After a fire, what remains of your home or office will likely be covered in ash and smoke. For the very best possible results, it’s essential to get off to the right start in your restoration efforts. Here’s some advice to take on the pathway toward complete restoration of your home or business:
- Think about safety first. That means using gloves, dust masks and other protective gear as necessary.
- Ventilate the structure. A box fan or other high-powered fan in a window can start drawing air and particulate matter from the fire out.
- Clean from the top down. That means ceilings and walls should be cleaned before the contents and the floor so that dirt, soot and debris is moved downward and then out.
- Vacuum before wet cleaning. All floors and upholstery should be vacuumed for debris and ash before any other cleaning action is taken. Be sure the vacuum has a high-efficiency filter.
- Launder what you can. This includes curtains, clothing and more. Be sure to use an alkaline cleaner designed to be used for such a purpose because of the acid in soot. Some dry cleaners know how to deal with smoke/soot and water damage as well.
- Power-wash exterior walls. But first, spray with the right detergent, brush and agitate away soot and then wash from the top down.
In many cases, there are so many things that need to be done at once that it makes the most sense to hire a professional smoke damage restoration team to do the work for you. Your insurance company will probably cover all or most of the cost of professional restoration services. And if any part of the home or commercial building’s structure is distorted or warped in any way, you need professional assistance anyway.
Quick action is important because damage escalates the longer it is left untreated. Consider this timeline:
Within a few minutes: The acid in soot can yellow many kinds of plastics, including on small appliances. Porous materials like alabaster and marble will discolor permanently if not restored.
Within only hours: The acid in soot will stain bathroom and kitchen grout, yellow the look of fiberglass, tarnish metal, damage major appliance finishes and discolor furniture finishes permanently.
Within a few days: Painted surfaces succumb to acidic soot and yellow, metals badly corrode, rust and pit, wood requires refinishing and vinyl floors require replacement. Clothing and upholstery that are soot-stained will be too bad to save.
Within a couple of weeks: Things get so much worse. Carpets eventually discolor permanently, silver-plated materials permanently corrode and things like china and glass may be etched by the acid present in soot.
As you can see, it makes sense to take decisive and quick action — the kind of action professional fire damage restoration companies take every day. Soot builds up in layers as a fire progresses and can be like lacquer on a surface by the time the restorers arrive. Do you know how to deal with it yourself?
Most people don’t. For the best results at an affordable price that’s probably covered by insurance, bring in the pros. In San Diego, the best choice is Orange Restoration. We have technicians trained in every aspect of fire damage restoration — including dealing with soot, smoke damage and the water damage commonly caused by firefighting efforts. Contact us right away if this is your hour of need, and we’ll go to work for you.
At Orange Restoration, nothing means more to us than taking quick action to satisfy the needs of clients like you. When something catastrophic happens, restoring the damage is a major step toward getting your life or your business back to normal. Don’t hesitate to call us at (619) 376-6838.