Spots to Find Hidden Fire Damage
The Top Spots to Find Hidden Fire Damage in Your Home
Charred chairs and burnt bedroom sets are visible signs of fire damage. But some of the aftermath may remain hidden from view long after you think the cleanup is over. Take a look at the top spots for hidden fire damage and what you can do about them.
Your home's HVAC system pulls air from the house into the heater or air conditioner and through the ducts. Whether you have the heat or AC on, your system forcibly pushes the recycled air around your home. If the fire damage extends into your ductwork or the furnace/air conditioner pulled smoke in during the blaze, the ventilation system could have soot in it.
What happens to leftover soot that's hidden in your home's ducts? When you turn the HVAC system on again it can carry the soot throughout your home. Along with coating your walls, floors, and furniture with a fresh layer of debris, soot can cause or aggravate respiratory issues — especially in young children or anyone with a breathing or cardiac condition.
If you suspect soot in your ducts, discuss this potential hidden problem with a qualified fire damage restoration professional. The expert can evaluate your home's damage and recommend a treatment plan to eliminate this issue.
Fire damage on the walls is obvious. But it can also penetrate the outermost layer and cause problems under the surface. An electrical fire that started inside of a wall can char wires, burn wooden studs, and seriously damage the interior structure of your home. Along with this type of damage, the fire fighters may have cut holes in the walls during the extinguishing process.
Damage inside of walls can pose a serious safety risk. Charred wires can lead to additional electrical issues (and possibly another fire) and burn-damaged studs or wood can cause structural problems.
If the extinguishing process results in water damage to the interior of the walls, the studs/frame and other components could rot or grow mold. You'll need a professional fire restoration service to inspect and repair the walls before you take the next step.
Do you use your attic space? If you rarely to never go into your attic, you may forget to check the area for post-fire damage. While soot in the attic or smoke damage isn't plainly visible, you shouldn't ignore it.
Even though your attic is unused or storage-only space, it can still sustain serious damage — even if the flames don't come near the top floor area. Smoke from the fire will rise and eventually make its way to the attic. This traps potentially toxic gases in the area that, over time, can cause respiratory or heart disease. Whether you use this area or not, the health risks make restoration necessary.
The restoration contractor should inspect your attic from damage and create a treatment plan that includes a complete cleaning.
The carpets are singed and soaked. But again, the visible damage isn't the only problem you may have to deal with. It's possible the fire damaged the padding under carpet. If the fire itself didn't burn the padding, the extinguishing process may have left a damp mess behind. Moisture trapped under the carpet's surface can result in mold growth or cause problems, such as wood rot, with the subfloor.
A fire damage and restoration contractor can remove the top layer of flooring and check what's underneath. If the padding is damaged, moldy, or unusable, you'll need to remove and replace it. When the contractor removes the padding, they can clean the floor underneath and remove leftover debris, moisture, or mold.
Do you have fire damage? Contact SERVPRO of East Onondaga for more information.