ICS Magazine

IICRC Offers Wildfire Damage Clean-Up Tips

April 23, 2008

ORDWAY, Co. - Many Ordway residents are faced with some major clean up after the wildfire, from smoke to fire damage.  The Institute for Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) provides several tips for fire victims having to deal with clean up.  To learn more about the organization or for other tips on inspection, cleaning or disaster restoration, visit the IICRC Web site.

Here are the tips the IICRC recommends to anyone having to clean up after a fire:
  • Practice safety first. Use a dust mask (like painters use) and gloves as you work.
  • Ventilate the home. Place a box fan in an open window to draw the air and dust out.
  • Clean from top to bottom. Start with the ceilings, walls and fixtures, and work your way down to the contents of the room, then to the floor.
  • Vacuum floors and upholstery. Make sure your vacuum cleaner has a high efficiency filter. Otherwise, you risk blowing soot back into the air.
  • Some draperies, clothing and machine-washable items may be laundered. Use a mild alkaline cleaner to neutralize the acid in the soot. Fine clothing should be dry cleaned.
  • Most exterior walls (brick, stone, wood, paint, siding) and eaves can be cleaned by spraying with a detergent, agitating soot with a soft-bristled brush, pressure washing from bottom to top, then rinsing from top to bottom.
  • If the damage and residue are heavy, it may be best to hire a professional to thoroughly restore your home and belongings. The IICRC has a free hotline to find trained and certified professionals in your area. Call (800) 835-4624 or click here for a list of certified firms in your area.
  • Check with your insurance company to see if smoke damage from outdoor sources is covered by your policy.
  • If the fire has warped or distorted the structure, consult a licensed general contractor.