A house fire does not always mean the complete loss of property. If only a portion of your home caught fire, you might be contemplating whether it is safe to continue using the rest of the house. However, lingering effects from fire and smoke damage can pose health and safety risks long after the flames are put out.
The unseen threats of living in a house post-fire
If you decide to stay in your home after the incident, it is crucial to consider not just the apparent structural damage but also the hidden dangers.
There are many ways a house fire can be destructive. The extreme heat from the fire could have released harmful particles into the air, such as asbestos and lead, which can pose a health risk if breathed in.
Exposure to high temperatures can also weaken the parts and materials that are holding your house together. If such damage goes undetected, these components may break down, compromising the foundation of your home and your safety.
When checking for structural damage after a fire, the presence of broken gas lines, cracks in the foundation, charred walls or warped beams could be a sign of a serious underlying problem in the house.
Smoke can reach areas in your house that the fire did not. It can seep into the crevices and cracks in your home or penetrate porous materials such as carpets and bedsheets. The effects of smoke damage can stay on personal items and various parts of the house for up to months if not treated.
Soot and other toxic particles left behind from smoke damage can stay on personal items and various parts of the house for up to months. Prolonged exposure to soot could result in respiratory issues and skin and eye irritation. Moreover, the soot may also have damaged electronics and appliances, which could be dangerous to use.
Although the fire only affected a part of your house, identifying the extensive damage caused by heat and smoke is not easy. Considering the risks, looking for another place to stay may be best. Dealing with the aftermath of a house fire is bad enough, but your health and safety should not have to suffer too.