Cleaning up after a fire can be a devastating event when the reality of what has been lost sets in. What does survive the damage of a fire should bring comfort, but when the smoke smell sets in, it’s not easy to rid your belongings of the smoke and soot damage smell.
Try as you might, ridding the smoke smell from fabrics, clothing, and furniture can seem like an impossible task. While this task is one skilled restoration companies are equipped to handle, if you’re not quite ready to leave the smoky smell in the hands of the professionals, put their smoke removal secrets to the test to do it yourself.
Professional Tips for Getting the Smoke Smell Out
There are a variety of tips to remember when removing odor and smoke damage from fabrics and upholstery It may require trial and error, but persistence can help ensure more personal property will not be lost because of the fire’s aftermath.
- Act quickly: The longer smoke odor is left to linger on fabric or garments, the harder it can be to make it go away. Restoration efforts should begin immediately to avoid related costs from escalating.
- Reduce the odor: Before the cleaning process can begin, start by removing as many items holding the smoke smell as possible. This includes anything that is not salvageable, such as carpet, wallpaper, building materials, and insulation. If items can be cleaned off site (furniture, clothing, linens), remove them from the premises. The less smoke objects holding the smoke smell, the easier it is to rid odors.
- Air it out: If weather permits, open the windows and use fans to circulate the air. The ventilation will help to decrease the odor, while also dry out any moisture damage that occurred in the fire extinguishing process.
- Remove soot: Soot, or the black particles left behind after a fire, can contain acids and chemicals that can further be of damage to fabrics. Since soot holds odor, the smell removal process must begin by using a heavy duty or industrial vacuum to eliminate the oily residue. Be sure to hold the nozzle above the fabric, carpeting, or drapery to avoid the soot from further staining or destroying the material.
- Deodorize textiles: To help break down the smoke molecules causing the odor, fire restorers often rely upon “smoke odor counteractants.” This blend of counteractants, solvents, and detergents is available for purchase. For best results, always follow manufacturer specifications when using.
- Dry clean: While not exactly a DIY approach, professional dry cleaners can be a less expensive option to respond to smoke odor cleaning for smaller items than bringing in the larger efforts of a restoration company.
- Tent it: Tents aren’t just for camping. When combined with an ozone treatment generator, a tent can help to eliminate odors in items that can’t easily be taken to the dry cleaners, such as couches and large area rugs. The machine can be costly for one time use, but may be a more affordable option to rent or buy in the case of large amounts of cleaning needed.
- Get foggy: Another process fire restorers rely on for smoke damage is “thermal fogging.” This deodorizing process uses pressurized force to disperse deodorant droplets in a similar manner to how smoke is spread. Again, this process may be better left to skilled professionals, but with the right equipment, it is something you can do to mitigate the smoke odor problem of larger areas.
Fire and Water Damage Restoration Companies of CT, MA, and RI
After the smoke clears, it is important that you act quickly to perform smoke damage cleaning and removal. Airborne soot particles are hazardous to your health, and the acidic nature of soot makes it increasingly difficult to remove the longer it’s left alone.
The DRS team of certified technicians use up to date techniques and green, environmentally friendly products to erase the smoke damage that has affected your property. DRS is fully trained and capable of effectively cleaning your property’s contents and structure.
Whether your whole house was affected or just the kitchen, the DRS team helps you manage every detail. From fire damage cleanup to full fire repair or the remodeling, your property will be restored to pre-fire condition. All salvageable contents are restored, including clothing, furniture, carpets, documents, photos, and electronics.
DRS Disaster Restoration Services services the Tri-State Area: Connecticut’s Portland, Middletown, New Britain, New Haven, Norwich, CT, Massachusetts’s Springfield, Chicopee, Webster, Uxbridge, Milford, Hopedale, Worcester, Framingham, MA, and Rhode Island’s Providence, Cranston, Woonsocket, Warwick, Pawtucket, Taunton, and Fall River, RI areas.Like what you're reading? Don't keep it to yourself - share!