What you need to know about smoke damage after a fire

Jun 23 2019

When it comes to fire damage, there is only one way to get rid of most damaged building materials and that is by removing them.
However, dealing with the odor and damage of smoke is a different story. This blog will inform you on how to know what you are dealing with when it comes to smoke damage.

  • Identify the type of fire: Every fire has a personality and damage type. High oxygen fires leave behind drier smoke residue that is easier to remove than the wet, smoky residue that a low oxygen fire gives off. And, if water was applied to extinguish the fire, then the humidity in a home can rise up to 100%, causing the wood in the home to open its pores, absorbing more residue and smoke.                                    
  • Safety first: Smoke can ruin anything with enough time because it is highly corrosive. In some cases, smoke from a home or business is not just coming from burnt wood, but other items like plastics, leathers or other chemicals. Because of this, it is important to wear dust masks and nitrite gloves due to the toxicity of the air after burning these items. With that being said, whatever you can do to ventilate the home is a positive thing for the people working inside.
  • Time is of the Essence: The sooner you start the restoration process, the lower the level of damage to the property will be. Here is a timeline of a fire:
    • Within Minutes: Acid soot residues cause plastics to yellow, small appliances located close to the source of combustion to discolor, and highly porous materials such as marble or alabaster discolor permanently.
    • Within Hours: Acid residues stain grout in bathrooms, fiberglass bath fixtures may yellow, uncoated metals tarnish, counter tops may yellow, finishes on appliances, like refrigerators, may yellow, and furniture finishes may discolor.
    • Within Days: Acid residues cause painted walls to yellow permanently, metal corrodes, pits and rusts, wood furniture requires refinishing, vinyl flooring requires refinishing or replacement, clothing becomes soot-stained, and upholstery stains permanently.
    • Within Weeks: Restoration costs escalate tremendously because synthetic carpet fibers may yellow or discolor permanently, glass, crystal, china may require replacement due to severe etching and pitting caused by prolonged exposure to acid soot residues.

If you have experience smoke/ fire damage or have any questions, call ABC Cleaning and Restoration today!