Forest Fire Smoke: Hazards & Cleanup

Fire Damage Ventura, Fire Damage Cleanup Ventura, Fire Damage Restoration VenturaThe day we are sitting down to write this blog, the wildfires plaguing Northern California wine country are under control as the winds have finally subsided. Currently, about 11 thousand firefighters are battling 15 large wildfires across about 340 square miles. Thousands of evacuees are finally able to return to their homes; sadly many are finding their homes have burned to the ground or are seriously damaged.

For those outside the areas affected by the wildfires, air quality is still a concern as the smoke has traveled hundreds of miles, including right here in Ventura County. While the air quality is certainly improving, we all know wildfires and the weather can be unpredictable and problems can flare up quickly. Here are some things to keep in mind when our air is being inundated with wildfire smoke:

  • Keep an eye on the Air Quality Index. If you click on that link right now, you will see much of California – and the West Coast in general – is yellow, with some areas of orange. You can click on specific areas of the map to get IAQ numbers. Ratings at or below 51 are considered good; 51-100 is a moderate risk; anything over 100 is considering unhealthy.
  • Listen to local law enforcement. If they are recommending people stay inside, that’s probably a good idea. A wildfire miles and miles away can still affect our local air quality.
  • Close windows and fireplace dampers. If you have window air conditioning units, be sure they are recirculating the air and not pulling in air from the outside and pushing it into your home.

If your home becomes inundated with smoke odor, which then seeps into surfaces and fabrics, this is when you want to call in the help from experienced professionals! Please remember, smoke odor can be difficult to get out of items. Plugging in an air freshener or running a small room air purifier won’t get the job done. The good news is, however, that this is something your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover. Your insurance agent or another qualified professional can help you figure that out.

For soft items in your home like bedding, pillows, and window treatments, certified & insured fire damage cleanup professionals have innovative ways of cleaning them and removing the odor. We have the same ability for your carpet!

Hard surfaces will need to be thoroughly wiped down; to the point that a cotton swab could be wiped against any surface in the home and remain white. There cannot be any smoke residue left. This includes wiping down every painted surface, cupboards inside and out, baseboards, hardwood floors, window frames, and so on.

It’s also likely your HVAC ductwork will need a good cleaning. A professional fire damage restoration company has unique equipment specifically designed to remove odors of any kind from any size property – big or small.

If you or someone you know has been affected by the wildfires or experienced a fire loss of any kind, All Seasons Restoration is dedicated to restoring lives, one property at a time.