How to Perform Smoke Damage Cleanup

If a fire has damaged your home, you may be concerned about the condition of the walls and other surfaces. Smoke damage can cause discoloration and an acrid film that can be difficult to remove.

Wearing safety goggles, a mask, and gloves, begin by identifying the areas with smoke damage. Then, ventilate your home by opening all windows and doors.

After a fire, it’s important to ventilate your home. This helps mitigate smoke damage by letting fresh air in and keeps loose soot particles from resettling into hard surfaces or getting embedded in carpets and other soft goods.

Open windows and doors as much as possible. This will help with the odors caused by smoke as well.

Vacuum soot and ash residue throughout your home using a vacuum cleaner fitted with a HEPA filter. Be sure to get into corners and other crevices where soot can hide.

Wash your walls with a degreaser such as Trisodium Phosphate (or TSP). Make sure to rinse thoroughly afterward. You may need to repeat this process several times depending on how much soot has built up on your walls and ceilings.

If your furniture is upholstered, sprinkle it with baking soda and allow to sit overnight before vacuuming. This will help remove odors from smoke damage and freshen the upholstery.
Soot Removal

It is important to inspect all areas for smoke damage, including ceilings. Often, these are overlooked and can be very badly damaged by soot, requiring painting or refinishing. If it is safe to do so, open windows and doors to help ventilate the area. Vacuum floors, curtains and upholstered furniture with a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove loose soot particles. Wash walls, ceilings and painted surfaces with a commercial cleaning solution and rinse. Shampoo carpets and upholstered furniture as needed to remove lingering smoke odors.

Be sure to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) like rubber gloves and eye protection. Soot can irritate the respiratory system and can be ingested, which may cause serious illness. If you are concerned about your safety or the health of occupants, call smoke remediation professionals near you. Jon-Don carries a variety of products designed specifically for cleaning smoke damage. Using the right one will save you time and effort.
Stains Removal

Smoke particles can get into any porous surface and leave behind discoloration, stains and an awful odor. If left unattended, these stains can become permanent.

To prevent this, it’s important to remove any soot particles as soon as they appear, using a vacuum with an upholstery attachment and a dustpan. If possible, try to avoid scrubbing as this can work soot deeper into the surface.

If wood is stained, it’s often necessary to strip and refinish it. A degreaser such as Unsmoke, Benefect, or Chemspec can help with this process.

If your items are upholstered, try to spray them with a deodorizing product such as Trisodium Phosphate (TSP). For furniture with metal frames, consider using a rust-removing solvent, such as KRUDKOOL CRUDKOL, to reduce the risk of corrosion. If you save any items, keep an inventory as it can make filing a homeowners insurance claim easier later on. Also, be sure to dry out all wet items, such as floors and carpeting.
Finishing Touches

Putting the finishing touches on your smoke damage cleanup will make everything look more presentable. This involves wiping down non-porous surfaces, like wood and vinyl, cleaning any carved or grooved features, and spraying with a deodorizing product formulated for smoke damage. It will also include going through your belongings to decide which items to keep and which to throw away, being careful not to break anything that might have been charred or burnt in the fire. Thankfully, it is possible to clean most porous and non-porous items after a fire. You will just have to be patient and thorough in the process.smoke damage clean up

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