A kitchen fire can be frightening, but it's often a relief when it is quickly controlled. It may appear at first as though the damage was minimal. Unfortunately, often smoke and water damage pervades the home, affecting areas well beyond the kitchen. The following are some tips on how to tell if you have more fire damage to contend with:
#1: Musty odors
Is your nose picking up on musty odors near the kitchen? If so, you may have mold or mildew hiding somewhere in the walls. The areas most likely to be affected are those that were exposed to moisture when the fire was put out. Since most kitchen fires occur on the stove, the culprit is likely the wall behind the stove or inside the cabinets near the stove. In some cases, it could also be the floorboards. Since the mildew and damage may be on the backside of wall and floor boards, it may be necessary to have them replaced, or at least removed and cleaned, depending on the material.
#2: Smoke smells
You may scrub and scrub the kitchen yet still smell smoke in your home. This is likely because the cause isn't from the kitchen at all. Smoke can permeate the entire home. You can begin by washing everything in the house that is washable – clothing, linens, and drapes. Even items in closets and drawers can absorb smoke odor from a small fire. Larger items, including carpeting and upholstery, should be professionally cleaned. Finally, make sure all semi-absorbent surfaces in the home, such as walls, are washed down with an odor-fighting cleaner. If the odor persists, you may need to repaint.
#3: Corrosion and crumbling
If the fire is small and you act quickly, you may not notice any mildew odors and smoke odors may be under control. Yet, there are still a couple of things to watch for. First and foremost is rust and corrosion. Some fire retardants, as well as the chemical cocktail produced by smoke, can cause metals in the kitchen to oxidize and develop rust or corrosion. Keep an eye on all metal fixtures and pipes for the next few weeks and clean them promptly with a rust removing cleanser. The other issue is that the paint may begin peeling on the walls. This is often because moisture did get into the walls and it just took awhile to start evaporating. In this case, a mildew and mold treatment will be necessary.
For more help, talk to a fire damage restoration company in your area like C & Z Construction.