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You Experienced a Fire…Now What?

Smoke replaced pure air as flames engulfed your home. Your family and pets hopefully made it out safely from one of the scariest things that could happen to you—a fire. Your family’s safety is the most important thing after you experience a fire. But what do you do afterward? It’s a shocking experience, but here are the steps you could take to ensure fire restoration to your home.

Step One: Call 911

After making sure your family and pets are safe, you need to call the authorities. Let them know you are safe, and notify them if anyone is injured. Do not re-enter your home until the authorities tell you it is okay. Contact any family members and friends if you want to, to let them know you’re all right.

Step Two: Call a Fire Restoration Company

This step should happen within 48 hours of the fire. Make an appointment with your local fire restoration company to allow professionals to begin the cleanup process right away. Even if the fire was small, still be sure to make an appointment. The sooner you call them, the sooner the company can work on getting your house back to normal.

Step Three: Find Temporary Housing

It is a great idea to find temporary housing until your home is safe to enter. Smoke can linger for a few days, and it can be harmful to your health. Give your family and friends a call to see if they can help. If that is not an option, talk to your insurance company to see if they can reimburse you for a few nights at a hotel.

Step Four: Speak With Your Insurance Company

At some point, you will need to create an inventory list of important things you need to be replaced. According to Equifax.com, your damaged items list should include the item, the brand name, the price you paid, the serial number, model, or description of each item. Pictures of lost items are helpful as well.

In the United States, there is a home fire every minute and a half. Kelley Klean is a full-service restoration company with 30 years of experience restoring properties from fire damage. We are proud to be the restoration contractor of choice in the Mid-Missouri area. If an unexpected fire has occurred on your property, give Kelley Klean a call at 573-214-0990!

How to Handle Smoke Damage

smoke damage

Photo by Andrew Gaines on Unsplash

Smoke damage can be devastating to a property and its value. Has your property been damaged by a fire? We have written before about Fire Damage Restoration Myths and What to Actually Expect Instead. One of the main problems that may remain once the fire has been put out is smoke damage. When your property has been damaged by a fire and experienced smoke damage, then you will need to remove both soot and odor from the damaged areas. Sometimes people don’t realize the difference between these two things. Soot is the visible residue that remains after a fire. It can be oily or dry. Either way, it needs to be removed. Along with this physical residue, there is usually a lingering odor after your property has experienced a fire. Make sure to completely remove this odor also to handle smoke damage properly.

Smoke Damage – Soot Removal

Cleaning up after a fire is not easy. It can be emotional and time-consuming. This is not a DIY job. If you have experienced a serious fire, then you need professional help cleaning up. One thing that will need to be cleaned up is soot left from the fire itself. First, you will need to determine if the soot is oily or dry because they require different removal techniques. When you choose Kelley Klean, we can help you with all of this. We will be able to determine the type of soot and ensure professional removal using materials that are gentle on the air quality and surfaces of the property.

Smoke Damage – Odor Removal

You can see soot after a fire, but odor removal is more elusive. Smoke odors will have affected ceilings, walls, and other areas. The biggest key is removing these odors, not covering them up. We have written before about How to Remove Intense Odors from Your Home. Some of these DIY techniques can be effective in some odor removal from smoke damage, but they won’t remove all the odor. To completely remove an odor caused by smoke damage, technique and time are key factors. In terms of technique, Kelley Klean has developed several tools which break apart the molecular structure of the odor present. This causes the odor to disperse completely and removes the odor at its source. Timing is crucial! You will want to have this work done as soon as possible.

The longer an odor remains, the more damage it causes. Call Kelley Klean today if you have experienced a fire so that we can help you handle the soot and odor removal from your property.

Three Times You Should Clean Your HVAC System

HVAC system cleaning is an often overlooked part of maintaining your home. Though cleaning the ducts and changing the filters may slip your mind, it can have a huge impact on the quality of air throughout your house. There are three situations where you should clean your HVAC system. Follow these tips and the air in your house will be fresh and easier on allergy sufferers!

