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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Cleaning Fire Damaged Electronics

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

electronic motherboard cleaned of soot and smoke damage Smoke can permeate your electronic devices and cause damage even in areas you can't normally see. Seek professional help to avoid further damage.

You may be wondering what you should do with your electronics if a fire has damaged them. You don't need to worry! There are many ways to clean these items and get them working again.

We'll go over the different cleaning methods and how best to avoid damaging your devices in the future.

How to Clean Electronics Damaged in a Fire

There are many ways you can clean your electronics to get them back into working condition. The best method for the device will depend on its make and model, but there are some general things you should do first before any other cleaning occurs.

First, unplug the device and remove any external power sources. Next, open up the case of your device to make sure there isn't anything inside that could cause another fire.

Finally, wipe clean all surfaces with a dry cloth or lint-free wipes (available at most electronics stores). You may also want to use a vacuum cleaner for crevices if possible. Now you're ready to start cleaning!

After this step, we recommend using distilled water with toothpaste squeezed onto a soft cloth-"not gel," as these types contain alcohol, damaging plastics, and metals. Fire-damaged electronics, especially televisions, should be handled by a professional. Always unplug the device before moving it, and never use a vacuum cleaner, steel wool, or detergent.

The best method for the device will depend on its make and model, but there are some general things you should do first before any other cleaning occurs.

Different Cleaning Methods

There are three different ways you can clean your devices: using water alone, wiping it down with a commercial solvent-based cleaner made specifically for electronics, vacuuming out dust and debris from cracks and creases in the case, keyboard keys, ports on the outside of the computer towers, etc.

Cleaning Smoke Damage from Electronics

Smoke damage can be in soot, black film, or a magnetic charge on affected electronics. The way to clean soot from an item is to use a mix of dish soap and water to create suds. You can also use rubbing alcohol if there is an oily residue on the surface that needs more attention.

For black film or magnetic charge, you'll need to rub in as much butter onto the affected area as possible-the longer it sits, the better! The process should take about 15 minutes for the best results. Then wipe with a soft cloth and dry off with another one gently afterward, so any remaining moisture doesn't leave streaks behind.

It's essential to be careful with smoke-damaged electronics because turning them on before they have been cleaned can cause more damage.

Be sure to look for your warranties for your electronics because the damage may be covered, and you may be able to get them replaced for free.

Having Your Electronics Professionally Cleaned

Another good idea for cleaning smoke and fire-damaged electronics is to leave it to the professionals. SERVPRO of University, SE Orlando can assist with fire restoration services. They have the equipment and expertise to remove all types of smoke particles, including those embedded in soft surfaces like foam or carpeting. You can arrange for your fire-damaged electronics to be picked up from your home, or many businesses have a convenient drop-off location.

If you're not sure if it needs professional cleaning, then use this simple test: Put on gloves and wipe off as much surface soot as possible with a dry cloth without wiping away any visible traces of water or other liquids. The cleaner is probably ok-otherwise, get them professionally cleaned! If there's an oily residue left behind after washing, use rubbing alcohol instead.

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