Fire Damage Remediation

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smoke damage repair cleaning tips and fire damage remediation process.

Introduction to Fire Damage Remediation

The fire damage remediation process is about assessing the property, starting with removal of all debris including furniture, doors, un-repairables, and any damaged portions of the home that are complete losses. The next step is the cleaning of chemicals left from fire crews, cleaning of any hazards left from appliances that were destroyed in the fire, and possibly more in depth cleaning depending on who you contract to do the work. 

Picture of burning home prior to fire damage remediation.

What is the Meaning of Fire Remediation?

Fire Damage Remediation is often included in the definition of fire restoration process, but in fact,  some fire remediation companies do not do fire restoration work. The meaning of fire damage remediation is handling cleanup and debris removal, but not including anything from the fire restoration process.

Often, other problems will be created from the work done putting out the fire. For example, the water used causes damages, often flood remediation, and even mold remediation will be needed. This is partially why a remediation company can be vital to a project, and also why another restoration company may be called in for later work. Be sure to make sure what parts of the work will be covered in your contract for any part of the fire restoration project. Orange Restoration is a full service restoration company with remediation experts for fire, mold, and water damages.


Fire Damage Remediation Safety Considerations

Safety should always be a top priority in any fire damage situation. Emphasizing this is critical to prevent further harm or damages to your property. We do not recommend doing your own fire restoration, but we do have some resources for how to use cleaners and proper use of PPE on our various blogs. If you have a small project, please take a look at our DIY Soot Cleaning article, there are lots of pointers there that can help for smaller projects. Also, make sure before dealing with any fire damage that you understand the threats associated with Ultrafine Particulates (UFPs) that can come from fires, fire crews, or smoke damages.


Hiring Fire Damage Remediation Professionals 

It’s vital to stress the importance of hiring reputable professionals for fire damage remediation and restoration to ensure a successful outcome of returning your home to normal. While we constantly steer homeowners away from doing any of this without a professional, we understand you want your home back. Hiring our team will be the quickest way to get your project through all the insurance, the process of cleaning, and restoring your property to a new beginning. 


Fire Damage Assessment and Damage Extent

The fire damage assessment and the extent of the damage is very important for managing timelines, expectations, and costs. Each fire is sporadically created differently, and in how it causes damages, and the various conditions make each fire damage work site unique. Many times, fire damage work sites will have hidden surprises. Some surprises might be flooded compartments due to fire sprinkler malfunctions. There are also project examples where sprinklers worked well to preserve the interior of the home. In this case, all the exterior looks horrible, and water damage restoration needs to be done internally, while most of the fire restoration is external to the home.


Getting an assessment of the state of the property and the extent of the damage is important. In some cases, for the safety of the property, you may need to consider getting board up services. Board up services can protect your home from further damages, liabilities and from unwanted intruders. Part of the assessment should consider future risks of liabilities, more loss, more damage, and how to protect professionals or anyone else who may need to access the property. 


Hiring restoration professionals will really help to speed up all this process. Our team has completed many projects of all sizes, from small fire restoration jobs to responding to wildfires with extensive damage for multiple homes. We know how to assess, avoid surprises as we know the process, and the costs for managing the fire damage restoration from all aspects. Our team can look at a section of damage and make quick and accurate assessments for damage repairs.


Frequently, smoke damage has a way of exaggerating the appearance of things. Our professionals can assess the depth of the damage and make educated assessments on if the repair costs outweigh the costs of replacing. You can look at our extensive list of fire damage and smoke damage restoration services on our fire damage services page.


Documentation and Costs Associated with Fire Damage Remediation

Orange Restoration is known for the quality level of documentation and photography of the damages and work in progress. Also, we handle multiple trades, so when we need documentation from a plumber, electrician, or flood mitigation, we handle all these services! So our clients can expect all files, documents, notes, and photos to be in the right format, organized professionally, and expedited to the insurance company for their assessors. We want you to get paid by insurance ASAP! 


Over the 20+ years of service, we modified our business and created partnerships to make sure we act as a solid support for your life being rapidly restored to normal as soon as humanly possible. Along the way through the restoration process we will work to be transparent via clear documentation, photos, plans and financial needs for completion. Our team is known for this transparency with both insurance and local customer base. We are 5 stars rating on nearly every platform including Google, Yelp, BBB, and also Facebook.


Timelines and Expectations for Repairs

After professional assessment, our team will provide information on when it’s safe to return and the variability in restoration timeline. We understand, getting the information on the timeline is important for those dealing with fire damage. Your insurance company, our team, your family, your work and neighbors will probably all be asking far too many questions, and you may only have one. 

“When Will My Home Be Normal Again?”

We truly understand that waiting for answers, getting different answers, and unclear outlines for the process of restoring your home can be frustrating. The timeline on a project may be a little complex for other companies to assess, this is often because they need to count on multiple contractors to do various things, and they need to wait. While our team may not have perfect accuracy in our timelines, we will be able to more rapidly assess the timeline.


