Anyone who’s ever been through the experience knows that after a house fire, smoke odors often take longer to remedy than the fire damage. Even a minor, smoldering fire can permeate the structure of the house with a smoky smell that persists indefinitely as a continuous reminder of that unnerving event. Smoke odors can also be an allergy trigger to susceptible individuals are exposed to it 24/7. Here are some techniques to deal with what’s left behind after the flames are out.
Tips for Dealing With Smoke After a House Fire
- Smoke odor after a house fire is emitted by soot sticking to walls and ceiling. Mix 4 to 6 tablespoons of tri-sodium phosphate and a cup of household bleach to a gallon of water. Wearing rubber gloves, wash down sooty walls first and rinse with clear water. After the walls are washed, clean the ceiling.
- Rent a vacuum with HEPA-grade filtration and thoroughly vacuum the carpets, couches, chairs and any other upholstered surfaces. Mop down hard-surface floors. Repeated vacuuming and mopping will be necessary as residual micro-particles of soot gradually settle out of the air.
- Take down drapes and have them dry-cleaned if they are not washable. Inform the dry cleaner of the smoke issue. Rinse mini-blinds in clear water.
- Window screens installed in windows where smoke exited also serve as odor retainers. Place them in a bathtub or shower and wash with dish soap or shampoo.
- Clothes absorb smoke odors and sustain the smell in the house. Observe manufacturer’s care instructions for washing any garments. If clothing can be bleached, try using 4 to 6 tablespoons of tri-sodium phosphate and one cup of chlorine bleach to wash clothes. Another method for clothes that should not be bleached involves a cold-water wash with common laundry detergent and a tablespoon of vanilla extract added. Vinegar may also be added instead of vanilla extract.
Our technicians know the proper chemical agents that will effectively clean your belongings without damaging them. Keep in mind that timing is critical and restoration efforts must begin quickly. ServiceMaster 24 Hour provides complete fire damage repairs services. We respond quickly to mitigate the damage to your belongings and Tampa, Clearwater or St. Petersburg, FL home or business.
We are also experienced working with insurance companies and will help you complete the forms needed for insurance claims. Call us today at 813-603-2001 in Hillsborough County, 727-300-3773 in Pinellas County and 727-300-3773 in Pasco County.