When you experience a fire at your home or business, it can feel overwhelming whether it is a small or large-scale fire. It can be difficult to know what the first steps are to take after the fire trucks finish and the fire marshal releases the scene. Here are a few things you can do to clean your house after a fire.
Cleaning Materials and Protective Equipment
Before you enter the home or business, purchase heavy-duty gloves, safety goggles, a safety mask, and heavy-soled shoes. Wear these with thick socks, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants. This protects you from soot and the caustic substances used for cleaning up the aftereffects of a fire.
For cleaning, you will need Tri-Sodium Phosphate (TSP), a caustic substance, but the best cleaning agent for soot. You will also need a drop cloth for protecting flooring from further damage.
Laundry detergent, chlorine bleach, vanilla extract, and cleaning rags complete the list of items you will need to clean.
Sorting What You Can Salvage
Put on all of your protective gear before you enter your home or business. Start in the rear-most damaged rooms and sort through the items to determine which you might salvage and which you just have to throw away. Bag up the items that you could not salvage in heavy-duty garbage bags. Organize the items you could clean and keep separate.
Once you finish a room, take the garbage bags outside. Do this room by room so you clear the area completely for cleaning. Re-enter the room and box up the items you will take with you to clean. Remove them to your trunk or truck bed. You may need to rent a truck for a large number of items.
Move to the second room and repeat the sorting process. Work your way through the damaged home from back to front, emptying the room of the garbage bags as you complete each. Box the contents you will keep and take them to the truck.
Cleaning What Remains
Mix your TSP cleaner. Add four to six tablespoons of TSP to a gallon of warm water and one cup of chlorine bleach. Never remove your mask when using this cleaning mixture. It is not safe to breathe. If you get any on your skin, immediately rinse it off with cold water.
Cover the floor of the room you want to clean with the tarp. Clean the walls first beginning at the lower sections to prevent streaking. Work your way up to the ceiling, cleaning it last. Remove the tarp from the floor and clean the floor. Continue this process to clean each room. Allow all of the rooms to dry completely before attempting to re-paint. Take your boxes of clothing to the laundry.
Wash each load in laundry detergent plus a tablespoon of vanilla extract for the items that cannot get washed in bleach. Wash your white loads in bleach combined with one tablespoon of vanilla extract. Transport these cleaned items packed separately from those you still have to clean. You can clean those items in the bathtub where you are staying using mild detergent and four to six tablespoons to a gallon of warm water.
If this all sounds overwhelming, your best bet is to call the experts. At RainFire Restoration we help you recover from the accidents of everyday living. We provide water, fire, smoke and mold remediation services. Our team is trained, experienced, and certified to handle any job. We guarantee satisfaction and provide excellent customer service on all our projects. Call us today at (385)-366-7246.