Did you know that a small fire can result in significant smoke damage? The resulting smoke damage will take a toll on your personal items. It will also cause unseen damage to your property’s structure, the cleanup of smoke and soot is time-sensitive. The smoke by-product can be toxic and acidic. Smoke effects each surface of your property differently, quickly taking its toll unless carefully addressed and resolved.
What items are salvageable?
It can be difficult for most property owners to determine what needs the most immediate attention after fire strikes. Don’t worry, the professionals at Expert Restoration of Utah are here to help you walk through the process of determining what can and cannot be salvaged in a timely manner. They will use the most appropriate, effective tools and cleaning methods for each surface and type of textile.
How does Expert Restoration of Utah determine how to handle smoke damaged in your property?
Expert Restoration of Utah will come to your property and assess the type of fire and extent of fire and smoke damage. They will look for indicators of what was damaged in the fire. Temperature, the type of fire (smoldering or blazing), as well as types of materials burned impact what kind of cleanup is needed. You may not realize this, but smoke particles can easily reside in any crack and crevice, so if left untreated, the smell of smoke will remain months after a fire. Proper ventilation, debris removal, and cleaning and odor neutralizing efforts are critical to saving as many of your belongings as possible. However timing is the most crucial component of successful smoke remediation, so you will want to get help as soon as you can.
A closer look at smoke damage by surface-type:
- Curtains & Upholstery
- Vacuuming curtains and upholstery with standard household tools forces the soot deeper, thus making the complete cleaning a lot more difficult. The right filter, hose attachment, and technique are crucial. In some cases, these will even need to be sent off to a commercial cleaning facility for dry cleaning.
- Clothing & Bedding
- In order to remove the chemicals and completely removed to rid odor, they should be washed using a special washing regimen with certain types of chemicals.
- Furniture & Carpet
- You can do more damage when cleaning smoke damaged furniture. Wooden furniture can stain flooring with dyes. Metal furniture can rust and stain the flooring. Protective barriers (foam blocks, etc.) are essential in keeping surfaces separate until dry. You will need to be careful with the types of chemicals and processes that you use to clean these pieces.
- Hard Flooring
- The flooring may require refinishing or replacement, especially those water damaged. In areas without water damage, and where burn damage is not deep, deodorizing and/or resurfacing may be needed.
- Porous Hard Surfaces
- Porous materials such as drywall, plaster, wallpaper, paint, and exposed wood can become permanently discolored. How do you remove soot from wood and other porous surfaces? Dry chemical sponges are one way to prevent soot from seeping into surfaces to cause permanent stains.
- Fiberglass and Appliance Exteriors
- They will tend to yellow and retain smoke odors within hours if left untreated and uncleaned.
- Metallic Surfaces (Large Appliances)
- The smoke carries with it acidic soot, which can cause metal surfaces to pit and corrode with time. Wiping them down with cooking oil can prevent staining and rusting.
- Plastic & PVC
- All plastic and synthetic surfaces collect more smoke than other materials, thus they can discolor within minutes unless they are wiped down with a cleaning solution.
- Washing machines, tubs, and basins must be cleaned quickly to prevent permanent staining.
What is the timeframe for getting your property cleaned?
The IIRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification), a globally recognized leader in all types of remediation, recommends these time frames:
- Within minutes of smoke damage
- Porous and synthetic materials must be immediately addressed to prevent permanent discoloration.
- Within hours to days of smoke damage
- Wooden furniture, flooring, painted walls, and clothing can become permanently stained if not addressed within hours to days of damage. If left untreated up until now, all-metal surfaces will begin to rust, pit, and corrode, requiring refinishing or replacement.
- Within weeks of smoke damage
- Prolonged soot exposure will result in fibrous materials and porous surfaces requiring longer and more expensive restoration and in many cases resulting in the complete replacement of items.
Act fast to prevent the disastrous effects of smoke damage at your property. Contact the IIRC-certified restoration professionals at Expert Restoration of Utah.