A fire in the home can be devastating in many ways beyond the obvious damage from the flames and extinguishing efforts. One of these forms of damage is the lingering smell of smoke. Even small contained fires can cause significant smoke damage. Smoke damage can be difficult to get rid of to the point where the only option for certain items is to throw out or replace them. The faster that smoke damage is treated after a fire, the better the chance that your belongings and property can be restored.
Ventilate the Area
As soon as possible, open all of the doors and windows completely so there is a good amount of fresh air coming in. Place fans in front of these openings to circulate the air through and carry the smell out. While fresh air helps to remove some of the remaining smoke particles and odors, items will need individual, hands-on cleaning to be restored.
Perform a Thorough Deep Cleaning
Deep cleaning is the most effective way to rid your home and possessions of smoke odors. You can use an all-purpose cleaner mixed in a bucket of warm water for many surfaces, but an even better solution is to use white vinegar mixed with water and a splash of dish soap. Vinegar is mild, effective at both cleaning and mild sanitizing, and dish soap will help cut any grease-like sooty residue. Using either cleaner with a sponge and start scrubbing surfaces all throughout the home. Work from exterior to interior, top to bottom for best results. Surfaces to clean using this method include:
- Door and window frames
Treat and Remove Fabric Items
Fabric is especially resistant to odor removal. Many people assume commercial products like spray odor removers and scented candles are the best option, but these mostly mask odors and are not strong enough to eliminate them. If these items are portable, such as bed linens and drapes, remove them from the home until the smoke smell has dissipated. For items that cannot be washed in a washer and dryer, you can rent a steam cleaner or use an upholstery cleaner specifically designed for odor treatment.
Clean Floors Last
Floor cleaning should be one of the last surfaces treated during your cleaning process. If you have tile or wood floors, the mixture above and a mop and bucket may be effective at cleaning smoke particles. Carpet, however, is a magnet for smoke particles and can be difficult to treat. It is often best to hire a fire restoration company to treat your carpet to remove smoke damage.
Smaller belongings should be left to the professionals as this is a time-consuming and specialized process depending on the type of item. Items with soot damage especially should be set aside for professional attention.
Get the help you need right now to begin the fire restoration process by phoning RestorePro today. In Massachusetts, reach us at 781-664-9800. In New Hampshire, reach us at 603-253-2068. We look forward to giving you the helping hand you need to move on with your life.