Both soot and smoke have an acidic nature, making them difficult to remove. They not only contain unpleasant odors, but particles that make it hard and potentially dangerous for inhabitants to breathe. Repairing smoke damage and odors takes careful time and consideration. Different cleaning methods are required for different materials. Therefore, it is often best to consult a professional.
Fires can char walls, create odors and damage the foundation of your home. Soot has the ability to cling to interior walls, contaminate carpet and damage soft goods with padding beyond repair so it’s important to address these issues immediately in order to minimize destruction. The more time odors have to seep into walls, carpets and furniture, the harder it will be to get rid of the smell.
How can you detect fire and smoke damage?
There are three different types of smoke damage – wet smoke, dry smoke and fuel oil smoke.
Wet smoke damage results from fires that burn at low temperatures and produce fewer flames, but more smoke. Wet smoke can generally be identified by a thick coating and poignant smell.
Dry smoke results from high levels of heat but is often easier to clean when compared to slow-burning fires from wet smoke. Dry smoke damage is can generally be identified as powdery, dry and thin.
Fuel oil smoke damage is created by flames burning in an oil furnace and creates a strong odor. Fuel oil smoke is able to destroy furniture and most commonly requires expert assistance.
Soot and smoke damage is so dangerous because it is not always visible. Although building owners and homeowners may not be able to see black soot or other evidence of smoke damage, that does not mean it does not exist. The most common way of detecting smoke damage is odor. If you smell a lingering smoky smell in parts of your home or office, you most likely have smoke damage. Another indicator of smoke damage can be visible gray or black powder-like substances.
What are some common examples of smoke damage?
Fire and smoke create soot, char and ash. Without immediate restoration, prolonged exposure to either of these can permanently harm surfaces, furniture, clothing, carpets and other property inside the home or building in addition to being harmful to your health. Acidic soot can also stain surfaces as residue settles.
Discoloration from smoke damage generally begins on walls and is usually permanent on porous materials, like textiles and soft goods. These materials are often affected by smoke damage since they can become saturated with smoke more quickly.
Why is it important to have interior and exterior smoke damage cleaned by a professional?
As a homeowner or building owner, it is possible to clean damage from fire and smoke by yourself, however, professional soot and smoke specialists can clean your structure at a deeper level and limit further damage to your structure. Cleaning by yourself without the proper personal protective equipment can also be harmful to your health. Since smoke damage is not always visible, extensive professional cleaning can assist in eliminating odor sources and completely removing any damage created by smoke.
Experts can perform tests to determine the extent of fire, smoke, soot and water damage, as well as, examine the framing of your house and floors for safety to assess the type of fire and what may have caused it. Licensed professionals can also expedite the process of cleaning smoke damage and eliminating odors.