Even the smallest house fire can have a lasting negative impact on the house. And it’s not the fire that’s the worst part; it’s the smoke and soot left afterward. You’re going to have to invest some time in erasing the damage caused by the fire and smoke.
Everything gets damaged and everyone is affected when your house has experienced a fire. There’s damage all around: on the walls, the ceilings, clothes and furniture.
You will need to clean your house to make it a healthy and safe place to live again. The odor and residue from the smoke diminish the quality of the indoor air because of the toxic gases that linger in the atmosphere. The resulting environment is harmful to one’s overall health and can create life-threatening conditions.
However, it’s going to take more than airing out the house to get rid of the smell of smoke because the acidity left behind after the fire lasts for a very long time if not removed. Therefore, you need to follow these steps to rid your house of smoke and soot for good and restore a healthy environment for your family.
Get Some Air!
Proper ventilation is important to restoring the quality of your indoor air. Therefore, you should start the restoration process by opening the windows to air out the house. If it’s the winter season, you’re going to have to wear more layers of clothing to protect yourself from getting too cold. Also, you can use fans to assist in the airing out process.
Get yourself protective gear from companies like Trimaco before you start any cleaning because it will be harmful to inhale fire debris, soot and smoke while cleaning the house. Invest in a respirator to shield your lungs from inhaling any toxic fumes in the indoor air.
To protect your skin, wear pants and a long sleeve shirt. To protect your eyes and hands, wear safety goggles and safety gloves. Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting soiled from soot.
Move furniture and other household appliances out of the room you are cleaning and put floor protection on your floor to prevent these items from receiving more damage during cleaning.
If the house has little damage from the fire, you may be able to just cover household furniture with plastic instead of removing it. But, if you want to get the most out of your cleaning, it’s best to remove household items from the room you are currently cleaning and seal off the other rooms that did not receive any damage.
Fire damage is not a pretty picture. Start the cleaning process by getting rid of all the loose soot on your furniture using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum.
Use a vacuum that has good suction to pull the soot out the furniture. If using a brush, don’t scrub too hard or you will end up making the spots worse.
Use Liquid Cleaners
After vacuuming up some of the soot, now it’s time to remove the rest with a good commercial soot remover. If you don’t have commercial soot remover, you can also use paint thinner, rubbing alcohol or white vinegar to get rid of the soot. Just soak a clean rag in your choice of cleaner and wipe all the walls—even if the ones that look like they have no signs of soot.
Let It All Dry Out and Deep Clean
After cleaning, you can either dry the surfaces with a clean rag or let them air dry. If the smell of smoke is still present in the room, you may have objects that tend to absorb odors. If you let these items sit outside for a couple of days, the smell should leave. For those items that are not important, those can be tossed in the trash. Also, change all your HVAC filters that may have absorbed the smoke odor.
Perfumed sprays are short-term remedies that only mask the smell and cause mold. It will take professional-level cleaning to get rid of all the smoke odor in your house.
However, if you do the steps mentioned here, you will have success in getting rid of that unpleasant smoke smell out of your house.
If the smoke damage is extensive, don’t hesitate to seek a professional who can give you the best course of action for your situation. A fire damage restoration service professional will have the right equipment needed to give your house the thorough cleaning it needs to make it a healthy environment to live in again.
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