Cleaning Up After Smoke Damage
The first step in cleaning up after smoke damage is clearing out damaged items. This can be a very emotional process, but it’s essential to get rid of things that are damaged beyond repair and don’t make the home safer or more comfortable.
It’s also important to open all windows in the affected areas as this will promote ventilation and help speed up the cleaning process. It’s also recommended that you wear a mask while cleaning up, as soot creates a residue that can irritate the respiratory system and even make its way into your bloodstream. This is especially true for pregnant women and people with preexisting conditions, so anyone who is at risk should avoid the area until the smoke cleanup is complete.
While wearing a mask and safety glasses, start by vacuuming the loose soot particles. This can be done using a specialized smoke damage vacuum or a standard one with an upholstery attachment. It’s important to be gentle when removing soot, as scrubbing can actually worsen the staining. It’s also a good idea to wear rubber gloves, as soot can easily transfer from your skin to other surfaces.
After vacuuming, wash any walls that have smoke stains with a solvent-based cleaner such as Unsmoke All Degreaser or Benefect Atomic Degreaser. Be sure to test any cleaner on a small, hidden area of the wall before applying it to the entire surface to make sure it doesn’t further damage or stain the wall. Once the walls are cleaned, allow them to dry completely to prevent water damage and rot. smoke damage cleaning