In a previous blog post, I discussed three ways to clean smoke damage from walls. If you follow the tips I gave in that post, then cleaning smoke damage from walls certainly doesn’t have to be hard work. However, there are several different types of smoke damage. In this blog post I want to look at the three main culprits of smoke damage to walls in your home: soot, odor, and bubbling walls.
Sight and smell of cleaning smoke damage from walls
When considering the first thing you’ll notice after a fire in your home, it’s a close race between the sight of the soot and charring and the smell of smoke. Whichever it is, both are on a similar scale when it comes to cleaning smoke damage from walls and other surfaces.
We’ve got the edge when it comes to the clean-up operation. We use the three things professionals use to clean smoke damage from fire: experience, the right equipment and clothing, and the right cleaning solutions. If you want to tackle the smoke damage cleaning yourself, remember that:
- Soot is abrasive, and scrubbing too hard will embed the soot into walls
- Charring might be cleaned by scrubbing and then repainting
The easy way to remove smoke damage from your walls
I’d always recommend taking a methodical approach to a clean-up after a fire. Fight the sight first. Then quell the smell. Finally, smooth the walls.
Fight the sight of soot
Remove loose soot particles using a vacuum. Move the nozzle up and down the wall, but take care not to touch it (that soot is abrasive, and you will embed the soot into the wall if you use your vacuum like a brush).
You might also try a chemical sponge for this part of the job.
Quell the smell of smoke
Even though you may have largely removed the visual evidence of smoke-damaged walls, the odor can linger for a long time. If you don’t get rid of the smell of smoke at this stage, you could be stuck with it for life.
In my blog titled “What to use to remove smoke smell from a house after a fire” you’ll read about the solutions and techniques to use to rid your home of a smoke smell. The main things to do when removing smoke smell are to ventilate well, and make sure all your walls, fixtures, fittings and furnishings are properly cleaned.
Smooth smoke-damaged walls
The likelihood is that at least some of your walls will be bubbled. This is caused by the high heat of a fire. Use the following techniques to get rid of those bubbles:
- Use a putty knife to remove the bubble
- Sand to a smooth finish
- Cover with a layer of spackling paste, and when dry, sand again
- Prime and paint
With the right equipment and approach, it’s possible to clean smoke damage from your walls. However, if you make mistakes then the smell of smoke can hang around for years. That could make your home uncomfortable to live in, and impossible to sell.
If you want our help in the clean-up, please don’t hesitate to call. It’s our experience that a poor DIY job takes longer and is more expensive to put right than a first-time clean. Contact us today – we’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be happy to help.
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