Tips to Remove Smoke Damage and Soot from Your Home

ServiceMaster Fire damage restoration

Fires are one of the most dangerous and destructive disasters that can harm your home. They feature severely high temperatures and flames that devour anything and everything in their path. Even more concerning, fires put any people in an unsafe position, which is why it’s crucial to act immediately if there is ever a fire in your home.

Upon the outbreak of a fire, evacuate your home, and call your local fire department to have the fire extinguished. Make sure everyone is safe and receives the help they require. Once the fire is out, turn your attention to the restoration work needed for your home. Not only will the property have damage from the fire’s flames, but there will also be secondary damage.

When there’s a home fire, it produces smoke and soot. These two substances are corrosive byproducts that cause the most damage following the fire. In fact, smoke damage and soot damage have been known to result in damage that’s worse than the initial harm. It can also become permanent damage if not addressed in a timely manner.

Knowing this, don’t wait to take care of your home’s smoke and soot damage. Continue reading to learn more about smoke damage and soot damage and for tips on how to address the damage those corrosive byproducts can cause your home.

How Does Smoke Damage My Home?

oven fire

Oven fire

When a fire starts in your home, its flames will burn whatever is in their path. When the flames cannot completely burn the materials, it produces smoke, which is made up of particles that have not burned. These particles are very fine, though, so they can easily make their way into small cracks and even settle into materials in your home: upholstery, building materials, flooring, and more.

When items absorb the smoke particles, it leaves behind a smoke odor that will continue to linger well after the fire has been extinguished. Other forms of smoke damage include stains and discoloration to your home’s walls and other materials.

How Does Soot Damage My Home?

Soot is another corrosive byproduct of a fire. It will form when fossil fuels don’t burn completely and is a black residue that can feature different characteristics based on the fire it came from. For example, soot can be wet and sticky if it developed as a result of a low-heat fire with little oxygen, but soot will be dry and powdery if it developed as a result of a high-heat fire with a lot of oxygen.

Like smoke, soot can leave behind an odor, but it’s not as much of an issue as smoke odor. However, soot can ruin surfaces and materials by causing etching and tarnishing.

What Should I Do About the Damage?

Smoke Damage

Smoke Damage

While there are home remedies for smoke damage cleanup and soot damage cleanup, it’s always recommended that you seek professional help. Soot and smoke damage become permanent if not addressed in a timely manner, but such damage can also easily be made worse if it is handled incorrectly. Because of this, it’s in your best interest to leave such the smoke and soot damage cleanup to the professionals. However, there are still tips you can take to help before professionals get started.

While simply airing out your home won’t rid it of any smoke odors, it’s still helpful. That said, if it’s 60 degrees or warmer outside, open up your home’s doors and windows to help lessen the smoke odor. Replace your furnace’s air filter with a new one if it uses forced hot air.

To help free the air of any loose soot and smoke particles, place damp sheets of cheesecloth over all return and supply registers. Make sure you don’t touch anything with your bare hands, though. Your hands contain oils that may cause further damage, and the last thing you want to do is make things worse.

It is important to note that you shouldn’t go back into your home until it has been deemed safe to do so. The fire may have left your home in an unstable condition, making it hazardous to reenter the property. Your safety and wellbeing are more important.

Get Professional Help for Smoke Damage Cleanup

If your home has suffered damage by a fire and requires smoke and soot damage cleanup, then get in touch with ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning. Known as one of the best fire restoration companies in Houston, TX, we provide smoke and fire damage restoration services in Houston and the neighboring areas. Our technicians are properly trained experts who know how to properly address fire, smoke, and soot damage, so you can trust that your home will be in good hands.

Within these services, we will first provide any necessary emergency board-ups and conduct emergency pre-cleaning to prevent permanent damage. From there, we’ll inspect your home, develop a restoration plan, address the smoke and soot damage, and make restorations/repairs.