The Real Danger of Fire and Smoke in Your Home
Fire & smoke in your hose can destroy your property and cause great damage. The heat from fires will radiate and cause most anything in the area to melt, crack and even melt. Smoke can be devastating, and the damage could be just as great. Smoke from a fire in one room can radiate to every room in your house making the overall damage assessment much greater.
Smoke damage left unaddressed can devastate your home and its contents, and the actual fire does not necessarily have to occur in the same room. For example, in the case of wildfires, homes, and businesses have been completely ruined just by smoke while the buildings remained untouched by flames.
The flames move from item to item burning everything to a crisp char. The heat produced by the flames will radiate and cause surrounding items to melt, crack and even shatter. After the flames have been put out, you are then left with smoke damage.
Even the smallest fire that has been put out relatively quickly can still cause smoke damage to your possessions. Not only that, but it can even affect the very structure of your home. This is why cleaning up smoke and soot quickly after a fire is so important. Smoke can act like an acid, and will eat away at different materials if left too long. It’s best to say that if a fire strikes your home, or if you live near an area where a wildfire has occurred, it’s crucial to act fast to reduce damages. A professional smoke damage restoration specialist can assess the damage and create a custom mitigation plan to ensure your home is completely clear of fire-related damages.
What can be saved?
Depending on the extent of the damage and materials of the item, it may not be salvageable. Cost is a factor that should also be taken into consideration as some items will cost significantly more to salvage than it is to replace. A smoke damage specialist can determine what items should be cleaned, discarded, or replaced.
How does smoke affect your home?
Smoke affects various materials in different ways. Not only that but the temperature and type of the fire will cause different variations of smoke damage throughout your home. One of the worst ways that smoke can cause damage is by sneaking into small cracks and crevices since the particles are so fine. They can often go undetected for long periods, leaving a lingering smell of smoke that can last for months. The only way to remove the smell from your home is to remove or clean affected items and to clean your home's building materials with agents designed to remove the smell.
How to clean up smoke damage
After a fire, your home needs to be properly and thoroughly ventilated, this will allow some smoke particles to leave your home and prevent them from settling onto other items. Remove as much debris as possible, and clean every surface area where the damage occurred. Odor-neutralizing products can help rid the building of the smell of smoke, and remove the very particles that cause the smell. Getting this done as quickly as possible reduces the chances of cross-contamination.
Upholstery and curtains
Some special tools and techniques are designed to remove smoke particles from upholstery such as curtains and furniture materials. A professional can best decide which tools will be most effective in cleaning those materials. Using a regular home vacuum can cause more damage by pushing the smoke particles and soot even deeper into the material.
Bedding and clothing
Clothing and bedding can come into contact with smoke even when inside a closed drawer or closet. Simply washing them may be enough to remove the smell but commercial cleaning detergents may be needed depending on how strong the odor is.
Cleaning wood furniture is tricky. If you use the wrong cleaning agent you can end up stripping the stain and varnish. Certain cleaning products can also rust metal frames, so it is important to use the right cleaning agent for each material. A professional restoration specialist will have access to and knowledge of the right products to use on your wood furniture.
Unfortunately, hardwood floors are porous, meaning that smoke particles can easily get nestled in and comfortable. In some cases, it may be necessary to refinish the floor, or even replace it entirely if the damage is extensive. In the best-case scenario, simple mopping and deodorizing should do the trick.
How fast do you need to act?
Time is always of the essence when it comes to smoke damage. The sooner you act, the more likely you are to prevent permanent damage. For example, some materials, such as synthetic fibers and porous items, need intervention within minutes to be effectively saved. The components of your house, such as painted walls and flooring, need to be addressed in no more than a day or two, and some cases hours. In addition, painted walls and wood furniture can become permanently stained if not addressed quickly. Metal surfaces can rust and corrode when smoke and soot particles are left sitting too long. The longer you leave your smoke-damaged home untreated, the more extensive the damage will become and the cost to mitigate will continue to rise.
The best action you can take to mitigate the effects of smoke damage is to call a professional right away. They can assess the damage, mitigate your home and turn it into a house again.