Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fire Damage - Deodorization Of A Home

Home damage such as flooding or fire can create devastating loss and be a nightmare to clean up. And those bad memories can continue to haunt in the form of unpleasant odors. Here are some tips for deodorization and getting rid of the stench for good.

After a flood

Once the moisture problem has been eliminated and mold has been completely cleaned and disinfected, the odor will usually go away, so if it does not, the first step would be to have a professional check for hidden mold such as behind wallpaper and on top of ceiling tiles. Also continue to keep doors and windows open and fans running as much as possible to air-out the house.

If the flooded area was relatively small, one easy, natural way to get rid of lingering smells is to cut up fresh lemons and squeeze the juice liberally over the affected area. Leave the pulp and peels until they dry. Another deodorization method is to add ½ cup bleach to a bucket of water and leave it overnight in a room with the doors shut.

After a fire

Regular household deodorant sprays are generally ineffective on smoke odors, providing temporary relief or even making the scent worse. The first step is to ensure all soot residue has been cleaned. Keep the doors and windows open and fans running as much as possible to air-out the house.

To clean fabrics, soak them overnight in a solution made by dissolving one cup automatic dishwashing detergent in a gallon of water. For items that can be bleached, rinse them with a solution made up of one gallon water, one cup Lysol or chlorine bleach and 4-6 tablespoons of trisodium phosphate. For other surfaces, particularly in the kitchen, use white vinegar, a cleaning agent that also destroys odors. Baking soda is well known to absorb odors very well and can be sprinkled on floors and fabrics before vacuuming. Also, activated charcoal can be placed around the room in bowls to help deodorize the air.

Keep in mind that there may be hidden sources of odor, in which case professional deodorization may be the best option for eliminating the problem. Professionals can use sophisticated treatments such as counteract chemicals or ozone treatments that break up odor-causing molecules. They will also be skilled at applying treatments to high-quality furniture and fabrics without causing damage. They also have processes that will remove trapped odor from walls and air ducts that can cause odor reoccurrence long after the original incident.

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