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Smoke Damage and Restoration

Having a fire disaster in the home is no doubt an awful experience. Fires create a lot of damage to the home and it’s contents. Smoke damage is a tricky thing to get rid of after a fire. Fire creates two types of smoke damage: visible soot damage and invisible smoke odor. Each fire is different and proper removal of the smoke damage requires an experienced professional or more damage can occur to the home and it’s contents.

Soot Damage

The first thing to be removed after a fire is the soot damage. Soot forms through incomplete combustion during a fire. There can be dry soot, wet soot, oil based soot, or protein based soot. The type of soot depends on the type of material that was burned. The fine soot particles can cling to surfaces such as walls, ceilings, upholstery, clothing, etc. The cleanup process is determined by the type of smoke damage that has occurred. For example, oily soot is usually cleaned with decreasing agents and dry soot is usually cleaned with dry cleaning sponges. To begin the soot cleanup, professionals use a? HEPA vacuum cleaner and/or a lambswool duster to remove the soot particles. It is imperative that the technician properly identifies the type of soot damage to allow for proper removal, cleaning and restoration.

Smoke Odor

Smoke odor can remain in clothing, upholstered furniture, carpets and draperies unless it is properly deodorized. Ozone treatment, a deodorizing process that actually breaks up the smoke molecules to eliminate the odor, is usually used by professionals to deodorize the damaged contents. Clothing and other textile items should be deodorized before they are cleaned or the smoke odor could be set in the fabric. After the contents are deodorized, the household items are cleaned using specialized cleaning agents. Even with advanced equipment and specialized cleaning agents, some items may still need to be resurfaced or replaced.

In addition, if not properly removed, the smoke odor can remain in and between the walls of the home. The walls have pores that trap the smoke odor in. On warmer days, the smoke odor can be released from the pores and settle on the home’s furnishings, etc. Therefore, it is critical to remove this odor properly. Thermal fogging, which opens the pores in the walls and neutralizes the odor, is the best way to get rid of the smoke odor that is trapped in the walls of the structure.

After fire, soot damage and smoke odor has occurred, finding a qualified restoration contractor is key in expediting the process and ensuring correct action is taken. Incorrect actions can jeopardize the possibilities of restoring both structure and contents to their original state.