In a fire, smoke is often the most dangerous factor. Smoke from a burning fire fills a room from the top down with various harmful chemicals, and breathing it in can be extremely dangerous. While a fire can certainly damage a home (or any object), smoke damage is often longer-lasting, harder to spot, and harder to remove. However, smoke damage can be remedied with prompt action. Let’s talk about the kinds of smoke damage your home can be exposed to, and ways to remedy it.
Smoke generally leaves smoke and soot damage. Even after a fire has been put out, smoke doesn’t merely dissipate into the air: it sticks to your walls, ceiling, furniture—anything it touches. Smoke often leaves deposits of harmful carcinogens embedded in the walls where a fire has been, resulting in unpleasant odors and even harmful airborne particles. Even once you’ve removed all smoke and soot stains, you still might not have removed some of those embedded smells. It’s important, in these cases, to consult a professional smoke damage restoration service.
Soot is a filmy, greasy substance that derives from the remnants of burning materials. Where smoke and fire have been, soot forms from fine carbon particles that rise into the air from the fire and settle on surfaces and fabrics as a greasy discoloration. It’s important to remove soot stains as early after a fire as possible: the longer they sit, the harder they are to remove.
To make sure you completely remove a soot or smoke stain, apply paint thinner or rubbing alcohol and scrub thoroughly. It’s important to keep your home well-ventilated so that you don’t expose yourself to smoke or cleaning product fumes. While we’re on the subject, make sure any filters or screens in your house have also been cleaned free of soot and smoke.
If you’ve recently had a fire in your home, and have noticed evidence of smoke damage, we highly recommend calling a professional restoration service. They will have the expertise and tools necessary to safely clean your home of all smoke and soot damage, leaving you with the reassurance of a clean, safe living space. If you’re in the San Francisco area, I recommend Vital Restoration, whose prompt and knowledgeable professionals are more than qualified to handle any smoke damage situation you may encounter in your home. They are also available to answer any questions you may have regarding smoke damage and restoration, and are happy to consult on whatever situation you might have in your home.