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Smoke Damage Removal: A Step-by-Step Guide
Dealing with smoke is actually more frustrating than odors and stains. It contains invisible and visible dangerous ingredients that are toxic to people and animals. Smoke, on the other hand, consists of acidic compounds that may scratch glass and rust metal materials. The fine particles and toxic gasses of smoke may reach your drawers and closets even if they are properly closed. Smoke, mostly settle behind blinds, drapes, inside walls, and in other cool places of your home. Dealing with smoke damage in your home can be a very difficult task. Fortunately, there are effective steps that you can make to minimize the energy spent and cost associated with smoke damage removal. Would you like to learn more about how to get rid of smoke damage properly and safely? If yes, then keep on reading. How to Remove Smoke Damage?
- Step 1 – Ask the fire marshal if you can enter your home
This is very important most especially if your home is affected by a severe fire. If the fire marshal does not permit you to enter the area, then make sure not to do it, or else you will end up putting your life and others in danger. Keep in mind that the time you will need to wait to go back to your property safely will depend on the fire’s severity. Nevertheless, if the marshal or officers allowed you to re-enter your place, then you can proceed to the next step.
- Step 2 – Assess the situation
Once you’re back inside, make sure to open your windows to allow air to circulate. You should also consider bringing a fan to increase the airflow. After that, you need to assess the smoke damage. Check your ceilings and walls to assess if you can handle the damages. You will need to look for underlying problems that may cause issues in the long run. Check what the things that you can save are and what you can’t. Better yet, seek help from professionals.
- Step 3 – Wear safety gear
Before you start cleaning and removing the damage caused by smoke you need to wear the right protection because as mentioned, smoke consists of toxic ingredients that can bring negative effects. Since smoke, as well as debris, can be harmful to exhale, you need to wear a high-quality respirator most especially if there is a speck of considerable dust in the area. You should also wear long sleeves and pants to keep your skin safe. Eye protection and pair of gloves are essential as well. Since you will be dealing with a lot of dust as you clean, we highly recommend that you use floor protection and remove household stuff that isn’t damaged. However, if the damaged area is not big, you can simply cover your belongings with sheets or plastics. But if you are cleaning a whole room, it’s best that you removed the clean stuff.
- Step 4 – Clean, Clean, Clean
Once you have all the necessary safety gear, you can start cleaning immediately.
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Ceilings and Walls From Smoke Damage
When removing smoke damage from ceilings and walls you need to perform a rapid wipe so that you will be able to remove any surface residue. After that liquify 1tbsp of TSP for every gallon of lukewarm water. Once the solution is ready, you can use a sponge to wipe down the damaged parts thoroughly. After using the cleaner, you’ll have to go through the walls and ceiling once more with water to rinse the areas. If there is drywall, you need to be careful. Don’t oversaturate them with water or else you’re just making the damage more serious since it will encourage the development of mold. Also, you will need to fix damages as needed like bubbled wallpaper, chipped paint, or peeling paint. If there are wallpapers installed, it best that you remove them change with new ones.
Furniture Damaged From Smoke
- For Wooden Furniture
If there is a chance that you can save your sets of furniture, remove the smoke damage by wiping the wooden surfaces using a high-quality, dry chemical sponge to eliminate the dirt. As a piece of advice don’t scrub too hard after all you don’t want to slog the fine particles of smoke deeper into the wooden grain. After that, gently wipe all the wooden surfaces using a clean cotton cloth and submerge it to a ¼ cup of wood cleaner or soap solution in one gallon of lukewarm water. As soon as you remove the damage and dust using a damp cloth wipe down your furniture and allow them to dry.
- For Fabric Furniture
Fabric furniture most especially the non-washable one can refuge the smoke smells cussedly. That is why to make sure to remove the smoke damage immediately because the smell of the smoke will slowly linger into your house. If you can remove a fabric covering from your furniture, you can get rid of the smell more rapidly by putting it in the washing machine. What’s more, you can add a cup of vinegar (white) to the water to boost the power of smell removal. The affected furniture, on the other hand, should be sprinkled with baking soda. In fact, this household product is a great odor absorber. However, the baking soda needs to sit on the furniture for 24 to 48 hours. Once done, vacuum clean the baking soda, make sure to use the vacuum cleaner’s basic attachment. However, if the smoke damage or smell is still there you need to repeat the process until the smell is eliminated.
Carpets and Textiles Damage Removal of Smoke
Similar to the first two procedures, you will need to get rid of the dust before you can remove the damage from your carpets and textiles. If you don’t want to hire an expert, you need to make use of a vacuum cleaner when cleaning the damaged areas. Additionally, do not use any brush attachment since it tends to force further dust and dirt to the fibers of the material. Then, deodorize the affected areas. Professional smoke damage removal companies and even dry-cleaning ones utilize ozone treatment methods to get rid of the smell from your carpets and textiles. As a matter of fact, such methods will remove odor and force the breakdown of smoke molecules. Since the smells of home products may be removed temporarily, it’s a wise decision to allow professionals to do the job.
Clothing Damaged By Smoke
When removing smoke damage from your clothing, make sure to separate those you can repair. Clothing that has severe damage or holes should be thrown away. After segregating, you need to get rid of as much dirt as possible. You can easily do this by bringing your clothes outside and shake them gently. However, if you want to make the job easily and safely, you can use a vacuum cleaner with a plain attachment. Then remove smoke damage from your clothes. According to some experts, smoke damaged clothes are best cleaned by various techniques depending on the fabric content. For instance, noticeably smoke damaged clothes will be restored after five launderings. Here are some of the cleaning techniques that you can use:
- If the clothes are pure cotton, 50-50 polyester-cotton blend, or 35-65 cotton polyester blend, you can use a liquid detergent.
- For bleachable clothing that are pure cotton, 50-50 polyester-cotton blend, or 35-65 cotton polyester blend, you can safely use bleach and powder detergent
Keep in mind that 100 percent polyester fabrics can’t be fully returned to the original condition. So, if you are thinking that you can save such clothing using harsh chemicals make sure not to do it. Once you restored the original state of your clothes, deodorize them. When deodorizing, you can use either liquid or powder detergent and warm water. Also, don’t use home deodorizers to get rid of the smell. Then let them dry. However, if the damage is still there, contact professionals right away.
Hire Professionals For A Thorough Smoke Damage Removal
As mentioned, smoke damage removal can be a complicated and time-consuming task. If you are just dealing with an insignificant amount of damage, you can try the steps mentioned above. But if the smoke damage is too extensive and serious, for example, the interior of the house was not the only part that is damaged and you think you cannot handle them since you don’t have the right tools, Local Services Helpline can help you. Whether you are from the USA or Canada, this website will connect you to reliable professionals that are knowledgeable when it comes to smoke damage removal. In fact, there are tons of companies out there that promise quality results. But with Local Services Helpline, you are certain that you will get quality service. So if you are looking for a company that can help you with your smoke damage removal, visit LocalServicesHelpline.com.