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Fire Damage

FIRE DAMAGE

First Southern Restoration offers a wide variety of essential services to respond to some of life’s most catastrophic and impactful occurences such as water damage Restoration, air duct cleaning and sanitizing, mold cleaning, fire restoration and more.

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    The Effects of Fire Damage

    When you think about fire damage, the first question that comes to mind is “How was the fire started?” and the second question that comes to mind is“What was the source of the destruction?” You hardly ever think about how the damage from the aftermath of the fire or the pollution that is arising from the damage. This is often the case because typically we are more concerned with what we lost in the fire than the contamination that can develop from the combination of water, the structure of the home and any other appliances and upholsteries in the building.

    Things to consider are:

    Heat Damage

    Once a fire is started, the temperature of the fire is usually around 600 degrees Celsius.The damage that occurs after the fire persists at different times due to the variety of materials that are present in the home. Some items burn fast while other items can be very resistant. Any home or building that experiences the effects of a fire on its structure and depending on how bad the fire was, the entire building could be too weak even be restored. The restoration process may be tedious depending on the level of damages.

    This process may consist of demolishing the building or even rebuilding the entire structure again. The materials used could be severed to the point of no return allowing for permanent damage to the integrity of the structure. Although concrete is resistant to fire, other materials used with the concrete can be more susceptible to shock.

    Water Damage

    After a fire has started and has spread, there is an immediate need for water to be used to put out the fire.

    The water that is used to put out the fire contributes to the overall water damage that occurs after the fire is minimized. The water damage not only contributes to the weakening of the building, but it contributes to the pollutants, contaminants and toxins that are released as a result of the excess water.

    The water damage leads to the development of mold. In addition to the mold, the smoke, soot and ashes are very dangerous when inhaled and can lead to serious lung conditions and even death. This is due to the inhalation of carbon monoxide that is released in the smoke.

    The combination of the mold and the toxins can lead to serious health conditions.

    Mold

    You do not usually associate mold with house fires but when water is involved in putting out the fire, you can account for the interaction of the moisture and the heat can lead to mold growth.

    It usually only takes a property anywhere from the initial contact with water up to 48 hours for mold to grow.

    Mold not only causes contamination but contributes to health and safety concerns.

    These concerns include but are not limited to allergic reactions or toxic effects to the hair, skin, nails, eyes and throat. It can also cause pulmonary infections as well.

    Restoration After Fire Damage

    When restoring a home after fire damage has occurred, you must assess and evaluate how much damage the fire has done to the exterior and interior of a home but most importantly the structure of the home. First, you must assess if there is mold present and which molds are present.

    Below is a list of molds that could potentially be present after a fire has occurred and water damage has been introduced:

    Aspergillus

    Aspergillus is the most common mold found in America and can be seen after a fire due to the excessive use of water. Since aspergillus is the most common mold found in all homes throughout America, there no way of not coming in contact with this type of mold. The appearance of this mold takes different forms and comes in a variety of colors. This is simply because there are so many species associated with this mold. Aspergillus can be found in foods which is not harmful. Aspergillus can be allergenic causing serious health issues for those that do not have strong immune systems. After a fire has occurred, the excessive water damage can lead to the growth of aspergillus and the release of aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are carcinogens that can be very dangerous if you come in contact with it and can lead to death. After a fire, aspergillus is found on walls and ceilings so it is completely in reach of coming in contact with an individual who is in the area that has recently experienced water damage after a fire.

    Penicillin

    Penicillin is a colorful mold that comes in an allergenic and toxigenic form. As we all know, penicillin is an antibiotic but often we lack knowledge of penicillin being a mold. This type of mold is found in all homes that have water damage and can be found in carpets, mattresses and wallpapers. It can spread quickly from room to room in a home and gives a green and blue appearance which is helpful for identification. Penicillin can be airborne. This mold affects everyone in the home including adults, children and pets. After a fire, penicillin can be toxic due to its airborne properties.

