can have long lasting implications to their health. Brain, lung and heart conditions can go unseen for many years doing unknown levels of damage to a developing young system if not treated properly.  Simply put, there are far too many unidentified dangers present to not take this procedure seriously. 

The finished product of a quality fire restoration process involves leaving the structure as it was or just as close to what it was before the fire even happened. To erase all footprints of the incident fully involves making certain that the structure is stable and all utilities and elements within are in full working order. 

At Affordable Home Works our goal is to be your most trusted , professional and reliable resource in the restoration process. Your peace of mind is our top priority and with this much at stake, we take our job very seriously. 

Fire Restoration Hemet | Fire Damage Assessment

The necessity for proper and thorough fire damage assessment

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The first, most crucial and primary step of any fire restoration is damage assessment. There is no time to waste in implementing this essential step and can make the difference in the effectiveness and ease of repair of any damage.  The first step in assessment is ensuring that the structure is safe to enter , evaluating structural integrity from both the fire and ensuing water intrusion. Effective damage appraisal will review just how far and how deep damage to the structure runs. Damage from flames, smoke, fire and water can be devastating. And the basic integrity of the structure can run deep into the foundation and appear virtually unseen to the untrained eye. 

Proper and trained fire damage assessment will also include contents inside of the property. This can be a longer scope of review and valuation and certainly will cover a broad spectrum of timelines based on the severity and damage of a fire. Possessions and components inside of a structure will be evaluated as to what should be packed and restored as well as severely damaged goods being effectively removed and disposed of. This phase of restoration can take weeks or months depending upon the scope of damage to the structure. 

A fire can be a devastating experience leaving the occupants with an overwhelming amount of issues to solve. The breadth of issues resulting from a structure fire can be dizzying to a homeowner, not knowing where to even begin will mentally debilitate a person. Swift and decisive actions are the reasons for having the right assets in place should a disaster like a fire occur. At the completion of a thorough and proper professional assessment, the restoration company will have a much clearer and comprehensive idea of the amount of work and the timetable of completion. Trust is key, highly trained resources are imperative in this scenario. 

Highly trained, highly skilled fire restoration companies are always on call. The nature of the emergency simply must lend itself to this. Should the most unfortunate occasion arise that you need fire restoration in your home, the right resource when you need them will make all of the difference in the healing and rebuilding process for a homeowner and their family. 

Smoke Damage | Fire Restoration Near Me

Fire restoration and smoke damage 

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The annual foreboding of “fire season” is all too familiar to California residents. The term itself can elicit a sinking feeling in us all and can easily create an immediate reaction when we hear the words “Santa Ana winds”. And while this is a real occurrence, it has in years passed been played down by media outlets and quite simply, those that don’t live with this annual affliction but sadly as the fires and effects increase, the danger is very real and very readily reported these days. 

While we know some things to do to prevent a fire, the vast majority of action for prevention, is absolutely out of our hands. In this circumstance, the course of reaction, may be our only course of action as it is. And while action in this case is reactionary it is still a necessary plan at its foundation. The course of action first and foremost as a homeowner is to know your resources. The resources you have at hand will make the difference in the speed at which repair is put into motion. 

Smoke damage may be one of the single most dangerous elements of a fire. And in many cases, the single most toxic element of a passing fire. A passing fire in many cases, can cause zero foundational damage while at the same time cause substantial environmental damage to a home. The residual effects being a mixture of toxic residue embedded in the structure and the surface elements of a home. Many residues that remain can be further altered from their original state due to the methods utilized in putting out a fire. Residual elements and effects can penetrate a home without the flames of a fire ever doing so themselves. The air simply carried into the home can cause significant damage. Dangerously, this damage may not be visible but most certainly can be inhaled.  The most substantial health threat from smoke is from fine particles. These microscopic particles can penetrate deep into your lungs, which makes this component a viable threat and health risk. 

Whether the action is precaution or reaction, knowing your resources will make all the difference in the aftermath of fire damage. A trusted resource for assessment and repair is a vital element in the process.  First and foremost, is the necessity for experience, knowledge and understanding of the health risks.  Before anything can begin, a qualified assessment of health risk must be done. This is the single most important element of the restoration process. From the position of health risk then falls in line the scope of repair. And while no two fires are identical, neither are the damages that they leave behind. A series of checks and balances that are definitely not to be taken lightly.  

Fire Damage Restoration Near Me | Fire Damage Repair Near Me

Everything you should know about fire damage and restoration

fire damage

Restoring your home or business after fire damage to its pre-fire condition is our main goal. As a leading fire damage restoration company, we specialize in fire damage cleanup and fire restoration, smoke damage cleanup, and removal of smoke odors. Our team will deep-clean and remove soot from walls, carpets, and upholstery.

We Can Help in the Aftermath of Fire Damage

Beyond the fire damage, smoke and soot can be toxic, creating a hazardous situation. Even if a fire is contained in one area, smoke and soot can travel throughout a structure. Our professionals are highly-trained, with the experience, tools, and knowledge to clean up fire damage and remove the smell of smoke. In keeping with our goal to restore your home and cherished possessions to their pre-fire condition, we use appropriate personal protective measures to safely clean, deodorize and restore your property.

After a Fire – Use Caution

While waiting for help to arrive, safety is key:

  • Assess whether it’s safe to stay in the house.
  • Look out for electrical and “slip and fall” hazards.
  • Only attempt activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
  • If safe to enter, and weather permits; open windows and doors to “air out” structure and help remove smoke smell.

What You Should Do After a Fire:

Limit Movement

Limit movement in the home to help prevent cross-contamination and further smoke damage from soot particles being embedded into upholstery and carpets.

Cover Traffic Areas

Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.

Empty Fridge & Freezer

If electricity is off, empty the freezer and refrigerator and prop open the doors.

Wash Plants

Wash houseplants on both sides of the leaves.

Change Filters

Change your HVAC filter.

What You Should Not Do After a Fire:

Don’t Wash Walls or Carpet

Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your local SERVPRO as using the inappropriate product or method could lead to additional or irreversible damage.

Don’t Clean Electrical Appliances

Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances, including computers or digital devices that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.

Don’t Eat Soiled Food

Don’t use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.

Don’t Turn On The Lights

Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.

Don’t Clean Your Clothes

Don’t send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Don’t Touch Soot Covered Items

Don’t touch soot-covered items with bare hands. Oils from your skin can cause the soot to permanently stain surfaces.