DIY Fire Damage Cleanup or Hire a Professional?

When your home has suffered any kind of fire damage, your first priority (after making sure that everyone is safe) is probably to get your home back to normal as quickly as possible. This can be just as emotional as the fire itself as you sort through your possessions and memories.

You’ll probably be tempted to start the cleaning process immediately, even as you and your insurance provider consider the possibility of hiring a professional restoration company. But you might not realize that DIY fire damage cleanup can actually cause more damage to your home and belongings. Here are some of the reasons you should hire a professional restoration company to handle fire damage cleanup.

  1. Smoke damage is just as dangerous as fire damage. Fires don’t just burn; they leave smoke and soot damage behind. Smoke particles embed themselves in walls, ceilings, carpets, furniture and other belongings, and if not removed properly can stick around for years, causing odors as well as potential health problems. Professional restoration companies have specialized equipment that can completely remove the smoke damage from your home. Doing this yourself is almost impossible.
  2. Smoke damage can’t be washed away. It may look as though you can simply wipe the soot and smoke residue away, but this isn’t the case. We’ve seen DIY websites that give people vague steps such as “wash all household items” or “wash walls and ceilings,” but this advice is more damaging than helpful. Specialized equipment must be used to remove traces of smoke and soot damage or you risk rubbing the residue further into the structure. You also should NOT wash your clothes in an everyday washing machine to remove smoke and odor—you’ll more likely just set the damage even further into the fabric. Professional restoration companies can work with you to properly restore your clothing and belongings.
  3. You might throw away salvageable belongings. When you’re working to sort through your possessions by yourself, you may think that certain pieces of furniture or other household items are a lost cause and throw them out. But a professional restoration technician can help you evaluate your belongings with an experienced eye and may even be able to save things you would otherwise have tossed away.
  4. You don’t have the manpower to get the job done quickly. Even if a task related to fire damage cleanup seems easy, the amount of time it will take to restore your house will increase if you attempt to do it yourself. Professionals are called that for a reason—they do this for a living. They have a defined restoration process that quickly and efficiently gets your home back to pre-loss condition, and they know how to handle any complications that may come up.

Most insurance companies cover the cost of a professional restoration company if your home suffers fire damage, so don’t attempt to do any of the work yourself before help arrives. You could be doing more damage than good. Restoration companies like G.W. Savage work with your insurance company to make sure the scope of work will be enough to restore your home to pre-loss condition. That way, you can be reassured that everything is being taken care of properly.