Fire damage has become quite a problem in the US especially in areas like California where wildfires ravage through at least once a year. Accidents also happen involving fires that damage homes and other kinds of buildings. When you want to return everything to normal, here is the ultimate fire restoration guide.
Before you start
Fire ravages areas on different levels so before you begin the restoration process, it is highly recommended that you have the place assessed for safety. The aftermath may feature unstable structures or exposed edges that could end up injuring you. Ensure that you have spoken to your insurance representative to approve that it is okay to go in and begin any form of restoration.
Cleaning the outsides
It might seem very tempting to clean out ash by draining it down or using a leaf blower. Using a leaf blower to sort out ash will have it blowing back into the air so you will have to recreate it again. Draining it will cause clogging and it will give you a headache. Instead, sweep up the ash into a pile, collect it and throw it in a bag and then into the trash. After you collect it up, clean up by washing down with a hosepipe if it is on a large scale, or use a mix of water and vinegar for something you can DIY. When using pressured water however, you need to note that care is needed since too much pressure can be harmful to some surfaces. Cleaning rugs and mats on the patio can be done by first sweeping out the ash or dirt and then using some soap, vinegar brush, and pressured water.
If ash has gotten into your swimming pool, it is recommended that you recapture the water if possible or try to drain it into storm drains if the pH is 7-8 and it has no algae present. Some areas prefer sending the water into sewage instead. If you have another open source of water, you might want to call in a specialist to clean it up so that you can use it for other purposes like cleaning. In this sector, recommendations vary from one county to another, so you can call in to confirm what to do.
Cleaning the indoors
The house probably smells like smoke and looks dusty. Brush up the counters and other surfaces. Then call in an expert who will ensure that all the air ducts and ventilation is cleaned thoroughly. Using a mild soap with a dust cloth and some water should work well in helping you clean up after sweeping. After fires, upholstery usually ends up with a strong odor of smoke. Instead of throwing them away, you can clean them up to remove the smell. First, ensure that you remove the ash by banging the pillows or cushions down and sweeping it off with a brush. Then remove the covers and run them in the wash with a cup of vinegar in the place you would normally put fabric softener. Some baking soda would also help. Call in an upholstery cleaner to help out in the immovable parts of the furniture like mattresses or sofas that you cannot put in the washing machine.
The bottom line, fire restoration requires a good investment of time and research. This will ensure that you have the best tools for each instance so that you avoid doing more harm than good. If you are not confident about how to go about it, call in an expert to ensure that you restore the house to something habitable.