A fire can do a great deal of damage inside your home, even if it is a small, contained fire that is quickly put out. A fire inside your home creates greasy smoke that leaves odor and soot over the inside of your home, and water or fire extinguisher products used in putting out the fire can cause additional damage. Here are some tips to help you clean up your home interior after it sustains a fire.
After a fire has caused damage to your home interior, you may have damage to the roof, windows, and exterior walls of your home. If left unrepaired this type of situation can cause additional damage when weather and outdoor elements come into your home. It is bad enough having to clean up after a fire, but you don't want to deal with extra moisture damage from a rainstorm, for example, coming in through the hole in your roof and ceiling.
It can be helpful to hire a fire damage restoration company. They can help you by placing tarps over any holes in your roof and boarding up any windows where the fire's heat has broken the windows. They will also assess your home's systems for functionality, such as electrical, heating and cooling and begin the clean-up process.
Your home will also have water damage from fire crews spraying water onto and into your home to extinguish the fire. Gallons of water can be left inside your home after a fire, and you will need to remove the standing water with pumps and dry out materials inside the home as quickly as possible. Leaving the water to sit for more than a couple days will likely lead to mold and mildew growth. Set up directional fans on surfaces and inside rooms and move items to the outside sunshine to help dry them out.
Remove any water damaged items that cannot be salvaged, such as insulation, mattresses, and upholstery. Because the interiors of these items hold in water to prevent their drying-out, they will become a health concern when mold and mildew does grow.
The soot left behind from smoke can coat the surface of your walls and ceilings and will leave a lingering odor and reminder of the fire. Clean this from your walls by, first, placing a drop cloth on the floor. This will pick up any debris that falls from the surfaces as you clean and keeps sooty debris from marring your flooring.
Use a cleaning solution containing trisodium phosphate and water. Wipe this over the walls using a large sponge, rinsing the sponge often in the cleaning solution to remove the soot and fire odor. Make sure your home is well ventilated by opening doors or windows, and wear rubber gloves to protect your skin from the cleaner.