It’s hard to think straight after a fire has damaged your most precious possessions. Nevertheless, it’s important to know how to preserve your belongings and precious papers after a fire so more isn’t lost.
Resist the Urge to Touch
Soot is composed of extremely fine particles that penetrate and stick to everything. Disturbing that soot, even gently, will cause it to spread. Because soot is abrasive, it can scratch surfaces as it moves.
Move Objects With Care
Ash and soot have a greasy residue that’s easily transferred by oils in the skin. Wear latex gloves, and don’t apply pressure to blistered surfaces.
Remove Soot from Fire
The longer soot remains on a surface, the harder it is to remove. Don’t use water or household cleaning agents. Water drives soot deep into surfaces where removal becomes impossible.
Instead, remove the soot with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter. Vacuum only dry items on the lowest suction setting. Prevent the nozzle from touching surfaces, and do not use a brush. Vacuum exposed surfaces first.
Enlist Cleaning Sponges
Dry cleaning sponges help to remove remaining residue if the item is not fragile. Cut the dry sponge into small pieces to improve maneuverability. The soiled surfaces of the sponge should be cut off so that you’ll have a clean sponge surface to work with.
Exercise Caution After a Fire
- Vacuum books before opening. Books that look burned on the surface may be untouched inside.
- Although glass, metal and ceramic items might look okay, they can be extremely brittle. Lift these items from the bottom instead of using handles.
- Be careful with fabrics that look intact. They can disintegrate with minimal handling.
Call ServiceMaster Professional
To mitigate and save as many of your belongings as possible, call ServiceMaster Professional Services. Our professionals are specially trained to protect and preservice your belongings after fire and water damage. You can reach us day or night for emergency services.