Wondering how to clean up soot after a fire accident? Here’s how you can clean up soot from different materials!
Fires can be pretty destructive and tend to cause a lot of emotional scarring and property damage. It also leads to a lot of costs in terms of repair and restoration of the property. Soot is a pretty common problem that you have to deal with in the wake of a fire.
Soot is basically what’s left of the solid materials that were burned by the fire. It can either be powdery or flaky, depending on the material that was burned. It tends to leave behind unsightly black stains and can also contain harmful chemicals, acids, metal, dust, and soil that are dangerous to your health when inhaled. This is why, in the wake of a house fire, you must clean the soot off of every surface in your home.
Here’s how you can clean up soot from different surfaces in your home:
Cleaning Soot Off of Wood
Since wood is naturally spongy and porous, it easily absorbs soot and the accompanying odor. This is why you must clean and deodorize all wooden surfaces. Finished wood surfaces are much easier to clean than unfinished surfaces as the varnish and paint protect them from the soot and stains. Use a HEPA filter vacuum to remove loose soot off the wooden surface. Then, use a dry chemical sponge to rub the surface in the direction of the grain to remove the soot that was embedded in the surface. Finish the process by wiping the surface with a damp cloth. Use a wood polish or conditioner to restore the wood to its original form.
Cleaning Soot from Hard Surfaces
Hard surfaces such as flooring, walls, countertops, etc., need to be cleaned quickly after the fire to remove the soot stains. As for plastic surfaces, you might need to replace them altogether. Use water and a special cleaner to clean the soot off of hard surfaces. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the T. Spray the cleaner onto the affected surface, wipe off the soot, and then clean the surface with water.
Cleaning Soot Off of Your Furniture
Remove any fabric from your furniture and launder it before the smell of smoke and soot set into it. Clean the remaining upholstery by sprinkling some baking soda on the fabric surface and let it absorb into the surface for 24 hours. Use a vacuum to remove the baking soda. Repeat the process if necessary.
As for leather furniture, vacuum the loose soot off of the surface and then use some leather soap and a soft cloth to clean the remaining soot. Don’t use abrasive cleaners or hard brushes since they can ruin the leather.
Cleaning Soot from Carpet
Use a HEP vacuum to remove the dry soot from carpets. If the carpet is synthetic, then shampoo and dry the surface to remove any sticky soot residue. You can also steam clean the carpets to pull out the soot. Thoroughly rinse and dry the carpets to prevent mold growth.
The most important aspect of soot cleanup is that you have to be quick and thorough so that soot particles don’t escape into the air and don’t ruin your property. The only way to ensure that is to hire a professional remediation and restoration company. They will have the right skills, knowledge, and experience to get rid of the soot completely and effectively.