A house fire is devastating, given the destruction and heartbreak it can leave behind. Fires can consume an entire house, and even if only a part of the structure burns down, the remaining half can bear tremendous damage that you might as well raze it to the ground and rebuild everything from the ground up.
However, as terrible as it is in this situation, you can’t afford to dilly-dally when facing extensive property and smoke damage because the longer you hold off the repairs, the more you’ll need to rebuild. Moreover, there are some things you need to do right away to save your home and hire professionals in fire restoration in Kansas City.
Read our tips on how to clean up after a fire in Kansas City, start property restoration, and get your home life back on track.
How To Clean Up After a Fire in Kansas City
After a fire, the urge to leave all your belongings behind and let professional cleaning services throw everything away will be strong. However, you must power through the stress and emotional turmoil and take care of things only you can handle.
Here’s a list of things you need to do to clean up after a fire in Kansas City.
1. Ensure Your Safety
No doubt you’ll want to check if you have any belongings that are still salvageable after the fire. However, it’s best not to enter your home immediately after the firefighters call “fire out.” Even if you see the structure still standing, construction materials could be hanging by a thread that can fall or collapse at any moment.
Entering the site is very dangerous, so you must wait for the authorities to clear the place and declare it safe. Better yet, ask firefighters to guide you and let you inspect your home after the fire. Make sure you’re wearing thick rubber boots and ample protective clothing if you’re entering so soon after the fire. There could still be embers on the floor and sharp, hot objects everywhere that can injure you.
2. Call Your Insurance Company
This is a must-do immediately after the fire is out. Insurance companies send insurance adjusters to check their customers’ homes and investigate if the circumstances qualify them to claim benefits. If you start cleaning before the insurance adjusters see the wreckage, your insurance company might build an argument preventing you from filing insurance claims. It’s best to cover your bases and inform your insurer before cleaning and certainly before you call for fire restoration in Kansas City.
3. Document the Damage
Insurance companies run a business, making them more inclined to decide in their favor at your detriment. Documenting the damage to your property can help protect yourself and ensure you can file a claim to fund your home’s repair. Take photos and videos around your house and the interiors once you have approval from the fire department.
4. Gather and Remove the Loose Debris
You can start cleaning up when the authorities and your insurance company are done with their inspections. Start by sweeping and gathering loose debris on the floor. There will be lots of ash, dirt, and broken pieces of wood. It will be easier to bring a wheelbarrow in the middle of the rubble and, using brooms, rakes, and dustpans, collect the debris and dump them by barrowfuls just outside.
5. Seek Professional Cleaning Services
If you don’t have the energy, cleaning tools, or know-how, you can hire fire cleanup services in Kansas City, MO, instead. Companies offering professional cleaning services can do it faster. They are also well equipped with the right tools, vehicles, and protective gear and are more experienced in cleaning construction rubble from a fire.
6. Gather Your Salvageable Belongings
While people are cleaning up, you can also check the rubble for your personal effects and see if there are furniture and other things you can still save. Upholstered furniture that is still intact may still be usable, but we recommend getting them professionally washed and disinfected before using them again. The same goes for your clothing, drapes, and mattresses.
7. Find Reliable Storage Solutions
Keep the furniture pieces, important documents, artworks, and other belongings you saved in proper storage. You’ll likely stay in a hotel or with friends and family after the fire, and you can’t bring all your stuff with you because of the limited space. Renting a safe and secure storage space where you can keep all your stuff would be wise. Once your house is fully repaired and restored, you can bring them back into your home.
Dealing with Water and Smoke Damage
Suppose your home sustained minimal damage because firefighters quickly extinguished the flames. There’s minimal damage to your house’s foundations, but you have water and smoke damage to deal with.
Here’s what you need to do in this situation:
- Open your windows – To minimize water damage, you need to dry out your home as quickly as possible. Opening your windows helps with that. It also improves the ventilation throughout your house, which helps flush out lingering odors and smoke.
- Use air purifiers – Soot and chemical vapors from burnt construction materials can harm your health. While they’re not the sole solution, air purifiers can help improve the air quality inside your home.
- Throw out damaged and unusable things – Inspect materials that retain a lot of moisture, like fabrics, foam, and paper-based items like books, cardboard shoe boxes, particle board shelves, etc. Assess if they are still usable, even if you can somehow dry them. If not, throw them out before mold starts appearing.
- Contact flood cleanup technicians – Drying out flooded basement rooms is very difficult. Fortunately, companies like Restoration 1 are equipped for water extraction and drying. Water removal is vital to prevent structural damage and mold in your house, so don’t hesitate to call fire cleanup services in Kansas, MO.
- Contact smoke damage restoration specialists – Smoke and soot can spread quickly, so don’t be surprised if you find traces of fine, black particles in rooms away from where the fire was. Getting soot out of your things without smearing them all over the place and causing more damage to your belongings is tough, so consider hiring professionals in smoke damage restoration.
Why Hire a Company Offering Property Restoration and Fire Cleanup Services in Kansas City, MO?
A house fire can have a terrible impact on a household’s finances. Thus, most people would want to save wherever and whenever possible. Cleaning the rubble would seem like an opportunity to save money; however, your safety should always come first. If the damage to your house is significant and staying inside will put your safety at risk, don’t force it. Consider professional cleanup services in Kansas City, MO, instead. Better yet, entrust the cleanup to your property restoration company.
The advantage of hiring a restoration company that also offers post-fire cleanup is you don’t have to pay double for overhead fees. And since the same company will be repairing and rebuilding your home, the restoration work can begin as soon as the cleanup is over.
Restoration 1 can do both for you. We are a trusted name in property restoration, specifically for water, mold, and fire restoration in Kansas City. We provide other services you’ll find helpful when cleaning up after a house fire, like boarding up windows and doors, packing, and storage services.
Contact Restoration 1 for your post-fire cleanup needs.