We all know how dangerous a fire in the house can be. Likewise, there’s a huge wave of relief once the fire is put out and you’re cleared to enter your home again. But, the danger of a fire doesn’t end there.
Many people write off the lingering smoke smell as an unpleasant odor. However, the smoke odor in your home that results from a fire can be just as dangerous as the fire itself. So, how to remove fire smoke odor from the house?
We’ll dig into the best ways to remove fire smoke odor from your house. But first, let’s talk about how smoke odor occurs and why it’s critical to eliminate it.
How does smoke odor occur?
The aftermath of a house fire often results in a pungent smoke smell. Smoke pollution can fill your home in every area. This is because smoke penetrates through hard and soft surfaces. Thus, it can infiltrate walls and permeate the air.
The smoke odor left untreated may reduce the air quality in your home over time. This is because it doesn’t just go away on its own. As a result, its smell can linger for months or even years.
Why does it linger?
Smelling smoke when there’s no fire is a key indicator that there are smoke particles and soot present. Once a fire is extinguished, porous materials start to release volatile organic compounds. As a result, an odor may linger if the structure isn’t effectively deodorized. This is why removing fire smoke odor from your house is essential to combat a lingering smell.
Is the smell after a fire dangerous?
Whether the smoke smell is invasive or mild, it can be hazardous. So, you should remove yourself from your home until it’s completely free of smoke odor, and soot. This is because smoke and soot particles’ toxic nature has the potential to create serious health risks.
The severity of health effects caused by smoke odor depends on a variety of factors. A few of these factors include:
- How long the property was exposed to smoke
- The size of the fire
- What types of materials the fire burned
What health effects can smoke odor cause?
Failing to remove fire smoke odor from your house may result in dangerous health effects. These fall into two main categories: Irritation and Respiratory.
When a fire is put out, but the smoke isn’t deodorized, it still may not be safe for you to go back inside. This is because that bonfire smell in your house can lead to serious irritations.
Smoke odor has the potential to irritate your eyes and skin. So, you should leave the premises if you experience irritation, even once you’ve been cleared to return.
In addition to bothering your eyes and skin, the odor can also irritate your lungs, resulting in respiratory issues.
The chemicals of fire smoke and black soot in your house can take over the oxygen. As a result, you’ll be breathing in toxins that may cause serious respiratory problems. Thus, it’s important to remember that even if you don’t see smoke or soot, it doesn’t mean that it’s not there. In other words, if you can smell it, you’re breathing it in.
How to remove the fire smoke odor from your house
So, how can you get the pesky burnt smell out of your house after a fire? Fire smoke isn’t an easy odor to eliminate. Often, people will try using scented candles to cover up the smell. But, that can exacerbate the problem as it only seeks to mask the smell rather than get rid of it. And as a result, the odor will inevitably surface again.
Smoke particles cling to nearly every surface in a home. Thus, creativity and persistence are required for effective odor removal. Here are some of the best ways to remove a fire smoke odor from your house.
Air it out
Letting the fresh air in is a great way to reduce smoke odor because it provides ample ventilation. Opening your doors and windows will provide constant air circulation throughout your home. It’s also important to remove the screens from windows to maximize airflow.
Pro-tip: Use fans to push air outside by facing them toward the open windows and doors. This will speed up the removal process.
While airing things out will help clear the odor, it won’t totally remove the fire smoke odor from your house. This is because the odor lives deep in every crease and crevice of your home.
When your house smells like smoke after a fire, a deep cleaning provides a permanent solution for removing lingering smells. Carpets, clothing, and upholstery are magnets to smoke after a fire occurs. And they each involve a unique method for eliminating smoke odor.
Sprinkling baking powder liberally over carpets is a popular way to get rid of a smoke smell. You should leave the baking powder to sit on your carpet for a full 24 hours to ensure it absorbs the odor. Then, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to clean it up. A HEPA filter will prevent the smoke particles from releasing back into the air.
Steam cleaning may be more effective for removing fire smoke odor from carpets in your house. But, steam cleaning requires a high level of knowledge and expertise, so it’s best to call a professional.
White vinegar is terrific for killing smoke odor on clothing. Treat your clothing as quickly as possible by soaking them in a tub with warm water and white vinegar. Once the smell has been eliminated, you can toss the clothes in the washing machine.
Furniture covers are notorious for retaining smoke odors. So, an effective way to remove fire smoke odor from your house is to start with your upholstery. You can use the methods previously mentioned of either baking soda or white vinegar. But, since upholstery smoke odors are difficult to remove, a professional cleaning service may be your best option.
All surfaces in your home, such as walls, countertops, and uncarpeted floors, can retain smoke particles. Thus, ensuring they’re thoroughly cleaned is critical.
You can get creative by making your own fire smoke odor removal product. Mixing warm water, dish soap, and distilled white vinegar usually does the trick. With a sponge, wipe down all surfaces to remove smoke particles and any soot that has settled.
Paint can retain smoke odors after a fire. So, repainting walls is a great way to remove a fire smoke odor from your house. Here are the steps to effective repainting.
- Clean the walls first, using ammonia or glycol cleaning products. These substances get the job done when it comes to neutralizing smells. Make sure you let the walls dry completely once you’re done cleaning.
- Use an industrial-grade odor control primer. This way, you’ll be certain that the primer is specially formulated to lock in odors.
- The final step is to use latex paint and voilá! You’ll have freshly painted walls that don’t make your home reek of a wildfire.
Clean HVAC system
Cleaning your HVAC system is critical in the removal process of a fire smoke odor. This is because smoke permeates the ductwork in your ventilation system. As a result, it can create poor air quality throughout your home.
So, make sure to replace your air conditioning and furnace filters as soon as you can once the fire is put out. Then, have your HVAC system inspected by a professional to ensure all smoke particles and soot have been removed.
Get your smoke-free home back
Smoke damage is a dangerous consequence of any structural fire. But, now that you know how to remove fire smoke odor from your house, you can mitigate the health risks.
It’s best to talk to a professional before you begin your smoke odor removal process. This will ensure your deodorizing efforts are effective. Contact one of our fire retardant professionals today to answer your questions.