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Fire Damage: Think Like the Pros

Fire damage is nothing short of a catastrophe. As a victim, you’re left looking at the black rubble left before you. It’s surreal. It hasn’t sunk in yet. You want to thumb through your belongings to salvage something from your past. You’re wondering if there is any reason at all to be optimistic.

Although fire damage pros see the same devastation, they view it through a different lens.

You see fire damage; fire pros see restoration potential.  You see before. They see after.  

When you see fire damage you’re looking at the burned edges of your home. You’re looking at black windows, burned up parts of your stove, bits of your dryer and the coils from your mattress.

For a moment, if you can, see the damage through their eyes. Fire damage pros see proteins, natural materials and synthetic materials.

Fire Damage: You See Soot; We See Protein

Whereas you see the burned-up parts of your stove, fire damage pros are looking at proteins. We’re looking for a greasy, yellowish, brownish substance that’s hard to see to the naked eye but puts off a strong smell. It looks like it’s sticky if you can see it. That’s protein residue. Protein burns slowly, which gives more time for the smell to penetrate your cabinets, floor boards, and duct work. It can also damage your paints and varnish.

You’ll be tempted to clean it; but don’t. You don’t have the right chemicals for the job.

Fire damage pros have far more tools at their disposal. See them here.

Fire Damage: You See Black; We See Natural Substances

When you’re looking at what’s left over from the fire, you’ll see a big heap with a few random objects peppered in that oddly survived. Maybe you’ll see your dining room table, an antique dresser or remnants of your favorite book. You’ll feel weird, like you can’t make sense of what happened.

Fire damage pros don’t see it that way. They’re looking for natural substances. When you burn paper or wood, one of the byproducts is residue and odor. When natural substances like paper or wood burn they grey and black and feels like powder. Individual smoke particles are about the size of .004 microns. To put that in perspective it’s far smaller than a speck of glitter.

Every tiny particle can produce an odor and because they’re so tiny, when they’re trapped in the tiny cavities in your dining room table or your antique dresser, you’ll be able to smell it. But smoke damage doesn’t only happen where you can see it. Smoke can seep past the drywall and stick to the frame of your home.

You’ll be tempted to jump in and start cleaning, but don’t. You’ll want to grab a sponge and start scrubbing. Don’t. Instead, let a fire damage pro handle the problem. If you start cleaning and you don’t do it correctly, you won’t fix the problem, you’ll make it worse.

Why? When you have soot and fire damage, you’re dealing with a chemical reaction. A fire damage pro will first do an emergency pre-cleaning to halt the damage. Then, fire damage pros may clean up the odor with ozone. Ozone, an olfactory desensitizer, works by generating the molecule ozone. That’s 03. This molecule is reactive, and in a process called oxidation, the extra oxygen atom attached itself to other molecules and the pungent smell is eliminated.

You see devastation; fire damage pros see chemistry.

Fire Damage: You See Melted Computers; We See Synthetics  

When you’re looking at the damage, you’re seeing all the memories you had like, perhaps, the first computer you built or an old DVD that mysteriously survived the blaze.

Fire damage pros see synthetics.

When oil based materials burn—like your carpet, draperies, or the first computer you built—they’ll leave behind a thick, black residue. It will smear when you touch it. The problem with synthetic damage is that when it burns it starts a chain of chemical reactions. This means you need the right chemicals to solve the problem and it needs to be immediately addressed. If you don’t know what you’re doing, and you don’t have the proper chemicals to clean it, you’re going to make your problem worse.

In the end, when you’re looking at your fire damage, you’ll see so many things: you’ll see memories that burned with property, you’ll see melted bits of plastic that once housed your family photos and you’ll see devastation.

But when you call a fire damage professional, it’s our desire that you see something far more. Yes, we want you to see the synthetics, the natural materials and the proteins. But we also want you to see something far greater than that: hope.

Fire Damage: Compleat Restorations Restores Your Property and Your Life

Ultimately, when you’re dealing with fire damage it’s critical to call an experienced fire damage professional as soon as possible. You can’t do this alone. But we can help you restore your property and your life. 

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