Jul 2, 2012 7:21 PM by Lacey Steele

Restoration companies can help with smoke damage and smells

We've lost 346 homes to the Waldo Canyon fire, but surrounding homes may have intense smoke, fire or water damage as fire crews worked to save structures.

That intense smoke is the last thing you want to smell everyday when you come home.

We found one one local company that expects lots of business in the coming weeks.

"It could be a board up of broken windows, doors, roof," said Jack Dennison, Co-owner, along with his wife Jackie, of Colorado ResCon.

Damage from the Waldo Canyon Fire means repairs.

"They're facing an absolutely daunting task," said Dennison.

That smell is an unwelcome memory for homeowners, and it can also be dangerous.

"Soot is a carbon-based product," said Dennison. "It's carcinogenic. It's corrosive. It's acid-based, and so there are many things to go into the cleaning of the interior of the structure."

Depending on the extent of the damage, you may not be able to clean it yourself.

"Contents need to be cared for, they need to be inventoried, boxed, transported back to a fire center much like the one we're standing in now," said Dennison.

In a center like ResCon it starts with hand cleaning, often using environmentally-friendly cleaners, then they move on to the next step..

"Some of those items are bulk cleaned, as you can see with the washer and dryer in the back," said Dennison. "We've got a commercial-sized dish washer for a lot of the kitchen items. From there it may go into a ultrasonic bath."

That bath is a super cleaner, but furniture goes into an ozone chamber to give it the smell of spring rainstorm.

They can also put an ozone generator on each floor of your home.

The oxygen in the ozone transforms the smoke molecules into something that no longer smells.

"The ultrasonic and the ozone are probably our two best friends in this process because they get to places and provide a level of cleaning that you just can't do by hand," said Dennison.

The last step of the process is to wrap items, box them, and store them until the homeowners are ready to pick them up.

"We have color coding for each of the families," said Dennison. "We can store several different fire storm households here."

If a family says they need a specific item, they will know exactly which box it's in.

We're told a lot of insurance companies help in this process, so be sure to check your coverage.

You may be surprised at the help you can receive.

Those who do the cleaning say it's important for the homeowners to focus on their emotions right now and leave the rest to restoration companies.


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