June 27, 2022


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Introduction to Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

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Fires can be very devastating to all businesses, and the thought of restoring destroyed properties ravaged by fire can be pretty overwhelming. According to NFPA or the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments in the country respond to these emergencies every twenty-four seconds. 

Furthermore, it is estimated that fires every year account for more than twenty-five billion dollars in property destruction costs. But after the professionals have extinguished the fire, it is restoration professionals who are tasked with returning businesses and houses affected to pre-loss conditions. Let us take a look at damage restorations and how companies can help businesses in the recovery and cleanup process.

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What are fire damage restorations?

These are processes of returning a smoke and fire-damaged property to its pre-loss conditions. Restoration and cleanup jobs can take a couple of weeks to several months because of the destructive nature of this disaster. Whereas restorations for water damages involve mitigating water, as well as drying out properties – tasks can usually be completed in a couple of days. 

Restoration of properties ravaged by fire, may involve things like demolition, construction, and property board up on top of tasks like debris, soot, odor removal, contents cleaning, as well as working to remove disturbing hazards like asbestos and lead. 

Finally, it is also worth noting that water and fire destruction usually happen concurrently. First, properties are doused with water while firefighters work to extinguish and contain the blaze. Sometimes, pipes melt or burst during the disaster, which leaks water into the building. While people may have tons of destruction caused by the inferno, water destruction can also make the structure unsalvageable. With that, the first thing owners need to do when securing properties is mitigated to remove excess water before it can cause additional damages.

Steps to restore properties

Before the restoration contractor can enter properties to assess the damage caused by this misfortune, they must first receive the official go-signal from licensed agencies. Otherwise, contractors could be entering unsafe situations and risk injuries. After the contractor has been granted full access to properties, here is how the processes are carried out from here onwards.

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Assessment of damages

After getting the necessary confirmation that the property is safe and secured, the first thing contractors need to do is to perform a thorough assessment of the destruction sustained, as well as ensuing water intrusion. This usually involves assessing how far the smoke and flames have penetrated into the building and how comprehensive cleanups are likely to be. 

The process also consists of assessing the property’s contents to find out what should be discarded and what can be restored or packed out. At the end of these assessments, repair firms will have a good idea of the scope of the job and how long the restoration will take, and they can start formulating cost estimates.

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Security of debris and property removal

After assessing the property, the next thing companies will do to secure the building. This includes installing new fences around the building, removing scraps and debris around the area, boarding up openings in the building, as well as sealing off or tarping the roof to protect what is left of the building from the weather. If the mishap did not impact areas, restoration firms need to make sure that the site is sealed off from affected parts of the house to minimize cross contaminations.

Cleanup and smoke removal

This process is the most thorough and in-depth part of the repair work: the cleanup process. It usually involves a lot of manual work to properly clean soot and smoke from the exterior and interior surfaces. In some instances, every inch of the affected parts of the house will need to be thoroughly cleaned. Following a proper cleanup, agents to remove unwanted and lingering smoke odors are applied. If water damage restoration is performed, there is a good chance that contractors will need to apply antimicrobial or sanitation chemicals to stop any mold growth. 

Choosing the contractor

Choosing a commercial fire damage contractor to clean up or restore the property after the disaster is considerable decision property owners need to make. These projects are pretty complex and need knowledge of various aspects of construction like destruction mitigation, plumbing, electrical, ground-up construction, remodeling, complicated project management, and insurance assistance. People should look for contractors with these qualifications:

  • Is insured, bonded, and licensed
  • Experienced in working with complicated projects that need coordination with different parties
  • Experienced in managing staged restoration jobs that may need parallel installation and demolition
  • Experience in working with mold, fire, and water damage restorations and repairs
  • Experienced in working with insurance firms on damage claims
  • Experienced restoration contractors can help people restore their properties as if the mishap never happened

Construction and restoration

The last step in the process is performing any needed repairs or rebuilding damaged areas. In case of fire, parts of the building may be utterly unrepairable during the first assessment and need to be replaced and removed. It may include: replacing and rebuilding the roof, repainting and replacing drywall, replacing electrical systems, replacing flooring materials, and replacing interior counters and fixtures to bring the building back to what it used to be before the misfortune.