When a house gets damaged by smoke, it’s important to take care of the items affected soon after. A fire can cause smoke damage that needs to be taken care of immediately in order to avoid any long-term damage. Follow these 8 tips for getting rid of smoke damage.
1 ) Open all windows and doors as soon as possible once the fire has been put out. This is most important if you still smell any smoke at all. Doing this will allow air (and your trusty fans) to circulate through every room and help remove the smell from your belongings. You should aim to do this within 30 minutes or less after the fire has finished burning, but definitely no later than 12 hours.
2 ) If you can, get all of your belongings outside. This is more of a long-term solution, but getting everything into the air will help to get rid of the smoke smell. A good time to do this would be right before you leave for work in the morning or after you come home from work at night. Make sure that everything has been washed and aired out properly before storing it back inside.
3) Wash every item affected by the smoke using mild detergent and lukewarm water. Use a soft brush or sponge on any material that might need scrubbing, but make sure to take care not to damage anything. If you don’t have access to a washing machine, use portable laundry facilities or even your bathtub if it’s large enough.
4) Do NOT use any kind of harsh chemicals during the wash. Although ammonia is often used in place of detergent when dealing with smoke residue on clothing, this is actually very bad for your fabrics. The same goes for using bleach; although it will effectively get rid of the smell, you run the risk of damaging both fabric and metal that comes into contact with it. Be especially careful around painted surfaces too – these should be washed by hand rather than at high pressure.
5) Dry everything completely before you put it back in the house. This might take a while, so keep on top of it and don’t try to cram everything into a small space at once. If you’ve had to resort to using your bathtub or laundry facilities, make sure that all of this is thoroughly dry before anything goes back inside.
6) Sterilize surfaces that have become smoke damaged by wiping them down with white vinegar. This will help get rid of any stains left behind from both the smoke and water damage, provided you give them enough time to react. Make sure you use straight white vinegar for this rather than scented or diluted versions – otherwise it won’t work!
7) In some cases you’ll need to apply elbow grease in order to clear away smoke damage. An example of this would be cleaning deep scratches on wooden surfaces. If it’s something like this, go ahead and use whatever cleaning solution you feel is necessary; just make sure to wipe it down with white vinegar afterward.
8) Once everything seems free from smoke residue, turn your fans back on full blast and leave them running for an hour or two. This will help get rid of any last remaining particles by circulating the air even further. In addition, open all windows during this time – but not if it’s going to rain!