Home fires can be a devastating and stressful experience for anyone. Standing in the house, you wish it could be restored like before again. Restoration is possible if you know how to clean up the smoke damage. Once the smoke damage is cleaned, it will be safe for you to live in it. Cleaning up house fire damage is to be carried out step by step.
Step 1: Wear Protective PPE Clothing
Before you enter the house, make sure you wear appropriate PPE clothing. Not wearing appropriate PPE can lead to inhaling and coming into contact with harmful substances. You must wear a long sleeve shirt and pants to protect yourself from the acidic soot. Besides, don’t forget to wear goggles to prevent the ashes from entering your eyes. You will also need to wear a respirator to protect yourself against respiratory hazards.
Step 2: Remove Your Personal Belongings
After that, you can go through your items in the house. Some can still be used while those that are too damaged will need to be discarded. While going through your belongings, you can clear up space and remove obstacles to make it easy for you to walk around and check the house. You’ll also need to check and make sure that the foundations, wall, floor, staircase, roof are sound before begin cleaning.
Step 3: Check Each Room for Fire Damages
The next step is to go through room by room to check which room has fire damages. Most people will look for charred surfaces on walls only. However, you should also not miss other areas such as ceilings, ceiling fan, doors, windows, floors, and appliances. It can take 30 minutes to 1 hour to fully check the house for fire damages. You can film a video of the house with your camera as you walk around and survey it for fire damages.
Step 4: Vacuum the Soot
The easiest part of cleaning up a fire is to use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum up all the soot on the floor and wall. This soot can cause cancer and lung problems if breathed in the lungs. It is recommended that you use a smoke vacuum or dry vacuum. However, a standard vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachment will work. You should be gentle while vacuuming to prevent the soot from spreading.
Step 5: Clean the Affected Areas from Smoke Damage
You can use a soot cleaning sponge and rub against the affected areas. You can keep using the sponge until there is no more space left on the sponge that is not blackened. After that, you can soak a rag cloth with a soot cleaning solution to clean the surface. The last step is to use a mild dish soap mixed with warm water to clean away the oil-soluble smoke particles. You can use hot water to fully rinse the cleaning products. You’ll also have to remove the odor from the smoke. This can be done by rubbing the damaged areas with TSP solution small sections at a time.
Step 6: Hiring a Professional Restoration Company
Cleaning up fire damage can be a troublesome process. It can be tiring if you have many areas that are affected by fire damage. A faster way to clean up the fire damage is to hire a professional restoration company. The restoration team can assess the water and fire damage on your home. They can help you board up all the openings to reduce damages to your house when the fire department gives permission. Before they begin cleaning, they can help you move your items out of the house and pump out the excess standing water. They can use state of the art air scrubbers to remove hazardous air particles so that the air quality will improve.