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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Smoke damage - clean it or replace it?

    We recently purchased a fixer-upper, and shortly thereafter had a small fire. There was no structural (frame) damage, but significant smoke damage. The fire department made holes in some of the plaster walls to ensure hot spots were extinguished, and we will completely tear out and re-sheetrock those walls. The remainder of the rooms were blackened with smoke and we aren't sure how to clean it. The house was built in the 1920s and has plaster walls, with a rough stucco-like finish (not smooth). What can we use to clean the smoke/soot, to prepare the walls for repainting? Would it be easier and more cost-effective to also tear out the plaster and sheetrock those rooms? Five rooms were affected.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: Smoke damage - clean it or replace it?

    Howdy, a little more to fix up but good news. Use a chemical cleaning sponge to wipe the smoked surfaces it actually picks up the smoke and holds it. You can cut the sponges thinner to give you more uses and can laundry them in washer and resue. Carpet cleaning companies do allot of fire restoration. call a few see whom will sell you a few sponges they are cheap. about the size of a chaulk board eracer. Then use kills primer sealer to seal the smoke and repaint. This is done on numerous smoke damage homes every day. Kills- odorous so make sure no pilot lights on when painting. Applying it by spaying it works best because it is resistant to being rolled on.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: Smoke damage - clean it or replace it?

    Oppps i forgot to inquire did you have homeowners insurance? if so fire and smoke is a covered loss subject to a deductible. An if heating system was on when fire change filter and open a couple registers see if sooted then you will need furnace and duct cleaning too otherwise you will resoot the house after you do all the repair work...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Eden, NC
    Posts
    285

    Wink Re: Smoke damage - clean it or replace it?

    If you have insurance, you might want to get a price from a fire restoration company. Doing it all yourself is fine, but wouldn't it be better to spend the monies and have a garantee that the smoke smell won't come back after you finish the restoration. It would be ashame to go through all the restoration only to have the smell of smoke return. The price will also tell you if you should replace the damaged material.

    Calcats

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Smoke damage - clean it or replace it?

    Use a chemical cleaning sponge to wipe the smoked surfaces it actually picks up the smoke and holds it. You can cut the sponges thinner to give you more uses and can laundry them in washer and resue. Carpet cleaning companies do allot of fire restoration. call a few see whom will sell you a few sponges they are cheap. about the size of a chaulk board eracer. Then use kills primer sealer to seal the smoke and repaint. This is done on numerous smoke damage homes every day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    143

    Smile Re: Smoke damage - clean it or replace it?

    I don't know anything about these chemical cleaning sponges I have read about but they sound like good things to use. I also agree with the suggestion that you get your ducts cleaned as you probably have a great deal of smokey dust in them if you do have forced hot air/air conditioning. As for what else to use I would suggest a really good pine cleaner like Pine Sol and also keeping your windows open to let in clean air.
    Using Kilz primer is a great idea too after you are finished cleaning and spraying it on isn't a bad idea either as it will penetrate better into the walls. After you have done all of that I suggest you wait until the Kilz drys real well and then go out of your house for the whole day with the windows closed. Then do a sniff test. Do your walls still smell? If so then you might need to take the walls down. But I certainly agree that you should wait and see and buying all of the things mentioned will not cost all that much and if it works then you have saved yourself some money.
    Speaking of money another poster mentioned calling your insurance company and filing a claim. I certainly agree with that and if you haven't filed other claims for any other problems in the past few years you should be o.k. with your insurance. As for hiring a professional to do the work that is up to you but I wouldn't unless your insurance company insists that you do. Instead I would pocket the money they give you and do the work myself. Save yourself some more money still when you get your sprayer and be sure to rent it. Make sure you buy plenty of tarps you don't want that stuff to get on your floors it is almost impossible to remove. Good luck to you!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Smoke damage - clean it or replace it?

    Go with professionals who have the experience cleaning up smoke damage. Trust me, it's not going to be a fun job for you to try to clean the smoke off of textured walls. Have experienced people do it and save yourself the aggravation. If their work is guaranteed you can always call them back again if you continue to have odor problems, which is a bonus.
    --------------------------------------
    Restoration1 is a restoration franchise offering cleanup for fire, smoke, and
    water damage.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Smoke damage - clean it or replace it?

    I have to second that going with professionals is the best option, if affordable to you.

    I've had to deal with some very minor smoke damage in the past. And even though it was minimal the whole experience was very trying! Best to be avoided.

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