What Is the Average Fire Damage Restoration Cost?

May 29, 2019

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Estimating your expected fire damage restoration cost is a difficult process for anyone, and especially for homeowners who have just gone through a house fire of any size! No doubt you’re already anxious and upset about having lost certain items in a fire, and having to worry about the cost of fire damage repair doesn’t make recovering from that fire any easier.

Residential fire damage restoration costs average around $2,950, with homeowners reporting a maximum cost of $50,000 and a minimum of $350. Fire damage repair costs depend on the extent of damage, the materials needing replacing, and a home’s location.

While the cost of residential fire cleanup and repair might seem a bit steep to some homeowners, it’s vital that you call fire restoration contractors after a blaze of any size in your home. To ensure you keep your home and family safe long after the flames have been extinguished, note why it’s vital that you use professional fire damage repair companies and what their process includes for most homes.

fire damage restoration

Process for Repairing Fire Damaged Homes

Fire damage repair might include far more work than you realize as a homeowner, as professional fire restoration contractors don’t simply wash walls and ceilings and sweep up debris. Damaged building materials such as drywall and wall studs are cut away while singed carpeting might need removal.

In addition to removing damaged building materials, note the standard process for repairing fire damaged homes. You can then better understand why you need to invest in any fire damage restoration costs after your home has been through a blaze.

  • Water damage cleanup is the first step in fire restoration. Even if only a small amount of water was used to extinguish a blaze, residual moisture can lead to future mold growth and damage to a home’s building materials. Proper water extraction will prevent mold from forming and ensure a home is structurally safe after a fire.
  • Chemicals used to extinguish a fire also leave behind toxic fumes and other bothersome residues. Proper fire damage restoration includes extracting any residual chemicals, foams, and other substances used to put out a fire.
  • Soot removal and cleanup is often the next step in fire damage repairs. Soot and ash are difficult to clean and extract with household tools, so it’s vital that you rely on a fire damage restoration contractor to remove soot stains, smoke, ash, and other residues after a fire.
  • Smoke damage restoration is typically the next step in restoring your home after a fire. Smoke damage leaves nasty stains on ceilings, drywall, and other surfaces, and smoke residues mean very unpleasant odors in the home. Proper smoke extraction will result in cleaner surfaces and less bothersome smells after a fire.
  • Cleaning furniture and fabrics in the home is a necessary step in fire damage restoration. Upholstered furniture and drapes absorb water, chemicals used to put out fires, ash, smoke, and other residues. Without proper extraction, these substances tend to get ground into fabrics and cushion foam. Mold, mildew, and algae then develop, and smoky smells might linger for weeks if not months!
  • Additional odor neutralizing services remove any lingering smoky smells or the smells created by burnt building materials, furniture, and other such items.

What Is Water Damage Cleanup?

You might not think of water damage cleanup when you consider fire damage restoration costs. However, many fires require copious amounts of water to extinguish, and that water doesn’t just disappear! Water damage cleanup is often the first step in fire restoration and involves more than just extracting water with a heavy-duty vacuum.

Water damage cleanup often starts with carpets being pulled up, so that your fire restoration contractor can note the extent of water damage along a home’s subfloor. Humidity levels are recorded and monitored in the room and behind walls, to note if a home’s framework or drywall have absorbed excess water. A sump pump might be installed, to literally pump standing water out of a home.

Fans and heaters are not sufficient for extracting excess humidity after a fire, so heavy-duty dehumidifiers are placed throughout a home to extract water from surface materials. Humidity levels are continuously monitored throughout this process, to ensure water is extracted properly and to note the risk of future mold growth.

water damage cleanup

What Is Considered Smoke Damage?

Homes affected by a fire don’t necessarily burn to the ground, but no matter the extent of fire damage, a home can be affected severely by smoke damage. A home might also need soot damage cleanup; soot is an ashy residue of incompletely burned organic matter that penetrates drywall, carpeting, upholstered furniture, and other surfaces, and continues to cause damage long after a fire is extinguished.

