Fires, if they don't completely destroy a house, cause a lot of smoke damage to all household items that survived the blaze. Smoke permeates textile furniture, wood furniture, the walls, the attic, clothing, carpet and draperies. Quick action is necessary to save these items, and calling a professional trained in fire cleanup is best. There are some emergency procedures that a homeowner can do to help prevent further damage before the fire clean-up specialists arrives.
Take your furniture outside to dry off, if it got wet while putting out the fire. Of course, this will only work if your climate is dry. When moving the furniture, be careful not to rub soot into the fabric. Handle the furniture as little as possible after it is outside. Lift the cushions off the chairs and couches.
Bring large fans inside your house. It is important to dry out carpet and walls, so they won't mildew. Open all the windows and doors to let in airflow.
Take your clothing, towels, draperies and bedding outside, and hang them up. Make a temporary clothesline if necessary. As soon as you can, either take your clothing to a dry cleaner or clean it yourself according to label instructions. Try washing most of your clothing in a washing machine, adding a cup or more of vinegar along with detergent to each load to neutralise the smoke smell. Take any clothes that still smell like smoke to a dry cleaner.
Have a professional come in and do ozone treatment on your furnishings. Ozone treatments break up the smoke molecules and gets rid of the odour. The ozone treatment can be done in the home that was affected by the fire, if there is a large room that can be sealed off. All of your furniture will be placed in the ozone room. An ozone generator will be put in the room. The room will be completely sealed off, and the ozone generator will run for 24 hours or longer until the smell is gone.
Have a professional to clean the smoke odour from your house, the walls, the attic and air ducts. If this cleanup is not done properly, even though the house may smell clean, during hot weather the smoke will be released from the walls and permeate the house again. A fire clean-up specialist will perform thermal fogging to open up the pores in the wood and dry wall and release the smoke odour. The professional also will clean all the air ducts in your house with a special chemical. Remove the insulation in your attic and replace it with new. The insulation will probably retain smoke odour.
If you have a fireplace, have a professional come and clean out the odour from the fireplace and chimney.
- Getty Creative