Whether a house fire is big or small, it’s going to leave behind smoke damage that’s hard to scrub away.
Even after the fire itself is gone, there are some dangers that still exist while cleaning up.
- Make sure it’s safe to go inside your home! Talk to a fire marshal and get permission before you enter. The damaged area could still have lingering sparks or unstable objects that could collapse.
- Wear your safety gear. When plastics and other materials burn, toxic chemicals are created. Make sure when you’re cleaning up soot, you have goggles, gloves, and a mask so you don’t breathe in the toxic soot!
- Let the air circulate. The smoke and soot are toxic to breathe in, so ensure there is plenty of ventilation before going in to clean up.
Fixing the Visible Damage
Smoke damage repair can be a challenging process, but it’s not impossible.
- First, vacuum up the loose soot.
- Next, get some supplies together, You’ll need a sponge or magic eraser, warm water, and a strong cleaning product such as TSP (Trisodium Phosphate solution). The soot that’s been embedded in your walls or furniture can be scrubbed out easier using a cleaning solution such as TSP.
- Then, scrub away at small sections. It will take quite a bit of time, but it’s important to be patient and keep working at each area! Before you move on to the next section of wall, take a damp rag and water to wipe away the soot and solution mixture.
- Finally, do the same process over again in a different section of the room.
When scrubbing, make sure you don’t use too much water when rubbing at the various sections! This could cause mold and damage your drywall.
Getting Rid of the Smell of Smoke
Other than the yellowing of your walls and furniture, the smokey smell that comes after a fire is one of the hardest things to get rid of. However, there are ways to get rid of the smell using strong cleaners such as white vinegar, activated charcoal, or baking soda.
If you use vinegar, wipe at the walls, furniture, floors, and ceiling with a damp vinegar rag. If you use one of the other options, it’s easier just to set out bowls filled with baking soda or charcoal and it will simply absorb the odor.