Many people don’t realize that water damage after a fire is always possible. The two are actually closely related, and your home will likely have extensive water damage even as you still have to assess the loss you incurred because of a fire.
Causes of Water Damage Resulting From a Fire
1. Fire Hose
Many homeowners don’t realize that water damage can result from firefighters using a lot of fire hoses. This can result in flooding that can damage home walls, floors, and appliances.
2. Sewer Backflow
After a fire has been extinguished, it’s not uncommon for another disaster to strike. All around you is water, the main tool used to put out the flames. If there’s a blockage or clog in the main sewer line, or if your drainage system is back-pitched, the excess water will have nowhere to go. At this point, a sewer backup could happen anytime, and your fire-ravaged home will suffer further damage.
3. Burst Pipe
Water pipes often burst during a fire because the overwhelming heat will put extreme pressure on the plumbing system. The pipes will have a difficult time handling the pressure and they will either break, warp, or burst. The latter is among the most common types of water damage that can result, and this means additional expenses on top of the initial cost incurred following a fire emergency.
4. Sprinkler System
Fire sprinkler systems provide a steady supply of water in case of a fire, helping reduce the risk of further damage. These are normally found on the ceilings of commercial buildings.
The small glass bulb in the middle is heat sensitive and will shatter if the maximum temperature range is reached. When this happens, water will be automatically released and will continue to flow on the target areas until the system detects that the fire has been put out. By this time, the destruction that a fire has brought can be devastating enough, but the water damage caused by a sprinkler system could prove to be more disastrous.
What Areas in the Home Are Damaged by Water After a Fire?
Water can easily creep into your home after a fire has been put out. Below are some places you should check for water damage.
There is a possibility that the drywall absorbed most of the water damage after a fire, depending on how large the blaze was and how much water was used to extinguish it. Either way, the drywall may appear swollen immediately after being exposed to excessive water, but eventually it can become soft and weak. While some drywall pieces can be saved by drying them out, many must be removed and replaced.
The ceilings can swell and lose their strength because of water buildup. As mold begins to grow, cracks will also show up, and may lead to a ceiling collapse. Ceiling panels can be repaired as necessary, but other types might need to be completely replaced.
Wooden floors are porous materials and will absorb water quickly and cause damage. It can be tempting to try to salvage them, but wood that has been soaked in water is better off being removed.
Water follows the law of gravity and will flow downwards, collecting beneath your carpets. These will consequently become contaminated with mold or other toxic substances. While some carpets and rugs might be salvageable, others simply need to be ripped up and replaced.
5. Electrical Wiring
The home electrical wiring could be heavily damaged by water that it can become a fire hazard. At best, you should refrain from using electrical devices like computers and televisions as these are likely to be damaged as well, but you can easily replace them since these items are usually covered by your insurance. Additionally, you should immediately contact a professional if you suspect that there is some damage to your electric systems.
The extreme heat of a fire can cause damage to pipes, hoses, and water lines. This can lead to leaks and ultimately water damage. It’s best to check your plumbing to see if it suffered any form of damage.
7. Insulation System
Depending on how large the fire was, your insulation system may have been exposed directly to water. This should be inspected in order to prevent decay, which can weaken your home’s structure. Under suitable conditions, these systems can also attract mold spores.
The seals around your appliances, toilets, and other applicable items could have been damaged if water has been standing for a long time in your home. Take the time to inspect all seals, and remove the damaged ones. After the cleanup has been complete, you should apply a new seal on all affected items.
What to Do After a Fire
It is costly to repair a property that suffered from water damage but originated from a fire. This is a disaster that can cause irreparable damage to your home and negatively impact your health. Thus, after the fire has been completely controlled, you need to take the following steps to resolve your damage problems:
1. Damage Check
Before you re-enter your house, it is important that the fire department has given you the permission to do so. When this is the case, your priority should be to inspect the roof, walls, and ceilings as water damage may not be obvious and can go unnoticed.
2. Call Your Insurer
After the initial property check, the most logical of many water damage insurance claim tips is to contact your insurance agent to inform him or her about the incident. The agent may recommend a visit by an adjuster ideally before any repair work begins. Generally, you should have a clear understanding of what your insurance policy covers. If not, you need to clarify this with your insurer.
3. Record the Ruin
The fire and water damage that you suffered from has to be properly documented, and you can do this by taking photos and videos of the ruin, alongside several written documentations. Make a list of all your possessions that were damaged in the disaster.
Insurance companies will obviously need all the needed evidence to be complete so your claim can be processed quickly.
4. Consult a Restorer
After filing an insurance claim for water and fire damage to the property, contact a restoration expert immediately so you can prevent further ruin and losses. Water damage can quickly spread and destroy other areas of your home. In particular, mold growth is possible if your carpets or floors are soaked in water. A professional fire and water restoration expert can assess the extent of the damage and recommend the best solution for you.
5. Air-Out Your Home
Between the first contact with the restoration company and their arrival, you should try to dry your home that suffered water damage after a fire. If the weather permits, open the windows and doors to let air circulate. Closed drawers and cabinets should also be opened while sump pumps can be used to remove excess water.
A key risk that can result from fire damage is excessive water that can place your property in greater ruin. Simply put, this can easily become a double whammy for you, but there are steps that you can take to minimize the damage that both fire and water can bring. For starters, you have to assess the property and get in touch with your insurance company to find out how much can be covered.
It is also important to consider water damage insurance claim tips like documenting the disaster as this will serve as your evidence when you file an insurance claim. Other than that, you need to reach out to a restoration professional so you can have an idea as to how things can be returned to normal as soon as possible. This is crucial because you need to ensure the safety of your home after a fire and water damage, and the best way to do this is by getting it restored to its original condition.
Let Deep Water Emergency Services & Restoration help you with your home damaged by fire and water.
Don’t be stressed out by the damage that your property suffered because of fire and water. Leave everything to Deep Water Emergency Services & Restoration and rest assured that your home will be returned to normal.
Call our team of fire damage restoration Colorado Springs specialists so they can do a quick but thorough inspection of your place and provide you with the best fire and water restoration solution. We are here to help so call now.