A fire is a destructive force and is a terrible situation to go through for home and business owners. Even after the fire has been extinguished there are still areas that may be hidden from view where damage might have occurred. Even a relatively small fire can ruin a room or building with smoke and soot. Hidden fire damage can linger long after the fire is just a memory. There are areas of hidden fire damage that you’ll need to check to have them cleaned and repaired immediately.
Hidden Fire Damage Areas
Every room and closet has to be inspected thoroughly. Ceiling tiles have to be checked and removed to open up the crawl spaces for examination. HVAC systems must be inspected and cleaned before they are reactivated. Failure to do so, the damage can be blown into areas that previously had no fire damage at all. Ensure that all of this is done while donning protective gear. The appropriate safety gear can range from a basic mask and gloves to a protective suit and breathing respirator.
Here are some of the major areas to check for hidden fire damage.
In the Attic
As the fire burns the smoke rises and will no doubt infiltrate the attic. This means you’ll need to make a trip to the attic to clean out the soot. Delaying this step can affect the quality of air in the building for years. It will initially go unnoticed until breathing problems begin to occur years after exposure. This will also leave a lingering odor that visitors may find unpleasant.
Quite possibly the most important area to check for hidden fire damage is the HVAC system. Similar to the attic, the odor will never leave if soot is allowed to circulate through the vents every time you run the unit. Health effects are likely and will accumulate over the years leading to future problems. This is especially dangerous for elderly people, infants, or those with a pre-existing respiratory condition such as allergies or asthma.
Plumbing and Electric Systems
The electric and plumbing systems will need to be inspected for damage following a fire. Smoke can seep into the walls which provides a place for soot to accumulate. The walls will then need to either be replaced or cleaned. If the cause of the fire was from old or frayed wiring then you may want to consider replacing them all. Doing so before another failure occurs is in your best interest.
Damages to the kitchen or bathrooms can result in burst pipes. This can lead to some serious water damage. However, not all of the damage will be visible. If water has been allowed to sit against walls or on flooring, then it may have saturated. This leads to secondary damages to the sub-flooring or behind walls. If this is the case, then mold growth could also become a serious problem after the fire.
Mold isn’t the only complication. Water can lie undetected below floorboards, above the insulation, and buried between ceiling tiles. Over long periods of time, if it is not found, dried and/or removed, small amounts of concealed water can lead to weakened building joints and loosened floor and ceiling tiles.
It always pays to be well prepared for whatever the future brings. This is also why you should have a restoration company you know and trust. Mission Restorations has experts in fire, water, and mold restoration. If ever in need of services, don’t hesitate to call the best damage restoration team in Charlotte and its surrounding areas at 704-727-2000.