What Can Be Safely Salvaged After Fire Damage?
Small house fires are the most common disasters in North America. If you've suffered a house fire, you're probably just grateful no one was hurt. But after the initial shock, there are many things you'll have to take care of, including finding a place to stay, contacting your insurance company, and recovering your possessions. While some of your property must be thrown away after a fire, keeping as many of your personal items as possible can help provide comfort and make you feel normal again. Fortunately, with the help of SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett, West Chicago and Warrenville many objects with hard, porous, and non-porous surfaces (like glass and metal) or belongings that can be washed (like clothing) can usually be salvaged if they didn't come into direct contact with the fire.
Clothing, Bedding, Towels
Although it's best to throw away charred or burned textiles, items like clothing, towels, and bedding can be washed if they only have minor soot stains or water exposure. However, be especially careful when deciding whether to keep children's clothing, bedding, or cloth toys, since their skin can be much more sensitive to any chemicals on fabric. If washing doesn't remove the smell of smoke from your fabrics, you may need the help from a professional odor removal company.
Glass and Ceramic
Glass and ceramic are surprisingly resilient and are often much easier to save than fabrics. After a small house fire, the only damage to your glass belongings may be a coating of soot. However, ceramics can be porous and may be susceptible to staining from smoke damage and hard water. Although it may be possible to clean glass by washing it with vinegar and dish soap, ceramics may require a deeper professional cleaning br SERVPRO. However, if glass or ceramic possessions are melted or cracked by the fire's heat, they'll probably have to be thrown away.
While your home is recovering from a fire, you may need a professional pack-out service. This service will remove items that need restoration, or store items to protect them from further damage. SERVPRO will provide pack-out services that will:
Examine and separate damaged items that need restoration services.
Carefully record all items using photo documentation, identification numbers, and detailed lists.
Pack items carefully and deliver them to an off-site facility.
While at an off-site facility, your items will be housed in a secure, climate-controlled environment and will stay there until your home's cleaning and restoration is complete.
Even though wood is a porous material, unless there's flame damage—like charring or burn marks—you can almost always salvage hardwood floors after a fire. First, if the floors got wet while the fire was being extinguished, it's important they are dried properly so they don't crack or warp. Contacting SERVPRO of Streamwood, Bartlett West Chicago and Warrenville immediately after the fire is the best way to restore your damaged wood floor.
Ensure Safety with Salvaged Items
No matter how safe your home may seem after a fire, consulting a professional is the best way to determine which of your belongings are safe to keep and which ones must be discarded. Especially since firefighters may use chemicals to put out a fire that may leave a residue on your furniture, drapes, or even your clothes. SERVPRO of Streamwood Bartlett,West Chicago and Warrenville can help you confirm which of your possessions you can keep, then clean and sanitize them to make sure they're safe for you and your family. Even a small house fire can be a traumatic experience.