Our team does absolutely everything needed for the fire damage restoration process while having multiple vendors in-house which speeds up the process. We are prepared to get it done quicker than any other restoration company because of our partnerships and continued education in our trade services.

Complete Home Restoration

While the initial steps of fire damage remediation are crucial for cleaning up and securing your property, it’s essential to recognize that comprehensive home restoration goes beyond these initial measures. Fire damage remediation focuses on removing debris, cleaning chemicals, and addressing immediate hazards, but it often doesn’t cover the broader scope of restoring your home to its pre-fire condition. Additional challenges may arise from the aftermath, such as water damages and air quality issues such as the presence of ultrafine particles (UFPs), necessitating the specialized attention and expertise of a pro.


To ensure a successful and expedited recovery process, it’s vital to hire experienced professionals who can handle the entire spectrum of fire damage restoration work. This comprehensive approach considers assessment, mitigation of hidden surprises, board-up services, and expert documentation, all of which contribute to a more transparent and efficient process. 

Our team at Orange Restoration is well-equipped to provide you with a holistic solution, not just for fire damage remediation but for complete home restoration! Offering clarity on timelines and expectations while maintaining a focus on safety and quality work. Our commitment to transparency, extensive documentation, and partnerships ensures that your life can be restored to normal as quickly as possible, backed by our track record of 5-star ratings and customer satisfaction. 


Restoring your home after a fire is not just about addressing the visible damage but also about returning your life to a state of normalcy, and that’s precisely what our team is here to help you achieve.


11 Steps to Fire Damage Restoration Processes


Fire Damage Restoration Processes and Procedures

If you are experiencing the aftermath of a fire, this can be an overwhelming disaster. No one should have to go through this experience. Handling the aftermath of a fire has been seen through the goggles of far too many trained professionals to not start this blog off with stating most cases of fire and smoke damage should be handled by fire remediation professionals. 

fire and smoke damage repair tips

What is the Meaning of Fire Damage Remediation?

Fire damage remediation is the work that comes after the fire and before the rebuild or fire damage restoration efforts. More specifically, fire remediation is the clean up work after a fire, but this means removal of charred soot damage, destroyed furnishing, and cutting out damaged framework. Also the clean-up associated with after the fire crews have extinguished the fire are included within the fire remediation services. While many might think that all fire remediation companies would also restore the home, only fire restoration companies do the rebuilding or reconstruction. Orange Restoration has 20 years of experience handling massive remediation and fire damage restoration projects.


How Long After a Fire Can You Go Back?

Safety is still a first priority after securing everyone from the fire. Let’s make sure no more risks of harm come from this mess by making sure to use proper PPE and making sure to steer clear of any other major risks structurally or otherwise. The environment after a fire is not the same as it was before, the structure found is the remains of a once safe space you may have called “home”, but it is no longer deemed safe by any means. Going back to the property of your home after a fire is not recommended. 



If you hire a reputable fire damage restoration company, you might be able to go back to the property to view it as their work shows some progress, but always ask a professional before you proceed. Also, when asking for access to a fire site aftermath, make sure to state why you are needing access and what you plan to do. Even while someone may have approved your access to the fire restoration work site, that does not mean it is safe space or safe to breathe!

As a fire restoration company, we often get the question, “when will my home be back to normal?” The answer will always be unique as no fire damage restoration project ever has the same timeline.  

fire damage restoration

How do You Restore After A Fire?

It’s crucial to prioritize safety, make informed decisions, and have a clear plan in place for restoring your home. In this brief guide to the steps, we’ll draw upon insights from experts and experienced professionals to help you navigate the process of fire damage restoration of your home. Here are 11 specific thresholds and tasks of the fire restoration process and what to look for.

Prioritize Safety: The first and foremost priority is safety. After ensuring the safety of everyone involved and mitigating immediate risks, it’s essential to understand that returning to a fire-damaged property is not recommended. The post-fire environment is vastly different and potentially hazardous.

Handling Insurance Claims: We are lucky in California, which has a robust fire insurance system in place. Discuss the following key points with your insurance agent:

1) Referral for a reputable fire restoration contractor like Orange Restoration, ask about us if you like, or see our 5 star Google & Yelp reviews!

2) A detailed list of damages to your property.

3) & the claims release duration.

Hiring A Fire Damage Restoration Expert: Promptly contacting a restoration professional that can help determine the duration needed for the rebuilding process. Also, make sure to determine when their start date will be, until then you may need to secure the property.

Assess the Extent of Damage: Before restoration work begins, a fire damage restoration professional will assess the damage to your property. They will inspect your house for structural damages in components like load-bearing walls, columns, beams, and other critical cornerstone elements. Understanding the extent of the damage is crucial, and these professionals can often connect you with licensed electricians and plumbers to address the damages effectively.

