how do others feel about homes with fire damage?

3 Replies

Hi there I have recently come across some properties with fire damage. My question is how do other investors feel about these type of properties to invest in or does it matter the type of damage the fire has done 

Hey Travis,

I don't have any experience buying properties with fire damage but I do work in Emergency Restoration and deal with fire damage all the time. I would assume it seems like a daunting task, but from what I've seen, it's never as bad as it seems. Obviously every situation is different, but essentially you'll have to replace anything in the structure that isn't sound anymore, have an electrician check the affected electrical or plumber check affected plumbing and what not and work off their recommendation. After the structure is structurally safe the cleaning process can start. You'll want to use essentially a filtered shop vac, using a particulate filter or hepa vac and vacuum all the soot with that first. Then use chem sponges also referred to as dry cleaning sponges (Quick tip: You can tear them in the middle like opening a sandwich and get double the use out of them and get a pole that extends with one of those plastic adjustable mop head clamps) to wipe everything that's left. For everything else you'll want to use chemicals to treat the area. You can find those at Home Depot. I can't recommend any of them though. I've only used commercial chemicals. After the clean up you'll want to use a sealer like Kilz sealer primer and coat everything. If there's smoke damage in the attic you'll want to remove all the insulation and clean and use Kilz up there as well. Rebuild damage and you're ready. You'd be surprised what you can save. Framing that is black but still sound can be treated and reused. Make sure bare minimum to ventilate using fans pushing outside air through the house and out. We usually use an air scrubber to catch particulates in the air and your commercial venders have access to machines like a hydroxyl or ozone to help with the odor. I recommend the ozone for large areas. I hope this kinda gives you a real basic knowledge of what goes into it. If you have any specific questions please feel free to PM me. You're local Emergency Restoration company will come do a free estimate for you. Get multiple quotes. I'd stick to the bigger names like ServiceMaster and Servpro. They typically have more employees than your ma and pa and therefore be able to turn it faster. Also, they charge everything per line item. So if you have a contractor that can do the demo or painter to do Kilz or what not at a cheaper rate, you can deduct those from the estimate. Also let them know you can have that line item done for $X and a lot of times they'll work with you to keep their staff or contractors on the job.

Hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions about the process. We do this all the time and make it look and smell like it never happened. 

Make it happen!


@Travis Thomas , for the right price, fire wouldn't bother me. I do shy away from foundation issues because I don't have experience with them, and mold because I do have experience.