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Clean, Repair and Disinfect Floors
By Jonathan Meyer
Once the fire is extinguished and the structure is determined safe, you probably want to start cleaning and disinfecting to allow your family to get back to normal as soon as possible. Cleaning the floor is an important step toward cleaning your home.
Choosing the right cleaning and disinfecting method depends on the extent of the damage and the type of floor coverings. Different cleaning techniques are utilized for wood floors, carpets, vinyl, linoleum, and tile.
Before You Start
Before you can start salvaging your home and contents, you must take safety measures to confirm that the structure is determined safe. Make sure that the fire is completely extinguished and that the damaged items have been properly cooled down.
Many of the solvents and cleaning materials are very flammable. Be absolutely sure there is no flame or spark anywhere in the area where it could ignite cleaning material vapors. If possible, work outdoors or in a well-ventilated room with open windows.
If the structure suffered additional damage from water as a result of extinguishing the fire, you will have to address that problem first and dry out the structure and content to prevent potential mold growth. For more information about recovering from water damage, please visit our water damage education center.
Hire a Restoration Professional
Hiring a restoration professional to help with your restoration process will minimize your loss as utilizing the appropriate knowledge and equipment will guarantee the best results. In addition, a fire damage restorer will be able to provide great results for soot and odor removal.
Assessing the Damage
Before you start cleaning your floor, assess the damage. If flooring materials are burnt or scorched, you will most probably need to replace the scorched area or even the entire floor. If the damage is mainly soot stains and smoke odors, the floor can be salvaged and deodorized.
Generally, it is recommended to consult a flooring specialist about the particulars of your wood floors and the recommended cleaning technique.
One universal technique is to combine 1/2 cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of warm water and using a soft cloth, rub the floors in a circular motion. Use a dry, soft cloth to immediately dry the floor after applying the solution.
After the floor is cleaned allow it to dry out completely and apply a layer of wax as recommended for your specific type of flooring.
To learn more about carpet cleaning, please refer to our article on how to clean, dry, repair, and disinfect rugs and carpets.
Tile, Linoleum and Vinyl Floors
To learn more about tile, linoleum, and vinyl floors cleaning, please refer to our article on how to clean, dry, repair, and disinfect tile, linoleum, and vinyl floors.
Recovering from Fire Damage: Cleaning, Repairing and Disinfecting