Fire and Water Damage Restoration
Never underestimate the power of the elements. Fire damage and water damage are the two most common types of damage that can impact your home. Oftentimes, they come together. When your home is on fire, the only way to put it out is with water. Since the primary concern is getting the fire to stop, water is liberally sprayed everywhere. It would be foolish to consider the potential of water damage when a roaring fire requires immediate action.
Because of this, the act of stopping the fire often directly leads to water damage. In the end, it’s a multifaceted catastrophe, and all facets will require attention. Water damage and fire damage are completely different beasts, but if you’ve experienced a house fire, you’ll have to deal with both. It’s a complicated process, but not a hopeless situation. If the fire was stopped early, you may be able to restore your home to its previous state.
Keep Your Family Out of Harm’s Way
There are safety issues regarding both types of damage. When they’re compounded, you’ll have to be extra vigilant in regards to the safety of your family. Knowing what to look for is key. If you’re ever unsure or there are external signs that it would be dangerous to enter your home, simply don’t. You may need to wait for emergency responders to tell you whether or not it’s safe to enter.
Fire Damage Safety
If fire has taken a toll on your walls and ceiling, your home is especially prone to structural collapse. Dangerous smoke or toxic fumes may accumulate, making the air unsafe. If fire has damaged your wiring, your pipes, or a combination of both, your home may be at risk of another fire – this time, an electrical fire. Unless the fire was small and contained to one area, such as a stove, your home may not be safe to enter. The firefighters will be able to tell you if entry poses a risk to your safety.
Water Damage Safety
There are two severe threats posed by water damage – water coming into contact with damaged wiring, and water that contains sewage. Water that comes into contact with any electrical system poses the risk of electrical fire, or at the very least severe electric shock. Water that may contain sewage houses millions of potentially harmful bacteria, none of which you should be exposed to. You’ll only have to worry about this if pipes have burst during the fire, and this is a rare occurrence that’s usually reserved to basement fires.
Fire damage largely affects the structure of your home. If sections of your home have burned out completely, or even been briefly burnt, the effects may linger throughout the structure. For example, burned ceiling joists in one part of your home can have serious repercussions for your entire roof, or the area between your first and second floors.
Anything that can melt will melt during a fire. Protective coating on your wiring, your linoleum or vinyl flooring, and veneer on your cabinets are all susceptible to melting if they were close enough to the heat source. This is something that a lot of homeowners don’t consider during a fire, as they primarily focus on the parts of their homes that have burnt. The drastic increase of temperature can cause damage to extend well past the area of a serious fire.
Fire also leaves behind a lot of soot and ash that can contaminate the air of your home for an extended period of time. It will become deeply embedded into carpets and other upholstery and will make its way into your central heating or cooling system.
How Fire Damage is Handled
A fire restoration specialist will be able to assess the damage to the structure of your home. Portions will have to be entirely rebuilt. If certain portions of your home is significantly weakened by structural collapse, these areas will need to be repaired as well.
Air quality is also a primary area of concern. Specialist have special devices they will use to remove as much soot as possible from your home. They may need to go inside of your ducts to thoroughly remove buildup, and replace all of your air filters. This soot makes it dangerous to breathe the air, and it leaves the lingering smell of fire. Upholstered furniture and all cloth items within the house will need to be thoroughly washed to remove the odor.
A specialist may have to remove your flooring and reinstall new flooring. This goes without saying if your floor caught fire or melted. If you have carpet that survived the fire, you may want to consider removing it. Carpet is a magnet for soot, and it may retain the smell of the fire. Heat damaged or melted items, such as cabinet veneers, plate switches, or wires with melted protective covering, will also be replaced.
How Water Damages Your Home
Water poses more danger the longer it sits, especially if the damage occurs anywhere near your electrical system. Water seeping into walls or under floors can cause permanent deformation to the structure of your home. You may not even know it’s hiding in there, especially if your home is parched from the fire. It will drink the water right up, leaving it to sit inside of your structure. You can wind up with extremely dangerous mold that can begin forming in as little as a day.
How Water Damage is Handled
First and foremost, any potential damage to your electrical system will be ruled out. From there, a specialist will remove all of the sitting water from your floor. This may involve removing carpet and absorbent subflooring if the sitting water is equivalent to flood damage. Any personal possessions that are salvageable should be properly cleaned and dried immediately before the damage gets any worse.
Damage restoration specialists have tools that allow them to check for moisture throughout your home, so they’ll be able to determine how far the water damage has spread. Proper structural drying is of the utmost importance, and it should be started as soon as humanly possible. The quicker your home is dried, the less likely it will be to cultivate mold.
Working with Your Insurance Company
Every insurance company is different. While the majority of insurance policies provide at least minimal assistance in the event of a fire, some of them contain exceptions. You may need to review your policy to see what your insurance company is actually willing to cover. If you need help dealing with your insurance company, a reputable damage restoration company may be able to help you photograph the damage and negotiate with an insurance agent.
Getting The Help You Need
After you’ve experienced the devastating event of a house fire, you have other important issues to attend to. Leave the cleanup to the professionals, who have the proper tools and understand what a trying time this is for your family. At Restoration Local, we’ll be able to send out a home restoration specialist to assess the damage, provide you with a free estimate, and help you work with your insurance company. When your home has been damaged, time is of the essence. The quicker you act, the better your outcome will be. Call Restoration Local today at 1-888-443-3110.