Fire Recovery Realities

Tips For Saving Fire-Damaged Rugs

by Matthew Fields

A house fire can damage rugs in one of three ways: combustion, smoke and ash. Rugs that have been damaged by combustion are generally beyond saving. Burned fibers on a carpet can never be unburned, and while some rugs may be saved with careful fiber matching and carpet weaving, these services are very expensive and generally not an option for many people. However, smoke and ash can be washed out of a rug that has been fire damaged. To save your smoke-and ash-damaged rugs, follow these tips.

Contact a Fire Damage Restoration Company Immediately

Inexperienced DIYers who attempt to fix rugs and carpets that have been damaged by smoke and ash may only work the soot or smoke smell deeper into the fibers of the carpet. In addition, the walls and other parts of the home that have also been damaged by soot and smoke will continue to smell like fire long after the event takes place. If this problem isn't treated by trained professionals like Nordic Services Inc, the room where the rug is stored will continue to smell like smoke, inflicting further damage on the rug long after it's been treated. 

While waiting the arrival of the fire damage restoration company, homeowners hoping to save their damaged rugs can speed up the process and take steps to ensure that their rugs are salvageable. 

Remove the Rug From the Room

Rugs that are water-damaged from fire-fighting activities must be completely dried within 72 hours to prevent mold from forming on the carpet. To dry the rug, carefully remove it from the room. Touching any part of the rug that has soot or ash on will work the ash deeper into the fibers of the carpet, and may prevent the rug from being saved. If possible, remove the rug by lifting it from a clean corner. Alternatively, some smaller rugs can be lifted from beneath. Have a partner help you with this process. Lay the rug outside in a dry location where the top fibers of the rug will not be touching anything else. 

Vacuum the Soot

While the best course of action is to wait for the fire damage restoration professionals to arrive, some homeowners just want to do something to clean up after a fire takes place. Once the rug has dried, vacuuming is an option, provided that you don't touch the carpet fibers with the vacuum cleaner. Use a vacuum with a hose attachment. Turn on the vacuum and hover the hose attachment over the rug without actually touching the carpet itself. This should remove some of the ash from the carpet fibers.

Once the fire damage restoration professionals arrive, they will be able to tell you what additional steps need to take place in order to save your rug and other belongings. The road to recovery after a fire can be a long one, but with time and patience, life can return to normal. 

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