How To Remove Smoke Odor After A Fire

How To Remove Smoke Odor After A Fire

Fire is considered to be the most dangerous natural disaster that can happen in a home. The fire alone can destroy every building material and the household item it touches. But what is even more troublesome are its detrimental consequences; potential water damage, soot pollution, smoke damage, etc. The danger of fire continues even after it has been extinguished because of its byproducts that can cause damage to your property and the most common aftermath of a fire is its prevalent smoke odor. 

When smoke permeates in porous materials like carpet and furniture, the odor that it leaves behind can linger for a long time and can compromise the indoor air quality of a home and result in health issues of the occupants. Knowing its danger, it is important to take quick actions to remove smoke odor effectively and efficiently. 

 

How To Remove Smoke Odor After A Fire 

Getting rid of the smoke odor after a fire requires a lot of effort. Some factors like how big the fire was, how long were the materials got exposed to smoke and what products were involved can have an impact on how severe the damage is. But that does not mean you can’t do anything to remove smoke odor on your own. There are a few practices that can help to decrease the level of smoke odor in your property. 

Below are steps to remove smoke odor after a fire

Step 1: Air Out Your Property

Open doors and windows to allow fresh air to enter your home. Set up fans near windows and doors so they will pull clean air to get into your home and to have proper air circulation. Ventilating your home after a fire helps reduce smoke odor at the same time dry out areas that have been wet during the extinguishing process. 

Step 2: Use Positive Pressure Ventilation

If the first step is not applicable to the level of smoke odor in your home, blow out your home using positive pressure. It is more effective than opening windows and doors or using exhaust fans. 

Positive pressure is when the air pressure is greater than that of the environment that surrounds it, which causes the air inside to leave its premises. 

  • At the front door of your home, set up the largest fan you can have and face it inwards.
  • Close all windows and doors, leaving only one window open as an exhaust and turn on the fan on its highest speed. Remove screens for better air flowing. 
  • Blow out the room for 15 minutes. 
  • When done, close all the doors and windows to that area and move to another room.
  • Repeat the process until all affected areas have been aired out. 

Step 3: Remove Fire-Damaged Items

Remove fire-damaged items from the premises to help get rid of the odor faster. This means removing all items that have been damaged by fire, such as furniture, carpets, insulation, cabinets, drywall, and others. Depending on the severity of the damage, an item may be cleaned or discarded. 

Curtains and other windows treatments on the window should be removed. You can either wash them or have them dry cleaned. Alternatively, hang them outside to air them out. Other fabric materials like pillows, clothes, towels, and blankets should also be removed as smoke can stick into fabrics. 

Step 4: Deep Clean Your Property

For you to completely remove the smoke odor, it is necessary to clean every affected area of your home. Here are the steps to ensure that your home is thoroughly cleaned. 

 

Cleaning Solid Surfaces

Some solid surfaces that you may need to clean are baseboards, tables, chairs, shelves, cabinets, window sills, and tile or wood floors. Wash them thoroughly using a solution made of water, detergent and white vinegar. Rinse these surfaces with clean water and wipe them down. Soot particles may have left on walls and ceilings. Clean them as well with the solution and allow them to dry.

Cleaning Carpets and Upholstery

Smoke particles can deeply penetrate into the fabric of your carpet and upholstery. To eliminate the smoke smell, sprinkle some amount of baking soda on the affected area, and let it sit for several hours or overnight for better results. Then, use a high-efficiency vacuum machine to remove the baking soda and other debris. 

You can also clean your carpet and upholstery with steam cleaning. You just need to be cautious when using steam cleaning for silk materials. Because they can get damaged. 

Cleaning Windows

Smoke gathers in windows and create a recurring smell even after the cleanup process. Wash them with dish soap and rinse them with clean water. Pay attention to frames and window panes as smoke can stick to these locations. 

Cleaning The HVAC System

Smoke particles can seep into your property’s ductwork and contaminate your HVAC system. This can lead to poor indoor air quality, thus it is necessary to change all the filters, including furnace filters. It is also best to have your HVAC system inspected to ensure that the air quality of your home is safe. 

Step 5: Repaint Your Walls

If the paint on your walls is holding the smoke odor, then you have to repaint the walls to remove the odor. 

First, you have to wash them with a cleaning product that has ammonia or glycol. These products are effective in neutralizing odor. Rinse them well and allow them to dry. After that, apply a paint primer that seals bad odor and finish the job with latex paint. 

Professional Smoke Removal Services

Removing the smoke odor after a fire is often complex and requires specialized equipment. Thus, it is best left with professionals. Experienced professionals have the skills and equipment to efficiently and safely remove smoke odor from your property. These restoration professionals will ensure that your home is smelling smoke-free and fresh again. 

For smoke odor removal services, contact Superior Restoration. We also offer water and fire damage restoration services.

Firework Safety and Fire Damage

In the wake of extreme dryness and prevalent wildfires across the state, many California cities have opted out of this year’s fireworks-based Fourth of July festivities, as USA Today reports:

“Fire fears have escalated since last year's celebrations. The fourth year of a drought has produced tinder-like conditions. More than 71% of the state is in an extreme drought and 47% is in exceptional drought, characterized by ‘shortages of water in reservoirs, streams, and wells creating water emergencies,’ according to the National Drought Mitigation Center.

In Eldorado, Calif., firefighters this week battled three grass fires that had started from lightning strikes.

According to Cal Fire, last year there were over 300 fires in the state sparked by fireworks. Fireworks approved by the state fire marshal are on sale in 300 communities in California.

‘As we head into the fourth summer of a severe drought, it is more important than ever that everyone use an abundance of caution to avoid sparking a fire,’ said Chief Ken Pimlott, director of CAL FIRE, in a statement earlier this week.


Firework Safety:

The National Council on Fireworks Safety has a list of recommendations to minimize the risk of fire damage:

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.