What to Expect From A House Fire
If your home or property catches on fire there are several things you should expect. Fires generate a lot of dangerous smoke in addition to the obvious destructiveness from the actual flames. Within a few minutes, a fire can go from unexpected to life threatening. In addition, flames cause unexpected smoke and fire damage because of the unique way that these elements interact within a building.
Smoke travels along paths of least resistance, similar to fire. Hallways, open doors, vents, plumping, and upper stories in general are more likely to be affected by smoke damage – these areas are also cooler and tend to attract the warmer elements. If the smoke is wet, it will leave sticky residues everywhere it goes. This results from smoldering fires with low heat, but the residue is malodorous and difficult to clean from surfaces. Dry smoke leaves residues as well, but instead of being sticky and difficult to clean off, it is powdery and should easy dust off. Other types of smoke can damage the items in your home depending on the source of the smoke. Fuel or protein fires lead to extremely bad smelling odors that can discolor paint or varnishes and distribute black oil soot. Noxious chemicals like those exuded from fire extinguishers or household chemicals can also leave questionable residue that requires properly protected clean up. All of this smoke damage occurs in addition to the damage that flames have already inflicted on your property.
Flames can torch personal property and destroy materials ranging from wood to metals and stones – it all depends on the strength and heat of the blaze in question. If your home has a major blaze, you can expect to have to clean and discard much of the interior because of the fire damage. With luck, the structural integrity of your home will be stable, but this is determined by your local fire department.
Immediately after a blaze has been extinguished it is not safe to re-enter your home. Just because there are no visible flames does not mean that the fire is out and you should wait for a thorough inspection from the responding fire department before attempting this. Once you do have access to your home, however, make sure that your major utilities are shut off. You do not want a faulty gas line or fire damaged electrical lines to blow while you are in the home.
When to Call the Experts
It is always advisable to contact a professional restoration company after suffering such a major loss. Often, your insurance company can provide reliable companies with proven track records. While you wait for help to arrive, there are several things you can do. The more that you accomplish the better, because fire and smoke damage is time sensitive – the longer that these residues are around your property, the worse the potential for damage is.
You can remove smoke from your home by using carpet or fire fans in order to air out the property. At the same time, you should be concerned with removing as much moisture as possible – it is likely your property has been soaked with water from putting out the fire. The combination of fire, smoke, and water damage has a very negative impact on your property and belongings. You can attempt to remove the wet or damage carpets over wooden floors in order to prevent buckling. Avoid cleaning the walls and ceilings unless you know what you are doing – using water, for example, simply smears soot around and makes it more difficult to clean everything off. Place large commercial dehumidifiers around your home in order to help remove moisture from the surrounding area. Remember to check the pans for collected water. Do not throw anything away. A fire restoration company can help you survey the damage and properly assess it – everything in your home had a value and these companies, or an adjustor, can help properly figure out the monetary values for the insurance company.
If you have fire damage, call Restoration Local 24/7 at 1-888-443-3110 for a free estimate!