Fire Restoration: Fixing Smoke Damage
In mere minutes, a fire can rip through your home, destroying family heirlooms and expensive furniture.
Even with fast-acting first responders, fires can cause immense amounts of damage. After the flames are extinguished and the immediate threat is over, it’s time for clean up to begin.
One of the most difficult aspects of fire restoration and cleanup after a house fire is mitigating damage from smoke. The scent can get in clothing, carpets, and walls, and can cause health issues or long-term damage.
The key to dealing with smoke damage is assessing the damage quickly and taking a few simple steps toward repair.
- Be safe — make sure the fire marshal gives you the OK to re-enter the home, and wear dust masks and gloves.
- Begin ventilating the home — open windows, run a dehumidifier, change your furnace filter daily, run fans.
- Get rid of any loose soot by vacuuming or sponging the walls, ceilings and floors. Wipe down walls with soapy water or white vinegar to begin mitigating the smell.
- Wash and deodorize anything you can — blankets, clothing, curtains, rugs. Have carpets cleaned professionally?
- Wipe down any furniture that cannot be washing. Sprinkle baking soda over the surface of anything that cannot be washed; let sit and vacuum up after about 1-2 days (baking soda absorbs smells). Repeat until odor is removed.
- Contact a professional. You won’t be able to do it all by yourself. While there are steps you can take to mitigate the damage, professional property restoration services will do the best job to ensure the scent — and risks — of smoke damage are removed long term.