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House Fire Victims: All is Not Lost

clean teddy bearFirst, if you have experienced a fire in your Concord home, the team at All Brite is very sorry you’ve experienced such a loss. In our second breath, we want you to know we are here to help – and can help in ways many homeowners didn’t even know was possible. Aside from getting the structure of your fire-damaged home restored to how it looked before the fire, we can also restore many of the belongings inside your home.

The process of cleaning fire and water-damaged items is called cleaning, and it is a specialized portion of the restoration industry. Not every restoration company offers it, and similarly, not everyone does it right. Also, not everything from a fire or flood can be saved, but more may be salvageable than you think.

Contents in your home including furniture, bedding, antiques, electronics, toys, dishes, and appliances can all be carefully cleaned. As fire damage technicians develop a plan for saving the structure of your home, members of the contents division will carefully pack up fire-damaged items room by room, creating a careful inventory of what items can be restored.

Those carefully packed boxes are then brought back to the All Brite facility and evaluated. There are multiple techniques that can be used to clean items, depending on what they are:

  • Ultrasonic Machines. These special machines are essentially wash basins filled with deionized water. That means the water is free of minerals and impurities and works very well to gently clean anything from electronics like computers to jewelry and dishes.
  • Industrial Washing Machines. These machines aren’t something you can find at the nearest Sears. They were manufacturer specifically for contents restoration. Special cleaning solutions are used in the wash cycles depending on the textiles being cleaned.
  • Hand Cleaning. This pretty much goes without explanation. Some items, like photos, books, and documents, need to be carefully wiped and cleaned by hand! There are special sponges and other tools a contents restoration team will use to wipe away smoke and dirt residue.
  • Once items are cleaned, those with residual smoke odor are put into a special deodorization chamber that neutralizes the odor molecules.

When the cleaning process is complete, everything is carefully repacked into well-inventoried boxes to be brought back to your home. If necessary, items can be stored at the All Brite facility until your home is fully restored. More expensive items, like designer purses and jewelry, can be stored in a locked vault for added security. Thanks to the careful inventory process, it may be possible to retrieve certain items from boxes that you may need before all the boxes are moved back into your home. When they are finally moved back in, the contents crew will be sure to return them to the location from which they were originally packed up.

If an item is not salvageable, those are also photographed and documented on a list that can be given to your insurance adjuster to cut a check for full replacement.

On one final note on contents cleaning, if there is an item in your home that will help you or your child cope with the trauma of a fire, we are happy to clean that first! For many families, that means a child’s favorite teddy bear or blanket. Or for you, that might mean a change of clothing. All Brite Cleaning and Restoration is just a phone call and quick drive away.

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