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Fire and Water Damage: A Terrible (and Common) Combination
Special meals, cozy fireplace moments, hosting lots of extra guests: Winter can hold many special moments. Unfortunately, many of those special moments can also increase the risk of a fire at your home. Even the smallest fire can be frightening and devastating, and leaves a big mess behind.
Even if you were lucky enough to avoid major damage, the cleanup process after a fire is extensive and complex. Professional fire damage restoration is essential to remove all traces of toxins from soot and smoke damage, ensuring your home is safe to return to.
Beyond the damage from the actual fire, soot, and smoke, there is another major source of fire damage you may not be expecting — water.
Water was probably used to put out the fire at your home, and lots of it. Whether high-pressure fire hoses or your home sprinkler system were used, your home most likely has extensive water damage as a result of extinguishing the fire. Here’s what you need to know about this secondary form of fire damage, and how you can get the cleanup help you need.
How Firefighting Water Damage Impacts Your Home
The extent of water damage from a fire in your home depends on where the fire occurred, and how it was put out. Here are a few of the areas where we most frequently see water damage after a fire in Connecticut homes.
Drywall and Ceilings
Drywall soaks up water, making it an excellent breeding ground for mold. It can also absorb soot and smelly smoke. After a fire, make sure your fire and water damage restoration contractor does a careful inspection to determine what parts (if any) of your drywall can be dried and cleaned. If the fire was significant, large amounts of it may need to be removed and replaced.
Ceilings are an issue because they often contain absorbent materials like drywall, and their horizontal nature makes them a great place for water to get trapped. If you see any sagging or large bubbles starting to form in your ceiling after a fire is put out, there is probably water trapped above. A soggy ceiling may not be structurally sound, and can collapse and cause major issues.
Whether you have wood floors, carpet, or even tile, water can destroy your flooring if it is not removed right away. Wood floors can warp, carpets and rugs will be damaged from the combination of soot, smoke, and water, and even tile exposed to large amounts of dirty water damage will need to be removed and replaced.
If the water damage is extensive, the electrical system in your home and the wiring within your walls may have gotten soaked and could pose another fire risk. It’s critical to stay out of your fire damaged home until you have contacted a professional to check for damage to your electrical systems.
The Contents Of Your Home
After even a small fire that was quickly extinguished, you may have extensive soot, smoke and water damage to the contents of your home. The more permeable or porous a material is, the more damage is likely. For instance, wood, fabric and paper items will absorb more than metal, glass, and ceramics.
Areas Where Mold Can Grow
One of the biggest issues when it comes to water is mold. Mold can impact all four of the problem areas we previously shared. It is extremely destructive, both to your home and to your health.
Mold can begin to grow in as little as 24 hours, requiring only moisture, moderate temperatures, and organic materials to eat. Think about the paper in drywall or books, the fabric in your curtains, a wool rug, wooden furniture or flooring - the possibilities for damage are almost endless.
Because of this, It is essential that you partner a fire and water damage restoration contractor who also specializes in mold remediation. They will know how to remove the moisture to prevent mold growth, plus how to detect any mold that has already begun to grow, and remediate your home to prevent future mold issues.
Fire, Water, and Mold: How To Get Help With All Three
If your home was damaged by a fire, you are probably also facing water damage and the potential for mold and mildew problems. Don’t waste time with inexperienced help or multiple contractors. At Riverside Restoration, our local Westport-based team can handle all three of these complex problems. We are even knowledgeable about the insurance claims process, and can be your partner through the entire restoration process. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today.