Professional Restoration After Residential Fires
In the wake of a residential fire, the primary focus is on repairing the damage done to the inside of the house. However, moderate to severe incidents can lead to visible marks and blemishes on the outside of the building too. It is why SERVPRO of Lee & South Chatham Counties conducts a full inspection of fire-damaged properties before we start any restoration work.
The good news is that stains on masonry, concrete and other structural materials are almost always superficial. While brick and concrete are not impervious to fire damage in homes, they are extremely sturdy and don’t succumb easily to heat. It means that, in most cases, we can use straightforward cleaning techniques to restore the outside of the property.
If there is no structural damage to the masonry, the SERVPRO of Lee & South Chatham Counties technicians use mild cleaning agents to wash soot and smoke deposits from the surface. Where the staining is very light, dry sponging is enough to wipe away grime on block, brick, and concrete. Stubborn marks get lifted with alkaline detergents and direct scrubbing. Sodium hypocrite is highly effective when it comes to soot removal, and it leaves no residues.
The difficult thing about soot is that it can be highly acidic. If it is not removed quickly, particularly from structural materials, there is a chance of corrosive residues becoming embedded deeper and deeper into the masonry. It is why SERVPRO of Lee & South Chatham Counties specialists pay close attention to cracked joints.
They are delicately cleaned and re pointed to dislodge any soot deposits which may be trying to move into the capillaries. Once this is complete, larger areas are dry sponged and vacuumed. Then, they are jet washed with a high powered pressure cleaning device.
The most severe staining occurs when heavily combustible materials have caught fire and burned for some time. In some cases, jet washing is still a suitable method of cleaning. We can add soot dissolving formulas like high PH degreasers, dry ice, or soda ash to increase optimal results.