What to Do If There’s a Fire in Your Home

House fires are scary things. It’s not uncommon for families to freeze in shock when a disaster strikes. But you need to deal with fire damage quickly if you want to save your home. That’s why MD Water Restoration wants to help you plan on what to do if there is a fire in your home. Fire damage can look devastating, but it is fixable.

Use a Fire Extinguisher

If there is a fire in your home and it’s small enough, you can put it out yourself. At the first sign of a fire, resist the urge to automatically throw water at it. Sometimes water can make things worse or even cause you to get electrocuted. Electrical fires and stove fires should be put out by a fire extinguisher or left to a professional to deal with. Your home should always have a fire extinguisher at the ready in case of fires.

Get to a Safe Place

When a fire is bigger than you can handle, you need to get out of the fire’s way. Fire damage will spread quickly, which means you should leave your home as soon as possible. Even if the fire is only in one room, smoke damage will spread into other rooms through doors and air vents. Breathing in smoke can be just as dangerous as the flames. If you can safely leave your home, that should be your first priority. Once you are safe, call 911 to have the fire put out by the fire department.

Call A Restoration Company

When all is said and done, the fire will be out but fire damage will be left behind. Whatever the fire touched will probably be burnt or singed, soot will be everywhere, and smoke damage goes a lot farther than fire damage. This means rooms that the fire may not have touched will still be filled with smoke, especially on upholstery or carpets. Plus, there will be water damage from the fire department’s hoses. This is not a job to take on yourself. A restoration company will have the right tools to measure the air quality in your home, restore home fixtures, appliances, and furniture that weren’t completely destroyed, and get rid of things that just need to be thrown away. Once the work is completed, the restoration company can tell you when it’s safe to live in your home again.

MD Water Restoration is here to help after a fire, flood, or any other home disaster. We have the right tools to treat fire damage and restore your home to how it was prior to a fire. Give us a call 24/7 for your free estimate at (240) 370-5582.

The True Causes and Prevention of Roof Water Damage in Maryland

Roof water damage is more common than you think. Always make sure to check your roof if you see damage elsewhere in your home or after a natural disaster. Leaks or holes can lead to more damage if gone unchecked. Here are some of the main causes of roof water damage and how you can help prevent some of the damage on your own.

Storm Damage

You’ll want to check for roof water damage after any type of storm. Whether you have clogged gutters, missing shingles, or obvious holes in your ceiling, all of these can lead to further damage to your home. If you have ceiling damage, it’s likely there’s more damage inside your home. Call a professional restoration service that can do all of the repairs inside and outside your house.

Fire Damage

The last thing you think about after a house fire is water damage. But depending on how high the flames climb, the water used to put out the fire could also cause damage to your roof. When you start making the repairs inside your home, make sure to also check on the integrity of your roof. Scorched or waterlogged walls or ceilings will need to be assessed and repaired as necessary.

Wear and Tear

Weather and nature can affect homes that are newly built as well as homes that have gone through multiple owners. Look out for cracks in your ceiling, especially in your attic. Other signs of a damaged roof are stains and mold. It’s a good idea to look into repairs even before massive damage occurs, especially before hurricane and snowstorm season.

Maintain the Integrity of Your Roof

When you find your roof has water damage, some of it may have been due to wear and tear and not a natural weather occurrence. Pay attention to your roof and if you spot any damage, have it repaired as quickly as possible. Professional restoration services can come out even for the smallest amount of damage to reinforce your home before more damage can occur.

At MD Water Restoration, we do a thorough assessment of the damage of your Maryland house or place of business to be sure to repair all damage that occurs due to a storm or accident. Our experts are available 24/7 to answer any of your questions. Call us today with any questions or to get an estimate.

The Complications of Fire and Water Damage Repair

Fire and water damage go hand in hand. Fire damage complicates water damage repair in three key ways. First, water damage must take second place to the structural concerns of fire damage. Secondly, cleaning up ash and flame retardant chemicals is more difficult than cleaning a clean water leak. Lastly, your insurance company might require you to differentiate between the sources of damage.

fire photo

Water cleanup is secondary to structural safety

Water damage gets worse the longer the water stays stagnant. In a typical flood or leak scenario, drying the water is considered a top priority. However, when fire damage is present, the top priority has to be making sure the home is structurally sound. The safety of the damage restoration team has to take precedence. Unfortunately, water damage worsens while initial assessments take place.

There is also a financial incentive to put structural soundness before water damage. From a practical standpoint, there’s no point cleaning water damage in a house that is a total loss. Whether the reason is safety-oriented or financial, water damage takes a secondary priority.

Ash and chemicals make the water a health hazard

Fire damage complicates water damage repair by making the water more difficult to clean. It’s common to use fire retardant chemicals to help douse flames. These chemicals are considered hazardous to humans. Ash also mixes with the standing water and provides food for bacteria or mold to grow. Additionally, heat releases more chemicals into your water supply. For example, if the fire occurred in the garage, motor oil and paint thinner along with other chemicals might have mixed with the water.

Safely cleaning this mixture of chemicals and health hazards takes time. The restoration team has to use specialized gear just to enter the contaminated area. The consequences for mistakes are high, therefore any restoration progress must use caution. This lengthens the process of fire and water damage repair even more.

Fire and water damage may need separate insurance documentation

A final concern about fire and water damage is the specifics of your insurance claim. Many homeowners have their insurance under one policy. This streamlines the process of documentation, but doesn’t always make it simple. In some situations it is useful to show what damage occurred during the fire. After that, you can update your claim to show water damage after the fact.  If possible, avoid settling your claim until restorations are complete. As water damage persists it may become more expensive to repair. If you have already settled your claim, you may have to pay out of pocket for repairs over the estimate.

The presence of a fire makes water damage restoration more difficult. This makes the safety of the restoration team a top priority. First, the home must pass a safety inspection. Once it has, the restoration team has to combat the contamination risk of the water itself. Lastly, documentation and clear description of the damage for your insurance company must happen. The help of a professional restoration team can guide you through these steps. In time, your fire and water damaged home will be like new again.