How Much Does Smoke Damage Restoration Cost, and Is It Worth That Price?

March 25, 2020

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Professional smoke damage restoration is vital for every home, no matter the size or cause of a fire! It’s downright unsafe to stay in a smoke damaged home, as there are typically particles or residues of soot, ash, and other irritants in the air or trapped elsewhere after a fire.

Average smoke damage restoration costs range from $3000 to $21,000, with most homeowners paying about $13,000 for full cleanup and repairs. Your costs depend on a number of factors, including chemicals used for fire suppression, materials needing repairs, and extent of damage.

Before you put off needed smoke damage restoration, due to their costs or any other reason, you might note why this service is so vital. It’s also helpful to consider a few other services your home might require after a fire or flood, and how to protect your home from water damage and resultant mold growth.

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Be sure to discuss these tips with a fire damage restoration contractor near you or water removal expert, so you know your home is always in good repair. It’s also recommended that you leave a home unoccupied after a fire, if you suspect mold, or if interior spaces might be unhealthy and unsafe for any reason. Your health and your family’s overall wellbeing are worth every inconvenience and investment, so don’t hesitate to stay with friends or even in a hotel while you research needed fire damage and smoke damage restoration costs and options.

Why Your Home Needs Smoke Damage Restoration

Never underestimate the health and other risks posed by smoke, ash, soot, and fire-damaged surfaces in a home. Consider some important reasons why you’ll want to invest in smoke damage restoration after a fire or after something in the home has been singed or otherwise creates large amounts of smoke:

  • Smoke produces carbon and tar, among other irritants. These residues don’t simply dissipate but often linger in the air or settle on surfaces around your home long after a fire is extinguished and smoke clears.
  • Fires need oxygen to thrive; a home fire pulls oxygen out of the environment, leaving behind dangerous carbon monoxide. After any fire, a fire damage restoration contractor should check carbon monoxide levels in the home!
  • Carpet fibers and upholstered furniture trap and hold a number of contaminants every day, and more so during and after a fire! Your home’s carpeting and furniture pieces might be holding unhealthy levels of soot, ash, carbon, and other such bothersome irritants.
  • Smoke also tends to travel through the home, typically through ductwork and vents, and then settle into areas far from the original fire! Smoke is especially prone to settling in cool, dark places, such as closets, behind curtains, or even inside walls and under carpets and subflooring.
  • Along with inhaling unhealthy irritants, these bothersome particles also cling to skin, causing dryness and irritation. Persons prone to dry skin, rashes, and other reactions might be especially sensitive to these irritants.
  • Smoke and resultant irritants also tend to dry out and bother your eyes and sinus cavities. You might notice red, itchy, and watering eyes, and experience lung pain and shortness of breath after a fire and without smoke damage restoration services.
  • Smoky odors and especially the smell of singed rubber and other such materials also tend to linger for days if not weeks after a fire! These bothersome odors might lead to headaches and other such health concerns.
  • When you can’t breathe well or are bothered by unpleasant odors in the home, you might not be able to sleep! Poor-quality sleep might result in daytime fatigue and drowsiness, irritability, inability to concentrate, and a number of other health concerns.
  • Household vacuum cleaners and other such tools are insufficient for cleaning trapped soot, ash, and other residues, and might even “stir up” these particles, causing them to become airborne! Rather than assuming you can simply give your home a thorough vacuuming and be done with the job, rely on professional smoke damage restoration contractors instead. 

What’s the Difference Between Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration?

Fire and smoke damage restoration services often go hand-in-hand; however, fire damage restoration typically includes checking damaged building materials for structural safety and replacing drywall, wall studs, and other such materials as needed. Fire damage cleanup might also include water removal, to extract the large amounts of water used to put out a blaze.

Smoke damage restoration often follows fire damage cleanup, as your technicians will need to scrub away smoke stains from walls and ceilings and extract residual soot and ash. Odor neutralizing services also remove lingering smells.

