Fire is one of the scariest things that can happen to your home. It is a powerful and destructive force that spreads rapidly, consuming everything in its path. Depending on the intensity of the fire and how long it takes to put it out, your house may suffer minor scorching, and smoke damage or the loss of all the contents in your home in case of a major one.
Repairing a fire-damaged house requires careful attention to detail. Make sure to enlist an expert builder, and an electrical contracting company to assist you with the repair. All the safety issues need to be taken into consideration to ensure that the reconstructed house structure is as good as ever. Here are seven critical steps to repair your house with fire damage:
Step 1: Hire an Expert Building Contractor to Examine Structural Damage
Never enter a house that has been damaged by a fire until you are given explicit go-ahead from the fire department. Even if the damage looks minimal, some vital structures might have been damaged, and there is still a chance that the fire might re-ignite even if it seems to have been put out.
The first thing you need to do is to inspect the exterior section of your home and make notes about the damage. Ensure you hire an expert building contractor to examine the entire structure.
Repairing a fire-damaged house is not a task that can be undertaken by the average homeowner. However, this does not mean that you cannot get involved in the cosmetic repairs and clean up needed such as installing new cabinets and painting.
Step 2: Assessment
The expert builder will begin by assessing the interior damage and clear debris. They will evaluate the degree of the fire to see how far the fire, the smoke, and the soot have traveled. They will also check to see how badly your walls and furniture have been burnt.
This is a very crucial step in repairing fire damage as it will enable the builder to come up with a concrete plan of action and give you an accurate estimate of how much the repairs will cost as well as how long the entire process will take.
Do not forget to ask your local fire Marshall to come on site and help review the situation. Your building contractor may need to bulldoze parts of the structure or tear off a garage addition that has suffered fire damage.
Step 3: Tarp and Sealing
Once the repairing process starts, the main priority of the expert builder is to prevent damage from getting worse. Therefore, if you have a hole burned in your roof, or water leaking from a burst pipe, they will start by addressing such issues.
Step 4: Room by Room Clean Up
Your fire damage restoration contractor may be required to put down one entryway to start removing debris and charred wood. After that, they should take the time to examine the framing of the house entirely. Afterwards, they should clean up the entire house one room after the other to remove drywall, burned window casing and charred flooring using hand tools and crowbars.
Make sure that you are present during these repairs to see how much of the house is not damaged. It is advisable that you spend more on replacing the worst damaged part first as opposed to making any cosmetic improvements.
Step 5: The basement Foundation
The builders will inspect the basement foundation and all other floor joists that support your home’s weight. They will pull away the drywall to examine all the load-bearing walls (this is the wall that supports the weight of the floor or roof above it). If a load-bearing wall is not repaired correctly, it poses a hazard waiting to happen. So make sure to restore each wall carefully before moving to the next one. For this repair, it is crucial that you seek the services of an experienced carpenter as they will know how to construct the right framing for these walls.
Step 6: Attic Repairs
Your contractors will need to rebuild all the attic trusses that have been burnt and also put new floor joists where necessary.
Once they are done repairing the interior framework of your house, they can start working on the roof area and the exterior walls.
If necessary, install new windows to protect your interior from rainwater damage. Also, put new electrical wiring and a new breaker box as needed for the house.
Step 7: Final Touches
After you are done with the interior and exterior repairs, go room by room to finish the interior works. Install drywall in all the rooms, and rebuild the bathrooms and kitchen areas of your home if you have to.
Salvage as much kitchen fixtures, undamaged wood flooring, and cabinets so that you can reuse them. Once your house is fully repaired, embark on repainting it before working on the floor. Make sure to install crown molding and baseboard materials throughout the house.
Do not forget to ask the fire Marshall to help you create the right documentation for your needs. Some insurance companies tend to under-compensate homeowners for fire damage, leaving them in a stressful situation. Take the time to negotiate with the insurance company to secure a
better deal in case the damage repair costs exceed the monies allowed.
When repairing a fire-damaged house, your main aim is to replace anything that was damaged and ensuring that there is no lingering smoke smell after you are done with the repairs. It is crucial that you start repairing your fire-damaged house immediately to prevent further damage from spreading throughout your property.
The longer you leave your house unrepaired, the more the damage is going to increase. For instance, if the fire burns a hole through your roof, letting it stay too long without repairing it may lead to further damage in case of rain because water will come into your home ruining your property more. After your home has been restored after fire damage, you should take it upon yourself to find out how to prevent future fires.