After a fire, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the damage. There’s a lot to think about and deal with, from the emotional trauma of living through a catastrophic event to the physical damage done to your home after a fire. That’s why trying to assess and minimize damage to your home is the best place to start. Before you start figuring out what you’re going to do and you’re going to move forward, you need to actually see what you’re looking at. If you’re a victim of fire damage Northern VA, your home may have been damaged beyond repair. However, you could also have a home that’s still standing despite the severe structural damage. Whatever you’re looking at, here are a few ways to help you get your home back in shape so that everything can start to feel normal again. If you’re dealing with the stress and trauma of a badly-burned home, here’s what you can do to minimize the damage.
1. Keep Out
After a fire, you may be tempted to start clearing out the rubble and damage from your home. However, it’s important to remember that your home will not be safe for entry for a while. Not only are you dealing with smoke, falling debris, and potential structural damage, you could be subjecting yourself to tons of toxins in the air that could create serious health issues. Even after your home is declared safe for reentry, you want to be very careful about re-entering your home, both for safety and insurance purposes. You’ll need to figure out what the damage is, salvage what can be salvaged, and try to formulate a game plan. If your home is mostly intact except for a room or two, you may be able to stay inside while the damage is being taken care of. In many cases, however, it’s much safer to stay with family or check into a hotel until you can file your insurance claim and figure out how to move forward.
2. Document Everything
Whether you’re able to stay in your home or not, it’s extremely important to take pictures of everything. You need to record all the damage in detail in order to file your insurance claim quickly and get things back on track. This is why you need to approach your home with caution. You don’t want to endanger yourself or your family, but you also want to provide your insurance company with the most detailed report you can. Take tons of photos with your phone, and get close-ups of specific damaged areas. The more you document, the more smoothly your case will go. You’ll also want to keep track of any damaged belongings and valuable heirlooms that were destroyed in the fire. All this will go into your report. If your claim moves along quickly, your insurance provider will help fill you in on the next steps to take.
3. Don’t Try to Clean
If your home is largely unaffected by the fire, your impulse will be to do a huge clean and wash all your sheets, coverings, and fabrics to get all the dust and debris off them. However, this is not the way to go. Though it seems counterintuitive to leave everything as-is, it’s always the best way. If you try to wash damaged walls, floors, and fabrics, you could end up not only making the damage worse but harming yourself in the process. Not only that, you’ll most likely be signing yourself up for an endless project if you attempt to clean your home by yourself. Don’t try to tackle a huge project like a destroyed wall or ceiling. Leave that kind of work to the professionals.
4. Hire a Professional Restoration Company
Fires wreak havoc on our lives and destroy our homes. Luckily, after the damage is done, we have professional services that can come in and clean for us, helping to restore our homes to a liveable state. These companies are licensed and fully able to clean up your home so you don’t have to. There’s no reason that homeowners should have to face the painful, endless task of cleaning up their damaged home, especially after the intense trauma of a fire. Calling a professional service will take the weight off your shoulders and allow you to rest easy knowing that the job is being done in a painstaking, safe, and efficient way. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you can do everything, especially after such a traumatic event. Relax, and let the pros take care of it for you.