Smoke Damage Repair and Restoration
In this article, our fire and smoke damage repair and restoration experts at Five Star Restoration share expert advice on smoke damage cleanup. Fires don’t always cause significant damage from the flames, but soot and smoke often cause damage to things and areas of your property you cannot see and would never suspect.
Smoke often leaves a horrible and pervasive odor throughout your home. You may not only have water damage from when the fire is put out, but smoke damage is one of the worst, most lingering, and hardest to manage aspects of a fire.
If left unattended, soot and smoke particles will settle into your home and items, potentially leaving them unsalvageable.
It is important to always hire a professional fire damage restoration team to remediate your house in a timely manner to make sure your home or business is safe and clean.
Smoke damage repair is one of the most important elements of cleaning up after a fire. The longer you wait, the more expensive it can get and the more dangerous it is to your health.
If the smoke isn’t addressed quickly, it can discolor nearly everything in your home including appliances, paint, wallpaper, fixtures, furniture, upholstery, and even wood, tile grout, and vinyl.
Glass and crystal can be etched by the residue and become pitted as well if the smoke sits on them for longer than a few days.
The damage that’s done by smoke residue is most often irreversible, so you want professionals on site managing cleanup as quickly as possible.
Smoke Travels. You might have a kitchen fire, but you may have smoke damage in other rooms besides just the kitchen. You’d be surprised how far and how fast smoke can travel to other rooms in your home leaving soot and smoke residue and that horrible smoke odor behind.
Why Deodorization of Soot and Smoke After Fire Damage is Key
Smoke damage can cause just as much damage to your property as a fire, if not more. Soot and smoke contain carcinogens that can cause cancer and other health problems.
Even though there may not appear to be much smoke damage, smoke tends to penetrate through all kinds of hard and soft surfaces, settling into cavities around your property. It can hide behind walls, in plumbing networks, and in wooden structures.
Soot can be found inside the ventilation system, inside the carpet fibers, coated over your personal belongings, etched into glass and more. Since smoke and soot particles can be toxic, breathing in the smoke odor can be dangerous for your health.
The smell left behind after a fire may increase if the building is not deodorized properly and immediately. Smoke odor can be so overwhelming that it can leave your house unlivable. Smoke and soot become increasingly harder to remove the longer they linger.
Without immediate fire damage and also smoke damage restoration, your items and property could be permanently damaged from the smoke and soot. So contact the professionals immediately for expert smoke damage repair and restoration.
It is important to bring in professionals to deodorize your property and conduct contents cleaning restoration. Common store-bought odor eliminators are only temporary when it comes to the seriousness of fire smoke damage. Chances are, the smoke smell will return.
Professional fire restoration companies have professional-grade smoke odor deodorizers that target soot and smoke, even in the most unlikely and deeply hidden places, and remove them from your property.
We do smoke damage repair and restoration cleaning, with products and equipment that eliminate odors for good. We use processes and ozone treatments that leave your house and commercial property odor-free, clean, and back to pre-loss condition.
Understanding the Scope of the Project
Restoration specialists will begin by evaluating the scope of the cleanup project. Was the fire contained to the kitchen? Were multiple rooms involved? Did it spread to more than one floor or up into the attic? What kind of water damage is present?
How much damage is there inside and outside the home? How much time has passed since the fire? These are all questions that will need answers before cleanup begins.
A professional inspection will help to identify where the smoke has gone, what rooms or areas have been affected, and the best course of action for treatment and clean up.
A professional understands the nature of smoke and will be able to determine the level and extent of cleaning necessary. It is important to keep note of exactly when and where the smoke damage/fire occurred.
While some instances of smoke damage are clearly visible, others take days or weeks to show up, and these issues can not only be harmful to surfaces in your home but also to your health.
A professional that is trained and certified will know and understand how different items and different materials will get treated and cleaned differently to achieve excellent results.
Different fabrics, for example, require different cleaning methods to not only get them clean but to rid them of the smoke odor. And different types of stone and flooring require different cleaning approaches as well.
Understanding the differences in how things need to be handled will lead to successful smoke damage repair and restoration.
Smoke Damage Timeline
No matter how large the damage area, the damage itself will be much more significant if time has passed since the fire to allow more damage to be done by the smoke residue.
Minutes After - Immediately after a fire takes place in your home, acidic soot starts to discolor affected surfaces. Fabric materials will absorb the residue and begin to stain.
Hours After - At this point, walls in your home can begin to turn yellow, your clothing can permanently stain, and metal begins to rust and deteriorate.
Weeks After - If the smoke damage has still been neglected, any surfaces that were exposed to soot will be permanently damaged and the structure of your home will continue to weaken.
This can ultimately lead to a large reconstruction project of your entire house.
Different Fuels Mean Different Smoke Damage
Smoke damage will differ depending on the fuel that burned during the fire. For example, a kitchen fire with protein fires (burning meat, flesh or poultry), leaves smoke with a heavy, oily texture.
Smoke from natural substances (such as wood and paper) leaves a dry, powdery residue, and synthetic fires (plastic and synthetic objects) leave a black residue that is easily smudged. In many cases a fire contains a variety of fuel sources.
Being able to break down the fuel and evaluate the soot and smoke will enable a restoration specialist to choose the right course of action.
Dealing With the Odor
Smoke odor is one of the unfortunate by-products of a fire. Understanding the science behind smoke odor removal is an essential element to smoke clean up.
Homes contain so much synthetic material, the smoke could contain particles of plastics and chemicals and toxins that coat the walls, ceilings, furniture, and belongings—and with that coating comes the smell.
There are a variety of ways to treat smoke odor, but most include odor removing detergents as well as ozone generators to help rid your home of the smell.
Staining and Discoloration
One of the most prevalent and detectable signs of smoke damage occurs when there is visible staining or yellowing on walls and ceilings. After a couple of hours, wood and plastic surfaces and appliances can become discolored or start to warp.
This residue from the fire can also tarnish metals, granite, and marble.
If the fire occurred somewhere with electrical equipment or wires, it is safe to assume the electrical system is no longer functional. Any experience with malfunctions or short circuits, or visible corrosion of wires, outlets, switches, or cords can be signs of electrical damage.
The Right Tools and Products Make the Difference
One of the most important elements when it comes to cleaning up smoke damage is having the right tools and the right products. It takes more than a mop and a dust rag to clean up soot and smoke residue.
The type of residue dictates the type of cleaning product. If it was a high-oxygen fire, the residue is going to respond differently to cleaning than a low-oxygen fire.
Understanding when to use a low-alkali cleaner (for high-oxygen fires) and a high-alkali cleaner (for low-oxygen fires) is critical to effective smoke removal. That’s why you call on the right techs who have invested in the right stuff to get the job done the right way.
Seek Help From Smoke Damage Repair and Restoration Experts - Call Us
Smoke odor and soot damage will not completely go away without professional cleaning with the right equipment and training to make sure it is done correctly. Don’t expose your home to further damage by letting the smoke and soot linger.
For the best help in the area, contact our fire damage restoration professionals at Five Star Restoration at 951- 368-2227.
We know how to find all traces and symptoms of fire and smoke exposure and remove them properly so that ou can feel comfortable and safe in your home.
Tags: Smoke Damage Repair and Restoration, smoke damage repair, smoke damage cleanup, smoke damage serviice, smoke damage cleaning services