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Should I Restore Or Replace Items After a Fire?

fire damaged furniture

A fire can be a devastating event, especially a house or apartment fire. Depending on the extent of the fire, your possessions could be damaged or destroyed. Once your possessions are recovered from the site of the fire, you might wonder whether it’s best to try to restore what’s been damaged or just replace those items entirely. The answer to that question depends on the age and condition of the damaged items before the fire, as well as how badly they’ve been damaged and what your insurance will or will not cover. 

antique furniture restorationWhat Items Should I Consider Restoring?

This is a good list to make before you have a house fire or other disaster. Walk around your house and create a list of items you cannot or don’t want to replace. Examples include family heirlooms and antiques, beloved pieces of furniture, and computers with important data on them (though we advise backing your data upon a cloud or external drive). Ideally, the fire would be contained and your items wouldn’t be extensively damaged. Of course, you can’t predict the extent of the damage in a fire, so making this list ahead of time is a good idea. 

What Items Should I Consider Replacing?

Items that should be replaced include most electronics, such as televisions, radios, humidifiers, lamps, etc. You should create a home inventory ahead of time and submit it to your insurance company so that you know what they will and will not cover when it comes to replacements and restorations. Chances are, most of your possessions, besides things like heirlooms and antiques, can be replaced! 

What Kinds of Damage Can Occur After a Fire?

You probably already know that items can burn or become charred after a fire. However, that’s not the only type of damage that can happen. Your possessions could also suffer smoke damage. Even the smallest fire can cause smoke damage, which can look very similar to burn marks. Water damage can also occur, not from the fire itself but from sprinklers and/or fire hoses. Water damage, if left untreated, can also cause mold growth, which can start as soon as 24 hours after the water damage happens. 

When Can Items Be Restored?

How do you know if your possessions can be restored or if they’re too far gone? Especially for antique items, you will likely need to contact an expert for their opinion. However, there are a few ways to quickly assess whether or not an item can be restored. For furniture, check and see if you have all the pieces. If the item has been broken, collect all the pieces and see if they still fit together reasonably well. If a major piece of the furniture has been destroyed or lost, you may want to consider replacing it. Secondly, if the damage is superficial, you may be able to get away with simply refinishing it. Finally, if the item in question is a computer, external drive, or other electronic items with important data on it, try calling Americon Restoration. Our experienced team offers data recovery services after damage to electronics. 

Do You Have Fire Damage?

Contact Americon Restoration for help! Our expert team has been restoring homes and doing data recovery in the Cleveland area since 1912. We know you may have concerns about COVID-19 and we want to assure you that we are doing everything in our power to keep our employees and our customers healthy and safe. Americon Restoration is taking all necessary precautions before entering our customers’ homes. We want you and your family to feel safe and stay healthy! Please contact us through our website or by phone at (216) 221-5200.