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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Handling Ash and Soot Cleanup After a Home Fire

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Whenever a homeowner experiences a house fire, cleaning ash and soot residues becomes essential to get a home back to normal. Smoke created by a fire fills the house and leaves behind residue that’s difficult to clean. Soot residues discolor and ruin contents and building materials inside your house, which is why it’s important to address ash and soot cleanup after a home fire.

Replacing vs. cleaning damaged items

Replacing materials inside your home can get expensive, so cleaning items instead can save you money. SERVPRO's fire damage technicians in Phoenix use various approaches to cleaning during the mitigation process, depending on what is damaged by soot. The purpose of cleaning smoke-related damage is to restore the materials to the conditions they were before the fire.
Depending on the items, some cleaning methods work better in certain situations than others. The type of cleaning used depends on the kind of materials that got burned and the type of materials soot damaged.

Fundamentals of cleaning soot damaged items

There are four fundamental elements required to address residues so that they get removed effectively. The first element of cleaning is temperature. Heat increases the speed of chemical reactions in products. SERVPRO's restoration technicians always select the best temperature based on which chemical gets used and the material being cleaned. The next element is agitation. When soot-damaged materials get agitated, the residues get dislodged, and chemicals get distributed across the surface. When cleaning smoke-damaged surfaces, we agitate the surface with towels, brushes, air and water pressure, and sonic vibrations from ultrasonic machines. Soot residues also get cleaned through chemical action. Most chemicals get designed to cause a reaction with the soot, therefore assisting in its removal. The reactions that take place include dissolving, emulsifying, changing pH, oxidizing, bleaching, and digesting. The last element of cleaning is time. Most chemicals need time to appropriately react to the soot and work efficiently. The amount of time needed varies based on the product, type of residue and the kind of surface affected by soot.

Call the cleaning professionals if you experience a house fire

In most scenarios, soot gets cleaned the best by using a variety of elements and principles of cleaning. For professional help with cleaning residues call SERVPRO of Central Phoenix at (602) 386-4268 any time of the day. Our technicians will endeavor to restore all your possessions to pre-fire conditions to help you recover from the disaster of a house fire.

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