As much fun as it was to watch your house burn before the fire trucks were able to make it there, it is going to be twice as fun to clean it up. Even if the damage to your home was not extensive you should still call a disaster cleanup company that specializes in fire restoration. They will be able to do everything exactly the way it should be done in order to preserve as much of your home as possible.
Until the disaster cleanup company is able to come by your house there are some things you can do immediately following the fire trucks heading back to the station. This is assuming your home is safe to enter again as well.
Words of the Wise
The first order of business would be to open all of the windows. The burning of the lacquer on your cabinets and the gas from your stove are not healthy scents for you to be breathing in. And as much as the Febreze commercials try to convince you that their ocean island mist spray can cover up any smell, it really can’t. A house fire is where you have to draw the line on the Febreze.
Now after the windows are open and your house is airing out you should use a vacuum to remove all of the smoke particles from your curtains, rugs, couches and any other cloth material is covered in soot and smoke. This will prevent them from being completely ruined and they can usually be salvaged by having a professional clean them.
Moving into the bathroom and kitchen areas there are a couple of unorthodox ways you can help to keep your faucets, stainless steel and toilet bowls in the best shape possible after a house fire.
For your faucets and shower heads you should rub a light coating of oil over them. This creates a protective barrier between and particles that would likely keep circulating through the air and settling on them.
The same goes for stainless steel. Since stainless steel has a different chemical makeup than the metal your bathroom faucet is made out of you should use Vaseline. Both Vaseline and oil also fill the pores that are in the metal to prevent particulates from changing the color of your appliance or faucet.
When it comes to the drains where the water goes, pour antifreeze down them. You should only do this if you know your heat has been turned off and it is the dead of winter. This will prevent your pipes from freezing which would just compound the headache you already have.
These are all things you should do. Now let’s look at some common things you should definitely not do.
Don’t Do This
You should not try to wipe off the walls, ceilings, wooden tables or chairs or anything else that has a highly porous surface. This will just cause the particulates to seep deeper into them and you will have to eventually throw them away.
Do not use anything that is attached in any way to the electrical part of your house. Wires could have been melted which could expose them to other flammable parts of your house which could mean a second call to the fire department in the span of just a couple hours. Also much of your electrical wiring could be shot which costs money to fix. You could also be shocked. A light switch is not insulated and if you touch it when the wiring has been destroyed from the fire then you could be electrocuted.
Another thing you should not do which sounds completely reasonable is to send your clothes that have soot and smoke particles in them, to the dry cleaner. This will cause your clothes to permanently smell like smoke and turn a completely different color.
Hopefully many of us will never have to go through such a traumatic experience as a house fire. But for those of us who have to deal with it there are many little things we can do to help us cope with our situation. These are some physical tips about your home but for many, the mental aspect of losing family heirlooms or other valuables can be the real killer.
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By Brian Connor
Brian Connor has written for many home improvement and home restoration blogs. He wants to make people aware of fire restoration DKI and the ability a fire restoration company has to help you put your life back together.