A fire can be one of the most frustrating things that can happen to your home. It not only causes irreversible damage to structural materials and household possessions, it also brings such hazards as soot pollution, water damage, and dangerous smoke levels. Even after the fire has been contained, its byproducts can cause further property damage and even threaten your health and well-being and that of your family.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 300,000 home fires are reported every year. While many homeowners are allowed to return to their homes after the disaster, the sad news is that their houses often have that distinct smoke smell which will have to be removed quickly if they are to live inside safely and comfortably.
Factors Affecting Smoke Odor Removal
How to get smoke smell out of the house after a fire is not an easy task. There are several factors involved that can affect your efforts, and they include the following:
1. Fire Size
Unlike small fires, large ones are difficult to contain. As they continue to grow, these fires will naturally produce more smoke, and this can only mean that your home will have a stronger and more persistent smoke odor later.
2. Types of Burnt Items
Different materials can produce varying smells after they get burned. Some of these odors are easy to get rid of, while those of others can be difficult. This is particularly true for objects made from plastic or synthetic materials.
3. Exposure Duration
If the fire lasts for several hours, smoke can penetrate deep into many household items and remain there. This could make it more difficult for you to remove the smell that smoke will eventually produce.
These are fine black carbon particles that quickly spread during a fire. They usually contain acids, metals, soils, chemicals, and dust and are known to attach themselves to surfaces. The acidic properties of soot can cause further damage to a property even as it produces a foul smell. If not removed immediately, soot can be inhaled and cause such ailments as bronchitis, asthma, heart attack, and cancer.
Ways to Remove Smoke Smell From the Home
Because smoke particles are so small, they can easily penetrate almost any surface. Nevertheless, there are several cleaning methods that should be sufficient to get rid of most of the smoke odors in your house.
1. Open the windows when you return home.
As soon as you get back inside the house, open all windows and doors so fresh air can come in and reduce the pervading smoke odor. For added effect, place your fans strategically around the house. Ideally, these should be pointed towards corners or towards doors and windows so the smell can be pushed out.
2. Wash fabric items like clothes thoroughly.
Fabric absorbs smoke like a sponge, so clothing, curtains, pillows, linens, and furniture covers should be washed thoroughly. After washing, store the items in a place outside your home until the latter is completely free of smoke odor. Otherwise, the clean fabric could end up absorbing the smoke smell again.
3. Clean the windows and their frames.
To restore transparency and shine to windowpanes, wash them with hot water and white vinegar. Pay more attention to the frames and sills because smoke residue usually sticks to these areas.
Window screens should be washed as well by placing them in a tub or wash basin filled with dish soap. Rinse them with clean water afterwards, then let them dry in the open air.
4. Wash solid surfaces like walls and cabinets.
Use a mixture of warm water, dish soap, and white vinegar as your smoke odor eliminator. This should clean the surfaces of walls, doors, cabinets, furniture, and shelves where smoke particles may have settled. The same mixture can also be used to mop the floors.
5. Clean your upholstery and carpets.
Smoke odor can be difficult to eliminate if the smoke particles have become embedded in upholstery and carpet fibers. Worth considering though is baking soda which is said to be an effective smoke smell removal solution. This can be sprinkled on your carpet or upholstery and allowed to sit for several hours or even an entire day. Vacuum the surfaces afterwards.
Steam cleaning is another effective cleaning option. However, the method is best used by professionals because it involves dealing with delicate materials like silk carpets snd leather upholstery which are easily damaged.
6. Clean your air conditioning unit.
For the air conditioning system, the focus should be on cleaning the air ducts as this is where smoke can enter while it makes its way to the ventilation area. This is where it will remain and eventually affect the unit’s air quality.
7. Consider repainting the walls of your house.
If the smell of smoke has also penetrated your walls, you will need to repaint them to get rid of the odor. To do this, wash the walls initially using ammonia and glycol. The solution can neutralize many unpleasant odors. After washing, rinse the walls thoroughly with water and allow them to dry completely. Afterwards, apply a primer specifically designed to absorb odors, then use latex paint as your ultimate smoke odor eliminator.
8. Call a professional to remove the smell of smoke from your home.
This is the best option that you should consider since dealing with smoke smell is not only difficult, it can also be risky, especially when soot is present. Experts, on the other hand, have been in this situation many times, and are familiar with the techniques that they can use to eliminate the smell of smoke.
One of the many problems that fire can bring is smoke, lots of it, and they are not entirely harmless. Smoke can attach itself to clothes, fabrics, and many household items, but there are simple ways of removing them. These include opening your windows, washing your clothes and fabrics, and cleaning solid surfaces. If these don’t work, you can always hire experts to remove the smoke smell for you.
Deep Water Emergency Services & Restoration is the expert in smoke smell removal.
The damage caused by fire can come in different forms, and smoke odor is one of them. Deep Water Emergency Services & Restoration can ably take care of this.
Our fire damage restoration Denver, CO, experts have the needed knowledge on what eliminates smoke odor and will use specialized equipment to completely remove them. To avail of this service, simply call us and our experts will be at your doorstep right away. Call us now.