Repairing Homes From Smoke and Soot Damage
Fire can be damaging indeed, but the smoke that follows can be devastating and destroying, it spreads out on a larger area and pollutes everything it comes in contact with. Usually, it is recommended to get your home repaired by a professional fire restoration service. There is just not much room for error, and you will get quality service, instead of the time and effort taken on repairing the damage on your own. However, that does not mean that you cannot restore your home from smoke and fire damage.
Here is How You Can Do It:
1. Keep your windows open. You can install a circular fan or a portable box fan to reduce the strong, offensive smell of the smoke
2. You can moisten cheesecloth pieces and keep them over the vents, intake and outtake areas in the home. The cheesecloth can absorb any remaining soot in the air, and prevent it from spreading around the room.
3. Replace attic insulation that has been at the receiving end of smoke damage.
4. There is a good chance of residual soot that may be stuck in carpets and upholstery. You can use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dirt and smoke traces from some kinds of tough, absorbent material. Hold the vacuum nozzle, a little ahead, above the material, so that you are removing soot, instead of pushing it further deep inside the fabric.
5. After cleaning upholstery and carpets, you can cover them with plastic sheets. This will prevent any soot or dust floating in the air to be trapped inside them again.
6. Copper and brass items like bathroom fixtures can be cleaned with copper or brass cleaner. It is important to take prompt action and clean them quickly because the smoke film can quickly and permanently damage brass and copper items within just 24 hours.
7. For cleaning smoke damaged clothing, curtains and other fabric, you can submerge these clothes overnight in a gallon of warm water, mixed with a cup of dishwashing agent. Drain and wash the items the next day. In case of things that can be bleached, you can mix 1 cup of chlorine bleach with 1 gallon of water and 4 to 6 tablespoons of trisodium phosphate. Soak these items overnight, then rinse with clean water and keep them too dry. You can buy trisodium phosphate at most hardware stores.
8. You can wipe hard surfaces like table-tops, walls, counters, ceilings with a sponge. Compared to wet ones, dry cleaning sponges work better. If it was a grease fire that caused the damage, you could use a sponge dipped in luke-warm water to wipe soot surfaces.
9. If you find that bleaching and soaking do not remove the smoke damage entirely, you can take the items to a dry cleaner, which have tools and material to wipe away traces of smoke damage.
10. Some people use deodorizing sprays to bring down the smoke odor. This is not recommended because the scented sprays can cause a chemical reaction; it can interact with the smoke odor to release new, harmful odors.
11. One should remember not to keep food packages open. Smoke can contaminate food, and this can pose a higher degree of health risk.
12. Finally, never enter a smoke damaged home without getting the official approval from the fire safety marshal. There may be structural damage to the house which may cause injury while you are undertaking the job of cleaning and repairing.