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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

We Know Smoke & Soot

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke Damage in an Empty Room Smoke and Soot Cause Damage Too.

Fire damage is caused by flames, but also by the resulting smoke and soot which cause both visible and hidden damage far beyond the area of the original fire. There are different types of smoke & soot damage and understanding the properties of each help identify and remediate appropriately. These include dry or wet smoke, synthetic substances, protein material, petroleum or natural substances and the restoration process depends on the cause.

Dry vs Wet Smoke:

High-heat, fast-burning fires fueled by wood and paper typically produce dry smoke, resulting in a residue of fine power on the surface of things. While it can be simpler to clean (just wipe it off) it can also get into cracks and porous surfaces, leaving an odor which is more difficult to remove.

Wet smoke damage typically comes from low-heat, slow-burning fires – often from plastic or rubber items. It is thick and black and leaves behind a sticky residue with a strong odor. It smears easily which makes it more difficult to clean.

 Synthetic Substances:

As synthetic materials burn, they create a thick billowy black smoke that rises quickly and clings to everything, leaving a smudged-looking residue. This can cause a bigger mess if not cleaned properly using a vacuum and dry-chemical sponge cleaning.

Protein Residue:

When a fire consumes a protein source (such as meats or beans), it will leave behind a yellowish-brown residue resembling grease smears (think of the inside of your oven, the cooking grate on your grill, or a dirty pan after cooking meat). Since this residue is extra greasy, it’s extra difficult to clean. The best way to tackle this mess is with proper professional fire cleaning chemicals specifically for protein-based residue.

Petroleum Smoke:

Petroleum smoke comes from burning oil or oil-based substances. It is dark and will discolor anything it touches. This smoke can ruin upholstery and flooring if not taken care of quickly.

Since each type is a little different, each one requires a tailored solution for cleanup. Our fire experts know what to look for and how best to handle the many different conditions associated with smoke and soot.

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