San Diego Wildfires – What to Do When It is Safe to Go Back to Your Home or Business

11 San Diego Wildfires Tips You Need to Know After Smoke or Fire Have Damaged Your Home


PRLog (Press Release) – May 15, 2014 – SAN DIEGO — With unseasonably hot, dry, and windy weather, San Diego has once again suffered a catastrophic wildfire event. Thousands have been evacuated, dozens of homes have been destroyed and over 9,100 acres have been burned as these San Diego wildfires  continue to rage.

The region is bone dry after months of absent rainfall and above-average temperatures. San Diego and all of Southern California are likely to live with this danger for several more months as the immediate precipitation forecast is bleak.

San Diego wildfiresNow that the immediate fire damage begins to subside as fire crews gain control of the multiple San Diego wildfires, the recovery and restoration process begins. Even homes that thankfully did not burn or suffer direct fire damage will have a high likelihood of smoke damage.  Gold Coast Flood Restorations, the local San Diego fire and water damage experts, is available 24/7 to assist homeowners and offers these tips for anyone who has sustained smoke or fire damage in San Diego County:

1. Do not go back to your home until it is absolutely safe and emergency response crews have told you it is safe.

2. Upon entering your house be very mindful of any potential electrical hazards or wet areas.

3. Assess your home’s damage – soot, ash, charring, smoke, odor, and water are types of damage you may find, but also understand that smoke and water damage may not be immediately visible.

4. Be aware that soot and smoke can leave a residue on walls and just about everything.  There may also be residue from fire extinguishers.

5. Don’t attempt to wash any walls, shampoo carpet, or clean upholstery without contacting a professional.

6. Open all doors and windows if possible and let fresh air circulate – if the outdoor air quality has improved.

7. Wear a protective mask to keep from breathing in chemical particles and other particles.

8. Change your HVAC filter.

9. If water was used to put out flames, be vigilant for signs of water damage. Water damage, if left un-mitigated, can lead to a mold contamination  which may become a bigger and costlier problem than fire damage.

10. Call a professional San Diego water and fire damage restoration company to assess your home.

11. Call your insurance company.  Keep in mind that California homeowners are not at all required to use the professionals recommended by the insurance carrier. You will often receive better quality service by choosing a San Diego fire and water damage professional who will work with the insurance carrier while still keeping your best interests in mind – this is something the insurance carrier’s preferred vendor may not make a priority.

Homes within the vicinity of large fires should be inspected by professional restoration crews after the immediate danger of a fire has passed. Even without any burn or direct fire damage, smoke damage to structures can cost thousands of dollars to mitigate properly. Attic insulation and soft furnishings are typically the most susceptible areas and items within a home. Highly specialized techniques are required to properly remove soot and smoke residue from structural building materials and contents in order to prevent permanent damage or lingering effects.

The good news is that homeowner’s insurance commonly covers fire and smoke damage from these types of events. Since major insurance carriers will assign claimants to one of their preferred vendors who may be overwhelmed during a natural disaster, it usually behooves homeowner’s to research and hire a certified and reputable fire and water damage restoration provider of their choice, who will work with their insurance company, but on their behalf.

“We just want to make sure people know we are here to help them get through this very tough time” says Joe Colombo, CEO of Gold Coast Flood Restorations.

“We have been serving this area for over 26 years and we know many have been affected by this latest disaster.  We wish and pray for the safety of everyone in the paths of these san diego wildfires.”