When a home or business experiences smoke damage, it can be very difficult to clean and restore. Whether the smoke was caused by natural or synthetic fires, the damage can be extensive and the odor is very unpleasant. The type of smoke will affect how much residue is left behind as well as the type and color of discoloration.
The first step in cleaning up after a fire is to assess the damage. This involves a careful inspection of all areas and surfaces. This can be challenging because some areas of the home may seem unaffected, especially areas far from the source of the fire. The main indicators of smoke damage are a dark discoloration on walls and other surfaces as well as a strong smoky odor.
Soot and smoke residue must be removed from all surfaces, including carpeting and upholstered furniture. A vacuum with an upholstery attachment is best, but be careful not to scrub as this can smear the soot particles into the surface and create stains. If there are stains, use white vinegar mixed with water to wipe the area. A commercial soot cleaner is also useful, but make sure to follow the instructions carefully.
If there are any areas that cannot be cleaned, it’s best to call a restoration professional for assistance. A team of professionals will have the training and tools to properly clean all types of surfaces and remove soot, stains and odors. They can also help you determine which items are salvageable and if they need to be discarded, as well as assist with filing an insurance claim. smoke damage clean up