Dealing with the smell left by fire and smoke is by far one of the most challenging, and important things that you must do whenever your home is damaged by smoke and fire. Although the visible signs may be removed, it is very possible for the pervasive smell of smoke to linger, making the rooms in your home uncomfortable, and possibly unhealthy. In order to make sure that you save as many of your belongings as possible, and to reduce the risk of long-term damage, you should initiate a professional cleaning process as quickly as possible. This is especially true for items such as draperies, carpets and upholstery.
Because it is so pervasive, the smell can remain on your clothing even after several washes. To remove all of the soot and smell from your smoke damaged clothing will require a variety of different methods, depending on the type of fabric. Depending on the level of damage that your clothes receive, you may decide to replace many of your clothing items. If it is something that you just can't part with, however, consider having them professionally cleaned and restored. Dry cleaners and restoration specialists use a variety of tools, techniques and cleaning products to ensure that your clothes are soot and smoke free.
Drapes, Carpets & Upholstered Furniture
Similar to your clothes, your drapes, carpets and upholstered furniture can trap soot and smoke, resulting in a long-lasting unpleasant odor. Furthermore, this pervasive smell can transfer itself back onto your clothing, leading to a cycle that never ends. To begin the cleaning process, there are many things that you can do yourself. Start by brushing your drapes and furniture with a brush vacuum, or brush. This will help to remove any remaining soot, and should not result in any further damage. To complete the deodorization process, you will want to work closely with a smoke damage restoration specialist in your area. There are many different techniques and tools that are used, such as ozone treatment, that must be performed by a professional. Whenever they are finished, your drapes, upholstery and carpet will be just like new. Keep in mind that some carpets and upholstery may need to be replaced.
In addition to the fabrics in your home, smoke can enter and leave its smell in your walls. Although this odor may diminish over time, it can return if it is not quickly and properly dealt with. If special materials were damaged during the fire, such as insulation, they must be removed and replaced. These materials cannot be cleaned. This can also be true with your drywall, depending on the extent of the smoke damage.
Regardless of how much of your home has been damaged, and to what extent, the most important thing to do during clean up is to talk with a professional as soon as possible. When improperly cleaned, or left unchecked, smoke damage can perpetuate itself, and even become worse. Save yourself unnecessary time and discomfort by working with someone who knows what they are doing.