A fire is one of the most devastating disasters that any homeowner can face. The flames can ravage both your house and your possessions, not to mention putting your life and the lives of your family in danger – and that’s just during the fire itself. The water used to extinguish the fire can cause further problems, resulting in serious water damage to sensitives materials like paper, fabric, upholstery and insulation, and may even result in potentially hazardous mold growth if left untreated. If you do manage to survive the flames and the water relatively unscathed, you will still have one final hurdle left to clear: The lingering problem of smoke damage. Smoke and soot may be less dramatic than some of the other consequences of a fire, but what they lack in theatricality they make up for in tenacity. In fact, although it may be tempting to try to treat the problem of lingering smoky odors on your own, in all likelihood you will need to hire the services of a smoke damage restoration professional. There are several different methods that these experts will use in order to remove smoke from your home.
One of the most common – and effective – ways of remedying stubborn smoky odors is the ozone treatment. This process involves breaking up the smoke molecule in order to eliminate the smell of smoke from carpets, drapes, upholstered furniture, clothing, and more. Normally, the home is tented and an ozone generator is brought in to create the necessary oxidizing agent. Make sure to contact a professional for this service before attempting to clean clothing, drapes or furniture; failure to do so could result in permanently “setting” the smell into the afflicted fabric. Remember, your goal is not to temporarily mask the smoky odor; instead, you want to break it down and remove it altogether, and an ozone treatment is the best way to do so.
Another professional method for diminishing the effects of smoke damage in the home is thermal fogging. This neutralizes smoke molecules within the walls of a home by penetrating the interior of each wall and attacking the smoky odor at its source. Unfortunately, insulation cannot be restored in this fashion, and if it’s been damaged by smoke, it will probably have to be removed and replaced. And don’t forget about the ceiling: You may want to clean and possibly even repaint your ceilings if they have been severely affected by smoke.
Above all else, always begin your smoke damage restoration process by contacting a professional who has the tools and knowledge necessary to conduct the cleanup properly. If you begin cleaning or deodorizing your home and the objects inside of it before the soot has been removed and the smoke adequately neutralized, you’ll only make the situation worse – and that could result in having to throw out items that could easily have been spared. Save yourself time and money by getting in touch with a professional immediately.