After a house fire is contained, the residents of the home are left with picking up the pieces and restoring the house. Aside from replacing the damaged items, one other major responsibility is cleaning and removing soot from the walls.
Soot is the black and burnt by-product from incomplete combustion of an item. They are left behind by materials that were not completely burned down during the fire. Soot is either powdery or flaky and often very hard to remove. If you are about to deal with some soot after a house fire, here are a few useful tips from the fire damage restoration, Paradise Valley, Arizona professionals:
- Wear Protective Clothing And Gear
First and foremost, wear protective clothing and gear to minimize exposure to hazardous fumes and chemicals while cleaning. It is best to wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, boots, heavy-duty gloves, protective eyewear, and a mask while inside the home. Anything less can cause serious health issues in the future.
- Vacuum First
Once ready and geared up, it’s time to use the handy vacuum. Vacuuming the area first helps to clear out excess soot and prevents the substance from spreading. Using HEPA filters in the vacuum works best for soot as it allows for better and more effective cleaning with very limited soot in the air.
- Contain The Mess
Before starting to scrub down the walls to remove the soot, cover the floors, especially if they did not sustain any damage with plastic. This prevents any of the soot and dirt from spreading all over the floor and creating a bigger mess to clean up. Also bring dedicated containers or buckets specifically for storing the used rags and sponges so that they do not contaminate the clean buckets.
- Use The Correct Cleaning Materials
The best cleaning agent to use for removing soot is TSP or Trisodium Phosphate. However, the concentration of the chemical is very important. Only mix one tablespoon of the chemical per one gallon of warm water. Using too much will lead to more damage than help.
Also, note that it might take more than one scrubbing to completely rid the walls of soot. Be ready to get a good workout when you’re cleaning up after a house fire.
- Remove The Odor
Using air freshener to mask the odor of a fire is not enough. If you want to reduce or even completely remove the smell left behind by the fire be sure to wipe the walls with a white vinegar and water solution after scrubbing. Next, open a few containers of baking soda inside the home to let them absorb the foul smells.
- Ventilate And Dry The Area
Before leaving and calling it a day, open all the doors and windows of the area to increase airflow and ventilation. It will also help to have at least one fan inside the house to decrease humidity.
The fire damage restoration, Paradise Valley, Arizona pros emphasize that completely drying the areas after a good scrub down will prevent water damage and other problems that arise from a closed and damp home.
ASAP Restoration is a team you can trust when it comes to fire damage restoration, Paradise Valley, Arizona. Call us today and we will be there for you.