The aftermath of a fire can be harsh. The resulting smoke permeates everything, leaving discoloration and an unpleasant odor. We tend to imagine the charred remains of our home and belongings when thinking about fire damage, but it’s often the smoke that is equally harmful. Smoke damage is one of the hardest aspects of the restoration process to manage. Achieving complete soot and odor removal, requires the use of specialized equipment and techniques. This why you need professional smoke and odor removal services to eliminate the problem.
It’s important to remember that smoke travels fast and far. If you have a kitchen fire, rest assured that there is smoke damage in other rooms. Soot, smoke residue and odors can infiltrate every nook and cranny in the home, affecting walls, upholstered furniture, draperies, carpets, air ducts, and clothing. Smoke can remain in living spaces and if is not correctly removed, the odor will recur from time to time, especially during damp periods. This is one more reason why prompt action must be taken to have smoke damage removed professionally.
A good inspection by a professional will help you to identify where the smoke has gone, what rooms or areas have been affected, and the best course of action for treatment and clean up. A professional with training and experience understands the nature of smoke and will be able to determine the level and extent of cleaning necessary.
Removing the Source of the Problem
The first and most important step in smoke odor removal is to remove the source of the odor(s). This involves removing items that are too badly damaged to be repaired. Burnt items, such as cabinets, furniture, drywall, and non-salvageable contents are either discarded or restored, depending on their condition.
Smoke Cleanup Process
Technicians use a variety of advanced equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from all surfaces. The team will use varying methods to pressure wash, scrub, and disinfect exterior surfaces like walls, windows, and decks.
- Industrial-rated shop vacuums are helpful for removing the bulk of the loose soot particles. A vacuum with a HEPA filter is the best way to suck up soot and not redistribute it into the air.
- Interior walls and hard surfaces can be treated with cleaning agents and then rinsed thoroughly.
- Professionals will also clean inside cabinets, drawers, and closets, and wash household items, as well.
- Smoke, soot, and odors will penetrate the duct system and any dust or other particles inside of that system. Thus, cleaning the ducts early in the smoke smell removal process is essential to preventing the HVAC system from re-contaminating areas that have been cleaned. Of course, only professionals should clean the ductwork as it involves specialized equipment and procedures.
- The staining of items as a result of fire usually goes beneath the surface. Only a deep scrub, sanding, and refinishing will get rid of the smoke.
Embedded odors that can’t be eliminated with regular cleaning methods can be dislodged with treatments that actually neutralize smoke molecules.
Air Scrubbing – A technician will use a high-efficiency particulate arrestor HEPA air scrubber which can remove 99.97% of particulates from the air. Removing these airborne particulates removes additional source materials for odors.
Ozone Generation – This is one of the most popular and familiar processes for removing airborne smoke odor molecules, including hard-to-neutralize protein smoke. Ozone is a powerful oxidizer that neutralizes odorous molecules by releasing additional oxygen into the air. Ozone works best in a controlled environment, such as an ozone chamber. In there, odorous contents can be subjected to 24 to 48 hours of ozone gas.
Thermal Fogging – Fogging uses a petroleum-based deodorizer emitted via a thermal fogging unit. It fills the affected area with a mist-like deodorizer. Fogging counteracts odorous molecules by using fragrance modification for permanent odor neutralization. Prior to fogging, technicians put out all flames. Everyone in the treatment area must wear respiratory protection equipment or leave the area.
Vapor Modification – This method uses an aromatic compound vaporized from a sealed plastic container then dispensed into the air by a fan or blower. The mineral oils used in this process are non-toxic, non-oily, non-flammable, and non-explosive. Therefore, customers can choose to remain in or near an area during the smoke smell removal process. The deodorizer also penetrates affected porous contents like upholstery and drapery.
Call Xtreme for Smoke and Odor Removal
The process of smoke and odor removal is complex and must be done efficiently to be successful. One of the many advantages of hiring Xtreme Home Improvement to remove odors from your home after a fire is that we are equipped with industrial machines that can be used to eliminate the smells. A process that would take weeks or even months with any device you could buy retail can be completed in a matter of hours or days with the advanced methods used by our professionals. Using state of the art equipment and proven air quality techniques, our trained and certified technicians erase all traces of smoke, soot and odor. Your home and belongings will look and smell fresh and new, with no trace of soot, smoke, or its odor.