Removing Smoke From Your House After Fire
There’s water damage, mold, and smoke damage – and then there’s fire damage. While the former three can be exclusive, the problem with fire damage restoration is that it involves having to mitigate the damage from water, mold, and smoke as well.
The problem with smoke damage is that people often underestimate it. Whenever there is a fire or a furnace puff back, carbon atoms get dispersed throughout the property. If not ventilated immediately, these atoms settle in nooks and crannies, forming soot. This is why you can smell smoke long after a fire as well.
Removing smoke from a house that has suffered fire damage is not just about opening the windows and letting fresh air inside. You will need to get rid of the soot as well. Soot pollution can be very hard to get rid of and, over time, can lead to allergies, congestion, shortness of breath, and even lung cancer in severe cases!
In this article, we will take a look at the tried and tested techniques for smoke damage restoration and smoke odor removal to improve the indoor air quality and improve the overall health of all those residing within.
Removing Smoke From Your House After Fire Damage
Getting rid of the smoke smell can be rather challenging. During a fire, tiny smoke particles can stick to the walls and all household items. You can wash almost anything and rinse these particles away, but what about the porous drywall? You can’t hope to wash that off without inviting mold into your home.
Without specialized equipment, there is a very good chance that you may never be able to get these particles out. Over time, they will absorb moisture from the air and turn into a sticky, gooey substance that becomes very hard to remove.
Even the fire fighting efforts can sometimes force the smoke particles into porous objects, making this a lot worse in the process.
There are several variables to consider before you try to remove smoke from your house after fire damage. These include:
- How large and hot the fire was. The longer and more intense fire is, the more smoke it creates. This, in turn, means that more smoke particles will be released in the process. Removing smoke odor from such fires may require considerable efforts on your and fire damage restoration company’s part.
- How long the smoke particles have had to settle. If the smoke particles are removed within the hour, then you can expect the smell to go away after a single deodorization session. However, if it has been longer than a day, expect the smell to be embedded into almost everything.
- Material(s) burned. Some materials create more smoke than others, and the smoke from some materials is easier to remove than others. For example, smoke from paper is the easiest to remove, while smoke from rubber and plastic can be extremely difficult to get rid of.
The Smoke Removal Process
The First Step: Ventilation
Before you do anything else, the first step should be to air the house out. To do this, turn on all the ceiling fans and open all the doors and windows. Pedestal fans are the best option for this. By doing this, you can get rid of a majority of smoke particles still suspended in the air or those that are sitting loosely on surfaces.
Place fans in such a manner that even the corners get sufficient airflow. The goal is to push the smells out of the house. You will notice a significant difference between the air quality before and after doing this.
Ventilation is the easy part, though. Now, you move towards deep cleaning.
The goal here is to get rid of as many smoke particles as possible. 911 Restoration experts use specialized tools for this to make sure that smoke particles that have soaked deep into surfaces, particularly the drywall, upholstery, furniture, curtains, and carpets, are removed.
For a DIY approach, you will need to remove all the curtains, rugs, furniture covers, cushions, and any other fabric or porous objects. Wash them up and dry them OUTSIDE your home. Only bring them back once you have cleaned the house thoroughly.
Also, wash the windows, screens, shades, and even the sill (especially if it is made out of concrete). Use a slightly damp cloth, attach it to the end of a stick, and dust smoke particles off the drywall and the ceiling.
And then focus on the solid surfaces and your dishes. Wash it all with a mixture of white vinegar, dish soap, and warm water.
Let everything dry out and start smelling. Spend some time outside and come back to see if you can still smell smoke. You can also sniff on coffee beans to ‘reset’ your nose.
If you can still smell smoke, wash everything again until the smoke odor gets removed completely.
Remember, the smoke odor will take its time to get out, especially with DIY methods. 911 Restoration experts use nano scrubbers, ozone generators, hydroxyl tech, and other dedicated equipment to clean the smoke out and remove the smoke odor completely.
We are open to performing the service again and again until you are satisfied with the results and can resume your life as it was. Give 911 Restoration of Philadelphia a call if you need help with smoke removal, sanitization services, or simply need advice from IICRC certified restoration experts.