Smoke & Fire Restoration Process

Few events parallel the destruction caused by fire, smoke and soot. When it does however, many different services, processes and techniques need to occur to restore a property back to pre-loss condition.

RMC’s Smoke and Fire Restoration Process

Fire and smoke damage requires more service expertise than an ordinary contractor or house cleaner can provide to safely and completely restore a property back to livable condition. RMC’s extensive experience includes residential, commercial and industrial fire and smoke damage restoration.

The service provided by RMC goes far beyond a standard janitorial cleaning for good reason. A light coating of soot might be removed easily by the correct specialized technique, yet the soot could be permanently embedded by improper cleaning. Our highly trained project managers are the best in the industry and have the experience and capability to serve any residential and large industrial project — the right way.

RMC offers a complete line of smoke and fire related services including:

  • Smoke and protein odor removal
  • Corrosion control
  • Ozone treatment
  • Document drying
  • Art restoration
  • Contents pack out service
  • Contents restoration and refinishing
  • Electronics cleaning
  • Ultrasonic cleaning

Fire and smoke damage varies in severity from minor smoke damage to the total loss of personal property and the building to somewhere in between.  The appearance and odors associated with both extremes generate questions and concerns for owners who are often influenced by unwitting friends, neighbors, and relatives (“the smoke odor never goes away”) when in reality there is no such thing as a permanent odor in nature.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has identified over 1200 toxic gasses associated with structure fires.  Fire debris and residues from burning plastic, synthetic and natural materials may be as easy to remove with a feather duster as household dust, or as difficult to remove as aged tobacco smoke film – it all depends on the fuel and the available oxygen at the time of the fire.

Psychologically, there is no greater trauma for a homeowner than smoke and fire damage.  Often, owners are displaced from their home, personal property, financial documents, and their day-to-day living necessities for long periods.  They are also asked to make decisions without preparation or time to consider the longterm results of their choices.  Initially, the comfort provided to victims is the support and work efforts offered by the restoration and reconstruction contractors, both emotionally and with suggestions and immediate services that will assist them regain some balance in their day-to-day lives.  In time, there is a normal transition from appreciation and relief to frustration and anger, and the experienced contractors must be prepared to address these changes in behavior while also providing some demonstrated services that provide evidence that restoration services are possible.

The dynamics of a major fire and smoke loss are complex, and there is a multitude of decisions to be made between multiple parties.  Primary to this complexity is the necessity of prompt and consistent communications between  the parties involved in the loss, including, the contractors (restoration and building), the insureds (all family members may be involved),  the insurance representatives (insurance company adjuster or assigned independent adjuster, a third party administrator who manages the loss for the insurance company), and several specialty consultants (fire cause analyst, structural engineers, regulatory compliance officials, etc.,).

Here are some basic steps involved in a major fire loss noted in the Restoration Industry Association’s Guidelines for Fire and Smoke Damage Repair, Second Edition:

  • Report and file a claim
  • Authorize emergency services to protect property from further damage
  • Arrange temporary residence and immediate service needs
  • Work with the insurance representative and reputable contractors to develop work specifications (scope of services)
  • Review and authorized work agreements and contracts, payment authorizations for
    • Structural repairs or reconstruction
    • Personal property cleaning and restoration
      • Inspect personal property items following cleaning and restoration
      • Non-salvageable personal property lists are provided by the restoration contractor
      • The Insured is required to provide a list to Total Loss personal property to the insurance representative
  • Track, maintain and submit additional living expense to the insurance representative
  • Works with the insurance representative for agreement on a settlement for the loss
  • Signs and submits a Proof of Loss
  • Receives payment(s) and authorizes payment to contractors
  • Replaces personal property items and submits invoices for replacement cost payments, if applicable


RMC uses the following techniques for fire and smoke restoration:

  • Conduct a thorough evaluation to determine best and most cost-effective cleaning process for the situation
  • Assignment of specialized RMC professionals best suited for the job
  • Team makes a selection of the proper tools, equipment and appropriate cleaning solutions
  • Team conducts a 5-step cleaning process based on the following tenant
    • Time, Temperature, Volume, Chemical and Mechanical methods
  • Execute and report on the detailed cleaning process until the job is complete and ready for inspections including:
    • Soot and carbon elimination inspection
    • Odor elimination inspection
    • Final inspection done by a Project Manager.