Smoke damage to your home can be harmful, to you and your belongings. Fire damage is not the only means of smoke damage. Cooking flare-ups, improperly vented fireplaces or stoves, even electrical fires can fill your house with smoke causing discoloration and awful smells. The longer you let these linger, the more they embed into walls, carpets, and furniture. You need to remove this damaging element as quickly as possible.
What happens in the few minutes following fire/smoke damage?
Immediately following a fire, greasy soot and ash settles onto everything. Most porous items like fabrics are probably ruined, but if hard surfaces are cleaned promptly, they may be saved from the acidic staining powers of soot. Wood finishes will suffer damage, metal can rust and become pitted, and Painted walls begin yellowing. The longer it is left untreated, the harder it will be to clean. Prolonged exposure to soot causes permanent damage to all surfaces if not properly treated. Here are some steps you can follow to save your home after a disaster:
Air it out and clean it up
Once the fire is out, and the danger is past, open the area completely for maximum airflow to help lessen smoke damage and lingering odor.
- Open all doors and windows.
- Turn off all air conditioners and central air to prevent soot circulating throughout our home and ruining your system.
- Put fans at as many exits as possible. This will suck smoke and odors from your home. You might even look to renting industrial fans.
- Vacuum up as soot and ash soon as possible. Sweeping is not an option, this spreads the soot and can cause further staining.
Begin a deep clean
Throw out all seriously damaged items they cannot be saved. Start your house cleaning from the top to the bottom.
- Wash walls and ceilings. Start by Wiping soot with a dry sponge. Continue with rags and cleansers to wash away stubborn stains. Using a white vinegar spray may help with stains and odors as well.
- Clean all hard surfaces—countertops, shelves, appliances, and furniture should be cleaned thoroughly with a cleanser and rags.
- Wash or clean everything in your home, including fixtures and light bulbs (Remove the bulbs before washing).
- Launder or dry-clean all material items like linens clothing, and drapes.
- Use steam-cleaning equipment to clean carpets and upholstered furniture.
- Throw away any food that was not sealed in airtight containers.
- Replace all air filters.
When to call the professionals
If the smoke damage is so extensive that you just do not know where to begin, a caring professional can help you clean up and reclaim your precious home. Call an accredited restoration service and be confident in the knowledgeable that their experts can assist you in every aspect of smoke/fire recovery. From saving your precious keepsakes to restoring everyday items, a professional restoration company can help you get your life back to normal.