How Do You Get Rid of Smoke Damage from a Fire?

Fire and smoke remediation

After the flames are out and the air is cleared, many people are left to figure out how to recover their homes and businesses. Even if the damage from the flames was minimal, smoke damage can cause such an environmental problem that the space is uninhabitable until it is thoroughly cleaned. Fire and smoke remediation is an important step in restoring a structure back to a safe and usable state.

What is Smoke?

Smoke is a collection of tiny particles and chemicals that come from a fire. Smoke particles include carbon, unburned waste from the fire, and toxic fumes. Smoke also contains carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Smoke is unhealthy for humans and animals to be exposed to for any length of time. This makes fire and smoke remediation very important.

Environments that are polluted with excessive smoke particles are harmful to humans. Smoke particles irritate the eyes, nose and throat. They can also cause dangerous lung and heart damage if they are breathed in. Seniors, babies, and those with pre-existing medical conditions, especially asthma and heart disease, are especially vulnerable to smoke-related health risks. Fire and smoke remediation must be completed before people resume living or working in smoke-damaged structures.

What is Fire and Smoke Remediation?

All of the different components found within smoke make it particularly difficult to remove. Long after the fire has been extinguished, the smell of smoke lingers. Smoke infiltrates all porous surfaces in a structure. It gets deep inside fabrics including rugs, carpets and curtains. Smoke particles also penetrate paint, walls and settle on every possible surface. HVAC systems become filled with smoke and soot. Fire and smoke remediation removes all smoke particles from the structure, repairs any damage the fire has caused and restores the area back into a usable space.

Steps to Removing Smoke Damage After a Fire

It takes quite a few steps to completely remove smoke particles from a structure after a fire. A fire and smoke remediation company can complete these steps thoroughly and safely. They take many precautions to ensure the remediation crew is protected while the work is being carried out. It is essential that any fire and smoke remediation company uses full personal protective equipment and employs a crew that is thoroughly trained.

1) Assess the Area

The first step in fire and smoke remediation is the assessment of the damaged area(s). Depending on if the fire was within the structure itself, in a building adjacent or in the general vicinity, the degree to which the space has been damaged by smoke will vary. Fire and smoke remediation companies will use this assessment to plan their smoke removal efforts.

2) Air Out the Space

All doors and windows that can open to the outdoors should be left open in order to help some of the smoke to exit the space naturally. Creating a cross-breeze can help. This step will not remove all smoke but will be somewhat helpful. Fire and smoke remediation companies utilize a variety of techniques to achieve a successful result.

3) Clean All Items

All items within the affected space should be cleaned if possible. Smoke particles will be on every single surface within the structure. The key to fire and smoke remediation is to remove all traces of smoke particles.

4) Deep Clean All Surfaces

All surfaces including walls, floors, ceilings, doors, carpets, rugs and countertops should be deep cleaned. This will remove smoke particles that have settled. Fire and smoke remediation companies are skilled at thoroughly removing all smoke from every nook and cranny.

5) Deep Clean HVAC System

Deep cleaning the HVAC system is key to fire and smoke remediation. Smoke particles and toxic soot accumulate with the HVAC system and are easily circulated throughout the entire space. A professional HVAC system flush and cleaning is absolutely essential to removing smoke damage after a fire. Fire and smoke remediation companies often have their own HVAC professionals on staff for this important task.

6) Test Air Quality

Many fire and smoke remediation companies will test the air quality after a thorough cleaning to ensure that the environment is safe for use.

Though some of these steps can be completed by the property owner, it is important to hire professional fire and smoke remediation experts to complete the job safely and thoroughly.

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