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Cleanup of Smoke and Soot After a Fire

Jul 19, 2008
A home fire is always devastating whether it is just in one room or the whole house. The fact that a fire has taken place at all can be extremely upsetting. There are several things that can be done to help recover after a fire. The faster you can start the fire restoration process the sooner your home and your life will be back normal.

The first thing that should be done after a house fire is to call your homeowners insurance company and make a claim. An insurance agent should come to your home and then begin processing the insurance claim. After that, you should get permission to re-enter your house from the fire marshal. The sooner you can get back inside the house the sooner you can begin to start restoration. Remember that the longer your home and belongings just sit after a fire the more serious the fire damage will be.

Fire damage restoration specialists will need to be hired to do the major part of the clean up after a fire, but there are still small steps that can be taken to reduce the severity of the fire damage until the professionals arrive. The first step to take once you can reenter your home is to open the windows. Set up a fan and turn it on. It is imperative that the smoke is cleaned out of the house and that air is circulating through the house. If it is winter and the furnace still functions, replace the furnace filter daily until there are no more signs of soot or smoke. Any wet areas should be thoroughly dried.
Removing as much soot as possible from the house and your belongings is the next thing you can do to help with the fire restoration. Use dry cleaning sponges to soot from the ceilings and walls. Use a vacuum without attachments to clean soot from upholstery, drapes, and carpets that are salvageable. Keep the nozzle of the vacuum just above the surface of the object you are working on. Do not use a stain remover on material as this could make soot impossible to remove.

Use a soft brush to clean off pieces of silver or other precious metals, then cover them and remove them to an unaffected area. Clean counters, sinks, tubs, appliances, and cabinets with general-purpose cleaners. Make sure you clean all the faucet fixtures as soot can leave permanent spots on these metals.
After the soot removal is done, it is time to remove the smoke smell from any affected clothes. Wash clothes several times in liquid detergent. Carpets should be steam cleaned before and after any repairs are done in the room where the carpet is located. It is a good idea to let the fire restoration specialists take care of cleaning furniture upholstery and drapes. They will have the proper cleaning supplies to remove the smoke smell permanently.

Doing these small tasks can help reduce the fire damage to your house and belongings and help make the fire restoration of your home be done as quickly as possible.
About the Author
Richard Barthallo's life experiences has made him a legend with Orlando Water Damage Restorations. He has assisted and advised on many Orlando Water damage situations.
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