If your Twin Cities home ever becomes the victim of a house fire, you might be tempted to rush back inside when the blaze stops burning. But once the flames die down and the immediate, life-threatening danger has passed, there are still plenty of hazards to worry about. That’s why working with IICRC-Certified fire restoration experts is absolutely critical.
The earlier the pros begin addressing the damage, the faster you can resume life as usual inside your home. But without professional cleanup, you and your loved ones’ health is at risk. Read on to learn about post-fire health hazards that threaten you and your family and why smoke damage cleanup is so important.
Why Is Smoke Damage Cleanup Vital?
In just 3.5 minutes, a house fire can reach temperatures of over 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit. Even in rooms the fire doesn’t touch, temperatures can exceed 300 degrees. Those remarkably high temperatures can vaporize several substances inside your home in a matter of minutes.
Those vapors can then penetrate a wide variety of surfaces and objects in your house. When the heat dies down, the vapor will settle, leaving behind residue and particulate matter that can put your health at risk.
Soot and smoke residue, which contain tar and carbon among many other hazardous substances, will also linger long after the fire is out. And these substances can penetrate rooms that were never even touched by the flames.
Spending time in an area filled with smoke byproducts and soot can cause a variety of health issues even with nominal exposure. As such, it’s never safe to stay in a fire-damaged house until a contents cleaning and smoke damage cleanup crew has thoroughly cleaned and sanitized every inch of the affected space.
Health Risks Associated With Smoke Damage
Not surprisingly, most of the health issues associated with spending time in a smoke-damaged area are respiratory in nature. Since you can’t see particulate matter, you won’t know you’re breathing it in until symptoms begin to develop.
When you spend time in a contaminated building, you may notice the following symptoms:
● Breathing problems. If you don’t have any pre-existing respiratory conditions, you’ll likely notice lung irritation, coughing, and shortness of breath. But if you currently suffer from asthma, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema, smoke residue and particulate matter can seriously exacerbate your condition.
● Eye irritation. When you spend time in a building polluted with smoke residue and particulate matter, or if you touch items that are covered in soot, your eyes may become red, watery, itchy, or develop a burning sensation. Your eyes are sensitive and with considerable exposure, symptoms can get worse over time.
● Skin irritation. Byproducts in smoke residue, chemical residues, and soot are extremely harsh and can cause redness, rashes, dryness, and general skin irritation. If you were given clearance to collect clothes from your house, handle them as little as possible and don’t wear them until they’ve been thoroughly washed.
In addition to the immediate health issues smoke damage exposure can cause, it has also been implicated in several long-term health problems, including heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. Infants and small children can suffer lifelong consequences from exposure to smoke residue, soot, other fire-related residues, and particulate matter.
Kiser Construction: Your Twin Cities Source for Comprehensive Smoke Damage Restoration
If your home was recently damaged by a fire, contact our team at Kiser Construction right away. We specialize in comprehensive fire damage restoration, including water removal, contents cleaning, smoke damage cleanup, and home remodeling. Our contractors are IICRC certified and we’re more than happy to guide you through your insurance claim from start to finish.
To get started or learn more about how we can help you, call our Elk River, MN office today at 763-633-2010 or contact us online. If you need immediate assistance, please call our 24/7 emergency line at 612-518-8852.