Harrisburg Smoke Damage Repair FAQ

Harrisburg Smoke Damage Repair

Harrisburg Smoke Damage Repair And Restoration FAQ

Have you wondered about the long-term impacts of smoke damage to your building and how to repair smoke damage? Today, Harrisburg real estate owners frequently take steps to minimize smoke damage by seeking repair and restoration services. Even a minor fire sometimes results in extensive smoke damage.

We sat down to discuss smoke damage repair and restoration with Tina from Harrisburg’s ServiceMaster Restore by Holobinko. They specialize in smoke damage repair and restoration for homes and businesses around the Harrisburg region with over 20 years’ experience.

Is it safe to stay in a building with smoke damage?

Most experts answer this question with a resounding “no.” Today, the weight of authority urges homeowners and business owners to obtain prompt smoke damage remediation services. Taking this step ensures the property, and its contents, won’t suffer long term deterioration.

As a preliminary matter, following any building fire, always check with the fire department before re-entering the premises or turning utilities back on again. Protecting your health and safety is a top priority. Assessing structural and utility damage is key when beginning the restoration process-even small fires may cause structural damage to buildings. You’ll want to hire a structural expert to be sure roofs, floors, and staircases won’t collapse unexpectedly before reoccupying fire-damage premises. Additionally, you’ll want to verify the electrical system and other utilities did not sustain damage. In the past, homeowners have sometimes experienced further losses by re-connecting utility services prematurely. Fortunately, this process should not require an extended period of vacancy.

Restoration experts urge clients to seek repair and remediation assistance for smoke damage as quickly as possible following a residential fire. Taking fast action helps restore the quality of indoor air faster and in turn it may ultimately decrease the total cost of a smoke damage cleanup.

Tina recommends always keeping your health paramount.

“There are many variables with each fire/ smoke incident, however someone’s health is something ServiceMaster takes very seriously – we recommend having the smoke damage inspected by an expert before making any decisions,” Tina says.

What constitutes “smoke damage”?

Smoke damage results in both short term and long-term environmental changes inside a home or business. Immediately after a fire, this problem often manifests as unpleasant odors and, frequently, visible ash and soot. Poor interior air quality in the aftermath of a fire may also result in discolored surfaces inside the building, faded fabrics, and even the tarnishing or corrosion of metals. If left alone, persistent smoke odors can remain in some locations weeks, months, or years after a fire.

According to Tina, smoke damage can have a wide definition.

Any building material or item within the building that is contaminated with smoke particulate is considered smoke damage,” Tina says. “Your best bet is to have a local smoke damage restoration expert give you their recommendations.”

Experienced cleaning firms are able to recognize important distinctions between different types of smoke. These characteristics stem from the nature of the fire itself falling into four broad categories:

  • Fuel Oil/ Soot Residues: Heating fires often create thick, black smoke capable of depositing soot onto carpets and furnishings.
  • Dry Smoke Residues: Very hot, rapidly burning fires create fine powdery ash residues.
  • Damp Smoke Residues: Fires that smolder at low temperatures for extended periods may create visible, sticky ash residues.
  • Protein Residues: This type of smoke debris occurs when a kitchen fire causes organic material to disintegrate within the flames.

Can a building be cleaned after smoke damage?

Most people in Harrisburg with a smoke damaged building benefit by obtaining a comprehensive building inspection from an experienced adjuster. It proves important to determine whether or not the cost of repair and restoration will prove financially feasible. Obtaining this inspection as soon as possible offers benefits by reducing costs if administered promptly.

The type of smoke damage impacts recommended cleaning protocols. Attempting to simply wash away some types of fire residues using soap and water may actually expand the scope of the cleanup project.

Tina says most buildings with smoke damage can be cleaned, but its important to have an expert do a test to be sure.

“Most often yes it can be cleaned, however professional test cleaning is the best way to determine if the building will clean after smoke damage,” Tina says.

Can smoke damage be removed?

Fortunately, smoke damage restoration succeeds in restoring a building to a clean, safe condition. In order to remediate smoke damage, a restoration firm may need to replace badly damaged surfaces. Replacing wall panels or dry wall sometimes proves necessary to eliminate embedded lingering odors.

Obtaining adequate ventilation soon after the fire is vital; the longer heavily contaminated smoke lingers in the building, the greater the extent of smoke damage. Smoke contains chemicals capable of corroding metals. If these particles settle onto metal fixtures and remain there for long periods of time, refurbishment costs may increase. Additionally, property owners may need to obtain cleaning in rooms potentially impacted by smoke but not visibly damaged by flames. During a structure fire, smoke may travel through vents in the walls or through pipes to reach other locations in the building. A comprehensive cleanup may require restoring sites outside the fire perimeter.

Does insurance cover smoke damage?

According to Tina, the answer depends upon your specific policy.

Policy pending, most insurance companies will take care of smoke damage loss,” Tina says.  “Please consult with your local agent and then contact ServiceMaster by Holobinko.”

