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Fire and Water Damage Facts and Fiction

Symbols of fire and water damage

Dealing with a fire or water disaster in your home or business is stressful enough. But trying to separate myth from fact when dealing with fire and water damage can be even worse. Unfortunately, common myths about fire and water damage can lead you to make poor choices when deciding how to deal with them. Since quickly dealing with fire and water damage can mean the difference between saving your possessions and long-term damage, take a look at the myths below and the facts that correct them.

MYTH: During a fire, heat does the most damage.

FACT: Although the flames are scary, and may do the most visible damage, it's actually the smoke and toxic chemicals produced from the fire that usually cause the most damage. Smoke doesn’t just leave behind a smell—it also creates corrosive soot particles that get trapped in the pores of your belongings. If the soot isn’t removed quickly, it can cause irreversible damage.

MYTH: Water damage is no big deal.

FACT: Not only does the water itself cause damage, within 48 hours mold can begin to develop and grow. Although water may seem easy to remove, it involves much more than soaking up puddles with towels. Since water can seep into your walls and underneath your flooring, if you don’t have dehumidifiers and high-speed fans, you may not be able to get everything dry enough to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. And once mold starts growing, cleanup can be expensive and dangerous.

Related Topic: Think You Have Mold? Take These Steps Immediately.

MYTH: After a fire, your property will always smell like smoke.

FACT: This only occurs if inexperienced DIY techniques are used to try to remove smoke and soot. They often miss the odor particles lodged in walls, ceilings, carpet, and upholstery. Smoke odor removal can be a complex process and is best done by professionals who are skilled at cleaning, neutralizing, and sealing all the affected areas.

MYTH: If an area or surface feels dry, there’s no mold.

FACT: Just because a surface feels dry, that doesn’t mean it’s not damp just under the surface. It’s easy for water to seep into porous building materials during a disaster, which can allow mold to quickly grow on the inside. If this happens, the wall or floor might not feel wet on the surface, but mildew has already started to grow where nobody can see it.

MYTH: DIY cleanup is less expensive than hiring a professional restoration company.

FACT: Although you may be able to clean up after a small fire or plumbing leak using household products, that’s where the DIY cleaning should end. Major fire and water damage requires professionals who, in addition to fire and water damage restoration, also know how to remove and remediate mold, clean carpets, and get rid of odors. Trying to do the cleaning yourself can actually do more damage and end up costing you more money and time in the long run.

MYTH: It’s difficult to find professionals who can deal with fire and water damage.

FACT: Call the professionals at Rainbow International to help with cleanup, repairs, and getting you back to normal after a fire or flood. They can help you decide which items can be packed out and cleaned—which is significantly less expensive than buying new ones—and which items must be replaced. They can board up and tarp over broken windows or damaged roofs, to reduce further damage. Rainbow International can even perform home reconstruction services, including the total reconstruction of your home or business after water or fire damage. When flood, fire, or mold strikes, Rainbow International is ready to help. Call them at (855) 724-6269 or schedule an appointment online today.