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Most house fires begin in the kitchen, before spreading rapidly through the home. A pot of quinoa left on the stove and forgotten, perhaps while mom gets the kids ready for school, is not unheard of. You open the kitchen door to see what’s wrong, and suddenly the whole house smells of smoke. With the kids at school, you get down to cleaning up. That’s when you realize something: removing smoke smell from a house is a task that can go drastically wrong.

If the fire was small, then the blog I wrote a short while ago with five easy ways to remove smoke odor from your home should work perfectly well. For them to do so, you’ll need to avoid these eight common mistakes people make when faced with smoke smells that need expelling.

1.     Life gets in the way of removing smoke smells

Life can be a pain up the proverbial sometimes. You’re a busy person, on the go all the time. So you put off the clean-up for a couple of days, and it becomes a week. Whether you plan to do the clean yourself or by calling a professional fire damage restoration company, do it quickly.

Smoke particles work their way into fabrics and porous surfaces very quickly. And when that happens, you could be living with smoke odor forever.

2.     You tackle the job on the cheap

If you don’t have an emergency fund, or your insurance doesn’t cover the cost of the clean-up, it might be tempting to tackle the work yourself. If you do it right, then removing smoke damage from walls and other areas of the home is certainly an option. But it’s not a cheap exercise.

Try to do the work on the cheap, using inadequate materials, only leads to problems further down the line… including a lingering smell that permeates the whole house.

3.     Hiring the wrong contractor

Make sure you hire a contractor who has plenty of experience and can provide testimonials. One with a long track record – a company with history – will offer you peace of mind and is likely to be here this time next year. If there are any problems, you’ll want a contractor who hasn’t disappeared, making any guarantee worthless.

4.     Repairing instead of discarding

Another reason you should use a professional is that they know when something in the home simply can’t be repaired to remove smoke smells. You might clean something and believe the job has been done, but those lingering smells can return (especially from carpets and drapes).

5.     Leaving valuables too long

You’ll have valuable items in your home; sentimental furniture and furnishings. Leave them too long, and they’ll be harder (or even impossible) to repair. The smoke smell will be engrained.

6.     Expecting the work to be done quickly

It takes time to clean up properly. Restoration after fire and removal of smoke smells from the home takes time. A few hours probably won’t cut it. A few days may not be long enough. Repairing fire damage can take months.

7.     Keeping your windows shut

A fire at any time is bad news, but in the winter it’s double trouble. You’ll need to open the windows and let air flow through while taking other measures to remove the smoke odors. Keeping the windows closed simply locks in those smoke particles, and with nowhere else to go, they’ll make a home of your home.

8.     Using the wrong cleaning solutions and materials

Whether for the advantage of saving a few dollars or receiving the wrong advice, if you use the wrong materials to clean after a fire you’ll find all your efforts are ineffectual. You’ll have wasted time and money, and still be left with more work to do (and perhaps with furniture and furnishings that are now beyond repair).

If in doubt, shout!

While cleaning up a home after a fire and getting rid of smoke smells can be tackled, it’s easy to make mistakes. We’ll be happy to give you a quote for professional cleaning. Contact us today – we’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be happy to help.

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