If you are reading this article, it is possible that you have just survived one of the most harrowing and disruptive events of your life. A fire in your home or business is terrifying. The risk of the loss of lives is incredibly disturbing.
Then, if fortune smiles and everyone survives, there is still the matter of the property that was damaged or destroyed. These can be objects stored in the same room that were permanently destroyed by flame, or damaged beyond recognition with water and smoke.
Or they can be previous keepsakes almost anywhere inside the structure that will forever carry the scent of smoke, or water damage from efforts to put out the fire.
A fire can very quickly reorganize your priorities and values about what is important in your life and what you do – or do not – need.
And then, on top of the crisis, panic, and loss, there is a large and seemingly unfixable damage area.
Consider hiring a professional
While this article will address how to clean up after the fire, these events are often so disastrous and hard to handle that we start with the suggestion that you consider hiring a professional as the first option.
Professional cleaners like Dry Patrol in the Dayton, Columbus, and Cincinnati area have the experience necessary to manage the entire cleaning project. They can work with your insurance and your budget to restore the space to a place as good as or better than before.
And while they can’t make everything whole, they can erase evidence of the fire so you can move forward.
If you want to clean up after the fire yourself
If your budget or your compulsion means that you have to clean up the fire damage yourself, you will need plenty of cleaning materials.
The soot will have gotten everywhere, so you will need multiple approaches:
- Clothing and fabrics should be laundered, multiple times as necessary
- Hard surfaces should be washed down with a mix of warm soapy water – this can include a light bleach solution or common cleaning liquids that you would use for regular mopping or cleaning. You could choose to use these at slightly higher concentrations than recommended on the bottle
- Where possible, clean below and behind everything. This includes removing baseboards, and getting inside or behind walls and floorboards. The smoke got everywhere, and you will want to do the same.
- Remember that some items will not be recoverable. Upholstered furniture will often have to be re-upholstered.
Be diligent and take your time, and you can clean up and move forward after the fire.