As a restoration company that has 50 years of experience of removing odors from fire damage, we can tell you that the fire is the easy part. Every fire has a special damage type and leaves behind a different, unique smoke odor.
Time is of the Essence
The faster you start the restoration process, then the less likely you are to have damaged property. The IICRC has a certain timeline for fire damage and smoke odors. Within minutes, acid soot causes plastics to turn yellow, and highly porous materials will discolor permanently. Hours after a fire, grout, and fiberglass will turn yellow, uncoated metals will tarnish, and countertops, appliances, and furniture may fade. Within a day, the paint on the walls will be stained permanently, metal will corrode, wood will require refinishing, vinyl will need to be replaced, and upholstery will stain permanently. Finally, within weeks, the restoration costs rise tremendously. Unfortunately, however, you cannot save all items.
How you clean is as important as how fast you clean. If you clean the wrong way, your home may never be able to get rid of unpleasant odors. The first order of business is to get rid of the source of the odor. Items that are a total loss or that can be cleaned offsite should be removed from the home as soon as possible. How can you tell if something is damaged beyond repair? Here are some things to look for:
- Solid counters will clean without a problem, but if smoke is inside, it will require sealing the under-layer. Sometimes you’ll see the silhouette of where an item sat on the surface and darker residue around it from the smoke. The longer the smoke sits, the more likely the discoloration will be permanent.
- Carpet can be cleaned from very light smoke, but moderate to heavy damage needs replacement.
- Laminate floors have a layer of highly absorbent foam underneath. If smoke managed to get underneath the floor, your only option would be to remove the floor, to remove the foam, and then replace both.
- Real wood floors need to be sanded and refinished to clean smoke damage.
- Insulation is one item that you must always remove if there is any smoke inside.
Once you remove all items, clean everything left behind and use an odor counteractant. This is where professionals like us come in handy! We always guarantee our homeowners that they won’t be able to detect any form of smoke odor following the work we do in their homes.
Call the Professionals
A trained professional can eliminate smoke odors from fire damage more quickly and thoroughly. At Insight Restoration, our technicians use special neutralizing products, HEPA vacuums, hot thermal fog, ozone machines, hydroxyl generators, and odor counteractants. These methods and tools are not readily available to the general public. Within 24 hours, these products can permanently remove odors.
General cleaning is not enough to remove odors from fire damage. In fact, it may make the situation worse. Call 208-427-2825 and let us get to work on restoring your property and home. The longer you want to call, the costlier the damage. At Insight Restoration, we are always available to respond to emergency situations.