Tips for Cleaning Up After a House Fire

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Devastating home fires are more common than you think. According to the NFPA, fire departments across the country respond to more than 350k home structure fires every year.

A home fire is an emotionally draining event. It is common for homeowners to experience different emotions, including anger, frustration, and hopelessness after a house fire.

It’s natural for you to grieve after a house fire. That said, you cannot let feelings of hopelessness and sadness get the better of you. You need to act and act fast after a house fire. The first step to rebuilding a home after a house fire is cleaning up fire damage in it. Once the authorities give the go-ahead to enter your home, take these steps to clean it.

Do a Careful Inspection 

First and foremost, take stock of the damage caused by the fire. Inspect walls, furniture, stairs, and other structures. Post-fire structures can be unstable. Be careful while checking them. Do not push, hold, or lean against anything. Inspect ceilings and floors to check if the water used for putting out the fire has caused them to sag.

The fire could have damaged different parts of your home appliances. Check them. If you suspect internal damage, contact a technician to open up damaged units and check their internal components.

Remove Trash and Food 

Get rid of any items that can become a breeding ground mold. Typical examples include wet curtains, clothing, and upholstery. Remove fresh or canned food that was in contact with water, smoke, or chemicals used to fight the fire. Cooked or refrigerated food items may look good; however, smoke and other contaminants from burning materials may have affected them.

Dry Out Your Floor 

Once you get rid of trash and food items, it’s essential to dry out your floor to prevent future damage. Use your wet/dry vacuum to remove as much water as possible. To facilitate cross-ventilation, open doors, windows and turn on ceiling fans and vents. If water has seeped underneath floorboards and carpet mats, you may have to replace your flooring.

Clean Walls and Ceilings 

Clean soot stains with a solution of hot water and bleach. (2 tbsps of bleach and 1 gallon of water) Use this solution to disinfect surfaces. If the drywall or ceiling has remained wet for more than 48 hours or is soaking wet, contact a professional who will check whether the drywall can be repaired or needs a replacement.

Holly & Associates is a top-rated home fire rebuilding company in NapaWe are committed to helping homeowners who have lost their homes in a fire by restoring their property to its former glory. To schedule an appointment, call 707-541-0700.