First Hand Account of House Fire Cleanup in Marietta
So when a homeowner first calls SERVPRO of East Cobb after a house fire, they are typically looking for some reassurance that things are going to get better. They have hundreds of questions running through their heads and are dealing with a ton of stress, but the recurring thought in their head is, “I hope the person on the other end of this call cares about my home as if its their own.” SERVPRO professionals help homeowners regain a sense of control and will care for your home like it is their own.
One of the overwhelming parts of restoring a home after a fire, is the fact that many homeowners have never dealt with a house fire before. Setting aside the possible life-threatening experience they just went through, the aspect of rebuilding and replacing your home and belongings can be very overwhelming. Take solace in the fact that you are not alone and there are people like SERVPRO of East Cobb to help guide you through the restoration process.
The following is an example of how SERVPRO handles and documents an actual fire restoration/cleaning job. While we will not be identifying this customer (or their property), we did get their permission to share their experience working with SERVPRO of East Cobb.
This fire claim was isolated primarily to the master bathroom. The cause of the fire was determined to be an appliance that caught fire. Luckily no one was hurt and the fire was extinguished by the fire department quickly. When the Marietta Fire Department responds to a fire, “it is time to extinguish a fire”. They are not taking any chances on letting the fire flair back up so they use plenty of water to douse the flames. Inevitably the water used to extinguish the fire causes water damage. This is just the nature of putting out fires, and is better than the alternative.
The first thing our team did once the inspection was completed was establish a barrier between the heavily affected areas and lesser affected areas. This was accomplished by isolating the master bathroom from the rest of the house using a poly sheeting barrier with a zipper-door to service as access door. A “decontamination room” was setup adjoined to the zipper door to serve as a transition, in which a technician can “decontaminate” themselves before exiting the heavily affected area.
Demolition in the master bathroom consisted of removing the flooring, sheetrock, insulation as well as both sinks, vanities, marble countertops, and toilet fixtures. Once demolition was completed fans, dehumidifiers, and air-scrubbers were placed around the master bathroom to dry the studs and subfloor. Several days later, after inspecting and documenting that all materials had been dried to IICRC standards, our team of professional cleaners treated, cleaned, and sealed the studs, subfloor, and ceiling joists using antimicrobial treatments like Sporicidin Disinfectant Solution and Kilz Original Primer to prevent smoke odors.
The rest of the house and master bedroom, were primarily damaged by smoke and secondary soot transfer. Very little actual “fire damage” took place in the master bedroom, but the smoke and soot did travel throughout most of the single level home causing an overpowering smoke odor. SERVPRO of East Cobb isolated the HVAC system by turning it off, sealing the registers and returns, cleaning the ducts, and changing the filters in the system. Our restoration specialist documented and packed up textiles and furniture to be cleaned and professionally restored to preloss condition off site using ultrasonic cleaning and other professional restoration methods. The restored items would be repacked and stored in our climate controlled warehouse, ready to be delivered back to our customer’s home at their earliest convenience.
The carpet in the master bedroom was beyond repair due to secondary soot transfer and water damage that occurred during the course of the fire being put out. So the carpet and pad were removed as well as the trim and lower 3 feet of the sheetrock and insulation in the master bedroom. Again, equipment was placed to dry the structure and a similar antimicrobial treatment was applied to the affected areas to prevent mold from growing in the future.
The entire house was literally cleaned from top to bottom. SERVPRO uses a method of cleaning called “Top-to-Bottom Cleaning” which entails using HEPA vacuums, dry-chem sponges, and other professional cleaning products to clean a structure starting with the ceiling and working your down to the floors. Using this method, it reduces the likelihood of resoiling an area that has already been cleaned.
At this point the property was ready for reconstruction. It had been thoroughly cleaned, dried, and deodorized. Our Building and Reconstructive Services Department, never ones to waste time, had already pulled the scope from our Fire Restoration Department and had an estimate ready for the homeowners adjuster almost immediately. Our construction department was even able to include some changes to the bathrooms original design at no additional cost to our customer.