The fine black substance known as “soot” is still very much a problem in many homes. It can gradually accumulate in the corner of your home, causing discoloration and also appear suddenly after a fire. If you have soot in your home, you need to identify its cause and determine how you can remove it.

What is soot?

Soot is a mixture of extremely fine black particles that result from incomplete combustion. Its primarily made up of carbon, but can also contain trace levels of metal dust, chemicals, PCB’s, and several other carcinogens. Soot is different from charcoal and other byproducts of combustion because it is so fine. Soot is far smaller than dust, mold and dirt particles, allowing for entry into our lungs as well as our porous belongings.

Soot is extremely dangerous to humans and pets because of its small size. As such, soot can very easily be inhaled into the small passageways of the lungs. Prolonged exposure to soot has ties to respiratory illnesses, heart disease, and cancer.

How does soot damage occur?

Soot damage is most commonly in incidences where a fire has taken place. All organic and synthetic matter, including wood, paper, and clothing that burns up during a fire can turn into soot, and may end up settled on surfaces throughout the house, even if a fire only occurs in one room.

Nevertheless, even houses that have not been affected by a fire can end up with soot problems. Whenever anything containing hydrocarbons is burnt, soot issues can occur. Outside of fires, some common causes of soot issues include:

  • Poorly ventilated fireplaces,
  • Constant candle usage,
  • Defective home furnaces,
  • Smoking tobacco or other substances indoors,
  • Cooking at high temperatures,
  • Proximity to industrial facilities that use combustion-based power sources,
  • Exposure to vehicle exhaust emissions

What are they types of soot damage?

Soot composition can vary depending upon its underlying causes. While all types of soot cause some darkening, soot can look completely black in more severe cases. Although most soot looks similar, some types can be harder to clean or cause more intense odors. Its high acidic nature can cause discoloration in paints and long term presence can also play a role in lingering smoke odors.

If you believe your home or building is suffering from soot or smoke damage, you should contact a qualified professional today. An experienced expert can help you identify any existing soot or smoke damage and create a plan for removing it. Don’t let your home or building suffer from unwanted soot and smoke damage. Contact Rarefied Air Environmental today!