Fire Damage >> Odor Control

Smoke odor could remain in clothing, your upholstered furniture, carpets and the draperies unless they are properly deodorized before cleaning. That's why professional assistance is recommended. Do not use vacuum attachments or an upright vacuum because the bristle brushes tend to force soot into the fabrics. Cover all of your carpets after removing the soot to keep other soil from being tracked in during the Odor Control clean-up.

  1. Consult professional fire damage restoration companies and/or dry cleaners about the use of "counteractants," chemicals or additives that will break up smoke molecules to eliminate Odor Control. The type of counteractant used will vary with the many types of materials burned in the fire. Counteractants might be professionally applied to your furniture, carpets and draperies. Fire restorers also could provide them for laundering of your clothes. Fire restorers and dry cleaners may sometimes use an ozone cleaning treatment to break up the smoke molecules and eliminate the Odor Control.
  2. If the process is to be done in the home, items are then to be put under a tent while an ozone cleaning generator is operating. Keep in mind that many household deodorizing sprays and disinfectants may provide only temporary relief. Also, deodorizing sprays might interact with smoke odor and create an additional Odor Control. If you are not able to have your clothing or similar textiles professionally treated, try one of the following methods, first dissolve one cup of dishwashing detergent, you know the type used in an automatic dishwasher, in one gallon of warm tap water.
  3.  Completely submerge all of the items and let them soak all night in the washing machine or in your bathtub. Drain and launder as usual the very next day. For the items that can be bleached, you can mix 4 to 6 tablespoons trisodium phosphate, available from your local hardware store, with 1 cup of Lysol or some household chlorine bleach and 1 gallon of clean water. Add your clothes, rinse with clean water and dry. After the deodorizing, it is time to clean all of your household textiles. Take the non-washable clothing and the draperies to a local dry cleaner for traditional dry cleaning or a special Odor Control cleaning process.
  4.  Wash your regular clothing in clean warm water with a liquid laundry detergent. Several launderings might be needed, have your carpets cleaned twice, and  both before and after repairs. The wet carpets must be thoroughly dried before cleaning, in some cases, the removal of the carpet is necessary for a complete drying and to save the wood floor underneath. If at all possible, use a chemical sponge that is available from a cleaning supply company or use some other non-water-based cleaner to clean the Odor Control and the soot from walls. Paint thinner, or rubbing alcohol might work, but use with caution because of the toxicity and fumes. Always wear rubber gloves and open all of the windows and use an electric fan to increase the ventilation while working.

Flood Damage

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