The specific terms of an individual insurance policy determine whether or not insurance will help a homeowner cover the cost of smoke damage repair and restoration. Many insurance companies do pay some portion of restoration costs while other may offer assistance covering building damage. This type of coverage may also help pay for the repair or replacement of personal property impacted by fire or soot.

Most experts urge homeowners to contact an insurer quickly to report fire-related damage. Obtain a copy of the fire department’s official report. Be proactive and take steps to fully document damage to the residence and to personal property. Today, many full-time fire and smoke damage restoration specialists assist homeowners in documenting damage. Ask the firm to provide a copy of its initial inspection report-including photographs of damaged locations- to your insurance adjuster.

How is smoke damage detected?

Property owners have sometimes sustained this type of loss due to smoke entering the home from a nearby conflagration. For instance, a forest fire in the vicinity may impact residences that escaped the flames. In some situations, smoke produces visible signs of damage within a dwelling. Soot particles may settle out of the air and coat furnishings or discolor painted surfaces. Smoke sometimes contains chemicals released during a fire that contribute to scaling, rusting, or peeling.

“ServiceMaster has many processes from presence of odor to visual particulate,” Tina says. “If you cannot see particulate, surface swipes are used to look for soot.”

Does smoke damage harm the value of my house?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, well over a quarter of a million house fires occur in the United States every year. This number does not account for all the other building fires to businesses each year. Does it hurt the building’s value?

According to Tina, it depends.

“It can only harm your building’s value if you do nothing,” Tina says. “Harrisburg’s ServiceMaster by Holobinko will remove all traces of smoke damage and leave your home in a pre-loss condition.”

Two significant fire-related problems involve water damage and damage from soot and smoke. Both types of hazards potentially diminish the value of real estate if left un-repaired. The lingering odors released during a blaze sometimes impacts resale values. A qualified Harrisburg smoke damage restoration expert, like ServiceMaster Restore by Holobinko, will be able to walk you through what will be needed for your building to have its smoke, fire or water damage repaired.

How can I remove the smoke smell after a fire?

Most cleaning experts urge homeowners to contact an experienced Harrisburg fire damage repair and remediation firm to remove the smell of lingering smoke from a home. This process proves complex, since the specific cleaning protocols vary based upon the fire. Cleaning away soot from a wet smoke residue fire usually requires a very different approach than improving indoor air quality following a kitchen fire, and the company you select should have experience with all of it. Our trained restoration technicians focus their attention on identifying the details of the fire.

Is it dangerous to breathe in the smoke smell after a fire?

Yes. A building fire may cause the release of a number of different toxic chemicals into the air. Professional fire fighters wear high quality respirators and other protective gear to shield themselves against contact with hazardous fumes. Their work sometimes exposes them to a wide array of serious environmental threats.

“Any time you are detecting smoke odor with your nose, you are breathing in particulate that triggers your sensory response,” Tina advises. “It is never a good idea to breath in smoke smell for extended periods of time. Everyone has different tolerance levels of smoke inhalation, but it is recommended to avoid smoke smelling areas whenever possible. Always use personal protective equipment and contact your doctor with concerns.” 

Most buildings don’t include as many potentially harmful substances as industrial sites. But house and office fires may still result in the release of toxins Residential blazes may strike in locations where homeowners store household cleaning agents, insecticides, paints, plastics, and other products containing hazardous compounds. Noxious odors from smoke potentially include harmful substances. Young children, seniors, and anyone suffering from lung problems should probably avoid contact with lingering fire smoke damage until it is repaired.

Should people who occupy the building for home or work have concerns about breathing smoke following a fire? Yes. Obtain a qualified Harrisburg smoke cleaning service quickly after one of these incidents.

What is the best way to repair residential smoke damage?

Experts address residential smoke damage in a systematic way. They offer valuable assistance through specific cleaning methods to improve indoor air quality.

Service Master Restore by Holobinko are Harrisburg smoke damage restoration experts. They have decades of experience and pride themselves on exceptional customer service.

Call ServiceMaster by Holobinko to get your smoke damaged Harrisburg building properly cleaned, sanitized, and restored to a pre-loss condition,” Tina says.

Today, a growing number of victims of building fires call upon these specialists. The experts typically perform a comprehensive site inspection and evaluation. After assessing the site, the cleaner prepares a detailed plan for restoring indoor air quality. Steps outlined in this document may include extensive vacuuming and dusting, coupled with the use of chemical cleaning sponges.

Smoke Damage Repair and Restoration: A Smart Idea

Building owners who research Harrisburg smoke damage repair appreciate smoke damage’s dangers. Reaching out to skilled repair and restoration services will eliminate a myriad of potential problems. This investment in your building helps protect both the health of your loved ones and your real estate’s value!

To learn more about your smoke damaged Harrisburg building, contact the experts at ServiceMaster Restore by Holobinko today! You can reach them by phone at 888-604-3064, or reach them at their offices at 221 Plum Street in Lemoyne.