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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Invasive Can Smoke Be?

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

The scariest things always seem to be those that we cannot see. This is true even in fire damage, as the often invisible companion of fire, smoke, can be equally as destructive as fire damage. Capable of invading virtually any area of your home, smoke infiltration in homes and businesses can lead to more restoration work than one may expect. In order to gain a better understanding of the restoration work that may be required following smoke damage, it is important to learn more about the invasive nature of smoke as well as the visible and invisible damage that it can impose upon your home or business.

Why Is Smoke Invasive?

Smoke can make its way into cracks and crevices. This can create staining when homeowners try to clean the soot, as doing so only causes smearing on affected surfaces. Additionally, drywall is a porous material, which increases the ability of smoke to infiltrate. In the event that the smoke extends its reach to insulation, demolition may be needed in order to remove the smoke odor. Depending on the type of contents affected and its proximity to the source, smoke damage can vary.

Surprising Effects of Smoke Damage

Sometimes, after a fire, soot can leave visible residue that resembles spider webs. These are actually webs of smoke that adhere to walls and ceilings. A protein fire, for example, does not leave visible residue like dark smoke or soot. The smoke damage that results from a protein fire is therefore invisible, which leaves homeowners and business owners confused as to why there is nothing visible to clean, but the smell of smoke won’t disappear. Soot residue is also highly acidic and therefore, soot is capable of corroding metal substances within homes and businesses, which can lead to less apparent, long-term damage.

Why Is Demolition Necessary?

Demolition is an important aspect of the restoration process as a result of smoke damage, even though smoke damage does not commonly leave visible residue. In instances of heavy fire damage, it's important to pull out the walls in addition to scrubbing the surface. Soot and smoke find their way into cavities, nesting between drywall or plaster and the firewall in the interior. Smoke odor often becomes trapped in these cavities and insulation. The next time the weather is hot and humid, the smoke smell will come back in full force, as though it was never cleaned in the first place. Therefore, the demolition process is integral to conducting a thorough cleaning. How Do We Combat Invasive Smoke Damage at SERVPRO?

Here at SERVPRO, our general course of action when remediating smoke damage after a fire involves a range of practices and techniques. First and foremost, we remove any charred or burned material as soon as possible. Often, it is necessary that we “chase” smoke, a process in which we track smoke through open areas in order to calculate how far the smoke has travelled. Once all of the areas in which smoke can hide have been revealed and inspected, we can begin the cleaning and smoke remediation process. Usually, there is also a presence of water that needs to be extracted or removed following smoke damage. Additionally, equipment is usually placed in the home to help eliminate the smoke odor. Following demolition and cleaning, we utilize a sealant to encapsulate residual smoke odor that is left in tiny crevices or areas that cannot be easily reached.

Trust SERVPRO with Smoke Damage

If your home or business has been the victim of invasive smoke damage, don’t wait. Call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County immediately at (410) 229-0012. We use specialized equipment and techniques, including deodorizing services as well as both structural cleaning and contents cleaning, to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and surfaces. While we are renowned for our Fire Damage Restoration Services, keep in mind that we also offer a plethora of Building Services, which renders us capable of tackling the entire job, top to bottom. When your home or business experiences a fire, you can count on SERVPRO to handle the fire restoration, smoke and soot restoration, and the demolition and rebuild process, saving you valuable time and reducing stress. Learn more about our Building Services here. No matter what comes your way, we are committed to making it “Like it never even happened,” for your home or business.

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