Experiencing a house fire can be devastating, both financially and emotionally. Even a fire that leaves most of a home intact is a huge restoration project to tackle. That said, it's far from impossible. Keep reading to discover three great tips that you should keep in mind if your home has been damaged by a fire and you want to restore it to its original condition.
Remove Soot First
The first thing you'll want to do is remove every speck of soot from your home that you possibly can. This process should begin by using a high powered vacuum cleaner to remove free-floating soot from all surfaces. Then, use a sponge and warm water (mixed with a tablespoon of trisodium phosphate for every gallon) to clean the floor, walls and ceiling. Be sure not to completely soak these surfaces, as you may risk water seeping into the drywall to cause further problems. If the damage caused by the fire is fairly bad, you'll also need to prime the walls and apply a fresh coat of paint wherever necessary.
Get Rid of Odor
Removing the odor of smoke after a fire is far more complicated than most people realize. In most cases, people choose to hire a company, such as Service Master, that specializes in removing odor to come out to their house and remove the odor using specialized solutions. But if you are just beginning the restoration process, that doesn't mean you have to sit around breathing in noxious odors while you wait for a professional team to arrive. There are many simple but effective solutions you can implement: for example, laying out bowls of baking soda in affected areas will help to absorb the smoke odor. Activated charcoal will also do the trick, as will wiping surfaces with white vinegar.
The timeline of consequences for fire damage is quite accelerated compared to other types of damage, which means that the longer you wait to act, the greater the damage (and cost to fix it) will be. Within days of a fire, metal will corrode and wood will have to be refinished; upholstery will also become permanently stained. If you wait even a couple of weeks before beginning the restoration process, you will see permanent damage caused by acidic soot -- glass, china and carpet will almost certainly have to be replaced. So, while it seems inconvenient to act immediately, remember that the inconveniences only multiply the longer you wait.