Fire and storms are two of the most common causes of property damage. According to the National Safety Council, fire departments respond to a home structure fire every 93 seconds. And when it comes to weather, PBS News Hour reports that the U.S. is experiencing a rapid increase in nasty weather conditions, including extreme storms.
Given these threats, you will likely be dealing with extensive damage to your home. Knowing what to do in such a case can protect your property from further damage and save you a lot of hassles. If your house has recently suffered damage, below are some tips on storm and fire restoration Washington TX, that can help you rebuild it.
Assess the Damage to Your Property
One of the top tips for your storm and fire restoration Washington TX is to assess the damage your home has sustained. Assessing the damage after a storm or fire is vital for your home insurance claim process. On top of that, it will help you identify areas that have been damaged, thus giving you an idea of where to focus your restoration efforts.
Of course, before you begin the damage assessment, you should ensure your home is safe to enter. Therefore, in the case of a fire, you should wait until you get the all-clear from the fire department. On top of that, you should take further precautions, like contacting your utility companies to shut off the gas and electricity supply. Lastly, once you enter your home, you should watch for safety hazards – broken glass, pooling water, and unstable house structures.
During the assessment, you ensure that you note down and document (pictures and videos) any signs of damage. Also, some damages may be hidden, so bringing in a home inspector might be a good idea. Moreover, as you assess your home, you should salvage any valuables that have yet to be damaged.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, you should only renovate your home after talking to your insurance company. Of course, you can make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. However, before you begin any major projects for your storm or fire restoration Washington TX, you should notify your insurance company of the damages to your home.
In most cases, your insurance company may send an adjustor to assess the damages in your home. Therefore, before the assessment, you should avoid disturbing anything in the house, including cleaning up your home. However, if you have to do any work in your home, make sure that you clear it with your insurance provider. On top of that, you should document the condition of your home before the restoration process and keep receipts for any materials used.
Depending on your policy, the insurance company may cover all or some of the damages incurred. For example, most homeowners’ insurance plans cover fire damage, so you will likely be fine there. However, some policies don’t cover flooding, which might mean you’ll have to pay for any flooding damage out of your pocket after a storm.
Eliminate the Hazards in Your Home
Once you have cleared everything with your homeowners’ insurance company, you can start rebuilding your house. One of the top places to begin during the storm and fire restoration Washington TX is by removing any hazards in your home.
If you’re dealing with storm damage, debris is one of the top hazards in your home. Before you begin any work, you should hire a storm debris removal company to remove the mess in the house. Besides debris, it’s possible to find animals (both dead and living) around your property after a storm. So, again, you need to hire professionals – wildlife control specialists – to remove these hazards from your home safely.
Mold is another of the top hazards that can affect your house after a storm. The damage from water can cause the growth of mold and mildew, which can quickly spread throughout the property. Therefore, you should also hire a mold remediation contractor to check your home for any signs of mold and remove it.
If you’re dealing with fire damage, smoke will be the biggest concern in your home. The smoke particles are a health hazard – they might contain harmful substances such as asbestos, plastics, carbon monoxide, and paint chemicals. Smoke particles can also get into various tiny cracks in your home, allowing the foul odor of the smoke to linger. As a result, you need to hire a smoke damage restoration company to ensure that the smoke particles are safely and efficiently removed from your home.
Deep Clean Your Home
After removing the hazards, clean-up will be the next big step in your efforts to perform a storm and fire restoration Washington TX. Of course, the mess in your home after a storm or fire can be too much to handle. On top of that, you may lack the proper equipment to perform some of the cleaning tasks. Therefore, the best option is to hire professional cleaners who can deep clean your house.
If you’re dealing with a storm, water damage cleaning is one of the top places to start your clean-up efforts. The cleaners you hire should begin by removing any remaining water in your property. They should also dry out the walls, floors, carpets, furniture, and other items affected by the water. You can then choose what can be salvaged from your valuables and discard anything too damaged.
Likewise, when dealing with fire, you will need professional cleaners for your home’s floors, walls, carpets, furniture, and other areas. You should also go through the valuables and put aside anything that can be saved before discarding all items that are too damaged by the fire.
You must also pay attention to hidden areas when cleaning your home after a storm or fire. For example, you should hire air duct cleaning services to remove any pollutants that may have entered vents. In addition, water and smoke affect your HVAC unit, making it another critical place to clean after a disaster.
Hire Emergency Services
Storm and fire damage can damage your home’s utilities. Therefore, one of the first things to do when restoring your home is to hire emergency services to take care of your utilities. This will help to ensure that your home is safe and liveable.
Plumbing is one of the top services you’ll need after a storm or fire. If you’re dealing with a fire, chances are that your water pipes (PVC and PEX) and other plastic fixtures have sustained extensive damage. Therefore, you’ll need to either restore or replace them before.
