After a home has been impacted by a fire, it's important to assess the damage and determine what materials should be replaced or restored. In addition to this, it's crucial to consider how heavy the smoke was and how much damage that has done to the materials inside of the home. Until the smoke has been removed and the home is fully restored, it will not be safe to live in. Even working inside of a house that has been burned requires protective gear and facial coverings to help minimize the inhalation of smoke and soot.
For those who have never experienced a house fire, it can be stressful learning about the dangers of smoke and soot. However, by understanding why this is a danger and how it should be removed, you can make sure the restoration work is done the right way. At Action 1 Restoration, we've shared some important information below so you can plan for what needs to be done to recover your home.
What is Soot and Smoke Damage?
When a fire burns, smoke and soot are naturally produced. Soot is the fine black powder that you can visually see on floors, walls, fabrics, rugs, and other materials in the home after a fire. This consists of acids, dust, and chemicals, so it can cause damage to just about any material and can be hazardous to your health.
Smoke isn't as visually noticeable as soot is right after a fire has occurred. However, smoke can absorb into the pores of most materials and cause discoloration after periods of time. When combined with the overwhelming smell, this makes smoke something that's important to remove after a fire as well.
Why is Smoke and Soot Dangerous?
Both smoke and soot can be dangerous to your health and the health of anyone else who enters your home. Soot, in particular, can enter into your lungs when you breathe. Constant exposure can lead to trouble breathing, coronary heart disease, asthma, and even cancer for some individuals. Beyond this, both smoke and soot will cause discoloration and damage to carpets, furniture, walls, floors, baseboards, and virtually any other surface located inside of the home.
Aside from being dangerous to your health, smoke and soot can continue to cause damage even after the fire is gone. This will be evident when stains appear on hard surfaces and materials begin to break down over time. Once weakened, materials can become unstable and unsafe to have inside of your home. To ensure the safety of your house and your family, it's best to deal with smoke and soot as soon as possible.
How Our 6 Step Fire Restoration Process Works
Dealing With and Getting Rid of the Smoke Smell
If you act quickly after a fire has been extinguished, you may be able to minimize damage and remove the smoke smell more quickly. One of the first things you should do is have an experienced restoration team come to your home to help. At Action 1 Restoration, we understand how difficult this can be to deal with. To reduce stress and ensure the safety of your house, we connect you with the very best restoration experts in your area. They will quickly come to your home with the tools and knowledge that are crucial in getting rid of soot and that awful smoke smell.
Beyond calling in a professional, you can open all the windows in the house to allow fresh air in (as long as the weather cooperates). You can also run ceiling fans day and night to help circulate air out. In addition to this, some homeowners get started cleaning their walls and baseboards with a mixture of water and baking soda. Baking soda can also be left out in bowls to absorb the smoke smell more quickly. If you plan on doing some of the work yourself, it's crucial to wear the proper protective gear every time you're inside of the house.
Another important part of getting smoke out is to remove all furniture, linens, and decor. All must be cleaned, including carpets that are left inside of the home. Many belongings will likely need to be thrown out, although some may be saved if they are properly and gently cleaned using our content cleaning process. From there, debris should be cleaned up and a restoration professional can help with removing and replacing damaged materials.
Soot Cleanup and Removal
Soot can be cleaned by combining 1 cup bleach with 4 tbsp tri-sodium phosphate and 1 gallon of warm water. While wearing gloves and glasses, spray this onto surfaces to effectively clean away the black soot left behind from the fire. If you don't have these ingredients, you can alternatively use a mild detergent mixed with water. When removing soot from clothing and linens, avoid using your household washer. The oils inside of soot can cause damage to this appliance.
To clean furniture and decor, gently wash each item until the black powder has been completely removed. Dispose of all cleaning materials when finished and allow everything to air dry outside. Don't place your belongings back into the home until it has been cleaned and aired out. Having a team of trained professionals speeds up this process significantly and can save more items than doing it on your own.
Lets Talk About Your Restoration Project
When you call Action 1 Restoration for help, you can leave the work of cleaning smoke and soot to the experts. We only work with the best in the area because we value knowledge, attention to detail, and compassion. Once a restoration team comes to your home, they will inspect the space impacted by the fire and create a personalized plan for cleaning up the smoke and soot as quickly as possible. When they begin working, they'll continue until your home is clean and safe to live in. This can make the experience of a house fire a little less stressful on you and your family. Don't hesitate to call for help when you need it the most.