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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Fire Damage Can Cause Water Damage (and Vice Versa)

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke triggering fire alarm sprinkler system When fire & smoke trigger sprinkler systems, you may need water damage restoration as well as smoke & soot cleanup. Call SERVPRO for a fast response.

Fire and water. Water and fire. They are natural enemies, the yin to the other's yang. Yet when your residential or commercial property suffers either water damage or fire damage, you should know that one can actually increase the likelihood of damage from the other.

Fire Causes Water Damage

There are two ways fire damage can cause water damage to your home or business: directly and indirectly.

First, and perhaps most obviously, if the fire department extinguishes the fire with a hose, it soaks your belongings with water. Likewise, if a fire alarm triggers the activation of a sprinkler system, your floors, carpets, walls and furniture are dowsed with gallons of water.

Less obvious is how nearby wildfires can also increase the risk of water damage to your property. Even if your home is spared by flames, a wildfire can burn out so much vegetation that the land is unable to soak up the water from subsequent rain storms. Large amounts of water from rain runoff can seep into your basement, crawl space and foundation, causing water damage and also increasing the risk of mold growth.

Following a fire, it is important to have a certified water damage specialist thoroughly inspect your property. Left unaddressed, water damage can spread and become both a bigger safety risk as well as more expensive to repair. Further, mold thrives in damp areas that are not properly dried and disinfected.

If you find water damage following a fire, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood right away to inspect your property, extract the water and expertly dry, clean and disinfect the affected areas of your home or business.

Water Causes Fire Damage

When it comes to the risk of wildfires, it's the lack of water that creates the dry conditions that can lead to a fire sparking and rapidly spreading. On the other hand, water itself can actually spark a fire in your home, often completely unaware to the homeowner. How?

Both plumbing pipes and electrical wires usually run in close proximity to each other inside your walls. So a leaky or burst pipe can drip water on those wires. A leaky roof can send water flowing towards light fixtures. The water in a flooded room might rise dangerously close to live electrical outlets.

When water comes in contact with exposed wires or sockets, it can cause a short circuit. If the affected appliance or fixture is protected by a fuse or circuit breaker, it will protect against overheating by "blowing," e.g. breaking the circuit. However, if there is no fuse or circuit breaker to stop the electrical current, the wiring or appliance will continue to heat up and, if it comes in contact with combustible materials like wood or carpet, could start a fire.

To prevent this, have a licensed plumber check your plumbing system for leaks. Likewise, clear your roof of debris and inspect for damage before the rainy season. And make sure that blown fuses are replaced, older appliances are upgraded and circuit breakers are working as specified.

And if your property suffers fire, smoke or soot damage, call SERVPRO of North Hollywood anytime, 24/7. Our highly-trained restoration technicians will help you clean up, deodorize and restore your home or business "Like it never even happened."

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