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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to clean up Smoke and Soot from a fire

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

How to clean up Smoke and Soot from a fire

Smoke and soot can travel and penetrate into other rooms affecting paint, carpet, upholstery, drapes, clothing and any other belongings. Ventilation of the fire scene or debris removal is an effective first step to clean up after fire. Thorough cleaning and neutralizing of both the deposits and odors are required prior to any redecoration.

Different types of fire require different cleaning techniques. Typically, high-oxygen fires will result in dry dusty soot, whereas slow-burning, low-oxygen fires will result in greasy wet deposits that easily smear. The cleaning regimen must take into account these variations. Here are some clean-up recommendations and guidelines: · Wear gloves such as household dish washing gloves, long sleeved shirts and pants to avoid skin contact. If you get any ash on your skin, wash it off as soon as possible. · Wear personal protective gear, such as a dust mask, to avoid breathing in ash and other airborne particles. · Ventilate the area (open windows, etc.) to remove soot and odor. · Remove burned debris to reduce odors. · Install dehumidifiers to control moisture in the air (relative humidity), especially where water was used to extinguish the fire. · Wipe all metallic finishes with cooking oil to prevent rust and staining. · Clean plastic or surfaces such as PVC windows and white painted surfaces using a mild alkali detergent to remove possible acidic soot which may activate with moisture in the air (humidity) and cause permanent staining. · Undertake triage assessments to clean or remove all contents as quickly as possible and in order of value. · Deodorants should not be used as they mask odors, which is a significant indicator of health concerns. · Where surface staining cannot be removed, consider the use of specialist paint to obliterate the stain and anti-bleed characteristics. Typically, these paints are lacquers or oil-based


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