There’s no denying or escaping the destructive power of fire. It’s one of the most dangerous and traumatic accidents to occur in any home because of how quickly fire spreads, and the lingering damage it leaves behind.
Not only does a fire ruin all the materials in your home — both structural and soft furnishings, but it can also decimate all of your personal, sentimental items, leaving very little behind.
Long after the extinguishing of a fire, the effects remain, such as harmful byproducts and smoke odor. If you’re wondering how to get that smoke smell out of your house from fire, here’s how.
What Are the Harmful Effects of Fire Smoke?
Smoke particles are one of the most harmful aspects that linger in the home after a fire. This is because they attach themselves to almost every surface of your home, especially porous materials such as curtains, carpeting, and paint.
This leaves behind that persistent smell of smoke as well as smoke particles that you could inhale. Over the long term, this could have a negative impact on your health.
These smoke particles impair the air quality in your home, which becomes similar to inhaling secondhand smoke for hours on end, on a daily basis. So, if your house smells like smoke after a fire, here’s what to do:
1. Air Things Out (Properly)
We’re not talking about just opening some windows and hoping for the best. The key to fire smoke removal is to air out your home thoroughly, over a few days.
Yes, you want to open up all the windows — even in rooms that weren’t impacted by the fire or smoke. You’d be shocked how far smoke particles can travel. Make sure to open up all the doors in your home too, and get your hands on an industrial fan (or two). Use the fans to blow through the worst-affected rooms, directing the smoke particles out of the windows.
You can also face fans towards the corners of each room to direct smoke the particles up and out.
2. Use Positive Pressure to Remove Smoke Odor
If the smoke odor in your home is intense, airing things out is, unfortunately, not enough on its own. Another key tactic on how to get that house fire smell out is with positive pressure.
In short, positive pressure is the result of indoor air pressure being greater than outdoor air pressure. This creates a type of vacuum, pushing the air inside the room, out. Which then makes room for fresh air to enter the space.
In order to create positive pressure, you want to open up the main door to your home. Place a large fan outside the entrance, facing the inside of your home. Then, shut all the other doors and windows in your home, keeping one window open.
The end result is stale air that’s forced out through the single open window while allowing fresh air to flow into its place. After this, make sure to put the fan on its strongest setting and blow out the room for a good 15-20 minutes before moving onto the next room/area. Then repeat this process.
3. Thoroughly Clean Your Home
Positive pressure is effective in certain cases, but might not completely remove that lingering smoke smell — even if it’s faint. You want to do a thorough job of removing harmful smoke particles by cleaning your house, top to toe.
This might sound like a lot of work, but it’s worth the effort in the long run. Here are some key areas to focus on:
- Your upholstery and carpeting — for the most effective means of cleaning, hire a steam cleaner. Otherwise, leave baking soda to soak up the smoke particles, then vacuum up with a HEPA certified vacuum cleaner
- All items of fabric — this includes linen, rugs, curtains, soft furnishings, and towels. You could take these items to be professionally dry cleaned to ensure they’re 100 percent smoke-free
- All of your solid surfaces — this includes cabinetry, countertops, ceilings, door and window frames, furniture, shelving, and fixtures. You can use a simple solution of warm water, dish liquid, and vinegar to wipe down these surfaces
- Your HVAC system — smoke particles will linger inside air ducts and vents, impacting your home’s air quality. Make sure to change out all the air filters and furnace filters. It’s also wise to wipe down inside your HVAC system, otherwise, call for a professional inspection
- Your windows — smoke particles attach themselves to the glass panes as well as blinds, window frames, and window sills. Clean down each part of your windows with a basic solution of warm water and dish soap
Bear in mind that flooring that’s not carpeted can also absorb smoke particles. Especially vinyl and wood flooring. Make sure to thoroughly clean these areas with hot water, dish soap, and fresh lemon/vinegar.
4. Repaint Your Home’s Interior
In some cases, the smell of smoke might still linger even after all of these steps. In this instance, you might have to repaint the interior of your home because it’s highly likely that your wall paint has absorbed smoke particles.
The good news is that you can DIY this task if you have the time and energy. Wash your walls with ammonia, or a glycol-based cleaning product, first. This is the best way to remove/neutralize the smoke smell.
Then, let your walls dry out completely. After that, apply a paint primer specifically for sealing in odors, then apply a coat of latex paint in your color of choice.
Does Your Home Need Professional Restoration?
If these DIY steps don’t cut it and that lingering smoke odor still bothers you, your home might need professional restoration. This is where our team at 1d Remedy is your go-to.
We offer both residential and commercial restoration, whether your property’s affected by flooding, fire, mold, or storm damage. Get in touch with our team to restore your beautiful home to what it once was!