How to Clean Walls After Fire Damage
Experiencing a fire at your home or business can be devastating. A fire will burn through your carpeting, furnishings, and personal belongings; however, smoke and soot can also cause widespread damage. For example, electrical or grease fires can create major smoke damage to various materials. Soot can cause staining as it settles on surfaces which can cause permanent damage. Therefore, it is very important that your home or business is cleaned up properly after a fire so that you can ensure that you do not experience permanent damage to your walls and other various items from smoke and soot.
There many methods for cleaning your walls after a fire. It is important to recognize what type of wall you are working with (painted, drywall, plaster etc.) so that you can choose the safest method for removing char and soot. It is always recommended to use a small amount of the cleaning solution on a small area of the ceiling to check if there are any bad reactions that can permanently damage the wall.
Here is the gear you will need to clean your walls after fire damage:
- A ladder or stepstool
- Chemical dry-cleaning sponge
- Safety glasses
- An apron
- Drop cloth
- Rubber gloves
It is crucial that you follow the cleaning process properly so that the clean-up after fire damage is efficient and you don’t have to do it multiple times. Here are the steps to follow during cleaning:
- Safety gear should be put on first
You should wear all your safety gear including gloves, apron, safety glasses, and a mask before you start the cleaning process.
- Proper ventilation and floor protection
The area you will be cleaning from fire damage should be properly ventilated as you will be using various cleaning solutions and you want to make sure that the air circulates so that you do not inhale the cleaning product and get sick. You should always put a fan on and open windows as well. Also, make sure to put a drop cloth in the area you will be working in to catch drips and avoid stains and any other mess.
- Wiping of the walls
You should use a chemical dry-cleaning sponge to wipe the walls. When the sponge becomes grimy from smoke and soot, you should wash it and start over again, repeating the process until soot is completely removed. Always wipe from top to bottom and side to side. You can use a ladder for high areas.
- Removing tough stains and smoke odor
If you encounter any tough stains that do not come off with just wiping, you can dip a sponge into paint thinner or rubbing alcohol until the stain is gone. For unpleasant odors on your walls, you can use a wall cleaner with a pleasant scent that work best for you.
- The walls must dry
Once you are done with the cleaning process, the walls must dry before you can repaint or redecorate them.
Keep in mind that the above steps are for minor fire damage on your walls. If you are facing walls that have been greatly damaged from a fire, you should reach out to a local fire damage removal and restoration company. They will clean your home or business professionally with specialized cleaners and methods and restore them back to their original state.
Cleaning fire damaged walls takes a lot of work and patience, and it is very important that you take the proper precautions to ensure you clean them safely so that you can have the best results. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to safety:
- You should attempt cleaning your walls only if the property has been deemed safe to enter by the safety inspectors.
- Always ventilate any areas you will be cleaning after fire damage. This ensures that you do not inhale any health damaging fumes that can make you sick.
- Wear proper safety gear so that you protect yourself from getting soot onto your skin or eyes.
- Try a small amount of the cleaning solution you will be using on a small area first before you apply it to larger ones, in case of adverse effects.
- After you are done cleaning your walls, make sure to remove any filters from your air conditioner as fire particles can get stuck in them and if not removed, they can circulate through your home.
- Contact your insurance before starting the cleaning process if you will be filing a claim with them. You want to make sure you document any damage via photos and provide those to your agent to ensure your claim gets processed quicker.
Have you experienced a fire at your home or business? Call a professional that specializes in residential and commercial fire damage restoration and soot removal. Technicians will remove any discoloration, corrosion or etching from your items and fully restore your property.