When a fire happens, homeowners are overwhelmed by the challenges involved in ensuring restoration and safety of their property. Fires don’t only harm people as these can also create distress due to property loss. A homeowner will benefit greatly if they familiarize themselves with water damage restoration related to a fire incident. As soon as the fire is out, a homeowner should immediately contact fire and water damage experts.
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Water Damage After a Fire
Water damage occurs when fire officers try to put out the fire. The extensive use of water can flood your property, which causes ceilings, walls, appliances, and floors to be potentially damaged. Water damage after a fire is characterized by malfunctioning appliances, blocked drains, or broken pipes.
This kind of damage is probably the last thing on a homeowner’s mind, especially after a fire incident. But in the unfortunate event that you become a fire victim, it is important to note that making initial restoration efforts before the professionals come can prevent potentially harmful incidents.
Water Damage Restoration
One of the devastating effects of water damage is mold formation, which can start growing in as fast as a few hours after water exposure. Mold can potentially damage a building’s structure, but it brings a more pressing concern on health as it can cause respiratory problems when inhaled. So it’s best to perform initial restoration efforts while waiting for fire and water damage professionals to arrive. Here are the initial restoration steps that you can do.
After a fire, it is necessary to check if the property is already safe or not. Here are some safety precautions to perform before entering the premises of your home.
- Water damage can make the building structure weak. If you observe that the ceilings are sagging, avoid getting inside the building.
- Ensure that the electricity in the property has been shut off. Electronics and electrical appliances that were submerged in water can cause fatal injuries.
- If the house has been exposed to water for more than a day, wear a face mask before entering the property. This is to avoid inhalation of mold spores.
- Be aware that the floor could be slippery. Objects could have changed position while water streamed heavily inside the property. Slipping and falling are some accidents that usually causes injury in water damage restoration efforts.
Perform Initial Restoration
After the flames have been put out and the safety of the property has been ensured, here are the preliminary steps of property restoration after a fire.
- Remove wet carpets and rugs especially when you have hardwood floors.
- Avoid placing wet fabrics in piles. As much as possible, separate them to dry them fast.
- Remove telephones, lamps, and decorative pieces on top of wet furniture.
- Transfer computers and other gadgets to a dry place. Remove the computer casing and blow dry using low-pressure air.
- Valuable documents and books should be frozen to delay mildew growth until you have time to dry them.
- Air out wet areas of the home. Turn the air conditioning on to facilitate drying the wet areas during summer. In winter, you can also alternate cycles of heating and opened windows.
- Sponge and blot flat surfaces or use a mop to immediately remove standing water.
- Open cabinet doors and drawers to help dry their interior. However, stuck doors or drawers should not be forced open.
- Remove smoke and soot from your home surfaces first by using a vacuum cleaner to remove loose particles. Use household cleaner and warm water to wash the surfaces. Rinse carefully and let the surface dry. In cleaning ceilings and walls, work small areas at a time.
- To stop mold formation in areas that have been exposed to water, wash these with soapy water and rinse carefully. Before starting any wallpapering or painting, ensure that the area is completely dried out.
- Kitchen utensils such as pans, plates, and other similar items should be washed with warm soapy water before rinsing thoroughly.
Hire a Professional
It is never easy to be a fire victim and picking up the pieces can be soul-crushing while getting everything back to normal. It can be frustrating to do this on your own, especially if you feel like you are making very little progress. By hiring fire and water damage professionals, you provide yourself the chance to recover smoothly with the help of people who have access to machines that can help clean things up quicker.
After a fire, it is best to contact professional water and fire damage experts. But while waiting for the professionals, it is best to take initial water damage restoration steps that will ensure that water damage is immediately addressed and doesn’t cause further damage. Perform the above restoration steps after assessing the safety of the property to prevent more water damage.