Handling Smoke Damage after a Fire – Getting Soot and Smoke Out
You may be anxious to clean your home after a fire, but unless you take the time to get professional advice, you may be wasting your efforts or creating further damage.Contact your insurance agency immediately once the fire is out. He or she can provide advice on restoration or replacement of damaged items. If you rent, notify the owner so both of you can assess the damage.
Your insurance agent may be able to recommend a professional
fire restorer but the Insured have the right to use whoever you feel best qualified to assist you. USR certified and trained Professionals can provide hints to prevent further damage, help determine which items can or cannot be refurbished, and provide estimates and services for thoroughly cleaning and deodorizing your home. Their services can be expensive, but the cost may be substantially less than the cost of replacing damaged
furnishings and floors.
Preventing Further Damage
Even if you don't hire a professional fire restorer, you can minimize further damage by following these guidelines. Be sure you have permission from your fire marshal to safely re-enter your home before doing so. Get the air moving. Open windows to ventilate areas. Install a fan to circulate air. Note: if there has been substantial water damage and the weather is warm, you will probably need to keep the windows shut and run a dehumidifier. In cold weather, your heating system is operating, and the cold air will usually help remove the moisture. In this case, change your furnace filter daily
until it shows no soo.
Use of fans and dehumidifiers to dry the structure if possible in areas that received little or no damages.
Brass and copper items should be cleaned using brass or copper cleaner (smoke can etch brass or copper in 24 hours).Place aluminum foil or plastic food wrap under furniture legs.Remove oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpeting.Cover dry, clean items with plastic while repairs are in progress.
Consult professional restorers about using ‘thermal fogging’. Do not use a water-based cleaner on plaster walls. It will cause the stain to bleed into the wall. Removing Smoke Odor from the Home During a fire, smoke can permeate walls and other surfaces and drift through household ducts, where it becomes trapped. If not properly removed, smoke odor reoccurs from time to time, especially during warm or damp weather.
Ask a USR Consult about a process known as "thermal fogging." This warm chemical fog penetrates your home and walls just as the fire did, neutralizing the smoke odor as it goes. USR can assist with smoke removal from ducts. By use a chemical sealer to secure smoke permanently to the sides of ducts since these areas, with their joints and crevices, may be difficult to clean with conventional vacuum-and-brush methods. Consider replacement of attic insulation. Insulation may retain
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