Smoke damage is not the same as fire damage, but it’s just as bad for you, and allowing it to linger in your home is dangerous. The sooner you take care of smoke damage, the better your chances of completely restoring your home from the effects of smoke.
You might wonder what exactly smoke damage is and how it can harm your home. That’s what we’re covering in today’s blog.
While most of us would never intentionally leave our homes damaged, smoke damage isn’t always visible to the naked eye, making it essential for a professional to thoroughly examine your home after a fire.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about smoke damage.
What Is Smoke Damage?
First, to know what smoke damage is, you need to know what smoke residue comprises – smoke and soot. They mix together as a result of a fire. When that smoke and soot mixture land on a surface, anything it touches is damaged. That’s your basic definition of smoke damage.
If there was a recent fire, you might notice a greasy film on the surfaces in your home. That’s a telltale sign of smoke damage that’s not necessarily common knowledge. The longer smoke has to settle into a surface, the harder it is to clean because the particles can make their way into every little crevice.
Types of Smoke Damage
Now, there are different types of smoke damage you should look for after a fire – wet, protein, fuel, and dry. While all smoke can damage your home, different kinds can damage things differently, so understanding their differences can be very helpful.
Wet smoke is the result of low-heat, smoldering flames. You’ll have this kind of smoke when rubber or plastic catches fire. You’ll notice thick, black plumes of smoke, which, as you can probably imagine, are very bad for your home.
Long-term wet smoke damage that hasn’t been cleaned up can ultimately rust or corrode your metal. Wet smoke is extremely greasy, making it very hard to clean up.
Protein smoke is the result of organic matter catching fire. You can’t see protein smoke, making it difficult to ensure that all the smoke residue is removed from your home. But you can smell it – a pungent smell after an organic matter fire is a distinct sign of protein smoke in the air. It will also discolor the paint on your walls.
Fuel smoke can result from a fire, but sometimes it’s just from something burning, like petroleum, oil, etc. This kind of smoke is more likely to come from your garage than from the inside of your house and only if you’re involved in activities that would involve petroleum. Working on cars in your garage would be an example.
Dry smoke is the #1 kind of smoke damage associated with house fires. It’s often started by paper or wood catching fire, both of which are highly flammable, causing the fire to spread quickly and consume everything in its path.
Dry smoke looks powdery, so it’s easier to clean up, but it makes its way into every crevice, making it challenging to ensure it’s all gone when you’re done cleaning. And it’s imperative to get it all cleaned up since it can destroy your wiring and, as a result, ruin your electricity.
How Smoke Damages Your Home
There isn’t a clear-cut answer as to how bad the smoke damage in your home will be since it depends on the type and intensity of the fire. But there are some things in common. Any kind of smoke can damage your furniture, carpets, curtains, and clothing.
The particles and odors from the smoke can get stuck on soft surfaces. You won’t be able to get this kind of damage off with store-bought cleaning products. It will require professional help.
The Danger of Smoke Particles
Smoke damage is terrible for you. It can harm your lungs, skin, and internal organs, making it severe enough to take care of immediately. The longer smoke damage lingers in your home, the worse it affects your health.
Smoke damage to your lungs can cause health issues for anyone, but it can significantly aggravate conditions like asthma or COPD. If you have smoke damage in your home, it will likely get on your skin, which could give you a rash or make you itchy. Finally, the carbon monoxide released from the fire can give you a headache, make you dizzy, or poison you.
How to Remove Smoke Damage
You’ll need to act quickly to remove smoke damage or smoke stains from your home. The more time that goes by after the fire, the more permanent damage there will be. You can remove the visible smoke damage and stains, but you’ll need professional help to remove the invisible damage and stains.
How to Salvage Your Belongings
The more intense the fire is, the more damage your belongings will suffer. Depending on the fire’s intensity, some of them could be permanently destroyed. You’ll probably need to replace soft surfaces like your carpet, clothing, curtains, and porous materials.
It’s hard surfaces like countertops, bathroom surfaces, tabletops, doors, and chairs that you can likely repair. At least, the chance that you’ll be able to repair them is more likely than it is with soft surfaces.
Total Flood and Fire Restoration
Time is of the essence, so you must act quickly to restore your home from smoke damage. Call Total Flood and Fire Restoration as soon as the fire is over and the fire department has declared your home structurally sound.
Total Flood and Fire Restoration can restore fire and smoke damage so that you can kill two birds with one stone. With over 20 years of experience, we have the expertise you need to get back to your life as quickly as possible. Contact us today to repair and restore your home from smoke damage.