Fire is the worst kind of accident that can happen. The damage due to fire is not only limited to your house and personal belongings but also can be life-threatening. Even after the fire is dealt with, there is significant work to be done to clean the damage.
These typical cleanings include cleaning smoke, soot, chemicals, and burn marks on blackened walls. So it is crucial to provide proper and complete focus on how to clean fire damage once the fire has been put out.
How to Clean Fire Damage
Things Needed to Clean Fire Damage
Trisodium Phosphate cleaner (TSP)
- Rubber gloves
- Large sponge
- Buckets of water
- Goggles and mask
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Chlorine bleach
Removing smoke odor
To remove smoke odor from clothes, the Trisodium Phosphate should be used. The smoke odor and soot from clothing can be cleaned by adding TSP with chlorine bleach. The clothes should then be washed in cold water. White vinegar can be added afterward to remove the smell of smoke.
There are other odors removing products like incense, fabric and diffusers that can be used to remove odor from the air. Charcoal powder can be kept inside the area in corners to remove the smell of smoke.
And of course, there are odor-reducing fogs that can be used, which is costly but very effective. Usually, in public places like an auditorium, large factories and offices use these fogs to remove smoke odor.
The smoke odor is usually trapped in the situation of fire. In summer, the heat of the weather can cause the smell. Another more straightforward and more natural way to remove the smoke odor is to keep the windows and doors open.
Cleaning the walls and floors
Walls and floors are stuck with soot and charring from the fire. Soot is the ash left from the burnt things after the fire. Charring is the black charcoal grease left on the walls and floors of the fire area. Soot is hazardous as it creates a hazardous effect in the respiratory system of a person.
Soot can also cause cancers, and the hydrocarbons from their atoms can cause gene mutation, which can cause congenital disabilities. So it is essential to clean soot and to char appropriately.
Before the cleaning process starts, it is essential to ensure that proper attires like gloves, goggles, and masks are worn.
First, use the vacuum cleaner to clean soot over the surface of things. Then take the TSP and mix it with water. While wearing gloves, use the sponge to soak it into the bucket of water mixed TSP. Then just rub firmly and vigorously as long as strains come off.
Once the charcoal mark is removed, use cleaner water, maybe mixed with vinegar, to clean the wall and floor thoroughly. This time use a rag to clean the soot removed areas. Repeat the process as much as needed to clean every strained walls and floor, but make sure to wash small areas at a time.
The excessive heat from the fire can also damage the paint of the walls and ceilings. There can be bubbles and blisters over the color. Although they cannot be annihilated, steps can be taken to repair them.
First, use a knife to scrape away the bubbles and blisters. Then use the sandpaper for sanding the area until the area is flat and there is no bump. Then you can use regular water to clean the area and let it dry.
Once the area is dried, use the sandpaper again to make the wall smooth and flushed. Finally, use whatever color paints that match the previous color of the whole wall. Experts and professionals can also handle painting.
Cleaning the utensils
Kitchen utensils like pots, pans, spoons, plates, and other flatware should be washed with soap water, remove dirt, and then polish with clean clothes. Shoes, purses, and suitcases can be cleaned using the same process.
In addition, it is wise to stuff papers inside shoes and purses so that they regain their previous shape. Leave them under sunlight at least for a day. Also, remember to keep the closed things like luggage and cabinets open for the smoke smell to get out. Any paints or wall hangings can be cleaned like how the walls are cleaned. Just make sure that no wet clothes are used to wipe them.
Things to Dispose after Fire
Some stuff just needs to be thrown away after cleaning fire damage:
- If fire left considerable damage and electricity was cut off for more than 4 hours, any food from the refrigerator must be thrown away. Frozen foods have to be tossed away in the trash.
- Any uncooked food or canned foods that have been exposed to the heat of the fire, as well as the chemicals of the firefighting equipment, have to be disposed into the trash bin.
- The scorching heat of fire and firefighting chemicals can also damage cosmetics and medicines if the fire already hasn’t ruined them. So it is wise just to throw them out instead of trying to recycle and use them.
- Finally, all the electrical cables and sockets should not be used before the expert inspection. There could be water damage or heat damage, and a small leak can cause fire again or get electrocuted this time. So it is wise to either throw the ruined cables and get new ones or repair them from electric repairing shops.
A professional smoke damage specialist may be very costly, and many people might consider taking the matter into their own hands and clean fire damage themselves. Though it can be money-saving, sometimes extreme damage caused by fire can be environmentally unfriendly and very tough to clean on your own.
So in cases like that, you should always call in experts, and some companies devote to cleaning fire damage within a reasonable expense. However, these easy steps on how to clean fire damage can help anyone to clean small to medium fire damage very efficiently and effectively.