Everything You Need to Know Before Fire Restoration

Things to know before fire restoration begins


A home or business fire is devastating regardless of the size. The overwhelming amount of what to do and when to do it seems to grow by the minute. It’s a time of stress and emotion, confusion and panic. Large or small, a home or business fire will knock anyone back on their heels without a clear thought path as to “what’s next.”  The most helpful first step, once personal safety is met, is a good and thorough restoration service.

Fires happen frequently, some areas more than others but we always have a tendency to think of it in terms of “that won’t happen to me.” And while this thought might be true for any, fire is a common and devastating occurrence. Should you find yourself in the position of needing remediation from fire damage here are the top issues to know and what to expect before restoration begins:

  • First and foremost, call your restoration company. The work will be in their hands and assessment and management will be the initial scope of work. This is not something you want to do on your own. The list will feel insurmountable and cannot clearly and effectively be managed by you alone. Restoration companies have the training, expertise and experience in this process. Guidance and management throughout this most difficult and dangerous cleanup process is crucial. 
  • Contact your insurance agent. Again, a reliable resource to partner with is a vital component and one that will be woven throughout this list. Your insurance agent will be an integral and necessary ally in the cleanup and recovery process. An insurance agent will jump start the recovery process, filing the claims and establishing the starting point of the restoration. 
  • Personal safety and living arrangements will need to be made. This point is specifically valid if you have experienced a large-scale home fire. Living arrangements will also be part of the insurance process which will be addressed very early on in the proceedings. 
  • Understand that the restoration process will take time. There are a tremendous amount of moving parts involved within the clean-up and restoration process. Fires large or small have very specific safety procedures and protocols that must be followed to ensure the safety of all residents. This may seem like a very tedious and drawn-out process but ultimately it is in your best interest to let the scope of work unfold as it is meant to. Again, a reliable restoration resource will be the peace of mind and trust that is needed in this process. 

In the aftermath of a fire, the stress and emotional fallout will feel paralyzing at times. This is an experience that most people, while moderately prepared, are not fully prepared to handle.  The blanket of preparation begins with all of the right support systems in place. The right insurance, the right “in case of emergency” resources and ultimately the right clean up and restoration partners.  The tools to mitigate stress will be a homeowners greatest resource of all and while full preparation may not be flawless, the foundation can certainly be planned. 

Carbon Materials From a Fire Are Toxic. Here’s Why.

Carbon materials danger

fire restoration near me

Fire of all shapes and sizes produce a tremendous amount of destruction and material consequence. With the ever growing reach of the California “fire season” and on-going range of wildfires, land and structure damage and loss is at an all-time high. One of the unexpected and ever growing concerns is the environmental consequence of toxic chemicals and the complications created when carbon building materials are burned. The overall developing concern is that many building materials are widely considered to be a sustainable alternative to materials of the past. However, what is coming to light is that these materials, carbon based, are in fact releasing toxic gasses and particles when burned. The level of health and sustainability seems to be sliding down the scale. 

As carbon building materials are so readily available and so commonly used, the residual dangers arise if those materials are involved in a structure fire and in turn are not cleaned, eliminated and the building restored properly and professionally. If these toxic materials are not treated with the appropriate sense of urgency and care, the dangers to human exposure can be catastrophic. When burned, carbon materials release particles and gasses such as nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, ammonia and tar. All elements known widely to be overwhelmingly dangerous to human contact. 

In many of these situations, the dangers can go fairly unseen. The general public can easily be put at risk through a series of events that were completely unrelated to them directly. When the toxic gasses are released from a fire immediately the particles become airborne and additionally the toxic elements can become embedded in the neighboring ground and water supply , polluting the entire surrounding system. These are elements that cannot go unchecked and unattended. Immediate and urgent assessment and restoration is crucial. 

While we know that all smoke is dangerous to breathe, it is also important to know how and why the levels of toxicity occur when something seemingly “normal” was used in the construction of a building. Smoke is a mixture of chemicals and particles produced by incomplete burning of carbon based materials. It’s the remaining materials left from a fire that create the largest problem. The resulting smoke from a structure fire is oftentimes very concentrated and easily poses more of an immediate health concern to anyone that may breathe it in. It is the chemical compound of carbon based materials that is creating the problem. This is all the more reason to treat fire restoration with the utmost urgency. The materials left behind are easily the most toxic and dangerous element of all. 

