After the water is cleaned up, it’s time to take care of the soot that may have been caused by the fire. Soot results from incompletely burned organic matter during the fire and, if left untreated, can do serious damage to your home.
Soot will need to be professionally cleaned.
Put simply, it can penetrate and significantly damage anything from your upholstered items to your draperies, carpets, and walls. The longer it is left untreated, the more it will penetrate these items, and the more difficult it will be to restore your home.
Two types exist, depending on the exact materials burned: dry and oily. Each requires a different method of cleanup.
- Dry – resulting from high-oxygen fires. Cleaned using dry sponges and low-alkali detergent.
- Oily – spreads further when dry methods are used. Cleaned using high-alkali detergents along with a thorough rinse.
Given these nuances, consulting professionals becomes absolutely vital to thoroughly clean any soot damage. You will also need to clean your air ducts and furnace/air conditioning filters, to prevent any further soot from reappearing down the road.
The costs can quickly become significant, which is why you should consult with professionals to answer a common question. When is it cheaper to simply throw out the affected items? Textiles and other items that are salvageable should be cleaned. Others may need to be replaced.