Fires can cause a great deal of damage in your business. Besides the structural damage, fire can also leave a lot of soot and smoke damage behind. This damage can cause stains on any surface of your commercial property, with the smells lingering in for quite a long time.
Cleaning smoke damage and soot from upholstery, fabrics, and carpeting can be difficult. You need the right processes to permanently and safely rid the stains from your items. Your first instinct after a fire might be to vacuum up the soot, but many vacuums will just push the soot deeper into the carpet fibers. You also might want to wash or scrub fabrics to remove the soot and smoke odors, but washing these fabrics in the usual way may seal the soot and odor particles into the material.
Following these steps will help you with soot and smoke removal so that you can start to rebuild and return your commercial building back to normal faster.
Air out the building. If your fire was contained to one room or area and your building’s structure is intact, open all the windows to create air flow throughout your building. Proper ventilation is the first step to ridding the property of that smoky smell. Add some large fans to help blow the smoke smell outside, away from the property. Fans allow air to flow in the room while directing the soot and smoke outward. If you have a larger building, start with a room or area closest to the fire damage. Open the windows and doors in that area, letting the fans blow for about 15 minutes. At that time, close the doors and windows and move onto the next area of your building, each time getting closer and closer to the exit.
Remove smoke stains and soot from fabric. After you air out the building, the next step to truly remove the smoke smell is to deep clean the entire property and everything affected by smoke damage. Take down all curtains, duvets, blankets, furniture covers, area rugs, towels, linens, and other fabrics that have been affected by smoke or soot. You can have your items professionally cleaned, but if you want to wash them yourself, wash items using a cup of regular laundry detergent mixed with a cup of distilled white vinegar and half a cup of oxygen-based bleach. It may take several cycles to completely remove a smoke stain. Avoid drying until the stain is gone. Take “dry-clean only” items to a professional cleaner that specializes in fire-damaged items. For items with extra-large stains, try soaking them in one cup of baking soda overnight before washing.
How to clean glass surfaces. After a fire, you’ll want to scrub all the windows, window screens, and window sills, and shades. It’s important to scrub soot off of windows to get them back to like-new condition. Pay close attention to the window sills and frames, as smoke residue tends to stick onto those surfaces more than the glass. Use a mixture of distilled white vinegar and hot water for plastic blinds and a special wood-safe cleaner for wood blinds.
How to scrub walls and other hard surfaces. You’ll also want to scrub any hard, solid surfaces, like walls, ceilings, doors, door frames, baseboard, cabinets, shelves, and other places where soot might have settled. Use a mixture of warm water, distilled white vinegar, dish soap, and a soot-friendly cloth or sponge, like a magic eraser. You can use this same solution on hard carpet-free surfaces, as well.
Remove smoke odor from carpet and upholstery. To remove the soot, use the hose attachment of a shop vacuum to suck up loose soot from carpet. Try to avoid running the regular vacuum against the floor or rubbing the hose too roughly on the carpet. This will drive the soot deeper down into it. Gently vacuum in as many directions as possible to try and get as much soot up as you can. To finish soot removal, use a soft-bristled brush and a mixture of one tablespoon of dish soap with two cups warm water to remove deeper stains. Start from the outside of the stain and work your way in. Use a clean, dry towel to soak up as much of the stain as possible. Allow carpet to dry completely. Once you’re satisfied with the soot removal, sprinkle baking soda on the entire carpet’s surface to remove the smoke smell. Let the baking soda sit for at least two hours before vacuuming it up. Repeat the process, as necessary.
Hire fire damage restoration professionals. In can be difficult to remove soot and smoke odor from all of your belongings after a larger fire. Professionals can help you secure, repair, and rebuild your commercial property, as well as with house fire smoke damage cleanup, making it easier for your items to be restored back to normal quickly.
Need fire and smoke damage restoration for your business?
Contact Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration. Whether your commercial fire damage is small and contained to a kitchen area, or large and has caused massive damage to the entire building, we’re here to help. Our large crews are on call 24/7. We provide emergency board up for any openings in the building to be deemed safe, allowing emergency crews to leave. Then we can restore your commercial property so it can be up and running like new again.
Alpha-Omega is a fully certified restoration company serving Billings, MT and the surrounding areas.