A fire disaster does not only give danger to the residents of the house, but the aftermath (smoke and soot) is really challenging and could even damage further if not treated properly through professional ways.
Smoke damage is normally the largest part of the effect of a fire disaster. Smoke can easily penetrate different areas and belongings of your home.
It is recommended that you hire professionals to fully mitigate your home so it can be habitable again. They will remove any hazards which include unintentional water damage caused by the firefighting efforts, accumulated hazards of soot, unhealthy levels of smoke odor, and others.
What is Smoke Damage?
Smoke damage after a fire contains toxic chemicals that are both visible and invisible and is harmful to living creatures. The health hazards that smoke brings can last for days. That means going back to your home after a fire is still unsafe.
In addition, smoke contains acidic compounds that can ruin metal and glass which might affect the structure of your home.
Smoke-toxic gasses are sneaky as they normally travel and settle in cooler areas such as behind the curtains, blinds, and even into the nook and cranny of your home. The fine particles are usually ionized so they are attracted to various materials, such as vinyl.
It is important to deal with the cleaning process of smoke damage because smoke can continuously harm your home and household while the smoke molecules sit in your home. Let us help you understand how smoke damage progresses when quick action is not taken place right away.
- In minutes, smoke will turn into soot and will cause permanent discoloration of many porous materials such as wood, carpeting, and clothing.
- In hours, the metal that can be seen inside the appliances and electronics become tarnished and corroded. Fiberglass fixtures and many major appliances turn yellow. Clothing might contain stains that are difficult to remove. Flooring and wooden furniture might need to be refinished or replaced.
- In days, materials that are made of fibers such as carpets become permanently yellow. Silver, glass, and crystal are considered irreparable.
Cleaning Smoke-Damaged Belongings
Though it is recommended that you hire professionals to do the cleanup process as it is a big and challenging job, if you opt to do it, we have here some tips you can follow in cleaning some of your smoke-damaged belongings.
1. Household Textile and Clothing
- Clothing, upholstered furniture, draperies, curtains, cushions, etc should be properly washed and stored in a dry and clean area. Use bleach to remove smoke and soot remains. Also, consider washing them with cold water, your usual detergent, and one tablespoon of pure vanilla extract.
- At times, removing soot and smoke odor can be difficult and the stains might remain. Soot can be hazardous to you and to the people around you. A professional restorer can use a piece of advanced equipment to do the job.
2. Walls Furniture and Floors
- To remove smoke odor from your entire walls, furniture, and floors, you can use mild soap or detergent.
- You can also use a mixture of white vinegar, warm water, and dish soap to clean up thoroughly. It can also be applied on solid surfaces such as doors, ceilings, door frames, cabinets, shelves, baseboards, and others.
- Be sure to rinse surfaces with clear warm water and dry them thoroughly.
3. Uncarpeted Floors
- Mix together warm water, white vinegar, and dish soap to effectively remove smoke on the floor. Use a mop to remove the solution. Then, clean the mop with running water.
- Make sure to properly clean it before moving to another area as you might be just dispersing the particles on other surfaces again.
4. Upholstery & Carpets
- Cleaning carpets and upholstery affected by fire, water, and smoke is the most challenging. Debris, dirt, or any particles can penetrate the surface. Sprinkle baking soda and let it sit to absorb all undesired odor.
- Use a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner to siphon out the particles and clean them.
- At times, upholstery and carpets that have suffered from fire, water, and other chemicals might be better left with professionals.
5. Painted Surfaces
- You must repaint the house after a fire for safer and cleaner walls. If you wish to clean the wall, you can use a cleaning product that contains ammonia or glycol. These are helpful in neutralizing odors. Thoroughly clean it and let it dry.
Air Out Your House
It is advised that you air out your home to help circulate the air and remove the smoke odor. Open up all the windows and doors. You can use fans, air blowers, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, etc. to get totally remove smoke odor.
Furthermore, keep both one entry point and exit point open to properly ventilate the area. That helps in removing the odor in every corner of your home.
Use Protective Gears
Cleaning up after a fire can bring you danger. The smoke and even soot that goes around inside your home or is penetrating the areas of your home include toxins that can affect your health.
It is important that while you are having the desire to clean your house, safety is on top of your mind. That’s why it’s important to wear protective equipment before starting anything.
You’ll need the following items:
- Smoke protective eyewear
- Respirator (if available)
For Smoke Damage Issues, We are Here to Help You
It is always difficult to do the cleanup process after a disaster hits you. Fire can cause a big job, from cleaning small belongings to the entire surfaces of your home.
We, at Superior Restoration, are here to help you. The first thing we will do is protect you from toxins. We will make sure that your home is back to its healthy and habitable state. Learn more about our services and contact us for more information.