Fire damage restoration is a process that involves assessing and repairing property damaged by smoke and fire. It is part of disaster restoration and should be conducted by a professional.
A home or business owner should contact a restoration company as soon as possible to have the property professionally assessed and cleaned. This will help the restoration process run smoothly and efficiently.
The first step of the fire restoration process is assessing the damage. This step is important because it will help professionals determine which parts of the property need to be restored and which ones should be replaced. It will also help them create a plan for restoring the property.
Once the fire has been extinguished and everyone’s safety is ensured, the assessment team can enter the site. They will use inspection checklists to see what types of damage the facility has suffered. They will also note what items need to be discarded and which ones can be salvaged or repaired.
Industrial fires occur in a variety of settings, from downstream refining and midstream petrochemical and fertilizer facilities; to offshore platforms; to tank farms. In addition to piping, fixed equipment and structural steel are common components in these facilities. API 579 Part 11 describes the fire damage assessment processes for these components and identifies what can be safely re-commissioned and what may require repair or replacement.
Even after fire has been extinguished, smoke residues can cause a lot of damage. This is because it has acidic components and corrosive properties that can affect kitchen appliance finishes, wood and plastic surfaces as well as discolor rugs, wallpaper and carpeting.
It can also tarnish metal and etch glass. Furthermore, it can linger in ductwork and degrade air conditioning systems. This can lead to mold, mildew and other moisture problems.
This can make the area uncomfortable and inhospitable to work in. Additionally, it can cause serious health issues for restoration workers. Carbon-based materials release a wide range of harmful gases when burned, including hydrogen, ammonia, phenols, dioxins and sulfur dioxide. These gases can cause health problems such as lung irritation, nausea and a host of other symptoms.
As such, it’s important to keep indoor pollutants to a minimum through ventilation. This can be done by keeping known sources of pollution out of the building as much as possible, such as smoking, cooking and heating equipment.
Once fire and smoke damage has been repaired, it’s time to remove the contaminants that stain surfaces and make them unusable. This process is referred to as deodorization.
There are several methods for this step, including masking agents, perfumes, fragrances, and counteractants that react with and change the molecular structure of odors. But the best way to get rid of odor is with photocatalytic oxidation, which uses hydrogen peroxide, purified ozone and other active exports to obliterate odor-causing molecules.
Workers should wear personal protective equipment, especially disposable ear and eye protection, while cleaning up after a fire. Inhaling ash, soot and other airborne contaminants can cause a variety of health issues, such as coughing, asthma, irritation to the eyes, throat and nose, headaches and chest pains. Workers should also wear disposable coveralls with hoods and shoe coverings. These protect workers against harmful microbes and airborne chemicals, ensuring they don’t return to a clean environment with a new set of problems.
The cleaning process involves the removal of all traces of smoke, ash and residue. The professionals will use high-quality mixtures and tools to clean all surfaces, walls, doors, furniture, and floors. The process will also involve scrubbing, shampooing, and vacuuming to remove all dirt and debris from these items.
The corrosive nature of ash and soot can cause damage to many materials if it is not removed. Within a matter of hours, plastics can begin to discolor, and metals may tarnish and etch. Smoke residues can also stain fabrics, drapes and carpets.
Protein smoke, created when organic material burns in a low-heat fire, can leave unpleasant odors and discolor painted or varnished surfaces. Greasy yellow residue can also be left behind on kitchen equipment and contents from the burning of oils, butter, meats and other foods. These odors are a challenge to get rid of without professional treatment. Lingering odors can also be a health hazard, especially for sensitive individuals.