Few events can impact a family as dramatically as a fire. Even smaller fires in the home can cause surprisingly extensive damage, but major fires can keep you out of your home for weeks. According to the National Fire Protection Association, America experiences a home fire every 93 seconds, meaning that you need to be prepared in the event that a fire happens in your home.
After a home fire, one of the most important steps you need to take is to find a fire restoration company that can help get you back into your home as soon as possible. Smoke and fire damage restoration requires specialized training and equipment, and you need to make sure you find a company that is qualified to handle the job.
But what exactly goes into fire restoration? And how can you be sure the company you hire is the right one? Here are some questions you should ask every potential contractor before hiring them to take care of your home.
1) What Is Your Fire Damage Restoration Process?
While each company may perform their fire restoration slightly differently, every contractor should be able to describe the process to you in detail. They should first conduct a damage assessment. They should also be prepared to mitigate further damage by drying out the area and boarding up doors and windows to prevent vandalism and theft.
The next step is to remove damaged components from the home, including soot and personal items that are too impacted to save, along with the debris from firefighting efforts. Once the initial clearing process is complete, your restoration professionals should begin repairs, addressing things like structural damage and drywall. This also involves deep cleaning any remaining surfaces, especially porous items you would like to try and save, like carpets and curtains.
Once the repairs have been completed, the cleaning finished, and the air cleaned and deodorized, your professional should perform a final inspection and walk-through, showing you what work has been done and giving you the opportunity to point out anything that may have been missed. After the inspection, you should be able to return to your home!
2) Are You Licensed and Insured?
Fire damage restoration is a specialized field, requiring extensive training to be able to handle the various hazards a home fire can create. According to the Indoor Air Quality Association, smoke from home fires contains a number of harmful substances, including benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, sulfur dioxide, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), all of which are hazardous.
To make sure that your fire restoration technician is familiar with professional standards, ensure your contractor is certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC).
3) Will You Handle My Insurance Claim?
When you are recovering from a home fire, you want the process to go as smoothly as possible. That is why you should ensure your fire damage restoration company does not just accept your home insurance, but that they will work directly with your insurance company to get the work done quickly. That way, you will have one less thing to worry about.
4) What Guarantees Do You Offer?
Any company worth its salt will gladly guarantee the quality of the work they perform. If they do not trust their technicians enough to back up their work, then you should not trust them. Make sure to choose a company that offers guarantees on their work upfront.
5) How Long Will Fire Restoration Take? How Much Will It Cost?
It can be difficult to make predictions about the cost and duration of a fire restoration project simply because much of the damage may not be visible at first. However, look for a company that is straightforward with you from the outset.
Contractors should provide an estimate, but they will also be honest about the fact that they might discover more damage. They should also affirm that they will be in constant contact with you to discuss any changes that may arise.
You want to get back into your home as soon as possible. Choosing an honest and straightforward company will ensure that you get back into your home sooner and that the repairs are done with quality in mind.
6) Do You Have Any References?
While most fire damage restoration companies have reviews available on their websites, also look at reviews on third-party sites. Most companies also have a list of past customers who are willing to speak to others about their experience. Speaking with these references can provide an even better sense of the way that the company operates.
Interested in Learning How Fire Restoration Works?
If you are looking for a company to help you with fire damage restoration, request rapid response service from R2 Fire & Water.