We recently helped a customer who had a fire in the crawlspace where the smoke was pulled through the air handler and distributed throughout the entire home depositing soot on everything. This type of loss is often very frustrating for the property owner because soot is so fine it’s very hard to see in areas that aren’t heavily affected so initially the loss doesn’t appear to be that bad or widespread.
In many cases the property owners begin cleaning things themselves thinking only a small area maybe a room or two are affected. As they clean, they find how widespread the issue is and areas that have been cleaned re-soil and need to be cleaned again. It can be a maddening experience.
Soot particles are tiny, many are smaller than the diameter of a human hair. They tend to be magnetically charged and can remain floating in the air for several days only settling after things have been cleaned. In most cases the HVAC system becomes contaminated and is a constant source of additional soot and debris until it’s been remediated.
This is just what our team members have been trained to handle. Our first concern is the health and well being of the occupants and we may suggest temporarily relocating while the area can be treated. This may mean the whole house or we may be able to isolate certain areas to allow use of a portion of the property even while remediation is going on.
Next we sometimes need to remove items from the home so that the structure can be remediated. The items may need to be cleaned and stored off-site at our facility or in some cases can be cleaned and stored on-site depending on the scope of the loss. As items are relocated photos and an inventory list is created for each room so that everything can be put back in the exact same room as before the loss.
Once the items are documented, they are processed and cleaned and re-packed for storage in clean, new packing material and boxes. Once contents have been safely removed from the area, any needed demolition will begin followed by a detailed cleaning to remove any odors. Once the home is odor free, reconstruction can begin.
The entire time repairs are being completed the items will be stored and then everything will be brought back to the home and reset in the exact room they came from. If needed, we can even unpack and reset the items so our clients don’t need to lift a finger.
If you’d like as little stress as possible on a smoke claim, give us a call and we’ll walk you through the process step by step.