4 Steps to Free Your Home of Smoke Smells
If your in need of help dealing with smoke odor in your home, you’ve come to the right place. Perhaps your home has suffered from a small kitchen fire, an electrical fire from an outlet, or exposed wiring in a power cord and you’re now dealing with a smokey smell inside your house. We wrote this blog post to help you out with a process for dealing with smoke damage. It’s important to note that not all fires are created equal and some fires will be severe enough that they require professional fire damage restoration service.
One of the key factors in the severity of smoke damage in a home is the size, duration, and temperature of the fire. The longer the fire burns and the hotter it is, the more different materials begin to open up (expansion of fabrics, leathers, and vinyls) and absorb smoke. In this post we’ll cover some DIY methods for cleaning, deodorizing, and sealing belongings to eliminate that unwanted smoke smell once and for all!
Remove burnt/damaged materials from your home. The quickest way to minimize smoke smell is to remove smoke damaged items. This seems easy enough for items like lamps, blankets, pillows, chairs, and love seats. But what about non-removable items like cabinets? When dealing with items that cannot be physically removed from a home, sealants are your best friend. Applying a sealant to a smoke damaged item can lock in the odors preventing them from excaping.
Filter, filter, filter! For this part you will need to rent an Air Filtration Device. Depending on the severity of the smoke damage more than one device may be required. An Air Filtration Device works by filtering the air for smoke odors and gases. Remember to go carbon activated for your filter selection. A traditional HEPA filter will not do the trick when dealing with smoke damage.
Elbow grease is your friend. Begin cleaning all of the affected areas of your home immediately after removing damaged or burned items. The longer smoke sits on a surface, the stronger that surface will smell. Begin by cleaning up all of the soot and dust that you can see. Depending on the type of fire you are faced with vacuuming up some of the small debris should be an option. Next up you will need to acquire a one more piece of equipment. Home-Depot may be your friend here or a local water damage restoration company is another great option. You are looking for a “dry-chem sponge”. A dry chem sponge works by absorbing soot, smoke, and debri. If you use a traditional sponge with water you will smear this stuff around causing staining and even more damage. A dry chem sponge will do the opposite by absorbing those very same materials.
It is now time to deodorize. There are no shortage of fire deodorizers on the market. However, industrial strength products available to a fire damage restoration company would be the best choice here. If you must go the OTC root we suggest finding a product similar to Fire-D. Do not buy just any old deodorizer. This isn’t an old gym bag you want to spritz a little bit of life into. Go for the heavy duty, real deal product here. Spare no expense as this is the most important part in the smoke damage clean up process.
Spray all surfaces that we in contact with the smoke and even those that weren’t. The more thorough you are here, the better. Walls, floors, carpets, tables, counter tops, are all in play. Follow the directions on the bottle of whatever product you decide to purchase and do not allow the product to come into contact with any surfaces it is unintended to clean. IE electronics, tv screens, certain types of laminate etc. It is typically a good idea to allow the solution to sit and soak into the surfaces you are cleaning so that it has time to work properly and do its job effectively. As the product dries and the air in your home becomes filtered you should be able to regain your ability to smell surfaces that still need cleaning. At this point you can go through with another cleaning if your situation calls for it.
If your home or business has suffered from smoke damage and you are in need of a professional to assess the situation to get rid of the smoke once and for all, give H&L Restoration a call at (408) 645-5958. We are standing by ready to help!