The 9 Water Damage Repairs to Expect After a Fire
Your home survived a fire, but now what? Here are the water damage repairs from fighting the fire that you need to expect.
When fighting a fire, hundreds of gallons of water can be used. That much water is going to cause problems that need to be addressed immediately.
Give thanks that your home or business didn’t fall to the fire, but there’s still a lot of work ahead of you. Water can cause a serious need for damage repairs, not just for the home, but also for your health. If you’ve recently had the need to call the fire department and need to know what to expect and where to go from here, keep reading to learn what steps are next to prevent and repair water damage.
Restoration After a Fire
Once you’ve surveyed the damage from the fire, you may have already begun putting together a list of what needs to be replaced and what needs to be repaired, but you may not be looking at the whole picture.
Some water damage is obvious and you can see it as easily as you can smoke and fire damage, but the tricky thing about water is that it can get to places that are out of sight of the naked eye and if left for too long, the repair bill can add up.
The 9 Water Damage Repairs
Most of these repairs will be needed for just about any home or business that had a fire put out by the fire department using hoses. Even a smaller fire requires a lot of water and pressure from the hoses to extinguish. If the damage is extensive, reaching out to a professional restoration service may be best.
Cleaning is extremely important. After the bulk of ruined items have been removed, you need to clean and disinfect immediately. This step will need to be done throughout, and you’ll find yourself cleaning the same areas multiple times depending on the extent of the damage. Bleach solutions and other disinfectants are the best things to use to avoid serious health risks.
2. Mold Buildup
Mold is a big problem and one that can be difficult to control after a fire. There are many types of mold, none of which you want in your home or business, but black mold is especially toxic.
The cleaning step is crucial to deter the growth of mold but you’ll also want to do a detailed inspection of any and all areas of your home or business and revisit those areas even after the restoration is complete to make sure mold isn’t growing.
3. Damaged Wood
Any porous material such as wooden floors and furniture will soak up water extremely quickly and will suffer damage because of that. Wood that is badly soaked and damaged should be removed.
Inspect floors, cabinets and doors for any signs of water damage. You may be tempted to save some of it, and while you may be able to in some cases, the safest option is to dispose of it.
4. Ceiling Damage
When repairing damage, your ceilings should be looked at first. Damaged ceilings pose the risk of collapsing, causing even more damage to your already impacted home or business.
If you have ceiling panels, they can be replaced as needed, but other types of ceilings may need a complete replacement. Inspecting and repairing damaged ceilings after a fire is hard work and you may want help from a professional to proceed.
5. Drywall Damage
Depending on the size of the fire and the amount of water used to extinguish it, there’s a chance that the drywall took most of the damage. Dealing with drywall damage isn’t fun, but it does beat the alternative of deteriorated wood.
Some pieces of the drywall can be salvaged by drying it out, but you’re going to have spots that need to be cut out and replaced. You can choose to patch your drywall just in the affected spots to save you time and money.
6. Caulk and Seal
If water has been standing in your home or business for a while, the seals around appliances and objects such as bathtubs and toilets will be weakened. If these seals crack or become loose, you could be risking catastrophic damage.
Check all seals and remove any that are damaged and use caulk to repair. This should be done after cleanup has completed.
The electrical components in your home and the wiring behind your walls could have gotten damaged to the point that they pose their own fire risk. Your electrical items such as computers and televisions probably received damage as well from the fire, smoke, and water. In many cases, these should be replaced and may be covered under your insurance.
If you’re not qualified, contact a professional immediately if you suspect any sort of damage to your electrical systems.
8. Carpet Damage
Carpets can hold mold and other toxic substances after severe water damage. Some carpets and rugs can be dried enough to be salvaged, but others will need to be torn up and replaced. It’s hard to inspect carpets and know if they’re salvageable or not, so you’ll want to invest time and patience in properly drying and cleaning them.
9. Drying Your Home
You don’t want any moisture lingering after water damage occurs. Before, during and after restoration, drying out your home or business should be a priority and something you’re constantly addressing.
Use fans to circulate air in every room and use dehumidifiers in the areas that received the most water damage. Industrial dehumidifiers may be necessary for extreme cases and that’s when you’ll want to contact professionals.
Back to Normal
Getting your home or business back to normal can be a lengthy process. Water damage repairs aren’t a simple process, many different parts of a building can be affected and if the damage is extensive enough, you could end up replacing key structural components.
Small repairs may be possible for a lot of people, but a proper inspection and thorough restoration is best handled by companies that are prepared for it. If you need to deal with water damage, contact a restoration service right away.