Expert Insights on Fire Restoration Cleaning (What To DIY and What Not To)

fire and smoke damage

After a house fire, DIY fire restoration cleaning efforts may seem more manageable and easier than calling a professional fire restoration company. This DIY approach is often the case if the damage to the house is minor, especially if the DIY-er is handy with tools, carpentry, and cleanup. However, though there may be some tasks suitable for a DIY approach to cleaning and restoration, given the destructive nature of fire, restoring a property to its pre-fire condition takes more than skills in carpentry or cleaning. 

To effectively recover from fire and smoke damage to your home, it is in your own best interests to have a team of experts to respond to the emergency and assess the damage. Calling a professional fire restoration company like Octagon Cleaning & Restoration can save valuable time and money and help you, the homeowner, fully recover and restore the property to its condition before the fire. 

DIY Fire Restoration: The Do’s and Don’ts for Property-owners

Homeowners may consider DIY cleaning efforts versus working with a fire restoration company, but such efforts depend on the extent of the damage to the house. While DIY efforts may seem like a practical, if not cost-effective, solution, DIY efforts may not fully address the extent of the damage. 

Soot and smoke odors can penetrate deeply into porous surfaces and linger. Soot-filled smoke and soot particles also hold many harmful physical properties. This residual black residue that accumulates on surfaces in the aftermath of a fire comprises many hazardous and toxic materials—tiny particles composed of chemicals, acids, carbon, and metals produced by the fire. Soot can not only cause permanent damage to any porous surface it is absorbed into but can present serious health hazards to anyone breathing in the particles. 

This is why the extent of homeowner DIY efforts should be limited to surface-level fire restoration cleaning. Basic efforts may include opening windows to ventilate the property or sweeping and vacuuming to remove visible debris and loose soot from surfaces and fabrics. Wiping down surfaces using household cleaners, sponges, and cloths to clean soot and smoke residue from walls, ceilings, and floors. Cleaning or replacing damaged or smoke-stained items such as curtains, carpets, and upholstered furniture. Washing clothing, bedding, and other textiles that have absorbed smoke odors.

It’s worth noting that, beyond these basic efforts, it’s possible that DIY cleaning can lead to further damage or contamination of the property. For example, using the wrong cleaning products could further damage surfaces or release harmful chemical fumes into the air. If soot and smoke damage are not properly cleaned and mitigated, the toxic physical properties they hold will still be present on surfaces. In other words, time-consuming and physically demanding DIY efforts to clean and restore your property may not provide the same protection against long-term health risks from soot and smoke contamination. 

What Professional Fire Restoration Offers Property-owners

Professional help is typically needed to thoroughly clean, sanitize, and restore the property to its pre-fire condition. Fire restoration company personnel are trained and certified professionals with specialized knowledge in fire damage restoration. They understand the complexities of fire damage, including the harmful properties caused by smoke and soot, structural integrity concerns, and effective cleaning techniques. 

Fire restoration companies use advanced equipment and technology designed for fire damage cleaning and restoration. Industrial-grade dehumidifiers, air movers, ozone generators, and specialized cleaning agents ensure safe, effective, and comprehensive cleansing of a property. Work is accomplished promptly, minimizing further damage and reducing overall restoration time.  

While it’s understandable for homeowners to want to start the cleaning process after a house fire, the extent of these DIY efforts should be limited due to the complex nature of fire and smoke damage. Professional fire restoration cleaning offers numerous advantages in expertise, equipment, safety, efficiency, and quality.

Our trained, certified professionals at Octagon will help you mitigate smoke and fire-related damage to your home. We approach every situation with empathy and understanding. Throughout the restoration process, we will collaborate with you and your insurance provider to return the property to its original state. 

As one of the leading smoke and fire restoration companies in Northern New England, our services ensure comprehensive home restoration, proper handling of insurance claims, and long-term health and safety for the occupants–our utmost priority is you and your family. Contact us today for a free estimate.