Any fire, big or small, leaves a trail of destruction behind.  Invisible odors, water damage, and soot appear in the aftermath of a fire and can ruin your home.  Timely attention to the clean-up process, in the event of a fire, is crucial so you can stave off additional damage to your property.

For small fires, you may be able to tackle the problem yourself.  Once the fire is out, make sure that the area is safe for you to enter.  Take pictures of everything so you have documentation should you need to contact your insurance company.  It is also important to begin drying everything out that was damaged by water used to put out the flames.  If left alone, mold will quickly form causing more damage to your home.

To clear your home of smoke damage, you need to understand the two categories of the damage; soot and odor.  Soot is visible and is a result of burnt items.   It is an oily residue that can stain and yellow walls, ceilings, appliances, and belongings.  Simply wiping down the affected areas will not clean your property.  Instead gather a vacuum, 2 buckets (filled with warm water), rags, a large sponge, a bottle of Trisodium Phosphate, rubber gloves, protective goggles and a mask.

Step 1:  Put on your gloves, goggles and mask.

Step 2: Vacuum as much soot up as possible.

Step 3:  Mix 1 Tablespoon of Trisodium Phosphate into one bucket of warm water.  Working in small sections, use your sponge to wipe down the area with the solution.

Step 4:  Clean off the solution with rags dipped in the plain warm water and dry with a clean cloth and then move on to the next section.

Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have thoroughly cleaned all of the soot.  You may have to clean the same area a few times until you have removed it all.  Leaving any residue behind will quickly discolor your property.  However, be careful to refrain from over saturating the walls so you don’t cause further water damage to your home.  Once your walls are clean and dried, you can apply primer followed by a fresh coat of paint.  Only use this method on walls, ceilings and floors.  A white vinegar and warm water solution can be used for appliances, smaller items, and anything with metal.

Smoke odor is the invisible residue caused by fire.  To remove the odor caused by fire and smoke damage, there are a few household items that may help.  White vinegar mixed with water can be used to wipe down hard surfaces.  A bowl of Baking Soda will absorb most odors and can be sprinkled over carpets and furniture.  Activated charcoal can be put in a bowl to absorb smoke odors, as well.

For large fires, or to ensure the cleanup is done right, call the professionals at Restore Pro.  We have the tools, equipment, and experience to handle your fire damage needs.  We’ll properly clean the affected area, sanitize and dry the area and remove the soot and odor that fires leave behind.  For more information about our Fire Damage Restoration Service call us at 781-664-9800.  Visit our Facebook page to learn more about our services at