According to the IIRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) soot and smoke damage resulting from a fire inside your home and building effects your structure as follows:
- Within minutes: porous materials and synthetics must be immediately addressed to prevent permanent discoloration.
- Within hour to days: wooden furniture, following, painted walls, and clothing can become permanently stained if not addressed within hours to days of damage, and metal surfaces will begin to rust, pit and corrode, requiring refinishing or replacement.
- Within weeks: prolonged soot exposure will embed itself in the fibers and surfaces, resulting in a longer, more costly restoration with a higher likelihood of replacement.
How does smoke damage affect your home and its contents?
Smoke rapidly takes its toll on your home, unless it is quickly and carefully addressed. Since it is acidic in nature, smoke effects each surface on your home differently. Here’s how smoke damage effects different surfaces throughout your home:
- Curtains & upholstery: simply vacuuming curtains with a vacuum or beaters can actually do more damage than good. Vacuum’s standard brushes or beaters can force soot deeper and worsen cleaning difficulties. It is absolutely critical to use the right hose attachment and technique when removing soot that has resulted from smoke damage.
- Clothes & bedding: Unburned chemicals are invisible to the naked eye and must be completely removed in order to remove odor. Special washing and chemicals are generally needed.
- Furniture & carpet: Many individuals who take the cleaning upon themselves end up inadvertently damaging their carpet when cleaning smoke damaged furniture. Wooden furniture can stain carpet with dyes. Metal furniture can rust and stain the carpet. Protective barriers, like foam block, are essential in keeping surfaces separate until they are dry.
- Hard flooring: flooring may require refinishing or replacement, especially if there’s damage water damage from firefighters.
Why is soot and smoke dangerous?
Leftover smoke and soot after a fire may be more dangerous than you think. Exposure to soot and smoke during fire restoration efforts can adversely affect residents’ health, especially for the elderly and children.
If you believe your home or building is suffering from soot or smoke damage, you should contact a qualified professional like Rarefied Air Environmental. Only a qualified professional can tell you the extent of damage and ensure that your remediation team has all the tools they need to completely remove any and all soot and smoke damage. Contact us today for a quote!