Cleaning Contents After a Fire
- Make Sure It's Safe To Start
Your first concern in every fire damage restoration disaster is safety. SERVPRO takes steps to make sure all workers entering your home or business after a fire are safe. It is important that the structure is safe before the evaluation and restoration process begins.
Also, keep in mind that, after a fire, indoor air contains floating smoke and soot particles. Smoke/soot particles are Products of Incomplete Combustion (PIC). These are carcinogens and are dangerous. When cleaning up smoke/soot, it is important to wear a respirator, such as an N-95 or N-100. Using gloves and other protective clothing will also protect against soot exposure. Ventilation is key to letting the contaminants in the air outside.
- Evaluating Damaged Contents
The next step is to determine which items should be cleaned and where, as well as which items to discard. Cost and antique value are key consideration factors. SERVPRO inspects the affected items as quickly as possible, as soot can produce further damage or corrode contents and appliances in a matter of hours or days, depending on the material.
In many cases, contents that have been damaged directly by the fire or by excessive heat should not be discarded until inspected. SERVPRO knows how to clean smoke damage from salvageable items like this antique chair (pictured).
Most textile goods like draperies and bedding will be taken to our laundry division or dry-cleaning facility. Other contents that can be restored, such as furniture, may be cleaned within the home or sent to our facility.
Food items must be treated with caution. Any open items should be thrown away. Unopened items in original packaging that were away from the heat can be considered safe. If there is any doubt, throw the items away.
Keep in mind that melted or discolored plastic items can’t be restored, only cleaned.
- Inventory Of Your Contents
If a “pack out” (removing contents out of the structure where damage occurred) is necessary, our SERVPRO technicians will keep careful records for items taken, location of the items, and condition of the items when removed. In other cases, we may determine that conditions allow for cleaning and storing the contents within the home, or perhaps a garage if property has one. An inventory of all discarded items is essential to receiving monetary reimbursement when filing an insurance claim.
- Contents Cleaning
SERVPRO will perform testing to determine the appropriate product to clean your contents. Today’s restoration professionals will use environmentally friendly products for all cleaning and restoration processes. This is an important consideration when choosing a restoration company.
SERVPRO begins to remove soot from each restorable item — either in the home or at our facility. The cleaning method depends on the item, such as furniture, kitchen utensils, dishes, toys, clothing, bedding, draperies, and more.
- Removing Odors
Pungent odors come with smoke/soot damage. After the cleaning process, most of the smoke odor will be eliminated. Yet, if there is still a small odor, we may add an additional step to the restoration process. This could include ozone or hydroxyl deodorizing. Learn more about processes: ODOR REMOVAL
- For Fire Damage Cleanup and Restoration, Call SERVPRO of Bloomington at (812) 824-2027
When the contents of a home or business are damaged by smoke/soot, mitigating the fire damage, cleaning, and restoring the contents to its preloss condition is a job for restoration professionals. SERVPRO technicians know how to clean smoke damage from contents quickly, ethically and professionally. When you call us, we’ll mitigate the loss and restore your property using state-of-the-art equipment and techniques.