If you experience a fire in your home, it can be devastating. Not only could you be displaced for days or even weeks, many of your possessions might be destroyed. If you get lucky, the fire will be put out quickly, minimizing the damage. But even if the impact from the fire is minimal, there’s still one other culprit you need to worry about – smoke.
Many homeowners don’t realize how much damage smoke and soot can cause. But the reality is that the odor from smoke can be quickly absorbed by almost any surface in your home – including furniture, rugs, curtains, clothing and more.
In addition to smelling unpleasant, smoke from soot is acidic. That means if it is not cleaned up quickly it can cause permanent damage to your possessions.
How to Handle Smoke Damage
If you experience a minor fire in your home you may be able to handle the cleanup yourself, if you act fast, by following these steps:
- After the fire is out, ventilate the area by opening windows and doors.
- If you have an HVAC system, turn it off to prevent the smoke from spreading to other areas of your home.
- Wipe down all hard surfaces with a clean cloth.
- Vacuum up soot with a shop vac.
- Rent industrial fans to help direct any remaining smoky air out of your home.
- Wash walls and ceilings. If you have stubborn soot stains that won’t come out, trying using a vinegar spray.
- Wash or dry clean curtains and clothes.
- Toss out any food that was not sealed in airtight containers.
By taking steps quickly, you may be able to save most of your possessions from further damage. However, you may also be exposing yourself to harmful chemicals contained within the smoke during the cleanup process – especially if you are not wearing protective clothing and eyewear.
The Health Dangers of Smoke and Soot
The consequences from a fire are more serious than just the smell of smoke and soot. It can also impact your health. Some of the potential risks posed after a fire, including during the cleanup process, include:
- Shortness of breath.
- Respiratory issues.
- Heart attack.
That’s not to say you will necessarily experience any or all of these issues – but it does increase your risk, particularly in people with weakened immune systems. Children and the elderly are also particularly vulnerable to the potential health risks posed by smoke and soot.
Protect Your Home and Your Health by Calling the Cleaning Professionals
Rather than expose yourself and your family to the potential health risks posed by post-fire cleanup, why not call the cleaning professionals at Octagon Cleaning & Restoration. Our team of experts are trained in smoke restoration, and have the know-how to clean and treat your home and restore it as close as possible to pre-fire condition, including cleaning or removing fire-damaged areas of the building, deodorization and neutralization of odors from smoke.
Give our team of smoke and fire restoration professionals a call at (207) 893-0002 in Maine and (603) 239-2100 in New Hampshire and Eastern Massachusetts.