Fire damage is widely known to be catastrophic to a home. Smoke damage can be just as destructive, especially if one isn’t prepared to deal with it. Even those who are prepared may forget about the crevices smoke particles can get into.
Smoke particles can cause respiratory issues and be unsafe for humans and animals in the home. Smoke can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, asbestos fibers, sulfur oxidation and more. In this post, we gave a brief overview of the effects of smoke after a fire, so today we’re going to talk about what to do about it.
Where can smoke particles hide?
Smoke particles can hide in hard to reach places that might be hard to clean without professional help. Carpets and rugs are one common place where smoke particles can linger. Regular vacuuming and deep cleaning can get rid of the odor, but getting the particles out of the carpet for good may be a job for a professional. Curtains and blinds around windows is another place where smoke particles can linger. These are often forgotten when cleaning after a fire, but window treatments are a common place that smoke particles stick to because of the fabric. This means that particles often like to hide in bed sheets, towels and clothes as well. Wallpapers, and walls themselves, tend to attract particles that make the house smell bad as well. A well known place that may be forgotten about until you try to use it again is your AC Vent/air filtration system. Since theses circulate around the house, it’s important to clean those out as well
How to properly clean up smoke particles
The American Red Cross has an extensive list covering how to clean up after a fire. Products like Borax, which contain trisodium phosphate, are great to clean up and get rid of the odor. You can put it in your laundry, and use it as carpet cleaner or even as wall cleaner. It’s important to clean the walls and ceilings of the house before you repaint them, as this won’t get rid of the odor or particles as much as it would spruce up after a fire. Other things that aren’t mentioned in this article, such as pots and pans, purses and other accessories, and shoes, should all be properly cleaned with heavy duty soap. As mentioned, smoke particles tend to linger, and the best way to ensure your safety is to do your best to get rid of them. Make sure you wear protective gear while you clean, including (but not limited to); masks, heavy-soled shoes and gloves.
Even following all these steps may leave you with a lingering smell, or maybe even silent symptoms of lingering smoke. At that point, it’s best to call a professional to help you clean out your house. Still need help? Contact us at 1-800-847-0114, or connect with us on Facebook. We want to keep your home as healthy and happy as we can.