Cleaning tips for removing soot and smoke from your walls

Fires are a frightening thing. Whether the fire was in the corner of a room, or an entire floor, we have some tips to help you navigate through the fire damage process.

We’ve provided tips on how you can clean the damage yourself if you do not choose to pay your deductible and hire a professional restoration company.

Talk to your insurance agent

Assess the damage and know your deductible. Then, decide whether you can pay to hire a professional restoration service or whether you are going to clean up the damage yourself.

Hire a professional

Restoration professionals clean up fire, water, and mold damage every day. They are experts with special cleaning products and equipment. If you can afford to pay your deductible and hire a restoration service- do it! This way you will have peace of mind in knowing your home is properly cleaned and repaired.

If you don’t want to pay your deductible

Then you have to take care of the damage yourself. Don’t worry! We’ll provide you with some tips!

1. Make sure the area is safe
  • You need to have permission from officials that your home is safe to return to. Be cautious when re-entering your home. There could be glass and broken items around your home.

2. Be prepared
  • Wear closed toed shoes, gloves, safety glasses, and a mask if you’re sensitive to smells.

  • Buy soot removal products, like Jon Don’s dry cleaning soot spongesOdoban, or any other cleaner you feel comfortable with.

  • You’re going to need proper air ventilation. Get some fans and open up your windows. If you’ve had some water damage, use a dehumidifier when your windows are closed.

3. Address the damage

Anything in the room of the fire has a chance of being permanently damaged beyond repair, either by water or the fire itself. Electronics, artwork, and furniture can be totaled after being exposed to fire damage. If anything is even slightly burnt, it will most likely need to go.

This is how a homeowner can easily reach their deductible and be able to hire a professional restoration company. Your agent should come out and help you calculate the amount of damage. Restoration professionals can help with this step too since they’ve seen a lot of damage and constantly work with insurance agencies.

4. Repair

Along with repainting, you may need to repair your floor or walls. This is another area where things can become expensive. A professional restoration company will return the affected areas back to their pre-loss conditions.

5. Try to clean the soot off of your walls

Go around the affected areas and wipe the walls down. You may notice some permanent soot marks. TSP is a common product  to clean soot off of your walls. You should be able to easily find this at Walmart, Home Depot, or your local hardware store. The soot will either come off or smear on your wall. If you have flat, glossy paint you have a higher chance of the soot setting in your wall.

Did the soot set into your wall? Don’t try to paint over the soot until you’ve sealed it. Otherwise, the soot will bleed through the paint. B-I-N is a great product for this sealing the wall and locking in the stain. After you let it dry for a day, then you can begin to paint your walls back to their original color.

6. Deodorize

Along with cleaning your walls, you will need to clean affected floors and furniture. Anything that is fabric will smell like smoke. This is where deodorizers come in. Restoration professionals have the best equipment and experience to leave your home fresh and clean. The best way to get rid of the smell is by using a HEPA filter of some sort.

There is a lot that goes into soot and smoke removal. That’s why assessing your damages and deciding to go with a professional can be extremely beneficial. You can resume your life while the experts put your home back together. If you have any more restoration questions please don’t hesitate to ask!