Smoky odors can linger for weeks or even months, as well as become trapped in fabrics, upholstery, and carpeting. Smells from smoke and fires can be overwhelming, causing headaches or make you feel physically ill. For those with asthma, allergies, or chronic lung diseases, odors from smoke and fires can increase your symptoms or cause sudden attacks.
While you may be able to clean smoke and soot damage on your own, prolonged exposure increases the chances of more severe damage and lingering odors. Also, smoke and soot can travel much further than flames. This may involve cleaning several rooms or the entire property.
In addition to cleaning, it may be necessary to paint walls and ceilings and refinish wooden surfaces. Smoke odors may persist even after cleaning up smoke and soot damage as well. Successfully cleaning and deodorizing after a fire requires immediate action. Restoration costs are likely to increase if there is a delay in clean up.
Our fire damage restoration crews are experienced in cleaning soot damage and removing smoke odors quickly to limit the damage. Our specialists use professional grade equipment and chemicals to restore soot-stained walls, ceiling, carpeting, hardwood floors, and cabinets and remove odors from smoke and fires.
Let us give you peace of mind in an emergency. With 30-minute response time, our compassionate and dependable specialists will clean up your disaster fast! We can even bill your insurance directly. Call 1-888-411-0980 now for a free, no-obligation estimate. We don’t just restore your home or business, we restore your life.
Smoke is formed when particles of carbon and other materials produced by the fire become suspended in air. Some materials burn very cleanly and produce very little smoke. Other materials burn less cleanly and produce more smoke. Depending on the cause of the fire, it may produce very thick black smoke.
These particles are called soot when they finally settle out of the air. Soot is usually a very fine powdery substance and can range from a light grey to black charcoal. It may feel oily or greasy to the touch based on the materials involved in the fire. Soot can still settle on surfaces even if the fire didn’t produce a large amount of smoke.
Smoke and soot can both travel much further than flames, spreading to other rooms and settling in HVAC ductwork. Since smoke is airborne, it can follow air currents and travel further than flames. Even the slightest draft or air current can push or pull smoke down hallways, into air vents, under doors, or through tiny gaps.
Smoke also will cling to materials and surfaces as it blows by, depositing soot throughout your home or property. Due to their highly acid nature, smoke and soot can quickly stain almost any surface. In addition to staining flooring, walls, ceilings, furniture, and fabric, smoke and soot can also damage paintings, photographs, antiques, electronics, and other personal items.
Porous materials like wood, drywall, fabric, carpeting, and upholstery can develop permanent stains from smoke and soot within hours. Metals can rust or corrode, wooden furniture, flooring, and cabinets may need to be refinished, and structures and materials will begin to deteriorate. In severe cases, replacement may be the only option.
Most types of oils and fats used in cooking can produce a significant amount of thick black smoke, even without catching on fire. Smoke and soot from cooking oil fires are likely to stain kitchen walls, ceilings, and cabinets and may spread throughout your home or settle in air ducts and vents.
Kitchens are prone to many other types of fires, including fires in toasters, microwaves, ovens, and on the stove top. Depending on the source and cause of the fire, they may produce heavy smoke and soot that can stain materials throughout the kitchen and even spread to other rooms.
Electrical outlets and wire are normally safe and pose a very low risk of fire. However, older wiring, outdated outlets, and improper use are more likely to cause fires and smoke. Overloaded outlets and circuits pose the biggest risk of causing smoke and soot damage.
Fireplaces and chimneys have a very low risk for smoke and soot damage while they are in proper working order. However, improper use or maintenance can cause smoke and soot to back up into your home.
Candles usually burn cleanly and produce very little smoke and soot, however heavy perfumes and other additives can create thicker smoke. Additionally, burning candles too long or allowing them to get too hot may result in out of control fires that produce heavy black smoke and soot.
While not technically fires, smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and other tobacco products are still likely to leave residue and smells throughout your home or business. Prolong or heavy use of cigarettes and tobacco is likely to cause significant smoke damage and persistent odors.
