Fire damage restoration can be a very difficult thing to tackle, and we get questions from people all the time asking what measures to take to begin cleaning up after a fire. We find ourselves giving out certain tips time and time again, so we wanted to put them together in a Top 5 Fire Damage Restoration Tips list.
These are tips that most people can use to administer fire damage restoration themselves. These things often take a lot of time and work, and you may be better off hiring professional fire damage restoration professionals who will guarantee their work.
Fire Damage Restoration Tips
Repairing Smoke Damage to Walls
With fires there will always be a degree of smoke damage to your walls, wall paper and paint. If the smoke damage is not too serious, you should be able to scrub it clean with detergents and bleach. Note: soot from smoke damage is greasy stuff so you should always try to dust as much of it off from a surface before trying to scrub it clean. Often, you’ll want to repaint, but make sure all surfaces are clean and dry before painting.
Getting Rid of Mold & Mildew
Another huge issue in fire damage restoration is actually introduced by the water used to extinguish a fire. This problem is mold and mildew, and requires special attention. We highly recommend fire damage restoration professionals to deal with mold and mildew, because it can cause serious health problems, and can contaminate furniture, carpets, clothing, mattresses, walls and vents. The best thing you can do immediately is air out every room and clean out all vents and filters.
Repairing Flooring & Carpet
With all the water that is involved in putting out a fire, your floors and carpets will end up absorbing the worst of it. In almost every case, it’s recommended that you pull up any carpets that have water damage and replace them. Water can also seep underneath vinyl flooring and into cracks of hard wood, and will need to be addressed. If you have experience with flooring, you can lift it up and clean under them, but you may want to call a professional fire damage restoration company to assist you.
Cleaning smoke damage from clothing is one of the biggest jobs you’ll find after a fire. We’ve written a whole article on Restoring Clothing of Smoke Damage. Our biggest tip is to make sure you don’t smear the greasy soot into the clothing or just throw the smoky clothes into the wash. Often times dry cleaning is the best bet, and you should ask around local dry cleaners to see if any have experience with post-fire laundry.
Dishes are also important items to clean thoroughly after a fire because they will be in contact with your food and can cause health problems. Scrub all dishes well, let them soak in a solution of bleach and water (2 tablespoons of bleach per gallon) for at least 20 minutes and scrub some more for safety. When in doubt, if a dish, pot or pan won’t come clean, cut your losses and throw it out – (especially rubber or wooden dishes that absorb smoke).