House fires are one of the most devastating disasters, and they result in smoke damage, which can come with long-lasting consequences.
They can quickly damage everything inside your house, or, worse, destroy it all entirely. However, there are a few steps you can take to help start the repair and restoration process.
Learn how to handle this type of damage below.
IMPORTANT: Before anything else, it is essential that you know it is safe to return to your home after a fire. For your safety and the safety of others, you must get approval from either the fire department or fire marshal to enter your home.
Once you get the go-ahead from the fire department, you should also check in with your insurance company before you begin any part of the restoration process. They may have recommendations or requirements when it comes to remediation.
How to Handle Smoke Damage
Now that you have completed those two crucial steps, you can tackle cleaning and restoring your home. There is plenty of work you can do yourself, though it will not be easy, and there is even more work that you will not be able to handle. It is important to remember that smoke damage boils down to a molecular level and is incredibly toxic, making remediation tricky. Most of this process should be left to the pros. A trusted disaster remediation expert can restore your home to its former state of comfort and safety. If you are in doubt, it is probably best to leave it alone and let the professionals handle it.
If damage is minor, here is what you can do before involving a professional:
- Safety First! — Avoid depleting your health by wearing protective safety gear! We recommend a mask, gloves, and goggles. Additionally, do what you can to ventilate your home. Turn off your HVAC system and open doors, windows, and the chimney flue.
- Vacuum Soot — Rent an industrial vacuum from your local hardware store and vacuum up any loose ash and soot from your home’s surfaces. Be careful not to push ash and soot into the surfaces as you suck them up so that you do not cause permanent stains.
- Absorb Smells — There are a few at-home, chemical-free methods you can try to soak up that smokey smell. Vinegar, baking soda, and activated charcoal are substances that naturally absorb smells, even tough odors like smoke! Try mixing one part water and one part white vinegar to wipe down walls, ceilings, floors, and furniture. Sprinkle baking soda on soft surfaces like cushions of furniture and carpet. Alternatively, you can fill a bowl with activated charcoal and place it in rooms where the stench still lingers. If these at-home methods are not enough to remove the smell, professional intervention is required.
- Be Ready to Replace Items — If your home has suffered extensive damage, you will likely be replacing many items. Clothing, furniture, and carpets might have taken a serious hit and are usually not salvageable. Mentally prepare to replace anything that was heavily and irreversibly damaged by the smoke.
Contact Rapid Response Restoration
If your home has suffered smoke damage and is in Orem, Provo, or surrounding Utah County area, call the skilled professionals at Rapid Response Restoration. Our trained technicians are ready to help 24/7 and are committed to providing outstanding service in your unfortunate time of need. Contact us today for a free damage assessment.