It’s not uncommon for home owners to want to do “something” after smoke, water or fire has damaged their homes. Let’s face it, we are a society of “doers.” Here are a few thing that you can do to help yourself (if your home is structurally safe to enter) and a few you shouldn’t because it will help your restoration contractor.
- If your electricity has been turned off, remove perishable food from the refrigerator and freezer and prop the door open.
- Avoid walking on the carpet as you will track soot into lesser affected rooms and decrease the ability to successfully clean carpets or rugs.
- Close doors to the affected areas to contain/localize the smoke odors as much as possible.
- Do not attempt to wash the walls and ceilings or other porous surfaces. Restoration contractors are specially trained to identify the various types of surfaces to be cleaned and which cleaning agent will be most effective. The Ph factor of cleaning chemicals are very different and your contractor will know the best ones for positive results.
- Do wash or wipe down metal plumbing fixtures, door handles, lamps, etc. to protect against pitting and corrosion. Soot is highly acidic and corrosive and can start reacting with metals in less than 24hrs.
- If possible, open windows to allow the room/rooms to air out.
- Move your pets out of the home and to a clean environment as soot on the floors can seriously affect their respiratory system.
- Do not consume and food items that have been exposed to smoke or any canned food that had been exposed to excessive heat. It is best to make an itemized list of all the exposed food and throw it away.
- Avoid handling furniture or draperies so as not to grind the soot deeper into the fabric.
- Depending on the severity of the smoke damage many plants can be saved. Simply wash them with mild soap and water on both sides of the leaves.
- Avoid using your electronic appliances until they are checked by a qualified technician. The corrosive nature of soot affects the components inside of them. Your restoration contractor will know who these specialists are and will likely contact them for you.
Sometimes it can be frustrating watching all these things happening around you. Your house is a mess; your life is disrupted and your possessions ruined. The tasks noted above will hopefully help you take your mind off of things for a bit. Trust your certified restoration contractor, ask a lot of questions and be patient. The restoration process is not a sprint, it’s a marathon and your fully restored home is the finish line.