If you have smoke damage in your home, it’s important to know that it can be cleaned. It’s even possible to save items like rugs, carpets, upholstery, and curtains.
The first step in smoke damage cleaning is removing loose soot particles. This is done with a dry chemical sponge (which is basically a large sponge). Use the sponge to lightly rub affected areas.
Soot from fire damage is ugly and smelly. It also leads to discoloration, corrodes surfaces and damages fabric. Fortunately, it can usually be removed with time and patience.
Start by clearing away all debris. Then vacuum the entire area. Use a brush attachment to minimize redistribution of soot. Next, use a soot sponge on all affected areas of the walls. Work slowly to avoid smears, and use a new sponge each time you go over the same area.
If stains persist, wash walls and ceilings with a commercial cleaning solution. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing and rinsing.
White vinegar can also be used to clean smoke damage. Be sure to rinse thoroughly, and dry the area before painting.
Dry Chemical Sponge
A dry sponge can quickly remove a layer or two of soot from walls without the use of water or cleaning chemicals. This makes it especially useful for removing soot from wall surfaces before painting. If the stains are light, you can paint right over them after using a commercial soot cleaner and a solvent-based stain blocker primer.
If the stains are heavy, it may be necessary to scrub the surface before using the sponge. To avoid damaging the finish of wood furniture, wipe the sponge gently. Avoid rubbing the sponge over the grain of the wood, as this can grind the soot deeper into the surface.
These sponges are made of vulcanized natural rubber and effectively clean dirt- and soot-covered surfaces without getting them wet. They are also ideal for cleaning where you cannot use water or liquids, such as drywall, paneling, window blinds and lamp shades. These sponges are commonly called soot sponges, chem sponges or wall Brite sponges and are available full-size or cut into smaller blocks.
A professional-grade hydroxyl deodorizer can clean and restore porous surfaces that have been severely affected by smoke damage. This includes fabrics and other textiles, drywall, ceilings, and hardwood floors. The hydroxyls remove unpleasant odors and neutralize toxic chemicals.
This process uses a large sponge that absorbs moisture and is usually available at home improvement stores. A respirator mask is also recommended to prevent debris inhalation during this process. The soaked sponge is then rinsed and repeated as needed until the surface is free of smoke residue.
It is important to note that even mild smoke damage can cause permanent harm if left untreated. It is best to enlist the services of a content restoration company, like Jenkins Restorations, to ensure that all damage is cleaned and restored correctly. Otherwise, you could end up with a black wall or lingering smoke odor. Attempting to save certain items can be time-consuming and cost-prohibitive if the process requires multiple washings or professional dry cleaning.
The smoke that comes from a fire can leave behind unsightly black marks on surfaces and other materials, causing them to discolour and smelling bad. It can also corrode metal, and damage soft materials like wood. The smoky residue is also difficult to clean because it penetrates porous materials and paint.
Cleaning the affected areas of your home or business after a fire requires the right tools and equipment. A professional restoration company can use a variety of tools and products to clean your belongings from smoke damage.
Depending on the severity of your property’s damage, you may have to dispose of some items. However, most items can be salvaged with proper smoke damage cleaning and odor removal. The extent of the damage, temperature, and type of material affects what can be saved.