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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How do I remove smoke residues from walls, floors, and ceilings in Lake Worth?

5/29/2020 (Permalink)

Big fumes of smoke coming out of the second floor of a residential building Controlling soots and smokes, as well as their accompanying odors is a challenge.

Get rid of smoke residues in your Lake Worth home for good using SERVPRO Fire and Smoke Restoration Technicians (FRST)

Getting rid of smoke residues effectively is a challenge for most homeowners without a sound knowledge of how carbon reacts and bonds with surfaces. Using a Lake Worth restoration service can ensure that fire is reduced due to efficient procedures. While waiting for an FRST technician, you may feel inclined to address some of the damages yourself. We recommend light vacuuming on spots that show light to moderate soiling, ventilate the space by opening windows, and lay sheeting over the flooring, carpets, and furnishings, which can protect them from falling soots. Before you begin any mitigative proceedings, you must address potential safety hazards by switching off power or gas to the affected area.

Why are cleaning soot and smoke so tricky?

Cleaning soots from a fireplace or flue is not the same as cleaning smoke residues from walls. The challenge in restoring soots and smoke residues in your Lake Worth comes from soots bonding at high temperatures with the surfaces on walls and ceilings. Removing bonded soots can be exceptionally challenging without damaging the paintwork, or drywall beneath. Where the composite of soots includes animal fats, fuels, or grease, these deposits may not mix with water leading to a homeowner just spreading soots further around when trying to clean. Spreading soots around or mixing them with water can cause further expense and increase the timeframe of restoration.

How do soots bond with surfaces?

 When a fire starts, hot air rises rapidly, creating a vector current of cooler air beneath. In an enclosed space, this phenomenon can result in a significant amount of pressure. Combusting materials release hot soots into the enclosed, which are pushed against surfaces rapidly. In some situations, the pressure and temperature may wear away at the finish or varnish of appliances and woodwork. In other situations, soots may be pushed into paintwork or even drywall beneath. When these phenomena happen, you are dealing with bonded soots and, in most situations, may require powerful chemical agents to remove them.

How can you get rid of soots that are stuck to the wall?

    •    Using agitative or aggressive cleaning methods including steel sponges
    •    Machinery that files down surface layers removing both soot and material to leave behind a smooth finish for repainting or varnishing
    •    Chemical solvents which can dissolve the soiling and suspend it until washed off

What kind of machinery can I use to get rid of soot?

Abrasive mechanical equipment can be used to remove severe smoke residues or charring from the outer layers of furniture and structure. This equipment may include angle grinders fitted with light sandpaper. Alternative soda blasting can be very effective at cleaning moderate damages without necessarily impacting the walls underneath. SERVPRO technicians adopt abrasive restoration means like these as a last resort. However, one advantage of such techniques is that the surface restores to a smooth, like-new condition and is responsive to refinishing or varnishing. Refinishing walls can have odor control benefits if you use an odor sealant primer that can trap and retain unpleasant burnt smells.

How can I tell what kind of smoke damage I have?

    •    Light to moderate smoke residues barely standout against clean surfaces and are composed of dry soots. Dry vacuuming and light wet cleaning can be effective on light smoke residues
    •    Moderate smoke residues are darker in color and may have multiple layers of soots from dry and wet smokes to bonded soots.
    •    Severe smoke residues are usually greasy in texture and odorous. Using harsh chemical agents or removing the material altogether may be the only options for restoring severe soiling

How much should you ventilate a space after a fire?

Smoke can leave behind stubborn odors. Equally, chemical agents that we use to remove smokes can have pungent odors, while deodorant solvents can be unhealthy to inhale in high concentrations. Ventilating space relies on creating an air exchange between indoor air and clean air. SERVPRO can exchange the air in a space up to sixty times before clearing it for safe entry. We achieve this by setting up box vent fans in the property and opening windows; this process is known as open-system ventilation. It may not always be appropriate to perform open-system ventilation, in which case, our technicians can deploy air-filtration devices to filter and clean air in an enclosed environment; This process is closed-system ventilation.

Controlling soots and smokes, as well as their accompanying odors is a challenge. You may need to use powerful mechanical equipment and chemical agents to get your home back to its preloss condition. Contact SERVPRO of Lake Worth at (561) 588-9777 for expert solutions.

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