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Cleaning, Repairing, and Disinfecting
By Jonathan Meyer
As anxious as you may be to clean your home after fire damage, you must keep in mind that while certain techniques and cleaning materials are safe to use after afire, other techniques and materials may cause further damage.
Hire a Professional Restoration Company
Cleaning up after a fire damage presents a few challenges. The biggest challenges are to safely remove all soot and other chemicals created by fire and eliminating smoke odors.
In addition, in many fire damage cases there is additional water damage from extinguishing the fire. A professional restoration company will have the experience and the equipment to deal with water damage as well.
Hiring a professional restoration company will also help you with assessing the damage and help you file an insurance claim. As most restoration companies are experienced in working with insurance providers, your restoration company will often offer help by dealing directly with your insurance company.
A restoration company will offer a large array of services, depending on the extent of the damage. For example: if the structure is badly damaged, a restoration company will offer rebuilding services. In general, most restoration companies will offer all services required to return your property to its pre-loss condition.
Cleaning, Repairing, and Disinfecting - The Basics
Whether you choose to hire a restoration professional or to do the job yourself, follow these basic steps:
Be sure to read the fire damage safety guide before engaging in any cleanup process.
Smoke contains carbon particles, and the smell of smoke will persist as long as these particles remain. If possible, open doors and windows to allow air to flow freely and to ventilate the room by creating a thorough draft.
Using fans will allow faster ventilation, helping to remove the smoke smell. To prevent further damage, don't aim the fans directly at burnt areas to prevent soot and dust from flying around the room.
HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuums are vacuums that have a type of filtration that can remove 99.97% of all particles 0.3 microns and larger. Use HEPA vacuums to remove the dry soot and any chemical residue left by extinguishers.
After all soot and debris is removed, move onto cleaning the room and salvaging your personal belongings.
Once the room is clean, you can take more steps to eliminate all remaining odors using deodorizing products.