Q:

How do you clean up damage from fire and smoke?

A:

Quick Answer

To clean up damage from fire and smoke, call professionals to clean larger items. Remove smaller items from the home for rinsing and cleaning.

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Full Answer

Fire and smoke can leave a lot of damage apart from scorching and burning. The smoke residue is highly toxic and can damage items over the long term. To clean up damage from fire and smoke, run through the following steps.

  1. Call a professional restorer
  2. Call a professional restorer certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification to deal with larger items and major damage. A professional can safely clean up ash and clean the home and its fixtures. Proper cleaning can prevent discoloring and corroding.

  3. Remove as much soot as possible
  4. Use a vacuum to remove as much soot as possible from item surfaces. Leave any upholstered furniture, carpets and drapes alone, as soot can easily stain fabric if handled incorrectly.

  5. Remove smaller items from the area
  6. Remove any smaller items such as books and clothing from the home.

  7. Clean items
  8. Wash all clothing in warm water with a low-phosphate detergent. If possible, add bleach to the wash cycle. Take delicate clothing to a dry cleaner. Clean books and papers with a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter or wipe them down with a dry sponge.

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