When a fire breaks out, it can fill your house with smoke. So, you must get rid of the smoke and the smell after a fire. The scent may persist while you can let the smoke escape by opening the windows and doors.
Now, there are various ways to mitigate the smoke odor situation. However, before delving into that, you might want to know why you must remove the odor emitted by the smoke after a fire.
The Need for Removing Smoke Odor After a Fire
Odor mitigation is a crucial aspect of the smoke remediation process. If left unattended, the particles can get mixed with various porous materials lying around the house, including carpets and paint. Moreover, they can also get embedded into the walls and other such surfaces and reek. Also, when smoke odor gets into the walls or flooring, they tend to stay there for long and, in some cases, may never go away.
All this can put your and your family’s health at risk. So, it would help if you cleared the smoke and the unpleasant smell it emits. However, do know that ridding your home of smoke during the aftermath of a fire breakout requires special equipment. So, have all the necessary tools with you before you begin. Alternatively, you could also call in an expert, such as Water Damage Near Me, and have them assess and take care of the situation.
Smoke Odor Mitigation
While you should seek the help of an expert such as Water Damage Near Me to mitigate the smoke odor situation, you can also do it by yourself. So, if a fire broke out recently, you can follow these series of steps to drive the smoke and odor away.
- Let in enough air into the house or property.
- Maintain optimum air pressure inside the house.
- Clean the house.
- Repaint the walls.
Follow these steps to remediate the smoke odor situation.
Let in Enough Air
The first step you must take to drive away the smoke and odor is to open all the windows and doors and let in some fresh air. Keeping the doors and windows open will help draw fresh air into the house and escape the smoke and odor.
Keep the Air Pressure Optimum
While letting in some fresh air can drive the smoke and odor away from most places, it won’t do much good if the smoke has already gotten into the surfaces such as the walls, ceiling, or flooring. So, you might need to air out the place and maintain positive air pressure. You can do this by following these steps.
- Keep the main entrance to the property open and place a large fan opposite the door. Remember that the fan should face inwards towards the door.
- Close all the windows and doors that you had opened earlier. However, keep at least one window open to get an exhaust that helps bring fresh air into the premises while driving out the smoke and odor.
- Keep the fan on at full blast for about 15 minutes to blow out all the smoke and odor.
- After about 15 minutes, open the door to a room and an attached window.
- Be sure to repeat the process until all the smoke and odor disappear.
Clean the House
After ensuring that all the smoke and odor have escaped, you can proceed to clean your property thoroughly. When cleaning the house, pay special attention to:
- Carpets and other such upholstery
- HVAC Systems.
- Solid surfaces.
Carpets and Upholstery
As stated earlier, smoke can enter the carpets and other such upholstery. If not cleaned properly, the smell may never go away. So, you might want to clean them using baking soda. Sprinkle some baking soda onto the affected surfaces and let it settle for about a day. Baking soda absorbs all the foul odor and leaves your surfaces fresh.
For more effect, you can steam clean the smoke-damaged carpets and upholstery. However, note the delicate silk threads in these carpets when steam cleaning and ensure that they don’t come off.
Like carpets, fabrics can also absorb smoke. So, you may need to clean all the fabric items in your house after a fire. Fabric items may include blankets, rugs, clothes, cushions, linens, and towels. After cleaning, be sure to keep them separated from other affected items.
The HVAC System
Smoke can also get into your HVAC system and stay there unless you clean and drive it out. So, when a fire breaks out, don’t forget to clean your HVAC system by changing all the filters. However, that’s not all you will need to do. You may also need to have a professional check your HVAC for any damage it may have suffered during the fire.
Doing so will ensure that quality air flows throughout your house or property.
Smoke can also enter solid surfaces, including walls, flooring, and furniture. So, a few surfaces that you may need to clean after a fire breakout include baseboards, cabinets, ceilings, doors, lights, fixtures, shelves, and switches. You must mop the carpets and rinse them thoroughly until they are spotless.
As for the furniture, you may need to use special products to clean them, depending on the type and quality. After cleaning them, you should leave them out in the open to dry.
Smoke can also damage the windows, particularly the window panes. You can wash the windowpanes and wipe them with a clean cloth to make them look shiny. However, it would be best if you also cleaned the frames, blinds, sills, screens, and window panes.
Repaint the Walls
Once you finish cleaning the house, it is time to repaint the walls. It would help if you repainted the walls as they would have absorbed the smoke and odor. However, repainting the walls may require cleaning them with ammonia- or glycerol-based agents to eliminate the unpleasant odor. You can then wash or rinse the walls and let them dry before painting them using primer and latex-based paint.
When a fire breaks out, it’s always better to call in a professional such as Water Damage Near Me and let them handle the situation. However, you can also drive the smoke and foul odor away if you are up for it by using any method described above.
Remember that you should attend to the smoke odor problem immediately in the event of a fire. Once it fully sets in, you can’t remediate the problem, and it can damage your property and all your belongings.
So, to recap, the following table tells you the steps that you must take to mitigate smoke odor.
|Steps to Take
|Open the doors and windows and let in some fresh air.
|Maintain optimum air pressure.
|Clean the house.
|Repaint the walls.