The impact of a fire or flood on your business can be devastating. Not only are you faced with the problem of dealing with the physical damage but you must also quickly establish what the impact is on your business’s trading position. Decisions have to be made quickly; it is imperative that the full extent of the problem is established as a matter of urgency. Unfortunately fire damage is not limited to visible smoke/thermal damage and flood damage is not limited to standing water/silt/mud.
Buildings contain very significant quantities of plastics, particularly PVC, in the form of cabling, equipment covers, floor coverings etc. When plastics burn they produce a huge array of noxious substances including dioxins, tars and acids such as hydrochloric acid. These combustion products are transported throughout the building wherever the smoke travels to, and are deposited on cooler surfaces. Some materials are very sensitive to acidic deposits and begin to react quickly, i.e. electronic circuit boards in computers, exposed steel in precision manufacturing machinery, galvanised steel in structural steelwork etc. Such acid attack is always detrimental and is very often responsible for more damage than the original fire if left unchecked.
Similarly, buildings contain materials that are affected by water contact but the immediate and ongoing damage to these is not always apparent. If such materials i.e. insulation, plasterboard, plywood, chipboard etc., are not appropriately and rapidly dried out, problems of mildew and mould growth can occur.
It is therefore imperative that after a fire or flood that a detailed survey is undertaken as a matter of urgency to establish the precise nature of the contamination produced, its extent and spread, its impact on the building, contents and environment, and its ongoing effects so that informed business decisions can be made as to how to deal with it.
Davis French and Associates are experts in the field of post-incident contamination profiling. We will quickly investigate contamination sources, types, severity and spread, then report in understandable terms what the contamination impact has been, what the on-going problems are and what should be done to arrest deterioration and how to successfully neutralise and remove the problem.