How to Remove Smoke Smell After a Fire
Fires are a devastating experience for anyone to go through. Not only are you left with the cleanup, structural damage, and loss of personal property, but you also have to take care of other hazards left in its wake. Water damage, soot, and smoke levels all pose risks that need to be managed as you work towards getting back to regular life.
One of the issues left behind by a fire, whether at your property or a nearby bush fire, is a lingering smoke odor that can be challenging to eliminate. Smoke odor can lower the air quality and expose residents and visitors of the building to health hazards.
If you've recently had the misfortune to suffer through a fire in your home or business, or the property has been inundated with smoke from a nearby bushfire, these tips from your local odor removal company will help you get rid of the stench for good.
Expert Tips to Remove Smoke Smell
Unfortunately, tiny smoke particles can stick to all household surfaces and embed themselves in porous materials. Smoke that inundates a property will contaminate everything, including books, upholstery, wood, carpets, curtains, and paint. It takes a determined effort to remove every trace and often requires specialized equipment.
How badly smoke contaminates your property will depend on several variables, including:
● The size of the fire
● The type of materials that are burned
● How long the fire lasts
There are a lot of smoke odor removal strategies you can do yourself, but results can vary. If you do everything you can, but the odor persists at an unsatisfactory level, calling an odor removal service near you is still an option.
Regardless of how badly your property has been exposed to smoke, the methods described below can help you get it back to normal.
Step 1: Let the Fresh Air in
The first step is to get some fresh air into the property. Open all the windows and doors to improve ventilation. Removing the security and flyscreens from windows can also increase the airflow. While ensuring adequate ventilation is a great first step, it's rarely enough to remove a persistent odor like smoke, so here are a few more tips to improve ventilation.
Significantly increase airflow by placing a large fan outside the main entrance to blow air into the property. Keep the fan at its highest setting and close all doors and windows except one. This method forces fresh air into the building, while the other opening creates an exhaust that expels lingering smoke and odors.
Do the above for each room in the house, leaving the fan on its highest setting for at least 15 minutes. When you are finished with one room, close all the windows and doors and continue treating the property to fresh air room by room.
Ventilating the property will get rid of the smoke, but not all of the odor. The next stage for removing the smell after a fire will involve rigorous cleaning of everything exposed to the smoke.
Step 2: Deep Cleaning
You will need to scrub and clean every crevice, nook, and cranny of your place before you will be completely rid of the smoke stench.
Carpeting and Upholstery
Soot and smoke particles lodge deep into upholstery and carpeting and will hold onto the odor if not properly cleaned. Sprinkle baking soda over the material and wait a few hours (a day is even better) before vacuuming the affected area. A cleaner fitted with a HEPA filter will prevent smoke particles from blowing back out into the room.
You can also steam clean furniture and carpet, provided the material is not a delicate fabric like leather. Delicate items are best left to professional odor-removal services and dry cleaners.
Curtains, Rugs, and Other Fabrics
Remove all rugs, curtains, blankets, and other materials from the affected rooms and thoroughly wash them or have them dry-cleaned. You should also consider laundering your towels, sheets, and other fabrics that will absorb and hold onto smoke odors.
Washing more than once may be necessary because a single cycle will never get rid of the smoke odor completely. A cup of distilled white vinegar added to every wash will also help eliminate some of the stink.
Solid surfaces such as countertops, windows, windowpanes, and blinds will all hang onto the smoke’s unpleasant aroma. Scrub windowpanes, and sills, but pay more attention to the blinds, as smoke residue will stick to these better than on glass.
Use a solution of warm water, dish soap, and white vinegar to sponge down every surface and remove all traces of soot. Remove the mesh screens and soak them in a solution of dish soap or shampoo and water before letting them air dry outside.
The same solution of vinegar and water can be used to mop the floors and wipe down doorframes, walls, and ceilings. Make sure you regularly rinse your mop and sponge with fresh running water between runs, so the smoke particles don't end up back on the surface.
Deodorize the HVAC System
Don't forget to take care of the HVAC system because a lot of smoke will have infiltrated the ductwork and contaminated the filters. You don't want to do all that hard work around your home or business, only to invite the odor back in when you turn on the air conditioning.
Replace all air conditioning filters with new ones as soon as possible and have your ducts professionally cleaned. A hydroxyl generator may be required to get rid of stubborn smoke odor from HVAC ducts.
Paint can retain the stench of smoke for a long time after a fire, so a fresh coat may be necessary. However, before investing a lot of money in getting your property repainted, you could try cleaning the walls with glycol or ammonia-based cleaning products.
Removing smoke odor after a fire can be a difficult and time-consuming job when you consider that just about everything in your home will need treatment. While there is a lot you can do yourself, a trained, experienced odor removal service like Best Option Restoration has all the tools and experience to quickly restore your property to its pre-fire condition. Call today to find out more.
Tips to Remove Smoke Smell with Best Option Restoration
If you’re experiencing smoke smell in Denver, Arvada, Thornton, Broomfield, Boulder, or the surrounding areas, Best Option Restoration can help you. We are aware that smoke smell can leave you feeling overwhelmed, and our goal is to instill peace of mind throughout the project and restore your property in the most efficient way possible. We have many years of experience in restoration reconstruction and all our general contractors are licensed and insured. If your property has been damaged due to water, fire, or mold we will give you the personalized service and expert marksmanship needed to get the job done right. To learn more about our services, call us at (720) 620-3272 or contact us online to receive an estimate on your project.