Have you ever left your home for the day and then hours later, you think to yourself, “oh shoot, did I leave the oven on?” Then when you get back, you are relieved to find out that you did, in fact, turn the oven off before you left. This anxiety stems from the knowledge that a fire can completely destroy a home. Even in mild cases, the structural elements of your home, such as walls and floors, may be ruined and there could be soot and smoke damage left behind.
There are many potential causes of house fires. Kitchens are one of the most common sources of a fire, but they can also start with overloaded outlets, candles, cigarettes, appliances that heat up with use, and decorations during the holiday season. When fire attacks your home, it can leave behind a huge mess.
The Dangers of Smoke Damage
Smoke damage is very dangerous if left untreated. The soot particles in the air significantly affect the air quality in the space, putting residents at risk of health hazards like heart or lung disease. Plus, it leaves behind a distinctive smoke smell that is unpleasant to deal with.
If you fail to deal with the smoke damage left behind by a fire, or even as the result of cigarette smoke, then your home could suffer permanent damage and your family could face health risks.
Smoke Damage Cleanup
The cleaning process after your house suffers from smoke damage is important to execute quickly and correctly. Otherwise, you may have to replace more elements of the building or throw out personal belongings.
Protecting your health is priority number one when attempting smoke damage restoration. Wearing rubber gloves, long sleeves, and safety goggles to protect eyes while cleaning can prevent smoke molecules from being absorbed into your body. Wear protective clothing before you begin the cleanup process.
Remove Loose Soot
Before you attempt a deeper cleaning process, you should remove all of the loose soot and ash that you can. Whether that is with a vacuum, broom, or another piece of equipment, it will be much easier to clean the surface once the loose particles are gone.
Soap or Detergent
To get rid of the smoke odor and soot stains on the surfaces affected by the smoke damage, you may be able to employ the use of mild soap or detergent. Simply mix a gallon of warm water with about a cup of the cleaning solution and then lightly scrub the surface area with a sponge. You may want to test the solution on a small patch of the wall or material and let it dry for a day to make sure it doesn’t damage the item.
If the liquid soap solution is not enough to remove soot stains from the material, you may need to use chlorine bleach instead. This cleaner is a bit more powerful and can pull the soot particles from the surface more effectively. As with the soap solution, test out the bleach on the material first before you commit to scrubbing the whole item and ruining it further.
Cleaning the Walls
Whatever smoke-damage cleaning products you end up using to scrub the walls, make sure that you start at the bottom. This will prevent any dripping that could leave streaks on your walls. Additionally, save the ceiling until the end.
Dealing with the Smoke Odor
Even after cleaning up the affected areas with soap or bleach solutions, there might still be lingering smoke odors. Smoke can negatively impact porous surfaces, as surfaces like drywall act as a natural odor absorber. Smoke odor removal can be done with thermal fogging, leaving bowls of vinegar or baking soda throughout the space, using an air purifier, or other odor-reducing products. Activated charcoal can also serve this purpose effectively.
If the house fire required water to be put out, either from a sprinkler system or a fire hose, then you will need to dry out the affected area as well. Use a pump or a wet vacuum cleaner to extract any standing water, then employ large fans or air movers to speed up the evaporation process. From there, dehumidifiers can pull the moisture out of the air.
Professional Smoke Damage Restoration
That all sounds like a lot of work, right? If you feel underequipped to handle the restoration process, then you should reach out to Portland fire damage repair services.
Full Removal of Smoke Particles and Soot Damage
A fire restoration company has specialized equipment and the expertise necessary to repair the smoke-damaged property. Whether your wood furniture, personal items, walls, floors, or ceilings have been ruined by a fire, professional services can remove smoke damage and prevent further damage to your property.
Trained Technicians Who Know What to Look For
Sometimes, the damage to your home may be more extensive than you think. Materials in crawlspaces or between walls could be affected. Trained technicians can locate all the fire and smoke damage in your home. Then, they can implement a smoke damage restoration process that fully repairs your home and leaves no smoke stains or soot behind.
Preventing a Serious Health Hazard
Responding quickly to fire damage in your house is the best way to ensure an effective removal process. This will protect you and your family from being directly exposed to harmful contaminants for a long period. Any residue left by a shoddy restoration process could be harmful, so let the professionals clean soot and smoke damage on your property so you can be sure it is completely repaired.
Don’t Wait, Contact a Restoration Service
The longer you wait to respond to the damage in your home, the more dangerous it becomes. Plus, you could lose crucial elements of the building’s structure if they are not repaired quickly. Find a local service that can assist you right away and make the call.