After the devastation of a house fire, immediate action will help save the home and your belongings. While it’s important to act quickly to preserve as much as possible, it’s particularly vital to your draperies, clothing, and other fabrics. Replacing these items can get expensive, and it’s best to try to salvage things that haven’t been overly burned or waterlogged. To fully restore smoke damaged fabrics, hiring a restoration expert is the right choice. With their tools, chemicals, and techniques, they have what it takes to restore clothing and upholstery from smoke damage in Springfield Missouri. However, these tips will help you start the restoration process.
Take Steps to Mitigate the Damage
When the fire has been put out and it’s safe to re-enter the home, the restoration process can begin. Start by drying textiles to minimize mold growth. Hang fabrics and clothing outside to allow for air-drying. Use dehumidifiers and fans, and be sure to open the windows for proper ventilation. Change the HVAC filter each day until the soot has been removed from the air, and cover clean textiles with plastic sheeting for additional protection.
Next, it’s time to separate the salvageable items from those that can’t be saved. If an item hasn’t been burned, it can likely be saved. Organize restorable fabrics based on washing instructions and type, and remove damaged accessories.
Before cleaning fabrics, it’s crucial to remove any remaining soot. Take items outdoors and gently shake the soot away. Soot is rather oily, and it can easily cause stains if it’s not removed properly. If it’s not possible to take items outside, use a powerful vacuum with a crevice tool, keeping the tool a few inches from the fabric. Soot removal is complex, and in most cases, it’s best to count on the pros.
Eliminate Smoke Odors
All fabrics must be deodorized before cleaning, or smoke odors may become ingrained. Do-it-yourself deodorization isn’t suggested, and the usage of aerosols, air fresheners, and disinfectants only cover the odor for a little while.
Ozone treatment is the only real way to deodorize fabrics. Professionals in fire restoration in Springfield Missouri use the technique, which removes odor by breaking down smoke molecules. These treatments are typically done with an ozone generator, either in-house or externally.
Clean the Fabric
Once draperies, comforters, clothing, and other fabrics have been deodorized, they may be cleaned. Send dry-clean-only items to a cleaner who’s certified to address smoke damage. Wash cotton and polyester fabrics in warm water with no bleach.
Wash all bleach-friendly fabrics in strong detergents, and hand-wash items for a few weeks to prevent oily soot from contaminating the washer and subsequent laundry loads. If odors linger, soak items in a mixture of one cup of bleach, 4-6 tablespoons of trisodium phosphate, and a gallon of water. Allow fabrics to soak overnight, remove and rinse them, and allow them to air dry.
Unless you’ve got the tools, equipment, and knowledge needed to restore sooty fabrics and clothing, it’s important to count on a fire damage restoration expert. You’ll save money and frustration by hiring a professional who can handle smoke-damaged textiles and other items. For fast, high-quality smoke and fire damage restoration, contact PuroClean today.