Dec , 2014

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Dealing with fire and smoke damage

If you have suffered from a fire in your home, then you will be faced with fire and smoke damage in Philadelphia. Fire and smoke damage shows as soot covering the walls, floors, ceilings and contents as well as blistering on the walls from the heat and a sickly odor throughout the house. There are professional cleaning companies that have the skill, material and equipment to clean up fire and smoke damage in Philadelphia, but, if your homeowners insurance does not cover the work, you will be faced with paying out of pocket or doing the clean-up yourself.

During a house fire, the drywall will actually absorb the smoke; the odor will remain long after the fire has been put out. The only practical way to eliminate smoke odor from drywall is to replace it. While the drywall has been stripped from the studs, this is an excellent opportunity to replace the insulation as well, as it no doubt will also have been affected by the odor.

If the blaze was not bad enough to cause serious damage, it may be possible to clean the soot film that will certainly have been formed. Walls which have been painted with gloss or semi-gloss paint is easily cleaned, however, walls that are painted with flat paint are considerably more difficult. To clean the soot, a mixture of water and Trisodium Phosphate can be used; TSP is readily available at any hardware store.

Blisters or what appear to be bubbles will be the result of the heat of the fire. In many cases, the paint surface, which is what has been affected, can be scrapped with a putty knife and then sanded. When you scrape the surfaces, there is a good chance that you may mar the underlying surface, simple use plaster sealer, which when dry, can be sanded smooth. Once the bubbles have been removed and any surface damage repaired, the walls can be repainted as normal.

Lots of fresh air is one of the keys to ridding your home of the pervasive odor of fire and smoke damage in Philadelphia. Leave all the windows open whenever possible and move the air with the use of fans and extractors. Clean all the furniture, either call for professional upholstery cleaner or you can rid the smoke odor with a treatment of baking soda and water. If the covers on your sofa, chairs, etc. are removable, they can be laundered in hot water and baking soda. To help remove the odor of smoke from the air, use activated charcoal, place it strategically throughout the house.

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