  • Dry soot and smoke cleanup uses non-alkaline detergents and dry sponges. Dry soot and smoke cleanup is applied after high-oxygen fires, which are common in homes.
  • Oily soot cleanup uses high-alkaline detergents and extraction. Oily cleanup is needed after grease fires, fires caused by automotive fluids, and other fires that leave behind oil residues.
  • Smoke cleanup starts with a thorough inspection and cleaning of your home’s HVAC system, including its vents and ductwork.
  • Residual smoke is extracted from furniture and other surfaces of the home.
  • Odor neutralizers are applied, to remove lingering smoky odors and burning smells. Thermal fogging is an excellent option for very bothersome odors, as this fogging saturates all fabrics and upholstery as well as carpeting, carpet padding, drywall, and other porous surfaces. The thermal chemicals used eliminate the organic materials that cause lingering odors.

What Is an Average Cigarette Smoke Remediation Cost?

If you’ve purchased a new home that has lingering cigarette smoke odors, call a fire damage restoration contractor! The same techniques used to remove smoky smells after a fire will neutralize the smell of cigarette smoke in your home. There are various methods for removing cigarette smoke and its bothersome odors, depending on the extent of smoke damage.

  • A thorough carpet steam clean removes smoke and ash from carpet fibers. In the case of severely worn or older carpets, new carpet installation might be recommended.
  • Specialty coatings, applied like paint, neutralize smoky odors trapped in walls and ceilings.
  • A thorough duct cleaning removes odors trapped in a home’s HVAC system and vents.
  • Steam cleaning upholstered fabrics and drapery removes ash, soot, and cigarette smoke.
  • Air purifiers pull residual ash, soot, and smoke from the air and then trap and lock these contaminants in a filter. Using a commercial quality, heavy-duty air purifier helps to pull lingering cigarette residues from the home so that the air is cleaner and smells better!

Is Fire Damage Restoration Cost Covered by Insurance?

Every homeowner’s insurance policy is different, but most cover the cost of fire damage repairs and other such cleanup. However, your insurance policy might dictate that you only call a licensed fire damage restoration contractor for this work, and there might also be limits as to what’s covered, such as smoke cleanup but not heavy-duty odor neutralizing.

Depending on your policy, an insurance company might also deny your claim for the cost of damages if they feel you were at fault. For example, if you perform your own household electrical repairs and a wire shorts out and starts an electrical fire, your homeowner’s insurance might object to the claim. The same is true if you overloaded electrical outlets or circuits or are otherwise at fault for the fire.

In all cases, it’s good to call your homeowner’s insurance agent immediately after a fire and once you and your family are safe. He or she can advise you on your policy’s coverage and any requirements for being reimbursed for costs, including paperwork you’ll need to submit. Don’t wait to contact him or her as you’ll want to ensure you follow all their requirements for being reimbursed any fire damage restoration cost for your home.

fire damage restoration cost

Related Questions

Is a fire damage restoration cost calculated by square footage?

In some cases a fire damage cleanup company might calculate costs by square footage, but note that the extent of damage and the material needing restoration also affects their work and then your cost. For example, having to pull up two layers of carpet padding or carpet that is glued rather than stapled in place means more work and might mean a higher cost.

Can you get smoke damage from a fire next door?

Smoke can become quite thick, depending on what is burning and how long something burns. Your home can easily absorb smoke and its resultant odor from a fire next door. If this happens, contact your homeowner’s insurance company about your options for smoke damage cleanup and restoration.

Do fire repair contractors only clean after large fires?

Never assume that you should manage cleaning your home after any fire, even a small one. Residual soot, ash, and smoke from even the smallest fire are bothersome and can linger for weeks. Invest in a professional fire damage restoration cost no matter the size of a house fire, to ensure your safety and comfort.

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