3 Things to Know About Damage from Small Fires

17 March 2020
 Categories: , Blog


House fires can be dramatic and life-changing events. Watching your whole home go up in flames is often traumatic, but small fires can also be catastrophic. Minor fires can start on stovetops, in faulty electrical wiring, or as the result of any number of other causes. Even small fires that are quickly contained and put out can result in severe damage.

If your home has suffered from a seemingly minor fire, then knowing the potential risks will allow you to evaluate and restore the damage effectively. These three facts about small fires will help you to understand how devastating even a limited fire can be.

1. Heat Can Cause Hidden Damage

Fires generate a tremendous amount of heat. In many cases, heat from the fire can reach areas of the house quite a distance away. This heat can cause damage in subtle and often surprising ways. In extreme cases, this may mean bubbling or peeling paint, but not all damage is immediately visible.

For example, heat can compromise insulation on wiring behind nearby walls. Without an expert trained in fire damage evaluation and remediation, there may be no way to know if this type of damage is present. Studs and other structural components may also suffer damage even if the drywall seems intact.

2. Smoke Travels

In addition to heat, smoke from even a relatively small fire can travel throughout your home. Depending on the objects that are burning, smoke will often contain a variety of hazardous compounds. In addition to the danger presented by smoke's composition, the heat from these particles may also damage any surfaces they contact.

After any fire, it is essential to have your entire home evaluated for potential smoke damage. At a minimum, unaddressed smoke can leave a burnt or ashy smell in your house. At worst, it can pose a hazard to your health and even continue to damage your home's structure. Walls and possessions damaged by smoke typically require professional cleaning and treatment.

3. Water Damage Is a Threat

Counterintuitively, homes that suffer fires also often suffer significant water damage. Putting out a fire with water or fire extinguishers can cause additional damage. In many cases, this water damage goes unnoticed, especially if the area around the fire is scorched and challenging to evaluate. If areas near the fire are salvageable, then water damage must often be addressed quickly to avoid future issues.

You should always have your home evaluated by fire damage services following any fire, no matter how small. A full evaluation will provide you with peace of mind and allow you to restore your home to its pre-fire condition.