Cooking in the kitchen can be a good bonding activity for the entire family. However, this can also turn into a mishap in just a few minutes. Even a splatter of small grease can ignite and start a kitchen fire. Then comes smoke and soot that can stain ceilings and walls plus the overpowering smell in the air. Fire damage in the kitchen can have a lasting impact on the structural integrity of your property. It could also compromise the safety of the space and your health if not addressed immediately.
DIY Kitchen Fire Damage Cleanup
You can clean the mess by yourself but you need to know how to clean up after a kitchen fire the right way. The wrong techniques can make the soot spread around the house, create stains permanently and threaten your health as well.
Document the Damage
Document the damage before you do any cleaning and make sure that it’s safe to enter the kitchen. Take as many pictures as you can for your insurance claim as well as making a list of damaged items. File a claim with your insurance provider so they can send an agent to make an estimate. You can proceed with the kitchen fire damage cleanup once the insurance adjuster evaluates the damage and tells you to do so.
Kitchen Fire Damage Cleanup
Make sure to read the FEMA guide to help you in dealing with fire damage. The following are some tips that would make your cleaning project a little easier.
1. Protect yourself as you work.
- Wear protective gear by wearing face masks, goggles, rubber gloves, long sleeves, long pants, and boots. Soot particles from a kitchen fire cover everything and can penetrate your lungs, skin, and eyes. And this poses serious risks to your health.
2. Begin clearing the air.
- Open all your windows and doors to air out the smoke and odors. Set up fans and place them in opposite corners of the kitchen. The AC should be off when you clean to avoid contaminated air circulating into your ductwork and your house.
- If the HVAC system was on when the fire broke out, change the filters.
3. Patiently clean the surfaces.
- Getting rid of all soot from surfaces is not one click. Clean the surface with a cleaning product, rinse, then dry the area thoroughly, and clean again. This makes the cleanup process more efficient though you need to do this patiently. Moreover, this also aids in preserving finishes on cabinets and walls with semi-gloss paint. For flat finishes, soot will stain through the new primer and paint so clean first then repaint.
4. Go with the right cleaners.
- Effective alternatives to ordinary household cleaners are recommended. Please check the following:
a.) Degreaser Products – These cleaners can cut through soot film on various types of surfaces but they are milder than TSP.
b.) Trisodium Phosphate – TSP mixed with water works well on sticky soot residue. This product is strong so wear gloves and avoid splashing. In addition, TSP is not intended for cleaning ceramic tile or chrome fixtures.
c.) Dry Soot Sponges – Dry sponge material is designed to get rid of residue even without using liquid cleaning products or water. They clean all surfaces including fabric effectively especially when you’re careful in rinsing and drying soot sponges between each use.
5. Check drawers, cabinets, and appliances.
- Empty drawers and kitchen cabinets to clean the space inside.
- Clean shelves and walls.
- Try to check rubber gasket seals around appliance doors for any signs of damage.
- Make sure to clean condenser coils on the back of the fridge.
Get Rid of That Smell
Your entire home is still affected by odors even when flames are confined to the kitchen. The following quick tips will help you freshen up your entire house.
- Once you get rid of all soot, clean non-porous surfaces with an orange citrus cleaner.
- Leave open coffee containers in closed cabinets to fight odors.
- You can also place bowls of vinegar throughout the house to absorb lingering smells.
- Before running the vacuum, sprinkle baking soda on carpets and leave for several hours.
- Call in a restoration company to set up ozone generating equipment that can quickly freshen the air.
Let Superior Restoration Handle the Cleanup
Smoke damage cleanup is best handled by professionals because they use state-of-the-art techniques during the process.
Call our local office today, Water Damage Murrieta. We’ll get your kitchen back to normal as quickly as possible and we’re here 24/7 to better serve you!