Secure Your Property: Once the restoration work commences, protecting your property from vandalism and accidents is essential. Work with your restoration team to secure the area, which may include measures such as fencing off your land and boarding up windows and doors. If the restoration company cannot start right away, make sure to seek support to handle securing the fire work site.

Structural Repairs: The structural components of your home should be addressed first by professionals. They will replace joists, beams, columns, and other structural components that have been irreparably damaged by the fire.

Electrical System Repair: Before new structures, walls, and appliances can be installed to your home, restoring your utility systems is necessary. The electrical system is particularly susceptible to fire damage. It must be thoroughly inspected, and any damaged components replaced. This inspection includes everything from the power supply to plug-in points, making sure SDG&E knows you are reconnecting after a fire shut off.

Address Fire-Specific Damage: A fire leaves behind more than just structural damage. It often leaves soot residue, smoke stains, and contaminated air ducts.

Restoring Room by Room: Restoring an entire home after a fire can be an overwhelming task. To make it more manageable, work with your restoration professionals to tackle one room at a time.

Document Everything: Take photographs, retain invoices, receipts, and all paperwork related to the restoration. Digitalize these records to create a comprehensive folder that can serve as evidence of the extent of the damages, the resources expended, and the professionals involved.

Plan for Costs: The cost of rebuilding a home after a fire can vary widely, ranging from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands. Be prepared for these costs and explore insurance options if you reside in areas prone to wildfires. Also, when discussing the rebuild, if you want modifications to the way things were before, let your builder know, you may need to pay out of pocket to do this, but some changes are worth it.


What is the Best Cleaner for Fire Damage?

For each application, there may be a different solution, but most commonly, homeowners asking this are referring to cleaning soot and chard stains on otherwise undamaged remains. For cleaning this mess, we suggest products with trisodium phosphate (TSP) , a very effective, but caustic, burning skin and other organic materials it comes in contact. Make sure to read the safety instructions for any products containing TSP, use proper safety equipment. Before using TSP on a higher priority item, begin working on a test area or with something less valuable to learn how to use the solution. Remember to follow the product instructions first.

Fire Damage Restoration can be done on some fixtures , but often if they were fire adjacent they will have smoke damage and require some real elbow grease in the fire damage restoration process.

Often if cabinets were fire adjacent they will have smoke damage and need to be thrown out or may require some real elbow grease in the fire damage restoration process.

What Should I Throw Away After Smoke Damage?

Anything that can easily be replaced should immediately be removed, cleaning smoke damage is not worth doing if you can replace something new. Another article mentions throwing perishable food items away, but unless the fire damage and exposure was minimal, tossing all food items might be a good idea. Checking with the fire remediation experts may be a good idea to determine what would be safe to keep if restored properly. Later, those that are doing the restoration efforts will determine if they can save the items from the smoke and fire exposure.


What Happens if You Don’t Rebuild After Fire?

Homeowners seem to ask this question as if they are obligated to rebuild, no they are not. They may be required to pay off past debts like their mortgage, but they can do as they please, given they have many options. Oftentimes, the life cost of living in temporary housing, moving out and back in are too much trouble. Taking the insurance pay out and starting fresh may be a good idea. It is ok to do that, someone will relish at the opportunity to start fresh building at your old property.


Orange Wrap-Up

Restoring your home after a fire is a complex process that requires careful planning, professional expertise, and a focus on safety. While the timeline for each restoration project varies, having a clear plan in place and consulting with experienced professionals will help you navigate this challenging journey. Remember that, despite the hardships, your home can be rebuilt, and with the right resources and support, you can look forward to a brighter future.

Cooking Tips to Prevent Kitchen Fires

Have soot and char on your walls after a fire? Yes, you can clean Smoke Damage yourself.

Smoke Damage on outside of the building.

Fire Damage – Jewish Camp Spared Through Extensive Restoration

Orange Restoration San Diego fire damage team

Fire damage swept through Camp Mountain Chai, smoke and soot damage left a stench in the air. Trees were down or damaged, and the soot’s acid nature threatened the camp’s facilities. A lot of work would have to be done before the camp could reopen. Read how Orange Restoration San Diego restored the local campground.

The Negative Effects of Smoke and Fire Damage

smoke and fire damage repair

Smoke damage and even a fairly small, non-devastating fire can have extensive consequences, some of which may not be immediately apparent to the average person. In order to identify and moderate the negative effects of fire damage and smoke damage, you need to call a professional ASAP.

Electrical Fire Damage & DIY Fire Restorations [VIDEO]

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electrical fire tips

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Fire Damage Restoration Processes and Proceedure

fire damages home

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Fire Damage: Critical First Steps to Restore Your Property [VIDEO]

fireman controlling fire damage

Fire Damage can really set you back and is heartbreaking for most families. Orange Restoration San Diego gives you all the tips you need to assess and decide on how you deal with Fire Damage Repair.