If you've recently suffered a house fire that only caused damage to a couple of rooms, you may think that you're in the clear. Unfortunately, that might not be the case. Even fires that cause minimal damage can have lasting and devastating effects on your home and on your family. Before you start tackling the cleanup as a do-it-yourself effort, here are some things you should know about fire damage.
Smoke and Soot Can Linger for Months
You might have only suffered fire damage to one or two rooms in your home, but the smoke and soot could have caused extensive damage throughout the house. Once your home fills with smoke, virtually everything is affected by the soot. You may not realize this, but even in a fire that's contained to one area, your entire home will fill with smoke. Unfortunately, that means that your bedding, your clothing, and even the walls will be coated with a thick layer of soot. Even with a significant amount of scrubbing, you could be dealing with the remnants of smoke and soot damage for months.
You've Got to Watch for the Water Damage
When the firefighters come through your home, they don't confine the water and foam to one area. They make sure that your entire home is saturated. They do that to ensure that the fire doesn't spread. Unfortunately, that means that your entire home will sustain some degree of water damage. It also means that you'll need to be worried about mold growth after the fire damage has been cleaned up.
There Could be Chemical Hazards as Well
You might think that the damage to your home would be confined to smoke, water, and fire. However, that's not actually correct. There could also be chemical hazards that you're not aware of. That's because a dangerous amount of chemicals are released during house fires, including carbon monoxide, ammonia, and hydrogen chloride. Those chemicals can be absorbed into your walls, your insulation, and even the flooring. Unfortunately, that means that no matter how thoroughly you think you've cleaned your home after a fire, you could still be living with, and breathing in, harmful chemicals.
You're Better with Professional Cleanup Services
If your home has been damaged by a fire, the best thing you can do is treat it like a disaster area and hire a professional home disaster restoration company to take care of the cleanup. Professional restoration companies are experienced in this type of cleanup, which means the job will get done right. It also means that once the cleanup is complete, your home will be safe for you to live in again.