What You Can Do About Salvaging Your Stuff After a Fire
Dealing with the effects of a house fire in Asheville, NC is never fun and often expensive. Replacing everything is not only costly, but items of sentimental value are irreplaceable. Always seek a professional to help you salvage what is left after fire damage, but there are a few steps you can take to assist in the process, such as proper content storage. Most clothing and removeable fabrics should be handled by professional dry-cleaning, and electronics cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Why Is Content Cleaning Important?
A fire to any structure is going to emit smoke and soot that can be toxic and irritate the eyes and respiratory system. Fire and smoke often combust plastics and other materials into chemicals that can be hazardous and cause larger health concerns and problems in the future, even if they do not produce any immediately negative effects.
What Steps Can You Take?
1. Always wait until you have clearance from the fire marshal before re-entering your home and trying to do anything.
2. Ventilate and get the air moving using fans.
3. For all salvageable fabric, you will need dry-cleaning. Most should be done by a professional, but you can remove some of the soot by holding a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner nozzle about ½– ¾ inch above the surface of the fabric.
4. After removing soot from carpets or other items, cover with plastic to prevent more from being tracked across during the clean-up process. Put plastic or aluminum foil under furniture legs as well.
5. Remember time is of the essence with copper and brass objects. Smoke can cause permanent damage to these items after the first 24 hours. Remove them from the premises carefully and clean using the copper or brass cleaner for each respectively.
Leave electronics to the professionals. Electronic devices that have been fire-damaged can be extremely dangerous and should be handled quickly and carefully. Other items, such as those that need dry-cleaning, should be handled quickly to be salvageable, but this should come second to more hazardous materials. Use proper safety equipment such as gloves and dust masks when attempting any of the above. Visit http://www.SERVPROashevillewest.com for more information on fire damage.