The aftermath of a house fire can be frightening and devastating. In the best-case scenario, you were able to put out the fire before it completely destroyed your home or business. You will, however, face numerous challenges.
The chemicals and water used to extinguish the fire; smoke damage; smoke stains; residual soot damage; and odor are examples of these. You only need to look at your smoke-damaged walls and ceilings to realize how serious the situation is.
Before re-entering your home after a fire, get permission from the fire department. The first thing you should do is open windows to increase ventilation throughout your home. Increased airflow will aid in the removal of residual smoke and provide clean, fresh air to breathe.
If the fire department used chemicals and fire hoses to extinguish the fire, it is best to consult with fire damage experts. The cleaning procedure will be determined by the nature of the damage and the type of walls.
Repairing smoke and soot damage is not as simple as it may appear. Smoke is made up of oily tars and soot, which can act as a coat of paint. Your cleaning efforts may be ineffective in removing the smoke and soot stains. That is why it is always preferable to hire a professional fire restoration company.
Things to Do Before You Start the Clean-Up
Assuming you know how to clean smoke damage and are capable of doing so, your first priority should be safe before you begin cleaning. Wear rubber gloves, long-sleeved pants, goggles, and a dust mask. Safety equipment is essential because smoke fumes and cleaning chemicals can be harmful.
Place a drop cloth on the floor to protect your carpet or other floorings from soot or soot residue. To dry wet items, use a clean cloth or a chemical sponge. Next, use dry cleaning sponges or a vacuum cleaner to remove soot from the walls and ceilings. Certain cleaning products work well at removing soot. Trisodium phosphate solution is a common cleaning agent for smoke-damaged walls and ceilings.
You may still have an unpleasant odor after removing loose soot from your walls and ceilings. The strong odor of smoke can be removed by washing your walls and ceilings with water and detergent. A solution of water and white vinegar can also aid in the removal of the smoke odor.
When to Hire Professionals
If the soot and smoke damage to your walls and ceilings is extensive, it is time to call in licensed and experienced fire restoration professionals. Only blisters, bubbles, and smoke remain after a fire. Smoking is unpleasant and dangerous to one’s health. As a result, learning how to clean smoke damage from walls safely is critical.
Cleaning Smoke Damage from Your Walls
A house fire is one of the most devastating disasters. A fire can cause significant damage to your home and belongings, in addition to posing a significant risk to you and your family. Even after the fire has been extinguished, you must deal with the aftermath. The majority of your home’s damage will be visible on the blackened and damaged walls and ceilings.
Charring and Soot
When materials do not completely burn, a soot residue containing carbon-based impurities is often left behind. Because of the burning of plastic materials, the soot stain on your walls and ceilings will have an oily texture. When plastics are burned, smoke molecules are released into the atmosphere. That is a health risk.
When soot particles enter your respiratory system, they can cause havoc. They can deposit impurities in various parts of your body once they enter your bloodstream. The most serious side effects of soot accumulation in your body are cancer and severe congenital disabilities.
When it comes to cleaning soot from your walls and enjoying soot-free air, you will need the following:
- An effective soot cleaner.
- Rubber gloves.
- Dry chemical sponge.
- Warm water.
- Soft cloth or rags to avoid damaging the paint job.
- Face masks and goggles protect your face and eyes from as much soot as possible.
Use a vacuum cleaner to remove soot from your walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. Wear your gloves and soak the sponge in your cleaning solution. Before cleaning the entire wall, work on the affected area section by section. Wipe your walls with the soaked sponge in firm, hard strokes. After that, rinse your walls and ceiling with warm water and soft rags. Repeat for any other smoke and soot-damaged segments.
Depending on the severity of the fire damage and smoke stain or soot buildup, you may need to repeat the above process more than once. To prevent water seepage into porous surfaces such as baseboards or drywall, avoid over-washing your walls and ceilings.
How to Remove Smoke Odor
A simple room freshener or deodorant may be insufficient to combat the strong smoke odor. To eliminate the odor-causing smoke molecules in the air, you may need to use something more potent. You can use the following items to eliminate the odor caused by smoke damage:
· Baking Soda
Baking soda absorbs naturally and is extremely effective at eliminating odors. You can leave it in a bowl in each room or spray it on your walls and other surfaces with a spray bottle.
· White Vinegar
Wipe down your walls and all affected surfaces with strong-smelling white vinegar. Wipe down your walls, ceilings, furniture, floors, and other surfaces with a rag dipped in white vinegar.
You can leave this natural odor absorber in powdered form in every room to absorb smoke odor.
Odor Reducing Products
To deal with a foul odor, use odor-reducing products such as oil diffusers, Febreze, or incense, as well as other steps.
An ozone generator can help you deal with the offensive odor caused by smoke. However, it is pretty expensive.
Odor Reducing Fogs
To deal with the pungent smell of smoke, many fire damage restoration companies use special fogs that completely kill the odor.
Smoke odors can be quite persistent. Depending on the strength of the odor, you may need to use more than one of the methods listed above. When the scent permeates your furnishings, draperies, and carpets, it can be difficult to remove. You may need to replace these items to get rid of the odor.
Trisodium phosphate is an excellent cleaner for smoke damage on walls and other surfaces. It is an extremely harsh chemical. As a result, it may not be available in all areas. Look for alternative cleaning products or solutions at your local home improvement store.
The Benefits of Hiring a Smoke Damage Specialist
Many people are hesitant to hire smoke damage restoration specialists because professional cleaning can be expensive. When the smoke damage in your home is severe, it is best to rely on a professional’s experience and skills. There are numerous advantages to doing so, including:
To Prevent Lasting Damage
Smoke can cause extensive property damage. Professional fire damage restoration companies provide superior solutions that aid in the prevention of further damage. Professionals will also remove severely damaged parts of your property that will require future repairs.
Quick and Efficient Work
To protect your health, avoid dealing with smoke, soot, and ash on your own whenever possible. Hire a professional to do the work instead. The longer you leave smoke damage unattended, the worse it will get. So, hiring a professional as soon as possible to restore your home can save you a lot of time and money.
Thorough Home Inspection
A significant benefit of working with fire damage restoration experts is their thorough home inspection services. The professionals you hire will search for potential smoke and ash damage and other issues that may cause costly problems in the future. They will use their skills and experience to ensure you move back into a safe and clean house.
The last thing you need to deal with is insecurities about being a property owner. When a fire breaks out in your home, you want to extinguish it immediately. You should also deal with the smoke damage as soon as possible.
Are You in Need of Professional Cleaning Services in Indianapolis? Welcome to Elite Clean Restoration
Are you looking for a reputable Indianapolis water and smoke damage restoration company? If this is the case, contact Elite Clean Restoration. Our professional and experienced restoration team will breathe new life into your living or working environment. You are not required to live with water or smoke-damaged walls.
We provide a variety of cleaning and restoration services, including water removal and mold remediation, as well as commercial and residential duct cleaning. Elite Clean Restoration is a BBB A+ rated business with an excellent reputation. Call (463)218-9616 for the best cleaning solution in Indianapolis and the surrounding areas. We will provide you with a free estimate and arrive within one hour.