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However, not all smoke damage restoration involves fire damage cleanup, as some materials create large volumes of smoke just from getting singed, without creating flames! If you burn something on the stovetop, you might contain the fire before it can spread to nearby walls or countertops. Your interior spaces might also suffer smoke damage from exterior brushfires, grills, or an outdoor kitchen.

In these cases, your home might not need fire damage restoration but only smoke damage restoration to remove smoke stains and unhealthy residues. Odor neutralizing also removes unpleasant and bothersome smoky and singed smells, as said. These services might then be sufficient for restoring your home to a healthy and safe condition, ready for reoccupation.

What Is Included in Smoke Damage Restoration Costs?

Now that you understand why your home needs smoke damage restoration, and how it’s different than fire damage cleanup, you might note what’s typically included in this service. Note that every home and cause of smoke damage is different, so your services might vary according to your home’s needs in particular.

  • Carbon monoxide levels are often first tested and then monitored throughout the smoke damage restoration process; dangerous levels might indicate the need for a homeowner to vacate the home immediately. A cleanup technician will also ensure those levels are normal and healthy before giving a homeowner approval for reoccupation!
  • Isolation barriers are often needed in smoke damaged homes, to keep people and pets away from areas needing cleaning and where smoke might then settle. These barriers also prevent smoke and its residues from drifting into other areas of the home during the cleanup process.
  • Air scrubbers and other filtration and ventilation systems are also typically put into place, to remove as much airborne residue as possible and protect workers from smoke inhalation.
  • Cleaning processes vary according to each material; soda and dry ice blasters remove smoke and other residues from materials like drywall and wood. Thermal foggers force open the pores of wood, allowing for more soot and ash extraction.
  • Specialty alkaline detergents are used for clothes, drapes, and other thick cloth materials.
  • High-quality vacuums with HEPA or other specialty filters remove smoke, soot, and ash from carpeting and upholstered furniture.
  • A smoke damage restoration expert will inspect foam padding underneath carpeting as well as a home’s insulation. These materials are often damaged beyond repair and need replacing rather than cleaning.
  • Ozone generators trap and remove odor causing molecules, to neutralize unpleasant odors and create a fresh, clean atmosphere.

Don’t Overlook Mold Remediation Services!

In many cases, a home needing flood cleanup or fire and smoke damage restoration services also needs mold remediation. Mold remediation refers to monitoring a space for the risk of mold growth, taking steps to reduce or eliminate that risk, and addressing mold growth quickly if it should appear.

Homeowners often overlook the need for mold remediation services after a fire or flood, but note that it doesn’t take long for drywall, wall studs and subflooring, carpet padding, and other such surfaces and materials to absorb water. It also doesn’t take much water to create an environment perfect for mold growth.

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It’s vitally important to consider the risk of mold after a flood, fire, or other such accident in the home. Firefighters often use copious amounts of water to extinguish a blaze or stop something from smoldering; without proper water extraction and mold remediation, a home is then at increased risk for mold growth!

If your home needs smoke damage restoration, you might consider water used to put out that fire, smoldering carpet, or stovetop fire. Don’t risk facing mold damage and extensive cleanup costs but ask your smoke damage restoration expert about mold remediation services as well, to ensure your home and family are both protected as much as possible!

Related Questions

Does insurance pay for smoke damage repairs?

Whether or not your homeowner’s insurance pays for smoke damage restoration depends on the policy and typically on the reason for smoke damage! A homeowner’s carelessness, such as dropping a cigarette on the carpet or putting hot embers in the trash, might not be covered in some cases. To know if smoke damage cleanup costs are covered under your policy, ask your insurance agent.

Can you paint over smoke damage?

Paint doesn’t remove stains or odors so it’s vital you invest in smoke damage restoration before painting walls or ceilings. However, if the stain is quite old and there’s no risk of smoke inhalation or residual ash and soot, paint might cover the stain. Start with an oil-based stain blocking primer, however, to ensure the stain doesn’t spread or bleed through your new paint job.

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