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Smoke Damage

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If you’ve recently had a small fire in your home or office, you may be fortunate in that there was no damage due to the fire itself, however there was probably damage from smoke and smoke damage can be particularly invasive and difficult to clean.

Types of Smoke Damage
After a fire, the first step is to inspect the affected areas in your home or office to determine the level of damage. As you look around you will notice discoloration on items that have suffered smoke damage. Just because an item in the room is not discolored, do not assume that it is undamaged.

Smoke is incredibly insidious and can cause invisible damage to your plumbing, your fabrics, books and other paper documents. Only a professional understands what to look for and where to look for it in terms of identifying smoke damage.

Breathing in the smoke fumes can pose allergy and respiratory threats to your family and pets. By calling in a professional to help assess and remove the damage, you can prevent illness and protect your safe home environment.

Wet or Dry Smoke Damage
Smoke damage is classified by the type of smoke that caused the damage. Smoke that is from a high temperature fire that was extremely fast burning—like from dry wood or highly flammable, organic substances, would be classified as dry smoke. Smoke from a slower fire that smoldered for a long period of time would be classified as wet smoke.

Wet smoke and dry smoke have different traits and require different cleaning methods. Dry smoke can often be cleaned from surfaces using a wet cloth and soap. It will infiltrate fabrics, but after a normal washing they will likely return to normal.

Wet smoke is a different case entirely. Wet smoke often has a strong smell and may require professional assistance to clean fabrics and surfaces. Using the wrong cleaning method to clean smoke damage can result in further damage, thus it is always best to call in a professional.

Harmful chemicals
It’s difficult to know for sure whether the smoke you are inhaling is from organic sources or is from chemical or chemically-laden wood and materials. The various pesticides found in wood or chemicals found in household cleansers can become toxic when burned and allowed to smoke. Professional cleaners have the equipment and breathing apparatus necessary to ensure a safe, thorough clean up.

Related topics: Fire Clean Up, Fire Damage Restoration

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