If water damage is a result of firefighting efforts, it must be treated immediately. It can ruin a home’s structure, cause mold and hinder health.
Restoration professionals will use air movers and dehumidifiers to remove any standing water and dry out the rest of the property. Lingering smoke odors will be eliminated using thermal fogging and ozone treatments.
Fire damage causes a variety of structural issues that can be difficult to repair. Some are obvious, like sagging floors and ceilings or cracks in walls and roofs. Others are less visible, including water damage from firefighting efforts. These can cause further problems, including mold growth or structural instability over time.
Restoration experts will use a variety of tools to mitigate these effects. For example, they may employ industrial-grade pumps to extract excess water from structures after a fire. This step helps prevent further damage and prepares the building for drying and restoration work.
Another common mitigation measure involves boarding up windows and doors. This helps safeguard the property from weather and opportunistic thieves. It also helps keep smoke particles from settling on unaffected areas. In addition, it can help homeowners find a place to stay while the restoration process is underway.
When flooding occurs, electrical systems may suffer from fire damage as well. Electrical wiring that is exposed or damaged can pose a fire risk and also result in power surges that permanently damage any devices plugged into the system.
Floodwaters are typically contaminated with chemicals, sewage, silt and ocean water that can further damage electrical equipment and appliances. This corrosion can lead to additional repair and replacement costs.
It’s a good idea to make a list and take pictures of all items that were ruined by the flood and the fire. These documents can help your insurance company determine how much to reimburse you for repairs and replacements. Before returning to your home, it’s important to ensure that the electric meter is removed and that all switches, breakers, fuses, GFCIs and surge protection devices are replaced. Doing this can prevent electrocution or other hazards that may occur if these devices are returned to use before they’re fully inspected and tested by a professional.
The longer building materials and personal belongings remain saturated with water, the more likely it is that mold will grow. This can cause severe health problems for people with asthma or other respiratory issues. Mold also promotes rot, and can compromise the integrity of walls, floors, and other structural components.
After flood fire restoration professionals remove the standing water and dry out the structures and contents, they will often sanitize surfaces to prevent future damage caused by microorganisms. These steps may also include repairing and restoring any damaged materials.
If the flood caused by a burst pipe is category 1 water (clean and free of sewage and other biohazards), many of your belongings might be salvageable. However, it is important to act fast. The longer materials are soaked in water, the more likely it is that they will need to be removed and replaced. Mold will typically start to grow within 24 hours. This is especially true in warmer temperatures and more humid conditions.
Smoke odors aren’t just a nuisance — they can cause additional damage to building materials, contents and paper documents. Even mild fires can leave odorous residue that seeps into porous surfaces, causing further damage and odor. Professional deodorization techniques like thermal fogging and ozone treatment can break down odor molecules, restoring the smell of a property to its preloss condition.
Before the cleaning process starts, it’s important to remove as much of the lingering smoke odor as possible. Open all doors and windows, and use fans to promote airflow. This will encourage fresh air to enter the home, and push smoky air out.
Once the structure and contents have been cleaned, it’s a good idea to spray walls with an odor-sealing primer. RECON’s OdorLock technology encapsulates malodors on structural surfaces while maintaining breathability. This coating also blocks odors from penetrating into the substrate when it’s dry, ensuring your space is clean and odor-free. Afterward, apply a coat of your favorite latex paint.