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Ductwork After a Home Fire, Can it Be Saved

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Can Your Ductwork Be Salvaged Following A Home Fire?

Unfortunately, fire is reported to be the main cause of property destruction in the United States, as approximately 30 000 fires occur every day. This is a major concern for property owners, as they use thousands of dollars to restore their buildings after a fire and smoke damage. 

While most of the damage usually befall kitchen appliances, documents, and the building itself, several parts of the property eventually get affected by secondary damage. For instance, the fire could be so intense that it gets to your HVAC system, damaging the ductwork. Ductwork is expensive to buy and install; therefore, it could lead to extensive loss. Would it be possible to salvage the ductwork to save you from extra costs? To answer this, you need to understand the extent of damage that could occur during such a calamity.


Smoke Damage on Ductwork

The purpose of an HVAC system is to purify and circulate air in your home, and the system operates efficiently when the air is clean. Your system will struggle to eliminate smoke from the fire, especially if it is greasy. The smoke is trapped inside the HVAC system, damaging the air ducts. Unless the smoke damage in your home or property is minimal, salvaging ductwork after a fire can be impossible. You will end up installing new air ducts for efficient air circulation.

Sticky Contaminants

If you thought your air ducts were safe from sticky contaminants, you are wrong. Products such as grease stick not only on walls when burnt but also to the ductwork. With time, smells, dust, and debris will stick onto the grease, resulting in poor indoor air quality. If not cleaned properly, the sticky contaminants may cause a fire in the future as some are flammable. The good thing about sticky contaminants is that most can be cleaned from the system.

Effects on the Air Filter

After a large fire, the HVAC system and air ducts might experience extensive damage if the air filters are affected. An HVAC system without a working air filter is useless. Ash and soot can damage your air filters during a fire, making the air purification process hectic for the system. Fortunately, most HVAC systems come with air filters that can be removed and replaced following extensive damage. If your air ducts are in perfect shape, but the air filter is not, you can purchase a new one and have professionals install it for you. Before approving your HVAC system for use, ensure to thoroughly clean and check the air quality after repairs are conducted. 

Total Fire Damage

In the worst-case scenario, suppose the house or property in question is damaged; the air ducts will also burn and probably melt away. There is not much you can do to salvage the ductwork in such a situation. A company certified by the IICRC to assess the property for fire damage restoration can help determine the extent of the loss and whether or not it is possible to repair and restore the existing home structure. 

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