A household fire is a stressful experience for all involved, and the damage left behind can cause even more anxiety long after the fire has been put out. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to clean and restore your home after a fire. Walls are often the most difficult part of the home to clean. Smoke and soot are absorbed into the wallpaper and paint, leaving a smoky odor that lingers in the home. Read on to learn about the best ways to clean your walls after a fire.
What to Do Immediately After a Fire
Before you begin the cleaning process, it is important to call your insurance company and thoroughly document all damage. Your homeowners insurance may cover the damage caused by a fire, but in order to be properly reimbursed, you need to have evidence that proves the extent of the damage. Once everything is documented, you can start cleaning your smoke-damaged walls with a wet washcloth soaked in a solution of warm water and dish soap. If this solution is not potent enough, you may need to use a solution of rubbing alcohol or paint thinner on a soft cloth to remove stubborn exterior buildup. Always wear gloves and safety glasses when dealing with potentially harmful chemicals to ensure your safety. Be sure to work in a thoroughly ventilated area, opening windows and turning on fans to prevent toxic fumes from accumulating.
Let the Walls Dry
After your first cleaning session, you should let the walls dry before attempting any further scrubbing. Leaving the windows open and turning fans towards the wall can help speed the drying process. If soot and smoke odor linger, it may be necessary to call in a professional fire damage restoration service. In some cases, the damage and odors are too deeply set in to remove by traditional cleaning methods. Smoke can quickly and easily penetrate various surfaces in your home, and walls are particularly susceptible to absorbing smoke odor. It may be necessary to repaint your walls to cover the smell and smoke stains completely.
Before using any chemical solution on your walls, it helps to choose a small section of the wall for spot cleaning. This allows you to test whether the solution will cause damage to the wall itself before you use it on a larger area.
Professional Fire Restoration
Leaders in Disaster Restoration is a professional fire restoration company that has provided assistance to homeowners in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois since 1991. Call today at (888) 874-7066 for a free consultation. LDR will provide a thorough inspection of your home as well as a comprehensive assessment of what it will take to restore your walls to their original state. From water damage to smoke odors, LDR technicians are available 24/7 to address any emergency fire restoration needs you may have.