Even after a minor fire, the worst damage is not caused by the fire, but by the soot and smoke. Smoke damage and persisting odors take time and attention to be cleaned.
It can damage nearly everything from clothes, electrical appliances to furniture, walls, and ceilings. It can be a tragic experience for anyone.
Moreover, cleaning a smoke-damaged space is critical for providing a safe and healthy living environment. Removing the smoke odor is not something that can easily be air out by opening windows; instead, the acidic nature can make it last for months.
The unpleasant odors of smoke residue and soot can negatively impact indoor air quality. The harmful gases are the key components responsible for causing a wide spectrum of severe and life-threatening health issues. Consider these five things while removing smoke and soot from your house.
Open Those Doors and Windows First!
The first and foremost thing to do is open those windows and let the smoke air out. At this point, you have to adjust yourself according to the weather, for instance, if it is cold outside, throw on a jacket! But, ventilating the house is very important to let the air pass throughout the house. You can switch on fans to encourage airflow.
Cover Yourself with Protective Wear
Before start cleaning, remember to wear proper protection, as the smoke, soot, and debris can be harmful to inhale. Wear a respirator that can prevent inhaling the toxic gases in the damaged area. Make sure to wear a long sleeve shirt and pants to protect your skin.
You should also wear safety gloves and eye-protective wearable. Since you will be removing soot as you clean, make sure to remove furniture pieces, household objects and lay down the floor protection to prevent further damage.
If the damaged is less, you can perhaps get away with merely covering household items with plastic sheets. However, for a thorough clean, it’s wise to keep those clean items outside and seal off other rooms that are not damaged.
Be aware of the shoes you are wearing, so you don’t leave soot stains all over your house. However, in the case of extensive damage, considering fire damage restoration service
is highly encouraged. They are packed with the latest equipment that will help in thorough soot and smoke removal.
The fire damage usually come in one ugly package. Begin by eliminating loose soot particles using a vacuum with an upholstery attachment.
A vacuum with strong suction power is ideal for this task. Make sure to use the brush attachment very lightly as rigorous brushing and scrubbing can make stains worse.
Use Liquid Cleaners
After you have cleaned as much soot as possible with the vacuum cleaner, grab a clean rag. You can use commercial soot remover, or you can use white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, or paint thinner. Soak the rag in any of the cleaners, and wipe the walls all over the damaged area. Even if you find no sign of smoke or suit damage, it’s critical to wipe each surface in the room.
Let It All Dry Out and Deep Clean
After you have cleaned thoroughly, let the surface air dry or use a clean rag to wipe it off. If you still smell the smoke, look around the room, and check the stuff that absorbs the odor. Put these stuff outdoors to see if the smell vanishes after a few days. Consider throwing items that you don’t need.
Get the professional help to eliminate the existing smoke odor. Avoid using artificial fragrances they are a short-term solution, but can cause a long-term problem like molds. Make sure to replace your HVAC filters that might circulate smoky air in your home.
Following these steps will help you in the soot and smoke removal process; however, if the damage is overwhelming, calling for professional help is the best choice!