When most people think about water damage, they imagine burst pipes in winter or flooded basements due to summer rains. There is another equally common source of water damage, however, that comes on the heels of a different home catastrophe: water damage after a fire. When fire crews work to put out a home fire, they use gallons upon gallons of water. All this water is important to limit the spread and damage of the fire itself, but also can cause its own problems. Here are some of the most common you could expect to encounter.
DAMAGE TO WOOD
Anything that is wood in your home will soak up the water used to put out the fire, including floors, furniture, and wallboards. Water and wood don’t mix well, and while you may be tempted to try to save it, keep in mind that a thorough soaking will make the wood start to deteriorate in ways you can’t see. You don’t want to leave hazardous items or areas in your home after this catastrophe, so it’s best to rip it out.
Cleaning and drying out your home after the fire is extinguished is crucial to deterring mold growth, but it may not be enough. If you’ve left any building materials, including wood and drywall, that got wet, there is a possibility that mold can grow where you can’t see it. All molds are a problem for people with asthma or breathing issues but some molds, like black mold, are toxic to everyone. Don’t risk the health of your family.
DAMAGE TO ELECTRICAL
Damage to electrical comes in two forms. The electrical devices around your home may have gotten damaged by the heat, smoke, and water, and likely need to be completely replaced. In many cases, your home owner’s policy should cover this. The damage from the fire and subsequent water can also be a problem for electrical within the walls. If these wires are damaged, they could pose their own fire risk down the line and need repairing.
DAMAGE TO CAULK AND SEALS
If the water used to put out the fire sits for a while, it could damage the seals and caulking around fixtures and appliances. This could pose a small problem for appliances, but could result in even more long-term damage around fixtures like the bathtub or toilet. Make sure that you or your contractor checks all of the seals after cleanup is completed and removes and replaces any that are damaged.
QUESTIONS? NORTH ARUNDEL CONTRACTING IS HERE TO HELP!
If you have more questions about preventing fires in your home, North Arundel Contracting is here to help you out. Our trained professionals can teach you everything there is to know about emergency and general contracting services. Call us any time at 410-766-2855 or reach us by fax at 410-553-2367. Feel free to send us an email at [email protected]. For after-hours emergencies, call us at 410-541-0328. For tips, tricks, and to see what we have been up to, be sure to follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.