How to Clean Smoke Damage After a Fire

Few people realise just how dangerous a fire can be. It’s not just the flames you have to watch out for. Smoke harms more people than fire, and smoke damage can prove hazardous for long after the fire’s finally been extinguished.

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For some tips on how to prevent a fire from breaking out in the home, read our fire safety checklist.

This guide will provide you with some tips on what to do in the aftermath of a fire. It’ll explain the risks of smoke damage before offering advice on how to spot it, and how to clean it.

The Dangers of Smoke Damage

Smoke damage can ruin your furniture, curtains, and upholstery. Anything in your home that gets damaged will likely have to be replaced. But that’s the least of your worries.

Smoke can leave an acidic film on surfaces which, if left untreated, can have a corrosive effect. So should your floors and walls get damaged by smoke and you fail to take appropriate action, the very structural integrity of your home may become compromised.

But apart from that, smoke damage causes discoloration and leaves a lingering odour. Smoke damaged houses aren’t the most pleasant of places.

How to Spot Smoke Damage

Different types of fire cause different types of smoke damage. But as a general rule, you should look for discoloration and an acrid film.

If any of your surfaces are covered by such a film, don’t touch them. The film is acidic and potentially harmful, but it will also react with the oils on your fingers, which can cause even further damage.

How to Clean Smoke Damage

Don’t take any action before it’s safe to re-enter your home.

Smoke damage is difficult and extremely unpleasant to clean, and the cleaning process will vary depending on the surface and material you’re treating.

A good initial step to take is to allow fresh air to circulate. Open your windows and consider bringing in a small fan to encourage air flow and ventilation. This will help to clear residual smoke while reducing the unpleasant odour.

But from this point on, we strongly advise that you let professionals handle the cleaning process.

Cleaning smoke damage can be dangerous. Certain cleaning products can react with the smoke residue, creating harmful fumes that can damage your lungs if inhaled. Professionals will know how to act to prevent damage, and they’ll have the necessary gear to protect themselves. It’s simply not worth taking the risk yourself.

Also, cleaning smoke damage is a long and complicated process that involves a specific sequence of steps. A professional will be able to do the job thoroughly enough that all odours, stains, and associated risks are removed completely.

As part of our comprehensive surface, Harris Balcombe loss assessors will source trustworthy contractors to take care of all required renovations on your behalf. We’ll then supervise them throughout the process to ensure they carry out their work to the best possible standards.

For more information about smoke damage, or about the steps you should take in the aftermath of a fire, call our 24/7 helpline on 0844 544 1699.

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