While no two fires are identical just as no two structures are identical, the finished product of a quality fire restoration process involves leaving the structure as it was or just as close to what it was before the fire even happened. As the building materials continue to evolve for the betterment of the environment, the immediate goal is to mitigate any surrounding exposure and danger, while erasing all footprints of the incident.  A tall order in an area that is highly prone to fire dangers but an order that is accomplished nonetheless by the most skilled  restoration professionals available. 

Why are Chemical Dangers of a Fire a Threat?

Chemical dangers of fire


After a fire, the damage sustained by a building can be dangerous and significant. That resulting damage can pose a serious health risk to any persons in contact with the remaining structure. If improper fire restoration is not performed, the ensuing hazardous conditions and chemical dangers alone can become life threatening. 

Simply and directly put, appropriate skilled restoration service is mitigating the exposure to toxic substances and further preventing chemical and structural hazards from worsening. In short, to remove any and all traces that the fire even happened. What is left is a foundation and framework that is structurally sound, cleaned and fully restored to proper environmental conditions.

The unseen chemical dangers of a fire are easily the most alarming and threatening residual component of the destruction. Construction and building materials when burned release a host of toxic chemicals that immediately transmit into the surrounding environment. The air itself becomes threatening. The primary material culprits in this situation that require immediate removal and cleaning are plastics, upholstery, carpets and flooring, all organic materials such as wool, wood and cotton based textiles and all foam based goods. 

Beyond soot and smoke, odor and discoloration are a clear indicator that a chemical release has occurred as a result of the burn and likely is still present in the aftermath. Now it’s time for a brief chemistry lesson, understanding why this is SO dangerous:

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) the world’s third-most widely produced synthetic plastic is generally used in construction and building materials from pipes to doors and windows, electrical cable insulation, flooring, many applications that substitute for rubber as well as in the production of canvas. Basically , everything around you can be and is likely to be made of PVC. The problem is that while PVC is flame resistant when it is heated it releases a chain of chemicals that are highly detrimental to humans. The resulting hydrogen chloride gas is lethal when inhaled and can easily trap an occupant before they realize what is happening. In many cases the damage is done before the damage is done. These corrosive gasses can spread more rapidly than flames and subsequently leave the remaining toxic dangers to the surrounding environment. 

The necessity of skilled and proper fire restoration services, repair, recovery and renovation is imperatively left up to the professionals. At Affordable Home Works our goal is to be your most trusted , professional and reliable resource in the restoration process. Your peace of mind is our top priority and with this much at stake, we take our job very seriously. 

Proper Fire Restoration: Critical to the Recovery Process

Fire restoration is not an option, it’s a necessity.


After a fire, the aftermath and subsequent damage can be daunting and the residual impact of a fire can pose serious health risks. If the damaged structure is not treated properly and with tremendous skill and scrutiny the impending risks can be catastrophic to the inhabitants. 

The primary goal in fire restoration is to remove any and all traces that the fire even happened. To wipe clean all indicators that the fire was ever there is precisely what the outcome should be once the process has been completed.  The prevention of significant health risks is the prime focus and specifically the target of the assessment and cleaning procedures and protocols and the reason being that serious and even fatal heath dangers are common in the after effects of a structure fire. Health risks such as shortness of breath, breathing complications, asthma and bronchitis are prevalent. Additionally, skin and eye irritants as well as long term and fatal conditions like cancer and heart attacks can easily occur if the toxic elements of smoke and soot are not remedied properly. 

Pointedly, children can be highly susceptible to the dangers of the residual toxic conditions of a fire.  As they are still in the crucial development stages of growth, the harmful elements can have long lasting implications to their health. Brain, lung and heart conditions can go unseen for many years doing unknown levels of damage to a developing young system if not treated properly.  Simply put, there are far too many unidentified dangers present to not take this procedure seriously. 

The finished product of a quality fire restoration process involves leaving the structure as it was or just as close to what it was before the fire even happened. To erase all footprints of the incident fully involves making certain that the structure is stable and all utilities and elements within are in full working order. 

At Affordable Home Works our goal is to be your most trusted , professional and reliable resource in the restoration process. Your peace of mind is our top priority and with this much at stake, we take our job very seriously. 

Proper Fire Damage Assessment is Critical and This is Why

The necessity for proper and thorough fire damage assessment

damage assessment

The first, most crucial and primary step of any fire restoration is damage assessment. There is no time to waste in implementing this essential step and can make the difference in the effectiveness and ease of repair of any damage.  The first step in assessment is ensuring that the structure is safe to enter, evaluating structural integrity from both the fire and ensuing water intrusion. Effective damage appraisal will review just how far and how deep damage to the structure runs. Damage from flames, smoke, fire and water can be devastating. And the basic integrity of the structure can run deep into the foundation and appear virtually unseen to the untrained eye. 

