Fire damage can occur in a variety of unexpected ways, such as a flare-up in your fireplace or a mishap in the kitchen. Smoke and soot damage are difficult to handle because it cannot be removed with regular cleaning products and forms stains on the affected surfaces if ignored long enough.
Soot is particularly difficult to remove because of its high levels of acidity. It is important to completely remove soot before you begin washing or it may stain the brick surface. Learn more about the correct materials and steps to properly clean soot and smoke damage from brick surfaces.
You will need the following supplies for the cleaning process:
• Dust mask, long sleeves, pants, and gloves to avoid ingesting the smoke and soot or getting it on your bare skin
• Vacuum is for the initial removal of soot and smoke
• Dry cleaning sponge and bucket is for washing the brick
• Commercial degreaser OR dish soap and baking soda is to create the soap solution used during the washing
• Power/pressure washer is for washing external brick surfaces
How to Clean
If you are cleaning smoke damage from interior bricks, open all windows and doors in your house to create ventilation. Wear the mask, gloves, and proper clothing from the list above to protect yourself. Take care to protect undamaged materials and surfaces, such as chairs, tables, and fabric by covering them with protective covers. This is so soot is not get distributed to other surfaces during the cleaning process.
Use a vacuum cleaner with an attached hose to remove all loose soot. Next, use a dry-cleaning sponge to remove the soot and smoke that is deeply embedded into the brick. Make sure to perform a wiping motion rather than a scrubbing motion or you may worsen the problem.
Use a commercial degreaser or use dish soap and water to create a soap solution and put it on the sponge or rag. Then, perform a wiping motion to wash the brick surface. If soot or smoke remains, use baking soda and water to create a scrubbing paste and clean the surface thoroughly.
Exterior vs. Interior Brick
For the most part, the cleaning process is the same for both exterior and interior brick surfaces. For interior surfaces, you must pay particular attention to ensuring ventilation by opening doors and windows and turning on fans. For exterior surfaces, ventilation is provided naturally by weather conditions. Exterior surfaces also often require a power washer for cleaning, while interior surfaces will suffice with a sponge and water.
Once you’re finished with the soot and smoke removal, clean the brick with water and allow it to dry naturally. This is where the increased ventilation will come in handy. If the surface is permanently stained, despite your best efforts, apply a coat of paint to prime and seal brick surfaces and make your home appear new. Painting also controls moisture issues and makes the cleaning process easier.
We understand that soot and smoke damage cleanup is often a difficult and time-consuming task. Contact us at (260) 420-1502 to remove your smelly and unsightly smoke damage from brick surfaces. Our professionals are trained and experienced to adequately handle fire damage of any kind, including the lingering of smoke, soot, and other corrosive byproducts.