Prioritizing Fire and Water Damage Restoration: What to Handle First

fire damage

Fire and water damage restoration is something that no homeowner wants to worry or think about, but sometimes you may have no choice. A flood, blown pipe, or fire can seriously damage your home. Even if the emergency service personnel are able to get to your home in time to save it, the task of fire and water damage restoration could take months.

When an insurance company is paying out money for you to restore a home, you will need to prioritize repairs. In the event of a catastrophe, it is essential to know what is most important. The following article will tell you which fire and water damage restoration projects should be completed first.

Priority 1 - Main Floor Stability

Before you can even enter the home to determine the damage, you first need to determine if the main floor is safe to traverse. If it is questionable, then placing planks of plywood on top to cover the whole space is important to consider. Once inside the home, you can head down to the basement to look for damage from fire, as well as rotting wood from water.

Priority 2 - Supporting Walls

The supporting walls of the home carry the entire weight of the home. If they are damaged, you could have a serious issue on your hands. Look for charred wood and damage from water or mold that could weaken the supports. You can add braces to these areas to make sure that they will not collapse. Temporary posts can also be placed inside the home to take on some of the weight. The damaged supports can then be removed and replaced.

Priority 3 - Foundation

Fire and water damage restoration projects can take a very expensive turn if the foundation is damaged. Fire does not often damage a foundation because concrete has a high heat tolerance. Even though concrete foundations can withstand heat from a fire, water can destroy them.

Water damages the foundation by causing the ground to become too soft, which will cause the home to shift. When that happens, the foundation can move and crack, which will create a domino effect in that it will cause drywall, floors, and other walls to also shift and crack.

When you walk into a home, you can easily tell if shifting has occurred. Cracks along the drywall are a dead giveaway. To repair the water damage, the foundation is often excavated, the home jacked-up, and new concrete poured. New soil is laid and the home it set back down on the newly repaired foundation.

Priority 4 - The Little Things

Once you are certain the house is sound enough to continue working, you can concentrate on the details. There are a lot of little things to take into consideration for any fire and water damage restoration task. Drywall and wall covering are one project that can be saved for last. They need to be torn down if they smell of smoke or have severe water damage. The same thing applies to the ceiling structures. Plaster damage is easy to spot, as it can literally crumble when presented with direct heat and melting with water.