Smoke damage is caused by fire, electrical storms, explosions, or other disasters. Smoke can cause dangerous levels of exposure to harmful gases and toxins released into the air when Smoke enters your home. A fast-moving fire can force you to leave your home quickly with no time to pack a bag of belongings.
Smoke is an invisible pollutant that can harm your health. Smoke contains carcinogens, irritants, and toxins. Smoke can be a severe health risk in your home. Here’s what you need to know about smoke damage, the health risks, and solutions to these risks.
How long will it take for my home to recover from smoke damage?
The time it takes for your home to recover from smoke damage depends on the extent of the damage. It could take up to 3 weeks for severe smoke damage. You may smell Smoke throughout the period, but the odor will dissipate once you open windows to ventilate your home. The house must obtain airflow for comfort and safety.
Your home may not be ready for occupancy after the fire department leaves. Your electrical and plumbing systems need to cool down before you can safely enter your house or use it as a rental property again (provided no family members, pets/pets, and belongings were inside).
A fire damage restoration specialist can advise you how long this process might take if there is smoke damage due to an accident or felony arson. A fire that is started deliberately or negligence can take longer for your home to recover from.
The time it takes varies depending on individual and geographical factors such as:
- The severity of the fire and smoke damage
- The size of the property – How big is your house? Is there a “bedroom” in each room? Is this new construction or existing residence (pre-1978)?
- Has an extension been added onto an old structure; did you add more rooms to an existing home? The age of the electrical wiring
Health risks of smoke damage
The visual changes that result from smoke damage are relatively harmless, but the materials could become contaminated with or emit gases that can harm home occupants. The odor of seeping glue may present health risks to young children and animals after it is well established.
Emitted toxins may irritate the eyes and cause headaches, confusion, and temporary constriction of the throat. High levels could also be poisonous, causing convulsions or vomiting. All home occupants who may be sensitive to Smoke or have inhaled substantial amounts should take precautions.
It is not uncommon for family members of fire victims and their neighbors to breathe in toxic particles while searching the smoldering ruins within hours of a house fire. However, this puts them at the risk of asthmatic attacks and pulmonary embolisms.
Long-term exposure to inhaled smoke particles could also promote cancer risk.
The longer you can keep these chemicals from contaminating unconditioned spaces such as furniture coverings, carpets, wall molding, etc., the better off your family will be.
How can you protect yourself from smoke damage?
Install air filters that remove carbon monoxide and toxic gases.
If early detection is not possible, get immediate medical care for the sick homeowner or seek emergency treatment yourself if you are “sick” within 24 hours of a fire.
A fire-affected house is bound to house toxic residues caused by burning fat along with cooking oils, be mindful of this during a disaster recovery attempt.
On most occasions, a fire incident leaves chaos and confusion. The aftermath cleanup process can be risky and complex, especially if you lack the knowledge; this is where seeking the help of a fire damage restoration specialist can come in handy.
What should you do if there is a fire in your home?
In case of a fire, make sure you have the following:
If there is Smoke in your house, open all doors and windows. If it’s hot outside, wait for enough time to cool down inside before going back into the house.
- Take extra precautions if you’re pregnant or elderly.
- If you think there might be a fire, call 9-1-1 and get out.
- Take detailed photos and video of the building before anything happens so that your insurance claims afterward will be better.
- Keep evidence to support structural damage later if needed – ask an expert for help.
- Put valuable or irreplaceable items in plastic bags or small containers
- And don’t forget to take some traveler’s checks, cash, and documents before the worst happens.
Fire is one of the most devastating events in a home. Smoke damage can cause irreparable damage to the interior and exterior of your house, which will have a lasting impact on your quality of life. A professional should handle the smoke damage repair process carefully, as it involves handling hazardous materials. Contact us today for a free estimate to ensure that your home is safe from damage after a fire.