The severity of fire and smoke damage impacts how you need to clean smoke and soot stains. Since smoke and soot travel further than flames, you may need to clean rooms throughout your home or property not affected by flames. Properly cleaning and deodorizing after a fire or smoke and soot damage takes hard work and can be extremely time-consuming. Since smoke and soot will continue to cause damage over time, it’s important to work as quickly as possible to clean up after a fire.
For small fires with limited smoke damage, you may be able to clean hard surfaces with vinegar. Baking soda can be used to remove smoke odors and smells from porous materials like carpeting, fabric, and upholstery.
In addition to the room with the fire, you should wash the walls, floors, and ceilings of nearby rooms. Don’t forget to clean personal items and furniture as well. Plastic and synthetic materials are prone to stains and heat damage and are likely to absorb smells. In most cases, the items will need to be discarded and replaced.
Soot is also likely to settle in the ductwork for your HVAC system. If not properly cleaned, it may continue to blow soot or smoke smells throughout your property long after the fire. Smoke and soot-stained fabrics and carpeting may be able to be cleaned, but they may need to be replaced in some circumstances.
Even after a thorough cleaning, walls and ceiling may still have severe smoke and soot damage stains. In this case, you will need to seal and paint walls and ceilings to cover soot stains and eliminate smoke odors. Make sure the surface is clean before painting to prevent stains from showing through. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to apply several coats of sealer and paint. In rare cases, you may need to replace portions of drywall.
Wood is extremely porous and prone to absorbing smoke and soot. Even repeated cleanings may leave wooden surfaces permanently stained. Removing soot stains and smoke smells from hardwood floors and wooden cabinets and furniture may require refinishing. Carefully sand wooden items and then refinish them to match undamaged areas. It may not be possible to refinish items made from pressed wood, like many modern cabinets and furniture. The only option is to replace these items entirely.
Ventilating the area may be effective after small fires, but walls, furniture, and other materials are likely to absorb smoke and fire smells. Even after ventilating, cleaning, painting, refinishing, and replacing damaged items, these smells are likely to remain. In this case, the only option is to use an ozone generator. These machines produce ozone (O3) molecules that help to remove fire and smoke odors.
While ozone generators can be effective, it still may require several cycles in each room to effectively remove smoke odors. These machines are also dangerous to operate and you must completely vacate the area while they are in use. For this reason, we advise that only trained professionals use ozone generators to remove smoke and fire odors.
Due to the acidic nature of smoke and soot, they can cause significant damage to property and structures if not properly cleaned in a timely manner. Residue from fires can settle on surfaces throughout your property and will begin to permanently stain within hours. Water from firefighting efforts can also cause significant damage to both the structure of your home and your personal possessions.
Our smoke and soot restoration services begin with an initial assessment and free estimate. We offer tarp and board-up services to secure your property if there is exterior damage. If necessary, we can extract water and dry out areas damaged by firefighting efforts.
Next, we use professional grade cleaners to wash surfaces to remove smoke and soot and prevent stains. Ventilation may be enough to remove some smoky smells, but we may need to use ozone generators to neutralize persistent odors from fires and smoke. We seal and paint walls and ceilings to block stains and block odors. Damaged hardwood surfaces are cleaned and may need to be refinished. In some cases, we may need to discard and replace some damaged items.
It’s difficult to predict the cost of smoke and fire damage restoration without seeing the extent of the damage first hand. Smoke and soot can travel further than flames, spreading to other rooms and getting into HVAC systems and ductwork. Common factors that impact restoration costs are the:
Your insurance policy will usually cover smoke and soot damage restoration if the fire was “sudden and accidental” and not due to negligence. Call 1-888-411-0980 now for a free, no-obligation estimate on fire damage or smoke and soot damage restoration.
We are here to clean up smoke and soot damage and remove smoke odors after a kitchen fire, lightning strike, or electrical fire. In addition to cleaning soot stains and removing smoke odors, we offer complete restoration services. From residential smoke damage restoration to commercial fire damage mitigation, we are ready to help no matter how large or small the job.
1-888-411-0980 now for a free, no-obligation estimate. We always offer 24-hour emergency service and a 30-minute response time. Let our compassionate and dependable restoration specialists give you peace of mind in an emergency.
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