Wondering how to clean up after a house fire? Here’s everything that you need to do!
A house fire in a truly scarring and terrible experience that requires tons of cleanup due to the presence of fire extinguisher residue, smoke, and soot that tend to stick to the surfaces in your home. This is why you must clean your home thoroughly to get rid of these residues and debris before they cause any further damage to your property.
Here are the steps that you need to take to cleanup your home after a fire accident. If the damage is extensive, we suggest skipping these steps and calling a fire damage restoration service.
Inspect Your Property
The first step is to get your home inspected to ensure there’s no structural damage that can be dangerous such as weak walls, roofs, and foundations or broken electrical wirings. This inspection might be conducted by a fire marshal. Once your home is cleared for entry, wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants, close-toed shoes, gloves, safety glasses, and a face mask to protect yourself from smoke and soot. Record the damage on your property for the insurance company.
Clean the Outdoor Spaces
Check the roof for any damage and clean the gutters to get rid of any ash or debris that might be clogging them. Remove the soot, ash, and chemical fire retardants from the exterior walls of your home with a power washer as quickly as possible. Alternatively, if the affected area is small, then use a solution of borax and water and a stiff brush to remove the contaminants from the surface. If a Class A foam was used to extinguish the fire, then clean it with a paint scraper.
Make sure to work from the top to the bottom so that the unclean water and debris run down and don’t contaminate the cleaned parts of your home. As for the windows, use a glass cleaner to clean them. For your driveway and walkways, remove the solid debris and then power wash them to remove the grime and soot.
Clean the Interior Surfaces
If the damage inside your home is extensive, then the best course of action is to hire a fire damage restoration company. They will have the right knowledge and skillset needed to restore your property to its former glory. However, if the fire and resultant damage within your home aren’t extensive, then open all the windows to ventilate your home. You can also run some fans to boost air circulation.
Then, use a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner to remove any standing water in your home. Dispose of all the wet carpets and vinyl flooring. Remove all the wet items from within your home and put them in storage or your garage for further inspection.
The next step is to inspect every surface in your home such as the ceiling, walls, and floors for soot as it tends to stain badly and can spread across your home by your hands and shoes. To remove soot from surfaces such as cabinets, walls, furniture, and floors, use a solution of 1 cup of chlorine bleach, 4 to 6 tablespoons of trisodium phosphate, 2 tablespoons dishwashing soap, and 1 gallon of warm water.
Wear rubber gloves and use a sponge to clean the affected surfaces by starting at one end and moving to the other. Rinse each cleaned section with clean water right away and let the surface dry completely. After about 24 to 48 hours, repaint your ceilings and walls.
If your carpets are only soot-stained, then get them cleaned by a restoration service who’ll remove the soot and get rid of the smoke odor from the padding and carpets. For the smoke odor in your home, reach out to a smoke odor removal or cleaning and deodorization service. They will likely use a chemical fog to penetrate the insulation and walls in your home to get rid of the smoke odor.
If you have experienced a house fire, then call a professional fire damage restoration and cleanup service right away. S.T.O.P can help you clean up and restore your home after a fire. It serves in Centennial Hills, North Las Vegas, Sky Canyon, Whitney Ranch, and many more areas.