Smoke damage can linger far after a fire has been put out, and it can be a serious problem for your home and family.
Even small fires can produce a serious amount of smoke, and turning on the fan and opening the windows isn’t enough to get rid of the residue. So what’s the big problem with smoke? Many people think the worst part about smoke damage is the smell, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Here’s a look at everything you need to know about the smoke that lingers after a fire in your home or business, including the dangers associated with smoke inhalation and how to tackle smoke odor removal.
The Dangers of Smoke Damage
Thousands of deaths occur in house fires every year. And more than half of those deaths are due to smoke inhalation, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
A common belief is that the risks associated with a house fire are eliminated once the fire is put out. The truth is that smoke residue will linger until it’s removed, wreaking havoc on your health all the while. Smoke particles settle in the deepest corners of your home. It finds its way into the closets and clings to clothes, carpets, and more.
Health Risks of Smoke Inhalation
Smoke contains a mixture of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and soot. This combination is highly toxic and can damage the lungs when inhaled. This is especially concerning for those who have asthma or other respiratory illnesses. Lung damage from breathing in smoke can be permanent and very severe.
Asthma isn’t the only respiratory disease that can be negatively affected by smoke inhalation. Breathing in smoke for long periods can cause or worsen emphysema. Chronic bronchitis is another serious health concern that can be a long-lasting result of smoke inhalation.
In addition to the many health problems that can arise from breathing in smoke, lingering smoke can cause irritation, itching, and redness in the eyes. Smoke particles in the air can also cause itchy, dry patches on the skin. Eye drops and lotion might help temporarily relieve symptoms, but they won’t be fully resolved until the root cause is treated and all the smoke residue is professionally removed.
Take Proper Safety Precautions
Now that we’ve established the risks associated with lingering smoke and the need to remove it from your home, let’s talk about safety precautions for smoke odor removal. A respiratory mask and protective eye goggles are absolute musts before you even step foot back into your home. Pants and long-sleeved shirts will also help protect your skin from smoke particles.
You can begin the smoke removal process once you’re properly dressed in safety equipment to protect you from breathing in smoke and residue from the fire.
Steps for Eliminating Smoke Damage
Once you’re ready to start the smoke removal process, it’s time to start gathering the appropriate cleaning supplies. You’ll need garbage bags, safety equipment, and plenty of rags. You’ll also want a powerful wet/dry vacuum. Gather a few buckets and some vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap to help with the cleaning.
Follow these steps to help eliminate the remaining smoke in your home.
- Remove household items. Cleaning household items is much easier to do after they’ve been removed from your house, so take out as much as possible. While you do this, sort through your items and decide what is salvageable and what needs to be thrown out.
- Air out your home. Open all the doors and windows and let as much fresh air in as possible. Use fans to help move the air through your house since the fresh air will help clear out the smoke smell faster.
- Ventilate with exhaust fans. Place exhaust fans at the doors pointing indoors so it will move as much fresh air as possible into your home.
Pick a Cleaning Strategy
There are a few options for cleaning your home and removing the smoke odor after a fire. The right choice for you will depend on how severe the fire was. You may attempt to clean your home on your own using baking soda, vinegar, and dish soap. This might help, but if the damage is extensive, it will take a long time and a lot of elbow grease.
Other cleaning options include thermal fogging machines and house tent fumigation. These methods are not DIY-friendly, so you should call a professional if you want to try either of those routes. Dry cleaning is another option that would also need to be completed by a professional cleaner.
Smoke and soot are extremely difficult to remove, and it takes the right tools and knowledge to do it correctly. That’s why hiring a fire damage restoration specialist is a must. Contact your local restoration specialists immediately after a home fire and they’ll help you navigate the next steps and get your home back to its original, smoke-free state.
Restoremasters Is Your Fire Damage Restoration Specialist
Did your home suffer damage from a recent fire? Has it made you constantly worry about eliminating smoke damage? You’re not alone. A house fire can be extremely unsettling and leave you feeling unsure about what steps to take next.
That’s why the experts at Restoremasters are here to help. Our team has decades of experience in fire damage restoration, including smoke odor removal. We also address flood damage, sewer backup, and mold removal. We want you to live in your home and enjoy everyday life confidently without the concerns of smoke residue and fire damage.
So if smoke and fire damage is stopping you from moving forward with life, contact Restoremasters right away. There’s no need to face the uncertainty of damage to your home alone. Give us a call to repair, renew, and restore your home, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.
Restoremasters is located in Sandy, Utah, and we serve the greater Salt Lake and Utah County areas. Contact us today to get started! You can contact us at 801.948.2478 or through the form on our website.