Buying a Fire or Water Damaged Home

Posted on October 17, 2018 by ANR Restoration

Whether you're flipping a house for profit or are fixing up a well-worn home for your own use, you may need to understand how to handle a smoke- or water-damaged space. Before you invest your income into a possibly dilapidated home, take a look at what you need to know about restoration and what it can and cannot do.

Fire Restoration

According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are hundreds of thousands of structure fires that result in billions of dollars of losses each year. Homes that aren't total losses need some serious rehab before they're livable again. Provided the fire department (or other local agency) deems to the building habitable, you have work to do if your potential home purchase has obvious fire damage.

If the home still has fire and smoke-damaged furniture, window treatments, and carpets in it, your best bet is to trash the damaged items. But the walls, floors, baseboards, doors, and other permanent parts of the home aren't as easy to take care of.

Depending on your home improvement/flipping budget, you may want to start fresh. This means hanging new drywall, replacing floors, or even tearing the home down to its frame and totally rebuilding it.

When a complete demolition and rebuild isn't in your plans, a fire damage restoration contractor can remove soot stains and help to treat scorched wood. They can also remove the smoky or ashy smell.

Water Damage

Water damage has many different possible causes. The first step in the repair or restoration process is to evaluate the cause of the damage. A leaky pipe or overflowing appliance requires a separate set of contractors to come in and make repairs or replacements before a restoration professional gets started. But if the water damage is the result of a purposeful act (this includes putting out a fire), you can start with the restoration expert first.

Like with fire damage, you should throw away furniture or rugs ruined by the water. Woodwork that has severe damage also needs immediate and professional attention. The restoration contractor will assess the issue and recommend a repair or a full replacement. Wooden floors, baseboards, cabinetry, built-ins or molding that is warped from existing water damage also requires replacement.

Mold Issues

Both fire and water damage can result in mold growth. Fire damage doesn't directly contribute to mold, but the moisture created by the extinguishing process can support fungal growth.

A home with mold isn't one that you should live in or sell. Mold can cause a host of problems, including respiratory distress and skin reactions. Before you start replacing countertops or painting walls, you must first take care of the mold.

Mold growth is a tricky problem to solve by yourself – especially if you don't have specialized knowledge. Even though you may be able to see some of the mold, spores and growth may lurk behind walls, under carpets, or in places that you won't know to look in, under, or behind. A professional can remove the mold, remediate it, and make the home livable again.

Professional Documentation

If you plan on flipping the home, the potential buyers may want to know the whole story about past damage. Depending on the issues at hand, you may need to disclose the problem. Providing documentation that you've had a professional repair or remediate the issue is a sales point that can help you out in the negotiation process.

Does the home you're looking to buy have previous damage? You may need a fire or water damage restoration contractor. Contact ANR Restoration Inc for more information.