Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration FAQ’s
Q. What is the first thing I do after a fire?
A. Fire damage can be a devastating experience. Most of the cases the first thing that you will need to do after the fire department leaves is get the house or apartment boarded up, to prevent from vandalism and protect your personal belongings. Here at Dryfast we have teams standing by that can be within an hour to your house and securely board it up and install locks and doors if needed.
Q. How long will the fire repair takes?
A. There are varying factors involved in fire and smoke damage restoration. Occasionally it is difficult to predict exactly how long the complete restoration process of your home or business will take. Our technicians will give you estimates on dates and stages of the restoration project and keep you posted on progress.
Q. Should I try cleaning myself?
A. For best results, do not try any self-cleaning without first consulting your Dryfast certified technician. It is important to pretest, use the right cleaning agent for the particular item, mix deodorizing agents with cleaning solutions, and use correct dilution rates to achieve best results. Our trained technicians use our professional cleaning system products to give you the best chance for complete restoration of your belongings.
Q. Should I file a claim with my insurance company?
A. It is highly advisable to file a claim as soon as possible. Fire damages lead to very costly repairs.
We at Dryfast can guide you through the claims process and help you bring you home back to its pre-existing conditions
Q. Can I stay in my house?
A. Most cases it is not advisable to stay in the house. The residual smoke damage and water damage from the fire departments efforts can be a big health hazard. Most cases the American red cross can provide temporary housing for the first initial days until you can find a place to stay.
Q. Can I get back in my house?
A. Some fires are very severe and you might need to call a structural engineer to determine the integrity of the house before you let the cleaning crew or yourself go in so you can avoid any liability for anyone getting hurt. At Dryfast we have a structural engineer on call that we can get within two days after the fire to determine the severity of the damages.
Q. Do you communicate with my insurance adjuster?
A. We document everything from the moment we get on the job to the end and keep constant contact with your insurance adjuster to make sure you get the best service and coverage possible for the damages that had accured.
Q. Do I need a permit for the repairs?
A. Dryfast is a general contractor and follows all CA laws and requirements when doing any job. We sent our highly trained project managers to the city so they can pull all needed permits and licenses for your project.
Q. What if my house is not up to code?
A. In most cases insurance policies cover a certain amount of code upgrades in order to bring the house up to code and be able to complete the project. Once all demolition is done and we see that you will need some code upgrades everything is documented and a detailed bid is provided to your insurance carrier for approval. If you don’t have coverage for those code upgrades our goals is to be able to provide you with a competitive bid for all the necessary work.
Q. What if my house has asbestos or lead?
A. We always send a testing company (or provide three different companies to choose from) to test all houses for lead and asbestos prior any demolition work. We have a network of abetment contractors that are standing by and if we find anything hazardous in the house they can abate it.
Q. What will happen to my personal belongings?
A. One of the first steps is to pack out all the contents in the premises. We send our packing crew that will box and carefully wrap all your valuables. They are also inventoried while the packing is being done. We attach a picture with the item list on each box that we pack. Than its all transported to our 20,000 sq ft facility and everything is sorted out. We create a list for you, with salvageable and non-salvageable items. You have 24h access to everything that we take out from the house. Once the list is completed we presented to you and after we get your approval we submit it to your insurance carrier for approval along with all the pictures and documentation we took.
Q. What will happen to my belongings after they are cleaned?
A. We have a big storage facility on site and will keep all your belongings in there until the job is 100% complete and ready for your possessions to be returned back to the house.
Q. Can you remove all the smoke damage?
A. Smoke damage can be very intense that’s why all non-structural materials that have been affected by the fire need to be first physically removed from the house. After all this is done all salvageable structural members are sanded or scraped treated with an anti-odor agent depending on the type of smoke damage and encapsulated with EPA approved product to remove all remaining smoke smell.
Q. Do I need architectural plans for the repair?
A. All fire damages are unique in their own way. Some jobs require and architectural plan in order for the repair to begin. We have an architect on call that can help with all those needs. Create plans and helps us obtain all necessary building permits to finish the project.
Q. What if I like to upgrade or remodel my house?
A. We have very experienced construction department that has served many customers since 2001 and has complete many projects. We can help you with ideas and provide samples for many of the upgrades that you would like to do. You will have a dedicated project manager that can answer all your questions throughout the entire project.