Our Top Tips for Fire Damage
Fire damage restoration is tough work. Homeowners and Insurance Adjusters call SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork frequently to ask for advice on how to clean up after a fire. We’ve put together seven of the best tips we give people who ask about fire damage restoration.
Most people are capable of completing the majority of these tips, but, remember that fire damage restoration takes time, work, and skill. Realistically consider whether you want to try these ideas on your own or whether you’d be better off hiring highly trained restoration specialists who will guarantee their work.
- Remove Smoke Damage
With any type of fire, you’ll have a percentage of smoke damage to your walls, molding, and paint. If the smoke damage is light, you should be able to scrub it clean with detergents and bleach. Soot from smoke damage is greasy stuff, so always try to dust as much of it off from a surface before trying to scrub the surface clean. Often, you’ll want to repaint, but make sure all surfaces are clean and dry before you paint.
- Limit Activity & Other Simple Fire Damage Restoration Steps
Until your house is restored, limit your activity and movement in the house. This helps prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets that can be generated from foot traffic. Keep hands clean so you don’t further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork. Protect your things by placing clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas. Before you clean know the best cleaning method for that particular cleaning job (one example: Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.) Wash both sides of the leaves on your houseplants. Change your HVAC filter and tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
- Get Rid of Mold & Mildew
Firefighters are brave men and women; they save lives and extinguish fires. Extinguishing a fire does prevent the rest of the structure from being demolished. But they do introduce mold and mildew into houses when they must use water to extinguish the fire. SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork highly recommends you hire fire damage restoration professionals to deal with mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can cause serious health problems. It’s difficult for a nonprofessional to administer and complete the necessary tests that indicate moisture and mold levels. Mold and mildew can contaminate your furniture, carpets, clothing, mattresses, walls, and vents. The best thing you can do immediately is to air out every room and clean out all vents and filters.
- Replace Carpets. Clean and Dry Your Floors
Your floors and carpets act like a sponge for all of the water used to put out a fire. In almost every case, SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork recommends that you pull up any carpets that have water damage and replace them. Water can also seep underneath vinyl flooring and into the cracks in hardwood flooring. Again, it is difficult for a non-professional to administer and complete testing necessary for determining if hidden moisture is present.
- Avoid Smearing Soot into Clothing
Cleaning smoke damage from clothing is one of the biggest jobs you’ll have after a fire. Make sure you don’t smear the greasy soot into the clothing or just throw the smoky clothes into the wash. Often times dry cleaning is the best bet, and you should ask around local dry cleaners to see if any have experience with post-fire laundry. Removing smoke odor is a tricky task that requires the right equipment, cleaning products and skillset. We don’t recommend trying to complete this portion on your own.
- Scrub, Soak, And Cleaning Dishes
Dishes are also important items to clean thoroughly after a fire because they will be in contact with your food. Scrub all dishes well, let them soak in a solution of bleach and water (2 tablespoons of bleach per gallon) for at least 20 minutes and scrub some more for safety. When in doubt, if a dish, pot, or pan won’t come clean, cut your losses and throw it out – especially rubber or wooden dishes that absorb smoke.
Help Is Here
The team at SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork also has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, water damage, chemical cleanup, and natural disaster cleanup.
Call SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork for Cleanup and Restoration. Call (803 ) 749-0178.