Smoke particles can infiltrate carpets, walls, furniture, and clothing, lingering for months. So what can you do to rid your Southern California home of smoke odors, and when is it time to contact a professional?
Smoke damage after a house fire can be challenging to remove without professional help. Odors from smoke can lead to headaches, nausea, and troubled breathing which can interfere with your health and daily life. Burning scented candles and spraying air fresheners may dilute or mask smoke odors temporarily, but they fail to address the root of the problem. Often, air deodorant manufacturers oversimplify the process of smoke damage odor removal. However, effective smoke damage restoration requires a careful, educated approach.
Step 1: Attack the Source of the Odor
After the fire has been completely put out, clear your home of severely scorched or unsalvageable materials. These not only require immense time, effort, and resources to deodorize, but also emit large amounts of smoke odors that can seep into surrounding areas. Remove as many of these source objects as possible to expedite the cleaning process. Before considering demolition, contact a smoke damage odor removal specialist who can test your home for asbestos, lead, and other hazardous chemicals and recommend safe rebuilding tactics.
Step 2: Clean and Deodorize Exposed Surfaces
After a fire, exposed surfaces house high concentrations of smoke odors and residue. Professional restorers know how to thoroughly clean counter tops, walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, and appliances. This step is crucial to prepare the home for more in-depth odor removal. Depending on the scope of the fire, restorers may need to clean your entire home from top to bottom, even if the entire house was not burned in the fire.
Step 3: Neutralize Remaining Smoke Odors
The third step involves targeting smoke particles with a specialized deodorant gas. The particles in the gas mix with and neutralize particles in the smoke. Professional restorers can determine the right mixture of deodorizing agents and how to distribute them throughout your home. By following all paths the smoke particles may have taken, the deodorizing gas effectively clears the entire structure of lingering odors.
Step 4: Seal Severely Scorched Surfaces
Although seldom necessary, severe fires may require heavily damaged surfaces to be sealed off. Extreme heat and concentrations of smoke particles can render some surfaces nearly impossible to salvage without impractical means. If deemed necessary, the sealing process is the final step in odor removal. Some surfaces can be sealed and painted over. Heavily damaged surfaces in hard-to-reach spaces such as attics and crawlspaces should be sealed and contained. Sealing improves aesthetics and speeds up the overall deodorizing process when compared to extensive chemical treatments that can take several weeks to complete.
There are no easy, “set-it-and-forget-it” ways to remove smoke odors from a burned structure. Professional restoration companies know how to implement the right processes and adjust them to adapt to special cases. Because homeowners often lack the time and resources to remove smoke odors on their own, it’s important for hire a professional to both eliminate the problem and provide peace of mind.
The professionals at S&S Construction & Restoration Inc. specialize in professional smoke damage odor removal, as well as repair, restoration, and remodeling services for homes after a fire. For more information about smoke damage restoration in Southern California, contact S&S Construction & Restoration Inc. at (760) 559-2667 today.