Sunday, January 23, 2011
Cleaning Your Floors And Walls After Fire Damage
Fire damage restoration can be both time consuming and difficult, which makes it a good idea to use a professional when it comes to fire restoration. However, if you want to do it yourself, here are a few tips that can help. First of all, you will need to clean your carpets and floors. For carpets, be sure you read the manufacturer instructions, if you have them, since some carpets can shrink if they are shampooed.
If you have the option to take the carpet out, then it is often a good idea to clean the carpets outside using a high pressure hose to rinse off all of the dirt and soot. Next, using a sponge and and a commercial rug shampoo, scrub the carpets working in two feet areas at a time. If the soot is in the carpet deep, use a brush with stiff bristles. Rinse the carpet well with water, using the least amount of water you can, since the water will gradually weaken the carpet backing.
Once the carpet is finally clean, you will need to thoroughly dry out the carpet immediately to prevent damage to the carpet. If you have hardwood floors, you may have to strip and refinish them if the damage was pervasive. If you have tiled floors, it is likely that the fire did not damage them at all and that you won't have to do anything. Really, your only concern is that if the home was wet down to stop the fire, the water could have leaked into the subflooring if there was cracked grout or missing tiles.
Next, you will find that smoke and soot are incredibly pervasive, and soot will have probably covered most of the walls, staining it in spots. Smoke restoration for walls can be very simple, if the damage is not bad. If the walls were painted with a satin or semi-gloss paint, then the smoke probably did not seep farther into the wall than the paint. So you should be able to just scrub the walls to get rid of the discoloration caused by the smoke. The easiest way to do this is to buy trisodium phosphate cleaner at a hardware store. Mix a tablespoon of the TSP with a gallon of warm water, and use it to scrub the soot off. If damage is worse, you may have to re-paint to get rid of the stains.
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