Do I Need to Replace My Windows After a Fire?
A fire can be a scary thing. It can threaten the lives of your loved ones, your home, your possessions and all the memories in there. After you experience a fire, you may wonder what needs to be replaced and what can be salvaged.
In particular, people often wonder what to do with their windows. Given that windows are such an important part of a home for many reasons, it’s understandable to wonder what you should do with them once you have suffered a fire in your home. Read on to find out whether or not you need to replace your home’s windows.
Replace, Or Fix?
There are several parts of a home that you should always plan on replacing rather than fixing. Some adjusters will tell you that installation is important to replace because it can be ineffective.
Burnt or semi-burnt insulation will not do its job well. It also can be dangerous because it can reignite a fire if a spark is hidden and smoldering. Carpet that has been burnt also usually needs to be replaced because it can be unsightly, the color tends to change, and it may have a burning smell.
Any part of the house that is wooden and that deals with the structure and the framing of the home also usually needs to be replaced. Now that it has been heated up it is likely to be much weaker. The same goes for electrical wiring.
If any wires in the home have been melted or damaged, date poses the potential risk for causing another fire. So what about your windows?
The problem with windows is that once the glass has experienced extreme heat it becomes much weaker. The weak glass on a window is a major cause of concern for numerous reasons. First of all, imagine if you open the window and shut it again.
If the glass is already weakened by a fire, it may potentially shatter or break into tiny pieces, which could be very dangerous for the person or persons near the window. Another possible scenario is that someone knocks on the window from the outside or inside to get another person’s attention.
A weakened window may possibly break from even a tap. If you have children in the home, we all know that they sometimes accidentally throw a ball or toy that hits a window. This could also cause the window to break.
Lastly, sometimes people or kids lean up against a window to look out. If the window is fragile, it could break, leading to the person or child to fall out. This could be potentially very dangerous if the window is high up or on the second floor of a home.
When You Need To Replace
Another consideration is that the firefighters who came to the house may or may not have had to break some of your windows. If you’re wondering why they had to do this there are a few different reasons.
For one they have to slow the fire down. By adding some ventilation into the home by breaking a few windows they are able to ventilate and therefore slow down the fire’s growth. They may also have had to let some of the smoke out so that they were able to better see inside of the home. This is especially true if there was a lot of thick black smoke.
You may be able to simply clean the window if you noticed that some sort of ash has accumulated on the outside of it. You do need to be careful since ash can cause some problems for some people.
Ash can be an irritant to the skin causing rashes, especially on younger children. It also can be an irritant to the lungs and can cause respiratory distress. If you do notice ash on your windows and you decide that you want to clean the windows as opposed to replacing them you’ll want to make sure that you wear long sleeves long-sleeve pants and a mask.
Any contact the ash has with your skin requires that you immediately wash off. Sometimes firefighters will use what is called a Class A foam product in order to extinguish a fire.
This foam is similar to soap or a deter. In other words, it is very easy to clean it up. You may just need to use a paint scraper if it is baked on. Even a tile cleaner can be helpful.
Cleaning Off Ash
Another option for cleaning soot or ash off of a window is to use the garden hose. Simply spray those areas with water and let them air-dry. If you notice that the soot is rather baked-on, you can then use a power washer. You’ll probably want to finish with a basic glass cleaner on the inside and the outside.
Be on the lookout for any damage to your windows such as broken seals, cheap cracks, or any areas of the frame that look warped or damaged. If you see any of these signs you will most likely need to replace the window not just clean it.
If you do want to clean the window because you do not see any of these signs of serious damage the first thing you can do is vacuum out any loose debris that has gathered on the sill and a frame.
You can then wipe all the parts down you microfiber cloth. You will probably need to scrub a lot as there will be a lot of residues that has accumulated. Cotton swabs are helpful for getting into tiny crevices. Rinse the window with hot water on the microfiber cloth when you are done and then use a good window cleaner.
Fires are very scary no matter how small they might be. Be very careful when deciding whether or not to replace your windows. You don’t want to mess with broken glass since it poses a safety hazard to your loved ones. If you see any major signs of damage you will want to replace them. Otherwise, be ready to scrub and clean to get your windows back into good shape.
Quality Replacement Windows With Feldco
Sometimes life catches us by surprise. If you’re looking for an easy and quick way to replace your windows after a fire, Feldco replacement windows are your best bet. Certified, quality installation and great service is what you can expect when you get your job done with Feldco. Start now and get a free quote.