Residential fires can cause a significant amount of damage, including scorched walls, cracked and bubbled paint, and water damage from the efforts of firefighters to put out the blaze. But one of the most difficult things to repair is smoke damage, which can cause black marks, discoloration on the walls and ceiling from soot build-up, and an unpleasant odor that if left unaddressed may linger for years.
Although homeowners may be eager to begin cleaning up smoke damage as soon as possible, some attempts may do more harm than good. However, there are a few steps that homeowners can take to address initial smoke damage, including:
- Ventilating and circulating the air in the home;
- Removing soot from carpets, draperies, and household textiles by holding a vacuum nozzle slightly away from the surface (using a vacuum with a beater brush will force soot further into the material, making it much more difficult to clean);
- Covering carpets after removing soot to prevent it from being tracked across the floor;
- Deodorizing carpets and other textiles, although this usually only provides temporary relief;
- Cleaning carpets twice, both before and after repairs have been made;
- Using a chemical sponge or a non-water-based cleaner to remove soot from the walls;
- Using household cleaning products to remove soot from countertops, appliances, glass, and other less porous surfaces; and
- Washing clothing and other fabrics with detergent after soaking overnight.
Even after taking these steps, smoke damage may still persist. In these cases, it is especially important to retain the services of a smoke damage removal professional who will have access to chemicals and ozone treatments that work to break up smoke molecules and eliminate odors. Professionals will also be able to use a process known as thermal fogging, which removes smoke that has permeated the walls and household ducts. A failure to remove this trapped smoke can lead to a persistent smoky smell, especially in warm or humid environments. In some cases, restorers may need to use a chemical sealer to remove any remaining smoke from the air ducts. Even after these efforts insulation may still retain a smoky odor, requiring replacement.
Contact an Experienced Fire and Water Damage Restoration Company
Although there are a few things that homeowners can do to help mitigate the smoke damage left behind in the wake of a fire, most fire damage can only be truly removed by trained professionals who have access to top of the line materials. By failing to address this type of damage at an early stage, homeowners run the risk of allowing the damage to become irreparable, so if your house was damaged in a fire, please contact Dason Fire & Water Restoration, Inc. by calling 918-379-0390 or by completing one of our standard contact forms and we will help you evaluate what repairs are necessary to restore your home to its prior condition. These types of emergencies can occur at any time. For this reason, we are are available on a 24/7 basis to address your property damage needs.