The first priority, after ensuring a home fire has been completely put out and everyone is safe, is smoke damage restoration. Smoke often contains a myriad of tiny acid particles, usually related to carbon and sulfur, depending upon the type of fire that caused it. Black soot collects on walls and other surfaces when particles of solid matter are released from the gas from the fire and meet cool air, resulting in condensation. If allowed to linger, smoke damage can affect human health and degrade the integrity of the contents, or even the construction materials, of your home. Therefore, it is imperative to implement smoke damage restoration as soon as possible for each type of surface, piece of furniture, and appliance in your home.
Restore Wood, Metal, and Plastic Smoke Stains
Smoke and soot can discolor the surfaces in your home, including hardwood floors, metal doorknobs, and plastic pipes. Treat these surfaces and materials in your home for smoke damage.
Floors and Walls
Floors and walls are at risk for stubborn smoke odor and stains. Hardwood floors and tile are porous and prone to permanent discoloration from smoke and soot. The acid in smoke can eat away paint and wallpaper.
Metal, from doorknobs to pipes, can be affected by smoke. The severity of the damage will depend upon the kind of smoke and the type of metal.
Plastic exposed to soot residue can begin to discolor in minutes. It is extremely porous and collects more soot than anything else in your home. Plastic and PVC, as well as other highly porous items such as tile, marble, and wood flooring, should be cleaned first to avoid irreversible damage. Click here for some tips on how to clean soot off plastic.
Clean Rugs, Upholstery, and Furniture After a Fire
It’s crucial to clean your furniture after a home fire to remove any lingering smoke odors. Before embarking on a smoke restoration campaign, check what cleaning agents work with your carpets, rugs, furniture, and upholstery.
Carpets and Rugs
Carpets and rugs made of synthetic materials can become permanently stained in a matter of days. Smoke odor can linger if not cleaned properly. If your carpets or rugs were not ruined from the chemical agents used to fight the fire or by heat or water, clean them as soon as possible.
Cleaning curtains, upholstery, and clothing will require specific cleaning agents so that all the sooty oils are completely removed. If these oils and other residue are not removed properly or promptly, permanent staining and odor can set in. Chemicals left behind in clothing can irritate the skin.
Furniture is especially vulnerable to permanent damage because each piece of furniture in your home may be composed of many types of material – from porous wood or fabric to corrodible metal. In smoke damage restoration, each material requires a specific cleaning agent. Because of this, it is easy to damage the furniture during the cleanup process.
Remove Soot from Home Appliances
Take special note of smoke damage to your kitchen appliances and electrical systems. Soot often finds a way to get into the smallest crevices, and it takes extra care to remove it entirely from utilities.
Appliances such as refrigerators and smaller appliances such as toasters are especially difficult to clean as soot and smoke can find its way through the small crevices and leave behind residue and odor that can be hard to get rid of. In addition, the smoke residue is caustic and can damage electrical systems.
Heating, ventilating, air-conditioning units, and all ductwork should be professionally cleaned.
Smoke Damage Restoration Tips
Useful deodorizers and cleaning agents include sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), white vinegar, and activated charcoal. To absorb odors lingering in the air, fill several small bowls with baking soda and leave them throughout the house for 24 hours or place bags of activated charcoal in rooms. Do your homework, though, because if you use the wrong cleaning agent, you could end up causing more damage. Additionally, acids can continue to wear down the item if any residue is left behind. Leave it to the professionals who have the right training and the proper equipment.
Call Action 911 to Clean Up the Aftermath
Protect your assets and your family’s health from permanent smoke damage by calling the professionals at Action 911. They have the know-how and equipment necessary for thorough smoke damage restoration. Count on Action 911 for an immediate response.