Fire, Smoke & Soot
The complexity of property loss or destruction due to fire damage is due to the unique behavior of smoke. A trained fire damage professional should survey the loss site to determine the extent to which fire, smoke, heat, and moisture impacted building materials and contents.
Experienced fire restoration professionals know that areas seemingly unaffected by fire damage are still a danger to homeowners. Smoke can penetrate within cavities of the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. The knowledge fire restoration professionals have of building systems helps them investigate how far fire and smoke damage may have spread.
Some things you may not know about smoke:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the fire damage restoration process.
Types of Smoke Damage
Once at a fire scene, we will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Cleaning procedures will be based on the information identified during fire damage pretesting.
Types of soot include:
- Wet Smoke Residues - Result from smoldering fires with low heat. Residues are sticky, smeary and with pungent odors. Smoke webs can be difficult to clean.
- Dry Smoke Residues - Result from fast burning fires at high temperatures. Residues are often dry, powdery, small, nonsmeary smoke particles.
- Protein Residues - Virtually invisible residues that discolor paints and varnishes. Extreme pungent odor.
- Fuel Oil Soot - Furnace puff backs distribute fuel oil soot.
- Other Types of Residues - Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residues also need cleanup.