A fire in the household leaves any homeowner devastated. Many questions form about how and where to begin to restore the damage and repairs. You will be worried about what can be salvaged, and when you can reenter your home. In your uncertainty, there will be professionals to turn to with questions and they can take the lead when there is a degree of confusion, anxiety, and overwhelm.
How to Begin Repairs After Fire Damage
Below are a few steps to help you begin the process of starting over and beginning repairs:
Allow Time to Grieve
One of the first steps when experiencing a sudden, unexpected disaster is navigating the grief. It is okay to take a step back to comprehend what is occurred. You might have emotional and mental shock to work through. It is essential to remember you are okay and everything else will fall in place in time. The fear of the uncertainty and unknown future can rattle anyone but taking every day slowly and at a time will help, and make the repair process easier.
When things improve, and days pass the terrible event will be a distant memory. Find a way to mark memories or milestones to remember and commend yourself for your progress and recovery.
If you are experiencing a lot of trauma, or anxiety distress don’t be afraid to reach out to a mental health professional. They can help you work through the terrible disaster you have been through. Research to find a good fit for you, and don’t be afraid to try a couple of mental health professionals until you find the one that works for you and your budget. You can also reach out to family, or friends if you need someone to talk to. There might even be group meetings in your area that can help make sense of the emotions you are feeling. There are tons of resources for you to help you in this time of need, take advantage of them.
Find a Place to Stay While the Fire Damage is Assessed
For a few days following the fire, you may need to find a safe place to stay while the house is inspected and cleared of ash, smoke, and soot so it can be reentered safely. In some cases, if the damages are extensive, you will be displaced for an extended period. It will be a good idea to find a place you will be comfortable and have the space to recover. You may even spend some time in a hospital, depending on if there were any injuries.
A recommendation is to look to close friends or family where you can rest and begin to plan the repairs for your home. This is also a good idea if you were injured, since staying with family can provide comfort for some. It may be recommended you stay with someone until you recover from your injuries.
If you do not have people close to you where you live, reach out to local relief services, including the Salvation Army” or the “Red Cross” disaster relief. These organizations will help you decrease the situation’s stress for you as much as possible.
You might also need to rent a storage unit to keep some of your belongings in if you need them out of the damaged area. There are many storage unit facilities to choose from with a variety of rates. Select a storage facility with good reviews, and a rate within your budget. Plan accordingly in case you are out of your home for longer than you originally thought you would be.
Safety is Important
Before entering your property, it is essential to be safe and careful due to the potential risks posed to your health and well-being, even after the fire has been extinguished.
The soot, air, and dirty water are full of hazardous chemicals capable of causing illness. Structural integrity is at risk, with floors and roofs being unstable and at risk of falling. The property should be avoided until the fire department approves you to reenter safely. Firefighters will secure gas, electricity, and water utilities, making sure they are safe for use. If your utilities are deemed not safe, the fire department will have them cut off. They should not be reconnected until the authorities have expressly advised doing so.
Before engaging in cleanup or handling repairs, it is vital to follow a professional restoration team’s advice to avoid danger. The aftermath of a fire can produce very hazardous conditions. If the fire department allows you to reenter the property, there can be chemical compounds, particulates, and VOCs present. These can pose a genuine threat to your safety and health. It is vital to wear protective clothing, including gloves and masks when working in the rubble. See here for details on how to remain safe with restoration.
Be sure to ask any questions you have about safety to the fire department, they may have resources or advice for you in this time of disaster.
Once the insurance representative allows cleanup to begin, contact a qualified, licensed expert fire restoration service with many years of experience. Try finding a company with a solid reputation, and good reviews in the industry. It may be hard or impossible to recover photographs, memories, and items of value but working to find other things that can take their place will help ease the loss.
The good news is that there are experienced professionals meant to guide homeowners through the experience while ensuring optimum safety. These experts include restoration professionals like those at JCbeal.com, educated in effective cleanup and ridding the home of potential threats following a fire, eventually bringing the house back to its original condition. You may even consider a complete remodel of your home after a fire.