Why You Should Not DIY Fire Restoration of Your House
Tips & Tricks

Why You Should Not DIY Fire Restoration of Your House

When your house catches on the blaze, it’s understandable that you’d want to handle the fire restoration yourself. After all, you know where all the important stuff is and you’ve seen enough TV shows to think it wouldn’t be too hard. But while DIY fire restoration can seem like a logical choice, it can also result in serious problems. Here are some reasons why it’s better to choose professional help for damage repair:

The Structural Imbalance Due to Fire Damage

Fire damage is a severe issue, and it can be hazardous. It can cause structural problems such as cracks in walls or ceilings due to heat expansion during combustion. The best way to avoid this problem is by hiring experts who know what they’re doing.

There have been many examples in the past where a fire completely damaged a house. One of the deadliest ones of them was the residential fire of 2017. It was the one that ravaged an apartment in the Bronx and killed 19 people. More recently, a similar incident occurred in 2022. In this case, at least 12 people including 8 children were killed in a crowded rowhouse fire in Philadelphia.

Such residential disasters can damage your house’s foundation itself. Hence, it is best to let professionals handle everything in such cases. You may think that you have the skills necessary to handle these kinds of situations on your own, but this is simply not true!

Health and Safety Risks

Fire restoration is a dangerous job. If you’re not careful, you could hurt yourself or someone else in the process of trying to do it yourself.

First off, there are various health and safety risks involved with touching the wrong things during fire restoration. For example, if you touch an electrical outlet and then touch something else, you could get shocked. This would be very painful and possibly even cause permanent injury if the shock was strong enough.

Moreover, if you had called firefighters to put out the blaze at your home, you could be at risk of exposure to harmful chemicals. This is especially true if the fire was caused by oils or electricity and the firefighters used AFFF firefighting foam. Yes, you read that right.

According to TorHoerman Law, AFFF contains PFAS chemicals that are known to be carcinogenic. Thus, exposure to places where AFFF has been used can cause cancer. In fact, many firefighters who use AFFF firefighting foam have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer.

They have even filed firefighter foam cancer lawsuits against the manufacturers for not informing them about the potential health hazards. In fact, as many as 6,000 individual AFFF lawsuits have been filed and consolidated into multidistrict litigation. Hence, you should try avoiding DIYing restoration to keep yourself from getting any health issues.

Specialized Equipment and Expertise

Before you dive into do-it-yourself restoration, it’s important to realize that specialized equipment and expertise are crucial for a safe, successful restoration.

Specialized fire restoration equipment can be expensive. The right tools can help ensure that your home is restored quickly and properly. But if you don’t have access to these tools, it may take longer than necessary for the job.

Trained professionals will know exactly what needs doing when it comes time to restore your property after fire damage. They’ll be able to assess every aspect of your home so they can provide recommendations on how much work should be done. They’ll also know what materials will stand up against future fires better than others. This way there won’t be any surprises down the road.

You don’t have to worry much about finding a professional in this field because there are many. The U.S. has over 120,000 damage restoration workers. Data shows that the number of workers increased by 0.5% on average over the past five years. Thus, it should not be that challenging to find someone to restore your house.

Time and Efficiency

Time is money, and fire restoration is a time-consuming process. If you do it yourself, you will waste time unless you know what you are doing and how to do it. Additionally, you will also have to spend a lot of time behind your insurance company.

If your property is damaged by a fire, you can file a claim with your home insurance company. Extended replacement cost increases your home coverage by a certain percentage, such as 25%.

However, this is not the exact figure. It depends on whether you have an actual cash value coverage or replacement cost. You must keep in mind that fires caused by homeowner’s negligence are often not covered.

This can be a daunting process, as it involves a lot of paperwork and documentation. You would certainly not want to handle both things simultaneously. Even if you try to do so, it would impact your restoration work, which will get delayed.

Cost Considerations

When you’re dealing with fire damage, the first thing that comes to mind is the cost. This is understandable and natural. It’s your home that has been damaged and you want to know how much it will cost to restore it.

For professional restoration, the average cost is $21,531, with most people spending in the range of $2,975 and $40,956. However, the cost mainly depends on the damage that you are trying to restore. Smoke damage may cost between $200 – $1,200, whereas soot damage may cost $400 – $1,700.

It might seem that the costs are high and DIYing might be the better option here. However, hiring professionals is worth the money. Here’s why:

Expertise and Experience:

  • DIY: Fire restoration involves intricate processes, from smoke and soot removal to structural repairs. Without proper knowledge and experience, DIY attempts may lead to mistakes and incomplete restoration, leading to additional costs.
  • Hiring professionals: Trained professionals possess the expertise to assess the extent of damage accurately and implement effective restoration techniques. Their experience ensures thorough and efficient restoration, reducing the risk of future issues.

Specialized Equipment:

  • DIY: Fire restoration often requires specialized tools and equipment for tasks such as dehumidification, smoke odor removal, and structural drying. Acquiring or renting such equipment can be costly and may not yield professional-grade results.
  • Hiring professionals: Restoration companies invest in advanced equipment designed for efficient and effective restoration. By hiring professionals, you gain access to cutting-edge tools without the expense of purchasing or renting them.

Time and Efficiency:

  • DIY: Fire restoration is a time-sensitive process. DIY attempts may take significantly longer, leading to extended displacement and increased secondary damage and costs.
  • Hiring professionals: Professionals work efficiently due to their experience and access to resources. They can complete the restoration promptly, minimizing disruptions and reducing the risk of additional costs.

Long-term Costs:

  • DIY: Incomplete or inadequate restoration may lead to long-term issues, such as mold growth, structural problems, or persistent odors. Fixing these issues later can incur additional costs.
  • Hiring professionals: Professional restoration aims to address all aspects of fire damage, reducing the likelihood of future problems. While the upfront cost may be higher, it can save money in the long run by preventing the need for additional repairs.


Fire damage is one of the most serious and dangerous situations you can face in your home. If you don’t have proper training or experience with fire restoration, it’s best to leave this job up to the professionals. They have the tools and skills necessary to get your house back into shape quickly. This will ensure that no further damage will occur while they work on restoring everything else again.

Photo by Stephen Radford on Unsplash

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