A house fire is one of the most devastating experiences a family can endure. Precious family heirlooms, photos and more go up in smoke. But there is a lot you can salvage after a fire, as long as the damage isn’t too extensive. Furniture is typically a large expense for a family, so many homeowners do their best to salvage their furniture after a fire. If the damage is limited to smoke and soot, it is possible to restore wooden furniture after a fire.
Wooden furniture absorbs odors from a fire
Wooden furniture is likely to absorb soot and smoke from even a small fire because wood is highly porous. Even if the fire occurred in another area of the house, you may need to take restoration measures for wooden furniture throughout your home, as it is likely to have absorbed the smoky odor from the fire.
What is smoke made of?
Smoke is a mixture of gases, droplets of wood tar, and carbon ash and soot. It can easily penetrate a porous surface such as your wood dining table. It is very difficult to remove, as it leaves a sticky film on everything.
After the fire damage restoration company leaves, do this
Once the fire damage restoration company you’ve hired to clean up the damage after your fire leaves, it’s time to get to work cleaning and restoring your fire-damaged wood furniture.
Step 1 – Dry out your furniture. If your furniture is wet from the process of putting out the fire, take it outside to dry in the sun. It’s better to clean it outside, anyway, because cleaning up soot-covered furniture can make quite a mess.
Step 2 – Remove the metal hardware from your furniture. Handles and hinges need to be removed at this stage. They can be wiped clean with a cloth and some household clear to remove soot. Place these to the side after you’ve wiped them.
Step 3 – Vacuum the surfaces of your wooden furniture to remove any loose dirt and soot. Pay special attention to any joints, cracks and crevices.
Step 4 – Rub the furniture with a dry chemical sponge to remove soot embedded in the woodgrain. Special sponges made just for cleaning soot can be found online.
Step 5 – Mix up 1/4 cup of wood cleaner or oil soap with one gallon of water. Dip in a soft cloth, and rub over the surface of your wood furniture until all of the soot is removed. Rinse with water and let dry.
Step 6 (optional) – If all of the soot doesn’t come off with the oil soap or wood cleaner, you can use steel wool to gently scrub in the direction of the wood grain. Your furniture almost certainly will need to be refinished if you scrub it with steel wool, since it scratches the finish. Use this step with caution, and only as necessary.