Consider what it’s like to recover from a house fire. You may picture discarding charred items that burned in the flames. However, smoke can be just as devastating, no matter the size or location of the fire. In the case of wildfires, buildings can be totally destroyed from smoke damage, even as they remain untouched by flames.
How Does Smoke Affect Your Home?
Smoke can devastate a building and its contents. Possessions can be damaged even if a nearby fire was extinguished relatively quickly. This is because smoke acts like an acid, eating away at various materials with incredibly destructive results if not cleaned up quickly. The type of damage that occurs depends on the temperature and type of fire that burned.
The very structure of your home can also be affected by smoke. One of the worst problems occurs when fine smoke particles sneak through small cracks and crevices in the walls and floor. This impairs air quality and creates a lingering smoke smell that can last for months. The only way to remove it is by working with a fire restoration specialist to create a custom cleanup plan that clears your home of fire-related damage.
What Can be Salvaged?
It’s important to clean up smoke damage as quickly as possible to reduce the harm it can cause. To increase the chance of salvaging your belongings after a fire, start by venting your home thoroughly. Opening windows and doors encourages smoke particles to vent outside instead of settling on surfaces within the building.
Take cost and sentimental value into consideration when choosing what items to salvage. Sometimes, it’s more cost-effective to replace items rather than attempt to restore them. Here are some tips for cleaning up smoke damage from common household items:
- Upholstery and curtains: Specialized cleaning products are available that can remove smoke from upholstered furniture and drapes. Avoid using a household vacuum cleaner, which may worsen the damage by pushing the particles deeper.
- Bedding and clothes: Even when folded in a drawer or hung in a closed closet, smoke can still reach and cling to these textiles. Start by washing them like normal. Depending on how strong the lingering odor is, you may need to rewash them with commercial detergent.
- Wood furniture: Salvaging wood can be tricky because the wrong cleaner could strip the stain and varnish or rust metal components. A professional restoration company can help you choose the right cleaning products for your furniture.
- Hardwood floors: In the best–case scenario, simply mopping and deodorizing hardwood floors may be enough to remove lingering odors. However, if the smoke damage is extensive, you may need to refinish the floor or replace it entirely.
The best action you can take to mitigate smoke damage is to contact a professional for help. The faster you intervene, the better chance you have of salvaging your belongings. Call DKI Services right away to request fire and smoke damage restoration.