Cleaning Smoke Damage
When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction. While fire may be the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house. Ash and smoke, if left untouched, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration. Also powerful lingering odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. This entire process is very detailed. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing everything to need restoration.
- Smoke Migrates to Cooler Areas: The behavior of smoke during a fire is largely dependent on temperature. Smoke is typically hot and migrates to cooler regions of your home. Unfortunately, the cooler regions of your home are often hard to reach places, like cabinets and the underside of furniture. This makes the cleaning process much more difficult and is one of the major consequence of smoke damage.
- Smoke Uses Plumbing to Migrate Through Your House: Smoke naturally travels through plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to travel from floor to floor. This is the best way for smoke to travel throughout homes and buildings and cause further damage. Vents and plumbing systems are cleaned and often replaced if smoke damage is great enough.
- Wet, Smoldering Fires Produce the Most Damaging Smoke: The type of fire and the type of smoke produced by the fire make a huge difference when it comes to cleaning smoke damage. Wet, smoldering fires produce highly volatile and noxious smoke, the effects of which can persist for years if not cleaned properly.
- High Temperature Fires Produce Easier to Clean Smoke Damage: Contrary to what you might believe, high temperature fires tend to be less damaging than smoldering fires. That is because they burn very quickly and produce a different type of smoke that contains less damaging soot. As a result, even though the high temperature fire may seem like it would produce more damage, you may just get lucky.
- A Very Damaging Component of Smoke is Invisible: While the billowing clouds of dark smoke may seem the likely culprit, it’s the invisible protein residues of smoke that can also cause server damage. These residues can break down metal, wood, paint, and even porcelain, and their highly volatile chemical make-up allows them to penetrate deep into almost any substance while remaining totally invisible. Beware of this invisible enemy!
- Smoke Damage Can destroy Metal and Wood Items: You might think that hearty substance like wood and metal would not be affected by smoke as much as upholstery and textiles. You’d be wrong. The noxious protein residues in smoke can break down brass, copper, wood, and even stone, causing them to decay at an ultra rapid rate. Be sure to let a professional know about the exposure of wood and metal items to smoke and the duration of the exposure.
- The Number 1 Rule to Prevent Lasting Smoke Damage: Get Air Moving: If you want to get a head start on cleaning up your home after smoke damage, follow the cardinal rule. Get air moving. Use fans and open windows to keep air circulating throughout your home. This will prevent any remaining smoke residues from penetrating even deeper into your house and property.