Likewise, a storm can cause extensive damage to your plumbing system by clogging the drain lines. Wastewater and debris can also enter your water pipes, contaminating your water supply. Therefore, you need to hire a 24 hour emergency plumber to restore your plumbing system when dealing with either storm or fire damage.
Besides plumbing, electrical services are vital when restoring your home after a storm or fire disaster. The wiring and electrical appliances will likely sustain extensive damage during a fire, especially an electrical one. Likewise, water from a storm can cause hidden damage to your electrical system and repairs. Therefore, you must hire an electrician to repair your home after a fire or storm.
Unfortunately, electrical repairs after a fire or storm can take too long, especially if you have to rewire the entire house. On top of that, a storm can damage the electrical grid, which can take a long time to fix. So, in such cases, you’re better off acquiring an emergency generator for your home. This will provide an alternative power source before your mains electricity supply returns online.
Repair the Damaged Areas of Your Home
A disaster like a storm or fire will likely cause extensive damage to your home, from the roof, walls, floors, ceiling, and other areas. As a result, home repairs will be another vital task when planning storm and fire restoration Washington TX.
The walls are one of the top areas likely to be damaged by a storm or fire. Fortunately, you can restore your walls in several ways, provided they haven’t suffered structural damage. One of the top ways to restore your home after a disaster is by painting your walls- an excellent option for interior and exterior walls. Besides painting, you can renovate your walls with new tiles, drywall, wallpaper, and siding.
Besides the walls, you may also need storm and fire damage restoration for your floors. If your floors have minimal damage, you can restore them through refinishing solutions such as painting, staining, and applying a fresh coating. However, if the water and fire have caused extensive damage, the best solution is to replace the flooring.
Windows and doors are other common features affected during a storm or fire disaster. Unfortunately, the damage in these areas is likely to be extensive. Therefore, door and window replacement is another project you need to budget for when restoring your home.
Renovate Your Roof
Another area of your home that is likely to suffer significant damage after a fire or storm is the roof. In the case of a fire, the intense heat can eat through the roofing material, reducing it to a pile of ashes. According to Porch, fire – and the water used to put it out -can also cause extensive damage to your roof’s insulation.
Likewise, a storm can cause massive damage to your roof structure. For example, strong winds, ice, snow, and water can severely damage your roof shingles, fascia board, insulation, gutters, and other roofing structures. Therefore, renovating your roof is another vital project when planning for storm and fire restoration Washington TX.
If the damage caused is minimal, you can restore your home through roof repairs. For example, in the case of a fire, you can replace the insulation if the rest of the roof is still intact. Likewise, you can restore your roof by repairing or replacing missing or damaged shingles after storm damage.
However, you’re better off hiring roofing contractors to perform a complete replacement for more extensive damage. This is especially vital if your roof’s structural integrity has been compromised. Fortunately, most homeowner’s insurance policies cover damages caused by fires and storms.
Clean and Spruce Up the Exterior
During a fire or storm, the damage to your home is not always limited to the interiors. Instead, outdoor areas can suffer just as much damage. Therefore, exterior repairs will also be vital to your storm and fire restoration Washington TX.
Trees are one of the top exterior features that can sustain extensive damage, especially during a storm. Heavy winds can cause tree branches to fall and, in extreme cases, even uproot trees. Therefore, you’ll need to hire storm damage tree services when restoring your home to remove damaged trees.
Like water, fires can damage trees and other landscape features. This can happen if a house fire is too intense, thus spreading outdoors. Also, according to Safewise, about 4% of house fires start outside. Therefore, you might also need tree and landscape services to restore your home’s exterior after a fire disaster.
Outdoor appliances can also suffer damage during a fire or a storm. These appliances include your HVAC unit, water heater, and outdoor kitchen appliances. Therefore, you’ll need to repair or replace them when restoring your home.
Protect Your Home From Future Incidents
As a homeowner, storms and fires are a constant threat to your home, which can strike at any time. Therefore, you should plan to protect your home from future damage during a storm and fire restoration Washington TX.
The good news is that you can employ several techniques to protect your property from future disasters. For example, you can stormproof your house by sealing the gaps around your doors and windows, keeping your roof in perfect condition, and maintaining the drainage system around your property. Other storm protection tips include installing windows shutters and wall sidings.
Likewise, you can use several tips to protect your home from fire damage. For example, you can use fire-retardant materials (paint, insulation, siding, etc.) on your walls, floors, and roofs. You can also upgrade your doors and windows – replacing them with fire-resistant ones.
Another way to protect your home is by installing security features such as smoke detectors, sprinklers, and flood sensors. You can also keep your home safe from fire and storm damage by updating your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Fire and storm damage can cause extensive damage to your home, which can be costly. Such disasters can also make your home uninhabitable, thus severely disrupting your day-to-day life. Fortunately, you can have your home looking new again with the above tips for storm and fire restoration Washington TX.