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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to clean and restore your home after a fire

7/6/2022 (Permalink)

How to clean and restore your home after a fire

Dangerous is the word I would use to explain what it is like cleaning and restoring your home after a fire. IF proper safety precautions are not taken and/or the procedures are not followed. There is also a time frame where further damage can occur from smoke and soot if they are not taken care of immediately, so it’s crucial that you act fast. The safest and easiest way to handle the cleanup and restoration of your home after a fire is to hire a professional fire restoration company, however, if the fire is small enough, you may be able to handle it yourself.

Cleaning Procedures

There is no set way to restore your home back to normal in the event of a fire due to the fact that each home is different, not only the layout but the items in the home that need to be restored will vary from home to home. However, there are some basic steps to follow to assist along the way.

  • Ensure you wear personal protective equipment
  • Ensure the surrounding area is safe and properly protected
  • Use TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) products when removing the lingering odor the fire caused

Proper PPE

Personal protective equipment should not be ignored or taken lightly. Failure to use the proper PPE could expose you to harmful elements the fire may have caused affecting you both short term and long term. So, at a minimum, before you begin to clean and restore your home ensure you are wearing the following:

  • Safety goggles
  • Protective gloves
  • Long sleeves
  • Nose mask

Safety boots are an addition that may be recommended depending on the specific details of the aftermath.

Protect the Surrounding Area

This next step can save you a lot of money if done correctly. Opening windows and doors in the home to allow smoke and other elements to exit the residence. Preventing the buildup of smoke and soot is what you are trying to avoid. Ideally, a large powerful fan can assist with the removal of smoke along with any vapors from cleaning products, out of your home.

Next is your floors and how to protect them, especially the areas that have little to no damage in the rest of the house. The main concern is tracking soot and other particles into other parts of the house via foot traffic. A good way to avoid this is simply by blocking off certain areas of the home or by laying cloth down.

TSP Products

Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) products are used to remove the odor that stays in your home after a fire. Most homeowners who have experienced a fire in their home will say the odor is one of the biggest issues, not only is it an unpleasant smell but breathing in the smoke and the other particles in the air can be harmful to one’s health.

When using TSP products, you should not deviate from the directions. It is also crucial that you have the proper PPE before handling TSP due to the fact that it can be harmful to the body/skin and eyes. So, ensure your body and eyes are fully protected and proceed with extra caution.

Scrub Walls

The walls can be easily overlooked after a house fire so it's important to check to see if the walls are affected or damaged throughout the home! The reason for this is that if your Central heat and air were on after or during the fire, it is highly likely that soot and other particles have been blown throughout the house. The sooner you have wiped away soot off the walls, the easier the restoration process will be. An easy tool for cleaning walls is called a chemical dry sponge also referred to as a soot eraser sponge. That is your best bet to remove residue. Please note that in some cases multiple cleaning may be necessary. Just allow time in between each time you scrub the walls for them to dry.

Drying Time

In most cases after a house fire, you will be using a liquid cleaning solution to help clean throughout your home. Please keep in mind that cleaning solutions need time to dry, so be sure not to paint or redecorate without an adequate amount of drying time.

Fire Damage Restoration Experts

For some, home fires can be handled with the help of yourself and perhaps a few friends or family members, but if you feel the task is too big, please reach out to our professional and experienced teams at SERVPRO of Highland Village. Our team would be happy to discuss how we can help after your home fire or simply answer any questions you might have. We are a 24/7 emergency service and we are only a call away.  

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