How a Fire Affects Your Home
Fires happen in minutes and can burn your entire home in less than an hour, depending on the intensity of the flames and heat. There are other natural disasters that can cause damage to your home, including flooding, hurricanes, and tornadoes. It might be a hot oil that was left on the stove too long or a wildfire if your home backs up to a heavily wooded area. When the worst happens, you need to know how fire affects your home. Even if your home looks to only have minor damage, there can be structural issues or toxic fumes inside your home. When a fire or water damages your home, you need professionals to help you clean up the mess.
Ways that a fire can affect your home
There are varying levels of damage caused by a fire. This could be smoke damage in your kitchen or structural damage to your roof or walls in a bedroom. Smoke and fire can damage your home in ways that you can see and in ways that you can't. Here's what you need to know:
Most people who die in a fire don't die from the flames. They die due to smoke inflation. You know that you need oxygen to breathe, and fires feed off oxygen and other chemicals. A fire that's feeding off wood creates smoke. However, in your home, there are chemicals and building materials that can create toxic fumes when combined with fire.
If you've had a major fire in your home, you need to wait until a fire Marshall or inspector gives the all-clear. When they assess your home, they're looking for structural damage and the overall air quality. You don't want to try to sneak past them to explore your home without it. Although your home may look safe, there could still be toxic fumes in the air that you can't see or smell. You could get sick or possibly die depending on the toxins.
Do you or someone you know smoke cigarettes? You've probably noticed how their fingers always look a little yellow or the walls of their home look dingy. This is smoke damage. It takes more than just soap and water to return your home to livable conditions. If you attempt to use water to wash the walls, you might end up with a mold problem in addition to the smoke damage.
Another consideration is your health and well-being. The particles of smoke clinging to your walls, carpets, and furniture contain chemicals that you shouldn't have in your body. If it's in your home, you'll be breathing in these particles. These chemicals can lead to breathing problems, heart issues, and cancer. A home with young children or teens needs to be cleaned since the particles can lead to long-term developmental issues.
There's a lot more to your home than just the walls and carpets that you see. Underneath these things are structural components, such as the frame and subfloor. Depending on the type of fire, you may have damage under the floor, behind the walls, or in the attic of the home. You need a professional inspector who can put together the path of the fire that you can see and in the places that you can't see, such as behind the drywall.
Sometimes, there is only minor structural damage that's easily repaired, and you can remain in the home while it's being repaired. However, there might be structural damage that requires extensive repairs. In cases like these, you need to find somewhere else to stay while the structure is being repaired. You want to follow the advice of the structural engineer who inspects your home for your safety.
You might not think about water damage when you have a small house fire or a wildfire, but if the fire department gets involved, you're going to have water damage too. In fact, you may have more damage from the water than from the fire or the smoke. In order to put out the fire, the firemen spread massive amounts of water around the area, and they aren't careful about where the water goes. You may find water damage in places that weren't on fire.
In some cases, such as a wildfire, the fire department may spray your home down with water to keep it from catching fire due to the heat of nearby flames. Water can cause a lot of damage to your home. The first step is always to remove the standing water and then you need to dry out your home. A professional restoration company has all the tools and equipment needed to dry out your home quickly.
Mold growing in your home
If you've had water damage after a fire, you run the chance of mold growing in your home. It can grow on the walls, behind the sheetrock, on carpets and furniture, and in other spaces in your home. While you're used to cleaning mold in your tile shower, you can't deal with this type of mold alone. Mold can present a real health danger for you and your family.
Mold can cause breathing problems, especially if you have a family member who smokes or one with asthma. It can also cause developmental problems with small children and even teenagers. After the water damage, you may find mold in an unexpected place. If you ignore it, the mold will spread and grow. This is a problem that needs to be dealt with immediately to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy.
At AdvantaClean, we're waiting for your call after a natural disaster or accident in your home. Our team has all the latest tools and equipment to help you restore your home after a wildfire or hurricane. If you have any questions or need help now, contact us.