If your home has experienced a fire, walls in close proximity to the flames and smoke will likely be covered with soot. Here’s how to get rid of it.
Cleaning Painted Walls
#1. Clear Loose Particles
Clear loose particles of soot from your walls using the upholstery brush attachment on a vacuum. Apply the brush in a wiping motion.
#2. Use a Dry Cleaning Sponge to Help Lift Soot
Next, you’ll use a dry cleaning sponge (a.k.a. a chemical sponge) to help lift the soot. Dry cleaning sponges are natural rubber sponges with tiny porous cells that lift soot from surfaces without smearing it. It’s important to wipe soot using this sponge before wiping using a soot cleaner or water, because if you don’t you may spread the soot and make it difficult to remove it using the dry cleaning sponge.
When applying your dry cleaning sponge use a wiping motion—don’t scrub. If you scrub, it can cause the stains to spread, or you may even work them farther into the surface of your walls. Once a portion of your sponge becomes covered with soot, use a clean section or a new sponge.
#3. Wash the Walls
Now, wash the surface of your walls using a degreaser, a soot remover, or dish soap. If you use a soot remover, follow the directions on the label. If you choose to use a degreaser or dish soap, mix 6 tablespoons of the degreaser or soap into a gallon of hot water. Use a cloth to clean your stained walls with the solution, using a wiping motion (the same motion as with the dry cleaning sponge).
As your cloth becomes soiled, rinse it and wring it out. Once you’ve wiped your walls with the solution, wipe them again using plain water and a clean cloth. Finally, wipe the walls dry, and let the surfaces air dry. You may choose to use a fan to hasten drying.
Cleaning Wallpapered Walls
You can clean washable wallpaper in the same manner as painted walls, just be sure not to soak through the paper. Reattach any peeling edges or sections using a commercial paste.
Managing Wet Drywall
If you’ve got drywall and insulation that have become soaked with water from fire hoses, you should talk to a professional about having them replaced. Soaked drywall can’t be dried out and still maintain its structural integrity or mold and mildew resistance.
Do You Need a Disaster Remediation Expert in Washtenaw County or Jackson County?
If your home has already been damaged, we can help. Check out our services and call 734-352-9183 for your free disaster remediation quote today. We offer:
- Water damage restoration
- Mold removal and remediation
- Fire and smoke restoration
- Sewer cleanup and disinfecting
- Wind and storm damage repair