Before you begin cleaning anything after fire damage, read this carefully.
Fire can cause more damage than mold or water. You cannot beat fire. So, be very careful while treading it or cleaning home after a fire. If your home is severely burnt, we advise you to call a Home Fire Damage Cleanup Company or a Fire Damage Restoration Service Provider. Make sure they are IICRC certified and have trained staff to perform the cleanup.
However, if you are planning to carry the restoration yourself, our suggested strategies and tips will help you during the process.
Start by Cleaning and Removing Soot and Smoke
Trisodium phosphate is a good ingredient to clean soot and smoke from the wall, floor, furniture, and other surfaces. However, tri-sodium products can be corrosive and therefore, you must be careful when using them. Remember to read the instruction written on the package for safety purposes.
Use warm water to speed up the process. You can use a mild detergent along with a cup of bleach and 3- 5 tablespoon of tri-sodium phosphate in a gallon of warm water to make a soot cleaner.
Once you have cleaned and scrubbed the surface, use warm water to rinse the area again and dry thoroughly.
Before you start cleaning soot and smoke, remove the stuff that has not been affected by fire, smoke or soot. Discard clothes, upholsteries, furniture and other household items that are beyond repair. Wear rubber gloves and eye protectors during cleaning.
Do not use tri-sodium products on garments directly without testing their effects. Bleaching is a good way to wash off smoke and soot from clothes. However, bleaching can fade the color and shine of the fabric. For delicate fabrics, mix washing detergent with cold water and one teaspoon of vanilla extract to remove soot and odor from clothes.
While cleaning walls and floors, wash one area at a time to prevent staining and streaking. Wash the floors first and then walls. The ceiling should be cleaned at the end. Do not repaint or apply wallpaper immediately after washing. Let the interiors dry for a couple of days.
Fire damage can cause water damage too (by bursting water pipes and causing leaks). This can start mold and mildew growth in dark and humid places. You can stop this from spreading by wiping down the surfaces with household chlorine bleach and water. Spray the solution on the surface and let it dry, and then scrape off the residual mildew. You must re-spray the area and allow it to dry to prevent further growth.
If your wallpaper is washable, clean it the same way you would clean a wall. However, try to use minimum water to avoid wetting the walls.
What Else Can you Do?
For insulation, drywall and other modern fixtures, consult a water and fire damage restoration company for taking thorough measures. Drywall and insulation that have been completely spoiled by water and fire must be replaced to maintain the integrity of the structure. Do not consider drying them out because they are not mold or mildew resistance. Even a small amount of moisture retained inside can cause structural damage.
Wash your utensils thoroughly before reusing them. Discard clay pots and stoneware (they trap smoke odors).
To retain the shapes of leather products, dry them out and stuff them with newspaper. Rinse them in cold water and leave them to dry the natural way under the sun.
Whenever you are working with smoke, soot, and other perilous damaged stuff like contaminated water and mildew and mold, wear protective gear, such as goggles, gloves, heavy-soled shoes and mask.
Wet the debris before disposing of them to minimize particle exposure.
Ask suggestions of the local certified Home Fire Damage Cleanup Company for resisting future damages.