We’ve spent the last week cleaning a commercial building after a cooker malfunction in the kitchen sent soot and smoke odor to numerous rooms throughout the building.  In total, the fire damage cleanup took hundreds of combined man hours to clean and over 5 days to remove the smoke odor.  While this was a larger smoke loss in which the business owner knew his employees could not clean themselves, we often talk to homeowners who have tried to tackle soot cleanup themselves only to find the residue almost impossible to clean.

After speaking with a homeowner at a recent expo, who tried to clean soot off her walls unsuccessfully, I thought this would be a good time to speak about how fire damage cleanup should be handled.  After deciding not to get too technical with the specifics, I turned to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) for help explaining why it is best to hire a restoration to clean up and ran across the following blog on the IICRC website…http://bit.ly/2cJ29A3.  Below is the post…

How Should Fire Damage Cleanup Be Handled

08/28/14 3:34 PM

If a house sustains fire damage, proper cleanup is crucial as the ash, soot and water will wreak havoc on what remains.  It’s bad enough there was a fire, but the water and chemicals used to extinguish it can cause secondary damage.  The remnants will continue to do damage long after the flames are extinguished.

The average person will attempt conventional cleaning methods like renting a steam cleaner and using common cleaning agents available at the store.  Unfortunately, this will barely make an impact on the problem and could cause bigger issues.  Chemical agents could react with the residue and cause permanent damage, and in some cases, they may cause toxic fumes.  Fire damage cleanup is one of the most difficult jobs out there, and it should be left to a professional for the best results.

When selecting a firm that does the restoration, consider what type of training they have. Do they have health and safety certifications? Are they experienced in a wide range of repair? Do they have proof of proper insurance and licenses?  The company that has the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) fire and smoke restoration Certified Firm meets all of these expectations and conditions. An IICRC-certified firm understands the need for a quick response.  Immediate action is necessary because the longer the delay, the harder and more costly the job will be as reactions within the damaged material can continue to occur. The fire may be gone, but the ash, soot and smoke odors that remain can continue to do harm.  Certified firms will use their knowledge of fire restoration to accurately test the damage and apply the proper repair techniques to bring the items back to pre-loss condition when possible.

Also, when hiring an IICRC certified firm you can be sure that they are up to date with the latest technologies and techniques. In order for these firms to keep their certification, they are required to take continuing education programs.  So when confronted with fire damage cleanup, choose an IICRC-certified professional.

PHC Restoration has the hardest working contents team in the business as they tackle not only fire damage cleanup but also inventorying, packing and cleaning personal property on a daily basis.  If you find yourself facing a smoke or fire emergency, give us a call at 919-834-6523 and let us handle your fire damage cleanup and restore your home.