After a Heavy Pollen Season or Other Allergen Infestation

The first time you should clean your HVAC system is after a pollen heavy season. Spring is the most common offender. However, each area is different. Some regions also experience a lot of pollen bloom in the summer or the fall. You’ll have to consider your local seasons to determine when it makes the most sense to get your HVAC system cleaning taken care of.

Pollen enters your home through the windows, doors, and even on your hair and clothes. Once it’s in your house it enters your air system. A good filter will catch it, but it’s easy for them to get clogged after a year or more of use. That leaves the pollen in your house to just recirculate time and time again.

The same is true if you have other allergies. Pet dander can also remain in a ventilation system long after the cause has been removed from the house. If you’re still struggling to breathe properly after your sister’s cat visited three weeks ago, it’s time to get your HVAC system cleaned. It can make all the difference.

After a Fire

In the wake of a fire, there’s a lot to consider. Your HVAC system cleaning may be the least of your worries at first. If you’ve only suffered a minor fire, or once everything else has been restored, turn your attention to this issue. Your HVAC system may track unpleasant, smokey odors throughout the house. Give yourself a fresh start by changing the air filter and making sure all the smoke residue and soot is out of your ducts.

Once Yearly as Maintenance

If you don’t experience a lot of allergens or fires, it’s easy to put your HVAC system cleaning on the back burner. While these are the most dramatic causes of odor and air congestion in your home, there are others. Dust can get into your vents and lessen the “freshness” inside. This can build up slowly over time, so you rarely realize how bad it is until after you’ve had it cleaned. Getting your ducts cleaned yearly is part of a good home maintenance schedule!

HVAC system cleaning isn’t often on your radar unless there’s something wrong. Getting a yearly cleaning will reduce the creep of odor into your life. An emergency cleaning after a fire goes a long way towards making your home pleasant again. Pollen and other allergens are also great reasons to clean your HVAC!

Why Professional Cleaning is Needed for Smoke Odor Removal

Cleaning a smoker’s home is a difficult proposition, especially renovating a property that you inherited, or dealing with the fallout from a smoking tenant in a non-smoking property. It’s the kind of job you want to leave to the professionals. They have the experience to deal with smoke damage to every surface, paired with the technology to back it up. Don’t try to mask odors and end up dealing with a series of temporary owners. Instead, have smoke odor removal completed professionally. Contact a professional restoration company and destroy odor at its source.

Everything in the Home Will Be Affected

One of the man reasons to hire a professional cleaning crew to handle a smoker’s home is that it won’t be a small job. Even renovating an apartment is a huge task. The residual smoke odors seep into everything, from the paint to the drapes, to the carpet and beyond.  Months or years of smoking won’t come out of the home easily. Thankfully, a professional crew works efficiently to restore the home to its best condition in possibly years. Amateurs can’t compete over the long haul, and every smoker’s home is a long haul of smoke odor removal.

Technology is Key to Fighting Odor

There’s no amount of air freshener that can perk up the inside of a smoker’s house. Air fresheners are designed to mask odors, not eradicate them. You may not notice the smell for a while, but eventually, the smoke odor returns, always outlasting anything you put on top of it. However, professional cleaning with a restoration company works smarter, not harder. They actually perform smoke odor removal, not masking.

Modern cleaning technology allows restoration companies to tackle a foul odor at the source, right down to the molecular level. Breaking those bonds dissipates the smell, resulting in a cleaner, fresher apartment. It’s a lot better than just having the illusion of one.

Dealing with Soot and Stains

Odor is a significant problem with any smoker’s homes. Before taking care of it, it most likely holds all of your attention. However, once you handle the odor problem, other issues come into focus. Because smoke builds up over time, the property will also suffer from dinginess and stains. A professional cleaning strips that all away, making “frosted” windows shine like new. It also removes the buildup of smoke residue from walls, appliances, and carpets. A professional restoration team can assess what it would take to turn smoke damaged upholstery, furniture, and more into clean and useful pieces. In some cases, you save more money by replacing the damaged furniture.

Restoration of a smoker’s home is never easy, but not impossible. Professionals use the right technology to combat odors. They even find out what it would take to make the rest of the apartment like new, and then let you make the call to replace or restore. They’re also equipped to handle a job as challenging and complex as restoring a smoker’s home. Smoke odor removal is a challenge, but they’re up for it.