Fire cleanup requires more than just cleaning up the mess left behind by fire and smoke. If water damage was caused by firefighting efforts or sprinklers that were activated during the fire, you will also need to mitigate that water damage. Depending on the severity of the fire, it may be necessary to dispose of items that are irreparably damaged or ruined by smoke or soot.
Before you begin fire cleanup, make sure to inform your insurance provider so they can get to work arranging the necessary services. Aside from your insurance agent, the fire department will be a key resource during the cleanup and restoration process.
Begin by opening as many windows and doors as possible to provide adequate ventilation for the cleanup process. It’s important to keep a close eye on the air quality to avoid any potential health issues that could occur from breathing in dust and debris.
Gather supplies for your fire cleanup, including a large sponge that can absorb water (available at home improvement stores), white vinegar and safety goggles. Wear gloves and long sleeved work shirts to protect yourself from chemical burns or thermal burns.
Washable fabrics and plastics, like clothing, canned or boxed food and medicine, can usually be washed after a fire. However, porous items that are ruined by smoke or soot need to be discarded and replaced. These include rugs, curtains and hardwood floors. Metal items can be washed with soap and vinegar, and wood can often be saved with sanding and repainting. fire cleanup