Fires can leave behind contaminants that can compromise the structural integrity of your building. ATI has over 30 years of experience helping businesses ensure that their buildings are repaired to the highest safety standards, including structural cleaning and decontamination from hazards like soot, lead, or asbestos that are uncovered by fire damage.
Fires cause a reaction in materials like concrete, steel, and especially wood. While it may seem like a building is standing strong after a fire, these reactions can erode or compromise the frame over time. Structural cleaning and decontamination services prevent future damage and allow safe assessment of the building’s condition before repairs. Fires consume all the materials they encounter, but further damage continues to occur through soot residue and smoke after a fire is extinguished. This is one of the reasons that a thorough structural cleanup by a professional is so important.
Cleaning concrete may require a range of solutions depending on the extent of the damage and can be applied and either through pressure washing or industrial scrubbers. Concrete is relatively resilient to fire, but it can easily stain from burns, and if the fire is large enough, it can compromise its strength. Soot embedded in concrete can also stain adjacent materials. If the concrete is indoors, the residue can cause health complications. Cleaning these structures is vital in protecting the health of building occupants and the integrity of the property’s structure.
Steel, like concrete, holds up relatively well in small fires. Cleaning soot from steel surfaces is important as it can be a health hazard when inhaled. When exposed to enough heat, steel loses its strength and may deteriorate or buckle, loosening screws or bowing beams that would otherwise be hard to see with soot stains. These structural deformities are crucial to address quickly to return the building to a safe and functional state. While cleaning steel structures, ATI may identify areas that have been compromised and require repair.
Particularly in older buildings, asbestos or lead can be used in building materials like pipes, paint, flooring, siding, or insulation. When these materials remain safely encapsulated and undisturbed, they can be left in place. When a fire exposes these materials or burns them, causing contaminated soot and other residues, they become an environmental hazard that requires professional remediation as part of structural decontamination.
Fire and smoke can cause structural damage in multiple ways. Many building materials will undergo deformation, collapse, and compaction due to fires. This strain on the building, plus any added weight from fire control measures, can break or fracture structural columns and beams.
Water can erode and rust any metal in a building’s skeleton, and it is one of the most prominent fire suppressants. Following any significant water damage from putting out a fire, our disaster recovery team scans affected surfaces for hidden water and moisture that could reach any load-bearing materials (like steel) and cause erosion or rust. For these situations, the team uses various tools to water map the building and mark areas needing repair and waterproofing and sealant materials as needed. Water can also cause excess weight to a foundation. The team can test a building’s foundation for cracks or breaks and repair it accordingly.
Structural cleaning lets our team remove debris and stains from the building’s steel, concrete, or wooden frame, removing soot or burns that could damage the integrity of the building long-term. This cleaning also allows the team a better view of what may need repair.
Drafting a thorough business continuity plan prior to any disaster is key. Outside of a remote work plan, many building owners identify temporary office options in the event of structural disaster recovery. Ask us for our expert opinion on how you can minimize business interruption during this time
In the event of damaged doors and windows that leave your building vulnerable to thieves or vandalism, ATI will board up your doors and windows to prevent intruders from ransacking your building or causing further damage to it. We can also provide perimeter security and fencing to keep your building safe.
The number one benefit: keeping your building intact! Structural recovery or restoration ensures the functionality of your facility for the long term and prevents a building from collapsing.
The recovery process for structural repairs will depend on the type of building. After a disaster, ATI’s team will evaluate the damage and report any structural issues caused by the disaster, as well as any potential future threats. An engineer helps to evaluate your building and create the best repair solution, whether it’s concrete repair, steel repair, or any other type of material.
It is often assumed that a building with a damaged structure should be leveled and rebuilt. Structural recovery, or restoration, restores a structure using sections of a building and building materials that are salvageable from the damage. This process can save building owners a significant amount of time and money compared to a complete reconstruction. Reconstruction is where the damaged structure is removed and rebuilt.