    Cladosporium

    Cladosporium can also be found after a fire has occurred because of its existence in mostly all materials such as fabrics, upholsteries and carpets. These materials also include clothing and furniture. Cladosporium is unique because of its ability to grow in warm environments and cold environments. This mold is both allergenic and toxigenic and can be found in cabinets, cupboards and underneath flooring in the home. The appearance of this mold is brown. In addition, the allergenic health effects of this mold can affect the skin causing a skin rash and the lungs leading to serious infections because of the toxigenic effects. This mold can also affect your eyes, nose and throat. After a fire has transpired, this type of mold should not be handled by a professional team. The toxigenic properties associated with this mold can potentially be deadly especially after fire damage so should be handled with care.

    All of the above molds are commonly found in the home and are also found after a fire has occurred. These molds present as either allergenic or toxigenic and should be avoided in dangerous situations such as after a fire.

    The Restoration Process

    The restoration process after a fire consists of a number of steps to ensure that your family is safe and the building is restored to its original state if it can be sustained. The following are steps that can be taken to make sure that you are able to restore your home:

    Seek Professional Services

    Seeking a professional company to address the fire damages is important in order to make sure that nothing is missed. You may feel overwhelmed trying to figure things out yourself so it is best to leave it to the professionals so that you can prioritize your list of things that you want to tackle first. The professionals can come in and assist you with making a reasonable list and help you figure out where you want to start.

    Assess the Fire Damage

    The professionals will be able to evaluate the severity of the damage. They can identify and test the substances and toxins present on the scene and determine how safe the building is or they can deem it unsafe which can save you and your family from unwanted health issues and conditions.  The assessment is where all parts of the home are appraised which include the foundation of the home, the material associated with the building such as concrete and wood, the roof and ceiling, the flooring and all appliances. It is crucial that everything is assessed so that safety is put first in the situation. The assessment will help with determining the cost associated with the damage as well. Since most people have home assurance that covers water damage, fire damage and damage from natural disasters. During the assessment, the professionals can assist you with making sure your insurance apart of the repair process.

    Repair

    During the repair process, the items that can be salvaged are kept while all of the other items are thrown out. This includes all flooring, roofing, dry wall, and all other components of the house. While conducting repairs, it is important to prevent further damage. Removing all belongings in the affected area is important before any repairs can be made. Cleaning must take place where it is safe and may sometimes include sealing your home for protection from substances that can cause further damage.

    Renovation

    This is where you start restoring the home and rebuilding so that the home can get back to a suitable condition for living. This includes all maintenance to the structure of the home, electrical wiring and new appliances if they were not able to be restored. Restoration of the home also includes address int water damage that may have built up in a larger fire. This would include drying and sanitizing all areas affected by the water and mold. The company will use standard commercial equipment to address the problem. The company that you hire should keep you updated on the progress of your home.

    Fire Damage Prevention

    Once you have repaired and restored your home after you have experienced a fire, it is important to take precautions moving forward so that you are able to prevent any future fire damage. You do not have to have it all figured out at once but it is important to have a plan for you and your family so that you can be safe and healthy if experiencing a harmful event. You want to make sure that you address every concern that may arise which can range from contact to a substance or maintaining a health condition that can arise from a fire.

    Below is a list of recommendations to prevent fire damage:

    • Make sure you test the smoke detectors in your home so that they are functioning well. This will ensure that your family is staying safe and can be informed if a fire takes place.
    • Make sure you check all heating sources so that there is not a risk of a fire starting in the home. This includes all heaters or ventilators that can be introduced to dirt or debris and can be the source of a small fire.
    • Make sure you are aware of your activities in the kitchen so that you are not setting up a dangerous environment for a potential start of a fire.
    • Safeguard cords and keep them away from rugs and comforters so avoid overheating and fire hazards associated with them.
    • Be careful with use and positioning of candles near curtains and use of fireplaces so that your environment is safe.
    • Most importantly make sure your fire extinguisher is serviced and available in the case of a fire so that you are well prepared.

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      We had a major problem in our basement. Over the past month or 2, there was a sewage backup. Tracy and his team didn’t hesitate and got right to work making my home safe again for my family. He’s been awesome and bent over backwards helping even with things he didnt have to. (tornado knocked down a tree the day before the dumpster was being picked up. He took care of it for me!) My basement is looking great.

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