If you had a small fire in your kitchen recently or the Christmas light caught fire and you have smoke odor inside your home, you will need help with removing it. Today we will discuss the main steps in removing smoke odor from your home and how can do it effectively.
Before we dive in, we should point out that these are only general guidelines and every situation can be different. The main thing determining how simple (or difficult) will the removing of smoke odor be, is the severity of the fire. The larger the fire, the higher the temperature which causes the pores of materials to open more, thus soaking up more smoke and making it harder to remove the odor. Regardless of how severe the fire was, successfully removing smoke odor usually includes cleaning, deodorizing and sealing of materials.
4 steps in removing smoke odor from your home
Removing smoke odor from your home – Step 1
The first and foremost thing that you need to do is to remove all burnt material from your home or the area where you want to remove the odor. This is important, because as long as you have the source of the odor, you’ll never be able to completely remove it.
In some situations, the source of the odor cannot be removed from your home and in that case, the source has to be sealed off so you “lock in” the odors.
The second stage is to install an air filter device or AFD. We highly recommend that you used the ones that have carbon active filters in them. There are AFDs that have HEPA filters but unfortunately, they aren’t effective enough in removing smoke odor. Filter devices that have active carbon filters absorb and trap the odors and gases.
Step 3 in removing smoke odor
Once you have removed (or sealed off) the source of the odor and you ensured that the air in your home is properly filtered, you need to make sure that all the affected areas are thoroughly cleaned. This of course involves the area where the actual fire was, not just the surrounding. At this stage, you don’t need to use water or wet cleaning.
The “dry cleaning” means that you first need to remove any surface soot or dust. Depending on the type, it can be vacuumed and if they cannot be, use dry-chem sponges (you can purchase them at any Home-Depot). The sponge works like an eraser, absorbing the soot and smoke. If you try this using wet cleaning you will most likely smear the soot and not clean it.
The final stage of removing smoke odor from your home is deodorization. The goal is to penetrate all the pores of the surface affected by smoke damage. We highly recommend that you use a deodorizing agent which is specifically for removing smoke odor (again, something that you can buy at Home Depot).
Make sure that you follow the instructions and spray all surfaces, including walls and carpets (avoid electronic and other water-sensitive objects). Let the deodorizer sit and soak for a while.
After a certain period of time, you should be able to assess the situation, whether the deodorizing was successful or not. If you can still smell the smoke odor, then you need to repeat the process once more.
Sometimes two applications of a deodorizing solution won’t be enough to remove the odor. This means that the fire was of a larger scale, the heat was greater and the material soaked up more of the smoke than you originally thought.
There’s a solution for removing smoke odor even in these severe cases, but they involve thermal fogging. The process actually mimics the attributes of the fire, opening up the pores of materials so they can be thoroughly cleaned. Now this is something that requires special knowledge, skill and equipment so we recommend that you contact ASAP Restoration instead and let our skilled technicians perform it.