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5 Post-Fire Tips to Preserve Your Home and Contents
By ACI | Posted On: December 21, 2020
Clothing - Smoke damage requires special cleaning techniques. Improper cleaning will set the stains and odor, making them impossible to remove. Check with your Public Adjuster for a recommendation about a dry cleaner.
Mildew - To prevent mildew, remove wet or damp objects from the house as soon as possible and allow to dry, preferably in the open air and sunshine. To remove mildew, wash the stain with warm, soapy water, rinse well and allow to dry in the sun. If the stain is difficult to remove, try washing with lemon juice or one-tablespoon of pesborate bleach in 1 pint of lukewarm water, or a diluted solution of chlorine bleach.
Walls & Ceilings - Allow soot to dry untouched for at least 24 hours. Trying to remove soot before it has dried will only spread the stain and make it permanent. After soot has dried, clean walls or ceilings with the same tri-sodium phosphate and Lysol mix described above for cleaning clothes. Wear rubber gloves and old clothing when washing with this mix. After washing, rinse with clear water and allow to dry. Commercial cleaning products, available from paint and wall paper dealers, can be used. Some commercial cleaners are very powerful. Always follow the recommended directions exactly.
Wood Furniture & Fixtures - Clear off all mud and dirt. Remove drawers and allow to dry thoroughly. Scrub with a stiff brush and cleaning solution. Wet wood decays and molds easily. Try to ventilate the room or, if serviceable, run the air conditioner to dry the room. If the furniture can be removed from the room, you can dry it outside, but only in a shaded area. Never place furniture in direct sunlight.
Food - Discard any food items exposed to fire, smoke or heat. Even canned goods which have been exposed to heat may be unsafe.
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