Seeing your home devastated by fire is bad enough, but having to deal with the aftermath is even worse. Just like any time things get messy, someone has to clean it up. And smoke damage is one of the most stressful and exhausting types of cleaning—not to mention that lingering, smoky smell you can never quite seem to get rid of.
It’s not as simple as giving the floor a good vacuuming or wiping down the walls with some soap. Smoke damage not only gets in the air, the upholstery, the windows, and the furniture; it also gets in all the places you can’t see. The particles will squeeze through gaps in the wall, or travel through your HVAC venting and pipes to parts of the house that escaped the fire’s reach.
As if the physical damages to your home and possessions weren’t enough, lingering smoke can also be harmful to your health. A smoke-damaged house can cause respiratory problems, skin irritations, and a host of other health issues.
Smoke particles are invasive, often invisible, and nearly impossible to remove without professional help. If you want to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both your home and your family, the best choice is to let a remediation company tackle the mitigation and restoration work after a fire.
What Does Smoke Do to Your House?
Fire will burn pretty much everything in its path, but the damage it leaves behind varies depending on the type of material that was burned. A nearby wildfire that blows smoke into the bedrooms, for example, will require a different mitigation and restoration process than smoke caused by an oven fire in the kitchen.
Wooden furniture and hardwood floors absorb smoke and odors, which leak out slowly over time and contaminate the air. Painted walls and other porous surfaces can become permanently stained if not dealt with fast enough. Curtains and carpets can trap smoke particles, causing potential long-term respiratory and skin issues. Even metal, one of the hardiest materials in your home, can rust and corrode from smoke damage.
Smoke will slowly seep into foams, flood boards, drywall, and flooring. It can act as an acid if left too long and threaten the structural integrity of your house. Because smoke always moves toward cooler areas, it will drift into your insulation and inside walls, where the air is fresher. Even if the fire was contained to a single room, the smoke particles will still spread through the entire house via cracks, crevices, pipes, and vents.
If the air can get there, the smoke can too!
What Does Smoke Do to Your Health?
Smoke is more dangerous than it looks. That billowing gray cloud is comprised of soot, tar, carbon, heavy metals, and other toxins. Breathe it in for too long, and health complications are inevitable.
Smoke can cause skin and eye irritations, like itchiness, as well as more serious issues like asthma, bronchitis, shortness of breath, and other respiratory conditions. Constant and long-term exposition to smoke has even been known to cause cancer. The risks are higher for babies, children, and people with weaker immune systems, but smoke still poses a danger for everyone.
When it comes to the safety of your family, don’t tempt fate. Call in the experts, and we’ll deliver a smoke-free home that will keep your family safe and healthy for years to come.
Why Can’t You Just Clean Smoke Damage Yourself?
It’s our first instinct, and it makes absolute sense: when something is messy, we want to start cleaning! But with fires and smoke damage, that’s actually the last thing you should do.
Cleaning fire, smoke, and soot residue on your own may make the damage worse. For example, regular vacuum cleaners can push smoke residue and particles further into fabrics, rugs, and carpets, making them more difficult to clean.
Likewise, cleaning surfaces with the wrong type of product can cause unintentional damage. Wood furniture is particularly prone to this: the wrong cleaning agent can strip the stain and varnish right off. Even the natural oils on your skin could compound the problem and leave smudges that are tricky to get rid of.
Clothes and curtains can be washed, floors can be scrubbed… but if the proper products and techniques aren’t used, the smoke residue will remain.
Not to mention the importance of personal protection! A simple mask and gloves are fine for normal household cleaning, but they’ll do nothing to protect your skin and lungs from the pervasive effects of smoke damage. Unless you have a full set of personal protective equipment lying around, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
A Remediation Company Has the Proper Equipment, Knowledge, and Experience
If you’re ever unfortunate enough to experience a house fire, don’t worry about the cleanup! Just open the windows to let fresh air in, then pick up the phone and call us—any day, any time.
Our first step is to assess the situation, take photos for reference, and plan our mitigation strategy. We turn off the electricity and check for gas leaks or anything else that could cause further damage. Anything that can be salvaged, we keep. After all, you’ve worked hard to create the home of your dreams, so we want to return it to you as close to perfect as possible.
Now we move on to the cleaning. Any damages that we can repair, we will. That includes water damage, any restorations needed for walls, floors, ceilings, and openings. We will also replace any structural elements that are beyond repair. Our special detergents and cleaning agents allow us to deep-clean the smoke, soot, and dust from wood, metal, tiles, and other materials.
We use specialized equipment to deal with smoke damage, like thermal foggers and ozone generators. The thermal fogger sends warm fog into the tiny cracks and spaces where smoke is hiding and roots it out, while the ozone generator removes odor from the air. We also use specialized ventilators and air scrubbers to help clean the air, as well as HEPA-fitted vacuum cleaners that trap particles and smoke dust.
Speed is of the essence when it comes to smoke damage. The longer you leave your house untreated, the more extensive the damage will be—and the more health hazards it will pose to your family. The sooner you call us, the sooner you’ll be back in your safe, clean home.
Don’t Underestimate Smoke Damage
Smoke is pervasive and lingering, and poses a serious danger to your home, your belongings, and, most importantly, you and your family. Don’t put your health and the health of your loved ones at risk!