Restoring Your Home After A Fire

There is nothing quite so devastating and traumatic as a fire in your home. After the fire trucks are gone, you've called your insurance agency, and have permission to re-enter your home, there is a lot of work to be done to clean up the mess left behind. The task may seem overwhelming, but it is important to handle it immediately to prevent further damage. However, there are certain fire and smoke restoration tasks that you can handle on your own and others that will need to be addressed by a professional.

What You Can Do

Black particles from smoke stick to the walls of your home, causing discoloration and odors. Even if the fire was isolated to one room, smoke and ash can travel to other rooms and cause damage. The first, and most important, thing you should do to take care of these problems is to contact a smoke damage restoration professional as soon as possible. Many of the jobs that need to be done to restore your home require specific materials and care that only a professional can provide. However, while the professionals are working, there are some actions you can take to help restore your home.

  • Ventilate the area by opening windows and running a fan to circulate the air.

  • Clean brass and copper items within 24 hours with brass and copper cleaner to avoid permanent damage from smoke.

  • Place aluminum foil, plastic food wrap, or wood under furniture legs to prevent rust stains on carpets.

  • Tape damp cheesecloth over air vents to capture loose soot.

  • Take laundry to the dry cleaners.

  • Leave out a bowl of baking soda in every room to help minimize the odor.

Leave it to the Professionals

Although there are some do-it-yourself instructions available for removing smoke damage from your home, you can often end up doing more damage than good. You may be tempted to rent a carpet cleaner or use homemade solutions to scrub the walls, but these will not be as effective as hiring a professional. The following cleaning tasks should be left to the professionals:

  • Cleaning walls, floors, and ceilings

  • Cleaning carpets and rugs

  • Performing electrical safety checks for appliances and electronic equipment

  • Cleaning and sanitizing mattresses and box springs

  • Cleaning, sealing and deodorizing surfaces inside heating or duct systems

  • Cleaning upholstery and drapes

  • Refinishing furniture

In addition to the list above, professional fire and smoke damage restoration services can often help restore photographs and artwork, clean satin, velvet, or silk items, and clean dolls, china, and porcelain. If there is an item you care about that is smoke damaged but you are not ready to throw it away, consult a professional first because they may be able to restore it.

Remember, the longer you wait to begin the restoration process, the more it will cost and the more damage will be done. Smoke and ash will quickly etch into glass, discolor carpets, and destroy metals, so act quickly. You will not regret hiring a professional when you are able to enjoy your home again.