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Smoke and Soot Damage


Unfortunately, once the fire is out, you are not out of the clear just yet. There are many safety risks to the aftereffects of fire that smoke and soot can cause. The fire will leave structural damage but the smoke and soot left behind have health risks caused by PVC, carbon materials, sulfur, partial oxidation or wood smoke that can cause cancer or infections. Soot is the primary carbon byproduct of burned materials and has a chemical composition that can corrode certain metals and harm other materials. That’s why quick action is necessary to minimize property damage after a fire or a furnace puff back.

Smoke and soot can be absorbed by almost all your furniture and contents, especially porous materials or surfaces, and may continue to absorb odors until the soot is removed. Depending on what was burned,  most commercial fires involve more than one type of burning material,  soot can be acidic and cause damage of its own, with nearly any surface it contacts. Porous and textured surfaces are the most vulnerable to soot staining. Even after the fire, soot in the air or adhering to surfaces will begin discoloring plastics, certain stones, grout, unburnt wood, carpeting, and textiles. The longer the exposure lasts, the less likely it is that the discoloration can be reversed, and the greater the likelihood that a particular item will have to be replaced. If soot and smoke removal are going to be effective, it must be comprehensive and complete. That means removing soot and smoke from all the places you can see it as well as all the places you can’t. While soot may resemble smoke residues from a fire, the restoration of soot damage often requires different techniques, incorrect action can make residential restoration more difficult and delay the return to normal.

Getting rid of the sight of smoke damage is a fairly easy thing to do. You can clean it, paint over it or remove the items. Odor, on the other hand, is invisible and even more bothersome and must be dealt with scientifically. Using both a thermal fogger and an ozone treatment is one way to remove the odor. Each piece (framing, drywall, tile counters. solid counters. carpet, laminate, real wood, insulation, furniture, clothes, metal, etc.) has to be handled and treated differently. Improper soot removal can result in damaged residential property and other complications from poor cleaning and lingering odor.

Smoke: The solid, liquid and gaseous products of combustion released into the air.
Soot: Fine, black particles composed primarily of carbon, produced by the incomplete combustion of fuel.
Puffbacks: Accumulations of soot that are sometimes released suddenly by furnace malfunctions.

For SMALL areas here is a supply list for soot removal:

  • Bucket / Hot Water

  • Dry Cleaning Sponge (Chemical Sponge)

  • Clean Rags

  • Sponge

  • Degreaser / Commercial Soot Remover

  • Vacuum with Upholstery Attachment

  • Gloves / Respirator

*Avoid water-based cleaners if you have plaster walls so you don’t spread the stains.

** Blue River Restoration always recommends having an expert look at the area before anything has been touched.


Blue River Restoration, LLC understands no two fires or situations are the same and has experience handling losses of any size with immediate response.  Our team will create a plan that will eliminate odors and damage, restore your salvageable property, and minimize any additional deterioration. Whether your warehouse is fire or smoke in your office, call us immediately at our 24-hour emergency services line: (866) 596-0002

Our educated, trained and certified restoration experts will make you feel at ease, working around the clock when needed, to quickly get you back to business. Trust the leading commercial water restoration company in Indianapolis to get your facility back to pre-loss condition at lower costs, minimizing disruption to your business operations.

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