Smoke damage in your home can be an overwhelming experience because of how long it can take to get through the difficult cleaning process. But restoring your home doesn’t have to be intimidating or time-consuming.
With the right guidance from smoke damage restoration experts, you can efficiently and effectively restore your home. Keep reading to learn how long the smoke restoration process will take and what steps you can take to speed up the process.
Preparing for Smoke Damage Restoration
Safety should be your top priority as you prepare for smoke damage removal. Before you even step foot into the damaged area, your first step should be to turn off the utilities and ensure the space is adequately ventilated. You should also wear gloves, eye protection, and a face mask to protect yourself from toxic substances.
It’s a good idea to cover any unaffected areas with plastic sheeting to prevent the smoke damage from getting to anything else. Smoke damage removal is a complex and potentially dangerous process, so proceeding with caution and seeking professional help are the best steps you can take.
Turning Off Utilities
Turning off your electricity, gas, and water will prevent further damage to the affected area, as they can spread smoke damage around. If you aren’t sure what’s connected to what and don’t want to mess anything up, have a professional turn off your utilities for you. A licensed electrician or plumber will know how to do this.
Protecting Unaffected Areas
Containing the smoke damage and preventing it from spreading further will save you time and money.
Cover your flooring, furniture, and household surfaces with plastic sheeting or tarps to protect undamaged areas. Take off your shoes, or wear bootie coverings on your shoes to prevent tracked-in dirt and dust from spreading.
Finally, close off air vents and ducts that lead to undamaged areas to prevent the smoke from traveling through the vents and ducts to other parts of your home.
Contact Your Insurance Company
We recommend contacting your insurance company immediately after discovering smoke damage so that you can begin the claims process and get the coverage you need for the damage to your property.
Provide them with as much detail as possible, and keep a record of your communications. Take lots of photos and videos of the damage, including up close and far-away shots that capture all the damage.
An adjuster from your insurance company will come to your home, assess the damage, and recommend a professional restoration company that can restore your home from the smoke damage.
Assessing the Damage
You should start by visually assessing the extent of the smoke damage. Keep in mind that the smoke damage could penetrate beyond what you can see, but a visual inspection will help you know where to start.
Look for signs of smoke residue, such as discoloration, soot build-up, or charred surfaces. Check inside walls and cabinets since these areas could be hiding damage.
Testing for Toxic Substances
Smoke damage can easily contain toxic chemicals like carbon monoxide and heavy metals, both of which can make you sick if you touch them or breathe them in.
We recommend hiring a professional restoration company for these tests since they have the personal protective equipment and skills to test the area without causing more harm to your home or your family.
The results of these tests will guide the cleanup process, so they’re critical.
Determining the Extent of the Damage
Determining the extent of the damage involves visible damage and the impact of the smoke residue, which you can determine by examining your walls, insulation, and ductwork. Left unchecked, these can cause persistent odor and air quality problems.
Cleanup and Removing Smoke Residue
Ventilate the Affected Area
Open your windows and doors, use fans to circulate the air, and run dehumidifiers and air purifiers to remove smoke odor and particles from the air. Proper ventilation can reduce smoke residue concentration and toxic substances in the air, making the area safer for you and your family.
Good ventilation can also speed up the drying process and reduce mold and secondary damage. Of course, it’s important to consider weather conditions and ensure your home is secured from intruders.
Clean the Area
Dry cleaning involves specialized cleaning products and equipment to remove smoke damage from surfaces like walls, ceilings, floors, and furniture. Non-porous surfaces, like glass and metal, can be wiped down with a damp cloth and cleaning solution.
For porous surfaces like drywall and wood, you’ll need a combination of cleaning solutions and specialized equipment like ozone generations and thermal foggers. In some cases, you might need to replace insulation or flooring if they have been significantly damaged.
Dealing With Smoke Odors
Odor Absorbers and Neutralizers
Odor absorbers and neutralizers work by trapping and neutralizing the molecules responsible for the odor. Sprays, plug-in air fresheners, and specialized odor-eliminating products can all be very effective.
An ozone generator can also neutralize odor by producing ozone, a naturally-occurring molecule that binds itself to odor-causing particles, neutralizing them.
For both, choosing products that tackle the smoke odor you’re dealing with is important.
Cleaning and Sealing HVAC Systems
Because smoke residue can penetrate deep into your HVAC system and cause ongoing odor and air-quality issues, you’ll want to clean and seal your HVAC system, specifically the ductwork, vents, and other components.
Cleaning and sealing your HVAC system involves HEPA-filtered vacuums and sealing agents to remove smoke residue and prevent it from spreading. It might also be necessary to replace affected components.
Replacing Filters and Ducts
It’s often necessary to replace filters and ducts to remove smoke residue from your home’s HVAC system effectively. Choosing high-quality filters and ducts to trap smoke particles and neutralize odors is important.
Call Black Diamond Restoration Today for Your Smoke Damage Restoration
Smoke damage restoration can be tough, taking anywhere from hours to days to weeks or even months, but Black Diamond Restoration is here to get the job done.
We have decades of experience and the expertise you need to get your home to pre-loss condition as quickly as possible. Don’t wait – call us before the damage gets any worse. Call us at 801.512.4194 for 24/7 service, or contact us for more information.