Tips for Handling Odor after Fire or Flood

by | May 3, 2021 | Fire Damage, Fire Damage Repairs, Flood Damage, Restoration, Water Damage, Water Damage Repairs

Water and fire damage can cause a musty, pungent smell throughout your house. It is not just the unbearable smell you have to worry about, but the health concerns that the situation can lead to if left untreated. The likelihood of mold growth after water damage or flood can also add to the odor.

The unpleasant odor post-fire or water damage can linger in your house for weeks or months. The odor can get to your clothes, furniture, and carpets. The porous surfaces within your home, especially drywall, rugs, and clothes, can trap these odor particles in such a way that it becomes difficult to remove or treat them. If left untreated, odor after a flood or fire damage can force you to discard or replace precious properties within your house.

In the aftermath of a fire or water damage, most people strive to rebuild their houses. The noticeable odor lingering throughout the house makes it difficult to feel at home again.  

What causes odors?

The odor from fire is caused by soot, burning wood, drywall, or other residential materials. During a residential fire, the incomplete burning of hydrocarbons forms soot, which is characterized by a smoky smell that grows worst with time.

Water damage odor can differ based on the source of the damage. For example, water damage from a broken sewage pipe can spread its characteristic smell throughout the home. Alternatively, the bacteria present in the flood water can produce a strong and unpleasant odor throughout the house.

Treating odor from fire or flood involves the following steps:

Airborne particles 

The way the airborne particles are handled can dictate the difference between a well-done job and the job done in a jiffy. Smoke or water damage-related airborne particles can move freely through your house, infecting clothes, carpets, and more. Using commercial HEPA air scrubbers is an ideal strategy to capture and eliminate even the tiny odor particles from the air.   

Fabric & furniture

Odor particles from fire or water damage are bound to affect your clothes and furniture. These tiny particles seep into the porous architecture of the fabric and furniture. Directing a jet of air through these materials or the respective surfaces can help you remove the odor particles. Commercial air movers can generate high-velocity airflow that can remove the odor particles from your furniture and fabric.

Industry-grade chemical cleaning products are used to remove soot deposits. Sprinkling baking soda over the furniture upholstery, the cushion covers, and fabrics followed by vacuuming using a HEPA-enabled vacuum cleaner eliminates odor particles.

Walls & carpets

Removing smoke or water damage odor from walls and carpets is a time-consuming and challenging task. Replacing these properties as such is not practical on most occasions. Industry-grade dehumidifiers and air movers are ideal for removing odor particles from carpets and walls. Water damage to walls and carpets has to be addressed within 24 to 48 hours from the occurrence of the incident to prevent mold growth. Painted walls usually respond to immense heat by swelling; the concern can be addressed by applying spackling paste after sanding down the bubbles.

Hiring a restoration professional is the right and smart approach for addressing odor concerns after a flood or fire damage. The commercial-grade tools used for restoration can vary with respect to man factors, including the water or fire type and the cause of the odor. Fire or flood damage restoration is a competitive industry, and the respective professionals strive to provide excellent service. When it comes to hiring a fire and water damage restoration professional, choose a company with the expertise and the potential to exceed your expectations.