Proper and trained fire damage assessment will also include contents inside of the property. This can be a longer scope of review and valuation and certainly will cover a broad spectrum of timelines based on the severity and damage of a fire. Possessions and components inside of a structure will be evaluated as to what should be packed and restored as well as severely damaged goods being effectively removed and disposed of. This phase of restoration can take weeks or months depending upon the scope of damage to the structure. 

A fire can be a devastating experience leaving the occupants with an overwhelming amount of issues to solve. The breadth of issues resulting from a structure fire can be dizzying to a homeowner, not knowing where to even begin will mentally debilitate a person. Swift and decisive actions are the reasons for having the right assets in place should a disaster like a fire occur. At the completion of a thorough and proper professional assessment, the restoration company will have a much clearer and comprehensive idea of the amount of work and the timetable of completion. Trust is key, highly trained resources are imperative in this scenario. 

Highly trained, highly skilled fire restoration companies are always on call. The nature of the emergency simply must lend itself to this. Should the most unfortunate occasion arise that you need fire restoration in your home, the right resource when you need them will make all of the difference in the healing and rebuilding process for a homeowner and their family. 

Home Repair | Disaster Repair | Home Damage Reconstruction

Fast-track Reconstruction and Restoration


When faced with home restoration or reconstruction, the IICRC-certified technicians at AHW will evaluate your entire building down to the structural core. We create a plan that recovers, repairs and rebuilds damaged aspects, making sure it is safe and ready for occupants. 

When your home is damaged or needs capital improvements, it’s important to make sure it is rebuilt to existing health, safety and building standards. Even minor damage can be triggered by a major underlying and unseen issue. AHW’s structural repair and building reconstruction teams combine the expertise of large-scale general contractors with over 30 years of experience in disaster mitigation and restoration.

AHW specializes in both residential and commercial reconstruction.

Flood Repair Near Me | Flood Damage Repair Riverside

The Different Types of Floods and Flood Water


Did you know that floods and fire are the most widespread types of natural disasters? And that the force of six inches of swiftly moving water can knock people off their feet?  Not only is flood water damaging to property, and the contents of homes and businesses, not to mention dangerous for those driving and on foot, but the water itself can be harmful to your health.

Communities especially at risk, are those established in low-lying areas, near rivers or downstream from a dam. The tricky thing, too, is that floods can be slow or happen in a flash.

This article looks at the different types of floods, the classification of floodwater and the flood remediation process.

The Main Types of Floods

It’s good to understand the different types of floods and to be aware if the area you live in is potentially at risk of one of these specific types of floods.

Flash: This can happen in any area when heavy rainfall from storms or rapid snow thaw causes a fast rise of rapid-moving water, usually within 6 hours of heavy rain. The worry with flash floods is how quickly they can occur and with very little warning. The water is generally able to move large objects, causing damage along its way.

Coastal: These floods are caused by strong winds or storms, pushing a high tide and waves towards the coastline. These waves will then breach the land, causing flooding. Land at a lower elevation is most affected, as it has fewer defenses to stop the water from reaching populated areas.

River: Any river or stream has the potential to flood. When a river’s water rises over the top of the bank, the threat is high. This flooding is most often caused by extreme rainfall from storms and long-lasting rain and snowmelt. Luckily, these floods are more likely to be predicted, allowing people to evacuate before it becomes life-threatening.

Urban: Sometimes, after heavy rain, a city or town’s drainage systems can’t handle and absorb the water. Of course, big cities also lack natural drainage pathways because they are so built up. Although this type of flooding doesn’t rise to a high water level, it makes driving on the road dangerous and can cause structural damage to buildings and even sewage pipes.

Pluvial: This flooding is quite similar to urban flooding because the water cannot escape, although this happens in rural areas. You’ll see rainwater causing puddles and even ponds over the flat agricultural areas. This can also have a devastating effect on the farming activities and properties in the area.

Types of Flood Water

It’s vital to understand what the color of your flood water means, especially if it has entered your home or business. Flood water is classified into three types:

Clean: This is safe for humans and poses no health threat. This flooding is usually caused by a burst pipe or toilet tank overflow issues. Although there will be some restoration and cleanup needed, there are no threatening contaminants to worry about.

Gray: This water is an opaque gray, indicating that there may be contaminants in the water. Often this water is from showers, dishwashers, washing machines, sinks or baths. Ensure you call for cleanup within 48 hours, so the issue doesn’t escalate and turn into black water.

