Soot damage cleaning is a necessary and important step in any fire restoration project. Fires leave a variety of harmful residues and toxins, including smoke, which can infiltrate various materials. The effects of this can include discoloration, odors, and even corrosion of metals. Inhaling these residues can cause health problems, especially in individuals with existing conditions or children.
The first step in soot damage cleaning is to remove as much loose soot and ash from surfaces as possible. This should be done gently to avoid pushing the debris deeper into walls, floorboards, and carpets. This is also a good time to lay down plastic sheets or other protective coverings to minimize damage to furniture and other items that are not affected by soot. Ventilate the area by opening windows and running a dehumidifier if possible. Wear household dish gloves and long pants to prevent direct contact with soot and ash, as well as a dust mask if needed.
Once the visual assessment is complete, professionals will use a soot cleaner to remove any remaining dirt and stains. They will typically test the cleaner on a small hidden section of the damaged wall to ensure it doesn’t further damage or stain the surface.
Soot can also stain light carpets if it is not cleaned properly. Scrubbing can drive the soot deeper into the carpet fibers, which may permanently damage it. Begin by removing any large soot pieces with a spoon or spatula. Then, sprinkle the carpet with baking soda or another absorbent powder to cover the stains and allow them to sit for an hour or more. soot damage cleaning