Progress Restoring Fire-Damaged Home
Good news! The Dexter, Michigan home that suffered a fire earlier in 2017 is nearly rebuilt and restored.
The fire, which began one night in the living room where a new gas fireplace apparently malfunctioned, resulted in no injuries but wreaked significant damage to walls, ceilings, a large portion of the roof, and to floors throughout the two-story structure.
The damage that even a small, contained fire can inflict on a house affects more than those portions that actually burn; smoke can permeate all materials and parts of a house, and fire fighters’ water and fire-extinguishing material can cause its own unique form of destruction. This home was no exception.
For this job, Acheson Builders proposed a plan for both restoring and remodeling the house (see earlier blog report on this project), and began work in July, 2017. Initial work focused on removing damaged materials remaining after a previously hired fire-disaster company had removed drywall in affected areas. Acheson Builders unscrewed thousands of projecting drywall fasteners which had been left behind by the prior drywall removal, stripped out all smoke or water-damaged insulation in walls and in the attic, and removed wiring and plumbing that was affected by the fire.
That left . . . the odor . . .
Smoke Smell — How to Lose the Burn
Special treatment was undertaken to ensure that all vestiges of smoke damage were eradicated. This required hiring a company that specializes in deep cleaning to be conducted in multi-step process. First was a patented Hot Thermal Fog™ treatment to open up the pores in the wood (see sidebar “Makeover for Smoke-Damaged House“), followed by thorough cleaning and deodorizing with an ozone and hydroxyl treatment. After this, a sealant was sprayed over everything: all remaining exposed wood, wires and pipes, etc., to prevent any residual smell from escaping. This included the entire attic, where a lot of smell had traveled beyond the burned area.
Yet another company was employed to clear out and certify all of the ductwork, to ensure NADCA standards.
Acheson Builders then re-installed insulation in all areas where it had been removed or where needed.
Roof and Framing
Then we brought in the crane. Crane? No, we did not employ a large, long-necked bird, but brought in a construction crane for removing and replacing seriously large structural trusses for the roof in the central part of the house.
(Quite a few remodeling jobs could benefit by a having a crane available but cannot accommodate one, due to site features such as hills and trees; this site was well suited to use of a crane.)
Now the roofing has been completed, damaged walls re-framed, and new sheet rock fastened on. All exterior work is complete: framing, roofing, siding, paint — all protected and done.
Installation is complete . . . a different brand from the one that malfunctioned and burned the house, thank you very much!
Extra remodeling, not related to the fire, has been undertaken in the basement. The owners decided they may as well have the basement finished (a project that they originally had planned to do a few years down the road) while we are already at the home doing other restoration. New walls are now framed and drywall will be installed by the time you are reading this. Then comes the fun work of installing all the finishes.
Believe it or not, further smoke odor treatment is needed — to the floors and underlayment. Once done, floor finishes can be completed. After that, tile work will be undertaken. And then there is the exterior: follow-through work includes cleaning up garden beds and re-mulching them. Even these areas were damaged by the fire, firetrucks, and initial demolition processes (before Acheson Builders had been called in).
Check this space in the near future for more updates!