Restoring your home after a fire isn’t easy. On top of the large amount of stress you’re burdened with, fire damage cleanup requires a good amount of hard work. In order to get your house back to pre-fire state (and prevent more damage from occurring in the future), you need to work methodically through the steps of fire restoration.
While you may want to hire a professional fire restoration service like Tidal Wave Response to handle the big tasks, there are a number of things you can do on your own. Below, we’ve outlined a number of fire damage cleanup tips.
Top Fire Damage Cleanup Tips
1. Scrub your walls
Even the smallest kitchen fire can potentially leave your walls with soot stains and smoke damage. Your drywall, wallpaper and even tiles can accumulate ash and should be cleaned as soon as possible. Luckily, soot is relatively easy to remove with some bleach and elbow grease.
Start by wiping down the surface with a wet rag. You may want to vacuum it if possible. After that, you can use a mixture of bleach and water to scrub out the stains. Eventually, you’ll need to paint over the damaged wall, but be sure to clean it thoroughly before doing so.
2. Treat your floors
Most likely, a house fire will do some heavy damage to your floors. The damage is caused not only by the fire itself, but also by the water used to put the fire out. Whether your floors are exposed wood or carpeted, you’ll need to dry them up to prevent mold.
In order to restore your flooring, pull up your carpets and throw them away. At this point, they are most likely unsalvageable. Use towels and a wet-vac to remove any excess water from the floor. Open as many windows as possible to allow air to circulate through your home. You may also want to place fans or a dehumidifier in the room to help eliminate moisture.
3. Mold-proof your home
Along with your floors and carpets, your furniture and walls are also susceptible to mold. If left untreated, the moisture that collects after you extinguish a fire will provide the perfect conditions for mold to grow. Mold removal is perhaps the most important aspect of fire damage cleanup.
In order to prevent mold from festering, you’ll need to make sure that every inch of your home is completely dried out. Because water removal is so difficult, you may want to call a professional like Tidal Wave Response. Our experts are trained in the fire damage restoration process and will be able to dry out your home and prevent mold from growing in the weeks after the fire. In the meantime, however, you should start by throwing out any furniture that got overly wet during the fire.
4. Don’t forget the small items
Scrubbing clothing, dishes and other small items is one of the most vital steps to the fire damage cleanup process. The soot left around your home after a fire is dangerous for your lungs and other parts of your body. In order to make sure the soot is removed entirely, we recommend that you have your clothing cleaned professionally. A consumer-grade washing machine is usually not strong enough to remove the grease entirely from your clothing.
In addition, it is important that you clean the soot off of your dishes, vases and other glass surfaces. You should start by soaking your dishes in a water/bleach mixture for a half-hour before you attempt to clean them. This will loosen the soot up and increase the chance that you’ll be able to salvage them. If you find that you are unable to remove the soot from any given item, it is highly recommended that you throw it away.