Removing Fire & Smoke Damage
Removing Fire & Smoke Damage In Your Home
Everyone knows to react fast when fire strikes a building. But did you know that prompt action is also key for effective fire cleanup? That's the advice from the disaster recovery and restoration experts at ServiceMaster of Edmonton. The sooner the restoration work begins following a fire, they say, the more property can be salvaged.
Here are steps to minimize damage after a fire. Remember, improper or incorrect cleaning can actually cause more damage and may result in added expenses.
- Blow off or brush-vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes, and carpets.
- Cover carpeted traffic areas with towels or old linens to prevent additional soiling.
- Discard open food packages. The food could be contaminated.
- If electrical service is off, clean out your freezer and refrigerator. Leave the doors propped open or place charcoal in the unit.
- Send clothing with heavy smoke damage to a professional restoration cleaner rather than a dry cleaning company.
- Clean your home with mildly alkaline solutions and rinse thoroughly to fight corrosion. If it is impossible to clean metal surfaces soon after the fire, then coat them with a light oil to slow corrosion.
- In the kitchen and bathroom, clean Formica and chrome fixtures to prevent permanent tarnishing. Wipe residue from porcelain bath fixtures to prevent etching.
- Wipe the leaves of house plants to remove smoke residue.
- Change the air filter on your furnace if it uses forced hot air.
- Tape cheese cloth over intake and outlet air registers to capture any loose soot in the air. This is even more effective if the cheese cloth is damp.
- If the outside temperature is above 60 degrees, air out the house to reduce smoke odor.
- Call a professional, reliable restoration company as soon as possible to get expert advice on proper and thorough cleaning procedures.
- Do not attempt to wash any papered or flat painted walls without consulting your professional cleaner. Incorrect cleaning procedures could compound the soot residue problem.
- Do not attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture. Again, incorrect procedures could compound the soot problem.
- Do not lift water-soaked carpet that is tacked down. Doing so could result in shrinkage and make it necessary to replace carpet when a professionally handled, on-site water extraction process would have sufficed.
- Do not use electrical appliances that have been close to fire or water before having them checked. They could malfunction.
- Do not use ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. A short circuit could result.
- Do not touch anything. Soot on your hands can permeate upholstery, walls, and woodwork, causing further damage.
- Do not eat food that has been exposed to fire or smoke.
- Do not wait to call for professional help.