A common question we hear at TCM Restoration is, “Do I need fire damage restoration if the damage is minor?” Here is the tricky thing about fire damage, there is always more damage than just what was burned by the flames. Even when the fire seems minor, there are potential hazards and threats that linger, making the damage more severe than it appears. We are going to cover just a few of the hidden dangers of fire damage, and what that means for restoration.
Combustion can release toxic gases from burned materials, especially plastics and paint. This means that the very air you breath following a fire contains toxins. Depending on how old your home is, it could contain asbestos that is released by the fire. So even when the damage may appear minor, there are still dangers particles and gas that could cause serious health risks upon inhalation. What makes matters even worse is gas can continue to be released for days, even weeks, after the fire has been extinguished. The ash and soot left behind also contain these harmful particles and gases, and can spread and settle throughout the entire home – even areas that were not initially affected by the fire. Without adequate ventilation and appropriate masks and safety equipment, exposure to these particles and gases can cause serious health problems.
The smell of smoke is strong, and lingers far longer than expected. The particles released in smoke also linger, so the smell is not the only negative quality. These particles can cause extensive lung damage and are particularly risky for those who are immune-compromised, have asthma, and in infants, children and the elderly. All fire releases smoke, so even minor fire damage will produce smoke damage. When smoke damage is left untreated, it will permeate materials and be absorbed by them, creating a continued threat in your home. Smoke damage should not be ignored or left to resolve itself, no matter how big the fire.
Depending on where the fire broke out, or what caused it, the electrical system in your home may have been affected. The heat from the flames can cause plastic insulation around wiring to melt, damaging the interior of electrical circuits that cannot even be seen. Outlets, light fixtures, and appliances can all be affected by fire damage even when they appear to have been unscathed by the flames. This becomes even more of a threat if water was used to thwart the flames because water does not do well when mixed with electricity. The integrity of your electrical system should always be evaluated following a fire, regardless of how minor the damage may be.
Clearly, it is easy to see that the best way to deal with fire damage, even if it seems minor, is to call for professional restoration services. With the ability to assess the damage, properly clean and remove particles left behind from smoke, ash, and soot, and experience in dealing with electrical systems, the fire damage restoration professionals at TCM Restoration can safely evaluate your specific situation, and come up with a restoration plan that fits your needs. Big or small, major or minor, we have you covered.