After a major fire, people will sometimes look at their homes and assume that they’ll have to replace almost everything. Parts of your house could be covered with soot after a fire. Part of fire restoration just involves cleaning. For that reason, fire damage can look worse and more permanent than it actually is. Not all fire residue can be removed, but some of the superficial problems aren’t as bad as you think.
Of course, the fire obviously didn’t just affect the walls of your house. You could have smoke-damaged clothes and furniture pieces. It’s possible to wash the soot off of clothes, but they might be entirely ruined if they’ve been burned. People can sometimes cut away the burned portion of the cloth or upholstery and then try to fill in the empty spaces or fix the holes. Some smoke cleaning products might also work. When it comes to the actual home itself, you’ll probably need fire restoration products.
You’ll have to get the house inspected after the fire. The technicians will let you know which forms of damage are structural and what you can do about them. If most of the exterior problems were caused by smoke, your chances of repairing the house are better.
House fires are still a major threat to society because many home owners do not take precautions when it comes to trying to prevent these occurrences. Homes may not be upgraded with the latest heating systems, or they could have faulty electrical circuits. It is these unnoticed mistakes that lead to house fires. In 2013, there were an estimated 369,500 home fires. And with the flames comes house fire damage.
Fire damages can be very expensive for the home owner. In fact, damage from fire caused $9.5 billion in property costs in 2013 alone. The most recent years have seen similar numbers. Yet one issue people may not be aware of is smoke damage. Although house fire damage accounts for most of the repair costs, smoke damage is also a pesky issue to get rid of whenever a structural fire does occur.
What is smoke damage: Smoke damage can occur on walls and ceilings and is very difficult to clean. The smoke occurs when the fire burns surrounding wood, causing ash and other particles to rise up towards the ceiling. It is not recommended that a home owner goes about cleaning fire damage themselves and to increase call in a professional. However, if you decide to tackle the issue alone, here are some things you’ll need to know.
- A couple large sponges — a size you would use to wash a car.
- Trisodium phosphate, also known as TSP. This is a strong household cleaner that can prevent serious skin and eye irritation. Gloves and proper eyewear must be warn at all times when handling.
- Two, one gallon buckets.
- Warm water to fill the buckets.
- Clean rags.
- Goggles to prevent any chemical cleaner from getting in your eyes.
- Heavy duty rubber cleaning gloves. Opt for ones that go up to the elbow.
First, fill one of the buckets with warm water an add a heaping tablespoon of the TSP. After affixing the proper clothing and eyewear to your body, wet the sponge and wipe the walls and/or ceiling aggressively.
Use the second gallon bucket for clean water. Dip the rags into the clean water and wipe the scrubbed section of wall or ceiling. Repeat if necessary and be sure to continually refresh the water bucket with clean water.
Note that if you have to repeat the scrubbing and rinsing process, you may end up saturating your walls. Water may seep into the drywall and into the baseboards, causing damage. Damage from water can be just as expensive to repair and may need replacement altogether if it is extensive.
Alternative methods: House fire damage can be a lengthy process to repair, and the above method may not full to the fullest extent. If this is the case, you will need to prime your walls and ceilings with paint primer and repaint the walls.
With a structural home fire reported every 85 seconds, it is important to know that a house fire could happen to your home and you should always be prepared and take necessary precautions.