Why You Should Not Clean Up Fire Damage By Yourself

Category: Fire and Smoke Restoration

Fires can have numerous causes and are almost always unexpected. No one wants to face a fire at their home or business, but sadly they are quite common. In St. Paul alone, there were almost 2000 fire department responses and over 1000 reported structure fires in 2022.

Fires cause major destruction and leave behind an equally major mess – one that you may consider cleaning up yourself. As fire damage restoration professionals, we understand the importance of complete fire clean-up and the serious issues that can occur if it is not done well. Here are five of the most important reasons why you should not clean up fire damage by yourself.

Reason One: Your Health May Be At Risk

Once a fire has been extinguished, one source of danger is gone, but there are still safety risks present at your fire-damaged property. Exposure to smoke and soot can be harmful for your health. This is because soot particles contain cancerous substances like ammonia, tar, asbestos, and formaldehyde. 

Touching and breathing in smoke and soot can cause numerous issues, including respiratory problems, fainting, skin and lung inflammation, and exacerbation of preexisting conditions like asthma. These dangerous substances must be completely removed in order to make your home safe again.

Reason Two: DIY Can Make The Damage Worse

Complete removal of fire damage and smoke residue is a complex process. A fire creates many different forms of smoke and soot that can be dry or wet, and even visible or invisible. The particles left behind stick to (and damage) surfaces in different ways. Soot and ash are also acidic, and will corrode many materials. 

If you try to clean up these dangerous materials on your own, everything could get even worse. Household cleaning products can make soot stains deeper and even harder to remove. A regular household vacuum cleaner can release even more soot into your home, and washing fire-damaged fabrics at home can damage your washing machine. 

As Twin Cities fire damage restoration professionals, we know how to properly clean smoke damage and safely restore the many surfaces in your home. Our knowledge and specialized equipment will ensure that you return to a clean, safe home, and we may be able to restore many items that you initially thought had to be discarded and replaced.

Reason Three: Odor and Mold Removal Require Professional Help

Two of the toughest problems you will be faced with after a fire are odors and mold. Odors can be very pervasive after a fire due to a couple of reasons. The first reason is that the heat generated by a fire causes materials like your walls and wood furniture to expand and  fill with smoke. When the temperature returns to normal, they contract, trapping smelly smoke inside of the solid materials. Another reason is because soot and smoke particles get embedded in soft surfaces as well, like upholstery, fabric, and carpets.

In order to permanently remove these smells, you need help from a professional. Odor removal and cleaning professionals have the knowledge and equipment needed to tackle these complex problems. 

Mold may not be an issue that you immediately associate with fire damage, but it is a common secondary problem. This is because of the large amounts of water that are used to put out fires. If you don’t get the water professionally removed from your home – right away – mold can start to grow in as little as 24 hours. Like smoke and soot, mold can be hazardous to your health and should be remediated by experts who know how to protect themselves and your property.

Reason Four: Hidden Problems May Be Serious

After a fire in your home, there is damage that you can see, and damage that may be invisible. Smoke damage can hide in hidden areas, and everything from the food in your pantry to the inside of your air ducts may need attention. Additionally, fires and the work the firefighters did to put out the fire might also have caused structural damage to your home.

Reason Five: Time Is Not On Your Side

When your Minneapolis home or business has experienced fire and water damage, you may think that things are at their worst, but there is one way you can ensure that your problems will get much worse – wait to take action. The longer that fire and water damage sits, the more problems it will cause. Growing mold, breeding bacteria, rotting wood, corroding metal, and staining surfaces will all increase. 

The best way to protect your property (and your loved ones) is to hire a professional restoration company right away. At Green Clean, our expert teams can respond 24/7. We will assess the damage, secure your property, and utilize resources that will get things back to normal as quickly and safely as possible. 

With our large teams and specialized equipment, we can stop many forms of damage before they start, and restore rather than replace many elements of your fire-damaged home or business. A fire is a sudden and scary event to experience – if you need trusted, local help in dealing with the next steps, contact Green Clean today.

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