A house fire is one of a homeowner’s fears, not only because it translates to costly personal property losses, but also because of its after-effects to health and structure. Restoration and repairs can also be expensive; this remains true even for those who are planning to invest on a fire-damaged home for sale.
Take note that proper restoration can only be performed by a professional company, such as ServiceMaster of Cobb, so there are several things to consider before signing those final closing documents and officially purchasing the property. In this article, ServiceMaster of Cobb offers a few tips for buying a fire-damaged house.
WHAT FIRE DAMAGE DOES TO A HOME
The aftermath of a fire brings with it smoke and soot, which, if not removed quickly and properly, could have lasting effects on household items and furniture. Read them below.
- Upholstery. Porous upholstery can absorb a lot of smoke and soot, and handling the problem with the use of a vacuum cleaner actually does more harm: it forces the soot deeper and makes cleaning even more difficult.
- Bedding and Clothing. Smoke and soot particles can remain in clothes fabric and bedding and leave a smell. They can only be removed by thorough cleaning with special washing techniques and cleaning solutions.
- Furniture. The extent of smoke damage depends on the type of furniture. Without proper cleaning from a professional smoke and soot removal company, smoke damage can cause discoloration and staining of surfaces and also corrosion of metal because of its high levels of acidity.
- Carpet. Carpets can be stained by wooden and corroding metal furniture. Eliminating smoke residue and odors from carpets needs thorough work, best done by a company offering carpet cleaning solutions after a fire damage.
- Metal Surfaces. Since soot is highly acidic, it can cause rusting or corrosion in metals.
- Hard Wood Floors. Some people overlook the fact that fire damage can also cause a water damage risk, usually as a result of firefighting activity. Water-damaged wood floors may need a replacement.
- Hard Surfaces. Aside from wood, porous building materials, such as drywall and plaster, may experience discoloration due to smoke damage.
In addition to the things mentioned, smoke particles can also penetrate cracks and, therefore, cause damage in seemingly closed-off parts of the home. Smoke damage can also affect appliances, porcelain, and synthetic surfaces.
A prospective buyer may want to inspect the home for fire damage if it will be bought as it is. Check for damages on the structure, utilities, and major systems, so that the cost of repair and restoration may be estimated.
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF PURCHASING FIRE-DAMAGED HOMES?
There are many factors to consider when buying a fire-damaged home. It has its own set of benefits and disadvantages. Read them below.
- Fire-damaged homes are often undervalued. A recent fire may cost less in further repairs if repairs were already made beforehand.
- When an undervalued fire-damaged home is purchased as a fix-and-flip, the chance for a higher return-on-investment is good, especially if any repairs can be made quickly and affordably.
- Repairing a fire-damaged home gives the buyer the chance to inspect the home and have other problems repaired.
- Gut renovation enables the buyer to create design and layout changes for the house, in addition to having it properly repaired, giving it a personal feel.
- A buyer will have to obtain information about the fire incident, such as its location and spread, how long ago it happened, and the structural damages it incurred.
- Additionally, there may also be unknown or hidden damages that could only be revealed after a complete inspection by a certified home inspector or a structural engineer.
- The home's electrical wiring may have to be inspected for fire damage as well.
- Other damages to look out for are: charring or scorch marks; a lingering smoke odor; a musty smell from mold growth (result of water damage from firefighting efforts); warping of floors, window frames and door frames; and damaged pipes and HVAC system.
PREVENT FURTHER DAMAGE BY CALLING A TRUSTED FIRE DAMAGE RESTORATION SERVICE AFTER A FIRE INCIDENT IN GEORGIA
Fire damage is not a do-it-yourself project. Whether you have experienced fire damage firsthand or are buying a fire-damaged home, proper restoration and repair can only be provided by a licensed and certified restoration company, such as ServiceMaster of Cobb.
Our team is trained to assess your property and determine how the structure and contents were impacted by the fire, smoke, heat, soot, off-gassing, and the subsequent water—including identifying any hidden water damage and odor.
After a careful assessment, we utilize the latest equipment and supplies, and apply our understanding of the chemical combinations that can effectively clean and salvage property before beginning our fire and smoke damage restoration process:
- Emergency Pre-Cleaning
- Content Cleaning and Pack-out
- Wall and Ceiling Cleaning