When you think of a house fire, you’re probably mulling over all of the damage done by the flames and smoke, but what about the damage caused by the water used to douse the flames?

As surprising as it may be, the fire itself is not always the most destructive force ripping through your home during a house fire. In fact, a large chunk of the restoration efforts may go towards undoing the water damage and mold that follows it.

Here are the 4 types of damage to expect following a house fire:

Fire Damage

The type of damage caused by fires depends on what type of fire you’re dealing with, and that is based on the fire’s originating source along with the types of fuel that keep it going. Fires can invoke complex chemical reactions, leaving behind caustic substances or cause damage that’s invisible to the naked eye.

Smoke damage

An example of invisible fire damage would be protein-based smoke, which is unseen in most cases, but can cause stains and leave a strong odor that’s difficult to remove.

Even if the fire wasn’t caused by meat left on the stove for too long (creating protein-based smoke), the scent of other types of smoke often engulfs the entire home during a fire, settling in both hard and soft surfaces, furnishings, and personal belongings.

Respiratory system assaults aside, walls will bear visible stains and varnished fixtures will lose their luster as the smoke (and soot) residue continues to inflict damage even after the flames are extinguished.

Water Damage

Yes, water helps firefighters put out the blaze – but at a cost. Fire hoses shoot out jets of water at high speeds (50-125 gallons per minute), and your home will become completely soaked as firefighters combat the flames.

Water will creep into every crack & crevice of the home, putting the fire to a stop, but damaging electrical components and devices, furniture, personal belongings, carpet and flooring, and anything else that it touches in the process.

Mold Damage

As if you and your home haven’t been through enough already at this point, you still have one last problem to face: mold.

Mold will begin to grow – on EVERYTHING – within 24-48 hours if your home is not dried out and professionally cleaned as quickly as possible. So don’t hesitate to contact ServiceMASTER Absolute – or your local fire restoration company if you’re not in San Diego – following a house fire. They will do everything in their power to stop the ongoing damage, salvage your personal possessions and restore your home to its former glory.

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