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Old 08-26-2009, 10:50 AM   #1
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rebuilding burned house

Our house burned about 1 month ago. We are now completing the demolition process. The upper level was completely destoyed, but it looks like a lot of framing on the bottom level can be reused. My concern is future issues with smoke smell as well as rotting wood issues due to exposure of the framing. Not only has it rained several times since the fire, but also since demolition started and most of the framing that is still standing got wet. We have heard there are products that can be sprayed on the remaining wood to preserve it. How effective are these products? We don't really have the money to level the house and start from scratch, but we also don't want a house with rotting wood and a smell of smoke. I'd appreciate any information on products that can be used to preserve the wood...Thanks


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Old 08-26-2009, 12:30 PM   #2
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Usually a company will come in and seal the wood, as you said. They use an encapsulating paint, made just for this. It locks in the odor. However, it is not always 100% effective, especially during hot and humid days.

Good luck on your renovation.


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Old 08-26-2009, 12:52 PM   #3
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If your wood has been compromised by water exposure it should be replaced or allowed to fully dry before application of any products to kill the smoke smell.

I'd be having a serious talk with my insurance company here. The cost to get rid of the smoke smell on what framing remains (not to mention the potential for mold due to the water down the road) may exceed the cost of new materials and installation. Additionally, the scope of the work will likely necessitate that the house be brought up to current code. Most insurance companies will cover that but I know of one that will not. Check your policy language really carefully.

Sorry to hear about this happening to you. We're here to help if we can.
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:01 PM   #4
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Working for a restoration company on a re-build fire job, we installed the new interior walls, built the roof on the existing exterior walls. Then dried it in with tar paper on the roof, installed the new windows and doors, then ran a dehumidifier for a few weeks while installing siding. Before any subs came, we painted Zinsser's BIN on all the framing. It totally removed all smoke smell, I was impressed.
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:37 PM   #5
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New homes regularly get rained on during construction.
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by joed View Post
New homes regularly get rained on during construction.
Yeah, but this water exposure is due to the fire damage and could therefore be considered damage as well when dealing with the insurance company. At the least I'd fight them for a dehumidifier before the home is rocked, as suggested by GBR. Can we all agree that wet lumber isn't a good thing?
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:08 PM   #7
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Wet is not nice. Don't forget to test random areas for moisture content before covering with anything. Gotta get it dry!

BTW they make chemical sponges for just the very purpose of ridding wood that won't be painted of the smoke smell. My brother-in-law operated a very lucrative company, working for insurance carriers, doing just that... giving a bunch of day laborers some of those sponges, and telling them to wipe down every square inch of the house, from the ceiling, on down.


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