Smoke Damage Repair: The Process and Helpful Tips -

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Smoke Damage Repair: The Process and Helpful Tips

Smoke Damage Repair: The Process and Helpful Tips

In the wake of a fire, smoke damage poses a serious problem.  In addition, soot, water, and chemicals used by firefighters are damaging.  After a fire, smoke and soot especially tend to spread throughout your home.  Thus, everything from carpets to walls and drapes receives damage.  Also, there will likely be a lasting odor to deal with!  Smoke damage repair becomes one of your first priorities as a homeowner.  Here are a few tips about the process of smoke damage repair.

Is Your Home Safe?

First, you need to find out if your home is safe to enter.  Ask a fire marshal if your home is safe enough to enter.  The marshal will judge this based on the scope of the fire and the courses it took to put out the fire.

Once you are inside, assess your belongings.  Some items will be too damaged to clean.  Discard these items and focus on cleaning less damaged items.

Furthermore, focus on airflow.  Open all of the windows.  Turn on fans and increase ventilation.  This will banish bad odors and help clean the air within your home.

Dealing with Water Damage

If your home has water damage, run a dehumidifier.  This also works for homes in warm, humid climates.  In this case, you should also get many huge fans running.

If you live in a cold climate, maybe your heat is running.  Make sure you constantly change the furnace so that your filter is soot-free.

It’s possible that you will need a restoration contractor to help with water damage.  For example, a powerful hose may have caused a lot of water damage.  Contact your insurance company.  They will refer you to a proper contractor.  If you do not act on water damage, mold can fester.  Mold causes serious health problems and can damage your floor, as well!

Smoke Damage Repair: Maintaining Fresh Air

Make sure that you have access to fresh air while cleaning walls or ceilings.  The combination of smoky air and chemicals from cleaners can hurt your lungs.  Open the windows, if possible.  Wear protective goggles and gloves, too.  Place a protective cloth on the floor and wear old clothes.  You are bound to get dirty!  Use a vacuum or a chemical sponge to remove soot from the walls.  Shop for proven chemicals to deal with the odor.

Also, you are going to want to wash all of your household textiles.  Use warm water and detergent. Consider hiring professional help to clean your carpets.


Cleaning clothing after a fire is an entire matter in and of itself, as well.  Your best method depends on the fabric.  With cotton clothing, liquid detergent will do the trick.  Powder detergent will also work for cotton and polyester blends.  Dry cleaning is not going to be your best option with cotton clothing.  Also, realize that polyester clothing may not be salvageable.

To permanently remove the odor from your clothes, use powder or liquid detergent and warm water.  It might take five extended washes to fully remove the smell, so be ready.


Moreover, you are going to want to clean your furniture.  With wood furniture, be careful not to strip off the finish. Vacuum the soot off the wood surface and wipe with a dry sponge.  You can restore the wood with a polish, as well.  Cream restoration polishes are often the best.

Cleaning leather furniture is also difficult.  You can’t just shampoo the leather like you can with some fabrics.  You need to vacuum the soot and then follow up with special leather soap.  A mixture of water and vinegar is also doable.

Another common odor absorber is baking soda.  This is particularly effective when it comes to cleaning fabric furniture.  If possible, remove any fabric coverings from furniture carrying an odor.  Covering your fabric furniture with baking soda can help remove the odor.  Let it sit for 1-2 days and then vacuum off the baking soda.  If any odor remains, repeat the process.

Act Quickly, With Detail

Smoke damage repair should be at the top of your list after a fire.  Be a responsible homeowner.  Consult the above tips and focus on smoke damage repair before it is too late.  Pay attention to detail.  Many homeowners take the process for granted.  They assume that the firefighters’ work will have made their home liveable.  This is often a grave mistake.  Problems like water damage can lead to mold.  Smoke damage can cause unclean air, causing permanent lung damage.

Educate yourself about smoke damage repair and find help if you need it.  When the safety of your home is at stake, never assume you know everything.  There are professionals trained to make your home livable again after a fire.  Even if you are not going to hire them for a project, consulting them cannot hurt!

Case Studies

The Kitchen Ceiling Problem

We received a call from a homeowner that was distraught as he had just walked into his rental property and was seeing mold and water damage up on the ceiling. His tenants had moved out a few days before and when he went in to inspect the property he noticed a musty odor throughout as […]

Water Damage from Water Heater

A water heater line broke and damaged the walls, floors, and kitchen cabinets. We came in and repaired the drywall, cabinets, and flooring in the kitchen and two adjacent rooms.

Shower Floor Leak

We got a call that a homeowner was having issues in and around their shower in their bathroom. They had an older home and it was wood construction so we feared the worst. When we got into the bathroom it was as we had feared: the leaks went through the tile into the walls and […]