Why Use a Professional for Fire Damage
What isn’t burned or destroyed in a fire is often in need of serious repair. Fires often leave behind soot, smoke, and water damage. The types of damage you have will ultimately affect the cost of repair.
Comparing the Cost of a DIY Cleanup vs. Hiring a Professional
Things to note when considering whether to clean and repair on your own should include the following:
- If attempting to clean or repair items yourself, safety should be your top priority. Mold from water damage, soot, and other contaminants are toxic and may cause long-term health problems if you don’t protect yourself from exposure. There can also be structural damage or exposed building materials such as asbestos after a fire that present hazards.
- Consider the health risks carefully. While it may seem efficient to clean some items yourself (and you sometimes can take extreme precautions), you should know that asthma and other respiratory conditions can be exacerbated by exposure to toxins.
- Consider the costs of DIY cleaning. If you fail to clean water damage properly, mold can return. If you fail to clean soot thoroughly from air ducts or vents, it can spread throughout your home, re-infecting rooms. If this happens, you will have to pay for a professional to do the job correctly.
Estimating Costs for Types of Fire Damage
The cost of fire damage repair depends on several factors, including whether the affected area is a commercial or residential location, whether there’s both water and fire damage, and the size of the affected area.
Water damage repair in Knoxville can cost between $3 to $4 per square foot to repair. This can include extracting water, removing damaged carpet, and dehumidifying the area. If you have mold from the water damage, repair costs could significantly increase.
Soot damage cleanup often costs an estimated $2,000 to $6,000+. Soot is the residue left from the organic matter that burned. There are two types of smoke-dry and oily. You may be able to launder items affected by dry soot yourself, but a professional must clean oily smoke. *It’s best to have an expert review the damage and type of smoke before completing any DIY laundering, mainly to prevent clogging washing and drying machines with soot.
Smoke damage cleanup can range from $800 to $5,000+ depending on the treatment you select and the extent of the damage. You will likely need a professional to complete a thermal fogging or ozone treatment to remove the smell of smoke from your home, furniture, and fabric materials.
What You’ll Need to Compete a DIY Cleanup
If you decide to clean up fire damage yourself, first read our cleanup tips for fire damage.
If the soot isn’t oily, you may be able to clean walls with a disinfectant. If the residue is oily, it will need to be professionally cleaned.
If you have tile flooring, you can likely clean it yourself with a general cleaner. Laminate floors, carpet, and carpet padding will probably need to be replaced. Hardwood floors may need professional refinishing.
Vent and Duct Cleanup
You or a professional will also need to clean air ducts, furnace, and air-conditioning filters to prevent the further spread of soot.
If the soot isn’t oily, you may be able to launder drapes, pillows, and fabric as you would frequently, but you should first consult a professional to avoid damaging laundry appliances. If it’s oily soot, you must utilize professional fabric restoration services.
For items that were only exposed to smoke, such as books, you may be able to remove the smell by enclosing them in a plastic bag with charcoal for a few days. The charcoal will absorb the scent.
The Benefits of Hiring a Professional
Soot and mold are toxic. When a fire ravages a home or office, it can leave behind the smoke, which can harm your health if you don’t handle it properly. We know how to clean residue and mold effectively, which can help ensure you can get back into your home or office as safely and quickly.
Insurance can be challenging. Our experienced staff members will work alongside you to ensure the insurance process is equitable. We have decades of experience navigating the nuances of insurance claims – plus, we’re an approved smoke and fire damage contractor for many Knoxville insurance companies.
After a fire, make sure you hire a company you can count on to help restore your office or home. You can rely on SERVPRO of West Knoxville to help you restore, repair, and rebuild any residential or commercial property.
If you have a fire, water, or smoke damage, call our experienced professionals at 865-690-9658 to schedule a free estimate.