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Old 04-12-2010, 06:02 PM   #1
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cleaning a fire damaged house


We recently purchased a house where we plan to retire in three years or so but right now we are renting it. Well, the renters managed to burn up the master bathroom and the master bedroom and, of course, the rest of the house suffered smoke damage. We have estimates from two companies for the clean up and we have also done some research on the internet. We have yet to see the insurance company's adjuster report but these, in no particular order, are the main things we *think* we have learned about getting rid of the smell:

1. the attic insulation must be replaced
2. ductwork generally doesn't clean up very well
3. the wood in the attic must be sealed
4. the walls/ceiling must be cleaned ... special dry sponges are recommended
5. after cleaning, a process called "thermal fogging" seems to work pretty well
6. after cleaning, a process call "ozoning" seems to work pretty well
7. the walls/ceiling/trim should be primed (sealed) and painted with 2 coats

Also, we were told that ceiling fan motors can't easily be cleaned of soot and as the fans are used, the smell is released into the room. Can anybody comment of these and any other things we should look into? Thanks,

Peyton

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Old 04-15-2010, 12:27 PM   #2
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cleaning a fire damaged house


Peyton,

I currently work as an insurance adjuster that works with water and fire mitigation claims. You seem to be on the right path with your damage.

Most mitigation companies any more will want to use soda blasting. This technique is pretty effective at removing residue and smell.

As far as the cleaning goes, all walls will need to be cleaned, primed, and painted. The insulation will need to be removed as it will hold the smell. Ceiling fans can be cleaned but it is slow. Usually it is just easier to replace from a practicle point of view. Your carpet can also be cleaned if it was not damaged.

Also as a rule of thumb I would highly recommend a general contractor for this type of work. They will handle everything for you with the different companies that will need to be involved in the demo, cleaning, and build back. Just and FYI that most general contractors will charge and additional 20% on top of the estimate. This is called overhead and profit and is money that is supplied to them for the coordination of the different tradesmen. Hope this helps.

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Old 04-15-2010, 05:04 PM   #3
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cleaning a fire damaged house


Quote:
Originally Posted by bradfordw View Post
Peyton,

I currently work as an insurance adjuster that works with water and fire mitigation claims. You seem to be on the right path with your damage.

Most mitigation companies any more will want to use soda blasting. This technique is pretty effective at removing residue and smell.

As far as the cleaning goes, all walls will need to be cleaned, primed, and painted. The insulation will need to be removed as it will hold the smell. Ceiling fans can be cleaned but it is slow. Usually it is just easier to replace from a practicle point of view. Your carpet can also be cleaned if it was not damaged.

Also as a rule of thumb I would highly recommend a general contractor for this type of work. They will handle everything for you with the different companies that will need to be involved in the demo, cleaning, and build back. Just and FYI that most general contractors will charge and additional 20% on top of the estimate. This is called overhead and profit and is money that is supplied to them for the coordination of the different tradesmen. Hope this helps.
Thanks for the response Bradford. One of the companies interviewed did mention soda blasting ... for the attic I think ... but the guy couldn't explain it. How does it work? It sounds terribly messy but then I don't know what it is.

I am particularly afraid that the ductwork will be a problem as it is rectangular with insulation inside (probably double walled) instead of round so cleaning may well be an impossibility. Any thoughts on that?

Thanks again,

Peyton
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