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If your home has been scorched in a fire, you may be relieved and somewhat surprised to find many materials and furnishings have not been destroyed completely destroyed.
You may be able to recover some of your priceless possession from smoke and fire damage. When it comes to getting your carpets back to beautiful and operational perfection, the damage can be severe and you will have to ask yourself if you think you can truly reverse these damages.
Cleaning Soot from the Carpet
Soot can be tough to remove from the carpet, but only if you do it wrong. A good vacuuming job will effectively remove most of the particulate matter but only the loose stuff. To loosen the problem, try gently scraping at the spot with a spoon or credit card before you vacuum.
For a more serious carpet cleaning mess, spread baking soda, corn starch or another absorbent powder over the area and allow it to stand for a full hour before you begin vacuuming. Tougher stains may need some sort of stain-removing solvent, be sure to follow the directions on the product package you purchase. Patiently blot the area with a clean white cloth or paper towel to ensure that every vestige of the spot has been successfully removed. Once you have blotted as much as you can, add some cold water to rinse the area and blot out as much of that as you can as well, you never want the water to soak the carpet just drop it in and pull it out.
Then you can leave the area to dry with a fan and the doors and windows open. If the stain has defied your best efforts here you can try repeating the procedure. Typically, if the stain has not been removed with a couple tries you will need professional to assist with cleaning carpets.
Cleaning Smoke and Odour from Carpeting and Upholstery
Getting the smell of smoke from your carpet is a challenge, but it can be done. The last thing you will want is to get your carpets stained with washing liquids. In all truth, you may want to get this professionally done. Specialists not only have skill and experience to remove odors and stains without further damaging the carpets. But, if you want to have a go, try using a mixture of vinegar and water and then thoroughly rinse this. If you master the moisten-and-blot procedure in carpet cleaning a little patience and repetition can cure anything.
For really tough smells, baking soda is another effective odour-buster. Apply a generous helping around the affected area and gently work the powders into the carpet. After it has sit for around 24 hours, you can vacuum this up and see how it worked. If the smell persists, you can choose to repeat the process (if you notice your first attempt was fairly successful), otherwise you can send the fabric to the cleaning professionals.
Cleaning your carpet after water damage
The first thing you will want to do is ask yourself what kind of water damage you are dealing with. If the water has been contaminated with polluted water from the toilets, sewage or perhaps flooding from nearby canals, there is nothing you can do. This water is heavily contaminated with bacteria, viral invasion and toxins that can make your home unhealthy for human habitation. If your carpet has become contaminated with black water, it might be best to throw it out.
On the other hand if your carpet has become drenched in rain water or water from a broken pipe, it may be saved if you act quickly. The problem is that bacteria as well as molds and mildews set in very quickly. There are special vacuum cleaners you can rent for supplies stores as you might find your regular vacuum is not up to the task. Get some help to move heavy furniture and ensure that all affected areas of the carpet are accessible. Use a powerful wet/dry vacuum to slowly go over the carpet and remove as much water as possible. Once you are satisfied that all the water has been removed, you can begin cleaning. Use a standard household cleaner and a scrub brush to begin addressing all the areas of the carpet.
Open all the windows and doors and set up a fan to keep the air circulating as much as possible, this will facilitate the drying process. You can even rent an air mover to circulate the air more effectively. Set up you fans and allow your carpet as long as 24 hours to fully dry, even after it feels dry to the touch you will want to step on the area and press down as the moisture may still be there far below.
If all this seems overwhelming, this would be a good time to get in touch with a professional fire damage restoration expert.