kitchen with smoke and soot damage after house fire

The fire is gone, but the smoke smell isn’t. How do I remove the odor from my home?

A house fire is one of the most devastating disasters a person can go through. Once you are cleared to return to your home, looking over what has actually been destroyed during the event can cause reality to set in even further, and suddenly you’re left with an entirely new set of problems to deal with – like putting your home back to normal.

When you return to your house, one of the first things you may notice is the smoke smell that has become a permanent resident in the carpet, fabrics, and even the clothing that remains in your house. This is a constant reminder of what you experienced during the fire, and it can seem almost impossible to rid your home of this smell. While there are professional companies like McMahon Services equipped to handle fire and smoke disasters, there are a few different methods you can try on your own to get rid of the smoke smell yourself.

Tips from the professionals to remove that smoke smell

There are a few different things you can try before calling in a professional to help get rid of the smoke smell. These may take some trial and error, but in the long run will help your home smell less like smoke and more like the house you remember before the fire.

  1. Move quickly.

    It’s important that you get to the smoke odor before it has time to settle further into your fabrics. The longer it sits, the harder it is to remove smoke from your upholstery. Start attempting to remove the smell immediately when you’re able to return safely to your home.

  2. Get rid of anything that is not salvageable.    

    The less things that smell like smoke that are in the home the better. Items like carpeting, wallpaper, insulation, or anything else that cannot be cleaned should be removed from the home. Other items like clothing, furniture, and linens (if they are still intact) can be cleaned using different methods. Just remember – the less items in the home that can hold in the smell, the better.

  3. Open the windows and air out your home.

    Ventilation will decrease the smoke odor. Use fans to push the smoke smell out open windows. Fans will also help rid your home of any moisture that may still be around from the extinguishing process!

  4. Remove the soot.

    This step is when you start to clean the fabrics that can be salvaged. Soot is the black particles left behind from the fire. It can contain acids and chemicals that, if left untreated, can actually cause MORE damage to your fabrics! Soot is actually the material that holds the odor of the smoke, so removing the soot is an important step in the cleaning process. Soot can be a little tricky since it it easy to spread, and even easier to rub directly into a fabric by cleaning too hard. Use an industrial strength vacuum cleaner or heavy duty vacuum to remove the soot from any fabrics, making sure that the nozzle of the vacuum never touches the item you’re cleaning. This will help you avoid rubbing the soot into the fabric and potentially destroying the item!

  5. Dry Clean items.

    While this isn’t a DIY remedy persey, dry cleaning will help you remove the smoke smell from smaller items! They are equipped with the right tools and techniques, and are a less expensive option for smaller items that require a deep cleaning.

When should I hire a professional?

At McMahon’s Services, we specialize in fire restoration services. We know you are faced with many difficult choices during the clean up process. We want to make every step as easy as possible.

Call McMahon Services and Construction at 847-566-4568 for your restoration and construction needsOur experts take the needs of you and your family into consideration before everything else. After all these are your memories and personal belongings you’ve trusted us with! Our twenty person crew are fully trained in Fire Damage Restoration Services, and work in all areas of reconstruction.

Give us a call today for more information for a free estimate!

Posted in Fire Damage Restoration, Posts.