A fire is one of the worst things that can happen to your home. Even after the fire has been dealt with, you still need to do something about smoke damage, which is what happens the walls and ceilings of your home are exposed to fire, leaving behind blackened soot-covered walls and odor.
Smoke damage usually manifests itself in three ways:
- Charring and Soot
- Blistering or Bubbling
Although hiring the services of smoke damage professionals often produces the best restoration results, there are things you can try on your own as well.
Charring and Soot
Discoloration on your walls and ceiling caused by soot residue is one of the most common examples of smoke damage. Charring, on the other hand, refers to the burnt paint. It’s important to assess how bad the damage is before considering cleaning as a viable solution. You may be faced with thick soot and heavily charred flat-painted walls that require priming and repainting.
If your walls have a satin or semi-gloss finish, you could be in luck if the damage isn’t too deep.
If you want to try and clean soot and charring, here’s a tried-and-proven solution.
- Fill a bucket with a gallon of warm water and a tablespoon of Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)
- Apply the TSP mixture on your walls and ceiling, scrubbing the surface vigorously
- Follow up with a clean cloth soaked in clean water from another bucket
- Repeat until damage disappears
Blistering and Bubbling
Blistering and bubbling are caused by high heat, which warps the paint on your walls and ceilings. Technically, you can’t undo the damage, but you can repair it to look like new.
- Scrape away the surface of the blisters and bubbles with a putty knife
- Use fine sandpaper to sand the bubble/blister until it’s flat
- Spackle the affected area to hide uneven surfaces and blemishes
- Allow the spackle to dry
- Sand down the spackled areas once more to make it smooth
- Apply primer and paint
Smoke can leave an unpleasant odor that can persist for months if left unattended to. Here are a few things you can try to help eliminate the smell:
- Use Backing Soda - Baking soda is an effective all-around cleaner and odor-remover. Sprinkle it all over affected areas like furniture, floors, carpets, etc. You can also leave a bowl of baking soda in a room for several days, allowing it to absorb the smoke odors.
- Use Vinegar - Although the smell of vinegar may make it seem counterintuitive to removing odors, it also has the ability to cut through unpleasant smells left behind by smoke and burnt chemicals. You can also leave a bowl of vinegar for several days in affected areas.
Bear in mind that if the smoke has clung to your curtains, drapes, carpets, and furniture, you may have no choice but to remove these items.
Again, depending on the severity of the smoke damage in your home, these DIY measures can produce varied results. When all else fails, contact us so we can help! The sooner you act, the better. Call us today at (305) 239-8989 for your free inspection.