How to Clean Your Attic After a Fire

Clean your attic after fire

Attic fires are a surprisingly common occurrence, even beyond states known for higher attic fire risks like California, Oregon, and Washington. In fact, according to FEMA, there are approximately 10,000 attic fires each year in the United States alone. Of these attic fires, electrical issues and nature make up 43% and 16%, respectively.

But no matter what the cause of an attic fire is, the situation can be traumatic, as can the clean-up after. If you’ve experienced a fire in your attic, it’s important to know the steps to take to clean your attic properly. 

Properly cleaning after a fire will ensure your home is safe for you and your loved ones. Here’s where to start.


Always Hire a Professional Attic Restoration or Cleaning Company 

Before we dive in, it’s important to note that attic cleaning after a fire requires thorough, professional cleanup. That’s why we always recommend hiring a reputable company if you need professional attic restoration or attic cleaning services. An experienced company will have the right gear, equipment, tools, and knowledge to ensure your attic is properly cleaned and safe for you and your loved ones.

Clean Your Attic After a Fire – How to Guide

Unfortunately, attic and house fires are more common than you might think. They cause extensive structural damage and can leave lingering smoke odors throughout your home for months if you don’t know how to clean and clear the debris properly. That’s why the experts at Attic Projects put together a guide to teach you how to safely and efficiently clean your attic after a fire.

Attic Projects is one of California’s most trusted attic and crawl space restoration companies. Our team has been cleaning, maintaining, and proofing attics for over a decade, giving us the experience and expertise to handle all your attic needs. Continue reading to learn how to clean your attic after a fire and restore your home.

Points to Remember While Cleaning an Attic After a Fire

When learning how to clean the attic after a fire, there are a few things to remember.

Keep Safety Gear on Hand

Before learning how to clean an attic, you must protect yourself from smoke and potential hazards. Protective clothing like rubber gloves and face masks will protect you from dangerous debris, irritants, and other harmful particles during an after-fire clean-up.

Masks are crucial when cleaning your attic after a fire because they prevent you from breathing in airborne particles that could adversely affect your health.

However, face masks aren’t the only essential piece of safety equipment you’ll need to clean your attic after a fire. You’ll also need the following:

  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • Long clothing
  • Knee pads (for cramped spaces)
  • Hat or helmet
  • Boots

Ventilate and Vacuum Your Attic

After purchasing the proper safety gear, you can start ventilating and vacuuming your attic. Attic ventilation is vital since it allows fresh air to circulate throughout the space, significantly improving the air quality. Open as many windows as possible to remove polluted air and ventilate the attic.

Once you ventilate your attic, vacuum the area to remove hazardous material and debris. This will help improve your attic’s air quality while making the cleaning process easier and less stressful.

Clean the Surfaces in Your Attic

Next, you’ll need to clean soot and debris off your attic’s surfaces. Scrub various tables, chairs, walls, and ceilings within your attic until it’s spick and span.

However, traditional cleaning supplies won’t make your attic as good as new again. Professional restoration companies utilize specialized equipment that will restore your attic to its original state during an after-fire clean-up.

Remove All Fabrics from the Attic and Wash Them

Next, you’ll need to wash all the fabrics within your attic to rid them of smoke odors and other unfavorable smells. Although removing these odors isn’t easy, thoroughly washing them with high-quality products will reduce the smell and allow you to enjoy them once again.

Finally, Hire a Professional Restoration Company

Attic Cleaning After a Fire: Low-Pressure vs. High-Pressure 

Before a company cleans an attic after a fire, they will determine if the fire was low-pressure or high-pressure. The kind of fire will determine how to clean up effectively.

Low-pressure fires tend to have more oxygen. Excess oxygen blows debris into the air, which causes materials to land and forms a surface layer.

Meanwhile, high-pressure fires tend to have less oxygen and higher pressure, which means they can permeate materials like insulation.

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Attic Cleaning After a Low-Pressure Fire 

The process of restoring an attic damaged by a low-pressure fire includes:

  • Apply a de-smoking solution: Once the attic is clear of materials, use a pump or pressure spray is to apply a de-smoking solution to all surfaces.
  • Clean surfaces from top to bottom with a degreaser: Following the de-smoking solution, you should clean all surfaces with a degreaser. In instances where there is significant damage, you can use other abrasive materials (like sandpaper).
  • Assess the insulation and replace it if needed: If any insulation is salvageable, apply an encapsulation and odor counteractant to protect the existing insulation and remove odors.
  • Apply an odor counteractant: This helps to remove odor.
  • Replace insulation: Insulation that isn’t salvageable should be replaced.


Attic Cleaning After a High-Pressure Fire 

The process of restoring an attic damaged by a high-pressure fire is more involved since this type of fire tends to cause more damage:

  • Dispose of insulation: Carefully remove all insulation and dispose of it.
  • Apply an odor counteractant: This helps to remove odor.
  • Clean heavy soot: You can clean heavy soot from surfaces using a dry sponge.
  • Clean surfaces from top to bottom with sandpaper: Use an abrasive material like sandpaper to clean surfaces. If charring or soot is significant, you may need to replace areas of the attic.
  • Clean surfaces from top to bottom with a degreaser: Once you’ve cleaned charring and soot, clean all surfaces with a degreaser.
  • Apply an odor counteractant: This helps to remove odor.
  • Replace insulation: You should replace insulation that isn’t salvageable.


Learn More About Professional Sanitation From the at Attic Projects 

Whether you’re looking for air duct replacement after a fire or professional sanitation services to rid your attic of pests, we can help.

Attic Projects’ team of professionals has extensive sanitation experience. We have been cleaning and sanitizing attics and crawl spaces for years. Our team uses methods that kill up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, including solutions like ProKure V and RMR-141, a hospital-grade disinfectant cleaner.  


Contact us today to learn more about our attic cleaning services.

Recommended Article: How to Insulate a Crawl Space

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I was extremely satisfied with the work done by the attic cleaning crew. They were punctual, friendly, and incredibly skilled at what they do. They were respectful of my property and took great care to protect my belongings while working. I am grateful for their hard work and dedication, and I can confidently say that I will be relying on their services again in the future. Thank you for a job well done!
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