House fires can be emotionally devastating. All of your belongings, memories, and precious valuables may not be intact after the fire has been extinguished.
While fire damage can feel disheartening, it does not always mean complete destruction. But even if the fire is extinguished quickly, you’ll have some clean up to rid your home of toxic smoke.
You could attempt to clean up the smoke damage on your own, but it puts you at risk and often requires special equipment that only professionals have access to. Therefore, it is best to contact a IICRC certified restoration contractor. When you want to be sure that your home is safe again, contact FIRESTONE Restoration. Our team will come to your home and do a thorough cleaning and make your home look like new again.
Here are the steps we take to clean your home of smoke damage.
Steps We Take to Clear Your Home of Smoke Damage
Clearing out smoke damage from your home requires a comprehensive approach. At FIRESTONE Restoration, our skilled cleaning professionals have split the work up into several steps to ensure it gets done right. Here is how we do it.
1. Air the space out
One of the first things we need to do is open the windows and allow the air to clear out the smell and any smoke left in your home. If they are available, we’ll also use fans to promote the circulation of the air. However, its best to leave your HVAC system off, which can transfer soot and smoke to other areas of your home.
2. Suit up
Smoke is a toxic element in your home, and anyone that enters the space will need protection. That means we’ll put on all our safety and protection gear including goggles, face mask, and shoe protectors.
3. Prepare the room
Our cleaning teams will take extra measures to protect your floors by laying down sheets of plastic over them before we begin the clean-up. This helps prevent soot from being transferred by shoes or the air. It’s also best to remove any furniture items that are not damaged. This also helps protect your items from smoke damage as we clean. Furniture that was damaged can be removed or covered. We’ll also seal off the room that our crew be working in to prevent spreading smoke or soot. If there are any damaged items that you are willing to part with, it would be best to toss them.
Your cleaning professionals will start the work by vacuuming any soot or dust that is visible so that it does not spread around the room. We’ll take this step a little slow so that we can gather up all the loose particles in the space without damaging any of your items.
5. Dry clean
The next step involves wiping everything down with a dry clean sponge. At this point, we’re trying to remove any soot or smoke stains. We always start with a dry clean before we apply water or other liquids, which can cause soot to move around and make the staining worse.
6. Wipe down
Once we’ve completed a dry clean of the damaged area, we’ll use our chemical solutions to further the clean of your home. This step involves a very methodical wipe of every surface, whether it was damaged or not. After we’ve wiped each surface with our chemical cleaning solution, we’ll rinse off the surfaces.
7. Drying off
Once the surfaces have been wiped clean and disinfected, our team will set up some fans to dry the room out. In some homes, we’ll also use some special equipment that can remove any lingering odours, such as an ozone generator.
Tips for Cleaning After a Fire:
Cleaning up after a fire requires a special approach, and often special tools. Here are some tips our professionals use when they are trying to clear smoke damage from your home.
- Use products that contain tri-sodium phosphate. These mixes can reduce smell in fabrics, but it is caustic so you need to be cautious when you use them.
- When washing walls, use a warm water and soap mixture. Add in some tri-sodium phosphate and you have a solution that can not only clean up the dirt but also the smell.
- Talk to a professional about any drywall or insulation that has been soaked with water. It’s unlikely you will be able to dry it out. Rather, you will need to replace it.
- Always wear protective gear when cleaning or entering the building.
- You can use newspaper inside of purses and socks to help them keep their shape.
- Don’t rely on scented candles or air freshers to remove the smoke in your home. All they do is mask the problem rather than remedy it.
- Remove any HVAC filters to avoid smokey air being circulated in your home.
- You may be able to get smoke damage out of your clothing. Use a bleach water mix and wash in cold cycle.
Tips to Fireproof Your Home
While cleaning your home up after a fire is possible, protecting your home from fire is a better option. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your home is protected:
- Install fire alarms and check them every year.
- Have a working fire extinguisher and know how to use it.
- Remove combustible material from around your home in your yard, such as dried leaves and pine needles. These things can build up in your gutters.
- Work together. This article by the LA Times, reflects on the importance of community efforts to prevent fires. Talk to your neighbours and see if you can all commit to a plan that makes your area more fire proof.
- Purchase fire resistant items for your home, for example, furniture that has added fire protection applied.
- Have a plan. Even with all the safety measures you take, a fire could still happen. So, create an escape plan so everyone in the home knows how to get out.
When a fire causes smoke damage to your home, it can feel like you’ll never get it clean again. But it doesn’t have to be that way. FIRESTONE Restoration cleaning teams have the skills, experience, and equipment to make your home clean again.
Get rid of that toxic smoke smell in your home, contact FIRESTONE Restoration today.