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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Are There Any Household Items That You Cannot Salvage After My Little Rock Fire Damage?

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

A kitchen with fire, smoke, and soot damage. Let SERVPRO assist you through what to keep and not keep after your Little Rock fire damage.

Little Rock Homeowners Should Dispose Of These Three Items After Fire Damage

Residents of Little Rock need to be careful about which items they keep and which they dispose of after a fire. Many items can be preserved with professional help, but some things simply cannot be saved.

Figuring out what to keep and what to toss after fire damage in Little Rock is difficult. The time after such an incident is stressful, and it is only natural for homeowners to feel upset and confused. SERVPRO understands that the sight of one’s belongings blackened by soot is disturbing. 

Which Items Should You Not Try And Salvage After A Fire?

There are three items that you should not attempt to salvage after a fire:

  • Fresh food of any kind that was exposed to the fire – dispose of all fresh food that was within reach of smoke even if it looks ok as soot particles could contaminate it
  • Canned food near the source of the blaze – smoke and toxic chemicals can seep into cans, and high heat from a fire can spoil food
  • Medicines that were near the fire – smoke particles can penetrate medicine packaging and contaminate the contents

What About Everything Else?

Many other household items can be salvaged after a fire if you call in a professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Little Rock / Cammack Village. Whether an item is salvageable depends on the extent of the damage, and it is impossible to say for sure until we have assessed each item individually.

The best way to save your precious belongings after a fire is to call our team as soon as possible. The quicker we can get to your home and assess the situation, the easier it will be for us to clean and salvage your household items.

Can Homeowners Do Anything To Preserve Items After Fire Damage?

We recommend leaving all cleaning activities to the professionals. However, homeowners can take a few small actions to help preserve items after fire damage:

  • Hang any damaged clothing outside on a clothesline so the air can dislodge some of the particles
  • If your sofa and chair cushions are wet from firefighting efforts, you can carefully prop them up so air can circulate
  • Place wooden blocks under furniture legs to prevent rust stains forming on wet carpets
  • Cover soiled items with plastic sheeting to prevent further damage
  • Open windows to encourage airflow

These steps should only be carried out if it is entirely safe for you to do. If in doubt, do not take action, but wait for our team to arrive.

What Can SERVPRO Clean After A Fire?

In many cases, we can clean and restore soft furnishings such as drapes and linen, furniture such as armchairs and tables, and smooth surfaces such as floors and ceilings. In many cases, these items would not be salvageable without using the specialist equipment and cleaning formulas we have at our disposal.

What Cleaning Methods Does SERVPRO Use?

We train our technicians in a wide range of cleaning methods. Here are some examples.

Dry cleaning using feather dusters, cloths, or vacuum cleaners is useful for very light soiling where a simple wipe down is enough to dislodge the soot. Dry cleaning is also a helpful way to loosen up the residue ahead of a more thorough cleaning.

Abrasion means using a more vigorous technique to scrub soot out of a surface. Abrasion often involves abrasive surfaces such as wire wool or a scrubbing pad, with a cleaning solution to provide lubricant and prevent damage to the surface. Our teams can also opt for a cleaning product with abrasive agents.

Wet cleaning is necessary for more deeply embedded dirt. Wet cleaning can be performed with or without chemical cleaning agents, depending on the material and the extent of the damage. 

Spot cleaning is the best technique for soft materials that require something more aggressive than simple dry cleaning, but which might be damaged by soaking. Spot cleaning means using a spray bottle to focus the cleaning solution on specific areas before wiping the solution and the soot away.

Foam cleaning is another technique that is ideal for materials that would not stand up to immersion or soaking. For example, if you have upholstery that might shrink if completely wet, foam cleaning is a less aggressive way to clean it.

We train our fire damage teams to assess each item and choose the safest and most effective cleaning method. That is why calling us is the best choice – working with professionals gives your items the best chance of survival.

If you are worried about fire damage, give SERVPRO of Central Little Rock / Cammack Village a call at (501) 443-1828.

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