When it comes to smoke damage, you must always remember that the longer you leave your house exposed to smoke, the harder it will be to clean everything out. The thing about smoke damage is that it sticks to almost everything inside the house. From your clothes, furniture, carpets, upholstery and to your walls; smoke damage doesn’t just leave a foul odor but it also stains as well. The following tips that are about to be mentioned are useful in being able to clean smoke damaged areas and items.
Smoke Damage Cleanup 101
The first thing you need to before getting started is to get the right equipment to protect you from getting hurt. This includes: gloves, protective covering for your body and a gas mask. Do not enter your house without any of these because there are a lot of safety hazards that can place you at risk. Once you have your safety equipment ready, you should begin by air out the entire house. It doesn’t matter if only one area of your house is affected. The airing process will be more effective if you place fans around your house so it can blow away the smoke towards the windows. The next thing you should do is to get rid of all the food products in your kitchen that aren’t sealed in cans or air tight containers. This is highly necessary since the food may have been contaminated and the last thing you want to do is to risk getting food poisoning. When it comes to your appliances, make it a point to use a disinfectant to clean them well since smoke damage could affect the mechanisms. However, for your air conditioners, you will have to replace the filters due to the soot that may have accumulated inside.
When it comes to the walls around your house, your best option would be to repaint the areas that have been tainted with smoke. If you try using a cleaning agent to take out the stains, it may just spread and worsen. All your linens, clothing and carpets will need to be brought to the laundry to take out the foul odors and dirt. If you are unsure about how to handle your furniture and other items in your house, you should not hesitate to call a professional cleaner and ask for advice. In the end, what is important is that you clean your house as efficiently and effectively as possible.
How to Salvage Your Books and Documents from Smoke Damage
It is easy to associate smoke damage to blazing fires. However, this can also come from simple tasks such as cooking and ironing. That is why it is so important to have a good ventilation system inside your home so that you can prevent smoke damage from occurring. Books and documents are easily prone to smoke damage. Hence, the old books that you own will require more advanced cleanup techniques and restoration. Higher quality materials and paper are more immune to smoke. However, if the smoke is too heavy, it may still damage your books and documents.
The edges and spines of books are often the primary damaged areas of books since they are usually kept in shelves and are the most exposed. When you are handling smoke damaged books, always be aware that you should handle them delicately and slowly. If you aren’t careful, your books may crumble due to the smoke damage. Once you have laid out all your books out on a table, start by removing stains with a dry sponge and the soot as well. However, you should only do this if you are confident enough that you can handle the restoration procedure which may be rattling at times. Use a mild cleaning solution on the hard parts of the book if there are still stains on the books. Keep in mind though that the sponge can’t be too wet since this may spread the stains even more.
The tips mentioned can only be used on lightly exposed documents and books. When it comes to heavily damaged documents and books, it is highly recommended that you turn to professional restoration services to assist you in salvaging them. Since they have advanced technology such as dry ice dusting, sanding and dry deodorizing, these techniques will be able to restore your documents and books. Although this may cost you a lot more money, in the end, you will still get your money’s worth since it will preserve the value of your books.
Technological Progress in Smoke Damage
For regular homeowners, it is easy to assume that smoke damage cleanup tips all fall under manual labor. However, what homeowners don’t realize is that in this day and age of modernity, technological advancements have been being made even in terms of smoke damage cleaning. Computer simulations of how smoke circulates inside homes have been made to understand how to remedy such situations. Presently, scientists are working on new technology to be able to automatically ventilate smoke out of homes by using sensors.
The harsh reality of smoke damage is that it entails a significant amount of money to initiate a proper cleaning procedure. From the equipment needed to the manpower that is required to get the job done; all these cost a lot of money. This is why scientists are trying to understand how smoke affects different kinds of materials and how smoke circulates within a house. The main goal of scientists is to be able to come up with a state of the art system that can direct smoke out of the house without leaving any residue. Although this kind of technology is still in the works, the very fact that research and testing is being done gives hope that it will be a reality in the future.
Determining what materials permit free movement of smoke and what materials are not prone to it is another goal scientists are testing using computer simulations. By determining the properties that do not allow soot or smoke to stick to them, paint and wall manufacturers will be able make us of this information so their products are immune to smoke and soot. Not only will this lessen or probably eliminate cleanup costs but it will also solve the problem of certain materials deteriorating or corroding due to smoke damage.
The success of creating an accurate simulation of properties and smoke patterns can greatly benefit future design structures since the airing out of smoke and the cleanup of its residue are the most common and time consuming procedures in smoke damage cleaning. The hazards that smoke poses to people in cases of fire can finally be eliminated which will result to more lives saved and less expenses if all goes according to the plans of the scientists. With the rapid progression of technology, it is only a matter of time before smoke damage will be another problem solved.
Smoke Damage Prevention and Preparation
Aside from all that has been mentioned, the most effective thing you can probably do to prevent smoke damage from occurring is to be prepared and to whatever you can do avoid potential smoke from starting within your home. The first thing you should do is install smoke detectors around your house so that in the event that smoke starts to emit, the fire department will be notified immediately and the people in the house will hear the alarm go off as well. You should also keep in mind that you should place the smoke detectors at high risk areas such as the kitchen, basement, near the circuit breaker, bathrooms and any place that has a lot of electrical wirings.
Another thing you should monitor is weather changes since this could greatly affect the temperature inside your house. If it is summer time, you should be more vigilant when it comes to the electrical sockets and your electronics since they could potentially overheat and cause a fire, emitting smoke. Also, during winter time, make sure you have your appliances are checked by your electrician to avoid malfunctioning due to the cold.
Moreover, smoke damage prevention can only work effectively if you get all the people living in the house involved and informed about what and what not to do. Little things such as leaving a charger on overnight or a burning candle are simple things that should not be done. Basically, the key is to let everyone in the house know what the fire hazards are and to do their part by not allowing such things to happen. At the same time, the adults and teenagers living in the house should be aware of where the fire extinguishers are and should know how to operate it as well.
One thing that might be helpful and educational for homeowners and their families is to request for a tour in a fire station and ask fire fighters to walk you through the basics and tips on how to prevent and handle fire and smoke damage situations. By hearing it firsthand from fire fighters, this will most probably persuade the members of your household to take an active role in trying to prevent smoke damage situations. Moreover, it will also educate everyone on the different aspects of fire-related incidents and situations. Ultimately, everything that has been mentioned should be able to motivate every single member of your household to take initiative.