In 2014, a home structure fire was reported every 86 seconds in the United States. While the fires themselves created a lot of damage, much of the damage can from smoke as well. There are two types of smoke damage that occur after a fire. One is invisible smoke odor and the other is visible soot damage. Both can cause quite a bit of damage and take a lot of money to remove. Cleaning your home is the only real way to get the smoke and soot damage out of your home. In an effort to do get it done completely, here are three tips to consider if you find yourself dealing with smoke damage after a fire.
Get The Air Moving in the House
Once the fire has completely gone away and the fire department has allowed you to enter the home again, you want to make sure you get the air moving throughout the home to help get rid of the odor. The first thing you should do is open all windows and doors to help circulate the air throughout the house. If you have ceiling fans or box fans, you want to turn these on. If there is water, you want to make sure you turn the dehumidifier on so mold and mildew do not grow. Not only will the fans help with the water damage, but it will push the smoke odor outside.
Vacuum the Soot
Soot can be an oily or dry substance that can leave stains and marks on your walls and furniture after a fire. In an effort to remove the soot, you want to vacuum it off the upholstery, floors, and walls with a HEPA vacuum cleaner. If you have oily soot, you want to use a degreaser to remove it off your surfaces. The type of soot you have depends on the material that was burning. If you have dry soot, you can use a sponge to wipe it off. If you cannot remove the soot, the item will need to be removed from the house.
Clean all Fabrics
Rugs and furniture upholstery can absorb the smoke. These should be cleaned right away to remove both soot and smoke damage. Rugs can be sent to dry cleaners to have them professionally cleaned (by those such as Serclean Inc). Any furniture should be taken outside to clean so it can air out. Once they have been cleaned, you want to cover them while you clean the remainder of the house. Do not use odor reduction products. This will only mask the smell instead of removing it.