DIY Smoke Damage Remediation Tips For Homeowners Without Fire Insurance

Posted on: 22 February 2022

If your home just had a fire, then there's a good chance it has extensive smoke damage. Even small fires that are contained to one or two rooms will spread smoke into the rest of the interior. 

The lingering damage will make your home smell like smoke and will discolor walls, furniture, and other possessions. For this reason, you will need to start your recovery effort by tackling the smoke damage remediation.

If you have homeowner's insurance, then they will send out a professional crew to clean, repair, and restore your home after a house fire. However, if your home was mortgage-free and you opted to not have fire insurance, then the cleanup is on you to either do it yourself or pay for a professional damage contractor.

If you decide to go at cleaning up the smoke damage as a DIY project, these tips will help you:

Tip: Learn to Identify Smoke Damage

Before you can adequately clean a home with smoke damage, you need to be able to identify all of the affected areas. Since smoke damage doesn't all happen in the immediate area of the fire, you will need to inspect your entire home for the tell-tale signs.

Smoke damage is identifiable by the following:

  • discolored paint
  • a layer of black dust
  • soot-streaked or blackened areas
  • a strong odor of smoke

Once you have identified the smoke-damaged areas, then you can start the process of remediation.

Tip: Scrub the Ceiling and Walls

Any home that has suffered fire damage will have an accumulation of smoke and soot on its interior walls and ceilings. While most people clean the walls, they often forget about cleaning the ceiling.

The easiest way to clean up soot accumulation is with a commercial soot remover dissolved in a bucket of hot water. Use rags for wall areas you can reach and a sponge mop on the ceiling and other hard-to-reach areas.

Start cleaning on the ceiling and then work your way down each wall to prevent dripping onto an already-cleaned surface.

Tip: Clean the Windows with White Vinegar

Soot and chemicals from the fire will also coat the inside of your home's windows. The easiest way to clean them is to use a spray bottle of white vinegar and newspaper. 

Spray each window with a liberal amount of vinegar and then wipe them off with newspaper. The newspaper will not leave behind paper fibers like paper towels and will leave your windows streak-free. 

If the damage is extensive or you need professional assistance, contact a company that offers smoke damage restoration services.