Dealing with Water Damage after a Fire – What to Do
When a fire breaks out on your property, there’s no question that it has the ability to cause a wide range of damage. Not only can the flames devour all materials in their way, but there are also after-effects caused by corrosive byproducts, even after the fire has been extinguished.
These corrosive byproducts, including smoke and soot, can damage the objects and materials they encounter and leave a lingering odor. To return your home to a safe condition, the soot and smoke damage needs to be tended to immediately. However, the damage doesn’t end there.
When fires are extinguished, the water used to extinguish it causes damage to your property and belongings. Fire hoses, in particular, can be harsh with the amount of power and pressure they provide. Because of this, they cause more damage than a sprinkler system would. Sprinkler systems work immediately, extinguishing a fire as it emerges, so their effect isn’t as damaging. Regardless of the source, the water that puts out the fire typically damages the property it occupied.
With such water damage, there’s potential for mold growth — which can cause even more harm. Mold spores will flourish and begin to grow in your home within 24 hours. The mold will eat away at building materials like drywall, floorboards, and wood, weakening your home’s structure in the process and worsening the damage.
Considering all of the damage that ensues because of a fire, it is expensive to address the fire, smoke and water damage and restore the property. This damage has the potential to ruin your home’s structure and negatively affect your health. Knowing this, it is important to take the necessary actions to tend to water damage after a fire has been extinguished.
Make Sure Your Property is Safe
Before you re-enter your home following a fire, you need to make sure that it is safe to do so. Check with fire officials that it is safe before you go back inside.
While you’re still outside, though, inspect what kind of harm has been done to your home’s roof, ceilings, walls, stairs, and flooring. You should do this because water damage isn’t always as noticeable as fire damage. If you spot damage to electrical wiring, then it can indicate that your home isn’t safe to return to.
Call Your Insurance Company
Once it is safe for you to enter your home, make sure you give your insurance provider a call. Notify your agent of the fire and the resulting damage. Before restoration can begin, he or she may suggest that an adjuster visits to inspect the damage.
When you speak with your insurance agent, you can learn how much money you can spend on repairs and what limits your policy has.
In addition, inquire about temporary living. Chances are that your property will be uninhabitable for the time being, but your insurance should cover temporary living and food expenses in the meantime.
Document the Damage
Take pictures and/or videos of the water damage throughout your property. Additionally, make a list and take notes of all items that were ruined by the fire and water. Make sure to document anything that has been affected by mold growth as a result of the water.
These notes, photos, and videos will serve as required proof for your insurance provider. Providing such proof can also help the claims process go by quicker, making things easier for you.
Seek Professional Help
After you have made an insurance claim for the fire and water damage your property has suffered, seek professional help from a restoration company like ServiceMaster NCR. Our water damage professionals will conduct work on your home and work with your insurance provider to manage your claim.
It is crucial to take immediate action with restoration services, because if you wait, the damage will spread and worsen quickly. This becomes even more concerning if there’s mold growth. Mold can grow on many surfaces, and its presence jeopardizes your health and the integrity of your home. Water damage restoration professionals can address the mold, in addition to other damage, and prevent it from returning.
Furthermore, professionals will perform a thorough inspection of your property, assess the amount of damage, make a recommendation for the best restoration plan, and then conduct water damage cleanup.
Air the Property Out
After you’ve called for restoration services, the next step to take is to air out your property. If the weather is permissible, open all of your home’s windows and doors. You should also prop open cabinet and closet doors and drawers so that those can dry out as well.
Floor rugs that have been soaked should be removed in order to prevent the flooring from suffering further damage. Also, place foil beneath furniture legs or bottoms. This will hinder the water’s ability to seep up further into the furniture.
Water Damage after a Fire – What Not to Do
When you re-enter your home after a fire has been extinguished, there are many steps you should take. However, it is also important to know what you shouldn’t do.
If there is any excess water on your property, do not use a vacuum to remove it. However, if you have a sump pump, you can use that to remove the excess water from your home. You should also never use wet appliances because of the dangers involved.
Additionally, some rooms in your home may have been structurally damaged as a result of the fire and/or water. Be cautious and pay attention to your home’s structure. Don’t go into any rooms that have structural damage.
Fire and Water Damage Restoration
If your home was recently the site of a fire, then it has not only suffered from fire damage, but the water used to extinguish it has also resulted in damage of its own. The harm the water does to your property can damage its structure and lead to mold that hinders your health. Knowing this, it is vital to take the steps discussed above.
Seeking immediate help from a professional restoration service is especially important, because the quicker the damage is addressed, the less time there is for the damage to worsen. Our water damage restoration professionals at ServiceMaster NCR can assess the damage, develop a restoration plan that is best for your situation, thoroughly tend to the water damage, and address any mold growth. With professional help, water damage repairs will be made, and your home will be restored to its original condition, ensuring everyone’s safety.
Fire Safety – What To Do After A House Fire – ServiceMaster Restore Video