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Best Ways to Remove Fire and Smoke Damage from Walls

While the immediate danger of a fire in your home or business can be terrifying, once the fire has been extinguished and the insurance companies have inspected the damage, there is yet another threat of smoke.  Fire, no matter how small, produces a significant amount of smoke and soot. This smoke travels further than flames and clings onto walls, ceilings, cabinets, furniture and almost any surface in its vicinity.

Smoke can be hazardous to the occupant’s health, causing respiratory issues. Also, since it is acidic, it continues to cause damage and corrosion to the affected surfaces.  The best solution for decreasing the extent of damage caused by fire smoke is to know what to do and act quickly to begin the process of protecting and restoring your Weston home or business. A fast response by a professional remediation company in Florida can help you with your emergency situation.

Fire and smoke damage removal in Weston Fl

Smoke damage is caused by the soot leftover from the fire. Soot embeds deeply into textiles and porous materials making it incredibly difficult to remove. A certified fire and smoke restoration company typically uses appropriate supplies and equipment during the cleanup process.

What restoration services use for fire damage restoration

  • Safety goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Cleaning sponges (both regular types and Chemical Dry Cleaning Sponges)
  • Disposable cloths
  • Ladder or step stool
  • Safety mask
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Vinegar, degreaser or trisodium phosphate

Wear protective gear

The safety of everyone involved in a fire damage restoration exercise is crucial. Soot can penetrate and irritate the skin and badly damage the lungs. For your protection, make sure everyone puts on their safety goggles and mask especially when working overhead. Also, wear your gloves to protect your hands from the cleaning chemicals.

Ventilate the area

As soon as the house is pronounced safe to enter, ventilating it is crucial to minimize your chances of inhaling soot particles and hazardous fumes. It also helps limit the damage and speed up the cleaning process. Circulate air all through your Weston property by opening up windows, doors and vents. Turn on any working fans and add portable ones in isolated areas. 

Protect unaffected areas

The first step in a smoke restoration exercise is protecting the unaffected areas. Since you will be freeing your walls from soot as you clean, it is important to protect your floors. Cover the entire floor with newspapers, canvas or plastic drop sheets. Tape the covering in place so it doesn’t move around as you work. Also, remove or cover any furniture and belongings in the room. This will ease the cleaning process, while also preventing more residue buildup.

Vacuum smoke residue

This step helps to remove dust and other fine particles that can scratch walls during cleaning. Start by cleaning the walls with a vacuum and an upholstery brush to remove as much debris as possible. Although you want to get the vacuum’s nozzle as close to the soot as possible, do not rub it against the smoke stains. Otherwise, the nozzle will scratch the wall and grind in the soot, further damaging your walls. Hold the nozzle about half an inch away from the area you are cleaning.

Make sure to work from the top part of your walls, slowly making your way down. This helps prevent soot from settling on an area you’ve already cleaned. Once you are done vacuuming, empty the canister outside to prevent the soot from spreading to other areas in your Weston property.

Dry clean smoke stains

The next important step to restore your walls is, clean off the remaining soot stains with a  special dry cleaning soot sponge. This restoration step is absolutely essential as these sponges use special chemicals to lift stains from walls.  The sponge ensures the soot does not penetrate the walls, causing a permanent stain.

Wipe the walls in a downward motion, slowly working your way from the top to the bottom. Wipe in strokes until the entire wall surface is clean. Since dry cleaning sponges become saturated quickly, Switch to a fresh sponge as necessary. Alternatively, you can cut off the saturated parts to expose clean material underneath.

Note: Do not wet the sponge as it will become ineffective in cleaning the soot. 

Wet clean stubborn smoke stains 

After removing as much soot as possible with the dry cleaning method, your smoke damage restoration service provider will move on to wet cleaning the stains. This step requires you to be extra careful with the amount of water they use when cleaning smoke off your walls. Excessive amounts of water can cause the smoke stains to drip and smear your wall further.

You can either purchase commercial soot or smoke remover or you can make your own with  Trisodium Phosphate (TSP), vinegar or a degreasing dish soap in a gallon of hot water. Mix one tablespoon of TSP in a gallon of warm water. With your gloves on, dip a clean cloth in the solution. Working from top to bottom, wipe the surface with the cloth using hard and firm strokes.

Rinse thoroughly

Once the professionals from the damage restoration company clean your smoke-damaged surface, they will rinse it out with fresh clean water. They will dip a clean cloth into a clean bucket of warm water, wring it and rinse the residue away. They may repeat the last two steps as many times as possible until the area is clean from smoke damage residue.

Let the walls dry

Once the walls are clean and rinsed, the professionals use a dry towel to completely dry all the surfaces.  They also let the walls air-dry for several hours.  Walls are prone to water damage, so make sure they are completely dry to prevent mold growth and bubbling.

Remove the smoke odors

Even after you remove the smoke stains, smoke from fire damage can leave an unpleasant lingering smell in the affected areas of your house.  The most popular method for removing smoke odor is placing several bowls of white vinegar, baking soda or activated charcoal – natural absorbents of unpleasant odors – mixed with scented oil throughout the house.

Repaint your walls

After the affected walls are clear of any signs of smoke damage, the next and final step is to repaint them with primer and a fresh coat of paint.

Call the fire and smoke restoration specialists in Weston Fl

Smoke pollution poses a health hazard to both your family and property and should be dealt with immediately. While you may be interested in removing the smoke damage yourself and the techniques above are effective, the only guaranteed way to repair your walls after fire damage is with the help of fire and smoke damage restoration specialists.

The fire and smoke damage restoration companies serving Weston have access to lots of specialized equipment, state-of-the-art filters, cleaning agents and years of experience and training to eliminate the smoke. Just make sure to choose a certified fire and smoke damage restoration company in Weston Florida with a proven reputation as well as years of experience in residential and commercial fire and smoke damage remediation.