House fires cause billions of dollars of damage to residential homes every year. While fires started by accidents and faulty wiring are always a threat, north Texas residents have to prepare for another threat: lighting. Lightning alone starts over 20,000 fires per year.
After severe weather, fire restoration is a vital, time-sensitive process. Before storm season starts, learn how restoration experts can repair and save your home from devastating permanent damage.
- The Unique Risks of a Lightning Storm
- What Is Fire Restoration?
- Smoke and Odor Removal
- Temporary Protection
- Carpet and Pad Removal
- How Long Does Fire Restoration Take?
- Fire Restoration is Time-Sensitive
- PuroClean: Prompt Fire Restoration Services for North Texas
The Unique Risks of a Lightning Storm
When a fire is started in a kitchen, HVAC system, or electrical framework, containment is hazardous but somewhat straightforward. Emergency personnel will likely cut the power to a home and extinguish the source. With lightning, though, the danger is multiplied.
In the western and southwestern United States, lightning storms often come with little rain. This is called a dry thunderstorm. According to the National Weather Service, a dry thunderstorm produces less than .1 inches of rain and at least one cloud-to-ground lightning strike.
In this scenario, most of the rain from storm clouds evaporates before it hits the ground. The rain that does hit the ground isn’t nearly enough to put out fires. When conditions are particularly bad, dry thunderstorms may also produce dust storms and wind that feeds wildfires and house fires.
Unlike fires that start inside of a house, like an electrical or grease fire, emergency personnel can only do so much to contain fires started by lightning. Like wildfires, fires started by lighting can be far-reaching and virtually uncontrollable. They cause:
- Shockwave damage that fractures wood, concrete, glass, brick and anything else lightning comes into contact with
- Power surges that destroy electronic equipment and create more fire hazards
- Burnt wiring and plumbing that burns homes and businesses from the inside
- Steam explosions in wood and masonry
After a lightning strike, emergency crews will move in to extinguish fires and save lives. Unfortunately, this may also cause further water and structural damage in addition to smoke and fire damage.
What Is Fire Restoration?
Fire restoration is the often time-consuming process of bringing a home or business back to its pre-fire state. Many times, this goes beyond repairing structures and replacing damaged appliances. After an assessment, a full-service fire restoration company provides a wide range of services.
Smoke and Odor Removal
After a lightning strike, homes are flooded with smoke. Household cleaners aren’t enough to get the smell out. A team of fire restoration specialists will clean not just walls, floors, and ceilings, but also vents and air ducts that are covered in soot.
When a bolt of lightning hits a building, it heats everything up to an unhealthy degree. This doesn’t just scorch and char — PVC pipes, building materials, and wiring release toxic chemicals when burnt. These gases and liquids seep into every surface and must be sanitized immediately following a fire.
If a home is still habitable after a lightning strike or fire, it’s often heavily damaged. A fire restoration service will use tarps, planks, and boards to cover any holes, making your home safer and saving you from having to seek temporary shelter in a hotel.
Carpet and Pad Removal
When necessary, a fire restoration service will also remove all carpets and the padding underneath. This is often essential after a lightning strike that has left a home with significant smoke and water damage. Even if a carpet smells fine, many of the toxic chemicals released by the lightning strike can thrive in it.
A lightning strike often leaves homes with significant structural damage requiring reconstruction. Even if roofs and walls are still intact, it’s likely that plumbing, building materials, and wiring are damaged. This may require tearing out sections of walls and ceilings to replace them.
How Long Does Fire Restoration Take?
Generally, fire restoration can take as little as a week or up to a few months to complete. This largely depends on the extent of the damage. Odor removal and sanitation can be done relatively quickly. However, structural damage and replacing wiring or plumbing may take a few weeks. In that time, a fire restoration service should help you secure your home or business from further damage, theft, or accidents.
Fire Restoration is Time-Sensitive
A professional fire restoration team should give you a time estimate after an initial assessment. Though they should be very thorough, they should also work quickly to make your house a home again.
Fire restoration should happen as quickly as possible. Over time, soot, water and chemicals damage whatever they touch. Something that survived the initial lightning strike and fire might not survive being covered in toxic chemicals or ash.
A damaged home is an unsafe home. Broken windows and holes in roofs and walls pose security threats. Damaged wiring may cause another fire. Living in a home full of soot and chemicals can cause long-term respiratory illnesses.
Finally, living in a damaged home is mentally scarring. As you try to maintain a normal schedule, the damage will weigh heavily on your mind. With no sense of normalcy, you may lose sleep and suffer from unneeded anxiety.
PuroClean: Prompt Fire Restoration Services for North Texas
The time-sensitive nature of fire restoration is exactly why North Texas residents should turn to PuroClean. Our state-of-the-art techniques work quickly and effectively. With our licensed and insured teams, we reconstruct homes with constant communication between you and your home insurance agent.
Armed with 20 years of experience, we’ve developed techniques that have earned the trust of homeowners and project managers all across north Texas. With our IIRC “Clean Trust” certification, we’re licensed and prepared to handle not just immediate damage, but also the long-lasting effects of mold, sewage, and water damage. When lightning strikes your home or business, contact PuroClean for prompt, efficient, and effective fire restoration services.