Smoke damage can occur any time of year. But during the summer, you should be extra vigilant. Whether it’s a mishap involving a firework, a lightning strike unexpectedly hitting your house, or an uncontrolled grill fire, there are all sorts of potential fire hazards to be on guard against. With the Fourth of July approaching, fire safety and knowing what to do in case of smoke or summer fires is even more important. Here are some helpful tips for cleaning up any smoke damage you may encounter.
Smoke Damage and Soot Residue
How will you know you’ve got smoke damage? You will know by what it leaves behind: a stubborn crust of black ash all over your walls and ceilings. These stubborn black marks are another sign of soot residue. You might often see soot gathered around your fireplace. Soot is a by-product of smoke, while anything that smokes will likely char. Your walls, wallpapers, and paint are most vulnerable to charring.
Before getting started, you should establish if cleaning is even possible.Sometimes, all of the smoke damage and soot residue is just too much to attempt cleaning. When you think cleaning is not enough, you will have to repaint the walls as well. What are some items you will need before you can clean?
- Trisodium phosphate, TSP cleaner
- One large sponge
- 2 buckets filled with warm, but not hot, water
- Gloves and goggles, and rags to clean with
How to Begin Cleaning:
- Fill one bucket with a gallon of warm water. Add the TSP.
- Put on gloves and goggles. Use the sponge to wipe down walls and ceilings, anywhere you see signs of smoke damage. Rinse off the areas with a clean, wet rag after using the sponge first. Repeat until all affected areas have been addressed.
- Be careful to not go overboard with the water. The water could soak into the walls and cause even more damage. The water could even damage the drywall underneath your standard walls, as well.
- If this method isn’t enough, you will have to use paint and primer to rejuvenate the room.
Dealing with Bubbling and Blistering
The heat from the fire could also cause the paint to bubble or blister. These blisters can be fixed, but the wall might not look the same.
- Scratch away the top of bubble or blister with a putty knife.
- Flatten the remaining parts of the bubble or blister.
- Use spackle to disguise any flaws that still remain.
- Sand the spackled area after the spackle has dried.
- Apply paint and primer, and prepare to repaint if necessary.
Stopping the Smell of Smoke
Even after the fire is long gone, the smell of smoke can still remain. Despite cleaning and ventilation, it might never go away. What can you use to stop the smell of smoke?
- Vinegar and baking soda
- Commercial brand name products for stopping odors
- Powdered activated charcoal
- Allowing in fresher air
Where’s There’s Smoke, There’s North Arundel Contracting!
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