When I was young we had a small fire. We had failed to open our fireplace flue and when lit, the fire in the fireplace flamed up and caught the wall hanging on the wall over the fireplace. It was immediately carried, burning, out of the house and thrown into the snow to extinguish the flames. The whole incident lasted about 3 minutes, tops. Our family was very lucky that the only damage to the home was a destroyed wall hanging and a lot of soot and smoke.
When we contacted our insurance agent we were surprised to discover that we needed a professional Fire Remediation company to do the cleanup, quickly. They came in and vacuumed and washed the carpets in the entire home. Washed the ceilings and walls. Cleaned all the upholstery and curtains. What was a very scary but VERY SMALL fire caused a surprisingly large amount of damage to our home.
Now imagine the effects of a larger fire. One where the Fire Department comes and uses water and chemicals to extinguish it. If immediate cleanup is not done it can lead to devastating effects. Within minutes of fire and smoke damage, appliances and many items will discolor to a yellow hue. After a few hours, acid will stain bathrooms and many other areas of the home. Within days, walls will discolor permanently and items will begin to rust due to the acid residue. Finally, after weeks the cost of clean- up will become substantially more expensive. The building and furnishings can be permanently damaged by the acid left behind. Soot residue will be layered throughout. Wet carpets (and the floors underneath) can be irreparably damaged by mold and mildew.
That is why it is so important to have a professional, certified fire damage company like True Clean Restoration help restore your home. Having a fire can be emotionally and psychologically devastating. A professional can assess the damage and clean with the exact right cleaning agent to avoid any further damage.
Can homeowners clean themselves? There are things homeowners can do. Before attempting any type of cleanup be sure to wear protective clothing, long sleeve pants and shirts, gloves and facemasks to avoid inhaling any fumes. If you get any soot or ash on your skin, wash it off immediately. Dry wet items as soon as possible. Use fans and dehumidifiers to get air moving and aid in drying. Non-porous items can be cleaned with regular cleaners but porous surfaces such as wood and drywall are best cleaned with a non water based cleaner to avoid damage or permanent stains (like a dry chemical sponge) Remove Brass and copper items right away and clean them with brass and copper cleaner – smoke can etch brass and copper in 24 hours. Soot is oily and easily stains fabrics. It must be removed before cleaning which is hard for a non-professional to do. Do not use an upright vacuum as the brushes tend to force soot deeper into carpet or fabrics and cause permanent staining. Hold the vacuum nozzle an inch or so away from the soot to get it all up. Once soot is removed from carpets or fabric they can be cleaned.
Smoke is unburned hydrocarbons that deposit on ceilings and horizontals. Most fires are of 3 types. Petroleum is from flammable liquids and gasses, combustible is from wood, paper or cotton and protein is from cooking media such as oils, fats and meat. Each type of fire produces a different residue and must be cleaned differently so a homeowner should consult a professional for the right type of cleaning product. Odor from smoke can often linger if not removed professionally. Professional cleaners often use counteractants to break up smoke particles – the type depends on the type of fire.
Contact True Clean Restoration today if you have a fire, even a little one, to avoid permanent damage to your home. Our professional, certified technicians will quickly and expertly clean and restore your home.