Black: This is dangerous water that contains bacteria, mold, viruses and other diseases. Usually, this will be sewage water or greywater that has not been cleaned up quickly enough. Exposure can be detrimental to our health. It’s essential to call in the professionals at this stage for intense remediation processes.

Flood Remediation Process

So, you’ve been hit by a flood. Now what? No matter what type of flood, your first step is to call your insurance company, and then Affordable Home Works.  We can help you assess the damage and determine the best course of action for cleanup and restoration.  The longer any water sits, the more damage there will be to fix and the potential for mold and mildew to grow.

Our process:

Once the area is examined for safety hazards such as electrical issues, our team will work to find and stop the water source.  We will use moisture sensors and meters to detect hidden water damage.  Once this is done, it’s time for water extraction. We will use pumps to remove the water and an industrial vacuum to extract water from carpets.

Next, it’s time to dry everything out. We use professional drying systems for dry walls, ceilings and even building cavities. The fans will help the water evaporate.

If you’ve been dealing with gray or black flood water, it’s time to disinfect. Foggers that turn a chemical into a fog work to eliminate odors and kill bacteria.

And then it’s time to dehumidify. Our professional equipment removes leftover moisture in your home or business. The machines draw the water out of the air and drains it.

Those are just the simple steps of flood water remediation; water damage cleanup and restoration are complex. That’s why it’s always best to contact the experts straight away.

How We Can Help

Affordable Home Works offers flood and storm damage restoration services that have helped thousands of residential and commercial customers recover from flood water damage – both big and small.

From natural disasters to commercial water damage due to burst pipes and extreme weather – our company has reestablished businesses and restored communities.  Call Affordable Home Works if you ever find yourself dealing with flood water.

Fire Restoration Near Me | Fire Damage Repair | Fire Damage

Everything You Should Know About Fire Damage Restoration 

fire damage

A home fire can be one of the most devastating disasters anyone can experience. Our homes provide shelter, yes, but they’re also the primary source of safety and security. Holding memories, keepsakes, and irreplaceable heirlooms. Losing that can be devastating, disorienting, and can leave you with a lot of questions. 

Between the shock, the grief, and the overwhelm, it can be impossible to know where to begin. 

You’ll need to know who to call and what to expect. Where can you stay? What happens to all the furniture? Can we still live here? 

With Affordable Home Works, you don’t have to face it alone. We’re here to help every step of the way while with a team of restoration experts. 

Let’s take a look at the fire damage restoration process. 

What Is Considered Fire Damage? 

The technical definition of fire damage is damage to any physical structure or property caused by burning. But what does this really mean? 

Fire damage includes damage to physical structures inside and outside and damage caused by smoke, soot, or other hazards like lead or asbestos. 

Often, fire and water damage will occur simultaneously. As the fire burns, pipes, faucets, or hot water tanks can melt, causing pipes to burst. As the fire department puts out the fire, the structure is flooded with water, which can cause additional damage. 

Common Damage Caused By Fire 

Beyond the visible damage caused by burning is underlying and sometimes catastrophic destruction, especially if it isn’t addressed immediately. 

Some of the most common damages are:

  • Damaged air ducts 
  • Warped wood in floors, doorways, and frames
  • Plumbing damage
  • Mold from potential water damage
  • Exposure of hazardous materials in the structure 
  • Chemical damage from the fire department
  • Personal item damage to rugs, furniture, etc.
  • Electrical system impairment 
  • HVAC damage
  • Appliance damage

Other types of damage can include damage to outside structures or other parts of the attached property. 

Affordable Home Works is an all in one restoration service that can assess and repair damage to crawl spaces, basements (including sewage backups that can happen from fire damage), mold removal and remediation. However complex the damage from a fire may seem, we can handle it all. 

When To Consider Home Restoration Services

A typical restoration process can take several weeks to complete as a non-professional, and longer if you’re trying to continue working during daytime hours.

Depending on the extent of the destruction, you may not be able to reside in the home during the restoration process either. Plus, proper restoration requires tools that can be costly for one-time use or unavailable for non-licensed use.  

Fire damage restoration can be an overwhelming process for homeowners, even if the fire is small. The extra time invested in clean-up, grief, and the frustration of living out of a hotel can have you at wits end. 

Consider home restoration services to speed up the restoration process, ensure restoration is thorough, and help reconstruction efforts. The last thing you need in the event of a home fire is to discover missed damage months or even years later. One small piece of damage can lead to more expensive repairs and replacements down the road.  

