Fire Damage Restoration Clean Up – Dealing with Odor, Damaged Paint and Soot
Before starting any fire damage clean up, remember the highest priority is your safety. In the case of a large fire verify with experts the stability and safety of your home or business. You want to make sure the structure can withhold furniture, appliances and people residing there. Before you start repairing and cleaning check the condition of electrical wires and water pipes to make sure they are in good condition. Remove any debris prior to the cleaning.
Now that you have checked for any safety issues, the first thing you will notice when you go back in the house is everything is covered in black soot. Areas closely exposed to the fire may have more soot damage. Soot is acidic and always back and the consistency can vary. Eliminating the soot is the first step. It can stick to everything and stains. You do not want to apply any cleaning agents yet because it will just turn into the form of mud, which is even harder to clean.
Start off with a vacuum to eliminate the soot, handheld vacuums work great! However this can be a tough and long process and is highly recommended to contact a trained Fire Damage Restoration Expert to clean up the soot damage.
Once the soot is gone, in fire damage clean ups the next step is treating the black spots. You may see black spots on the surfaces that have been exposed to the fire. These spots can be removed with Trisodium phosphate which is applied using a sponge. Then, dip a rag in warm water and wipe the surface. Wear goggles to prevent irritations when preparing the solution in cleaning and sanitizing the affected areas.
Getting rid of the smoke smell from your home is the next step. You may not be able to see it but the odor can be very irritating. Breathing in that burnt odor is extremely unhealthy and uncomfortable. Start off by opening the doors and windows.
Walls and Floors can be wiped down with a white vinegar solution. Vinegar can naturally deodorize and penetrate level areas made of concrete or wood. Sprinkle baking soda on any carpets and upholstered furniture and let stand for about 3 days to absorb the odor. You can then clean the carpets and upholstery with a vacuum cleaner.
During the fire damage clean up, you may come across walls that have bubbled paint. You do not want to cover them with a fresh coat of paint. Bubbles in the paint can make the new layer flake and look ugly in the future. Wear a dust mask so you don’t inhale particles and using a putty knife scrape the bubbles make the area even by sanding it. After that is done, you can also apply a layer of primer and repaint the surface.