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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

The Process of Restoring Smoke Damage

8/15/2016 (Permalink)

When a fire occurs in your home, it’s not the flames that do all of the damage, as there are contributions from smoke. The smoke odor removal process should begin quickly after the flames are put out and before any normal cleaning or repairs to ensure proper removal of the odor. To ensure that the deodorization is successful, a three-step process to control the odor should take place. Any less than these three steps could result in an ineffective removal of the smoke odor.

Taking care of deodorizing any smoke damage or areas that have been affected by smoke offers many advantages. These advantages include starting off the cleanup process with positive steps, it creates a more effective working environment for the restoration crews, and they can evaluate the effectiveness of the solution used prior to moving on to other restoration services.

First Step

The first step in treating smoke odor that may have been cause by a fire is treating the walls, floors, or ceilings. Any of these barriers that have been damaged by the smoke will need to be treated by a special spray. During and following the fire, smoke molecules may have escaped into the air in the room. The purpose of the spray is to limit the amount of these molecules that get into the air.

This spray will work by creating a barrier in the smoke which will stop any potential smoke molecules that otherwise could get through from doing so. It works by using penetrants and emulsifiers to slow down or stop the odor evaporation process. Any areas that have been damaged by the smoke will need to be soaked in the spray. Any porous materials that has absorbed the smoke will absorb the spray in the same way.

Second Step

The second step in controlling and removing smoke odors that are emanating from the fire is to control the airborne particles that have been released into the air or have escaped the spray during the first step. This second solution is designed to release an odor counteractant vapor that will enable it to manage the smoke particles that are in the air.

This solution will not be used on surfaces that feature plastic, have been painted, or varnish as the qualities that make it so effective with airborne particles may negatively affect these surfaces. However, this solution can be used on attics, crawl spaces, and areas above suspended ceilings.

Once the first two steps have been completed, the results of the applications will be evaluated to see whether or not it was effective. If the only smell is that of the counteractant, that means the process of successful. If there is still a smoke odor existing, a stronger solution will be needed.

Third Step

The final step in the process is thermal fogging. This step will replicate the characteristics of a fire such as heat. Due to the effects of this step, the area will have a mandatory evacuation. Those involved in the fogging will also be required to wear special protective equipment to ensure their safety. Due to the fact that the process replicates the characteristics of a fire, the local fire department and other local authorities must be notified about what is occurring.

Additionally, danger signs will be posted following the fogging. This serves many purposes which include adding professionalism to the jobsite, meeting legal requirements, reducing the risk of injury, serving as an advertisement for the public, and providing emergency information that may be needed such as phone numbers.

One of the biggest causes of damage that occurs as a result of a house fire is smoke damage. To ensure that the smoke is safely removed, a three-step process should be completed. By the end of the process, all remnants of smoke odors should have been removed. To ensure that this process is completed thoroughly and safely, allowing for the cleaning and painting stages of the restoration to take place, only professionals should be involved in the removal of smoke odors. If you have suffered a fire in your home and are looking for professionals to handle the job, call on SERVPRO to restore your home to its original state.

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