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Erasing the Fire

fire damage hutchinsonWhile a house or business fire will likely never be erased from your mind, having a good restoration company in Wichita on your side – like Stover’s – to handle the cleanup and recovery process can fully eliminate any of the physical signs the fire may have left behind. That includes what you see, and what you don’t see. One of the biggest memory triggers of a fire is smoke odor. Therefore, it is critical that the smell is fully removed by the time the building restoration is complete.

Just like water damage, fire damage can intensify the longer it is left untouched. The Institute for Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration sets this timeline for after a fire:

Within Minutes:

Acid soot residues cause plastics to yellow; small appliances located close to the source of combustion discolor; highly porous materials (marble, alabaster) discolor permanently.

Within Hours:

Acid residues stain grout in bathrooms; fiberglass bath fixtures may yellow; uncoated metals tarnish; counter tops may yellow; finishes on appliances, particularly refrigerators, may yellow; furniture finishes may discolor.

Within Days:

In time, acid residues cause painted walls to yellow permanently; metal corrodes, pits and rusts; wood furniture requires refinishing; vinyl flooring requires refinishing or replacement; clothing becomes soot-stained; upholstery stains permanently.

Within Weeks:

Restoration costs escalate tremendously. Synthetic carpet fibers may yellow or discolor permanently; silver plate is corroded permanently; glass, crystal, china may require replacement due to severe etching and pitting caused by prolonged exposure to acid soot residues.”

Certain types of fires leave a great deal more residue than others, and require a lot more work to clean up the damage. Plus, the more water used to put out the fire, the more likely it is that all the surfaces that got wet or damp absorbed the odor as well.

Items that are not salvageable will be removed immediately, which should have a nearly instant impact on the level of the smoke smell in the home. In cases where damage is minimal, it may be possible to clean all the hard and soft contents, carpet, furniture, etc. in a home and that will be enough to knock out the odor. This process is called contents cleaning, and can save both you and the insurance company a lot of money by not having to replace a lot of your items – and also helps you hang on to more of those precious family heirlooms or items that truly mean something to you and your family.

Depending on the extent of the fire, some wood trim, woodwork, cabinetry, and other wood items might need to be replaced, or be thoroughly cleaned with a professional grade deodorizer and resealed. Crews may also bring in an ozone machine or hydroxyl generators to run around the clock to get rid of the odor. Both are tried and true methods, and work much better than items you buy in the store to that will simply mask the odor.

As with any property damage, the sooner the restoration process is able to start, the better. Stover’s is committed to working with you from day one to restore your property to the way it was before disaster stepped in.