When handling fire and smoke damage restoration one might think the best approach is to get to it fast and attack the clean-up efforts. This option may be one that only wreaks more chaos. It is going to be hard; anxious is a light word to use in this situation but really the first step in fire and smoke damage restoration is to get professional advice. Contact your local insurance agent, who most likely will be one of the first calls you make, they will put you in touch with many local restoration professionals for advice and services.
Fire restorers will help in determining salvageable items. Restoration professionals will provide tips on how to restore items with fire and smoke damage; they will give tips on whether it is wiser to refurbish or replace an item and can provide estimates for cleaning services throughout the home. There are plenty of times when a fire has occurred and the damage may look like nothing much on the outside however structurally can totally be disastrous. Fire and smoke damage restoration professionals can help sort out the bigger picture.
If choosing to attempt fire and smoke restoration on your own it is important to still follow certain tips and guidelines. Although it is not the preferred method of restoring ones home sometimes this option is the only one available. Below is important information when restoring a home after smoke or fire damage enters the picture.
- Understand that not all structures are safe to enter after a fire. It is important to get clearance from the fire marshal BEFORE obtaining access into the home.
- Circulation is a key component. Open all windows and allow fans to circulate the air throughout the rooms. Things to remember if it is super cold the heater will run and the filter will need to be continually cleaned until the soot does not appear. If heat is a factor the cooling unit alongside a dehumidifier will be the best combat.
- Wet items should be removed and dried. This will help prevent mold and mildew.
- Smoke will destroy brass and copper items within twenty four hours. Remove them, clean them and store in a safe spot until cleanup is complete.
- Soot will stain carpets, drapes and all textiles in the home. The oils present will stain. When cleaning and deodorizing these items it is important to remove them before restoration takes place. Soot should be dealt with using heavy duty professional equipment. Regular vacuums grind the soot in instead of lifting it out.
- Smoke will linger for ever if not properly deodorized. Ideally a professional smoke damage restoration professional will assist you in the process.
- If a professional is not in the budget you can try to treat clothes and textiles with a mixture of one cup dishwasher detergent and one gallon hot water. Other items that can be bleached can be soaked with six tablespoons tri-sodium phosphate, one cup Lysol or bleach and one gallon water. Then rinse with clean water.
- Walls and soot is another beast. Paint thinner or rubbing alcohol can work. The problem lies with the fumes and smell. Wear gloves and a ventilation mask.
- Smoke can penetrate drywall, air ducts and other porous surfaces. It is important to use aides to neutralize the odor. Concealing it is not a wise option in cases of fire and smoke damage.