A house fire is never fun, even if it doesn't end up totaling your entire home and everything in it. There is a lot of cleaning to do, there are ruined things to get rid of, and there's the expense of all the restoring to worry about. Here are a few things that should help make life easier as you recover from a house fire:
Household Material Cleaning
Although it might look like you'll have to throw out a lot of your curtains, throw rugs, furniture, and even clothing that has been damaged by smoke, you may be able to save a lot of it by hiring a cleaning company that specializes in treating smoke-damaged materials. A reliable and experienced company will remove the smoke-damaged stuff for you so nobody in your household risks injury or the development of health problems.
They'll clean it on site or at their facility depending on the type of material that's being worked with and the extent of damage that's being faced. And they should be able to tell you if a specific item or type of material can't be saved for some reason upfront so no money or time is wasted on it. In the end, you should be able to save quite a bit of furniture, household décor, and clothing with the help of a qualified material cleaning company.
A Dumpster Rental
If you rent a dumpster and have it delivered to your home, it should be easy to get rid of all the damaged stuff that's beyond saving. You can just throw it all in one big dumpster and have the company haul it away to the dump for you. This will help minimize some of the pain and disappointment that comes with throwing things you love away and ensure that the process is convenient and time efficient so you can focus on other tasks that need to be done before you're able to move back into your house.
A Storage Shed or Canopy
It's also a good idea to invest in a new shed or canopy that can be put in the backyard to store any belongings you'll be keeping, but that need cleaning or safekeeping while your home is being cleaned up and readied for moving back in. If you buy a canopy, you can buy a roll of thick plastic from the home improvement store and wrap the sides of the canopy with it to create walls. This will help protect your belongings from the exterior elements while they wait to be taken back in the house. Put a piece of plastic on the ground as well to help protect your belongings from mud, as well as to protect the grass from your belongings.
A Hazard Assessment
Once your home is cleaned up and ready to move back into, consider hiring a hazard assessment team to inspect every nook and cranny for risks of future fires. There may be something lurking in your walls, or a damaged electrical outlet that's been overlooked somehow that you should know about right away so it can be fixed and the chance of another fire reduced even further.
Have your assessment team provide you with a detailed report about what needs some attention in order to minimize the chance of another house fire. They should be able to provide you with room-by-room checklists so you can easily determine what needs to be done, if anything, in each space throughout your home — even the attic and basement.
HVAC System Cleaning
Unfortunately, even small house fires create smoke that is full of carcinogens and that can travel into your HVAC system's vents and air ducts without being detected. If this happens, you and your family will be breathing those smoke particles in any time the air conditioner or heater is turned on. And inhaling these particles can lead to irritated lungs, and even health problems such as alveoli scarring. So, have an HVAC professional thoroughly clean your air conditioning and heating system before moving back into your home.