America is getting lost in the smoke. Fire departments responded to more than 360,000 fires in residential buildings between 2017 and 2019.
Many people assume that the damage is over once the flames are put out. In reality, many homes smell like smoke and toxins days after the fire is gone. If you want to reclaim your home after a fire, you need to remove the smoke odor quickly.
What are the first steps you should take to get rid of smoke? What cleaning products can you to remove the smoke? When should you use ammonia and strong chemicals?
Answer these questions and you can master odor removal after a fire today. Here is your quick guide.
Improve the Air Circulation
Circulating air through your home can help with removing odors and improving the air quality after a fire. Open the windows and doors to let as much air through the house as possible.
If your HVAC system has not been damaged, you can run it to circulate more air. However, you should clean the system before using it, as the smoke may have left toxins or contaminants in your vents.
Many people spray Febreze or another scent into the air to mask the smoke. This may provide a temporary solution, but the smoke odor will remain once the Febreze fades. If you’re having trouble getting rid of the odor, you can hire a smoke damage restoration company.
Scrub All Surfaces
Odors can cling to surfaces and make your home smell like smoke months after the fire. Clean all surfaces as soon as it is safe to return to your home. This includes areas that the fire did not affect, like ceilings and walls in adjoining rooms.
Water and soap can remove any contaminants on the surface of your walls. White vinegar and baking soda can absorb odors and residue as well.
If you need to do a deep cleaning, you can use cleaning products from a home improvement store. Read the instructions carefully so you know where to use them.
Fire retardant foam can create its own odors. Remove it from your walls and floor by using detergent and brushes to scrub it off.
You can use ammonia cleaners if nothing else is working. Never handle ammonia without using gloves and wearing eye protection. Do not mix ammonia with bleach and other chemicals, as they create toxic gases.
Spread a small amount onto a brush or cloth and wipe it over the surface you are cleaning on. Ammonia works well on glass, but be careful when using it on cabinets with finishes because the ammonia can dissolve the finish.
Remove the Smoke Odor Now
Do not wait to remove the smoke odor from your home. Open up your doors and windows and run your fans to move the air through your home. Avoid using air fresheners that provide only temporary solutions for your odors.
Clean all surfaces with soap, water, and antibacterial sprays. If you still detect smoke in the air, you can try using ammonia, especially on your mirrors and glass countertops.
If the smoke is still in your home, you should call a cleaning service. Christian Brothers serves the San Diego area. Contact us today.