One of the most alarming and potentially devastating situations that can occur is to face a house or business fire. Many dramatic home and business fires garner headlines in the media with alarming regularity. There are a large number of other home and business fires that are tragic events but don’t end up in the total destruction of a property. Rather, firefighters are able to get these types of fires under control and save the structure and most of the items in it. While this certainly is a favorable outcome, the aftermath of such a fire presents its own set of challenges. These include dealing with smoke and water damage. 

Significant Challenges of Water Damage Following a Fire

There are significant challenges when it comes to water damage and protecting your property following a fire. Examples of some of the most significant challenges associated with water damage following a fire include:

  • Dealing with structural damage is one of the primary challenges associated with water damage and protecting your property after a fire. The reality is that structural damage associated with a fire can be so significant that it makes entering the premises to deal with water remediation and cleanup highly challenging. Indeed, there are situations in which it is impossible.
  • If a fire occurs during the winter months and the temperature drops below freezing, another type of challenge occurs. In this type of scenario, the water used by firefighters to control and extinguish a fire can end up frozen. Dealing with water damage is one thing. Dealing with frozen water in, on, and around a fire-damaged property can make water damage restoration a uniquely challenging endeavor.
  • Approval from the fire marshal to commence cleanup operations, including water damage restoration, is yet another challenge associated with water cleanup following a fire. In the case of a good number of fires, the fire marshal (or a similarly situated official) may be called upon to make a determination about the cause and circumstances surrounding a fire. If that is the case, the cleanup and restoration process cannot commence until after the fire marshal returns control of the property back to the owner. 

Rapid Response To Water Damage Restoration

Speed is vital when it comes to water damage restoration. The heart of successful water damage restoration is speed – everything else depends upon the rapid drying of a property and objects in it.

As a general matter, a property and items in it that suffer water damage as the result of the work of firefighters need to be generally dried within 24 to 48 hours. The failure to complete the drying of water within that time frame can result in permanent damage to aspects of a building itself as well as certain objects contained within the premises.

Because rapid response is vital in order to save certain elements of a structure itself from fatal water damage, and because it can be impossible following a fire, a person in the position of having to deal with water damage restoration will be in a position to have to decide what property can be saved and what property can be salvaged. This deliberative process is discussed in more detail in a moment. 

Eliminating Water Damaged Property That Can’t Be Saved or Salvaged

A key component of remediating the extent of water damage associated with a fire at your home or business is rather immediately making a determination of what items of personal property can and should be saved and what objects need to be disposed of and thrown away. The failure to make prompt, proper determinations in this regard can result in the level of damage at your home or business becoming even more significant.

Examples of elements and items that very well may need to be removed and thrown away as part of a water damage restoration process include:

  • Upholstered furniture
  • Mattresses
  • Sheetrock
  • Carpeting
  • Insulation
  • Wallpaper

As time elapses, more items in a house or business and more elements of a structure can become permanently damaged if what is inside it are not dried in a timely manner. As mentioned previously, typically a timely manner to dry is between 24 to 48 hours.

Benefits of Professional Water Damage Restoration

Because of the truly challenging aspects of water damage remediation following a fire and the efforts of firefighters, the need for professional remediation assistance cannot be overstated.

This type of professional not only has the background but also the equipment and tools necessary to efficiently and thoroughly undertake water damage restoration. As has been discussed, because water damage must be addressed quickly following a fire, professional intervention and assistance may prove to be the only realistic course of action to take.