What can be done about fire and smoke damage?


If you experience a fire in your home not only will the flames and heat do irreparable damage, so will the smoke. In many cases a fire is contained before the flames can do much damage but this is not the case with smoke, smoke can quickly fill the whole house. Eliminating fire and smoke damage in South Jersey is a task that is best left to professional companies who have the equipment necessary to deal with the cleanup and odor removal. In almost every case homeowners insurance will cover the costs associated with this work but if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of not having insurance you will have to tackle the job yourself.

Drywall absorbs smoke so once the fire has been extinguished the odor of smoke remains and in order to eliminate it, the only solution is to tear out the drywall and replace it. While the drywall is down the studs, rafters, beams and insulation as well as the electrical wiring will be visible. It is advisable to replace the insulation as it too has a tendency to hold the smoke odor. Take this opportunity to closely check the condition of the structural components to ensure they are not damaged, if they are, they too must be taken out and replaced.

If the damage is limited to soot on the walls this is usually easy to clean, especially if the walls are painted in a semi-gloss or gloss paint. Walls painted with flat latex can also be cleaned; it just takes a little more work. The best way to remove soot is to make a solution of Trisodium Phosphate and water. TSP is readily available at any hardware store or home improvement center. Use one tablespoon of TSP to one gallon of warm water. Use gloves and eye protection as you vigorously scrub down the walls.

Another characteristic of fire and smoke damage in South Jersey area is paint which has blistered or bubbled, this is caused from the intense heat generated in a fire. This problem can be solved with a scraper and sandpaper. The wood will have to be brought down to a bare condition, any small cracks or dents can be filled and repainted once it is dry.

The real key to eliminating smoke odor is fresh air and plenty of it. Leave the windows open as much as possible. Activated charcoal is also quite good at eliminating the smell of smoke, place piles of it strategically throughout the house.

If you are not successful in ridding the house of smoke odor you will have no other option but to bring in professionals who have the equipment to take care of fire and smoke damage in South Jersey.

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