Canstar Answers Property Restoration Frequently Asked Questions
Fire and smoke damage can be devastating and difficult to deal with, whether you own a home or business. Canstar Fire and Flood cares about helping you restore your building and contents so that you can get your life back on track as soon as possible. Our full-service property restoration company has provided fire damage restoration services across British Columbia and Alberta since 1985. From Calgary to Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, we assist residential and commercial property owners with our state-of-the-art restoration services. You can count on our nearly 40 years of experience and knowledge of provincial and municipal regulations and building codes. Below, you’ll find answers to our most frequently asked questions about our emergency restoration services. We’re here for you 24/7!
What’s the First Thing to Do After a Fire?
Once the fire has been extinguished and everyone has received medical attention, you’ll want to call a property restoration company such as Canstar. You’ll also need to call your insurance company to file a claim. Most insurance companies will require a thorough evaluation of the damage before they’ll authorize fire damage restoration services. You’ll need to make a detailed list of all damaged or destroyed items during the fire, taking photos to document everything. It may be a good idea to open your windows to help ventilate the smoke (if it’s safe for you to do so), but please refrain from running your HVAC system as this can spread soot particles throughout your property.
Is It Safe to Inspect Your Property After the Fire?
Depending on the extent of the damage, your home or business may not be safe to enter after the fire. Be sure to obtain permission from your local fire department before re-entering. It’s generally best to leave an official property inspection to qualified professionals for your safety.
What Type of Damage Can a Fire Cause?
Fire damage can vary greatly depending on the source of the fire, how hot it got, how much smoke and soot it created, how long it took to put it out, and what was used to extinguish it. Fire damage can range from minor to severe, affecting everything from your furniture and flooring to your building’s structural integrity. While you might be tempted to sort it out yourself if it was a small fire, fire damage restoration professionals possess more knowledge and specialized equipment. Many household cleaning products can smear smoke and soot residue, causing it to seep further in and do more damage. It’s best to leave the fire restoration work to us for your safety and peace of mind.
What Type of Items Can Survive a House Fire?
Fire damage repairs are possible depending on the extent of the damage. Canstar’s certified fire restoration professionals have nearly 40 years of industry experience. We’re trained in various methods to restore your property and belongings through mitigation, structural and contents cleaning, specialty restoration services, and reconstruction. Many items can be restored, including furniture, fabrics, electronics, documents, and artwork. Some items may be too damaged to restore, but we always do our best to remove extensive smoke or soot residue.
Can Smoke Damage Be Removed From Items?
Smoke damage restoration is one of our specialties at Canstar Fire and Flood. While smoke damage and odours can be challenging to remove, it is possible with the right equipment. We have successfully removed smoke and soot residue from upholstery fabrics, carpets, tile, marble, porcelain, brass, aluminum, and chrome surfaces. Our smoke restoration professionals utilize state-of-the-art equipment, including air scrubbers, truck-mounted extractors, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, ozone, and hydroxyl machines, and specialty disinfecting and sanitizing products to remove smoke odours. We eliminate odours at their source, often exceeding customer expectations.
How Long Does the Fire Damage Restoration Process Take?
The extent of the fire and smoke damage will determine how long the restoration process takes. We aim to restore your property to pre-fire conditions as efficiently and safely as possible. This could take days, weeks, or even months, but our restoration company will keep you updated throughout the process. Sometimes water damage restoration is also necessary after a fire, as the water used to extinguish the flames can cause additional damage or mould growth. Due to the property sizes and more complex floor layouts, commercial fire damage restoration may take longer than residential fire restoration work.
Is It Safe to Stay in the Building During the Cleanup Process?
Your safety depends on the extent of the fire and smoke damage. If only minor damage occurred in an area of your home that you can reasonably avoid during the cleanup process, you might be able to stay. If the fire and smoke damage were severe, then your home is probably not safe. Breathing in soot, smoke, and lingering fumes is not good for your health. An experienced property restoration company should be able to advise you about the feasibility of staying.
How Can I Protect My Valuables During the Cleanup Process?
Most restoration companies will assist you with boarding up damaged windows or doors to deter thieves from entering your damaged home during the restoration process. While most contents can be left and restored on-site, we recommend taking items with sentimental or monetary value. You may want to take documents, photos, artwork, or family heirlooms with you if it’s safe to do so.
What’s Typically Covered by Insurance After a Fire?
Most homeowner’s, renters’, and business insurance policies cover fire damage, including restoration services, repairs, and content replacement. Many policies also allow off-site provisions, such as temporary lodging in a hotel. You’ll need to check with your insurance provider to determine your specific coverage amount. Canstar Fire and Flood works with many of the leading insurance companies in British Columbia and Alberta, including AIG Canada, AVIVA Canada, Intact, Mutual Fire, RSA, Wawanesa Insurance, and others.
How Can I Protect My Home From Future Disasters?
Accidental fires are caused by many things, including grease fires from cooking, electrical fires from faulty wiring, and smoking-related fires. Some steps you can take to prevent future disasters include:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your building and inspect them regularly
- Never leave a stove or grill unattended when cooking
- Turn off burners when you’re finished cooking
- Never leave an open flame unattended, including candles
- Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of small children
- Keep flammable items away from fireplaces, heaters, stoves, etc.
- Unplug or turn off space heaters when you’re not in the room
- Have your HVAC systems and chimneys inspected regularly
- Leave electrical repairs to qualified electricians to avoid faulty wiring
- Dispose of cigarette butts properly and never smoke in bed
We’re Available 24/7 for Emergency Restoration Services
Canstar Fire and Flood is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for emergency restoration services in British Columbia and Alberta. Whether you live in Coquitlam, Calgary, Vancouver, Whistler, or the Lower Mainland, you can count on our certified professionals for prompt service. Contact us today to request an estimate for fire and smoke damage restoration in your home or business. Our full-service property restoration company is always here to help.