Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to personal property and structures. If you’ve suffered the unfortunate event of a house fire, you may be anxious to restore your home back to normal. Before you start dusting and cleaning up your home, it’s critical to contact your insurance agency right away. Your insurance agent will be able to give you advice on the restoration and replacement of any damaged items, and they may have some recommendations on how to handle the smoke damage in your home. In this blog, we’ll look at some things you should do after a house fire to prevent further smoke damage to your property.

If you live in Illinois, Southwest Wisconsin, or Northwest Indiana, and you need assistance restoring your home or business back to normal after a fire, contact Midwest Restoration Services today. Our team of restoration professionals is dedicated to helping restore your home after a natural disaster or traumatic event. Whether you need smoke damage restoration, fire damage restoration, or furniture restoration services, we’re here to help! Get in touch with our professionals today!

Check Your HVAC System

Once you have determined that it is safe to enter the building, make sure you turn off your heating and cooling system to prevent the further spreading of smoke and soot particles. The sooner this is done, the less chance there is of smoke damage spreading throughout the building. Once the HVAC system has been turned off, open all of the windows and doors to help carry any smoke or soot particles away from the building. Once your home or commercial property has been restored, make sure to change your HVAC filters.

Remove Soot From Household Textiles

When your home has suffered the devastating effects of a house fire, there will likely be soot stains everywhere. Soot is a black, powdery substance that consists largely of amorphous carbon, which is produced by the incomplete burning of organic matter. Soot stains can often be found on carpets, draperies, and other household textiles. While it’s always smart to hire a professional restoration company to assist with soot removal, there are a few tactics you can try out yourself.

If you don’t plan on hiring a restoration expert, you can remove some soot from your textiles by holding a vacuum cleaner nozzle to the surface of each item. Avoid using any vacuum attachments or an upright vacuum to remove soot, because the brushes will force the soot back into the fabric. Once soot has been removed from your carpets, it may be wise to cover your floors with a tarp to keep other elements from being tracked in during clean-up.

Remove Smoke Odor From Textiles

After a house fire, smoke odors tend to hang around in clothing, carpets, upholstered furniture, and draperies unless they are properly deodorized. It’s always wise to consult a professional about using any “counteractants” — chemicals known to break up smoke molecules and eliminate odors. It’s important to note that most household cleaners and deodorizing sprays only provide temporary relief from smoke damage. When you hire a restoration specialist, you don’t have to worry about damaging your textiles further with harmful chemicals and cleaners.

Throw Away Smoke-Damaged Food

Soot particles from fires are toxic and should never be ingested. After a house fire, any food that was exposed directly to the smoke should be thrown out. Make sure to check the contents of your cupboards, pantry, and refrigerator. If the seal to your fridge was damaged in the fire, there’s a good chance smoke was able to seep inside of it. A common mistake that people make after a house fire is to assume that canned foods are safe. Unfortunately, this is not the case! When canned food is exposed to extreme heat, bacteria can start growing inside the can.

When your home or business has suffered the effects of a fire, it’s always wise to contact a restoration company before taking any further action. At Midwest Restoration Services, we’ve helped restore hundreds of buildings that have suffered from fire and smoke damage. If you need assistance cleaning up your home after a fire, contact our restoration specialists today or calculate your free estimate online!