Handling fire damage repairs can be an overwhelming and emotional undertaking. Here are some valuable tips to help you get started. In addition to fire damage, you may also need to items damaged by smoke. For this, please refer to our blog on Tips for Cleaning Up Smoke After a Fire.
Fire Damage Cleanup can be divided into 3 Categories:
- Soft Materials – carpet, curtains, clothes and upholstered furniture
- Porous, Hard Materials – drywall, plaster, wood, brick or masonry
- Less Porous, Hard Materials – tile, counter tops, glass, metal, appliances, etc.
First, remove soot with a high powered vacuum. Do not use an upright vacuum or any machine using brushes or beater bars as this can force soot deeper into fabric and carpet. Next, you can use a product called Versitol to clean and remove smoke odors. For fabrics, mix ½ cup Versitol per one gallon of water and soak overnight. Lauder as usual the following day and repeat steps if the odor is not removed. To clean carpets, you may want to rent a carpet shampooer. First, scrub the carpets using Versitol, then go over with the shampooer while the carpet is still wet.
Porous Hard Materials
Whether you plan on repainting the walls or hope to get by with just a good cleaning, the first step is to sponge the walls using a product called Cleansall starting from the bottom of the wall. Next, rinse and wipe the wall clean. If the damage is more serious and requires repainting, performing this first step will prep the walls and make repainting easier. Winsol Spice can be used to reduce odors during repairs and give temporary relief.
Less Porous Hard Materials
You will be happy to know that these are the easiest surfaces to clean. Using a sponge and a product called Winsol APC-120, you can clean up easily and follow with water rinse and towel dry.
A few warnings before you start…
- Have all electrical appliances properly inspected before use
- Do not use ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet
- Do not eat food that has been exposed to fire or smoke
- Check for dry cleaning labels on drapes and clothing before washing
- Don’t be afraid to call the professionals for help