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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell in A House

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

smoke against a black background with text smoke damage cleanup from Servpro of Richardson SERVPRO of Richardson is a full-service disaster restoration company. They have been restoring homes after fire and smoke damage for over 30 years.

Got Smoke Damage?

If you were able to put out the cause of the smoke damage quickly, then light smoke damage at home can be taken care of without needing to hire a professional -- just be warned, it’ll still take some elbow grease!

Most smoke damage is caused by a small mistake, usually when cooking something.  If the incident is small, the smell may be left in the room where the accident happened.  In larger cases, it may linger to other rooms of the house or the entire home itself. 

These tips are only for very light smoke damage.  If you’ve experienced a fire or are experiencing symptoms like headaches and nausea, leave the area with the smoke and grab some fresh air.  If it’s too much, call a fire damage restoration company.   Inhaling fire smoke can be hazardous to your health.    

Light Smoke Damage Cleanup 

First, get rid of the source of the smell.

Throw away whatever it is that smoked your home in the first place.  Put it into a plastic bag, close it, and throw it away in an outdoor trash can or dumpster.  Getting rid of the responsible item will go a long way to clearing the smell out of your house. 

Next, ventilate. 

Do this to help dissipate the smoke. Open your doors and windows.

Then, deep clean. 

Clean the room where the incident happened.  Start at the top and work your way down -- this helps any small soot particles fall and be cleaned up later.  Deep cleaning includes washing windows, all surfaces, and even your walls. Use mild soap to avoid peeling any paint. 

Have cabinets and drawers in the room, too?  Open them up, take everything out, and clean them on the inside.  All the items that you just took out also need to be cleaned before being put back inside. 

Finally,  if your floors are made of a hard surface, give them a scrub.  If you have carpet, you may want to rent a carpet cleaning machine or hire a local carpet cleaning company.

What about candles and aerosols?  Save your money! Candles and aerosols mask smoke odor for a little while.  The smoke smell won’t be gone until all the smoke particles have been removed from your home. 

Still Smelly? Time for Pro Smoke Damage Cleaner

If your hard work still wasn’t enough, it’s time to take a step further.  This will likely be true if you have harder-to-clean items like carpet, upholstery, and clothes.  

What you’re really looking for is a fire damage restoration company.  When you call, be prepared to let them know:

  • What caused the smoke damage.  Smoke is actually particles of that time item that did not fully combust and is now in the air.  Different items create different types of smoke, and different types of smoke need different cleaning techniques.  They’ll know what to do!
  • Where it occurred. 
  • Where you smell the smoke. 
  • What types of items are affected. They will bring the right tools and equipment to clean whatever was affected. 

A fire damage cleanup company will visit your home and inspect the damage.  They may bring special sponges to test surfaces of your home to see if soot has fallen there.  

After their inspection, they should give you an estimate and a general timeline of how long the cleanup process will take. 

If the damage is extensive and you need to file an insurance claim, the damage restoration company should be able to work with your insurance adjuster to help process your claim. Ask them if they have experience with insurance claims before you hire them. 

Fire Smoke Damage Cleanup

Fire smoke damage cleanup needs different tools, techniques, and an eye for fine detail to be done correctly.  Since smoke can get anywhere, the cleanup process can be time and work-intensive. These are some techniques you may see used:

Removing Smoke Odor From Clothing

We wish getting rid of smoke odor could be as easy as throwing them in the gentle cycle at home, but this may just makes things worse.  In fact, home washing your clothes may just smell worse as the soot particles embed themselves deeper into the fibers.  

The most effective way to get the smoke particles (and thus the smoke smell) out of your clothes is to get them washed in a machine called the Esporta Wash System.  

Sophisticated fire damage restoration providers have these state-of-the-art machines. Esporta uses water, hydraulic pressure, and a mixture of detergents to make your clothing and other textiles food-grade safe. 

Ask your smoke damage restoration company what method they use to clean clothes. 

Ozone Generators

If you’ve searched for smoke damage cleanup, chances are that you’ve seen pictures of ozone generators.  Some companies will even let you buy one! Ozone can effectively eliminate smoke odor, but should only be used carefully.  For best results, hire a professional. 

Deep Wash Carpet Cleaning

Your carpet may be able to be saved.  Ask for a deep wash carpet cleaning. Professional fire damage restoration providers use truck-mounted carpet cleaners to push detergent-laden hot water into the fibers of your carpet and extractors to get the soot out. 

Upholstery and Drapery Cleaning

Upholstery and drape cleaning tools are designed to wash the fibers of your drapes and upholstery gently.  If your carpet cleaning company has a truck mount extractor, ask them if they also have the upholstery cleaning attachments. 

Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning

Smoke rises into the air and can settle inside of your air ducts.  The last thing you want is to clean your entire home only to turn on your AC and have smoke and soot rain down on you!  You need a specialized machine to clean ducts, so make sure to call a pro for this step. 

Ultrasonic Cleaning

If an item is covered in smoke, how do you get the particles out of every nook?  The answer is to use an ultrasonic cleaning machine. Some professional fire damage companies have one of these machines -- ask to make sure.  They are the best in the industry for careful cleaning. 

Move-Out, Storage, and Move-Back

When fire and smoke damage has some serious damage to your home, some or all of your home’s contents may have to be temporarily moved out to be able to correctly clean your home.  A full-service fire damage cleanup company will be able to do all this for you. 

Full-Service Fire Damage Restoration Service

Need some help?  We’re here for you.  We have been doing this work for over 30 years in Dallas and Forth, and we have restored thousands of properties after damage.  We know situations like these can be overwhelming, which is why we guide our clients through every step of the process -- from beginning to end. 

Give us a call or leave us a message and let us know what’s happened.  We’ll meet you and give you a free consultation and estimate. 

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