House fires cause much more damage than you’d think. The heat and flames can destroy everything it comes in contact with. Unfortunately, fire damage isn’t the only issue to contend with after the fire is extinguished. There will be an aftermath to contend with such as soot, heavy smoke odors, water damage and possibly mold growth.
What Gets Damaged When Water is Used to Put Out a Building or Room Fire?
The extent of your water damage will depend on how much water was needed to put the fire out. If your home wasn’t a total loss after a fire, there will still be an extensive cleanup process. Fire and water damage restoration go together because both sprinkler systems and high-pressure fire hoses can wet everything including your belongings and building materials such as drywall, flooring, ceilings and wood.
Contact Your Homeowner’s Insurance
Let your insurance agent know about the disaster that occurred at your home. An adjuster will be sent out to your property to document and photograph all of the damage. This will allow the insurance company to determine what your policy covers. This is a good time to find out if your homeowners policy covers temporary living quarters and food expenses.
Make Sure Your Property is Safe After a Fire
After the fire is extinguished, you’ll more than likely want to take a look around the exterior and interior to see how much damage there is and document it. It is highly advised that you check with the fire inspector before approaching your house. If you see any part of the structure that looks unsafe or has electrical damage, just wait for the professionals to assess the extent of the damage to avoid any unnecessary accidents.
Document All Fire & Water Damage Yourself
If the officials say it is safe to go inside, take photos and video of your belongings and any damage you can spot yourself. Include any water, soot, smoke, mold and fire damage. Make a list of every item, big or small, that will need to be replaced or professionally cleaned. This information will help you keep track of the damage and what needs to be replaced. It may also help speed up the insurance approval process.
The Hidden Dangers of Water Damage
Opting to do the cleanup yourself may appear to be a money-saving option but without a professional, unseen water damage can start growing mold within 24-48 hours. Hidden mold growth can begin within your walls, behind cabinetry, under floors, and above ceilings. Left unchecked, wet or damp materials with mold colonies can become a health hazard. This is why using an experienced fire damage and mold restoration company is important to securing the structure of your home and ensuring the health of your family.
Post-Fire Water Damage Cleanup Process
Cleaning up water damage after a fire can take some time. First, the wet areas need to be aired out and dried. This process can be sped up with the equipment a water damage restoration professional uses such as wet/dry vacuums, sump pumps, industrial air movers and more. The contents of your home will also be removed and separated into what can be treated and what cannot be salvaged. The good news is if you hire the right company, the fire and water damage will be addressed all at once.
When Should I Call the Water & Fire Damage Specialists?
Make the call to the experts as soon as possible. You may want to wait until you’ve notified your homeowners insurance company but many homeowners opt to get the restoration company on site as soon as possible. The sooner the cleanup crew arrives the risk of mold growth and further damage decreases.
While you are waiting for the professionals to arrive, air out your home, open all closets, doors, windows and drawers. Remove wet rugs from the house to avoid damage underneath them. Once the restoration team arrives, they will assess the extent of the damage, create a plan and provide the best solution to get your home back to normal as quickly as possible.