Property fires cause heat, smoke, and water damage, requiring a complex restoration process. Once the Fort Lauderdale authorities determine that your property’s structure is safe for restoration, knowing where to begin can be overwhelming. Here we explain what to expect during a disaster restoration in Fort Lauderdale, so you are prepared for the restoration journey ahead.
Understand the Dangers of Your Property
Following a fire, every property poses potential hazards. This is because the materials used in constructing, decorating, and furnishing your property can contain toxins released during the fire. There are also often chemicals released from cleaning products, paints, etc., stored at your property.
Known as “fire residue,” burned buildings produce a mix of gases, soot, airborne particles, and smoke left in the air and on surfaces after the fire is out. The dangers are severe enough that teams providing disaster restoration in Fort Lauderdale wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce exposure to the following common fire residue toxins:
- Carbon-based materials such as hydrogen, ammonia, tar, and nitrogen oxides
- PVC-related toxins such as hydrogen chloride, phosgene, dioxin, chloromethane, bromomethane, and halocarbons
- Sulfur-related byproducts, including hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, and thiols
- Hazardous mold growth
It is safest to hire a fire restoration company to conduct an assessment and let you know whether it is safe for you to enter the building.
Fire Damage Assessment
Your fire damage restoration service inspects your property to determine the level of damage caused by fire, smoke, and water. The experts determine what items are salvageable, what needs repairs, and what you should remove/replace. Following the assessment, they prepare a recommended plan based on the following:
- Structural integrity evaluation
- Affected areas
- The extent of smoke and soot residue/damage
- Water levels/damage
- Presence of mold
Structural Inspection and Repairs
Post-fire damage assessments evaluate the building’s structural components to determine if materials such as concrete, wood, and steel have maintained their original integrity. Tests are also conducted to determine the fire’s temperature to understand the extent of potential damage to structural components. Various tests are conducted to find defects, including:
- Concrete testing to look for signs of surface cracking and spalling.
- Using a sounding hammer on concrete to measure resonance and determine if destructive testing is required.
- Steel inspection to detect signs of warping, buckling, and twisting.
- Testing for potential chemical contamination or moisture issues that can lead to steel corrosion.
- Inspecting charring to measure structural capacity, rigidity, and stability of wood and joints.
The inspector lists repairs and replacements in priority order so the restoration follows a logical plan that continues to increase the building’s safety.
Restoration Plan and Timeline
A comprehensive restoration plan clearly explains what is involved in your restoration project. It details each step and assigns timelines for each phase of the project. Site plan preparation usually requires an architect/design professional to provide guidance on restoring the building to its original design.
Also, inspections for roof integrity, plumbing, electrical, and wall cavity audits are conducted before submitting the plan to the city for approval. The plan also ensures you have an accurate estimate for fire restoration, providing the required paperwork for your insurance company.
Local Regulations and Permits
Your property restoration in Fort Lauderdale, Fl, will require permits related to the specific restoration required. For example, rebuilding the roof requires a general building permit, while rebuilding the foundation requires Building, Engineering/Construction Mitigation, and Electric Footer Bond permits. Your fire restoration services in Fort Lauderdale must comply with all building codes and regulations.
Ensure the company you hire has extensive Fort Lauderdale experience to know what building permits are required for the work needed for your restoration. They will handle the permitting process and ensure all paperwork is submitted and approved. These steps are conducted with planning and documentation, including whether the property is in a Fort Lauderdale flood zone. In this case, for example, elevation certification and plans are required.
Your fire restoration in Fort Lauderdale depends on financial support from your insurance provider. Your plan and estimate are documented by your restoration services team and submitted to your insurance company. They review your insurance policy to determine what your insurance company will and will not cover and find cost-effective ways to complete the required repair work to bring your property up to code.
Insurance documentation and communication require understanding the restoration process, so having your fire restoration service liaise with your insurance provider ensures you receive the full coverage you are entitled to.
Neglecting fire damage mitigation presents a security and safety risk that impacts your property and the entire community. It can also impact your eligibility for insurance coverage. The damage mitigation process includes the following:
- Identifying hazards
- Assessing vulnerabilities
- Developing a mitigation strategy
- Cleanup and repair
- Prevention measures to avoid further damage
Temporary measures help protect the property until the full restoration is complete and typically include the following:
- Fencing around the property
- Covering any openings in the house, such as damaged doors and windows
- Covering holes in the roof to prevent further water damage and wildlife entry
Cleanup includes all affected surfaces, fabrics, and ventilation systems using specialized equipment and professional-grade cleaning agents. Restoration professionals refer to the plan to understand what items require clean-up and repair and what items need to be replaced. The steps required at this phase include:
- Debris removal: All unsalvageable debris is removed from the building.
- Water removal: Water removal prevents mold growth and further corrosion-related damage. The plan outlines whether materials such as drywall and flooring must be removed or if the water removal and drying process will restore the damaged materials. The water is then extracted using equipment such as pumps, and then the final stages using dehumidifiers, air movers, and fans help complete the drying process.
- Smoke and soot damage removal: Soot and smoke particles are removed from all surfaces using a special smoke vacuum to ensure no residue is left behind. Surfaces are cleaned first using a dry scrubbing method before cleaning solutions are used.
- Deodorization: The final step is using special deodorizing agents to eliminate smoke odors.
- Duct cleaning: Duct cleaning is highly recommended to remove the debris left behind after restoration.
Although fire restoration takes time, an experienced fire damage restoration service will make the process easier. For more information about Fire Restoration in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, speak to the experts at Water Resto USA today.