A fire in your home or business can be a harrowing and life-changing event.
If you’re reading this article about fire damage restoration, then you’ve probably been having a rough go of it lately… but try to remember how lucky you are to be a fire survivor. Now that you’re ready to start getting your life back to normal again, here is some fundamental advice on fire damage recovery.
Fire Damage Repair
Even if your fire was relatively small, smoke can be a major destructive force alone.
Smoke can easily penetrate walls and other surfaces and drift through air ducts; it can remain in clothing and furniture if not professionally deodorized. Smoke even penetrates closed drawers and cabinets! If not properly cleaned, the odor will continue to re-occur over a long period of time, especially during warm or humid weather. It is best to consult professional smoke damage restoration specialists about smoke removal from ducts and walls. They can use chemical sealers or other sophisticated methods to thoroughly clean affected areas and make your home safe again. Also consider full replacement of attic insulation as it strongly retains odors.
Fire Damage Clean Up
Soot is oily and easily stains most household textiles.
Don’t try to clean up soot using your vacuum because the brushes and most attachments tend to force soot deeper into fabrics. A fire restoration company will also have access to chemical cleaning additives called “counteractants” that break down smoke at the molecular level to eliminate odors. There are various types of counteractants available, and which should be used varies with the type of materials that burned in the fire. Dry cleaners may also be able to provide them to you for washing clothing.
To clean soot from walls and other flat surfaces, use a chemical sponge available from a cleaning supply company or at minimum a non-water-based cleaner. Rubbing alcohol or diluted paint thinner may also work for particularly nasty soot, but only use with caution because of the danger of toxic fumes. Remember to wear rubber gloves and use proper ventilation while working.
Fire Damage Restoration
If you’ve had a major fire you’re likely to also have, somewhat ironically, major water damage resulting from emergency efforts to put out the fire.
Dealing with water damage can also be a stressful ordeal. Water that soaked in over several hours or days may have made the soot damage your to fabrics even worse. You may be eager to clean up your home or business after a fire, but if you don’t take the time to get good advice and do it appropriately, you may be wasting your effort and money, or possibly even creating further damage. If your fire damage is covered by insurance, then you’ll most likely want to employ a professional fire restoration company. Their services may seem expensive at first, but the short-run cost may be substantially less than the long-run cost of completely replacing ill-cleaned furnishings and floors.