In the event of a house fire, you have to deal with the aftermath. This involves replacing all destroyed property and cleaning what remains. Property that is saved from a fire may be damaged by smoke and soot, as well as water and chemicals used by firefighters. Even if the whole house was not engulfed by fire, smoke and soot can have traveled throughout the house, thereby affecting walls, carpet, upholstery, clothing, and other personal items.
Therefore, you need to clean smoke and soot from your property’s walls, textiles, clothing, and furniture, as well as removing smoky odor. In the following article, we will focus on cleaning smoke damaged properties.
Cleaning smoke damage
1) Seek permission from a fire marshal to re-enter your home.
The first step should be seeking permission from the fire department to ensure that it is safe to do so. It may take you sometime before you are allowed back into the house. This will depend on various factors, which includes the severity of the fire and the measures employed to put the fire out. After you are granted permission the first step should be assessing the damage to your belongings. Then decide what you want to try to clean, and what you need to dispose of.
2) Allow fresh air to circulate.
The first step should be increasing ventilation by opening the windows. You can also switch on your fan to increase the amount of airflow into the room. This will help in removing any residual smoke in the house, minimize the smoke odor, and provide fresh and soot-free air.
3) Clean smoke damage from your walls and ceiling.
Wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles. This will ensure that loose soot does not get into your eyes and gloves will protect you against cleaning agents. Then get rid of all the loose soot on the surface of the walls and ceilings. This can be done with a vacuum cleaner or with a dry chemical sponge. And to protect your floor, put a mat on the floor to collect the soot. You can also use a brush to remove the soot.
You can also use Trisodium Phosphate solution to remove the soot. It is the most powerful cleaning solution, though you will still require a great deal of your time and effort to clean the soot from the walls or ceiling. Mix one tablespoon of TSP with a bucket of warm water. Note that TSP is a harsh cleaner and has an irritating effect on the skin and eyes. Therefore, be careful not to allow it to come into contact with your skin, and if it does, wash it off immediately.
In case of severe smoke damage look for a commercial cleaning product that is designed to remove soot from walls as well as other surfaces. Choose heavy duty cleaning solutions when dealing with severe smoke damage. You can undertake a simple online search to get the best solution to use and also one that fits your budget.