Here’s something you might not know — that dealing with a house fire more often than not first requires dealing with water and mold damage. Sound strange? Well, just think about it for a second…
What do firefighters use to get rid of fires? They use water, of course — lots of it. Unfortunately, this water usually creates a flood of sorts. This flood leads to water damage and the formation of mold. It’s practically inevitable.
What makes this situation so frustrating is that you cannot even deal with the fire damage (the damage created by soot and smoke) until you first deal with the water and mold damage. So how exactly do you go about doing this?
Professional Water RestorationYour best bet is to seek the services of a water restoration company. These entities are trained to deal with water and mold damage. In fact, your even better bet would be to sign up for service with a full-service, professional restoration company, i.e., one capable of dealing with water, mold AND fire damage.
Obviously, investing in a professional restoration job means spending lots of money. However, there are many benefits to doing this:
Protect YourselfThe first thing you need to do is protect yourself by turning off the power and putting on some safety gear. The last thing you want to do is either get electrocuted or get sick. Avoid taking any risks and play smart.
Aerate Your HomeWe’re going to assume you don’t have a commercial-grade dehumidifier. With that said, you’re going to need to accelerate the drying process. The best way to do this is by opening every single window. Also turn on any battery-operated fans, if you have them.
Get Rid Of The WaterOnce the power is turned off and you’re protected, it’s time to get rid of all the water. The easiest way to do this is via a sump pump. The hardest way to do it is with a mop and bucket. The method you choose is going to be dependent on both your budget, as well as the extent of the damage. Regardless, you have to get rid of the water before you can go any further!
Remove MoldAfter you get rid of the water, you then need to get rid of the mold. Be very careful with this step. Mishandling mold can ultimately make you sick. The only thing you’ll really be able to do is slowly but surely scoop and dispose of all the mold in your home by scraping, scrubbing and whatnot. It’s a painstaking process, but it’s what’s required. It would also help, mind you, if you have access to HEPA filter vacuum cleaners.
Repair DamageLast but not least, you need to repair your home. This might mean installing new drywall, replacing laminate floor planks, drying out your carpet, etc. The type of repair required will differ based on the type of objects and materials affected. Realize upfront that you will not be able to repair everything. Some objects are going to have to be discarded. Realize also that the longer it takes you to get to this step, the more likely it is that your possessions are not going to be salvageable.