Santa Claus knows the hassles of smoke damage and excess soot all too well. The good news for that chimney traveler is that he only has to endure these things once a year and can prepare ahead of time. YOU, however, can’t really plan on dealing with smoke-related damage until it happens. Good thing you’re reading this article right now.
Where there has been smoke, there has inevitably been fire. If you have had a large fire, you’ll first want to be sure it’s safe to reenter your home. Once you’re back inside, the damage will be a big black eye on resuming life as you know it. The extent of further loss will be significantly minimized if the most immediate actions are taken. Here are some tips to follow:
- Call your insurance company and restoration professionals. They may have some additional tips for minimizing fire and smoke damage.
- Get the air moving by opening windows to ventilate the area. You can add fans throughout the home to move the air more rapidly.
- Salvage books and documents. Handle them very carefully, as smoke can ruin book bindings and make pages extremely brittle. You can clean most covers and edges with a dry sponge. You can also use a mild detergent to clean non-porous parts of the books.
- Minimize humidity. With moisture in the air, there is a greater risk of corrosive reaction, which can cause further damage. A dehumidifier may be a good immediate choice.
- Soak fabrics overnight in warm water and dishwasher detergent.
- Be sure to vacuum upholstery and carpets to prevent soot from becoming embedded.
It can feel like a “double whammy” with smoke damage in addition to fire damage, but following the above tips and consulting with a restoration professional can significantly ease the cleanup process. Contact us to see how we can help.