Types of Smoke Damage and How to Fix it
The aftermath of a destructive fire in your home or place of business includes identifying and replacing destroyed property along with cleaning and repairing items and areas damaged by smoke. As you set out to get rid of soot and lingering smells, it is a good idea to understand what type of smoke damage you’re dealing with and the best methods to use for restoration.
Utah Flood Cleanup provides cleanup for homeowners and business properties that have been ravaged by fire and smoke damage in the Beehive State. Dealing with insurance companies, law enforcement and making sure everyone stays safe during cleanup after a fire can be overwhelming. Utah Flood Cleanup will take charge and work quickly to restore your property and your life to normal again. Our experience and advanced remediation methods will give you peace of mind knowing we’ve got the cleanup covered.
DIY Smoke Damage Cleanup
Should you choose to take on cleanup after a fire, be sure the structure is safe first. Contact the fire marshal for the go-ahead before you re-enter the home or office space for cleanup and repairs. You need to assess the level of damage to walls, ceilings, floors, furnishings and other belongings to determine what is salvageable and the level of cleaning necessary for restoration. Cleanup for all types of smoke damage should include replacing heater/AC filters daily while the cleanup is in progress and keeping the area well ventilated with open windows & doors and using fans for maximum circulation.
DIY smoke cleanup for small scale smoke damage of any type should begin with constant, circulating fresh air to during cleanup and please take every precaution to protect yourself. Use masks designed to filter fine particles to protect your respiratory system and wear protective goggles and heavy-duty gloves to stay ahead of avoidable injuries. For large scale smoke damage, contact a trusted local disaster cleanup company to make sure the job is done right the first time so you can resume your everyday life as soon as possible.
4 Types of Smoke Damage
There are 4 main types of smoke damage, each type will direct your DIY cleanup efforts. Determining factors like the cause of the fire, where the fire occurred and the color & stickiness of the residual film or debris will all play a part in your cleanup choices. Listed below are the 4 types of smoke damage and our best home remedy suggestions for how to fix it:
1 – Wet Smoke Damage
As one of the most common types of smoke damage, items and surfaces affected by wet smoke damage are notoriously difficult to clean and restore. Wet smoke comes from low temp flames that create thick, sticky residue that builds-up on every surface it comes in contact with. Removing this residual film is essential to rid the area of lingering smoke odors. Please note that fire-associated water damage is different from wet smoke damage. The water and chemicals used to put out the flames by the fire department can also cause significant damage.
Wet Smoke Damage Fix – Along with circulation with open windows and fans (if the weather permits), utilize a dehumidifier if you have smoke damage and/or water damage after a fire. A dehumidifier should be used during pleasant weather with the windows open and multiple fans. This trifecta will be the key to dry things out so you can begin wiping surfaces with a disposable wet cloth and mild or all-natural cleaning solution.
2- Dry Smoke Damage
Dry smoke damage is produced by very high temp fires. These scorching flames turn everything to a fine, powdery ash that settle on all surfaces like walls, floors, furnishings and belongings. This fine-particle debris can produce foul smelling odors from the item(s) that it was produced from like furniture, carpet and other remnants that were turned to ash in the fire.
Dry Smoke Damage Fix – The powdery substances can be easily wiped off of flat surfaces with a disposable wet cloth. The challenge comes with cleaning debris that has settled in grooves and crevices. Your best DIY solution is a thorough wet clean with a mop will grab and help dissolve debris.
3 – Protein Smoke Damage
Protein smoke damage usually occurs in the kitchen when compostable material like food or other perishable items are burned. Even with a minor fire, the soot from protein smoke can be very hard to see because of its pale color but is easy to feel the tacky film on surfaces. If protein smoke and soot are not completely removed, it can permanently damage or discolor surfaces over time.
Protein Smoke Damage Fix – Since protein can decay, smoke and soot from compostable materials has the potential to very quickly become very foul smelling. It is important to choose a wet cleaning solution that will work for your household. Homeowners with pets and small children should use a non-chemical mixture that include an effective grease fighter like vinegar or Dawn dish soap.
4 – Petroleum Smoke Damage
Burning oil, fuel or any other oil-based substance will produce petroleum smoke damage. Petroleum smoke residue is commonly referred to as, ‘puff back‘ and can be the most difficult type of smoke damage to clean because it is relatively sticky and caustic.
Petroleum Smoke Damage Fix – The soot and smoke of burned petroleum is very dark and will stain and may begin to corrode any material it comes in contact with. Care should be taken to clean fabric, upholstery, carpeting and other flooring quickly for the best chance of success. Remediation from a professional disaster cleanup company is recommended.
Professional Smoke Damage Cleanup and Restoration in Utah
Utah Flood Cleanup is here to help clean and restore your home, business and your possessions to get you and your loved ones back to a normal life as quickly as possible. We are here when you need us, call us 24/7 to help with your disaster cleanup in Utah.