If you have been the victim of a house fire, something to keep watch for in the aftermath of the fire is allergies.
Unfortunately, two of the most difficult things to get rid of following a house fire – smoke and mold – are also two of the leading causes of allergies.
Here’s what you need to know:
Allergy Symptoms to Watch Out For
- Post-nasal drip
- The need to clear the throat often
- Itchy rash or hives
- Plugging or popping in the ear
Lung symptoms (more series than those symptoms listed above)
- A tightness in the chest
- Frequent bronchitis
- Shortness of breath
Why Smoke Causes Allergies
Smoke is filled with toxic chemicals that can irritate your lungs, eyes, skin and more.
One of the big problems following a house fire is smoke damage. It can be hard to identify – for example, it can exist behind walls or in a home’s air ducts. It can also be in the floor or in furniture or drapery.
The problem is if smoke damage isn’t properly removed it can be breathed in by residents and that can cause allergies and over time even worse illnesses.
That’s why it is vitally important that you hire experienced professionals to go through your home and make sure all the smoke damage is removed.
Also, keep in mind that smoke travels so the damage can be far away from where a fire actually occurred.
Why Mold Causes Allergies
Mold is another issue that must be addressed following a house fire. It is a common result when water is used to put out a fire.
Mold can also be located in areas that make it hard to spot. This leads to residents unknowingly breathing in the spores, which can lead to allergies and other serious health issues.
The truth is, even without a fire, mold is one of the leading causes of allergies in homes. Even molds which are not otherwise toxic can cause serious problems for those who are susceptible.
According to a recent study, even if your home looks clean, chances are very good you’ve got mold, often at levels high enough to trigger allergy and asthma attacks.
Researcher Kelly A. Reynolds recently surveyed 160 homes in seven U.S. cities and discovered that 100 percent of the homes tested positive for mold!
That’s right, 100 percent. If you have suffered a substantial house fire, your chances of having mold are sky high.
Some More Things to Know About Mold:
When molds grow, it’s usually in damp places, behind walls and under floors, above ceiling tiles or behind shower walls – wherever there are wet cellulose materials they can feed on, such as wood, ceiling tiles, plasterboard, or accumulations of organic material inside air-conditioning and heating systems.
Molds have the potential to cause a variety of health problems.
Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins).
Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis).
Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold.
In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.
Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold.
Often families exposed to mold can go for months, even years, without knowing where their symptoms are coming from.
What can I do to prevent allergies following a house fire?
- Hire professionals to locate and eliminate smoke and mold damage.
It is simply too serious to leave to yourself and what your untrained eyes can see. Like we said, there can be damage behind walls or under cabinets. You need professionals to find it and get rid of it.
- It is also important to clean your home (including floors and walls, but especially carpets and upholstered furniture) thoroughly. Smoke and mold spores can travel throughout a home, so you need to be thorough in your cleaning efforts as well as consistent. Cleaning your home consistently will enable you to spot new outbreaks and to ensure old ones are removed and stay removed (instead of growing back).
- Consider getting an air purifier. Today’s high tech air purifiers can greatly improve indoor air quality and can help relieve and even eliminate your allergy symptoms! Here’s how they work:The purifiers produce negative/positive ions and ozone and blow them into the breathing space effectively eliminating indoor allergens, including smoke and mold.In addition to helping get rid of existing damage, the units also kill odors from cigarettes and tobacco, pets, gases and more through a process of oxidation or sanitization, so that odors do not have a chance to be absorbed and later re-emitted by objects in the fire-damaged house.Be sure to look for a unit – especially if you suffer from severe allergies or asthma – that comes with a HEPA filter. HEPA air filters, which were developed by the Atomic Energy Commission during World War II to remove radioactive dust from their plants, are the most efficient type of air filter available. They are 99.97% effective at removing particles as small as 0.3 microns.
Sell Your Fire Damaged House
Another option to avoid the allergies that may come after a house fire is to sell the home to us. At We Buy Fire Damaged Houses, we buy burned houses “as is” and we pay all cash.
That means you don’t have to worry about making repairs or living in a home that may be bad for your health. We allow you to sell your house quickly and move on with your life – often with a better house in a better neighborhood.
Fill out the short form below to see if your house qualifies for a free quote.