A fire in your home is a frightening thing no matter how big or small it turns out to be. Some damage is expected from the smoke as well as the fire itself. Cleanup is an essential part of the process, but you may not know the best method to restore your home after fire damage.
Before the actual cleanup begins, you will have a few things to take care of. Find out when you are allowed to enter your home by talking to the fire marshal or other official on-site. You’ll also need to contact your homeowner’s insurance provider to let them know what has happened. Find out if the home is safe to have the electricity and gas on or if it will need to be shut off until repairs are made.
Removal of Damage
Once it is determined to be safe for you to go back into your home, your first task will be to get rid of all damage. You may need to throw out personal items as well as curtains, carpet, and furniture that has been damaged from the fire or water from the fire hose. Make sure you open windows while working to get rid of the smell and the toxins from the smoke and fire.
Some items may be damaged, but they can be salvaged. For instance, clothing may have the smell of smoke on them even if they weren’t involved in the fire. You’ll need to wash them – maybe more than once – to get the smell out. If you can’t get the clothing clean, you may need to throw them away.
Get rid of opened food or items in cardboard boxes. Cans of food or food in the freezer and fridge are still usable since they were protected from the toxins.
Dry Out the House
Damage from the water used to put out the fire can be as extensive as what the fire did. You’ll want to make sure everything dries quickly to prevent the growth of mold. Open the windows, use fans, and a wet/dry vac to remove water from the carpet.
If the floors or walls are saturated with water, you may need to have an inspection to determine if there is damage. Floorboards may need to be replaced as well as drywall.
You’ll need to clean the walls and floor, ceiling and windows from the soot and other chemicals. Make sure everything dries after you finish the cleaning. You may need to repeat the process a few times to get the smell of smoke out.
If you notice that the ashy color doesn’t go away or if you still smell smoke, you may need to take further action. Cabinets and wood floors may need to be re-sanded and sealed. Walls may need to be primed and painted to remove the smell.
A small kitchen fire may not seem like a big deal to clean up. However, a bigger fire can take days or weeks to clean up after if you do it on your own.
If the thought of cleaning up after a fire leaves you overwhelmed, hire Renovation Pros to help. They will guide you through the process and use professional-strength products to get the job done.