A reputable company will have professional tools like deodorizers, thermal imaging cameras, dehumidifiers, HEPA vacuums, moisture meters, industrial fans, specialized cleaning products to remove smoke smells and soot without damaging surfaces or fibers, and more. 

A home restoration service is well equipped to handle all the ups and downs while also dealing with insurance companies. 

What’s Involved In The Process Of Fire Damage Restoration 

Before restoration can begin, authorities must clear the property for safety. This is usually done by the fire department or first responder team. Without this, no one will be able to access the property legally. The next step is to contact the insurance company. 

Once those steps are completed, a team of professionals can begin the process of fire damage restoration. First, Affordable Home Works will assess the damage. Some factors we consider are the size of the fire, damage to the structure, electrical wiring, water pipes, insulation, mold, and smoke damage. 

Once the assessment is completed, the real work begins. Large debris and remaining household items may be removed. If the fire damaged the roof or burned through external walls, those areas will be boarded up or closed with a tarp. The physical structure and property may be fenced in with caution tape or temporary fencing.  

Next, demolition can start. This includes removal of damaged drywall and other materials that may have fallen during the fire. During this stage, any water caused by the fire or from the emergency response team will be removed. 

Soot will be cleaned from all remaining surfaces with specialized cleaning products. Carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture will be cleaned. Air purifiers and dehumidifiers will be used to mitigate the smoke odor. 

Finally, repairs and replacements can begin. All water pipes, electric wires, HVAC systems, and gas lines will be checked, assessed, and replaced if needed. 

It’s best to check with your home owners insurance agent to determine what costs may be covered. Almost almost standard homeowners insurance policies cover smoke damage, but they can vary for repairs beyond that. 

Affordable Home Works Is The Premier Home Restoration Service 

Our team of professionals comply with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certificate (IICRC). We provide comprehensive restoration services from water and fire damage to crawl space and basement mold. 

We work with the insurance company and have a structural repair and building reconstruction team in house. With 30 years of expertise, AHW is committed to turning devastating turmoil into organized recovery you can trust. 

We specialize in both residential and commercial property restoration services and are available 24/7 for all your disaster needs. 

Give us call at 951-261-8075 or contact us online for a free estimate or to get started on your home restoration service today. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will make you feel right at home when the unthinkable happens. 

Flood Clean Up Tips | Flood Damage | Flood Water Damage

In years past, very few of us have ever had to deal with flood waters, especially here in Southern California. However, other areas of the country and state, aren’t quite as fortunate. If you ever find yourself dealing with flood water damage, watching the below video will assist in providing some clean up tips.

Then, after you’ve done all you can, call the water restoration professionals, AHW and they’ll handle the rest. AHW, the water restoration professionals you can trust! Call AHW today!!

Mold Remediation | Home Restoration | Water Restoration

The Dangers of Mold


A simple pipe leak can create catastrophic damage in your home not to mention mold growth. 

Leaking pipes, large or small, can cause a whole host of problems, including the development of mildew and mold from water damage. Undetected leaks and standing water are a primary cause of moisture build up behind walls, ceilings, windows and flooring, leading to product deterioration and mold infestation. 

Molds, while very dangerous, are very common in buildings and homes. Mold will grow in a high moisture environment especially around leaks in roofs, pipes especially hidden or low traffic areas, windows and specifically where there has been flooding and can grow just about anywhere including dust, drywall, tiles and paint.  Unbeknownst to a homeowner, many building materials provide perfect nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials like paper and wood products create a perfect home and breeding ground for mold.  And something as seemingly minor as a drop leak in a window sill, if left unattended, can create a mold infestation. 

So, a basic fact of a mold infestation is that it can be seen and smelled. If your home has water stains, discoloration on support surfaces like walls, floors and ceilings, bubbling paint or wallpaper, then you are likely dealing with a leak, and in turn, a mold problem. Mold will have a very musty and damp smell. Anywhere with old, sitting water will create a similar odor. If you are experiencing an odor that you are not used to, this is the time to have a plumber check it out. Then call your local mold remediation specialist for home remediation and restoration.

Exposure to damp or moldy environments can cause a variety of health dangers. While some individuals can be asymptomatic, a vast majority of people will have a reaction such as sneezing, itchy watery eyes and as extreme as asthma and there is sufficient evidence that takes these health conditions much further. So, now that you have a fairly good idea that you have a mold problem, what do you do? 

Timing is crucial with leak detection and mold. Immediate action is needed. The faster you act, the faster your leak and resulting mold infestation can be identified and fixed. This is a problem that will not ever fix itself, high quality, expert technicians are your greatest resource.