According to the National Fire Protection Agency, home fires cause $7.6 billion worth of property damage every year. The same report also indicates that cooking is the leading cause of home fire emergencies at 49%.
Naturally, the kitchen is the most affected in such situations. Moving on from such an accident is never easy. However, you will have to pick up the pieces and restore your kitchen to its former glory. This article is a step-by-step guide on how to restore your damaged kitchen after a fire.
Assessing the damage is the next step after getting help from a fire restoration company. It is only after the assessment that you will know the extent of the damage. You should let a professional team go in first and determine if the kitchen, house, or building is safe for entry. During this process, the restoration company will look at the effects of the fire, smoke, and the resulting soot.
They will inspect the furniture, walls, flooring, and appliances. The assessment is typically divided into structural and superficial. After completing the assessment, a clear plan of action can be recommended. You will be provided with an estimate of the cost and how long the fire restoration process will take.
The damage to your kitchen can get worse long after the fire. For instance, a leaking pipe or cracked window makes this worse. Water can seep into the walls resulting in mold and other forms of structural damage. Mitigation ensures that nothing else gets damaged. It’s like performing first aid to an injury.
The plumbing system is shut off to stop the leakage. A cracked window pane may not be replaced, but the pane can be sealed for the time being. Other mitigation procedures include switching off the electricity and removing any smoldering embers. Mitigation is both for safety and cost reduction.
Cleanup And Disposal
A fire incidence leaves a lot of damage in its wake. In addition to the burnt property, fire restoration services also deal with the soot stains on the wall, furniture, and kitchen appliances. It may involve scrubbing and even sanding to remove the soot and smoke stains. If the kitchen suffered water damage, then this is the stage where the water is pumped out and the soaked items aired.
All carpets and upholstery will also have to be removed to get rid of the lingering smoke smell. It is better to be present during this process to salvage any sentimental items. Fire restoration requires special equipment and safety gear. Dress accordingly if you plan to be around during the cleaning. In addition to cleaning, most fire restoration services also perform safe waste disposal.
Repair and Renovation
Once all the debris is removed, the fire restoration can begin. Repair and renovation are two different services. The goal of repair is to return your kitchen to its initial condition. On the other hand, renovation makes it better than before. Both will help you move past the incident and continue with your life.
- The Walls – The walls are usually the most affected by a kitchen fire. In addition to the fire and smoke, there may also be some water damage. The presence of drywall only complicates things more. In such cases, the plumbing and electrical have to be sorted first. Superficial damage is attended to last. Scrubbing can remove the soot and prepare the walls for a new lick of paint.
- Ceiling – Almost all fires cause damage to the ceiling. This is because flames typically rise. For serious kitchen fires, you will likely need a new ceiling. However, if the fire was stopped early, the ceilings may only need scrubbing and repainting. Water-damaged ceilings require a different approach. After drying, the flaking areas are removed and refilled before repainting.
- The Floor – The floor is often forgotten during a fire restoration. A fire can damage even tiled floors. A combination of heat, water, and debris can damage any flooring. The damage is more significant if the kitchen floor is wooden or laminate. The damaged areas will have to be ripped out and replaced.
- Fittings and Fixtures – Kitchen cabinets rarely go unscathed in kitchen fires. Other fixtures such as drawers, shelves, and doors may also suffer fire and water damage. Finished wood is generally easier to repair. You can also take the opportunity to redo your cabinetry. Going this route may cost more but could increase your home value and help you forget the trauma.
Get Professional Fire Restoration Services
Fires are every homeowner’s worst nightmare. In addition to property damage, the experience can be traumatic. The only thing you can do is pick up the pieces and move on with your life. Hiring a professional fire restoration service company makes things a lot easier.