Colorado’s Marshall Fire kindled just as residents prepared to ring in 2022 and then exploded into the most destructive wildfire the state had ever seen. Fueled by crisp grass that dried in summer heat and whipped by high winds, the monster blaze destroyed over 1,000 structures. Hundreds of homes survived the flames but damages to the spared houses were nonetheless significant.
“Heat and flames get all the attention when a fire breaks out – as they should because they’re immediately destructive and dangerous,” says Ryan Trigg, President of Paul Davis of Greater Denver, Colorado. “But after the immediate threat is gone, we see serious and continuing damages that smoke, soot and ash inflict. Homeowners are very relieved their homes escaped destruction but they need to take quick action to avoid future problems.”
Fires involving buildings spew toxic byproducts from combusting natural and synthetic materials. Structures and their contents exposed to fire may appear completely normal but often they are coated with thin layers of carbon, oils, heavy metals, carcinogens and other dangerous chemicals. Every exposed surface – inside and out – requires immediate professional attention because acidic smoke, soot and ash start to degrade materials within hours.
Restoration professionals have expertise, specialized products, training and experience to evaluate fire impacts and remediate it properly. “We tailor our activities to address each area of concern,” Trigg says, noting that his office allied with other regional Paul Davis locations to meet the heavy demand for help in charred locations. “We test carefully, then may wash surfaces with technical cleaners, seal them with specialized coatings or rip out and replace them altogether. Attics, for instance, often need new insulation.”
Paul Davis teams also inspect a home’s contents for fire damages. If possessions need attention, technicians employ a range of innovative and often state-of-the-art technologies, among them ozone, hydroxyls, ultrasonic agitation, disinfectants, deodorizers and detergents.
In sum, Paul Davis aims to completely and permanently eliminate all reminders of the terror, uncertainty and shock that a devastating fire provokes. “We care for people during the worst times of their lives and show them that stability and safety will return,” Trigg says. “Our work removing the smoke odors is key to avoid the reminder of the tragedy they narrowly escaped.”